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which single speed?

TheGreatGatsbyTheGreatGatsby Posts: 818
edited December 2007 in Workshop
I'm thinking of getting a single speeder for my commuter and was wondering what people reccommend. I know about the condor pista, the wrongster, kona etc. What do people think of the Pearson single speeders? Does anyone know if you can fit brakes to the Felt tK2? are there any carbon track bikes?

Any help would be great

Gats

Posts

  • miffedmiffed Posts: 469
    Carbon for comuting you must be having a giraffe, Id be sceptacle about running aluminum due to denting from tieing it up with a heavy lock.

    But yeah there are carbon track bikes out there but would worry about strength seeing as theyre designed for smooth wooden velodromes rather than pothole filled carnage.

    I have a LeMonde and it is ace, works like a trea. Had to replace the rims cause they were made of cheese but part from that everything has been perfect. The langsters this year look nice too, and my brother has a tricross (both by specialized) which he rates highly but cause its cross and singlespeed it isnt the most nippy bike out there.

    J
    Puke washes out, Glory lasts forever
  • I love my On-One Il Pompino. I've had it about 2 and a bit years and its taken all the abuse i've thrown at it. It has really good clearances so you can fit some larger tyres which is nice, probably something you couldn't get with a track bike.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    I was having this conversation with a colleague last night. He rides a Condor Pista and loves it. Very impressed by the build quality. He got measured up in the shop, so stem, bars, seatpost etc. are custom assembled with the obvious advantage of a good fit.

    The other side of the coin is the build your own option. It would be fun to embark on a project to build a singlespeed bike from random bits and bobs.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I wouldn't recommend a track bike for the road unless you're pretty hardcore - their tight geometry and overbuilt nature means they can be pretty harsh, often have front wheel overlap too. Better off looking at bike with road geometry such as the Pearson, Condor, Pompino etc etc. There are some carbon track bikes but they probably won't have brake mounts front or rear - and drilling a carbon fork wouldn't be too good an idea anyway.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Il PrincipeIl Principe Posts: 10,555
    I have a Pearson Touche, bought it a few months back and I'm delighted with it. I really wanted the Wilier Pista but couldn't justify spending £700! http://www.londoncyclesport.com/news/im ... l_08_5.jpg

    You won't go wrong with the Pearson and you'll be supporting an English company if that's important to you. I've only ever seen one other on the roads, compared to countless Langsters and Condors. Pearson's are a pleasure to deal with well and you can spec the frame up as you like.
  • I've had a Condor for 3 years now. Does a perfectly workmanlike job, but doesn't set my heart on fire. It's a little slow handling for my tastes, and not the comfiest ride ever. (My aluminium Santa cruz Roadster beats it hands down for compliance)

    My Girlfriend has a Cotic Roadrat, that is FAR more inspiring (IMO) to ride. It's an absolute hoot in fact. Cy is just about to release a drop bar friendly version too. If anything happened to the Pista, I'd have one like a shot.

    Lemond Filmore seems good VFM. Certainly there's a lot more options around now than there used to be, and the Condor is at the top end of the market price wise, but I have a feeling that the headtube badge counts for quite a lot of the purchase cost.
  • powenbpowenb Posts: 296
    I think if you fancy a track bike, get the new Specialized Langster London.
    With the bars it has, it will feel most like a track bike, and it looks the shizle to!!
  • edited November 2007
    Out of interest, what do those of you who ride them think are the main advantages of a single speed?

    I've always liked the idea - reinforced when the gear lever on my old roadie broke and I couldn't afford to replace it. In effect this meant I only had 2 gears (big and small crank) which in some ways felt quite liberating.

    When I finally replaced this through B2W, I chickened out of the single speed option even though there was a lovely Cannondale in my price range - mainly because I was a) worried about hills (of which there are many in Bristol, including a 20% climb on my way in); b) thought I wouldn't be able to use it for 'leisure cycling' in the same way as a properly geared up roadie.

    I'm not in the market for a new bike for a while, but still like the idea for sometime in the future maybe... What do you reckon? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • powenbpowenb Posts: 296
    Low maintenance is a major factor, especially for commuting.
    Simplicity, you just ride. No skipping gear.
  • Il PrincipeIl Principe Posts: 10,555
    I use my singlespeed for commuting and getting around London on. Love the simplicity of it and I thing it's less attractive to bike thieves. Low maintenance makes it perfect for the winter and hopefully it's building up my leg strength as well. It's also very useful in that you really learn how to spin properly.
  • I have used a single speed for commuting for sometime.

    I bought a Thorn Raven frame, but at the time couldn't afford the Rohloff hub to build it properly so in the meantime it was put together as a single speed with some old mountain bike wheels and a SS conversion kit, having the benefit of an eccentric BB.

    Eventually I got a nice set of wheels built with proper single speed hub, I had competely forgotten I was supposed to be saving for the internal gear set up!!

    I have quite a hilly route to commute and the bike is always luggage laiden. So I have a 36x18 gear which is always either too high or to low.

    The benefits?

    I have learned to spin very quickly, and I am compelled to apply plenty of force and aggression into the up hills. I don't really feel the benefit until I use a geared bike, as now I seem to fly along much more smoothly and economically.

