I'm not gonna lie.
When it comes to bike knowledge, I'm borderline ********.
That said, what I'm trying to do is create a clean, simple singlespeed on a budget, from a '76-ish vintage Fuji "Grand Tourer" road bike. My background in cycling is not really much of a background at all, but I'd like to change that, so this bike is pretty much a starting point. It won't be incredibly beautiful like a lot of what I'm seeing in the "post your ss/fixed" thread, but hopefully it'll acclimate me to that point someday.
I've been coaxed in the right direction in a lot of ways by a buddy of mine who is pretty deep into this. I've also read a lot online, so I've learned a bunch already... but nowhere near enough. Right now I've stripped the bike of what I feel I don't need and I am about to order some parts. I've got an idea of what I think I need to get me going at a basic level... rear wheel with a flip/flop hub, freewheel, chain, tires. I guess since I'm going budget I don't really need to ask opinions on every single brand, but I would like to know what's quality and if there is anything I should stay away from.
I'm thinking of doing a 16t/42t setup as suggested by a friend, but I've been seeing a bunch of XX/52 (or so) setups on here. I won't be on hills all that much, and I live near a paved trail that goes for 30 or so miles that I can see myself spending some quality time on. Gearng-wise, am I off base here? It would be nice to hear that the 52 is the better call, because I have an old style chainring/crank setup that my buddy referred to as an "el cheapo department store setup." It's basically the 52 gear held on at the crank, with three bolts holding the 42 on, which is more or less "floating." I realize this is not ideal and I'd love to trash it and pick up a used modern setup, perhaps on eBay. I've been told though that this isn't always an option with older bikes, and there could be compatibility issues between brands. That would be one of the main reasons I'm posting today, because I know jack about what the right brands are or what would even work with my bike.
Here's a pic of the heap in question right after I got it out of storage(it's my dad's old bike, free is good). I didn't have my digicam with me so I had to use my phone, so I apologize for the incredibly crappy image. Basically it's just to give you a rough idea of what I'm working with. Yes, the frame looks kind of big, but I thought it would be a good call as I'm 6'4".