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Dec 16, 2002 1:38 PM
I am a roadie and have been training with the Carmicheal system for the past 3 years, and my bike is a Seven Ti Odonata. With a 10 month old baby, it has been hard to find time to train, so I bought a Yakima Caddy Yak child trailer and was planning to do the base miles with him on a dedicated bike path, however I just found out from Seven that due to the light weight construction/Ti+carbon combo in the rear triangle, the use of stationary trainers and child trailers with attachment to the rear triangle are not recommended, but this is not a bad news since it gives me an excuse to get a new bike.
Because I know that Carmicheal system do recommend fixed gear workouts, so I thought maybe this is the time to put one together, here are some of my requirement:
1. the frame has to be strong enough to pull a child trailer.
2. since I am planning on trying track riding/racing one day, this bike has to be very stiff and agile.
3. Ideally, if possible, I also want to be able to convert it to a mean road/crit. racer, so attachment for brakes, derailer hanger are needed.
As you can see, there are lots of options, luckly my budget for it is pretty high(up to $4,000.) so a custom frame would be possible. what kind of frame geometry? should I forget about making it derailer compatible? what kind of drop-out, or forkends? track or road frame?
I thank you all in advance for any advice and comment.
Dec 16, 2002 2:04 PM
Look for an older road bike to convert. You will not find a modern, raceworthy bike with horizontal dropouts. I've found that long-wheelbase touring bikes make good fixed gear bikes, because they are more stable when I'm spinning downhill at uncomfortable cadences. If you are going to tow a trailer with a child in it you will definitely need both brakes. Even with a front brake, fixed gear bikes to not stop as well as freewheel bikes, especially if you have not mastered the art of back-pressure. For $4000, you can get 2 crit bikes, or about 40 converted fixed gear bikes.
SURLY (nm)lampshade
Dec 16, 2002 2:44 PM
Ooops, surly not so good for racing, my bad (nm)lampshade
Dec 16, 2002 2:47 PM
Dec 28, 2002 9:59 PM
4K is a good road bike budget let alone a Fixed gear Budget. In the fixed gear world 4k is skys the limit. I would go with a custom steel frame by Waterford, IF , or Steelman with a custom wheel set with philwood hubs. I would also go with S&S coupelings so I could take this sucker anywhere at any time. To Me this would be the ultimate tranning bike. My reality is gonna be My best freinds old Trek 360 road bike with a custom set of wheels and track style crank set. He's gonna give Me the bike for $40. I'm not gonna try and talk you out of springing for a high doller fixed gear. If your size is close to 56cm and you don't like your high zoot machine I will be glad to take it off your hands at a substantail discount.
Option 1Tig
Dec 16, 2002 2:44 PM
Keep the Seven and use it for road racing. Realistically there is no need for a criterium specific geometry when most US built frames are a little steep already. If you (or anyone) can't make such a nice racing bike work, then it sure isn't the bike's fault!

You need a steel bike to hual the trailer. Consider a beautiful Torelli track fram and fork that comes drilled for front and rear brakes. Converting it from road fixed trainer to track racer is simple. You even get a choice of 10 colors!

I'd say that a good track geometry would be a bit twitchy in even the most twisty criterium. Trying to get a bike to do everything you listed might cause some serious performance limitations in one department or another. That stated, here's another option...
Option 2Tig
Dec 16, 2002 3:00 PM
Keep the Seven no matter what. You'd hate yourself later if you get rid of it!

Thanks to a post from brider we now know of frames that have modular dropouts from Kavik. The ability to change the dropouts and install track forks with a wrench is cool. I'm not sure if the Easton Ultralight tubing will work for trailer towing.

