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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 09-21-05, 12:49 AM   #1
vobopl
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Coversion cost breakdown

Ever wondered how much is converting vs. buying FG bike? - here are my results, a copy of the response I have sent when I got a question related to my FGG entry:

"
Have in mind that I live in Poland, labor is cheap here and some parts are very expensive.
Lets's see ( I am doing it for the first time, might be surprised by the result myself)
frame - 250PLN approx. $80 on Allegro -Polish equivalent of ebay
wheels - 500PLN $160 same source (they are good to go on the road bike - the fixing of the hub is reversible and works on my all wheelsets)
fork - $40 overpaid at local Campy dealer (no one wants steel straight blade forks, anymore)
FSA headset $20
Profile bullhorns - $20 a piece (I bought 3), eBay
Cane Creek brake levers EU 14 a pair = $10 a piece, eBay.de
165 mm Campy DA cranks + chainrings, $17, Allegro
Uniglide cogs - my parts bin, $0
Universal front brake - parts bin special, $0
Heavy Nitto 27.2 seatpost - parts bin, $0
Look road stem $5 , Allegro
Gipiemme saddle - $25, Allegro
Powdercoating (in addition to the parts pictured I have an old track fork matching this frame painted) - ~$30
Chain - SRAM 10 - $3 LBS
Labor & design (mostly turning on lathe : adapter, headtube extension) LBS in exchange for other favours and myself - free.

Total $410. More than I would think. The "Wall Markt" bike is $120 in Poland.
"
Opps, bar tape missing - $7
The bike weights 7.8 kg - despite heavy fork and seatpost and pretty heavy wheels, funny it would go below UCI limit if I swap some parts with my road bike.
W.
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Old 09-21-05, 06:36 AM   #2
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And for those of you who do a ghetto conversion (like myself):

Original bike frame: free, with all original parts(out of a retired orthodontist's garage)
Sandpaper, steel wool, etc: $7, hardware store
Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy: $2, hardware store
Headset: original
Stem: original
Brakes: original
Pedals: original
Chain: original
Cranks: original
BB: original (hmm, see a pattern?)
Bars: $10, LBS
Levers: $10, LBS
Saddle: $5, LBS
Seatpost: $15, LBS
Wheels: $120, LBS/ebay
Tires/Tubes: $40 (projected)
Tape: $5 (projected)
Cables, housing: $10 (projected)
Brake pads: $20 (projected)
Grease: $20 (big ol' can of Park, plenty left over)

Total: $244
Almost half the price. Of course, I didn't powdercoat the frame, and have a different set of resources in Connecticut. But it's possible to do it for even less.
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Old 09-21-05, 06:56 AM   #3
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Funny how that works- although many people end up swapping out a bunch of parts on a $500 fixed gear.

I paid $120 for a bunch of parts from which I built mine- however- but I also ended up buying a larger chainring on ebay for $20, and a new cog for $20- then needed a new chain for $20, a different saddle $20 (used), a different stem $25, better bars ($15), new bar tape $10, pedals $50- I'm already at $400 myself-

-again- how many off the rack $500 fixed gears become $700+ fixed gears?

I could have definitely gotten by more cheaply, but I'd argue this rides like a $1000 bike.
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Old 09-21-05, 08:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vobopl
165 mm Campy DA cranks + chainrings, $17, Allegro
What do you mean by "Campy DA cranks"? $17 for cranks and chainrings?! What's Allegro? Hit me with a clue stick.
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Old 09-21-05, 09:46 AM   #5
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Yeah, I've probally ended up putting about $500 or so in my conversion but the only think thats stock on my bike is the frame and seat post.

I have much higher quality parts than if I were to have outright bought a track bike for the same price, and too I did it all over time, which invaribily lessened the sting of the investment. Also too, I was able to ride my bike at all stages of its conversion.

When you do a conversion over time you tend to have a greater attachment over your ride than when you buy it outright.
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Old 09-21-05, 10:07 AM   #6
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I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. I am just curious why all the time, labor and money is spent converting a road frame into something that resembles a track frame?

I read stories about shaving brazons off, welding on track dropouts, attaching a track fork and repainting road frames. This is allot of effort!! If you want a track frame why not get a track frame instead of converting something into one? I am not being a hater, just curiosity. In the beginning I picked up a conversion, but as soon as I really got into and did some research I upgraded to a track frame.
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Old 09-21-05, 10:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benny
I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. I am just curious why all the time, labor and money is spent converting a road frame into something that resembles a track frame?
Fit and geometry. If you've got a frame you like to ride, but wish it were fixed, why not do it? A Model G or a Jamie Roy both already lack braze-ons, and have track ends but they aren't track bikes.

And often, spending time and labor is a lot of the fun in converting. It's nice to be able to build up a bike and know that you did everything on it. Spending money is just a bonus.
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Old 09-21-05, 10:35 AM   #8
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i hesitate to add up the cost of my recent track frame and all the new parts i've ordered from businesscycles...

on a different note, bennyi have one of those stay gold paper airplane shirts, i bought it at huff ages ago, very cool!
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Old 09-21-05, 10:50 AM   #9
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thanks Jonb - if you PM me your address I will send you some stickers and buttons.

parts are a whole different story.. I was just curious about frame conversions. Parts get expensive for any type of bike.

And... this question only really is directed to people who are doing extensive work to their frame like shaving brazons and welding on new dropouts. I know a regular conversion can be inexpensive.

