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I'm a New Wabi Owner--Review

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I'm a New Wabi Owner--Review

Old 04-04-17, 07:50 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Scottybigs View Post
I'll be honest that I was really skeptical of their size chart when I bought my Wabi. I sent my measurements to the new owners, and they did a mockup of both a 55cm Special and a 58cm. The 55cm had the seatpost absolutely towering, along with a fat stack of spacers beneath the stem (which, they said, wasn't quite getting the bars high enough). I would have had to get a riser stem to make the 55cm work--not a good option.

Thankfully, I know my size on a classic geo steel frame. I've sold off all of my 55cm, 56cm, and even now 57cm frames. I'm 5'11.5, and my inseam is 33inch. On my 58cm Wabi Special, I've got a little bit more than a fistful of seatpost showing, and am running a Velo Orange tall stack stem (90mm).

It's the best, most comfortable bike I've ever had. I previously had a 57cm Soma Rush (which was actually more like a 56cm because it's measured Center to Top), and it gave me a fair bit of neck and back pain on 50+ km rides (note: this also has a lot to do with track geometry vs. road geometry). I moved all of the parts over the larger Wabi frame, and bam--perfect.

One thing I realized was that even though the toptube was 1cm longer on the Wabi, I was actually more comfortable overall because my saddle-to-bar height wasn't as extreme. That, and I find that when riding the Wabi, I feel like I'm sitting in the pocket of the frame almost, instead of towering over top.

Anyway, find a reason to keep riding fixed and riding a Wabi--they're great.
Wow, thank you! That is very helpful. We're almost the exact same, at least inseam and height. In theory, this proves what I suspected. Originally, Richard sold me the bike with a 120mm stem which was WAY too long. He swapped it for a 100mm stem a couple months later. I kinda wish I asked for an 80 or 90, but if this is correct, it wouldn't have helped much anyway. I always felt that it was more of an issue of bar to seat drop than overall reach.

I just can't decide if I should sell my bike and get a complete Wabi Special, or just sell the frame and get a Wabi Special frame and swap the components now that they have black components. When I bought the bike, the only black components Richard had were crank-sets. Also, the Sub15 Wheel-set looks nice. Of course I'll have to find someone to buy my 55cm Classic, too. I barely rode it.
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Old 04-05-17, 05:13 PM
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@MrAwesome, I'm about your same size and when I talked to Richard he said I could fit on either the 55 or the 58. I also went with the 55 and think it's fine, but if you don't like the saddle to bar drop a bigger frame will help. Before switching frames I recommend trying a different handlebar as you mentioned in your first post. I put some north road bars on one of my other bikes and have been surprised at how much I like them. It's definitely cheaper and easier than swapping frames. If you don't like it you can always go back to the new frame as plan B.
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Old 04-05-17, 09:04 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
@MrAwesome, I'm about your same size and when I talked to Richard he said I could fit on either the 55 or the 58. I also went with the 55 and think it's fine, but if you don't like the saddle to bar drop a bigger frame will help. Before switching frames I recommend trying a different handlebar as you mentioned in your first post. I put some north road bars on one of my other bikes and have been surprised at how much I like them. It's definitely cheaper and easier than swapping frames. If you don't like it you can always go back to the new frame as plan B.
I agree. Since MrA is still uncomfortable on the 55 even after a bike shop fitting, and several changes, I'd be really surprised if a 58 turned out to be magically comfortable. There's something else going on here. A person between sizes would normally be able to make either work.
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Old 04-05-17, 11:49 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Scottybigs View Post
I feel like I'm sitting in the pocket of the frame almost
This is the best description I've seen of that phenomenon. I could never really figure out how to put it into words. Thanks for that.

(Ironically, it's also precisely what I hate about my road frame. I like the feeling of sitting over the bike. Oh well.)
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Old 04-06-17, 08:19 AM
  #80  
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I'm considering buying a Wabi frame. It find it slightly irksome how the frame dimensions aren't readily available on their website. All I need to size a frame is HT and (effective) TT length.
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Old 04-06-17, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
I'm considering buying a Wabi frame. It find it slightly irksome how the frame dimensions aren't readily available on their website. All I need to size a frame is HT and (effective) TT length.
It's there, just kind of hidden. Go to this page and click Tech Specs for the frame you're interested in:

https://wabicycles.com/bike-tech-specs/
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Old 04-06-17, 08:27 AM
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Sweet - thanks.
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Old 04-06-17, 09:44 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
I agree. Since MrA is still uncomfortable on the 55 even after a bike shop fitting, and several changes, I'd be really surprised if a 58 turned out to be magically comfortable. There's something else going on here. A person between sizes would normally be able to make either work.
He needs Townie bars.

