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  1. #1
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    It's official - I'm a kook

    My old steel rigid MTB is now a fixed gear. Rode it to work today. Definitely on the lunatic fringe now. Hopefully my friends won't notice me not coasting and still think it's a single speed.

    I don't know if I'll stick with it. It's sort of a training thing. Gotta make the most of my short 5 mile commute. Also its a winter thing. If I get good at it, I can stop wearing out my brakes and rims in the winter road muck.

    The gearing is 38x15 with 26x1.5 street tires and platform pedals.

  2. #2
    Old fart redden's Avatar
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    Mind sharing what the conversion cost?

  3. #3
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    get some clips or look pedals with some road shoes and then you can really spin it up without killing yourself !! =)

    pricepoint.com has some good combo deals... you get the pedals/cleats and the shoes combined..


    like this for $ 109 !!

    Florida Velodrome Association.
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    CAT-2. Road Bike: 2011 Specialized Allez SRAM Apex. .. and yes, I am vegan.

  4. #4
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    It's been a gradual process of changing things on this bike for the past year. I bought this bike used in the early 1990's for $150. It's a 1980's Specialized Hardrock. Last summer, the gears started slipping. The drive train was worn out. I bought a pre-built rear wheel with a Surly hub and Sun Rhyno-Lite rim from my LBS. I have ridden this wheel for the past year as a single speed. The crank was a cheapo rivetted POS. I bought a BMX crank, Surly chainwheel, and Shimano BMX freewheel. I have been riding this for the past year. The original SS configuration had a 35 tooth chainwheel. I have changed it to 38t now. This bikes horizontal dropouts are short. Not all combinations of chainwheel and rear cog work because adding or removing a chain link moves the axel 1/2 an inch.

    I'll count the cost without the extra stuff I bought while playing around with SS and different gear ratios.

    $140 wheel
    $50 crank
    $35 chainring
    $20 cog
    $15 chain

    Total cost to "fix" my broken bike was $260. Remember, though, that my bike didn't work before this project. A friend of mine with an almost identical bike had the LBS replace his worn out drive train with new cheapo parts (identical rivetted chainring). He paid $200 for the repairs.

    I also bought new handlebars and a new seat, but that wasn't necessary for the fixed gear conversion.

  5. #5
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    I converted my old Paramount to a single speed last year but then converted it back to a 7 speed single ring. I could not get up any of the mountains around here. There are some bad ass fixed gear mountainbikers I know of in Virginia and West Virgina, I don't know how they do it.

    I ride a fixed gear road bike on my 5 mile commute and it's just pure fun.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Dark Side!!!!

  7. #7
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Am I nuts for trying to ride a fixed gear without my feet attached to the pedals? I kind of don't want any mechanical attachment because I plan to use this settup in the winter. My bike went down fast on ice twice last winter. Thanks to using platform pedals and having quick footwork, I was still standing afterwards in both cases. There is no time for unclipping once the wheels start to move sideways.

  8. #8
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    In my experience, there is no difference between clipless and platforms when it comes to quickly removing your feet from the pedals when you need to. The difference is when you're actually trying to maintain the connection. I've never accidentally unclipped. Clipless are safer than platforms in every scenario I can think of.
    Last edited by Gest; 05-26-06 at 11:32 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    In the winter, I run platforms too. Why? So I can use my $50 work boots to keep my tosies warm instead of $200 cycling boots that might not work too well. Its not quite as good. High cadences are scary without clipless, IMHO. Even then I'm not too fond of high cadence riding (down hills mostly). As soon as the temp in the morning is consistently back above 30-35 degrees though, I'm back on clipless. Besides, the shock factor of platforms is great. When I was buying my clipless shoes and pedals, I told the LBS owner who was helping me that clipless would be an improvement over the platforms I've been riding for the last 6 months on my fixed gear bike. His jaw dropped and he said "You've been riding fixed on PLATFORMS!?" I think I changed his paradigm.

  10. #10
    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    I ride platforms fixed in the winter in Minneapolis. It does make a difference. I can put a foot down before I fall over on ice. When I've ridden clipless on the same conditions, it feels dangerous...

