Well its been nearly a year and a half since we have been without a car. I usually ride the bus, but I since the summer started, i have been riding my bike nearly everyday. My bike is about 5 years old, it is a trek 4300. For all of you not in the know, its a yellow and grey mountain bike. Its fairly light and has held up well. I think the only mods I have made to it was adding pedals with clips, so I can ride with bike shoes and a bag rack so I can use my paniers.
Recently I made some new friends that have a weekly ride on Thursdays and through this group I discovered something called a fixie. A Fixie is a fixed gear bike… so this means one speed, like the bike when you were a kid. This is great excercise. What was also a fantastic find was that it was a fixed wheel. This means that every time your wheel goes round, your pedals go around. This puts you in control of pedaling how fast you go, uphill and downhill. This has great excersice benefits. Because the fixie is so simple, being one gear, you can get them in many colors and relatively cheap.
So I have been looking for a fixie that fits me. I was recently looking at buying a complete fixie, then I spent the money I was saving up for one with on a good cause. So this made me re-think on how much I wanted to spend on a bike. So this lead me to looking to buy the frame and parts from a used bike shop to make my own. Now usually a fixie is like a road bike, like this:
Sometimes it is something as crazy cool as this:
Either way it was a road bike frame, new or old that is converted into a single speed bike. This means to me… no more going off road, or worrying about extra bumps, not being able to jump curbs, or just over all being as rough as I want with my bike.
Then I saw this:
I didnt see the picture, I saw a video of some guys riding their fixies, they were doing jumps, hopping rocks, wheelies and whatever they wanted. They were also riding as fast as they wanted. These were all the things I wanted in a fixed gear bike. Unfortunately Charge is a UK company and I have not been able to find a charge bike in the US…. well not for less than $750 – which is WAY more than I want to spend on a fixie. After googling and finding exactly what I was looking at with the charge bike – the main difference that made them stronger was the fork. Notice the fork (what holds the front wheel to the bike) in the picture above is a thicker and straighter.
So now that I found out what I wanted… I just didnt want to fork out the money. Then I found a great deal here: http://www.roadbikeoutlet.com/0featured/vilano-zulu-freestyle-fixed-gear-bike.html $300 shipped. Then taking my bike into the bike shop and explaining what I was looking for (by the way the first time I did this I was talking to an un-helpful person – this time was helpful). They showed me this: http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/gritty
Vilano – (cheaper one – $300 shipped)
Gritty (Gary Fischer/Trek $420 from bike shop)
Somethings I noticed. Better quality on the Gritty – I think it has more of the road bike qualities, but the BMX structure I want. From what I heard it is like the Charge bike. I have not head of Vilano… so I am hesitant of buying it. I am pretty sure its a nice bike. Heck, if I wanted to I could search to my hearts content and piece together one of these for about $600. I guess what it comes down to is what I like/what I can spend.
On another note… I took my bike into the shop to get looked at. I potentially cracked my bottom bracket… which would cost an extra $40 on top of what I already spending to get the bike tuned up.
So we will see what happens. Mostly i am tossing this post out to figure out what I should get… or if I should just keep my Trek 4300 and ignore this “want” of a new bike. Its not like I am debt free and dont have other uses for that money.
Thanks for reading, your comments are appreciate.