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  1. #1
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    when did gears become evil?

    maybe someone can explain to me the obsession folks have to strip off their gears and turn beautiful bikes into mongrel 'fixies'?

    what starts off as a well designed piece of machinery ends up as something akin to crippleware. I read CL listings for bikes that have been cannibalized in such a manner, i weep for the bike it used to be.

  2. #2
    practically invincible.
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    hey, hey, I think you're being a bit harsh. if they don't modify the frame, I don't see the harm in it. you can always put gears back on. and in some places, it's so flat you really don't need them. have you ever rode a fixed gear bike? it can be a really enjoyable experience, you feel very connected to the bicycle.
    plus, don't forget the first bikes ever were fixed or single speed (mostly likely including the one that Mark Twain references in your sig quote).
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  3. #3
    brain damaged bovine muccapazza's Avatar
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    Really? We have to have another one these? The wounds from the last slog out just got healed. Some people like the simplicity and sensation of riding with a fixed gear like they used to back in the 1900s. Some people don't I personally do but don't like the flat black rattle canned paint jobs or the hacking off the brazeons. A search will yield a score of threads with useless to and froings with all points of view represented.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by anastrophe View Post
    hey, hey, I think you're being a bit harsh. if they don't modify the frame, I don't see the harm in it. you can always put gears back on. and in some places, it's so flat you really don't need them. have you ever rode a fixed gear bike? it can be a really enjoyable experience, you feel very connected to the bicycle.
    plus, don't forget the first bikes ever were fixed or single speed (mostly likely including the one that Mark Twain references in your sig quote).
    i don't think i am being all that harsh...it should be up to the user to strip off the gears.
    why buy a bike that is MISSING parts?

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    It's a time honored roadie tradition to strip the derailleurs off and put on a fixed cog for winter training. I just like my fixed gear rain bike so much, I keep it fixed for summer too.

    Just don't dremel off the bosses and hangers, though. That's just wrong.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EraserGirl View Post
    i don't think i am being all that harsh...it should be up to the user to strip off the gears.
    why buy a bike that is MISSING parts?

    I bought a Trek 660 frame for the purpose of building it up as a fixed gear. I didn't want a track bike. I wanted a fixed road bike with brakes, water bottle cage bosses, and room for 28mm tires (or 25mm tires and fenders). At the time, your only option was a road bike conversion--although I notice that a few makers have seen the light since.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  7. #7
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I think it is less that "gears are evil" and more that "Fixies are cool" is what is driving this.

    Personally I really don't get fixies (or my knees don;t) ...but can totally understand single speed.

    I don't think it is bad per se....I see a lot of 16-20 year olds out on there pink/green fixies. All in all I would rather see them out riding than not.

    I think the angst ins this forum comes when nice bikes are surgically altered so that you can't ever put gears back on them.
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  8. #8
    Pug lover! Dogs and bikes Tigerprawn's Avatar
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    Riding fixed gear is just an entirely different experience from riding a road bike or any other type of bike. I never understood single speeds though... Why not just leave it in one gear combo and call it a day? Unless it's for simplicity/weight then I can see the reason behind it.

    Fixed gear riding is immensely popular, but it definitely is a gateway to other forms of cycling. I went from fixed gear to vintage road bikes. Love them both.
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  9. #9
    practically invincible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EraserGirl View Post
    why buy a bike that is MISSING parts?
    because you have better parts in your bin? I've often bought a bike that I had to go through the work of stripping down just to put my own components on...getting it pre-stripped saves half the effort

    Anyways, we have been through this before, a lot.
    \

  10. #10
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerprawn View Post
    Riding I never understood single speeds though... Why not just leave it in one gear combo and call it a day?

    On a single speed (that is set up properly) you always have perfect chainline.

    The Simplicity of the drivetrain is also nice and hills are a unique challenge as compared to having a range of ratios at your disposal...when all you've got is one gear you've got 2 choices: Buck up and Crank, or get off and walk.
    --Don't Panic.
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  11. #11
    Pug lover! Dogs and bikes Tigerprawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CravenMoarhead View Post
    On a single speed (that is set up properly) you always have perfect chainline.

    The Simplicity of the drivetrain is also nice and hills are a unique challenge as compared to having a range of ratios at your disposal...when all you've got is one gear you've got 2 choices: Buck up and Crank, or get off and walk.
    Ok, very similar to fixed gear. I like that thought.
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  12. #12
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    I figured on the ones for sale you see so often on CL, it's 1. tried a FG & didn't like it, 2. needed more maintenance than it was worth, so it was stripped to yield a usable bike with lower maintenance needs (86 two derailleurs, two cables & two shifters...maybe even a brake + cable) or 3. it's a flip & the seller is maximizing the flip by stripping off a few parts for Ebay & selling the remainder (maybe with a cheap track wheel set) as a full bike.

