The Chainlink

Howdy, folks!

So I haven't had a bike to call my own in an embarrassingly long time--& now that I'm hoping to change that, I'd love some advice. Went to Kozy's yesterday just to look at everything & ride around the block a few times. Mainly I just want a bike so I can tootle around town! After a little testing I think I want to go with a SS/fixed-gear, & I have a couple of candidates. If anyone has experience with any of the following, I'd love to hear your thoughts:

SE draft lite
bigshot
felt brougham

Thanks! I've found the whole bike-shopping process kind of intimidating, really, but I am starting just to be eager to get riding!

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Aloha,

There are a couple of things to look for when purchasing a new bike.  These are my opinions so other people may not agree with what I say.

1. Spend your money on a good quality frame and not the name on the frame.  Meaning you want to look at welds at all the joints to see if they are uniform and fully welded.  Stay away from rear chain stay that are pinched and not welded. 

2.  Make sure the bike fits you.  Do not be pressured into buying a frame with the salesperson's promisse that you will get used to how it feels.  If you find it uncomfortable while you are test riding it, it won't feel any better after several hours on the bike.  Now there will be a week long period of "saddle soreness" that's normal but numb hands and burning in the feet/toes are not normal.  These are signs that the bike doesn't fit you well.  

3.  Don't put too much stock into the components of the bike.  They wear out and the more you ride the more you will want to make your bike yours and upgrade parts.  Don't get me wrong you will want to get a good valve for your money, but more than likely you will want to upgrade components eventually anyways.

4.  Be honest with yourself and buy a bike that you need, not one that all the cool kids have.  I know that fixed gears are all the rage, but do you have the skill set necessary to ride it around the city with all the hazzards of this city?  A single speed with a free wheel and two brakes might be a better choice until you develop the skills necessary to navigate the city safely on a fixed gear bike.

I hope this helps.

Happy hunting.  If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

Aloha,

 

Looks like solid info from Seemore.

If you do end up buying from Kozy's, I'd be interested to know if they let you walk out of there without having recommended a quality U-lock.

http://chicago.stolenbike.org/search/node/Draft

For a really good low cost SS/FG bike i would go with the Mercier Kilo TT. A lot of people ride this bad boy, as it's a quality ride for the $. The only rub is they only sell it here: http://bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott.htm  

But sizing is pretty standard for single speeds. If you really want to get one of those three i'd go with the SE all the way, I know a few people with those and they really like them. And yeah, make sure you get a good u-lock. 

Seemore: Yes, totally, this makes good sense. Thanks!

(Just to clarify on point 4, the bikes I have been looking at have flip-flops hubs & I'll be riding single-speed, not fixed. I'm not really laboring under a lot of illusions about my "skill set.")

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