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  1. #1
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    Building a Fixie...

    I'm building a fixed gear bike and looking for input on what the "good" bikes from the 80s are. I had bought an old '87 Univega for $55, stripped it down to the frame, sanded, and painted it, before i realized the frame was bent (stupid me for not noticing earlier). I'm now looking on craigslist for another bike, and wondering what worthwhile brands are. I know Univega, Raleigh, and Centurion were in the same racing class, how about Free Spirit, Peugot, Nishiki, Niitaka, Schwinn, etc? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Since you've already put the work into the Univega, why not bend it back into shape?
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider-man View Post
    Since you've already put the work into the Univega, why not bend it back into shape?
    +1



    errrr, unless he means it's sustained front end damage...

  4. #4
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    Heres a picture of the bend, Is it fixable?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    uh, I wouldn't ride it. so for me the answer is no.
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  6. #6
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    It was involved in a head on collision with something. The collision pushed the fork back, bent the down tube and the top tube. I wouldn't be surprised if the fork isn't alsio bent, particularly at the steerer tube. Wth the fork pushed back, the entire geometry of that bike has been changed for the worse.

    My guess is it's unsalvageable. At the least, it's impractical to try.

    But just out of curiosity, what say the experts? Could this be repaired if one was willing to go to the expense of replacing the tubes?

  7. #7
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    Or (after looking at the pic again) am I wrong? Is this damage from a front end collision, or a dent in the down tube only (i.e., damage from impact to the down tube, rather than from a head on collision)? What say the experts? Do we need more pics?

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    i can glady take better pictures (those were from my phone because i was feeling lazy). I took it to a shop in LA (thats where they noticed it was bent) and wheels still fit well on the bike, which makes me think the forks arent bent. If it were just a dent in that one bar would it be fixable?

  9. #9
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    If you are buying 80's bikes, I always say go for the Japanese. Their specs are typically
    those still used today, so its easier to get new stuff to fit on them (like bottom brackets)
    One thing though- you are likely to end up with a 1" steering tube instead of the more
    common 1 1/8" thats mostly used now. You can still get 1" tube forks though.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  10. #10
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    On second thought i would rather know i have a solid frame when riding my bike. Unless its possible to be fixed like new i would rather just buy a new frame. So back to the original question.

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    Does that mean that Nishiki would be a good choice? How about Peugot? I ask because theres a peugot on craigslist thats the right size and price for me, but i hadnt heard anything about them up until now.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    Or (after looking at the pic again) am I wrong? Is this damage from a front end collision, or a dent in the down tube only (i.e., damage from impact to the down tube, rather than from a head on collision)? What say the experts? Do we need more pics?
    look at the first picture, the top tube is bent also.
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knivez View Post
    Does that mean that Nishiki would be a good choice? How about Peugot? I ask because theres a peugot on craigslist thats the right size and price for me, but i hadnt heard anything about them up until now.
    If I may play devil's advocate for a brief moment....

    Why cut up and obscure the identity of a perfectly good vintage bike to build a faux track bike? Why not just buy a track frame and build up a real track bike?

    Inquiring Devil's Advocates want to know...

  14. #14
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    I dont have the cash to buy a new frame =P

    Maybe it would be cheap enough if i could buy just the frame of a newer race bike?

    I'm trying to spend $100 or less on the frame.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotek View Post
    look at the first picture, the top tube is bent also.
    Quote Originally Posted by Knivez View Post
    I took it to a shop in LA (thats where they noticed it was bent) and wheels still fit well on the bike, which makes me think the forks arent bent.
    If the top tube and down tube are both bent, you can safely bet that the fork is also, at a minimum, pushed back towards the down tube, which means the front wheel is closer to the down tube than it is supposed to be, and the geometry (not to mention steering characteristics) is off. It's also quite possible, perhaps even probable, that the fork is bent. Check for fork alignment with he head tube. Also check for fork damage by testing the ability of the fork to turn freely when suspended in air.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knivez View Post
    I dont have the cash to buy a new frame =P

    Maybe it would be cheap enough if i could buy just the frame of a newer race bike?

    I'm trying to spend $100 or less on the frame.
    OK, well, this Devil's Advocate can totally relate to not having the cash to do what one would like to do. Just keep in mind that low cash flow doesn't have to mean one must be philistine about these things.

  17. #17
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    Good question. Why don't you just buy this frame (and find a generic fork) and swap the parts over? The decals are removable, so you can still have the "stealth" look that I imagine you're looking for.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3020

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    If I may play devil's advocate for a brief moment....

    Why cut up and obscure the identity of a perfectly good vintage bike to build a faux track bike? Why not just buy a track frame and build up a real track bike?

    Inquiring Devil's Advocates want to know...
    I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    '53/'54 Bianchi CDM, late '50s Vic Edwards faux Peugeot, '62 Frejus, '62/63 Cinelli SC, '62ish Altenburger Cinelli Mod B, '72 Motobecane Grand Record, '72ish rose Cinelli SC, '73-74 Colngao Super, '74 Masi GC, '78 faux Confente, '82 Medici Gran Turismo, '85 Eddy Merckx, '57 Replica De Rosa, late '80s Andy Gilmour, KOF Velo Orange Randonneur

  18. #18
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    If I may play devil's advocate for a brief moment....

    Why cut up and obscure the identity of a perfectly good vintage bike to build a faux track bike? Why not just buy a track frame and build up a real track bike?