Last edited by benny; 09-21-05 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-21-05, 10:51 AM   #10
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I'm converting an existing bike to a SS:
rear cog - $0 [salvaged from an old cassette]
Spot spacer kit - $40 [yes, I paid too much]
Labour - $0 [I have a 4, 5 and 6 mm hex key]
Beer - $45 [I will have to ride it triumphantly down to the Ship and Anchor when completed]
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Old 09-21-05, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benny
I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. I am just curious why all the time, labor and money is spent converting a road frame into something that resembles a track frame?

I read stories about shaving brazons off, welding on track dropouts, attaching a track fork and repainting road frames. This is allot of effort!! If you want a track frame why not get a track frame instead of converting something into one? I am not being a hater, just curiosity. In the beginning I picked up a conversion, but as soon as I really got into and did some research I upgraded to a track frame.
Because it only resembles a track frame- some of us want a front brake- and many proper track forks aren't even drilled. Also, I can't afford a nice lugged branded-tubeset track frame- new or vintage- and sorry to tell you this, most of the wannabe "track bikes" (like a Pista, Rush Hour, Langster, etc.) have deeply cut corners to keep cost down. Also. just because a frame has rear facing drop outs doesn't really make it a track frame (like if it has a 73 degree seat tube angle, for example). I really wouldn't want to ride 40 hilly miles on a track frame with no water bottle in the heat of summer...

You can find a decent old lugged road frameset with reynolds tubing for $50-100 without looking too hard- cheaper if you recycle your own old frame. How much would a real track frameset cost - lugged with decent tubes?

I agree with you - though- in the sense of radically modding a road frame to transform it into a track frame- that is a bit odd. People probably do it because of all the haters who rip on conversions.
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Old 09-21-05, 11:22 AM   #12
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Why did I convert a old road bike to something that resembles a track bike? Because the frame cost me $10. End of story.
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Old 09-21-05, 12:47 PM   #13
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Sorry, looks like I am obsessed with Campy. Cranks are Shimano DA. Allegro is a Polish 'net auction site.
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Old 09-21-05, 12:55 PM   #14
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Availabilty. Track frames, new and second hand are not available here. Welding the dropouts the other way lets you stick the wheel under the seat tube. My TT bike, with road fork, has a wheelbase of 92-94 cm, depending on the gearing. What's the wheelbase of Pista, again?
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Old 09-22-05, 08:11 AM   #15
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Try these on for size: Complete bike, Tange Champion tubing sans wheels, $70. Front wheel $10, rear wheel, $90. Cog and lockring: $35. Cost: $205.

Cheapo "10 speed" complete: $100. Hub and spokes to rebuild rear: $60. Cog and lockring: $35. Cost: $195.
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Old 09-22-05, 08:39 AM   #16
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Huh. Peugeot Px10E frame, 35$. Rims, spokes, wheel, track hubs,chain, bar tape 90$ for parts. Track cog and lockring, 30$. Near new brooks professional off busted up old Miyata, 10$ at auction. Various parts from basement, free. About 165$ total.

Peugeot UO8. Five bucks at auction. Track cog, 20$. Velox bar tape, 5$. New chain, 10$ Parts from basement, free. Cost about 40 $. Great fun. Have an old Urago I think gets this treatment next (it was free, some fool was tossing it). Need to have some fun with it first, though.

"spending time and labor is a lot of the fun in converting"

Yep.

If I find a decent Urago/Lejeune/Gitane/Peugeot/Geminiani/etc trackie, sure I'll build it up. But must have lugs...must have lugs.
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Old 09-22-05, 08:41 AM   #17
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Right,
I should have mentioned that my wheels weren't bought especialy for fixe. This was a set I cannibalized to get Campy 10sp compatible cassette body to make NOS 9sp Shamals good to go with my 10sp road drivetrain.

Anyways, I am very pleased with what I have built, works as designed, the ride is fantastic, the bike at ~17 pounds is my lightest, despite all steel frame and fork. And I like how it looks.
http://www.pbase.com/wojtek_burkot/biking
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Old 06-28-07, 01:49 PM   #18
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7800g is pretty light, what about pedals?

I'm building up my custom fixie through a builder now and even with choice bling parts (yes, unfortunately, Phil Wood parts are pretty heavy) I'm almost at 8Kg with Keo Carbon pedals.
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Old 06-28-07, 01:58 PM   #19
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For those of you who really want a ghetto conversion:

bike lying on the side of the street: $0
track cog: $10

alternately, replace the cost of track cog with the cost of electricty for a few spot welds
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Old 06-28-07, 02:04 PM   #20
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Bike - $60 from BikeStation (which I'm now finding out was a total rip-off)
Primer, Spray & Sandpaper - $20
Wheelset - $120 on ebay
Dad who knows what he's doing - Priceless.

I wound up buying some extra stuff (new saddle, different tires, new handlebars) but basically the whole effort could have cost me less than $200.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:06 PM   #21
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really as far as conversions go, you can spend as little or as much as you like.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:10 PM   #22
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I thought I was going cheap with my conversion but...

Panasonic DX4000 complete bike (original cranks, headset, bb, seatpost, front brake, brake lever): $60
IRO flip-flop rear wheel: $130(include shipping)
Brooks seat: $50.00
MKS pedals: $22.00
Campy Clips: $7.00
Toe straps: $12.00
Dura-Ace cog/lockring: $33.00
Moustache handlebar/Nitto stem: parts bin but probably $40.00 originally
SRAM chain: $11.00
Cheapo Michelin tires: $20.00
Single chainring crank bolts : $5.00

That's about $350.00/390.00. Don't know how much cheaper I could have gone on it except to skip the Brooks saddle, keep old pedals, and build my own rear wheel? I do love the way it rides though, so no complaints.
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