NJS or Surly?

Hey guys

Have a bit of a question…

I’m looking at getting a ‘new’ frame.

Basically wondering what would be the differences/advantages/disadvantages of
getting a used NJS frame from like (http://njs-keirin.blogspot.com)
over a brand new Surly steamroller frameset,
or vice versa.



an njs frame will get you street cred.
a steamroller will last you forever.

in all seriousness i cant comment on njs track bikes as ive never really ridden one, but i can give two thumbs up to my surly.

Are all NJS keirin frames 110mm spaced or is it just some?

The only similarity between an NJS frame and a Steamroller is that they both have track ends.

I’d suggest that they aren’t actually alternatives.

You’ll probably get lots of different opinions here but I think a Steamroller is the better choice, unless you’re riding track.

i’d say a surly would stand up to a fair bit more street-abuse.

This sort of street cred is just BS ego. Don’t buy into the hype. Sorry, just had to get that out there.

What bike you choose depends on the way you want to ride. Like snowflake said, they are very different bikes. For a start, you won’t be able to fit brakes on an NJS frame unless you get a new fork or drill the existing one. The geometry on the Surly would probably be more relaxed and you can fit bigger tyres on the Surly.

The Surly will be more practical for street riding. Is Surly your only option? Salsa make a pretty good road frameset with semi-horizontal dropouts at about Surly’s price point.


Surlys are great for the street. Wish I’d gotten mine sooner. No screwing around looking for odd sized parts. Street cred is no use when you’re using shims and your seatpost or bars keep slipping. Those NJS frames are damn beautiful, but I’d keep them for track.

i got a steamroller after breaking 4 track frames in 2 years.
i was an idiot to have waited that long.

so, a few comments.

the surly is brilliant for all street riding, the NJS frame will get wankers to admire you.
the second hand used NJS will cost as much, if not more than the brand new warrantied surly.

have a look at some of the other frames available tho.
the pake is nice, if only available in 1" stem.
the salsa is pretty good as well.
and so is the soma.
and i’ve been fairly impressed with the on one, but it cot a bomb.

honestly tho, the only reason for taking a really nice custom made track frame and beating the living fuck out of on the street is either because you have access to far too many frames and can afford to rape as many as you want, or you are solely trying to look a specific part.
get the surly and if you want it to look different to everyone else, get it painted for cheap.

if those frames weren’t so ridiculously overpriced Id be all over them, mainly for the sparkle paintjobs! :stuck_out_tongue: No point getting one right now unless yo have too much money, and just want to show off to people that you have an NJS frame.

apples and oranges.

I have an NJS frame which i race on. Its a beautiful bike and its great on the track but at the end of the day it’s not designed to be smashed around the streets.
The race geometry puts you over the front wheel and theres no provision for brakes.

The steamrollers are specifically designed and built as a street bike and if you look around you could get a new one for half the price of a used keirin frame.

Theres a few things to keep in mind if you do go with a keirin frame.
Standard NJS rear spacing is 110m, getting the frame respaced to 120mm is no big deal but its just another step in the process.

Also a lot of older NJS frames use 8mm rear trackends as opposed to the standard 9mm, which will restrict your choice of hubs to either a 36hole dura ace NJS (which are now out of production) or a phil wood hub with a modified axle washer, so make sure you know what your buying.

hope this helps