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EDIT - Frame Size? - Should I go singlespeed or hub gears?

thedemoncleanerthedemoncleaner Posts: 15
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi all,

Been lurking for a while for tips etc. but now I thought it was time to join and (predictably) ask for help!

I'm looking to get a new bike through cycle to work so I can sell my (almost new) Pashley Paramount for an injection of cash and so I can get a slight upgrade. I love the Pashley, but it weighs a ton and dragging it up the stairs at the end of the day is a real pain. I'll mainly be using it for commuting so it would be useful to be able to stick a rack on it (and mudguards) whilst keeping it light.

Problem is I'm torn...I was leaning towards a singlespeed as I currently only ever ride around London, but something draws me towards getting another hub geared bike "just in case" (You know, the thoughts of "maybe I'll want to do London to Brighton one day!"). I don't fancy getting a derailleur bike as I've grown quite fond of the cleanliness that a hub or singlespeed has.

Anyway, I'm looking at the following:

Singlespeeds:

Charge Plug Grinder
- http://www.chargebikes.com/products/bik ... .php?id=17
comes with mudguards and I think I could mount a rack on it - apparently they're heavy, but having tested one it felt really light to me (compared to a pashley I suppose anything would though)

Trek Soho S - http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/urban/soho/sohos/

Trek District - http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/ur ... /district/

Hub Geared bikes:
Charge Tap - http://www.chargebikes.com/products/bik ... .php?id=14
Trek Soho - http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/bikes/urban/soho/soho/

hmm...only treks and charges it seems...
Thanks for your help!

Posts

  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Perhaps you could give us an idea of your budget? That would help, I reckon!

    Having never done the london to brighton, I have no idea whether it'spossible on a SS, but there are a fair few riders around here who use them in hillier areas than London.

    I know, for example, that some of our contributors have done the Dunwich Dynamo on a SS.

    Saying that, I can understand why you like the idea of hub gears.

    Also, get thee to the fixed gear/single speed commuting thread - lots of pontification (from me) about SS frames!

    EDIT: there are many ways of attaching a pannier rack to a bike without rack mounts. Some are harder than others!
  • Well, I'm limited to whatever Halfords can get hold of for me as it'll be through cycle2work...as such it's got to be off the peg. Looking at about £700 max + up to £100 for racks, mudguards and other bits I might need (as with the tax savings it'll bring it down to more my level!)

    They can get Charges and Treks pretty easily it seems, but not Cotic.

    Currently I only really use anything other than 3rd (direct drive) on my 5 speed sturmey when I want a bit more speed going downhill...1st gear never gets used and 2nd only when I'm feeling a bit lazy/tired.

    EDIT - Thanks by the way!
  • salsarider79salsarider79 Posts: 828
    Singlespeed could be very cheap - an old MTB frame with some new parts, chance of something interesting their me thinks.
    Ready built, well you have the Genesis Flyer (A British built bike, could be important...), you also have the Specialized Tri-Cross, and so on and so on. Try to get a ride on different bikes, and look at the Cycle to Work scheme too. Maybe a useful plan...
    jedster wrote:
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    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
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  • Oddjob62Oddjob62 Posts: 1,056
    Having never done the london to brighton, I have no idea whether it'spossible on a SS, but there are a fair few riders around here who use them in hillier areas than London.

    I know, for example, that some of our contributors have done the Dunwich Dynamo on a SS.

    Brun's done both on fixed i believe, although he did also beat the roadie boys up Nightingale lane so he does have a strong pair of legs on him.
    As yet unnamed (Dolan Seta)
    Joelle (Focus Expert SRAM)
  • snigsnig Posts: 428
    Pearson cycles will also take your halfords voucher,they do a SS Pearson Touche sounds like it fits your needs,I'm waiting on my voucher,another week yet!!!
  • petejukpetejuk Posts: 235
    for my tuppence worth, go for a singlespeed (or fixed) with a flip-flop rear hub (basically a sprocket on both sides of the rear hub if you didn't know). This would give access to an extra gear if you felt you needed it. Reading you post it seems you don't really use more than 2 gears at the moment anyway. There are plenty of fixed and singlespeed bikes out there with mudguard and pannier eyes. Planet-x used to do the Halfords scheme a few years ago (i would recommend them). good luck
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Oddjob62 wrote:
    Having never done the london to brighton, I have no idea whether it'spossible on a SS, but there are a fair few riders around here who use them in hillier areas than London.

    I know, for example, that some of our contributors have done the Dunwich Dynamo on a SS.

