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Old 05-10-08, 10:51 PM   #1
Jason762
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Building A Fixed Gear

I hope posting this topic here is acceptable. I figure I'd get more of a serious answer here than I would over in the SS/FG subform.

I’m looking to build a fixed gear bike based on a Soma Rush framset. I’m not looking to buy cheap (though I will spend the extra time looking to pinch a few pennies). I plan to ride this bike hard on a daily basis. Therefore, I’m thinking quality components is what I should be looking for.

My problem, I’m not sure what “quality” components are. I’ve heard Campagnolo parts are very good. Is this generally true?

Anyway, here’s a list of things I need for my bike. If I’m missing a piece, please let me know. Also let me know what brand I should look for with said component.

If you need stats, I’m a 6’2” 220 pound rider with a 35” inseam. Thanks.

Frame – Soma Rush 61cm frame
Fork – Soma track fork
Rims – Velocity Deep V rims built by ProWheelBuilder
Hubs - Phil Wood
Handlebars – Nitto Bullhorns
Bottom bracket - ??
Cranks - ??
Chain - ??
Cog - ??
Stem - ??
Headset - ??
Brake - ??
Brake Levers - ??
Brake Cable - ??
Seatpost - ??
Saddle - ??
Nuts and bolts, etc.
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Old 05-10-08, 11:09 PM   #2
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Why the track frame ?

The wheels and hubs sound like they should be bombproof for anyone.

Headset... Chris King - cause you will never need another one.

Cranks - I have always been partial to Sugino.

Cog - Dura Ace... great bang for the buck.

Bottom bracket - Phil Wood... they don't get better than this.

Chain - SRAM PC1

...
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Old 05-10-08, 11:16 PM   #3
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Why the track frame ?
It was between IRO and Soma, and I just liked Soma's decals better. Plus I wanted a steel frame.

Why, what else would you recommend?
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Old 05-10-08, 11:17 PM   #4
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For the day to day I'd look at a more road oriented frame...it will beat you up less and be a little more versatile.

Surly perhaps ?
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Old 05-10-08, 11:23 PM   #5
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With bullhorns, you'll need to get TT brake levers. They're designed to fit in the ends of the bull horns. I have some ITM levers that were inexpensive and work great.

Brake calipers: the Cane Creek/Tektro calipers are fine. You could also go with a midlevel Shimano set like Tiagra or 105.

Cables and housing: generic from the LBS is fine.

Seat post ? I'm partial to Ritchey, personally. But there are lots of choices.

Saddle? This is very personal. You'll get a million suggestions. For myself, I like the classic Selle Italia Flite Ti, but they're getting hard to find.
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Old 05-10-08, 11:28 PM   #6
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As always, check to see what Sheldon Brown has to say: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html
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Old 05-10-08, 11:30 PM   #7
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If you need stats, I’m a 6’2” 220 pound rider with a 35” inseam.
61 CM may be a touch big. I'm 6-4", 220 lb with a 36" inseam and I'm more comfortable on a 58cm.
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Old 05-11-08, 01:32 AM   #8
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If you are looking for good cranks, I would put my money on sugino 75's and a matching bottom bracket. Servicing a bottom bracket takes all of a half hour, and it will take quite a bit of riding before you need to service it again. I personally love the feel of a freshly rebuilt bottom bracket, though it could just be some sort of placebo effect. Chain, I would go Izumi and saddle my selle san marco light is great. But really thats all preferance
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Old 05-11-08, 01:44 AM   #9
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I'll be rebuilding a bottom bracket tomorrow even though I don't think the bike could be any smoother than it already is... there is something about an oil lubricated bb vs a sealed unit or an old school 3 piece.

It makes me want to put an oil fitting on my fixed road bike... hmmm.
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Old 05-11-08, 04:25 AM   #10
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My problem, I’m not sure what “quality” components are. I’ve heard Campagnolo parts are very good. Is this generally true?
Yes, Campagnolo is known for making quality components. The only fixed-gear hub they make though is a "real" track hub. That is, it only has threading on one side, and the threading is for a fixed-gear. Other hubs have threading on both sides, so you can have two different gears (by turning the wheel around) if you're so inclined.

The only bad thing I've ever heard said about Phil Wood components is that they aren't cheap. Paul Components also are held in pretty high esteem.

That said -- I imagine there are a lot of people logging some serious fixxie miles on much, much cheaper hubs, such as those from Formula or Surly. You could always just get a wheel built with Surly hubs and overhaul it with Phil Wood-spec'ed bearings when the time comes.
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Old 05-11-08, 06:28 AM   #11
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I run a deep v with a Miche track hub up front and a surly hub in the rear. I weigh in at 209, and rode 30 miles a day, city. Never a problem. You can cut some cost there, no issues.
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Old 05-11-08, 06:29 AM   #12
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OH.. It is up to debate, but 36 hole can't be topped, laced well.
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Old 05-11-08, 10:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Yes, Campagnolo is known for making quality components. The only fixed-gear hub they make though is a "real" track hub... That said -- I imagine there are a lot of people logging some serious fixxie miles on much, much cheaper hubs...
Campagnolo does make high quality parts but surprisingly the Record track hubs have been known to fail which the company will not warranty if the bike the hubs are fitted to isn't used exclusively on a track. Read more: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/record-track.html

