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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 06-16-06, 06:17 PM   #1
VeloLisa
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What should I do???

Hi, again. I posted a couple of days ago with questions about gear ratios. I'm a woman road bike rider considering buying a single speed. I need some advice; hope someone can help me!

I'm considering two bikes on ebay. A Schwinn conversion and a new Motebecane. But, I also have a 1986 Schwinn Sprint 10 speed that could perhaps be converted. However, I don't have the tools or the inclination to do it myself, so I would have to pay someone to do it for me. I took my Schwinn into my LBS and the guy said that it would cost more to convert the Schwinn than it would be to buy a new fixed or single speed. Is that true?

Anyway, here are the links to the ebay bikes:

Schwinn:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

Motobecane:
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TRACK-ROAD-R...QQcmdZViewItem

So, what should I do? Which ebay bike is best, or should I look into having my Schwinn converted. As you can see, the Schwinn conversion auction is ending soon and I know there is someone else interested in it.

I'm SO confused....
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Old 06-16-06, 06:28 PM   #2
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if you wanted to be cheap about it all you really need to do is replace the rear wheel on your current schwinn which wouldn't cost too much, or get a surly fixxer (http://www.bikeworld.com/products/12...ml?ref=froogle) it'd be pretty ghetto, but it would work. Before someone else beats me to it may I suggest an iro (around 550 i believe) or a redline 925 (500)?

really, how much money do you want to put into it? and how nice of a bike do you want to end up with?
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Old 06-16-06, 06:29 PM   #3
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Well, I don't know if I'm going to like SS or not, so I don't want to spend too much money.
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Old 06-16-06, 06:32 PM   #4
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well the nice thing about ss/fixed is (and im just guessing you might be near the bay area from your location saying northern california) is at least around here resale value is pretty good for mid to higher end stuff. If you want to see if you like single speed or not, just stop shifting on your road bike, and then imagine your bike weighing 3 lbs less. if you want to see if you like fixed i would just replace the wheel, and move the chain to the inner most chainring on your cranks, and hope your chainline isnt too crappy.
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Old 06-16-06, 06:40 PM   #5
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No need for a fixxer. Just remove the freewheel cassette and install a fixed cog (fixed) or a freewheel cog (SS) and make sure you keep at least your front brake.

Your LBS telling you it's cheaper to buy a new bike is BS.

Last edited by roadfix; 06-16-06 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 06-16-06, 06:42 PM   #6
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so sayeth the fixer that works too.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
No need for a fixxer. Just remove the freewheel cassette and install a fixed cog (fixed) or a freewheel cog (SS) and make sure you keep at least your front brake.

Your LBS telling you it's cheaper to buy a new bike is BS.
I kind of thought it might be BS. I don't have the tools or the know-how to do it myself, though. I'm in the Sacramento area. Know anyone in the Sacramento area who could do the work for me?
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Old 06-16-06, 08:31 PM   #8
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Most guys I know would give their right, uh, eyetooth, to help a girl get involved in riding.

The little chainring on your present bike probably has about 39 or 40 teeth. Count the teeth on your back gears until you find one that has about 15 to 17 teeth, or some gearing combination that you're comfortable with and then don't shift out of that gearing. Ride around wherever you ride, go up and down some hills and see how you like being stuck in one gear only.

Converting your old bike would be easily half the cost of the bikes you're considering. And converting it yourself is not that tough, the forum members here could talk you through it easily. Set up a temp IM account somewhere some nite with the bike near the computer and the guys would probably flood you with real time helpful advice.

Virtual bike mechanics nite on bfssfg.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:34 PM   #9
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Or, how about

http://sacbikekitchen.org/about
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Old 06-16-06, 08:39 PM   #10
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I guess it doesn't make sense to buy a new bike. I'll try just riding in one gear and see how that goes. I think I'll still try to look for someone around here to do the work for me, though. We'll see...

I really appreciate the advice!!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Get on your bikes and RIDE!!!
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Old 06-16-06, 09:09 PM   #11
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Bicycle Business on Freeport (across from McClatchy HS) is the best local shop for SS/FG. They have a few used conversions now and then pretty cheap.

Since Sacramento is almost as flat as Davis, I can say that you'll most likely transition to fixed gear quite easily, being that you are an experienced roadie. And yes, fixed gear is habit forming. I have a flip flop hub (fixed on one side, singlespeed on the other) and I can say that I almost never use the freewheel side. Just make sure the bike you get has a gear ratio as close to the one you ride the most in on your road bike.