Dec 16, 2002 8:02 PM
Thank you all for the help. I LOVE my Odonata, It has serve me well in races, and I was toying with the idea of having Seven build me an Axiom for this fixed gear bike, not to replace the Odonata. The Axiom is an all Ti frame that could be made to be as stiff and strong as anything out there. I was thinking possibly with sloping top tube for increased rigidity and because of the longer seatpost there should be some extra flex to make it somewhat compliant, I also agree that making it road racing compatible is maybe not very practical, it was just a idealistic thought. I would also look into Surly, Torelli and the others.
I was told that the main difference between road frames and track frames are the stiffness, drop-outs, and steeper seatpost and headtube angle and shorter wheelbase in the track bikes, anything else?

Think utilitymass_biker
Dec 17, 2002 7:08 AM
With $4000 to blow this is how I'd do it:

For the trailer - build up a steel fixed gear bike that is also an around town/utility bike. Can't go wrong with the Surly Steamroller. The Reynolds 630something tubing is totally bombproof, stiff, and burly. And you can run reasonably fat tires in there for use on bike paths (which in New England is critical as they don't get plowed that much). With not that much invested in it, and a pair of SPDs, it can also serve as a bike to ride to town to run errands in (groceries in the trailer?). And if you concerned with having a bike that is compliant, get a cheapo suspension seatpost from Nashbar. I got one for $12 for my converted Bianchi fixed gear (old touring frame) and it is so great - with 700x28s on and a Flite, you just float over the bumps. Remember that with a fixed gear you can't really stand up as you go over bumps so tuning flex through the frame makes almost no sense. A steel bike with a roadie style suspension seatpost is the better option IMO.

For the track - get a custom Seven and be the envy of your friends. Ask them to duplicate your road TT length and give the bike track geometry, rear facing dropouts etc. etc. Use the extra coin for something like a DuraAce track groupo, Cinelli Pista bars and the like. Now that would be a sweet rig.

So then you will have a good stable of bikes - the Odonata for road races and crits (the whole notion of a crit-specific bike is bunk. The absence of fear is the biggest component of successful crit racing, not high BB or garbage like that), a singlespeed utility bike with child trailer, and a track bike.

Think utilityfixedgearhead
Dec 17, 2002 7:17 AM
I agree wholeheartedly. Specific purpose bikes are the way to go. Especially when money is not the issue. Multi purpose bikes do not do any one endeavor as well as the specific purpose bike will. I realise that many folks are limited by financial conciderations. That may be the only reason to do a multi purpose bike and probably will require some compromise on the builder's part. Then you can get to the really important stuff like. Alloy v carbo v steel. Lugged v Tig ect. You can never have to many bikes.

Best plan yet! -nmTig
Dec 17, 2002 3:13 PM
Bottom Bracket height.Dave Hickey
Dec 17, 2002 11:40 AM
Track bikes usually have higher bottom brackets so be careful when looking at fit.
Dec 17, 2002 5:09 PM
Thank you all!!
The answer you didnt ask for...Steve_0
Dec 19, 2002 9:35 AM
1. spend 50 dollars on garage-sale special and convert to fixed gear.

2. Invest the ramaining $3950 in your child's future.

Rationale? The IMMEDIATE goal of this bike seems to be training. Certainly no need for a high-end bike simply for training.

If, "one day" you actually continue through with you plan of trackracing or having a mean crit racer, you can always get that bike later, with the bonus that 1) you'll have a better idea of what you want, and 2) youve only invested 50 bucks thus far.
The answer you didnt ask for...VVS
Dec 23, 2002 6:13 AM
Good idea, or save the money for a different bike - the baby seat I got as a hand-down worked for about 4 short rides before my daughter was bored with looking at my back and lost interest.

Kids are great but they don't always like what you do or think they should. (She has a spring horse she never rides but I can't get it out of the house because she won't part with it either; that was a cheap lesson by bike pricing standards!)

BTW, my wife (who speaks for most women) was never comfortable with safety issues for bike seats or trailers. Be careful before spending that kind of money on something that can become obsolete or unusable on the whim of your beloved offspring or his/her mother!

Good luck and congratulations in advance on becoming a dad.