I recycle and freecycle bike parts so my fixies do not use the latest and greatest hubs. I commute daily and put more miles on my main fixie than on my cars, motorcycles and scooters combined yet my cheap hubs still keep me cruising right along.
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Old 05-11-08, 11:44 AM   #14
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For hubs, phils are unnecessary. If you are set on sealed bearing hubs, I have a surly rear hub that is a tank as far as the abuse it's put up with and formulas are always a good choice. You might note that you can put the phil cartridge bearings into formula shells when the bearings wear out. If you are willing to deal with servicing your hubs a couple times a year, Dura Ace 7600's are some awesome hubs as well. They usually run betwen 200 and 250 a pair, and they are loose ball but they are really well made.
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Old 05-11-08, 02:53 PM   #15
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I'd definitely recommend the Surly hubs- the flip-flop hubs are nice. My commuter is a fixie, so it's nice to be able to use different gearing on the way there (downhilly) and lower on the way back (uphilly.) And they seem to be built really well, also. I also use Surly cogs, a KMC 1/8" chain (it's purple!), Salsa Delgado X 700c rims, etc. I really love Surly components for single-speeding.
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Old 05-11-08, 03:21 PM   #16
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I'd definitely recommend the Surly hubs- the flip-flop hubs are nice. My commuter is a fixie, so it's nice to be able to use different gearing on the way there (downhilly) and lower on the way back (uphilly.) And they seem to be built really well, also. I also use Surly cogs, a KMC 1/8" chain (it's purple!), Salsa Delgado X 700c rims, etc. I really love Surly components for single-speeding.
surly hubs and cogs have been some of my favorite so far.
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Old 05-11-08, 03:29 PM   #17
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I will have to become another in what appears to be a long line to suggest Formula hubs. Also, I think Nashbar hubs are rebranded Formulas? Stop me if I'm wrong. But those go on sale pretty commonly - I got a set for fifty once.

In terms of brakes, I would suggest a 105, if you can get one, or an Ultegra, which are pretty much tops. For levers, you may be able to fit a cross lever on the flats of your bullhorns, depending on what model you get. The RB-019 will fit it, but I don't know about the RB-021s. It really depends on which hand position you prefer in traffic.

Cog, Dura Ace, no reason not to.

Stem, if you want threaded, I would go for Nitto. If not, I have no clue.
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Old 05-11-08, 03:32 PM   #18
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I will have to become another in what appears to be a long line to suggest Formula hubs. Also, I think Nashbar hubs are rebranded Formulas? Stop me if I'm wrong. But those go on sale pretty commonly - I got a set for fifty once.

In terms of brakes, I would suggest a 105, if you can get one, or an Ultegra, which are pretty much tops. For levers, you may be able to fit a cross lever on the flats of your bullhorns, depending on what model you get. The RB-019 will fit it, but I don't know about the RB-021s. It really depends on which hand position you prefer in traffic.

Cog, Dura Ace, no reason not to.

Stem, if you want threaded, I would go for Nitto. If not, I have no clue.
unless you want something bigger than 16t...
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Old 05-11-08, 05:26 PM   #19
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61 CM may be a touch big. I'm 6-4", 220 lb with a 36" inseam and I'm more comfortable on a 58cm.
Well, fit is completely personal. I'm 5'11" with a 32" inseam and I ride a 57 comfortably. If anything, most people would tell you that your bike is a bit on the small side for you. I think that for Jason, he's already decided on the 61 as the right size, which conventional wisdom would dictate to be right.
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Old 05-11-08, 05:34 PM   #20
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as a point of reference, I ride a KHS Flite 100-- their bottom-of-the line track frame. I have changed the bottom bracket and the headset--the ones that came with the bike were pure dcrap- I also changed the fork after 2 years to a carbon fibre one, because I got a good deal on it. I ride with two brakes (old school Modolo which I picked up on ebay for about $20). I bought the bike new for $400 and have put about $200 into it (excluding tires). Since buying it in 2004, I have put over 15,000 miles into it-- with over 6,000 coming last year., I have ridden it hard everywhere-- double metric centuries, Ride the Rockies last year (including Independence Pass), several centuries and regular commuting--year round. I ride the bike hard. I love the bike. It is the bike I grab first. The point I'm getting to is you don't need high end parts if you have decent basic parts. Yes, Campy is nice, but Campy is also expensive. WIth the exception of the parts mentiuoned, my bike is stock. I ride a 48 x 18. (I am 6 ft tall, and ride a 57-- It has 165 cranks).

train safe-
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Old 05-11-08, 10:25 PM   #21
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All this stuff about hubs is confusing. Would someone care to break it down for me?

Thanks for all the other tips though. I've written the brands down and have been looking out for them.
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Old 05-11-08, 10:48 PM   #22
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Jason,

Don't spend the cash on the Phil Woods. They are good hubs, don't get me wrong. But you can cut a lot of cost, and get a decent hub. Recommended here are:

Surly
Miche
Formula

All good hubs.

I will say that I've got close to 2500 miles on a surly rear that has shown no signs of giving up. My Miche hub has about 1/2 that, and spins faster and smooth.


Here is something for comparison.

I have a fixie comuter, and a fixie nice ride.. that I comute with sometimes.

The fixie comuter has a shimano BB, old 172.5 cranks, an omega headset, Deep V with Miche front and surly rear. These have worked very well.

for bars, I have been using some drops that I flipped and chopped. While ghetto, they have suited me well.
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Old 05-11-08, 11:03 PM   #23
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My old ghetto hub (a Suzue) carried me 4000 km last year and is now running strong on a friend's new fixed gear... the new ghetto hub (a Normandy) must have 2000 km on it and is smooth as silk.

Find a Suntour track hub and you won't stop smiling for a long time.
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