Personally, I'd buy a bike like the Motobecane before I bought someone else's conversion. The best conversion is the one you build yourself. The bike has a lot more soul that way.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:24 PM   #12
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Cool! I'll give Bicycle Business a call. I got my IF from them. I should have thought of them. Bob was telling me about his fixed gear one time while I was there. I'll take the bike by there tomorrow.
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Old 06-17-06, 01:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkb
Most guys I know would give their right, uh, eyetooth, to help a girl get involved in riding.

The little chainring on your present bike probably has about 39 or 40 teeth. Count the teeth on your back gears until you find one that has about 15 to 17 teeth, or some gearing combination that you're comfortable with and then don't shift out of that gearing. Ride around wherever you ride, go up and down some hills and see how you like being stuck in one gear only.

Converting your old bike would be easily half the cost of the bikes you're considering. And converting it yourself is not that tough, the forum members here could talk you through it easily. Set up a temp IM account somewhere some nite with the bike near the computer and the guys would probably flood you with real time helpful advice.

Virtual bike mechanics nite on bfssfg.

yeah, hyperRevue's done that for me before.

what a swell guy.
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Old 06-17-06, 02:10 PM   #14
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The thing about a conversion is that it's all about the bike you are starting with. I did mine for the cost of a back wheel ($100). I was lucky it came with a freewheel and a fixed cog. If not, it would have been another $30-$50. Bicycle Business stocks a rear wheel with a flip-flop hub for around $75. So it's not like I have any special connection or anything.

Now, since the conversion I've replaced the cranks, the saddle and the handlebars. But that was optional. The stuff I replaced was working fine.

If you already have a bike laying around and it's working fine, and has horizontal dropouts, and doesn't have a triple crank, then a fixed gear conversion is just a matter of removing parts, getting a new rear wheel (or getting a hub and building one yourself), measureing the chain and getting a straight chainline. Basically, the only tools other than a multi-tool are a few wrenches and a spoke tool.
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Old 06-17-06, 02:14 PM   #15
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I bought this bike at a garage sale for $5. The owner just wanted to get trid of all the "junk" in her garage. It's currently going through a SS conversion. I estimate that the spacers, shorter chain ring bolts and a BMX cog to cost about $30. New tires and tubes will bring the total cost to about $75.

SS / Fixie Newb needs 27" wheel advice.
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Old 06-17-06, 02:22 PM   #16
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I bought this bike at a garage sale for $5. The owner just wanted to get trid of all the "junk" in her garage. It's currently going through a SS conversion. I estimate that the spacers, shorter chain ring bolts and a BMX cog to cost about $30. New tires and tubes will bring the total cost to about $75.

SS / Fixie Newb needs 27" wheel advice.
First of all, you lucky Canadian bastard. That's a sweet bike to happen upon for $5. Second, the tires and tubes don't really count since those things you would have had to buy in order to make the bike operational even if you were going to run it stock.
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Old 06-17-06, 03:22 PM   #17
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So, what should I do?
http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=199096
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Old 06-17-06, 04:15 PM   #18
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???
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Old 06-17-06, 05:38 PM   #19
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shameless...

yeah, all the advice so far seems good. another supercheap option is to take off the chain and derailleurs. just pick a gear on the casette you like and put on a new (much shorter) chain. instant single speed. plus you can change the gearing if you wanna go fast one day or head down to the sierras. cheers.
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Old 06-17-06, 06:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyGal
Cool! I'll give Bicycle Business a call. I got my IF from them. I should have thought of them. Bob was telling me about his fixed gear one time while I was there. I'll take the bike by there tomorrow.

Indygal,

PM me or email me at Chris "at" sacbikekitchen"dot"org I'll be happy to give you a hand. I'm a founding member of the Sac Bike Kitchen and in a week we open our shop with the intent to help everyone get on a bike. Also, check out Bike Chef on Jst. They have a great staff (ask for Jill on the weekends).
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Old 06-21-06, 10:14 PM   #21
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Indygal,

PM me or email me at Chris "at" sacbikekitchen"dot"org I'll be happy to give you a hand. I'm a founding member of the Sac Bike Kitchen and in a week we open our shop with the intent to help everyone get on a bike. Also, check out Bike Chef on Jst. They have a great staff (ask for Jill on the weekends).
Thanks, Chris. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I just now saw your reply. I already took the bike to The Bicycle Business, and they were able to do the job for me for $90.00. I think one of the young men there thought I was a little lame for not doing the work myself, but for less than $100.00 I was happy to let someone else who has the tools and experience take care of it for me.

Thanks to everyone here who gave me advice. You probably saved me at least $250.00. I really like my "new" single speed. It rides great, and it's kind of liberating not to have to worry about shifting. I'm going to ride it to work tomorrow.

Thanks again!!
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