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  1. #1
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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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  4. #4
    Banned. teiaperigosa's Avatar
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    conversion vs. new bike

    done right...

    conversion wins every time

  5. #5
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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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!

  6. #6
    Spazzy Member zippered's Avatar
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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!

  7. #7
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    road curmudgeon, FG rider GeraldChan's Avatar
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    Nice old Schwinn. Conversions save old frames! Keep them coming! Pics when you finish please. Gerry
    1973 Nishiki Professional, steel, green/black, Campy NR FG conversion, Brooks Pro
    1991 Serotta Colorado II, steel, pearl white, full DA 8 spd STI, SI Flite
    2002 Waterford 1700 Track, steel, jet black, DA, Ultegra and Phil, SI Flite
    2006 Trek Madone 5.2, carbon fiber, blue, Ultegra and Bontrager, Fizik Arione

  9. #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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