  11. #11
    yes
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    I've got platforms on my new fixed gear experiment, but plan to switch to clipless. I have clipless on other bikes, and never have a problem unclipping - but i've unintentionally unclipped on the mtb a couple of times. If you start w/ cheap welgo type spd pedals, you can turn the tension screws way down. You can basically just yank your foot out in any direction.

  12. #12
    Not a legend
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    All you "platforms for boots" guys--PowerGrips! Seriously. They're 90% of clipless (at a fraction of the cost). Lugged boots and agressive pedal tread can result in problems getting in and out. I tend to use less aggressive pedal tread.

    I think it's better than riding fixed w/o anything, anyway.

  13. #13
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    When you calculated the cost of your fixie conversion, you forgot to include ink, piercings, Carhartt shants, and a hipster girlfriend.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  14. #14
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    When you calculated the cost of your fixie conversion, you forgot to include ink, piercings, Carhartt shants, and a hipster girlfriend.
    Nobody will mistake my bike for a wannabe track bike. It's got northroad bars with torpedo grips and fenders. Probably looks more like a Raleigh 3-speed with a seized rear hub. Several people have suggested I should have streamers attached to the grips.

  15. #15
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praxis
    All you "platforms for boots" guys--PowerGrips! Seriously. They're 90% of clipless (at a fraction of the cost). Lugged boots and agressive pedal tread can result in problems getting in and out. I tend to use less aggressive pedal tread.

    I think it's better than riding fixed w/o anything, anyway.
    I have PowerGrips on my road bike SS conversion. They are useful in climbing hills in the relatively high gear I have on that bike. No way am I using them on icy roads, though.

    My plan is to use a low gear on my fixed MTB and go slow. I have to admit, though, that trying to hold the speed down on the downhill descents this morning I was wondering if I should be attached to the pedals. Not for the spinning aspect of it. I was keeping the speed in check by resisting the pedal motion. I think that would have been easier with a means of pulling up on the pedal.

  16. #16
    LF for the accentdeprived
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    Trackstand that thing at every stoplight! You'll confuse the **** out of everyone, including bikers.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
    Bike on flickr and on FGG

  17. #17
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    When you calculated the cost of your fixie conversion, you forgot to include ink, piercings, Carhartt shants, and a hipster girlfriend.
    HaHa (rofl). Those hipster girlfriends can be costly.

  18. #18
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth
    HaHa (rofl). Those hipster girlfriends can be costly.
    I don't think it would be the girlfriends. It's the divorce that would be costly.

    That reminds me. I better get the fenders back on my road bike SS conversion tonight. A couple people have confused it's stripped down looks, large chainring, and moustache bars for a "track bike". I'm on thin ice now.

  19. #19
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    But you were a kook before, so what's your point?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth
    HaHa (rofl). Those hipster girlfriends can be costly.
    Anyone have a price quote for one?

  21. #21
    i am batman gregtheripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth
    HaHa (rofl). Those hipster girlfriends can be costly.
    actually mine is pretty low-maintenance..

  22. #22
    beam and bikes
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    Fixies are a blast to commute on. I cant wait for ENO wheel to be complete so I can rock my Trek back and forth to work. Yes it can be a pain on hills but the commute for me is in a flat river valley.

    Plus I enjoy taking a fixie through some basic singletrack and fireroads.


    Craig

  23. #23
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Today my left knee finally doesn't hurt anymore. I think the fixed gear experiment was a failure. I only rode it one day. Checking the speed of the bike on the downhills with backwards pressure on the pedals caused the stress on my knees. Oh well. I tried it. Maybe someday I'll try again on flat ground. For now, its back to the freewheel.

    Just thought I'd let you know how it turned out.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    Yikes! Knee pain is terrible. Were you running a brake? Some days my knees aren't up to the task and I use the brake quite a bit. Other days I am mostly brakeless.

  25. #25
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Unless it's excruciating, it might be worth it to play with your saddle positioning. I found that a very small (1 or 2 mm) adjustment made all the difference in the world with my fixie.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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