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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 08-09-06, 12:02 AM   #1
ElSetho
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Taking a shot at my first fixed gear...

So Im thinking about building my first bike up from scratch, and I could use some help before i start hitting ebay for parts.

I already have a great bike that ive put some decent mileage on, and Ive done nearly all of the work on that one. I want to try to build a bike now, and I also want a fixed gear for my everyday/commuter bike, so that I can turn my current bike into a cross bike. Im not quite sure what I sould look for in a frame for a fixed gear, much less in the rest of the components (particularly the drivetrain).

I suppose my main question is what are the most important factors when looking for a fixed gear frame (keep in mind that I am probobly going to be on ebay for this)? My current frame is 53 and its pretty comfortable, I heard though that when dealing with fixed gear bikes, you should go down in size a bit... is that true?

I know very little about actual bike building, so any help anyone could offer would REALLY be appreciated. Im just not sure about where to get started on this project.

Thank a lot for any help that yall can offer.

-Seth
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Old 08-09-06, 12:12 AM   #2
lebowitz
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You should check out Sheldon Brown's site on fixed gear bikes. There is a page that gives detailed instructions on gear->fixed conversions.
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Old 08-09-06, 12:14 AM   #3
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lol... thats funny, almost every question Ive ever asked in the forum is covered in Sheldon Browns page...thats really funny
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Old 08-09-06, 12:24 AM   #4
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I don't think you should size down for a fixed gear. A lot of people will do it with the excuse that it will make the bike handle a little quicker. I don't really agree. A smaller frame can make it a bit easier to learn to skid, since you don't have to work as hard to get your weight forward. If you're going to be using the bike for commuting, you want to be comfortable, so get a bike that fits.

As for frames, just look for what you would look for in any vintage frame. Right size, decent tubing, fender eyelets if you live where it rains. And of course, horizontal dropouts are important.
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Old 08-09-06, 10:45 AM   #5
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I bought a fixed at the bike swap in town this year (price was 1/2 off msrp) and it is a full size larger then i would have built/ bought if i were looking at spending more. overall i'm happy, it's a 61, and i ride a 57 on the road, i do have the seat almost all the way down, and i'm going to swap the stem for somthing slightly shorter, but the large size hasn't held me back any, that said, i'd go with something that fits standover area so as not to.. well you know.... anyway i'm no pro, and i've only been on the thing 2 months, but damn, i love her so much i'm thinking of selling the roadie- it just hasn't gotten the use any more
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Old 08-09-06, 11:43 AM   #6
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Right on guys... thanks a lot. That Sheldon Brown page is hug help (as usual, eh?)

-Seth
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Old 08-09-06, 12:58 PM   #7
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When building my fixed gear I kept hearing that it was better to have a smaller than normal frame. But the only frame I had was a 60cm compared to the 55 cm frame on my perfectly fitted road bike. I tried the 60, and I can comfortably ride the bike for over 50 miles with no back pains....so I guess that rule doesnt always hold.
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Old 08-09-06, 01:43 PM   #8
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exactally zetatios, did you end up with basically no seatpost and a fairly short stem and drop angle (or rise) or do you just ride more of a layout style?
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