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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "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 derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-21-02, 03:27 PM   #1
fubar5
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Fixed gear

I've got a trek 1200 frame an I'd like to make it into a fixed gear. What am I looking at as far as price and parts?
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Old 08-21-02, 03:47 PM   #2
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Count on at least $250...and up, up, up.

Wheels are most expensive item - scour ebay for aborted fixed-gear project items.
Cranks are second most expensive - around $25 for Doteks (new), $60 for used Suntour or Shimano 165mm road cranks

To keep costs down try to hit swap meets. Sometimes you can save HUGE here. I bought a leather saddle, grips, ultra-light bar, brake lever for $10 at a swap once. HUGE I tell you. Shipping and handling on minor items like stems, pedals, handlebars, etc... will inflate your costs. These are the items you can grab for cheap at a swap.

Also, consider 170mm cranks. It seems like 165 is the magic number, and prices on Ebay rise accordingly. However if you pair 170mm cranks with narrow track pedals, you'll scarcely know the difference.

Best of luck!

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Old 08-22-02, 12:29 PM   #3
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Does the Trek 1200 have the needed horizontal dropouts? If it doesn't, be prepared to try many combinations of chainrings,cogs and/or half-links to find a combination that works.
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Old 08-22-02, 01:09 PM   #4
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I would like to used fix gear at the beginning of next season also. Would it be possible to turn one of my old stable bikes (ie: paramount road bike with horiz rear) into a trainging fixed with the addition of a fixed gear rear wheel?
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Old 08-22-02, 07:05 PM   #5
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D*Alex alreadly asked the most important thing (re: the dropouts). Most of the components can be found off of old road bikes, probably the only significant expense needs to be the rear hub/wheel.

1Oldroadie, it should work fine. Check out Sheldon's pages on fixed gears here:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixeda.html

I'm going to be building a fixed-gear too over the next few weeks, so I'm gathering all the info I can. Keep us posted on how your project is going, I can never get enough of bike tech stuff!
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Old 08-23-02, 08:56 AM   #6
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Frame dropouts will be an issue as mentioned above. Other than that, the only real investment you need to make (assuming you have other parts) is for a rear wheel and cog. Figure $100 - 150 depending on what you get. I've got a prebuilt Mavic w/ a Sovos flip-flop hub purchased from Sheldon Brown for around $110 I believe, a cog will run you about $20 and a lockring about $10.
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Old 08-23-02, 01:27 PM   #7
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Shoot, I didn't realize it required horizontal dropouts. Does a single speed need horizontal also?
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Old 08-23-02, 01:52 PM   #8
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Fubar,
I would say a single speed also needs horizontal dropouts. The thing is that particularly with a fixed gear you don't want ANY slack in the chain. In' order to get the chain pulled good and snug you need the horizontal dropouts. As D*Alex says it is possible to find the right tension by finding just the right combination of chainring/cog sizes, but that could be a real pain and expensive. Many, if not most, older 10 speed type bikes had horizontal dropouts. I have an old Trek, probably 70's era, that does. My mid-80s Bianchi does, too. The good news is that those bikes can be had pretty cheaply.
Regards,
Raymond
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Old 08-23-02, 02:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by RainmanP
Fubar,
I would say a single speed also needs horizontal dropouts.
You don't need to have horizontal dropouts, you can use one of these to take up the slack.
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Old 08-23-02, 02:14 PM   #10
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sscyco is right, no need for horizontal dropouts on a single speed. Many people run them just fine with tensioners. You can buy a tensioner, use an old locked out derailluer, or build your own.

How to build a single speed in 9 easy steps
Get that pile of spare parts together and get to work!
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Old 08-23-02, 02:17 PM   #11
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Hi hey hello, fixed gears are awesome... I spent WAY WAY WAY too much money on mine (built up out of an old Austro-Daimler 531 road frame), and continue to do so even though i'm now jobless and homeless i continue to spend on the fixed... ANYWAY... I have an extra Redline 165mm crankset (spider type) with a 40t chainring I got it from Harris Cyclery (Sheldon Brown's place) a while back - the crankset was like 50 bucks... could be your's for like... i dunno... 35 bucks? Its been used a bit. Oh, and for some reason I also seem to have a Surly Singulator which hangs on your derailleur hanger if you don't have horizontal dropouts (I do, so I'm not sure why I have one, I assume it works) and acts to tension the chain. Anyway, fixed gears are awesome, I don't think I'll ever go back to more than one gear again (I also have a single speed).

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Old 08-23-02, 03:39 PM   #12
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Singlespeeds can get by without horiz. dropouts, but fixed gears most certainly cannot. If you are building a fixie, you absolutely must have a way to vary your wheelbase: horiz. dropouts or an eccentric BB. No lie.

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Old 08-23-02, 03:57 PM   #13
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Sheldon Brown's site has some ideas on how to deal with vertical dropouts, including a link to a product designed to offer additional fore-aft adjustment - check it out.
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Old 08-24-02, 11:23 AM   #14
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Thanks guys!

Riderx, the single speed for dummies article is great!
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Old 08-29-02, 07:40 AM   #15
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Do it the easy way.
What do you do when you're in the woods and you trash your derailleur? you make a single speed.

Shorten your chain a link or two, have the chain around the small cog up front then put the chain around a gear in the back so that you'll have a lot of slack. Then pedal and shift the front derailleur into the middle ring and it will take up all the slack. You will have to experiment a bit in the back gears to find the one that works best.
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Old 08-08-06, 12:56 PM   #16
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You cant easily do fixed on that frame without a "magic gear" or an eno eccentric hub ($$$). If you just want to single speed it, take the front derailure and shifters off, and shorten the chain use the rear derailure as a chain tensioner. that usually works, and it's free. If you want to get fancy, replace the extra cassette cogs with spacers, and use short stack bolts on the chainring, and ditch the spare. a chain tensioner like the surly singleator can provide the chain tension in place of a rear derailer.

Last edited by mattface; 08-08-06 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-08-06, 12:59 PM   #17
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Magic gears are possible. There's a link to a magic gear calculator on Sheldon's fixie page. But in the end, they're kind of a PITA. I'm just going to break down and buy the ENO before I pull the rest of the hair out of my scalp.
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Old 08-08-06, 01:07 PM   #18
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Weird.

OP is 'coolio' at the ss/fg level but is 'fubar5' at the thread post level. Old thread, posted in '02.
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Old 08-08-06, 05:00 PM   #19
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Jesus, doesn't anyone use the ****ing search?
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