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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 12-18-05, 08:45 PM   #1
str8flexed
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Need adivce on whether to fix my bike...

I have a Schwinn Continental from the 70's or 80's which is built like a tank. It has a really heavy metal frame. I was thinking about making it a fixie, but some guys at the bike church don't think it's worth it, and think I should just get a proper frame / bike to fix if I wanted to make a fixie. Sure, its not really light like some of their frames, but I don't really mind carrying around an extra 5 lbs, and I like my bike. It's my baby. Is trying to fix my heavy steel frame really that bad--what are the downfalls? Or is the guy just ignorant, and I should go ahead and do what I want?

Here's a pic attached for reference. Thanks...
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Old 12-18-05, 08:51 PM   #2
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screw what the bike shop guy said. fix it. if you decide you like riding fixed, you can always throw the decent bits on a better frame later on.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:00 PM   #3
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Those bullhorns with that heavy 10 lb frameset looks goofy to me. sorry.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crushkilldstroy
screw what the bike shop guy said. fix it. if you decide you like riding fixed, you can always throw the decent bits on a better frame later on.
I'm afraid there really are no "decent" bits probably. They're all old. But anyway, can someone tell me exactly what's wrong with my frame? So its not nimble and light, but I don't mind riding a cadillac of bikes.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:05 PM   #5
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the only thing 'wrong' with it is that it's a gas-pipe frame w/ a non-standard bb shell (you can get an adaptor though).

if you like it, fix it, ride the hell out of it, and have fun!
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Old 12-18-05, 09:07 PM   #6
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Bike Church in Santa Cruz or Philly? I'd say do it.
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I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8flexed
Here's a pic attached for reference. Thanks...

Is that a beer stain on the wall behind the bike? I thought i was my screen @ first then moved the pic and the stain moved too.

Yeah, it is a fillet brazed schwinn but I don't know if that is one of the "good" fillet brazed schwinns or just some regular ol run of the mill FBS but you could look it up online if you google "fillet brazed schwinn" you *might* find something.

FWIW I don't like those bars either, had a pair on my fixie but took them off, replaced with track drops and then just gave up trying. I think road drops look better the older less sporty frames. Or risers
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Old 12-18-05, 09:12 PM   #8
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pretty sure it's electro-forged (put the tubes near each other, and run a truly MASSIVE current through them iirc), and not filet-brazed.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:28 PM   #9
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Dolface,

You're right. It's electroforged, about 38 pounds probably with the double walled steel rims being the worst contributors. I've gotten mine down in weight significantly by replacing back wheel, dropping the back brake, and generally removing everything possible. I'm really loving it, and it doesn't feel "heavy" hen I'm riding it.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellan
Dolface,

You're right. It's electroforged, about 38 pounds probably with the double walled steel rims being the worst contributors. I've gotten mine down in weight significantly by replacing back wheel, dropping the back brake, and generally removing everything possible. I'm really loving it, and it doesn't feel "heavy" hen I'm riding it.
And you ride it fixed?

Come on people, less straying off topic!
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Old 12-18-05, 09:41 PM   #11
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So I found a german american pin in a good will the other day, totaly a good pocket purchase.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:43 PM   #12
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Fix it. If you enjoy riding it, who cares about what others think.
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Old 12-18-05, 09:44 PM   #13
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Str8flexed,

Yep. I was in the same exact situation you're in now a little while ago. I finally went and got a $70 wheel with souze hub from my lbs, put a surly 15t cog and lockring on there, and have been riding the crap out of it ever since. I kept the 39t inner ring, so I'm running about 68 inches, if I remember correctly.

It was fairly amazing that the chainline ended up exactly on, perfectly straight on the first try with no additional spacing issues. It's amazingly fun to ride. Mine's a '76 Chestnut Brown.

If you haven't found it yet, there's a Schwinn Lightweight Data book online that will allow you to determine the year from the serial numbers on the head tube and head badge.

I'd recommend replacing the wheels. I've only replaced the rear, but I'd guess that the new rear wheel weighs less than 50% of the old rear.
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Old 12-18-05, 10:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellan
Str8flexed,

Yep. I was in the same exact situation you're in now a little while ago. I finally went and got a $70 wheel with souze hub from my lbs, put a surly 15t cog and lockring on there, and have been riding the crap out of it ever since. I kept the 39t inner ring, so I'm running about 68 inches, if I remember correctly.

It was fairly amazing that the chainline ended up exactly on, perfectly straight on the first try with no additional spacing issues. It's amazingly fun to ride. Mine's a '76 Chestnut Brown.

If you haven't found it yet, there's a Schwinn Lightweight Data book online that will allow you to determine the year from the serial numbers on the head tube and head badge.

I'd recommend replacing the wheels. I've only replaced the rear, but I'd guess that the new rear wheel weighs less than 50% of the old rear.
Hey. How's the 39t/15t ratio working out? Do you ever feel like your legs are spinnin too fast? I'm thinking of doing 39t/14t, but what I really wanna do is spend $10 more bucks on a front chainring, so then I can run 44t on the front and 16t on the back, b/c I'd rather go larger in the back (less chance of slippage, less wear, etc.). Plus the front 39t looks rather wimpy
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Old 12-18-05, 10:44 PM   #15
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That guy wasn't making much sense tonight, man. He was contradicting himself.

