Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Davis CA
Bikes: Surly Cross-Check, '85 Giant road bike (unrecogizable fixed-gear conversion
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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.