    Inquiring Devil's Advocates want to know...
    Track bikes don't have the same geometry as road bikes. If you want to ride a fixed gear on the road, a conversion makes sense. Road bikes do not to be cut up to be converted, they just need to have one chainring and the derailleurs removed, plus the rear wheel swapped out for a fixed hub wheel.

  19. #19
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    Yikes! That frame is trashed and not worth putting lots of money in to repair. Your idea to find a Japanese-made 80s bike is a good one: Univega, Centurion, Miyata, Shogun, Fuji, Bridgestone and Panasonic are all out there in large numbers.

    Neal

  20. #20
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knivez View Post
    Does that mean that Nishiki would be a good choice? How about Peugot? I ask because theres a peugot on craigslist thats the right size and price for me, but i hadnt heard anything about them up until now.
    Id stay away from old french bikes. Their BBs use a threadding that is very rare nowdays.
    If you must replace it, you'll pay way too much for a specialty new one or an old one
    on ebay that will have tons of bids.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  21. #21
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    Missed your $100 answer.

    I'd suggest that, while brand names can be a good starting point, that you do some research on tubing (Columbus, Reynolds, Tange, etc.). You may have a better chance of buying a more obscure brand that flies under the radar.

    And, avoid the temptation of unnecessary frame painting, frame alterations, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by bibliobob View Post
    Good question. Why don't you just buy this frame (and find a generic fork) and swap the parts over? The decals are removable, so you can still have the "stealth" look that I imagine you're looking for.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3020
    I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    '53/'54 Bianchi CDM, late '50s Vic Edwards faux Peugeot, '62 Frejus, '62/63 Cinelli SC, '62ish Altenburger Cinelli Mod B, '72 Motobecane Grand Record, '72ish rose Cinelli SC, '73-74 Colngao Super, '74 Masi GC, '78 faux Confente, '82 Medici Gran Turismo, '85 Eddy Merckx, '57 Replica De Rosa, late '80s Andy Gilmour, KOF Velo Orange Randonneur

  22. #22
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    All painting is kind of unnecessary... its fun though, and gives a personalized feel to the bike. Im gonna end up sanding down and painting whatever i decide to get.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knivez View Post
    All painting is kind of unnecessary... its fun though, and gives a personalized feel to the bike. Im gonna end up sanding down and painting whatever i decide to get.
    I would suggest, then, something that actually needs to be painted to be brought back to life, so as not to unnecessarily obscure the identity of yet another vintage bike.

    Something like this Motobecane, for example.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    +1

    Not to be rude, but you're not likely to find much support for unnecessary re-paints in the C +V forum. I realize that most ss/fg riders have a desire to "customize" their rides through frame and component color choices, as a means of expressing themselves. But, to riders who have a reverence for the living history of bikes, this is a bit of blasphemy.

    Generally speaking, most C +Vers would prefer to keep things original, including paint. It's only original once.

    For most C +Vers, the choice of bike and attention to detail is our means of expressing ourselves. The choice of whether to collect vintage Japanese, vintage Italian, touring bikes, Schwinns, mixtes, 70s bikes, 80s bikes, postwar bikes, etc. is a reflection of our personalities, I think. Practical upgrades are welcomed by most C +Vers, but unnecessary paint jobs do not fall into this category.

    Maybe I'm just boring, but I get much more excited scoping out the decals of an old road bike than looking at the latest generic color combinations of deep Vs, top tube pads, Chris King headsets, and powdercoated frames. The whole craze has become very lemming-like.

    Just my opinion, but I'll take a battle-scarred bike over a generic re-paint every day of the week.





    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    I would suggest, then, something that actually needs to be painted to be brought back to life, so as not to unnecessarily obscure the identity of yet another vintage bike.

    Something like this Motobecane, for example.
    I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    '53/'54 Bianchi CDM, late '50s Vic Edwards faux Peugeot, '62 Frejus, '62/63 Cinelli SC, '62ish Altenburger Cinelli Mod B, '72 Motobecane Grand Record, '72ish rose Cinelli SC, '73-74 Colngao Super, '74 Masi GC, '78 faux Confente, '82 Medici Gran Turismo, '85 Eddy Merckx, '57 Replica De Rosa, late '80s Andy Gilmour, KOF Velo Orange Randonneur

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibliobob View Post
    Maybe I'm just boring, but I get much more excited scoping out the decals of an old road bike than looking at the latest generic color combinations of deep Vs, top tube pads, Chris King headsets, and powdercoated frames. The whole craze has become very lemming-like.
    You now what's funny? I've been thinking quite a bit about reacquiring my first adult bike, a 1971 Raleigh Record, and converting to fixed gear. It wasn't a very good road bike, which is why I bought a much better Motobecane in 1977, and sold the Raleigh to a friend for $20. But still, it was my first adult bike, and I'm feeling a little sentimental about it nowadays. And besides, it had some really nice old school features (tubular fork crown, wingnuts on the axles), plus a very sweet and classy bronze green and white trim color scheme.

    So, while surfing craigslist, I come across one just like my old bike, already converted to a fixie. "Hmmmm, this will be interesting," I think to myself. So I open the link, and what do I see? Another generic fixie with chopped drop bars. No originality whatsoever. For a craze that's allegedly based on customizing to reflect one's individuality, everybody sure seems to end up with fixies that pretty much look like every other fixie out there. Sawed off braze-ons? Check. Powdercoat? Check. Chopped drop bars? Check. Front brake lever? Check. Top tube pad? Check. Spoke cards? Check.

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