Even if I wanted to, I couldn't ride drops. My back, lower back, and core would allow me to ride in the drops all day. No problem. But my neck would complaining after 15 minutes. I've never had a problem with my neck in general life or at the gym. But that tilt angle just does me in.
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Old 04-08-17, 02:56 PM
  #84  
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Knowing this as old news, since WABI was purchased, apparently by two guys who know nothing about bicycles, exactly what is being built?

Yeah, I see the website. I was about to purchase one until I learned the owners have no cycling background?

Tulsa is about 3 hours door to door. I am very interested in a track style bike but not sure this is it anymore.

Thoughts on the current product line?

J
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Old 04-08-17, 03:51 PM
  #85  
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What's the source of your information that the new guys "know nothing about bicycles"?
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Old 04-08-17, 06:07 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
What's the source of your information that the new guys "know nothing about bicycles"?

I read.

SoCal's Wabi Cycles gets new owners, relocates | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

From the article above;


"With backgrounds in manufacturing, Gragg and Kline were looking specifically for a product that had a good following but hadn't been marketed very well. When they saw fixie brand Wabi Cycles, which Richard Snook founded in Los Angeles in 2009, listed for sale, they called immediately, even though neither had a strong cycling background."

and;

"When friends Matt Gragg and Curtis Kline decided to buy a business earlier this year, they looked at options in several industries, including a brand that makes packs for wildland firefighters and a company that manufactures fire trucks."

Had it have been toaster ovens would that have been as good?

Just what it says.

J
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Old 04-08-17, 08:22 PM
  #87  
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Interesting. I hadn't heard that. Looks like the frames are still the same and now there are a lot more options for customizing your build. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one from the new owners. I have bought a few things from them since the new guys took over and the customer service is still good.
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Old 04-08-17, 08:23 PM
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Wabi has a road geometry, not track
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Old 04-08-17, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cDiff Notorious View Post
Wabi has a road geometry, not track
That might not be a bad thing but describing something as "road" geometry is not very descriptive. I have numerous road racing bicycles and quite a few over the years and they can range from relatively slack open road stage bikes to criterion tight sluggers.

Where does the WABI fit in the spectrum of road geometry bikes?
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Old 04-08-17, 11:16 PM
  #90  
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You said you were interested in track style bikes. Most of those have a shorter wheelbase, higher bb, steeper seat and head tube angles. I think I saw someone link the Wabi geo in this thread. It shows that its different from an average track frame. I have no experience on other different types of road geometry. Maybe you can compare the geometry of your other road bikes to a Wabi.
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Old 04-09-17, 12:20 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
He needs Townie bars.

Even if I wanted to, I couldn't ride drops. My back, lower back, and core would allow me to ride in the drops all day. No problem. But my neck would complaining after 15 minutes. I've never had a problem with my neck in general life or at the gym. But that tilt angle just does me in.
You're probably right. I have been trying to figure out the best handlebars to try next. The number of different shapes and styles, as well as the many different names, for many that appear to be the same shape--Is a little confusing.

I know aerodynamics will be a consideration, but aside from that, how much of a performance hit will there be with using a more relaxed bar like a townie? I don't race or even commute anymore, but sometimes I just like to go fast.

Thanks to all for the suggestions. I guess the hybrid I had 20+ years ago was probably the best geo for me to be comfortable. I just can't remember what it was.
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Old 04-09-17, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MrAwesome View Post
You're probably right. I have been trying to figure out the best handlebars to try next. The number of different shapes and styles, as well as the many different names, for many that appear to be the same shape--Is a little confusing.
They all do kinda look the same at first glance. Like "Regular bicycle" handlebars. But don't be fooled. There are many different bends, heights, widths and reaches. There are bars with almost no sweep angle, and there are bars with so much sweep angle that the grip area runs completely parallel with the top tube. Some have almost no rise and some have as much as 120mms. Some have the grip area in front of where the stem and fork intersect and some will place your hands well behind the steering axis.