    I build a FG bike out of a Peugeot PV10 ("super" vitus chromoly) and it's a light, fun, great ride. I could always go back to gears on the bike...or someone else could later, since I really have no shortage of bikes with gears. It's Miami Vice-esque looks could score it big hipster points if I were trying to pimp it out on Craigslist, but in my case I "get it" completely...it's a blast and a very different experience from a geared road bike.

    All that said, I have yet to see one of the conversions for sale that I would ever want to spend real money on. In the case of my PV10, it was cheap + I could have sold the parts I didn't use & made it almost free. It'd have to be a really good deal & a really good frame for me to pay more for it *without* the extras I could keep & use on something else....

  13. #13
    Tinkerer jamesl's Avatar
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    I paid $25 for a Schwinn CrissCross that had been converted to single speed, put some spare gears and shifters on it and sold it for $120. I like that kinda deal!

    Now I'm taking the single speed cog and putting that on a butchered old Schwinn Varsity I got for free -- minus the derailleurs -- and will sell it as a single speed.... Fun stuff!

    I grew up riding single speed bikes and once I discovered the joy of shifting gears, I never looked back!!!
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  14. #14
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    that works....love the Lego aspect of them.....at great risk of reviving a boring thread, I'll say there's also a joy of not shifting gears after decades of shifting gears. I think of it as sort of "land spinning" in terms of riding the hilly terrain of lower Appalachia here in east TN.

  15. #15
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    I don't like it either, but I understand the point of view of those who do it. They want a fixed gear, and they want it to be a nice bicycle as opposed to a soul-less modern shell of a bicycle. What choice do they have really aside form vintage conversion or super-expensive custom built?

    Keep in mind also, that...

    . As others have pointed out, the process is reversible

    . Don't assume that the fixie conversions you see on CL started out as beautiful and fully functional bikes. It is likely that all the gears and other thingies were either broken, worn out, or partly missing in the first place. My husband is now looking for a bike to convert to fixed gear, and the best candidates are precisely these forlorn bikes -- nice but crusty 1970s roadbike frames or 60s-70s 3-speed frames, with missing components, that would likely end up in a junk heap somewhere if not rescued. So it's not so bad really: He gets to build up a fixie, and the bike lives.

  16. #16
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    fine i am sorry i brought it up.
    i don't like seeing bikes butchered ok?
    someone want to lock the thread.
    before we have 50 people whacking me around.

  17. #17
    Tinkerer jamesl's Avatar
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    Someone just posted a '72 Paramount fixie conversion for sale on Tulsa's Craigslist. I'd like to whack him around instead...
    '98 Tour Easy recumbent
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  18. #18
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    I just think fixed gear bikes are the coolest things and I like to see a whole different take on biking.

    The other day I watched a guy riding a fixie backwards...now try that with gears!!

    Mike
    "ready to navigate"

  19. #19
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EraserGirl View Post
    fine i am sorry i brought it up.
    i don't like seeing bikes butchered ok?
    someone want to lock the thread.
    before we have 50 people whacking me around.
    Oh just whack them back. With a lugged steel frame, gears intact.
    Anyhow, here's a picture of Lucy, my Raleigh 3-Speed, to cheer you up. No one will butcher her, ever.


  20. #20
    RFC
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    These posts are getting almost troll like. Someone is bored and wants to start a conversation.

  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    One of my son's roommates has a fixed gear with left-side drive. I freely admit we can't do that with gears.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  22. #22
    iab
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    1903. Until Henri Desgrange got sick and in 1937 all was good with gears.

  23. #23
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesl View Post
    Someone just posted a '72 Paramount fixie conversion for sale on Tulsa's Craigslist. I'd like to whack him around instead...

    how much?

    if its a good price....if nothing else its a quality frame and fork...and possibly a workable front wheel.
    --Don't Panic.
    My bike is a lot like your mom.

  24. #24
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    And here's My Raleigh 3 speed, just to make you feel better;

    Actually, I found another frame that seemed more appropriate for a fixy and converted this one back to a 3 speed. Traded it for that really really old bike i posted a couple of weeks ago. It was a lot of fun, though.
    I have spoken.

  25. #25
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CravenMoarhead View Post
    how much?

    if its a good price....if nothing else its a quality frame and fork...and possibly a workable front wheel.
    $500 and never mind. The jackass had it powdercoated Nickelodeon purple.

    -Kurt

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