    Brun's done both on fixed i believe, although he did also beat the roadie boys up Nightingale lane so he does have a strong pair of legs on him.

    It wasn't a race.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    london to brighton is packed normally so chance of being able to ride up a lot of the hills is likely to be a non starter, ie people getting off and walking.

    i'd worry about what you do than what you want, if your commuting in london, there isn't much need of gears is largely flatish when i do go though normally to see friends in hamstead way, i normally don't change gears once past RP.

    I do like the look of the grinder, mudguards and FG/SS make a decent all weather london commute bike.
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    Well, I'm limited to whatever Halfords can get hold of for me as it'll be through cycle2work...as such it's got to be off the peg. Looking at about £700 max + up to £100 for racks, mudguards and other bits I might need (as with the tax savings it'll bring it down to more my level!)

    They can get Charges and Treks pretty easily it seems, but not Cotic.

    Currently I only really use anything other than 3rd (direct drive) on my 5 speed sturmey when I want a bit more speed going downhill...1st gear never gets used and 2nd only when I'm feeling a bit lazy/tired.

    EDIT - Thanks by the way!

    I've ordered an ss from Pearsons through the Halfords scheme without any problems - you might think about the Charge Tap if you're looking for a Nexus hub
  • Petejuk - you're right, I pretty much use only 3rd and 5th gears.

    Seems there's a few fans of singlespeeds here...I'm struggling to see past the grinder at the moment - I don't like the idea of road style drop bars - even the grinder's flat bars seemed a little "crouched down" for my liking...would probably replace them with something a bit more "sweepy" should I get it (that's the pashley getting to me again isn't it?)

    I expect I've got a few weeks still to decide what I really want, but the grinder has to be in the lead at the moment. Thanks for the help so far...I'm gonna keep looking

    EDIT - It seems that the Halfords vouchers can be used at Condor and I've just spotted the decade convert2 frame thanks to another thread here...could getting Condor to build one from that be the answer?
  • snigsnig Posts: 428
    pearsons will put a flatbar on their touche for you,thats what I'm doing.
  • TRADESIZETRADESIZE Posts: 80
    you've missed out whats looks to be a great contender for 3 speed. later if you got peed off with the gears, change the back wheel with flip flopped hubbed one and you could have a single speed/fixie as the frame is based on their single speed/fixie. Designed by that top designer woman who was at bianchi for a zillion yaers too.
    you'll not be able to gte it on the bike to work scheme i doubt but hey its so damn cheap it dont really matter:
    swobo novak:
    loose that chain guard though it looks gay:
    http://www.stif.co.uk/gear/select_optio ... uctid=6107

    the fixie version is this:
    http://www.ridefixedgear.com/review/swobo-sanchez
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    Charge Plug Racer with risers - Fixie
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  • chaz81chaz81 Posts: 19
    (First post!)

    I recently took my Dad to Shorter Rochford and we looked at a Trek Soho.

    For what it was, it was really nice and light and well put together, although I'm not convinced by the belt drive.

    It was an awful colour though - a kind of dug egg blue/birdshit mix. Looking at the component spec and if it's really just a lock it and forget it job you could do a lot worse that a carerra subway 8.

    I think they're due in the new frames soon, if you can cope with a 26" Wheel. Just make sure you get it set up by a proper shop...I recently purchased a boardman comp Hybrid and the gears are all over the shop and the front brake failed, meaning I nearly had a head on with a Mercedes.

    Regards

    Chazza
  • trekheadtrekhead Posts: 626
    Hi
    not sure exactly what this is but it sure looks nice. Check this out
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__zKwqNweQ6A/S ... rekSS1.jpg

    very cool looking bike
    Chaz - the colour you`re on about is `Rainy grey` just right for UK - lol
    ole ginger b*ll*cks / the ginger ninja
  • chaz81chaz81 Posts: 19
    trekhead wrote:
    Hi
    not sure exactly what this is but it sure looks nice. Check this out
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__zKwqNweQ6A/S ... rekSS1.jpg

    very cool looking bike
    Chaz - the colour you`re on about is `Rainy grey` just right for UK - lol

    Ha ha ha.

    It doesn't look right in the flesh. My father reffered to it as 'a bit gay' which raised an eyebrow with the shop assistant!

    Still, you could always 'Matt Black' it :D
  • Cheers for the suggestions so far, planning on making the trek (no pun intended) to Pearsons so I can try out the touche, charges and anything else they might have - hopefully I'll come to a decision so I can get the order in as soon as my voucher arrives from Halfords (or the HR department, or whoever it is).

