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Old 07-27-07, 07:46 AM   #1
dirtylaundry
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Vintage 70s to track

hi.
I am going to undergo my first bike transformation project. I want to turn this vintage 70s road bike into a fixed gear bike. I know I am going to need a new chain and crank, but what else? What are the terms for these types of things? Also what are efficient handle bars for road cycling with a fixed gear. And one more - what would it be called to have a fixed gear that can coast (with handbrakes)?
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Old 07-27-07, 07:48 AM   #2
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Search the singlespeed and fixed gear forum. Check out Sheldon Brown's website and his links to other fixed / singlespeed sites
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Old 07-27-07, 07:56 AM   #3
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Or go to the classic and vintage forum. Lots of knowledge about older bikes there, and quite a few trackies. Pics would help, esp. bottom bracket, rear dropouts, rear hub, so the guys know what they are dealing with when dispensing advice.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dirtylaundry View Post
hi.
I am going to undergo my first bike transformation project. I want to turn this vintage 70s road bike into a fixed gear bike. I know I am going to need a new chain and crank, but what else? What are the terms for these types of things? Also what are efficient handle bars for road cycling with a fixed gear. And one more - what would it be called to have a fixed gear that can coast (with handbrakes)?
A freewheeling one speed bike is called a single speed, not fixed. Fixed is when the there is no freewheel and whenever the rear wheel is turning, the cranks are turning. To change to a fixed, you will need a rear wheel with a track hub at minumum.

While all the hipsters have to have a fixed, I would suggest a SS. Since on a fixed gear, the cranks are always turning, if you go around a corner fast (which is the main purpose of cycling, in my humble opinion), there is a good chance of a pedal strike, where the pedal digs into the street and you crash. With a frewheel, you stop pedalling and there is no pedal strike.

To get a SS on the cheap, try this. Ride on the small chainring and find a cog on the back that you like. Then, remove the derailleurs front and rear and shorten the chain for the gear you have selected. There, you have a single speed for free. Not sexy, but perfectly functional.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:57 AM   #5
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If you want to do it on the cheap but still look like a SS/FG, all you need is a SS freewheel and single stack chanring bolts.

1. Decide on the gearing you want - see if you can buy a SS freewheel to match that gearing with either one of your front chainrings.
2. Remove the other chainring and remount the one you're keeping using the short cr bolts.
3. Spin on your SS freewheel. Shorten and mount your existing chain. Measure how far off your chainline is.
4. Swap washers from one end of the axle to the other to get the chainline straight.
5. Redish your rear wheel.

Ride
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Old 07-27-07, 12:26 PM   #6
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I want to turn this vintage 70s road bike into a fixed gear bike. I know I am going to need a new chain and crank,
Not necessarily!

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Originally Posted by dirtylaundry View Post
but what else?
See: http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion

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What are the terms for these types of things?
See: http://sheldonbrown.com/glossary

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Originally Posted by dirtylaundry View Post
Also what are efficient handle bars for road cycling with a fixed gear.
The type of handlebars has nothing to do with efficiency, but the position does. Drop bars generally give more riding positions, and are quite comfortable if they are located in the correct position for your body and riding style.

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And one more - what would it be called to have a fixed gear that can coast (with handbrakes)?
That would be called an "oxymoron" ;-)

"Fixed-gear" means that it can't coast! A one-speed bike that is able to coast is commonly called a singlespeed or a one-speed.

Many cyclists interested in simplifying consider going to a singlespeed freewheel as a way to "test the waters" with the idea that if they turn out to like that, they might later convert to fixed gear.

This is generally the wrong way to approach it, in my opinion.

I STRONGLY recommend starting out with fixed gear. If it turns out to be a problem, you can easily convert to freewheel later if you want to...but my bet is you won't want to if you give fixed gear a good try (typically takes a couple of weeks of regular riding to get past the strangeness, but then it's quite addictive!)

Most folks who set up their bikes with a fixed/free flip flop wind up using the fixed gear side pretty much all of the time. The freewheel option is mainly useful for when you have taken a longer than usual ride, and need to get home even though you're all tuckered out.

Sheldon "Coasting Is Bad For You" Brown
Code:
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
|   I still feel that variable gears are only for people over |
|   forty-five.  Isn't it better to triumph by the strength   |
|   of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur?     |
|   We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!    |
|         --Henri Desgrange, _L'Équipe_ article of 1902       |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
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