Ted Striker: Surly you can't be serious… I am serious and don't call me Shirley.
I have fought this fixed gear single-speed bike battle way too long and though I always appreciate seeing anyone ride a bike I never wanted to be the nerd struggling on a beat up PKN-10 with Mafac parts. The idea of trying to find 27” tires or rebuilding French, Italian or Swiss threaded parts and investing in a rear wheel worth more than the bike never appealed to me. So I finally broke down and purchased from Momentum Cycling a black Surly Steamroller made from 4130 (Chromoly) Alloy Steel the best stuff on earth. I wanted a steel bike to commute to work, ride to the Grizzlies games and just cruise around town with out worrying about my Campy equipped bikes being picked clean. The Steamroller fit my needs. It has the classic non-sloping frame which soaks up the road rumbles beautifully. There is a ride quality that a steel frame will give you; it is not a jarring ride like aluminum and it soaks up the hard hits better than titanium. The only nonferrous frameset that I have ridden similar to a steel bike is the Time VXR Proteam. Read Ron’s Time review
I started with a 59cm Steamroller frameset with flip-flop hubs laced to red Velocity rims. I do enjoy riding so I am using a freewheel not some hamstring tearing direct drive gear. Seriously when did not stopping become fun? To give the bike a Kent spin I put on gold Modolo non-aero brake levers, a silver carbon seatpost, Nuovo Record pedals with alloy toe clips and a Torelli Brooks knock-off saddle. It looks and weighs like a late 70’s early 80’s race bike but with a single gear. The fit and finish of the frameset is fine and the paint has a deep almost rich color to it. The bike is fun to ride and comfortably cruises over Fresno pock mark streets and screwed up Rail Road crossings with ease. The Steamroller is very stable and you can look over your shoulder for traffic without the bike darting in some unforeseen direction. The steering does not need too much input to change direction.
The downside is that the frame only has waterbottle cage bolts on the seat tube but not the down tube. Of course I do not need two waterbottles for my simple rides but I prefer the down tube location. Someday I will figure out the obvious reason as to why the cages are where they are.
If one wanted a comfortable riding very stable simple bike I would recommend the Surly Steamroller and yes Ted I am serious about this single speed bike thing and don't call me Shirley.