    Trekhead - Looking at the trek website, that bike looks like it could be this http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/track/t1/ - which looks like another option, although it seems a bit "fixed" for my liking and probably out of my budget I suspect.[/quote]
  • So I went along to Pearsons at the weekend to take a look at what they've got...pretty much settled on a Touche - but now I'm wondering about frame sizing.
    I tried out a 56cm on the day and really liked it although I felt a bit 2stretched out" on it, not sure it this was a case of not being used to the drop handlebars or if the frame really was too big - the guy in the shop reckons that frame was too big for me and recommends a 54cm...I'm just over 5' 11" - does this seem right?
    If it helps, the top tube on the 56cm is 56cm, whilst on the 54cm it's 54.5cm
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Mmm, well I'm about your height I run a 56 Touche which is ideal for me. However I have a quite a long back and need a longer top tube - hence the low saddle look of most of my bikes! Would you be able to go back and try a 54 as well.

    Also thank god you've avoided the Trek/Charge monstrosities!
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    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
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  • I asked to try a 54cm, but they said there weren't any that I could try out. How much difference is that 1.5cm of top tube really gonna make though? Will the set up of the saddle and stem etc not even it all out?

    I found a site with a step by step guide to measuring yourself for a bike, so may try that out and see what pops up as a recommendation. I want to trust the guy in the shop, but I often suspect that people often think I'm a bit shorter than I really am (I am guilty of being a bit of a sloucher in the posture department :roll: )

    I still quite like the look of the treks and especially the charges, but the sheer practicality of the Touche (mudguards, rack, weight); the fact that they'll set it up exactly how I want; their willingness to let me top up my c2w voucher with cash if need be; plus the fact that I can bypass Halfords completely makes it a winner.
    Oh...and it's a nice ride, I went up a steeper slope than any I've ever see in London on it...no real problems at all...and compared to a charge plug there's something "nippier" about it.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    I asked to try a 54cm, but they said there weren't any that I could try out. How much difference is that 1.5cm of top tube really gonna make though? Will the set up of the saddle and stem etc not even it all out?

    I found a site with a step by step guide to measuring yourself for a bike, so may try that out and see what pops up as a recommendation. I want to trust the guy in the shop, but I often suspect that people often think I'm a bit shorter than I really am (I am guilty of being a bit of a sloucher in the posture department :roll: )

    I still quite like the look of the treks and especially the charges, but the sheer practicality of the Touche (mudguards, rack, weight); the fact that they'll set it up exactly how I want; their willingness to let me top up my c2w voucher with cash if need be; plus the fact that I can bypass Halfords completely makes it a winner.
    Oh...and it's a nice ride, I went up a steeper slope than any I've ever see in London on it...no real problems at all...and compared to a charge plug there's something "nippier" about it.

    I reckon you'll be fine on a 56. Perhaps you'll need a shorter stem, say 90/100, I'd get the steerer cut sith room for some spacers - say around 3cm worth, that'll give you some leeway to adjust things.

    As for the Touche, it's a lovely bike and far nicer than the Charges whic strike me as being all show, no go! Pearson know their stuff as well, and it's better to get something that will be specced up and built up properly, anything that keeps you out of Halfords is probabably a good thing!
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • snigsnig Posts: 428
    thats got me worried now! as when I rang Pearsons to order my touche he said I needed a 58cm frame? I'm just under 6 feet and about 31-32 inside leg,so it looks like he might have got the size wrong? I best ring him up again as I'm too far to go there.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    My inside leg is 31 and I ride a 56.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • snigsnig Posts: 428
    good job these cycle2work vouchers take their time getting here! should be this week then the order can go ahead (with the 56 frame)
  • I popped my application thingy in the post to our HR dept on Wednesday and today my LOC voucher had arrived from Halfords! So much more efficient than I thought it'd be!

    I'll be on the phone to Pearsons tomorrow to get it ordered - they've got my order on file, but I'll checking with them on the frame size as my calculations suggest a 56cm would be more appropriate.
  • snigsnig Posts: 428
    I popped my application thingy in the post to our HR dept on Wednesday and today my LOC voucher had arrived from Halfords! So much more efficient than I thought it'd be!

    I'll be on the phone to Pearsons tomorrow to get it ordered - they've got my order on file, but I'll checking with them on the frame size as my calculations suggest a 56cm would be more appropriate.


    you'r lucky! I waited 2 weeks for them to process my order then I have to wait another 11 days "cooling off period" just incase I change my mind,thats up this week,so hopefully by the end of this week or early next should have the bike.
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