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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 05-23-06, 03:42 PM   #1
nine
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A different kind of conversion

So because of this whole fixed gear thing I've gotten pretty interested in bikes in general, especially from a fitness perspective, and lately I've been eyeing some road bikes . I'm curious if anyone else started fixed and then wanted to jump over to road, not entirely, but just to mix things up a bit. If so, what kind of road bike did you end up with? Also I hate the way most new bikes look, so from the whole fixed minimalism perspective, do any road bikes with newish components look a little cleaner? I tried poking around in the road forum, but I'm too used to this place and doing a search for "road bike" doesn't help much. Thanks.
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Old 05-23-06, 03:49 PM   #2
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Mid-90's, late 80's road bikes are gorgeous. They have a similar stripped down, steel look like track bikes have in terms of the frame). That's the "aesthetic" you're looking for. Columbus SL/SLX, Italians, that sort of thing.
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Old 05-23-06, 03:51 PM   #3
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Try searching for 'rode bike'.
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Old 05-23-06, 03:52 PM   #4
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I found that riding a fixed gear gave me an appreciation for older bikes. Because of that when I decided I wanted a nicer road bike I went for a mix of retro and new. I had been eyeing an late 80's Marinoni frame and fork (columbus SLX) that was in the back of the dusty old shop in town. I walked out of the shop $200 lighter in the wallet but a huge grin on my face. I spec'd the bike with new 9 speed ultegra drivetrain (10 speed was just introduced so I got a screaming deal). I love the way she rides. Although she is no lightweight, the ride quality is amazing.
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Old 05-23-06, 06:38 PM   #5
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hey cynikal, my buddy sent out morrisey on a testride in the '93. Kept look ing and the ID card and couldn't acept it...

Um, rode bikes are great.

I alternate and the main thing with the road bike is the hassles of weight and complexity and the fact they don't usually garner as much bling and aesthetic attention as peoples fixies.

try one speeding it, giving some attention to aesthetics, etc.

Old road frames can be found cheap on Ebay (go all steel) bridgestone is great stuff but low key, learn the types of steel so You can ID a good frame despite an ugly paintjob. Set it up with nice parts. I like early eighties shimano 600 with lots of detailed engraving. I matched the saddle and tires, keep it clean and now it looks great and of course rides great too.
I might drop the multi speed or at least simpllify it to a wide cluster in the back and skip the front.
Though maybe not.
Again road stuff is cheap now. So get old high end, used stuff. It will be light and you will love it.
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Old 05-23-06, 07:05 PM   #6
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After building up a couple of nice fixies my road-racing buddy convinced me i needed a fast geared bike. Built up a nice mid-late 90's cannondale aluminum frame with just-pre-brifters-age 105 and 600 components. I ride it with a 7-speed group in the rear, downtube shifter, 46t ring up front and no FD, 13-23 cassette on some sweet(way cheap on ebay) tubular wheels . being able to shift and/or coast is sometimes a nice thing, its light and responsive, and i basically ride it like a singlespeed but with 7 gear-ratio options. As an addition to a nice fixed-gear, some sort of 'normal' road bike is a sweet thing to have. I'll get a picture up soon just to show you what hours and hours of scavenging on ebay and surprisingly little money can build you. By the way, OP, i totally agree about the look of most new bikes, and i'm definitely pleased with the way this turned out, asthetically and functionally, though older steel bikes are incredible as well.
picture:

Last edited by mattduth; 05-23-06 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 05-23-06, 08:03 PM   #7
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i just put together a road bike this past weekend, a mix of what came on the bike from the garage sale and what i had laying around, the frame is raleigh, hubs, brakes, seat post, shifters and derailers are campy, the stem is from another garage sale and is a goccia ITM, crankset is a sugino mighty, bb matches. the saddle that came with it was a beat to hell brooks, i traded that for a velo jet. it looks real nice, it was a nice way to put the campy stuff i had pulled off my conversion to good use, it's fairly light, verry responsive and i'm enjoying it, i'm not getting rid of anything right now but if i ever want to sell i'm sure it won't be hard,
i certainly agree that older steel bikes are alot of fun and the simplicity of them brings my mind back to track bikes. my converstion is still my favorite bike but for the 25 dollars i had spent at various garage sales on the parts i'm very happy with the "new"('77) road bike
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Old 05-23-06, 08:15 PM   #8
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Well, I am biased towards old steel; let's put that out front. Sometimes I think the fixie thing is fashion, sometimes I think it's pure cheapness, and sometimes I think it's a reaction to the stupid complexity of modern index shifting (seen an exploded view of a Campy ergo power brifter lately?). So I go friction, which requires less maintanence, and once you get used to it, is great. Kills the complexity complaint; they're easy to maintain and repair. To heck with new components. A good steel frame is a pleasure; if they're braze on free, I like 'em even more. I like the early Treks, for example, pre-1981; I don't even much like brake cable braze ons, though I'll deal with 'em. That's an aesthetical type complaint. Here are some fave things on such a ride:

