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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 05-10-07, 11:38 PM   #1
Suttree
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to convert or not to convert

I hope this thread isn't repetitive . . .
I searched on fixed conversion and
didn't see anything up front. . .

I'm kicking around a conversion idea--
well--converting vs buying an off-the-shelf
fixed bike. I ride after work every day to stay in
shape and I like to go all out for about an hour
which is all I can spare--across town, down a
few country roads, back to my house. I've tried
a few off-the shelf bikes and was non-plussed
with most except maybe the KHS Flite 100--
which has a very nice lugged fork and ok tubing
(Reynolds 520--just basic cold-drawn cro-mo)--
but it felt like the real experience--very snappy
with a steep head tube angle and a reasonably
stiff frame. The rest of the components are ok--no
name Deep-V rims laced to no-name hubs but with 36 spokes
(good for street) a low-end Sugino track crank--etc. etc.

I have an old lugged steel Miyata 912 that I really like--very
stiff frame and it feels fast with the highest
gear being something like 52:14. . .good tubing
as the derailleur never rubs when you stand on
the pedal hard--I like it the way it is but I am
just lazy enough that I don't like tinkering with
the derailleur, limit settings, etc. etc. to keep
it running smooth--when I get home I want to
ride the bike not work on it. How happy are folks
with their conversions . . . keeping in mind that
a decent conversion might be better than half the
cost of the KHS ($530). . .with a new hub,
new crank with shorter arm, kog, chain, etc.?
Some people think the Miyata is a classic so I
kind of don't want to mess with it but then
I can always go back . . .
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Old 05-10-07, 11:43 PM   #2
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I say convert it and keep all the stuff you remove for future reconversion. It'll be really cheap ( i suspect all you need is a rear wheel, cog/lr/chainring/bolts, bb, some new non-camo bar tape and a chain); it'll look great if you keep it "road" instead of trying to make a fake track bike; and it'll be much better than whatever 500 dollar low end street fixie you get.

I could not be happier with my conversion, it's a great bike. 80s Marinoni frame, nitto road bars and stem, tektro levers like yours, 600 cranks, brooks pro, surly flipflop hub/sun assault wheels, 1/8" drivetrain.

Are those 600 cranks? How long are they?

Last edited by mander; 05-11-07 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:48 PM   #3
Suttree
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They are 600s--about 170. . .
good thoughts. Your Marinoni
sounds tight.

Last edited by Suttree; 05-11-07 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 05-11-07, 12:00 AM   #4
mander
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My 600s are 170 and not a problem for pedal strikes with my spd pedals at least. I do have to watch it when cornering very aggressively but really they're fine. With a 107mm shimano bb the outer ring lines up with a 42mm track hub chainline. And they look so good, you have the sweet boxy ones like me instead of one of the later more aero versions.

Last edited by mander; 05-11-07 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 05-11-07, 01:44 PM   #5
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I say convert it. You've got a great bike that fits you well and all you need is a FG rear wheel, cog and lockring. I have a feeling you'll be lucky and the inner 42 will line up perfectly.
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Old 05-11-07, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mander
I say convert it and keep all the stuff you remove for future reconversion. It'll be really cheap ( i suspect all you need is a rear wheel, cog/lr/chainring/bolts, bb, some new non-camo bar tape and a chain); it'll look great if you keep it "road" instead of trying to make a fake track bike
Amen to that. There's nothing that annoys me more than someone's
old $10 Univega with $60 Nitto 123s, $125 Sugino 75s, etc.

