I haven't had a fixed gear in a few years and wanted something cheap and fun that would fit wider tires and fenders. When I saw that citygrounds had SE Lager framesets on sale for $95, I did some research and jumped on the deal.
They quoted me $40 via email for shipping to NYC but when I ordered the frame, a seatpost, and lock ring I got free shipping on the whole order!
The frameset arrived on Thursday and I'm extremely happy for the price. Most of the reviews I found were for the complete bike so I thought I'd do a quick write up on my impressions of this admittedly cheap frame. I'll follow up with more pictures of the build and first ride impressions later today.
The good: For $95, I didn't expect much. I knew the fame was cro-mo and built in China but I hadn't found any other detailed descriptions. The frame was well packed and included were a brown Cane Creek headset and a nice seat collar. Paint is even and looks durable and the decals are easy to remove if I decide to go stealth. A head badge was included and prepped with double sided tape. It looks ok but I don't think I'll put it on. The bottom bracket threads were extremely clean and well cut and the seat tube was perfectly sized and smooth. The fork looks a lot better than I expected from the pictures I had seen ahead of time.
The bad: Not too much. The steerer tube on the fork was exactly the right length for me but may be a little short for someone who wants to run their stem high. One set of bottle bosses is enough for my purposes but why are they on the seat tube? Frame is obviously straight guage and feels pretty heavy. I don't have a scale and don't really care how much it weighs. There's paint in the threads of the bottle boss, rack, and fender eyelets but I was able to get bolts started without too much trouble.
The ugly: The welds. They are pretty ugly. Overall nothing that looks structurally problematic to my untrained eye but definitely lumpy, bumpy, uneven welds around the bottom bracket and so-so welds at the other major junctions. I actually had read a review that said the welds were nice so I was a little disappointed at this but I figure for the price I'm happy if it doesn't fall apart. I don't think that will be a problem as there is generally too much weld material rather than too little.
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Thread: SE Lager build + review