1) Simplex retrofriction shifters. Bombproof, super-functional, and beautiful, my fave bike component ever. Best shifters ever made. Nothing else is close. Not indexed. Thank god. Bernard Hinault rode with 'em. Greg Lemond rode with 'em. Amoung others.

2) Suntour Cylcone mechs. There is a reason why Campy and Shimano hacked Suntours derailleur patent once it expired. Pretty much the basis for most modern mechs. Plentiful and cheap. Durable, too.

3) Suntour power ratchet bar-end shifters. If you can't find #1.

4) Sunshine pro-am hubs. Superb campy knock off. Shh! Don't tell anyone.

5) Lyotard Berthet pedals. Failing that, Suntour Cyclones or Superbe.

On other notes, the Grant Peterson Bridgestones are nice, but ain't cheap.
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Old 05-24-06, 06:18 AM   #9
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IMG]http://img295.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf22061iz.jpg[/IMG][/QUOTE]

wow, that is a cool idea and a great looking ride. That seems like the direction I want to go in. I like the idea of mixing modern components with an older frame. That's why I love track parts. Even some of the new stuff has a classic look.
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Old 05-24-06, 06:37 AM   #10
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I start with a walmart bike, had the bb and other parts creaking and crackling within 2 weeks of daily riding... so I got rid of it and got a 86 schwinn world sport and fixed it. I rode that for 4 months and it was awesome. Went through some crank arms ( learned that 170mm cranks do not work well with my desired lean angles ! ) ...

Then I killed the hub on it by over-tightening it and so I put the original 7spd wheel on it and gave it to a friend of mine as a ss with a front brake...

Then I got myself an ebay special 24spd road bike (chromoly steel)...

I've been riding that for another 2.6 months... (currently still riding it)..

it looks like this but in british racing green and it says " dawes lightning dlx " on it instead of motobecane but its 100% the same bike with the same sorry "sora" components..



=)

I Have ordered a few little things for it here and there but I have not installed them yet... dura-ace 9psd rear deraileur, new wheels, ultegra 9spd cassette, dura-ace 9spd chain... etc I cant wait to get it all setup so I can get the chain to actually stay on the gear I put it on when I sprint !!
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Old 05-24-06, 06:45 AM   #11
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riding fixed got me into riding road and i love it. lately, i've really only been riding my ss mtb and this thing:
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Old 05-24-06, 07:53 AM   #12
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Isotope that DeRosa is a sweetie

I started out riding a track bike, well after the kids bike Huffy's and the like. The track bike was my first 'real' bike. Then I got a 1983 Nashbar touring bike from my brother. It had a triple chain ring, racks, fenders, and the works. I wanted to get into extended touring. I still have that bike today and ride it at least once a week. I race road and cyclocross too so I have those bikes as well...
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Old 05-24-06, 08:15 AM   #13
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If you like the aesthetic of fixed, and you want a road bike that oozes that aesthetic here's what you do. Find yourself a nice NJS track frame. Preferably a 3rensho, but any NJS track frame will do. Then cut off the track ends, and have vertical dropouts installed as well as derailure hangers, and shofter bosses on the down tube. Get a nice set of 36 spoke road wheels and replace the QR axles with solid axels. Quick release wheels spoil the aesthetic. Run a track stem and B123 bars. you're going to have to go brakeless with downtube shifters, because nothing ruins the fixed fgear aesthetic like having stuff on the handle bars. This setup will help you learn to ride fast if only to escape the irate U-lock weilding 3rensho fanboys.

or uh... You could just get something like the Bianchi Volpe and ditch the stupid sproingy seatpost.
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Old 05-24-06, 08:19 AM   #14
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yeah, that DeRosa is pretty much exactly what I had in mind. Nice bike.
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Old 05-24-06, 09:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nine
yeah, that DeRosa is pretty much exactly what I had in mind. Nice bike.
thanks for the compliments everyone. this bike is amazing. it climbs and descends so well it feels psychic. it has fastly become my absolute favorite bike.