Anyway, I say convert it, if that'll make you happy. If you don't do
something stupid like file off the braze-ons, then you can always go
back to gears.
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Old 05-11-07, 03:35 PM   #7
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is the miyata your only bike? if so, i wouldn't convert it. it's always nice to have a geared bike. i would try and find something pretty inexpensive to convert. i've converted 2 bikes and with each, i was able to use original cranks and bottom bracket. if the chain is in good shape, you can use that too. all you really need is a rear wheel with cog and lockring.
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Old 05-11-07, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnydelnegro
is the miyata your only bike? if so, i wouldn't convert it. it's always nice to have a geared bike. i would try and find something pretty inexpensive to convert. i've converted 2 bikes and with each, i was able to use original cranks and bottom bracket. if the chain is in good shape, you can use that too. all you really need is a rear wheel with cog and lockring.
Thanks for all the feedback all--

The Miyata is bike 2 of 2--the other is a Soma Double Cross with a Deore drive train,
Shimano/Mavic wheels, a Nitto multiposition bar--A great do-all bike. I'm looking to
convert because I want to try fixed for a bit and I want to get a lot of exercise out
of my evening ride with minimal maintenance on the bike
--I'm inspired by the Rivendell Quickbeam--a fast lugged steel machine for country roads
and city riding that builds leg strength quickly. I ride occasionally with a friend who has a QB and
he digs his not to mention his superior speed.

Last edited by Suttree; 05-11-07 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 05-11-07, 04:07 PM   #9
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This has to be Mike....right?

I'd say convert it. Keep all the geared bits so you can put it all back on.






btw, this is Chris from the Kitchen

Last edited by Cynikal; 05-11-07 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 05-11-07, 04:15 PM   #10
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Nope. I converted and liked it so much that I bought a track frame anyways, so you might as well go full-hog and get a true track frame. That bike is dope----a 912 is a top of the line Miyata made with Triple Butted Spline tubing (equal to SLX) and you have a sweet Shimano 600 group on there, also basically top of the line. Keep the Miyata as is and get a track bike.
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Old 05-11-07, 04:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynikal
This has to be Mike....right?

I'd say convert it. Keep all the geared bits so you can put it all back on.

btw, this is Chris from the Kitchen
Hey Chris--
see you around WEF this weekend--
I'm hauling SBK gear to and from.
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Old 05-11-07, 04:43 PM   #12
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If you like riding it geared might as well leave it as-is. Personally I'm jaded by modern components and wouldn't go back to a 5/6 speed drivetrain unless it really felt right. Being in a similar situation as you, I kept my road bike geared and looked for a bike specifically to convert. Having one of both is a true luxury.
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Old 05-11-07, 04:45 PM   #13
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You have a bike that screams "convert me! convert me!" I'd say it's probably a textbook example of the perfect bike to convert to a fixed gear. -- old, and a bit outdated and probably not real easy to upgrade as a road bike, but not so old that you need to get much new stuff to make it a fixed gear.

No, you don't need new cranks. I run 175's. Unless the cranks on it are abnormally long for the frame size, they should not be a problem.

Basically, all you need is a rear wheel (or just a hub if you want to build it yourself), cogs, and that's it. Even the chain should work. If not, a KMC bmx chain can be had for less than $10. A tad noisy, but they work fine.
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Old 05-11-07, 04:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
I say convert it. You've got a great bike that fits you well and all you need is a FG rear wheel, cog and lockring. I have a feeling you'll be lucky and the inner 42 will line up perfectly.
i converted a fuji road bike and my 42 chainring lined up like a dream.
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Old 05-11-07, 05:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jet sanchEz
Nope. I converted and liked it so much that I bought a track frame anyways, so you might as well go full-hog and get a true track frame. That bike is dope----a 912 is a top of the line Miyata made with Triple Butted Spline tubing (equal to SLX) and you have a sweet Shimano 600 group on there, also basically top of the line. Keep the Miyata as is and get a track bike.
Of course kaiju-velo is free to make up his own mind but I don't buy this line of reasoning. A new $500 off the shelf fixie is probably superior to most of the gaspipe department store 10 speed conversions out there, but that doesnt mean that it is "full hog" compared to a high end road conversion, unless low tire clearance (never mind fenders), no brazeons and very steep geometry are the pinnacle of road bike evolution.

It all makes sense though when I notice that you think that this bike is too nice to be a conversion. Of course if people only convert crappy frames, all conversions will be crap. Well I like old high end road frames, and I like riding fixed gear on the road; so i'm 100% in favour of putting the two together.

