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  1. #1
    Senior Member dirtylaundry's Avatar
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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)?

  2. #2
    Your mom
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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

  3. #3
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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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.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  4. #4
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    Quote 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.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  5. #5
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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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

  6. #6
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtylaundry View Post
    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!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtylaundry View Post
    What are the terms for these types of things?
    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/glossary

    Quote 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.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtylaundry View Post
    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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