I know aerodynamics will be a consideration, but aside from that, how much of a performance hit will there be with using a more relaxed bar like a townie? I don't race or even commute anymore, but sometimes I just like to go fast.
Aero surely does take a big hit with an upright bar. Does pedaling efficiency? I don't feel a reduced ability to accelerate hard, but that's just me. I have standard grips on mine for cruise mode but I also wrap the entire remainder so that I can move my hands around. I use the top curves in front of the grip for climbing while standing, and I use the low flat section by the stem for fighting headwinds and if I want to build speed on downhills.

I recommend going to Amazon and check out some of the bars made by Wald. They would make a great experiment bar because they are decent quality and DIRT cheap. They are steel, not light, but the chromes is quite good. Pick one and give it a try. You might have to try a couple bends to figure out what works for you. Once you have done that you can replace it with a better brand aluminum bar with the same bend if you want to.

Over the years I've experimented with tons of bars, always looking for that perfect width and wrist angle. I finally found some at an industrial bike supply company of all places. 4-1/2 inch rise, and lots of sweep. I cut 4 inches off of each end to achieve my desired reach and width.

$10.87

I'm not racing so I don't make any sacrifices to my comfort. That said, I do enjoy hauling ass and behaving like a hooligan on occasions. Upright bars feel more stable to me during shenanigan runs.


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Old 04-09-17, 05:43 PM
  #93  
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Thanks! I guess it's time to continue experimenting. That's a sweet looking ride; what is it?
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Old 04-09-17, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MrAwesome View Post
Thanks! I guess it's time to continue experimenting. That's a sweet looking ride; what is it?
Frame and fork are unidentified garage sale junk.
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Old 04-09-17, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
Frame and fork are unidentified garage sale junk.
HAHA, even better.
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Old 04-26-17, 07:16 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Scottybigs View Post
I'll be honest that I was really skeptical of their size chart ...



... Anyway, find a reason to keep riding fixed and riding a Wabi--they're great.
What size tires are you running on that rig? They look comfy.
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Old 04-26-17, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by TimmyT View Post
What size tires are you running on that rig? They look comfy.
Clement Strada LGG 700x28c (the 60TPI version). For the price, they strike a good balance between comfort and durability. I prefer Compass tires, but am not always willing to pay the additional cost.

The Special frame could clear 32c I think, but I'd likely have to add a half-link to the chain to bring the rear wheel further back in the dropouts. Front fork clearance is ample, though.
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Old 04-26-17, 08:32 AM
  #98  
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@Scottybigs: Cool. Thanks. Those Compass tires are great, but, yeah, spendy.

Any idea on what tires the Lightning could clear?
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Old 04-26-17, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TimmyT View Post
@Scottybigs: Cool. Thanks. Those Compass tires are great, but, yeah, spendy.

Any idea on what tires the Lightning could clear?
They list on the Lightning's page "up to 26mm tires", which basically means you can clear the Grand Bois 26c tires they sell but that might be tight. Best to search around the forums and confirm that with other owners.

That was definitely a deciding factor for me between the Special and the Lightning. I'd rather add a fraction of a pound to the frame weight than be restricted to 25/26c tires. Besides, Reynolds 725 rides like a dream, and so does the chromoly front fork (which has very thin walled blades).

The Classic also clears 32c tires, but the lug factor drew me to the Special.
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Old 04-26-17, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Scottybigs View Post
They list on the Lightning's page "up to 26mm tires", which basically means you can clear the Grand Bois 26c tires they sell but that might be tight. Best to search around the forums and confirm that with other owners.

That was definitely a deciding factor for me between the Special and the Lightning. I'd rather add a fraction of a pound to the frame weight than be restricted to 25/26c tires. Besides, Reynolds 725 rides like a dream, and so does the chromoly front fork (which has very thin walled blades).

The Classic also clears 32c tires, but the lug factor drew me to the Special.
Thanks! That's useful. I've just picked up my first set of fixed hubs for a wheel build, and from there, I'll do a conversion on one of the vintage steel framesets I have. Eventually, I'd like to slip into something with a 1 1/8 headtube for stiffness. I'm not a huge fan of quill stems anymore.
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