Fixed Gear Bicycle
|Bike||swap meet special||$200|
|Crankset||Shimano 105, 170 mm||$10|
|Front Brake||swap meet special - Weinmann sidepull||$10|
|Stem||swap meet special - ITM||$5|
|Handlebar||Profile drop bars, shallow drop||$20|
|Brake Levers||Shimano Exage, bike shop closeout||$15|
|Rear Cog||EAI 17 tooth cog||$30|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano UN-72, 68x113||$25|
|Other Stuff||from the garage||-|
|Total||definitely my cheapest bike||$340|
This bike is especially cool for commuting. I'm a little worried about locking my other road bikes outside (it's too difficult to bring a bike into the office), but this bike has that POS look that makes it an unattractive target for theft. But it would be amusing to see a would-be thief try to ride off on this thing!
As I said before, I was originally a little skeptical at first, but riding the bike has been a blast. It's really hard to explain why, but I guess it has something to do with the simplicity of the bike (less "clutter" compared to the other bikes). There's also something to be said about the greater efficiency due to the simplified drivetrain. Normally I'm the type of person who prefers to downshift to climb, but you can really feel the bike respond when getting out of the saddle for those short hills!
There was a small learning curve with the you-can't-coast-or-shift thing, but you get over it after the first couple of rides. I'll wait before working on a track stand, though.
Supposedly a fixed gear offers better control in wet conditions, but it's been a dry winter here in Southern California, so I haven't had a chance to test it in the rain.
My weekend rides involve significant hills, so my geared bikes won't be seeing dust anytime soon, but I will continue to use the fixed gear for utility trips and the flat commute!