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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 08-11-06, 02:52 PM   #1
fayjairay
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Fixie Conversion or Buy New

now that i am approaching my fixie conversion, my mind is going in all directions. my original idea was to find a old frame, buy a wheelset, cranks, and etc. and ride it around for awhile then slowly upgrade. but now a part of me wants to just buy an iro "jamie roy". all in all, the iro will be about 600. doing the math for the conversion, i will be spending 300-400 bucks in the early stages. i do plan on finding a nicer frame later on and just swap the parts over. What do you guys think. any other options out there?
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Old 08-11-06, 03:18 PM   #2
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Most would suggest building a conversion if it's your first foray into the fixed gear world, the reason being "what if you don't like fixed gears?" That's the route I went only because I couldn't afford to purchase a complete bike and I already had a prime bike for conversion. If you've got the cash to spend, you might want to consider just going ahead and buying new. I can't offer any suggestions as I am still riding my conversion. Good luck.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:19 PM   #3
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I'd guess it'd come down to preferrence. For me, I just can't get myself to buy a bike off the shelf...no personality to it. You can easily spend more than a bike off the shelf doing a conversion though. I know IRO's aren't exactly off the shelf. So...it's up to you. You could just buy a Jaime Roy frame and pimp it out. I know that's TONS of help
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Old 08-11-06, 03:22 PM   #4
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it is my opinion that you should invest in something like the IRO initially, if you don't have some parts and tools on hand.

the reason being that is starting from scratch can get expensive. buying or renting tools, having a shop do a something like a headset installation, and unexpected snags, like parts not fitting can add up quickly. however for the extra trouble and money you do get experience and satisfaction. i feel that you get more bike for your money by going with a complete. furthermore, if you want to swap out a frame later on, you may need to buy additional parts if it takes different sized components.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sers
it is my opinion that you should invest in something like the IRO initially, if you don't have some parts and tools on hand.

the reason being that is starting from scratch can get expensive. buying or renting tools, having a shop do a something like a headset installation, and unexpected snags, like parts not fitting can add up quickly. however for the extra trouble and money you do get experience and satisfaction. i feel that you get more bike for your money by going with a complete. furthermore, if you want to swap out a frame later on, you may need to buy additional parts if it takes different sized components.
Reading sers advice, I'd have to agree. If you're gonna build it yourself, build off of a good frame.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:36 PM   #6
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just buy a good used road bike and work with a good LBS to make the few changes.
You can also keep your brakes for the time being and if you don't like fixed, you can run it a s a single speed.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:22 PM   #7
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i'm really glad that i got a crappy conversion first--although i didn't build it up myself, just bought it for cheap. i rode the hell out of it for a year, learned how to ride well in the city (though starting out brakeless was an idiot move on my part), what i liked and didn't like about that bike, and knew what i was going for in my second bike. and now i have a beater for bad weather and my dream bike for when it's nice out.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:49 PM   #8
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i guess i'm feeling smarter about my purchase (like new '06 Langster off eBay for half of list). at least if i don't like fixed, i can flip to singlespeed which i KNOW i like. maybe move towards something custom in the future.

just curious, for you guys that love to "build your own" - how much of the work do you actually do yourself? mostly mechs in this forum, or guys that just know what parts they like and work with an LBS?
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Old 08-11-06, 05:36 PM   #9
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An off-the shelf fixie is a great starter bike. You get a good picture for what you like and dislike, and learn a frame of reference. If you love it, awesome. If you don't, you have an easily re-sellable bike. If you build up a conversion as the first, you won't get anywhere near the money out of it.

If anything, make your second bike your labor of love. I've done that, and I'm about one week away from getting it, and since I know a lot more, it's 10x the bike I would have built my first time out.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by digitalia
i guess i'm feeling smarter about my purchase (like new '06 Langster off eBay for half of list). at least if i don't like fixed, i can flip to singlespeed which i KNOW i like. maybe move towards something custom in the future.

just curious, for you guys that love to "build your own" - how much of the work do you actually do yourself? mostly mechs in this forum, or guys that just know what parts they like and work with an LBS?
for my current conversion project - all of it, save wheelbuilding. it's relatively easy and cheap to replace headsets and bb's using homemade tools when possible.
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Old 08-11-06, 06:19 PM   #11
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I was in the same place you are... I just bought an IRO. It got it earlier this week and love it. I have been thinking up reasons to leave the house and go ride. And when I can't think of a reason... I go anyways


You won't regret it.
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Old 08-11-06, 06:42 PM   #12
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I decided to buy a Pista, they hold their value well on the used market and have a strong following, if I decide to go another direction I'll get most of the money back. I did consider building, and may build a winter beater later on, but I have too many irons in the fire right now, I want to spent my spare time riding. I looked very hard at the Jamie Roy too, it's a very cool bike, but I have a Velodrome nearby and I've always wanted to at least ride on the damn thing!
Do what suits you best...
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Old 08-11-06, 06:55 PM   #13
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I bought new cuz I didn't have any tools to put a conversion together and I'm lazy.
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Old 08-11-06, 07:35 PM   #14
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i built my ss off of a 1987 bianchi...i have spent around 250-275 on it and still looking at upgrading some parts. now that i think about it..i wish i would have bought something off the shelf..but thats just me.
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Old 08-11-06, 07:53 PM   #15
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A mid-range 80's road bike converted is going to give you a much nicer ride and will probably be more practical then the prebuilt options for substantially less. You do have to know what to look for in old bike though and be willing to wait a month or two while you accumulate the parts at good prices.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:27 PM   #16
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thats the problem im having..i have 27" wheels and im trying to get a new set with red sidewalls on them but those are only made for modern bikes.. 700c...
also brakes were a pain..i did end up buying new recessed mount brakes and just drilled a hole in my frame to make it work..i didnt like any of the older nutted brakes.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:35 PM   #17
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Don't forget the time and labor you'd have to spend doing a conversion. I think it's fun to do bike work, so I'm camping out for parts for a conversion, but stalking craigslist for parts and running around to pick them up can take some time.
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Old 08-11-06, 10:09 PM   #18
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tools aren't really a problem seeing how my friend just bought a spinmaster and a whole set of tools. my friend and i just finished putting together his fixie the other day and after riding on it, i think im pretty much hooked. at this point im still not sure which route to take, but i appreciate all the advice.
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