i have some d-a 7410 8 speed downtube shifters and front and rear derailleurs sitting around if you're interested... i also have my rattlecanned guerciotti frame and fork laying around as well... 58 c-c...
http://velospace.org/node/180

pm me if you're interested. everyone needs a road bike
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Old 05-24-06, 09:15 AM   #16
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I keep saying it: Three speeds are what fixie-riders ride when they're not riding fixed. I know the hubs are heavier and three speeds isn't that many, but honestly, high, medium, and low is all you need. Lace a good Sturmey-Archer to your rim of choice, throw it on your favorite road frame (or track frame w/ brake holes, if you prefer), and enjoy the whole multiple-speed thing while preserving the blingy, clean chainline, bike porn action you can't do without.
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Old 05-24-06, 12:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ya Tu Sabes
I keep saying it: Three speeds are what fixie-riders ride when they're not riding fixed. I know the hubs are heavier and three speeds isn't that many, but honestly, high, medium, and low is all you need. Lace a good Sturmey-Archer to your rim of choice, throw it on your favorite road frame (or track frame w/ brake holes, if you prefer), and enjoy the whole multiple-speed thing while preserving the blingy, clean chainline, bike porn action you can't do without.
You just described my next bike.
I already use only 3speeds on my road bike.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattface
If you like the aesthetic of fixed, and you want a road bike that oozes that aesthetic here's what you do. Find yourself a nice NJS track frame. Preferably a 3rensho, but any NJS track frame will do. Then cut off the track ends, and have vertical dropouts installed as well as derailure hangers, and shofter bosses on the down tube. Get a nice set of 36 spoke road wheels and replace the QR axles with solid axels. Quick release wheels spoil the aesthetic. Run a track stem and B123 bars. you're going to have to go brakeless with downtube shifters, because nothing ruins the fixed fgear aesthetic like having stuff on the handle bars. This setup will help you learn to ride fast if only to escape the irate U-lock weilding 3rensho fanboys.

or uh... You could just get something like the Bianchi Volpe and ditch the stupid sproingy seatpost.
For all of you who wouldn't get it, this is the best post of the year. Absolutely. 5/5.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:45 PM   #19
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Someone is selling an old peugeot on my craigslist and, I must say, I am rather tempted on picking up a vintage road bike (ideally an italian/campy job, but...). It really would be rather nice to have for long/group rides. (I am also going to do some homework to figure out if this is a good deal or not)

I have about $200 earmarked for new bike stuff and I can't decide if I want to upgrade to some track components, or get a whole new cheap-ish vintage road bike. Ugh. The only thing holding me back is the thought that unlike track stuff, if you have anything that is older than 5 years, you will just be laughed at.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:49 PM   #20
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laughed at by whom? a handful of roadies?

Lately all of my friends (broke, in and out of college) have been buying and building up either geared or fixed bikes that are bought off of CL for under 200$. There's such an attraction to older steel bikes methinks that will get you more praise than scorn.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:56 PM   #21
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I started racing and riding road bikes when I was 15, then I got into fixed for fun transportation and now I'm not much of a "roadie" anymore. I love those old steel road bikes though. Downtube shifters are awesome, as are campy ergo....
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Old 05-24-06, 01:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srcurran
The only thing holding me back is the thought that unlike track stuff, if you have anything that is older than 5 years, you will just be laughed at.
i miss my old peugot...

let em laugh

EDIT: i'm always HIGHLY skeptical of bikes on craigslist without a picture.
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Old 05-24-06, 01:59 PM   #23
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not exactly laughed at. I cant put the words to it. It just seems that everyone who has a road bike older than 5 years does not do anything serious with it (ie. rides it to campus on the sunny days), where as I would want to use it for more serious riding (ie. 20+ mile rides with rolling hills). I just have a mental block when I try to picture someone riding on a group ride with a 12 year old bike that has outdated things like downtube shifters.
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Old 05-24-06, 02:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope
riding fixed got me into riding road and i love it. lately, i've really only been riding my ss mtb and this thing:
Hey Isotope, you might want to get some longer brake housing. As it is now, the housing is probably wearing away the paint on your seat stays/top tube and the head tube.
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Old 05-24-06, 02:04 PM   #25
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Damn, the more I think about it the more and more I am sold on the idea. I hope the seller emails me back soon!
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