I think it's about time I pick up a track frame. I wanna build a new bike but I don't know what I should get and I need ideas. Anything would help cause I'm pretty much a noob to all the crazy bikes that you guys have. My budget is pretty slim too but I'd consider.
IMO, the best track bike you could buy for under $400 would be the Mercier Kilo tt. Bikesdirect.com sells these for $350 shipped!! Brand new. Its a pretty nice frame too. I used to have one these frames but it was labeled a KHS flite 100. Its the same bike and i had fun on that thing. The only thing to really worry about is toe overlap. The frame has pretty tight geometry. Yes it is a true track frame with track geometry for $350. COMPLETE.
I would rather have a mercier than a pista or IRO. Components can be easily changed. Used pistas and IRO's sell for more than a brand new mercier and they are both in the same class. budgets track bikes. All their components are pretty much equal.
Probably the best deal out there for a complete. However, if you know you're going to trade out the parts anyways, be careful cuz your ending price will start to run up very quickly. You might end up spending the same, if not more than if you just bought something nicer to begin with.
IRO, pista, mercier, windsor and pake frames are all ROUGHLY the same quality, with some component variations.
I'd say get whatever you can score the best deal on, and for most ppl, it'll be the mercier
As for the leader, I've heard mixed reviews on quality, and keep in mind that since it's aluminum, it'll ride a bit rougher/stiffer
yo jeff...i just finish building an IRO mark v pro. pretty good geometry. slick look and rides pretty smooth. i haven't had anyproblems. they ship pretty efficiently. i bought it during the holiday season so they didn't charge me tax or shipping which was nice. but they have completes over at BOXDOGS in SF for like 500.
the leader is a good choice.. just throwing this out there. i read that the windsors are rebadged fujis.. the frames are identical. i have owned 2 windsors and a 2002 steel fuji track. they have great geomoetry and we just picked up a 61cm windsor for my friend bryce last night. im looking at it right now, for $250 used its a great value.
check out sparton frames on ebay. they are great lugged steal track frames. i believe they are built in mexico. for around $180 frame/fork and custom colors available. my friend got a brown one with a metal flake on special request. they are great guys and good quality frames. not drilled for brakes and real tight geomoetry.
but just keeping an eye on craigslist is the best. theres a khs on there today for 300.. you can't beat buying a used bike with upgrade parts for a good price.. hell you get those chips and dents the first month you own it.... Jason