"If you want a track bike, then do it right..." then his next comment was like, "Don't get a track bike if your gonna ride it around the city"

Ughh. It made my head hurt. I don't think his comments carry much weight...
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Old 12-18-05, 10:50 PM   #16
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If you dig the bike, who cares. Right now I'm in the midst of helping a coworker fixie his Dad's old Super Tour (I think?), probably about the same vintage and gotta be close to the same weight. My fixie is about 25lbs, and it really doesn't bother me.
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Old 12-18-05, 11:01 PM   #17
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39/15 is working well, so far at least. I've gotten it up to a pretty good speed running downhill, at least as fast as cars going 30ish, but I'm too chicken to really let it go, and so I'll squeeze the front brake if necessary. That being said, I haven't gotten to the point where my legs couldn't keep up.

The 39 does look a little wimpy, but you can't really tell, because I put the circular chainguard back on. After the first time a pair of jeans got sucked up and ripped to the knee, I unashamedly threw it back on. I'll take it off in the spring when I'm wearing shorts again. I'll look uncool to save my clothing anyday.
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Old 12-18-05, 11:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8flexed
I have a Schwinn Continental from the 70's or 80's which is built like a tank. It has a really heavy metal frame. I was thinking about making it a fixie, but some guys at the bike church don't think it's worth it, and think I should just get a proper frame / bike to fix if I wanted to make a fixie. Sure, its not really light like some of their frames, but I don't really mind carrying around an extra 5 lbs, and I like my bike. It's my baby. Is trying to fix my heavy steel frame really that bad--what are the downfalls? Or is the guy just ignorant, and I should go ahead and do what I want?

Here's a pic attached for reference. Thanks...
The best thing about your frame is the slack angles. Its probably mad comfy.

Have you ever ridden a proper track bike? The difference is huge, and is mainly about the geometry.

I've had a lot of POS bikes that I have LOVED. Then I got a better bike, and I find myself loving them less. Maybe I'm a faithless bastard, maybe I'm a cold-hearted materialist, but I find myself letting my old steeds rot away.

My advice is to ride it untile you get a better bike, and don't put too much money into it.

If you get a new wheel to fix your bike, get a nice wheel that will be worthy of the nice frame that you will buy someday.
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Old 12-18-05, 11:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellan
The 39 does look a little wimpy,
Dude, 39x13 is P.I.M.P. If I could ever find a suntour 12T cog, I'd rock a 36x12
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Old 12-19-05, 12:07 AM   #20
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Generic,

I like it a lot, was just agreeing with Str8flexed that it could appear a tad small. It's cold during the winter, after all.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:11 AM   #21
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Its a grower not a show-er.
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Old 12-19-05, 12:13 AM   #22
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That's exactly what I'm saying, man.
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Old 12-19-05, 06:44 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8flexed
Hey. How's the 39t/15t ratio working out? Do you ever feel like your legs are spinnin too fast? I'm thinking of doing 39t/14t, but what I really wanna do is spend $10 more bucks on a front chainring, so then I can run 44t on the front and 16t on the back, b/c I'd rather go larger in the back (less chance of slippage, less wear, etc.). Plus the front 39t looks rather wimpy
i don't think that bike is worth the trouble, you can get a better cheaper bike at a thrift store. you would end up spending a lot of money on it. here's what's wrong with it

1.frame is heavy

2.rims are steel, steel rims are heavier, the braking surface isn't that great, steel rims also build weakers wheels

3.the seatpost is steel, which isn't a big deal, but it's heavier and it'll be hard to find a size as small as the one on your bike

4.i can't tell what kind of brakes you have on, but i can only assume they are crap. probably don't brake too well and are hard to adjust.

5.(this i think is the biggest issue) you have one piece cranks which are heavy but strong, you will only be able to use bmx chainrings (not a big deal). those pedals don't look like they accept toe clips. you need toe clips for fixed gear riding. if you get new pedals they might not fit those cranks because one piece cranks have a different pedal thread. you would need a bmx kinda pedal that can use toe clips. you also can't use a modern bottom bracket with those cranks, so you won't get a smooth ride.
------
if you really want to turn it into a decent fixed gear you should

1 replace the wheels

2replace the brakes (you would probably have to get NOS, cause your fork isn't drilled for a recessed bolt, so you can't use new brakes for this bike, only old)

3 for the cranks you could either replace them, which means buying an adapter so you can use a modern bottom bracket and then still buying the cranks and chain rings. you would then need pedals and toe clips

you really wouldn't be able to build a safe and reliable fixed gear out of this bike without spending a lot of money. try some thrift stores, look for a cheap bike with aluminum rims, handlebars, seatpost, and cranks. you usualy see steel handlebars, rims, seatpost, cranks, brakes, stems, and hubs on the crappiest bikes. avoid steel steel parts

wheels: est. 200
brakes:<30
cranks:30-80
bottombracket:15-30
bottombracketadapter:?
pedals:5-30
clips:10


also i don't see toe clips on that bike, i think a lot of people make the mistake of starting fixied riding without previous toe clip experience. where you planning on getting clips? you should already have learnt to use them before riding fixed, it's harder to clip into fixies.
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Old 12-19-05, 07:31 AM   #24
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My Schwinn works pretty well .... for some unknown reason it works better uphill than on flats. ... maybe it is an operator issue.
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Old 12-19-05, 09:01 AM   #25
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if you crash your frame into theirs, yours will win
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