Edit: I looked at your two bikes in your sig and can see that my assessment was a bit off. It looks like when you shaved and converted the colnago you were after the look and coolness factor of a true track bike. Well if thats how your aesthetic goes a real track bike will always beat a conversion, no matter how nice the conversion frame is. But since the requirements of road riding are different from track riding, a road conversion doesn't have to be just a wannabe track bike. This kind of "road fixed" bike is what i'm into now: http://thefsb.org/mercy/supervig.html . PS i stole this opinion from sheldon.

Last edited by mander; 05-11-07 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 05-11-07, 05:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by kaiju-velo
Hey Chris--
see you around WEF this weekend--
I'm hauling SBK gear to and from.
Erin told me, that rocks. Thanks

Last edited by Cynikal; 05-11-07 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 05-11-07, 05:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Hanus
i converted a fuji road bike and my 42 chainring lined up like a dream.
Yup. Same with my Trek 660 with a Suntour Superbe Pro double chain ring: dead solid perfect.
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Old 05-11-07, 06:11 PM   #18
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That Miyata would be an excellent conversion. I know 2 people that ride Team Miyata conversions very far very often. Your frame is the same w/ different paint. Basically on the level with Columbus SLX, but not as expensive. A triple butted Miyata in my size is one of the few things I alway keep an eye out for on ebay.
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Old 05-11-07, 08:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiju-velo
I am
just lazy enough that I don't like tinkering with
the derailleur, limit settings, etc. etc. to keep
it running smooth.
Converting your bike will take more work and effort than turning a simple bolt, so I think laziness is a poor excuse in this instance (if not always).j

However, if you are interested in trying fixed riding and are willing to ditch your geared bike, go with a conversion. You seem to like the Miyata frame, so you might as well do anything you can to make it more enjoyable so you will want to ride it more often.

On the other hand, it looks like a nice road bike to me. If I owned it, I would just maintain it and enjoy it as a geared steed and buy some thrift shop junker to ride fixed.
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Old 05-11-07, 08:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by hockeyteeth
If I owned it, I would just maintain it and enjoy it as a geared steed and buy some thrift shop junker to ride fixed.
I think the silly idea that fg bikes have to be set up "track" to ride on the road is responsible for most of the atrocious conversions and resulting anti conversion sentiment i see on the intertubes. When you convert a nice road frame there's no need to tart it up as something it's not, as if you're ashamed of it. Conversion doesn't have to be a dishonour that only junky bikes deserve. Anyway this is obviously a pet issue of mine and i've yammered about it enough, i will stfu now.
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Old 05-11-07, 10:17 PM   #21
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personally, i too would keep it as a geared bike and either find something less nice to convert or just get an inexpensive track bike so you can try out fixed. but i wouldn't fault you if you did want to convert...
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Old 05-11-07, 10:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mander
I think the silly idea that fg bikes have to be set up "track" to ride on the road is responsible for most of the atrocious conversions and resulting anti conversion sentiment i see on the intertubes. When you convert a nice road frame there's no need to tart it up as something it's not, as if you're ashamed of it. Conversion doesn't have to be a dishonour that only junky bikes deserve. Anyway this is obviously a pet issue of mine and i've yammered about it enough, i will stfu now.
Can I get a witness?!
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Old 05-11-07, 11:31 PM   #23
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Convert it and have some fun, it's just a bike for cryin' out loud.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:13 AM   #24
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Do it. Just remember to ride your geared bike once in awhile. You'll find most hills to be much easier on your fixed.
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Old 05-12-07, 03:10 PM   #25
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I did what you are contemplating last fall and am very happy with my Nishiki Pro conversion. I just went with a suicide hub as I love my old school Campy NR wheels and I run a F & R brake (gotta love th "normal reach" sidepulls from the early 70's).
I keep that bike at my office a ride it after work for an hour. I even kept the 20 year old Brook's Pro saddle on it.
After riding fixed for a few months I had to have a real track bike but I also mounted both F & R brakes ( see a trend here?). I keep this one at home.
I find I almost exclusively ride fixed except on the hilliest of rides. You will love it and as was already posted don't molest the frame and keep all your parts so you can change back although I doubt you will want to.
Gerry
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