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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 03-26-07, 12:45 PM   #1
rykoala
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The building of a beater bike

A few months ago I got a 63cm Schwinn Le Tour for next to nothing. I *was* going to cut it up and use it as the basis for a recumbent project, but that fell through. I started acquiring parts to build up a fixed gear instead. First I tore of *all* the braze-ons and filed the tubes smooth. I also removed all the decals, head tube badge, etc. When I was done, all that was left was bare tubes. Just the way I like it. I happened to have a stem and seat post that fit and everything but the wheel set to make it work.

A friend gave me an old 12 speed with steel wheels. It even had good tires! So, after putting in a new rear tube, I had a wheel set. I robbed the 19T cog from my commuter (It had a 17 and 19 on it) and after a quick trip to the LBS for freewheel removal, I threaded it up. I used the rotafix method and then I put on a bottom bracket lockring over it. The chain line was *way* off by about 10mm so I decided that I HAD to respace/redish the wheel and hub. I've never done such a thing and was a bit nervous about ruining the wheel. But I followed the guide at fixed gear gallery.

I loosened the drive side spokes by 1/2 turn and then tightened the non drive spokes 1 full turn. I then respaced the hub some old wheel nuts off of a bolt on wheel I had laying around. I faced them outward so they would grip the dropout. I used one on each side and it turned out that those were the only spacers I needed. The chainline is within 1mm.

The wheel was still off center and so I tightened the non drive side spokes 1/2 turn at a time until the wheel was centered again.

I didn't have any single chainring bolts so I used standard ones, but I put on two chainrings of the same size so its not as noticable.

The bike is still being finished but I've ridden it around for a few miles and it works good! I just need to finish the paint job and put a front brake on it and it'll be ready for backup commuter duty.

The pictures are still on my wifes digital camera, so I'll share as soon as I get home and download them tonight.

The moral of this is that it was all my first undertaking in painting, metal working of any sort, respace/dishing. If I can do it, anyone can do it!

So the total cost of this bike if anyone cares was about $5 for the spray paint and the rear tube. I already had the cog.
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Old 03-26-07, 12:49 PM   #2
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If you can scrounge a larger chainring you can cut the teeth off and have a guard.
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Old 03-26-07, 02:05 PM   #3
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Sounds like a nice beater, Id like to see the pictures.

I'm starting to build a beater from a Schwinn World that I acquired. Pretty much everything besides the frame, stem and bars had to go. Now I am just having a hard time finding any sort of used/inexpensive parts around here. Any advice on what to look for?
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Old 03-26-07, 03:52 PM   #4
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OK Here's a lousy pic. I thought I had taken pix of the bike when it was more done but I haven't. Here it is geared 38/19 with no redishing or anything, with some fat guy doing a track stand with it.

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Old 03-26-07, 03:57 PM   #5
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i love it. just break or grind the teeth off that large ring and ya gots yourself a nice, cheap pants guard.

and a brake wouldn't hurt..never know when that rotafix will give out

but enjoy it nevertheless
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Old 03-26-07, 04:11 PM   #6
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As soon as I find a brake that'll fit... its getting one. The one I have is too long. I am going to try to learn to braze and will put linear brakes on the front. We'll see though. The dual ring thing is just temporary. It'll be down to one soon enough, but I'm not going to spring for the bmx chainring bolts like I did for my nice bike. This one is going to be.... different.
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Old 03-26-07, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rykoala
OK Here's a lousy pic. I thought I had taken pix of the bike when it was more done but I haven't. Here it is geared 38/19 with no redishing or anything, with some fat guy doing a track stand with it.
Nice job! I like the paint.

Scavenge a brake off of some donor bike, and you've got the perfect beater.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:15 PM   #8
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One man's beater is another man's pimp ride.

I like your style.

Got 3 Schwinn fixies right now and love every one.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:19 PM   #9
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I like the bike. I am planning on doing something similar, just gotta find a cheap frame. Nice work.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:23 PM   #10
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38/19? is this going to be your artistic cycling bike?
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Old 03-27-07, 12:47 AM   #11
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That was temporary.Its now 48/19
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Old 03-27-07, 07:01 AM   #12
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i thought it was a pretty good zinger
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Old 03-27-07, 12:10 PM   #13
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It had crossed my mind to leave the chainline alone and run it at 28/19 just to see what it would be like. I bet I could do *anything* with that gearing. Then I'd paint it up in lots of colors and wear a clown wig....
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Old 03-27-07, 02:15 PM   #14
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Is that a Biopace triple? If you're using the 48t off it, how's the chain tension?
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Old 03-27-07, 02:59 PM   #15
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Yes it is! I use biopace rings on both my fixed gears, 48t on both. When you set chain tension, you just have to do it with the cranks vertical at its tightest spot. Then, set the tension just a *tad* bit on the tight side. That'll make it just a little loose when the chainring is at its narrowest and the chain is slack. It works quite well
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Old 03-29-07, 12:50 PM   #16
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OK Here are the pix of the (for now) completed bike. It needs new tires and a chain, and will get clipless pedals when I can afford them. I had fun with some spray paint yesterday and I think it turned out well considering that I was very lazy about prep and finishing. I DID use masking tape on some parts though, so that's an improvement on my previous try


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Old 03-29-07, 01:29 PM   #17
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looks suh-weet!

i love that paintjob.
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Old 03-29-07, 01:30 PM   #18
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and here come the comments about brakeless w/ platforms....
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Old 03-29-07, 02:01 PM   #19
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<sarcasm>
Here RS I'll help you out a bit: Brakeless, Platforms, Suicide Hub.

Discuss
</sarcasm>

Max- thanks! I like how it turned out. I learned some lessons about how little you can get away with in the way of masking tape. I needed a LOT more. Ended up painting over lots of overspray.
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Old 03-29-07, 02:04 PM   #20
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oh yeah, prepare to hear about your saddle angle as well.
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