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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 06-15-07, 02:50 PM   #1
Hadley
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new to the single speed and this forum

wow, this place just blew my mind. ive got the bug to build me a fixed gear. i have a few questions.
any recomendations on a frame? ive been looking at craigs list and ebay and found some sweet frames, not sure though if one frame is better than another.
is it better to look for a full bike and strip it, or is the option of buying just the frame and forks better?

thanks, any help will be much appreciated.
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Old 06-18-07, 10:18 AM   #2
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Before everyone flames you with "Oh my effing god, why don't you use the search function!?" perhaps you should tell us which ones you're looking at and ask for opinions on specific items.

Really, the most accessible option might be to pick up an old 10-speed at a garage sale/goodwill store/local bike co-op, and strip off the unnecessary crap. Look for one with 3-piece cranks, and buy a new rear wheel. Formula hubs are good quality and priced at entry level. You'll need a cog and a lockring, and you're pretty much there.

Have fun.
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Old 06-18-07, 01:08 PM   #3
Adagio Corse
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go to:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html , A good start.

Basically, any frame with a rear horizontal drop-out will do. The best frame is one that fits you. No need for a track bike, just an old road bike.
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Old 06-18-07, 02:11 PM   #4
MrCjolsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadley
is it better to look for a full bike and strip it, or is the option of buying just the frame and forks better?

thanks, any help will be much appreciated.
It depends. If you have a whole bike's worth of parts laying around and the mechanical skills to match, then the frame-only option is fine. But if you don't, then you want a bike with as many usable parts on it as possible.

Ideally, the only parts you would need to buy would be a rear wheel, some singlespeed chainring bolts, a chain and some cogs. That's assuming that you can get a good straight chainline with your existing crankset and bottom bracket. If not, you would need one or both of those things.

The best fixed gear candidates are old 12 and 14 speed road bikes from the 80's. Look for Univegas, Raleighs, Giants etc. People will often let them go for cheap because they're somewhat obsolete as road bikes and hard to upgrade. We like them because they have narrow hub spacing and horzontal dropouts. My first fixed gear conversion was a Giant Perigee circa 1985. All it needed was a rear wheel and it was good to go. Of course, I replaced just about everything on the bike eventually but that's a whole story in itself.

Just remember that you can get a new fixed gear bike for $500-$600, and less if you shop around and get lucky with sales or closeouts.
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Old 06-18-07, 03:02 PM   #5
Suttree
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New track frame = track or "semi-track" geometry =
steeper steerer tube angle, lower fork rake (sharper turning capability),
and a shorter wheelbase (you may get overlap between your toes and
the front wheel). New frame = horizontal track fork ends AKA drop outs
which means the tension on the chain is easier to adjust.

Conversion = endless possibilities for a frame but potential hassles with
chain tensioning and more relaxed geometry which you may want or
not want assuming you convert a road bike frame.

Good reasonable frames for ss/fg: SOMA, IRO, Pake, Ben's Cycle,
EAI.

Last edited by Suttree; 06-18-07 at 03:35 PM.
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