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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 02-23-06, 01:56 AM   #1
sultan_otto
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Building first Fixed Gear-Questions

Hey guys this is a really great board and I've learned a ton in the last few days but I have some specific questions that I'm wondering if anyone would be willing to answer. My MTB just got stolen and I've decided to build a fixed gear, something I've been interested in a long time. It's mainly just for getting around town, to and from work and such. So I'd like to keep it under $200-300. Is this possible? Should I convert a 70's roadbike? I actually just picked up an old Nishiki bike but it has verticle dropouts, and from what I've read that's less then ideal. Anyways I'll keep browsing the forum, but any specific incites from those who know what they're doing would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Nathan
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Old 02-23-06, 02:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sultan_otto
So I'd like to keep it under $200-300. Is this possible?
yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sultan_otto
Should I convert a 70's roadbike?
yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sultan_otto
I actually just picked up an old Nishiki bike but it has verticle dropouts, and from what I've read that's less then ideal.
yes

there's always the option of buying a low end fully built machine (see: mercier kilo tt on ebay) for a little more than 300.
edit: search!
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Old 02-23-06, 02:28 AM   #3
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Hey thanks man, I will start using the search function, sorry.
-Nathan
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Old 02-23-06, 02:36 AM   #4
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mercier on ebay is your best bet.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:26 AM   #5
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or if the same dealer that does the mercier puts the Dawes brand back on ebay, its cheaper. comes out around 285 with shipping i think. its pretty much the exact same bike.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:35 AM   #6
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Garage sale/thrift store frame + the wheels from the anybody need wheels thread + truing/tensioning job + tires and tubes + 2 3mm hub spacers + track cog + lock ring + new chain + fiddling with cranks/chainring + possibly new BB or cranks if cheap integral chainring = your new bike + bag of random crap 70's drivetrain parts + extra wheels + sense of accomplishment. The arithmetic is left as an exercise for the student.

The cranks/BB/chainline issues we or sheldon brown can help you with, suffice to say that you're generally trying to get that chainring spinning at 42mm from the center of the down/seat tubes. A shop/buddy with tools may be needed here. The new BB will cost you some $ if you go that route, but not having to do things like pedal around a crappy pitted out 70's BB with a bunch of spacers on the chainring is what money is for. Or not. Just get a bike together and delay the pleasure of a really smooth drivetrain until you have another $50 to spend.

And keep that nishiki around if you like it, somebody can put track ends on it for like $65.
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Old 02-23-06, 08:04 AM   #7
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i think your best bet might be to turn the nishiki into a single speed (take off the casette and screw on a single speed freewheel-- check www.sheldonbrown.com for more information, especially about chain tension) until you come across a frame with horizontal dropouts (when you start looking, you start finding such frames). then you can spend your money on a decent wheelset (like IRO's wheelset, or similar ones with formula hubs and velocity, or comparable, rims) that you can keep if/when you decide to buy a new (track?) frame.
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Old 02-23-06, 05:14 PM   #8
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Hey thanks so much for the help guys.
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Old 02-23-06, 05:21 PM   #9
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are you sure the nishiki has vertical droputs? how old is it?
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Old 02-23-06, 05:25 PM   #10
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I actually just picked up an old Nishiki bike but it has verticle dropouts, and from what I've read that's less then ideal.

Nathan
These just arrived today for my new project



All I know is UBI ships quickly and the bottle opener works swell. The Boondock project has begun!
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Old 02-23-06, 07:37 PM   #11
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Hmm, those look pretty sweet. I don't really have the capability to change them myself although I guess I could take it to someone. I may just wait a while and see if I find another frame though. Anyways thanks for all the suggestions. And dolface they are definately vertical dropouts. The bike looks early 80's maybe?
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Old 02-23-06, 07:43 PM   #12
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Hmm, those look pretty sweet. I don't really have the capability to change them myself although I guess I could take it to someone. I may just wait a while and see if I find another frame though. Anyways thanks for all the suggestions. And dolface they are definately vertical dropouts. The bike looks early 80's maybe?
Where do you live? If you're close enough, glen works for beer and random VW parts. He's in Boston...

Either way you can make it work. I was going to do the same with an early 80's Lotus I have and just get as close as possible by losing links in the chain and getting as close as I could with whatever sized cog.

Last edited by tozovr; 02-23-06 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 02-23-06, 08:38 PM   #13
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be careful when building a bike on a budget. I built mine for around 300. and then I bought some more stuff, and more, and more and.......
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Old 02-23-06, 08:41 PM   #14
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be careful when building a bike on a budget. I built mine for around 300. and then I bought some more stuff, and more, and more and.......
Yup. My budget was $150...
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Old 02-23-06, 08:55 PM   #15
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Ha nice, yeah the $300 budget is just to keep the parents happy (I'm living at home), I'm sure that the project will spin out of control and I will pour disgusting amounts of money into it. But hey that's what tip money is for!
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Old 02-23-06, 09:04 PM   #16
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With vertical dropouts, you are looking at an eno hub, or imperfect tension. Given that the eno costs so much, and you are after budget, I'd say wait $200 and buy an off-the-peg bike, or get another frame.
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