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Old 07-14-2007, 10:26 PM   #1
John McEneany
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Do any of you have any input on this bike offered on Ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Fixed-Gear-Bicycle-Alpha-Mercury-61cm-Metalic-charcoal_W0QQi temZ160121295412QQihZ006QQcategoryZ98084QQcmdZView Item
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:56 PM   #2
Ian Carver
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Fixed gear single speeds are a great way to go for a couple of reasons. First, being economy. They are cheap and don't use gas. Secondly, riding a fixed gear works your legs in a totally different manner. You are forced to use a complete pedal stroke thoughout the entire range of motion and you are required to use force against the pedals to control speed and stop (if there are no brakes on the bike). As you get more proficient with the fixed gear, you will develop awesome overall leg endurance through increased pedalling cadence and strength by having only one gear to climb and start from. I raced road for years in US and Europe, but I always really enjoyed racing on the track at the end of the season because it worked my legs over so well in a different way. It is also good early season training for the road season if done as motorpacing.

A word of caution though, get proficient before blasting off to work in traffic and whatnot. Most of us are used to being able to coast from time to time. Do that on a fixed gear and you are going to be airborne and concrete bound in a hurry. Also, if you have large hills where you are planning on riding (i.e., San Fran), make sure you can control the speed and bike on the downhills. Learn to slow with heavy back pressure, skipping the rear wheel, and if you are riding in towns put a brake or two on the bike for those emergency stops. The bullhorn bars on the bike may work for you, but they do limit the hand positions available, so you may try standard road drops with brake hoods or even give a straight mountain bar a try. If you're riding in towns or rough roads a lot, make sure you have nice larger tires (28c or so) to handle all the bumps and bruises, and rims that are a bit sturdier, at least being 32 hole spoked. That is a pretty good price though for simple transportation. Last but not least, fixed gears are pretty fun and cool to ride. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:08 PM   #3
George Mounce
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For the buy-it-now price you could possibly find a used multi speed bike that will increase your options. Otherwise looks like it could be fun!
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:16 PM   #4
John McEneany
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In my teens back in England, I used to ride a fixed gear bike up and down the hills of Kent. I was able to climb several miles of 1:7 gradient hills using a gear ratio of 50 to 12. On Monday I will look for a suitable used bike for converting to fixed. Main thing is the rear wheel must have provision for freewheel on one side and threads on the other side forfixed cog and locking ring. The locking ring thread is reversed.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:13 AM   #5
Clay Jones
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Looks like it has a flip-flop hub, so you could set it up however you like.

I've never heard of the brand, but it looks like the components are not too bad. The wheels are 36 hole, so they will be nice and beefy, and it has brakes. As long as the frame is your size, and you are comfortable working on your own bikes, it looks OK. If you are not the type to do that, you are better off seeing what your local shop has for sale.

You could also go with a singlespeed 29er mountain bike--Same concept, but they can be ridden off-road. They pop up on eBay all the time, and they are usually in the same price range.

(Message edited by clay_jones on July 16, 2007)

(Message edited by clay_jones on July 16, 2007)
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