Just Riding Along
Scored a Street Dog from RBR Classifieds!
I've had bike lust for a fixte (along with many other types, but this thread is about the fixte) and have been looking at options running from a new Pista to a build up on a Surley with scavenged components.
Then, an irresistable opportunity arose on my visit to "Latest Ads" a few days ago.
Barely Used, Nearly New - ~20 miles total:
Gunnar Street Dog, 58cm
Reynolds Ouzo Comp fork
Shimano F & R Brakes & Levers
Ultegra Crank 170mm, 46t
D/A track hub (flip flop) 16t fxd, 18t fw
Mavic Open Pro rim, silver, 32h 3x, 14 ga
Michelin Axial Pro tire (23 mm)
Reynolds seat post
No front wheel
Took if for a short ride after I got it home last night with the front wheel from my Trek 5500. What a hoot! I couldn't stop grinning. I've never ridden fixte before so I expect a period of learning not to coast. The bike is so light and responsive. It's so quiet and comfortable, almost like riding on air; the loudest noise was the hiss of the tire on the sand spread on the streets for the snow. The bike needs a few things, like its own front wheel, an underseat bag and a tire inflation device; the seat shows wear, but seems OK. I'm going try it on my commute asap (not today, regretably.)
Other than the bottle cage, I'm not changing anything major (even though the Ultegra crank is not, IMHO, an example of fine art).
What front wheel build - probably should be a Shimano hub and Mavic OP rim... I value "trouble free" over "fashion" and weigh 180 lbs.
What bottle cage(s) to complement the lines and color scheme.
Tire pump or CO2 inflator - The idea of cluttering the clean lines with a tire pump seems offensive, but I'm nervous about the limitations of a CO2 inflator.
Computer - Yes or No; if yes, with or without cadence. If no, how to keep a milage log.
Seat bag - just black, something else?
Keep the bar tape or re-wrap? Great tape, but I already have a bike in the silver/black color scheme.
Seller's photo below...
I have an alternate commute route that can use a tow path along an old canal, in a park. The surface is compacted stone dust. When I've ridden with my MBK (32 lbs, 28mm tires, carrying panniers), I was struck by the high rolling resistance. So, I don't think 23mm tires are a great choice for the tow path. I have an old front wheel and an old rear wheel which could donate its similar, wide box section rim to a new flip flop hub. The front fork looks like a 28 mm tire would clear. The factory states the rear tire can be a 32 mm plus fender. I'm wondering if this possible second set of wheels with 28f & 32r mm tires would make for a material difference on this surface. BTW, they are both 36h rims so the result will be heavy but durable.
how is she riding so far??? Pretty sweet looking ride. Please post more pics.
You can always sell that carbon fork and pick up a steel fork that will allow for a 32c wide tire if you wanted to go the 32c route for the tow paths.
You can call me "MTP"
if my full screen name grosses you out.
Just Riding Along
Great Ride so far....
with the front wheel borrowed from my road bike. Very light and responsive feel to it. It feels lighter than my Trek 5500 (don't know and probably can't weigh them accurately enough to know for sure.)
I think I've go the fit worked out, more or less and I'm getting used to the Crank Brothers Candy pedals I installed (I wanted a shoe I could walk in, didn't like the look of the SPD mechanism and heard basically nothing but good about Crank Bro.)
This if my first time on a fixed gear; I literally bought it without ever riding fixed. It's not too difficult to get used to and you get instantly reminded to pedal when you try to coast. In some ways, starts in traffic are more challenging than a geared bike as you can't backpedal to the best position for a good launch. However, it didn't take long to learn the importance of pulling up on the pedal. I know I don't qualify as a true fixed rider until I master the track stand. I'm waiting for a higher level of comfort and "second nature" with the bike to develop before I try anything so potentially embarrasing.....
Just picked up a new front (Ultegra/Open Pro 32H 3X) wheel from Wheelfine Imports in Lambertville, NJ (shameless plug for a great shop and owner Mike Johnson) and changed the cog from 16 to 17 (46t front.)
Mike found a problem with the rear wheel. The freewheel (other side of the flip-flop hub) is track pitch (1/8") while the rest of the drivetrain is road pitch (3/32".) Also, when flipped, the freewheel does not align correctly with the chainring. I just e-mailled the seller (who I don't think knew of this problem) and asked for the name of the shop & builder so I can ask for a remedy.
I'm using it for my commute over the same rolling terrain I ran previously with my MBK touring bike. The hills are just as high on a fixte as on a geared bike but I'm finding my way up and down them. The Zen of the Fixie is exhilarating. It's so elemental and pure. The quiet of the drivetrain is just intoxicating. It's so quiet, I've had to swerve to avoid pedestrians who didn't hear me coming (and who didn't bother to look either.)
There is a tow path near my commute and with different tires, I could use it. I have ridden it a few times on the MBK with 28mm tires (32 lbs empty weight.) The rolling resistance was greatly increased as it has a compacted "stone dust" paving. The 23mm tires on the Street Dog won't cut it here. The Ouzo front fork might allow a 28mm, but, more realistically, I think a 25mm tire is the limit. The rear has lots of clearance. Once the tow path dries out, I think I'll mount a 28mm tire from the MBK on the rear and give it a try. Hopefully, by then, I'll have the freewheel problem sorted out and can see if the extra tooth gives low enough gearing.
Thanks for the kind words.
I have a 58 street dog........
with a matching waterford steel fork that I've ridden for over 2 years. It really is a nice frame, tracks well, comfortable, yet stiff enough.
I use my Polar 720I as my bike computer, and just move it to this bike.
I built up Open Pro's on Phil Wood track hubs, 32 14/15 DB spokes 3 cross, and finished them with Rivendell Roly Poly 700 X 27 tires which makes the whole thing not just bullet proof, but it rides like a dream, and can take just about anything the roads can dish out. I also got the steel fork so I could put fenders on (which I leave on all winter), which means I can ride in anything.
The only complaint I have about the bike is that I think the Paint Quality is mediocre. Lots of chips around the dropouts. I understand they have upgraded their paint quality since spring 2003 (when I bought mine), so this may not be an issue for you depending on the year of your bike. The other thing is that back then, clearcoat was an option (it wasn't standard), so many street dogs you will see have peeling decals. Me, I paid extra for the clear coat.
It's a great fixie, especially if you are using it for commuting. Good Luck.
"Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"
""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle
No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.
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