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Advice/opinions for newbie(8 posts)

Advice/opinions for newbieOhmmm
Apr 17, 2003 9:31 AM
Since my wife commandeered my old road bike to be a full time trainer-mounted exercycle, I've decided to join your ranks and build a fixie. I found myself a cyclocross frame (or at least an old road frame with canti posts brazed on) that should work great fixed. As I build it, I'm finding myself torn about a few things and I was hoping to get some opinions. First, cantis or V-brakes? Pros and cons of either? Second, drop bars or TT-style bullhorns? Again, pros and cons? And finally...what color should it be?!? That last one's really killing me.
my thoughts...BudhaSlug
Apr 17, 2003 10:52 AM
For the brakes, I would definitely go with canti's for two reasons. The first is that on a road/cross bike you really don't need the added power of v-brakes because you can easily lock up the brakes a start skidding with cantilevers. Canti's usually also give better modulation and feel on a road/cross bike. The second reason to prefer canti's is brake lever choice. Cantilevers have basically the same cable pull as road calipers, and so you can use any road lever, or if you do decide to go with cowhorn bars, bar end inserted reverse levers (such as the diacompe 188 or syntace levers) without needing a converter such as the QBP travel agent. If you do go with V-brakes your only options are the Diacompe 287v levers (standard roadbike) or the QBP travel agent with standard levers. One other option that fits in between canti's and v's are the Tektro mini V-brakes, which I hear work fine with canti levers.

As to the bars, I would go with some variation of a drop bar. I rode on cowhorn bars (47cm profile stoker bars) for a year and a half, and to be honest, they are rather lacking in position options... you are either on the tops or on the ends, which is about like being on the hoods of normal bars. There really is no highly aerodynamic position. This can of course be fixed with a set of aero clip on bars, but then again, why not just get drop bars and add these instead. Remember that plain drop bars are not the only option... you can also try a flared drop bar such as the Salsa Bell lap cyclocross bar, or WTB dirt drop bars (one of my personal favorites, although they are becoming nearly impossible to find), or for less drop perhaps a moustach bar.

As to color.... hmmm... sparkly purple to pale green fade? I have no idea... whatever matches your favorite tires.

Peace and Light,
my thoughts...Fixie-ated
Apr 17, 2003 11:23 AM
Ben is dead on right regarding the canti's. I have v's on my cyclo-cross and I just don't like the brake feel even on it. Not to mention the time and cost associated with getting V's to work with road levers.

Bars - same again, I would not recommend the TT bars and certainly would not recommend an aero bar until you are VERY good at fixed gear riding.

Last but not least, color. You just can't go wrong with classic bike colors like red or yellow or red/yellow fades.

I just took a Schwinn Paramount to the powder coater shop for a nice red. This is the first time I have tried, but for $50.00, can't go too wrong. I will post some pic's when I actually see the results.
Molteni Orange. Don't leave home without it.triangleforge
Apr 17, 2003 12:42 PM
I just like the look of that burnt orange with dark navy blue bar tape & fixins. But that's just me.

I agree with Ben & Fixie-ated: Cantis + Drop Bars. Salsa Bell Laps are nice on my 'cross bike, regular road drops work fine on everything else; I've got Performance's "Forma" bars on my current fixie, and the "ergonomic" section in the drops seems a little small for my average-sized hands, but it's not that bad. TTT & Salsa seem to fit me better.

re: Advice/opinions for newbiedesmo
Apr 17, 2003 12:40 PM
front cantis, drop bars, black.
Color...Dave Hickey
Apr 17, 2003 12:42 PM
I prefer frames in black or white. You can change tires, bar tape and saddle colors and have a completely different looking bike.
Alternative opinionKEN2
Apr 17, 2003 1:21 PM
My fixie has cowhorn bars (Profile) and I like both the feel and the looks (and if you're worried about frame color you must be interested in looks!). I don't see the fixed gear as a 3-4 hour riding bike, and thus fewer hand positions doesn't bother me. I'm also used to a straight bar on the mtn. bike, so I'm not "married" to drop bars the way some pure roadies are.

Also, I run the Tektro mini V-brakes and they work fine with the DiaCompe or other reverse bar-end levers that another poster mentioned, which fit on the ends of cowhorn bars. The advantages are: cleaner look and easier setup than cantis, and much cheaper (and the reverse levers are cheaper than most road levers as well). However, be aware that if you run them you will probably want in-line adjusters since there's no quick way to adjust them otherwise. Of course, you'll need to add cable hangars with adjusters if you run cantis anyway....
on bars...Steve_0
Apr 18, 2003 5:52 AM
Drop Positions: On the tops, on the ramps, on the hoods, in the bends, on the drops.

Bullhorn positions: On the tops, on the ends (which approximates the hoods on drop bars).

Only you can decide, but drops offer the same positions as bulls, plus 3 others. downside is drops weigh a few grams more.

As far as brakes, Cantis look far better, IMO.