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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 01-19-07, 10:18 AM   #1
nolucker
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Conversion vs. new bike

I got into riding fixed a few months ago, after I had one of the mechs. at my LBS convert my old Raleigh Grand Prix. It cost about $200. This included new rear flip flop hub wheel, front wheel, chain, flipped bars, Armadillo tires and pedals and straps. After I threw the chain last week, I took it back and he replaced the old cottered cranks, chainring and put on new bottom bracket. This cost another $40. I love the bike, and it's all I've been riding for the last few months. I know that I wouldn't have spent what it costs for a new track bike just to find out if I like riding fixed or not, but I see that the conversion was a series of compromises. I notice that the the chain sort of "hops" on every revolution, the chainline looks straight to me, but feels just slightly too slack, but when I tighten up by pulling back the wheel, it makes noise and doesn't spin as freely. I like that the bike has personality, being one of a kind, but maybe a new bike would have been the way to go, in hindsight. Anyway, looks like maybe I'm ready to step up to a new bike, maybe go in on the Iro deal. any comments by some who have been through my experience would be appreciated.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolucker
I notice that the chain sort of "hops" on every revolution, .
Sounds like your chainring is not perfectly centered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolucker
but feels just slightly too slack, but when I tighten up by pulling back the wheel, it makes noise and doesn't spin as freely.
You need slack in your chain or else you will wear your components very fast. It doesn't spin as freely because it is binding due to too much tension= too much friction. The 25 cent quote is "once you go slack you never go back"

Getting a track bike will not solve either of these problems because these same things can occur on a track bike.
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Old 01-19-07, 11:13 AM   #3
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You are lucky to have an LBS that gives you so much help and stuff for so cheap. Seriously. Ride your bike for a while and eventually you will narrow down exactly what you like and don't like about it. Ride a friend's bike. Try different stuff. After a while you will find what you like, and buy it.
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Old 01-19-07, 06:07 PM   #4
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conversion vs. new bike

done right...

conversion wins every time
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Old 01-19-07, 09:23 PM   #5
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There is no reason one can't have a smooth running drivetrain on a conversion, you just haven't gotten to the bottom of the issue. To the original question, conversion vs. new bike...I say both!
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Old 01-19-07, 09:50 PM   #6
zippered
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new = often lighter, schmancy materials
old = solidly made, attention to details

new = clean, no wear and tear
old = depends, less manufacturing waste

new = logos, logos
old = you won't see 1,000 of them around town

new = done, ready to go
old = DIY project

don't forget "new" can be last year's stock, or something someone bought and didn't like. i have a conversion for locking up around town and then saved my pennies to get a nearly-new-second-hand geared bike for like, half price!
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Old 01-19-07, 10:13 PM   #7
kmart
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Pics of your Raleigh grand prix please I have one as well, from the late '70s I think. It is a "Coffee Brown" color. I was thinking of converting it, but the color and the sort of mushy feel of the frame changed my mind. Here's the beginnings of my current conversion project and I love it. Beats a Pista or a Windsor/Fuji any day IMO.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:57 PM   #8
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Nice old Schwinn. Conversions save old frames! Keep them coming! Pics when you finish please. Gerry
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Old 01-22-07, 12:49 AM   #9
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Trying to upload a photo, but I get an error message that says the file exceeds the limit of 100 kb. Any help? About the store that did the work, I had it done at Sheepshead Cycles in Brooklyn, the mech is Jonesy, a really good guy who loves his work and wants to make sure the customer is satisfied. This basically reflects the shop's attitude in general. As far as the bike goes, I like that it's the only one out there like it, so I guess that's a big advantage of going the conversion route.
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