Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dawes SST-Al

Dawes SST-AlOK, it's been 10 years since the last time I bought a bicycle. So, this year I spent a sliver of my tax refund on a new fixed-gear bike.

You can see marketing pics here --

I've never owned a fixed-gear before, so this should be an interesting experiment. Although I only ordered it on Friday, with a promise of delivery within 5-7 shipping days, UPS brought it to my office this morning at 9:30am; that's about 2 shipping days, tops, with the holiday.

Now I just need to assemble it and ride it.


Anonymous said...

And now? How do you like it? :) I've been considering the same one.

Don Appleman said...

There's a thread on this bike in the fixie forums at bikeforums.net. That thread just started, so you may want to follow it for a while to see where it leads.

I'll be posting a pictorial review on this blog, hopefully within the next week.

Here's the post I added to that thread last night ....


I ride a 52cm SST-AL (I'm 5'7", 145lbs) that I got a few weeks ago. I've done a few 20-mile rides, but it's still a little too close to winter around here. So far I'm pretty happy, but I'm still making adjustments to the fit to find the most comfortable position.

I'll confess to replacing the seat with a Fizik Pave that I had lying around, and clipless pedals. I installed the rear brake that was included with the bike and rode with the stock bars (which were 44cm -- my road bike has 38s) and the stock brake levers. I didn't really like going without hoods, and since the bars were much too wide for me, I picked up Nitto Noodle handlebars at 40cm and Tektro aero brake levers. Since I already had the saddle, and got everything else off ebay, I'm in a little over $100 for the bars, levers, tape, pedals, and wireless cycle computer.

I need to put some more miles into this setup to be sure it's right, but I find it more comfortable than the stock parts. I'm a roadie by nature, and most of my rides are 20-40 miles on flat to rolling hills. My only shorter rides are tooling around town with my kids.

Riding and working on the bike has been an education in fixedness. On my road bike my cadence is generally 90+ ... on the fixed gear, particularly on hills or into the wind, I'm forced to generate a lot of force at lower cadences. It's a different kind of workout. I went fixed because I wanted something that would rekindle my interest in cycling. I went cheap (bikesdirect) because I wanted to try a fixed gear without plunking down too much $. Apparently I buy a new bike every 10 years. This one is my 50th birthday present to myself.

So far, so good. I'll be posting a pictorial review on my blog shortly (now that I'm done with my upgrades); I'll post a link.

Anonymous said...


I just purchased this bike (2010) in 60cm Black from BD. I have to admit your info came in handy since there wasn't much of a review on this bike. I'm hoping the shipping turn around is decent (impatient). I have heard good and bad things about the fork (Kinesis). How has it stood up to normal riding?

I will be riding the bike as-is until I can save for some decent upgrades. Have you taken a look at the Bottom Bracket yet? I'm curious as to what type of BB it will accept I currently have a very nice Phil BB in my Nishiki and was hoping it might be transferable to accept my Sugino Cranks.

Again Thanks for posting this informative info on this bike!


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