    Single Speeds are cool.
  • pcd993pcd993 Posts: 74
    I have a Condor Pista in steel. It is pretty good - it is reasonably stiff for a steel frame, and not too heavy. It has quite relaxed geometry. Not a bike that has a racy feel to it, but that is not what I bought it for. The price is reasonable, but the Pearson looks better value for money. I just preferred the ride of steel, and the C+ review of the Pearson said the wheels were a bit dodgy. (I specced some DT1.1/1.2s from Condor, and went for a few other upgrades, as you do).
  • so for the same price say 500-550 you'd opt for a single speeder over say a specialized allez or something as a commuter/winter hack ride? I only ask as my tarmac is getting wrecked riding in the wet and mud and I think I should get a cheap run around to commute through the country lanes on.

    Gats
  • Love the simplicity of it and I thing it's less attractive to bike thieves.

    I don't see how this can be said to be the case anymore.
    Even bike thieves in London can be overheard rhapsodising about being at one with the bike, the zen, blah, blah, blah. :D
    Given how popular they are at the minute I would have thought SS/fixed wheel bikes were more attractive to thieves.
  • powenb wrote:
    I think if you fancy a track bike, get the new Specialized Langster London.
    With the bars it has, it will feel most like a track bike, and it looks the shizle to!!

    you total freak, it is a disgrace :)

    L_08LangsterLondon.jpg
  • Il PrincipeIl Principe Posts: 10,555
    star_rover wrote:
    Love the simplicity of it and I thing it's less attractive to bike thieves.

    I don't see how this can be said to be the case anymore.
    Even bike thieves in London can be overheard rhapsodising about being at one with the bike, the zen, blah, blah, blah. :D
    Given how popular they are at the minute I would have thought SS/fixed wheel bikes were more attractive to thieves.

    Yeah but there's less value to it, i.e. not groupset to take apart and flog on, cheaper wheels etc. Perhaps I should have out "less nickable than my other bikes" though!

    Where are you hanging around that you're overhearing bike thieves' conversations BTW? :D
  • POB_LondonPOB_London Posts: 1,016
    I have a Pomp, which I use for a 40 mile per day commute and for just about everything else. I bought it for £399 a couple or three years ago and immediately stripped it down.

    I got good money for the (very mediocre) parts on it, and rebuilt it with Goldtec / XT / Open Pro CD wheels, Record chainset and nice 700C Kona P2 forks. I run a 42x15 fixed with a Hope Mono Mini front disk and track-bend bars. At the moment it has 28mm tyres and mudguards.

    I absolutely love it. So much so that I often go on my winter chaingang rides on it instead of my road bike. I find that it's fast, all-day comfy (I've done London - Dunwich a couple of times and several other 200km days with a big courier bag) and the ride's fantastic for such a cheapo frame. It's also indestructible, I'm not worried about the paint and it costs me nothing to run.

    Aside from the common-sense factor, my pedalling style is better than ever (souplesse), I can spin with the best of them, and I really appreciate the extra strength when I'm on my road bike. I also have a do-anything bike (went to the new forest last year and spent a long weekend chasing MTBs, with some awesome bright green cross tyres fitted) that doesn't look like anyone elses.

    My advice? Forget ally and carbon and buy something steel that you don't have to worry about, and that you'll love riding, even on a cold and miserable Monday morning.
    blimey - bit windy / cold / wet innit? My blog is at http://www.lewismiller.info
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/track/ ... llmore.php

    LeMonde Filmore looks just the ticket and represents good value for money (as somebody else said above).

    Ought to stop surfing bike sites and get on with some work. A plague on The Man and his corporate whip.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    http://www.londonfgss.com/

    You might get some inspiration from the nutters on here.

    Right, now I am going to do some work.
  • xioxio Posts: 212
    I've got a genesis flyer (like a lot of people it seems). Cheap as chips, great fun to ride and I can't believe the difference it's made to my leg strength when I get on the 'proper' bike. Also view it as the 'pub' bike - I have a decent-ish (£50) lock and and happy to leave it most places. If it goes, it goes - it's insured and stock standard; you could be riding a new identical one in a couple of hours if you had to. Just simple, worry-free and fun. And it turns every hill into an alp which is useful as I've signed up for the etape next july.
  • HaynesHaynes Posts: 670
    so for the same price say 500-550 you'd opt for a single speeder over say a specialized allez or something as a commuter/winter hack ride? I only ask as my tarmac is getting wrecked riding in the wet and mud and I think I should get a cheap run around to commute through the country lanes on.

    Gats

    Ive got a kona paddy wagon for comuting 35miles a day, mostly country lanes, benefits are steel frame (comfort and strength) and clearance for mudguards. Comes with both free and fixed wheel, note that a fixed will get you up hills quicker, but more alarming on steep descents. This years models looks pretty good in retro grey, leather bar tape and cork end plugs.

    Beauty of single speed is the low maintenance and that you dont have to think, just peddle. So against a strong headwind or up hill you just grind away at it instead of keep changing down getting ever slower. On paper nothing makes sense about riding a fixed, but its definately the best option for a winter commuter, as youll find out when you get one.

    The trick is not MINDING that it hurts.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Try planet x bikes. Great value.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • rdaviesbrdaviesb Posts: 566
    Langster, but not the London model, which looks like a toy. The Green finish is much nicer than my RUST (read censored ) coloured 2007 model.
  • 2Smart2Smart Posts: 105
    I got a London Langster, looks brilliant once I took the crappy track bars and brake levers off and replaced with properbars and levers and white bar tape. Some people don't like them, but then not everyone likes the same thing and a good job too otherwise we would live in a boring world.
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