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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 05-20-06, 01:31 PM   #1
skanking biker
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Help w/ 1st conversion project

After riding my Bianchi Pista religiously for a year, i finally succumbed to the urge to try and do a conversion.--that, and i needed another excuse to spend money on bikes As i've said mutiple times here, my mechanical skills are very limited, so i could use some help. Today i came across a Schwinn Caliente at a rummage sale for $12--it looked in pretty good condition and had horizontal drops, so i went for it. Although the bike is black, i intend to rattle can it to cover up some paint stratches (it had a child seat bolted to it) and to outline the lugs. My first question is how the hell to i take off the chain rings and crank arms? Next, the bike had the bottom kickstand plate welded to the frame---any easy way to get this off, or shouldi just leave it on?

My next major question realtes to the dropout spacing---its 130ish---i intend to use my old wheelset from my pista (120)--so, i am assuming i will need to buy a longer axle for my old pista rear wheel, right?

Any other begineers tips so i don't kill myself or waste too much moohla would be appreciated-


--if this is a crappy bike to make into a conversion, I'll junk it---it was only $12--just say so.
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Old 05-20-06, 02:02 PM   #2
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junk it. put money into the pista, not the POSta
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Old 05-20-06, 02:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skanking biker
My next major question realtes to the dropout spacing---its 130ish---i intend to use my old wheelset from my pista (120)--so, i am assuming i will need to buy a longer axle for my old pista rear wheel, right?

--if this is a crappy bike to make into a conversion, I'll junk it---it was only $12--just say so.
First things first. Why do you want a conversion? Do you not like the geometry of your Pista? Do you want a more relaxed ride?

Why are you going to use the Pista wheelset on an older and crummier frame? It just doesn't seem to make any sense to take solid track parts off of a nice track frame and strap them to 30 year old low-to-mid-level road frame.
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Old 05-20-06, 03:39 PM   #4
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advice:
take the frame and make it SS. this will be cheaper and a good backup/beater/commuter/whatever.
take tha tmoney you have for bikes and build up a track bike. You said you wanted to try your hand at th emechanical aspect right? If you are afraid of the mechanical aspect, just upgrade your pista.
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Old 05-20-06, 03:43 PM   #5
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I did a conversion because my "accountant" would definitely notice a $600 transaction (like if I bought a new bike) but she has trouble keeping track of lots of smaller ones (saddles, seat posts, stems, chains, cogs etc) especially when I skim money out of what I can get from the ATM every week or so.

Otherwise I'd be riding a new IRO right now rather than my (now totally cool, hand built and painted by first graders) conversion.
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Old 05-20-06, 03:46 PM   #6
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go for it. buy/scrounge the cheapest crappiest parts if you want. the best way to learn about bikes is to do the work yourself, instead of looking over the shoulder of your local bike shop mech. Mount that 120mm spaced wheel and see if the axle is long enough to make it yourself.

Don't listen to these city slickers that take their bikes in to the shop every time because they want the job "done right" and don't have the time or tools. Do it wrong, get the tools, and LEARN from your mistakes, be self-reliant and independant. And what better vehicle than a cheap bike is there for this?

don't mind me, got up on the wrong side of the couch this morning i guess.
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Old 05-20-06, 04:32 PM   #7
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you could also
-buy a book on bike repair (Zinn and the yada yada comes to mind)
-buy tools
-ask questions when you get stuck. The worst that could happen is you mess up a crappy junker bike.
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Old 05-20-06, 05:17 PM   #8
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To answer the questions you asked:
Chainrings:
Get one of these:

and either a 5mm hex wrench or box end wrench to remove the bolts.

Cranks:
Get one of these:

The chainrings may be easier to pull after you pull the cranks.

For the wheels, how much space do you have on the ends of the axel on the pista? If you have about 5mm on each side, all you'll need to do is get some spacers for the hubs. If you have less than that, you'll probably want to get a longer axle and spacers.
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Old 05-20-06, 07:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SideburnsJokes
First things first. Why do you want a conversion? Do you not like the geometry of your Pista? Do you want a more relaxed ride?

Why are you going to use the Pista wheelset on an older and crummier frame? It just doesn't seem to make any sense to take solid track parts off of a nice track frame and strap them to 30 year old low-to-mid-level road frame.

So what..parts are parts and you can slap them on whatever you want as many times as you want. Whatever suits your needs. Conversions are generally better for the road than track bikes. I think if I had a real track bike (which I don't, but I'd like to have one) I'd still want a conversion to ride most of the time, or a FG/SS frame with road geometry. Not all of us ride fixies in huge cities, weaving through dense traffic. Generally, theres a reason why road bikes have different geometry than track bikes...its more suited to most road conditions.
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Old 05-20-06, 11:40 PM   #10
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like this? http://www.geocities.com/sldbconsume.../79ccpg15b.jpg
if so, it's probably not worth the time.. one piece cranks would probably be the biggest problem as far as chainline, not to mention the heavy frame and so forth
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Old 05-20-06, 11:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiebrannan
junk it. put money into the pista, not the POSta
+1 Nub
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Old 05-21-06, 12:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trons
like this? http://www.geocities.com/sldbconsume.../79ccpg15b.jpg
if so, it's probably not worth the time.. one piece cranks would probably be the biggest problem as far as chainline, not to mention the heavy frame and so forth
Did anyone else notice that one of the colors available was "spicy chestnut." Does anyone else find this funny or am I just immature?
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Old 05-26-06, 07:14 PM   #13
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sorry it took me so long to respond--i've been out w/ some nasty stomach shznat for 2 weeks


1. I've already upgraded the wheelset, tires, seat, handlebars, and pedals on my pista--so i've already plugged plenty of moohla into that

2. I really want to try i covnersion and want something for taking on the pea gravel trails around here

3. The model i came across is newer than the one in that picture. It is black; doesn't have that big as$ disk thingy in the back and i think it does not have single peice cranks---the bottom bracket has an axle with a lockring on one end and where it attached to the cranks, on the outside of the cranks there is some sort of horizontal slit that looks like it takes a tool.

4. On the other hand the frame IS kinda heavy---then again, i want to use it for riding on the gravel trails so i doen't really need speed.
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