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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 02-03-08, 02:02 PM   #1
geeknerd99
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Prized Conversion Frames?

So, the other location of the LBS I work at is literally 3 floors of junk. Several rooms stacked to the ceiling with rims, and several rooms packed to the brim with frames and bikes, along with the entire basement. It's a mess. By mess, I mean it looks like two tornados had a threesome with Hurricane Katrina for 6 hours in there.

But that means SERIOUS conversion potential. Theres an awful lot of Ross bikes (never heard of 'em), and a ton of old schwinns to. A Nishiki here and there, and a Peugeot here and there. We're talking 200+ frames/bikes

What are prized frames/good alternatives to convert to fixie? I can find nearly anything in there with enough time. I'm just looking for the frame, everything else is gonna get put on. Preferably something that'll take modern cranks, and 27"/700c shouldn't matter, since I'm gonna run a 700c disc fork up front. I'll live with the geometry difference.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:08 PM   #2
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Man, the above makes me feel old.....

Anyway, here is something on Ross bikes. Anybody know the history of Ross bikes?
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Old 02-03-08, 02:12 PM   #3
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I think finding something that fits you well is more important than exactly what the frame is. If you have a lot of options with good geometry, then just go for whatever is in good shape, looks good, etc.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:18 PM   #4
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I'm just trying to avoid a Hi-Ten beast. There's a lot of those. I was hoping you guys could help narrow down my search a bit. For example, things like "avoid ______ like the plague", "_______ frames tend to be pretty solid", "black frames go faster than red frames", etc.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:19 PM   #5
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Look out for bikes with nice tubesets - Reynolds 531, Columbus SL and Columbus SLX are some of my favourites.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:20 PM   #6
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I'm just trying to avoid a Hi-Ten beast. There's a lot of those. I was hoping you guys could help narrow down my search a bit. For example, things like "avoid ______ like the plague", "_______ frames tend to be pretty solid", "black frames go faster than red frames", etc.
Well, avoid the Varsity, duh.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:28 PM   #7
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vintage japanese bikes are usually very high quality lugged steel, some have forged dropouts, most will take a standard BB and headset, and they made a gabillion of em, so plenty of good ol "nihonjin" bikes out there ready to be "fixed" and ridden.

good conversion potential to me and I am currently looking for a 53cm-54cm (hint hint) (miyata? fuji?)
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Old 02-03-08, 02:30 PM   #8
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3renshos make decent conversions, but you'll be restricted to 700x28 or thinner tires.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:51 PM   #9
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One simple rule of thumb is that anything with a sticker that says Reynolds or Columbus on the seat tube will be made of nice butted steel and probably nice in other ways too; another is that anything with dropouts that say Brev Campagnolo is also likely to be nice. Of course, lots of nice frames won't have these characteristics.

Make sure the frame you find can take a readily available bb and headset size, and above all pick the right size.

Just a heads up, if you find a particularly nice road racing frame, you might make old cycling dudes with beards cry if you install a disc fork on it on top of having converted it to fixed.

Last edited by mander; 02-03-08 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-03-08, 02:51 PM   #10
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bianchis are nice... hint hint
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Old 02-03-08, 02:53 PM   #11
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i've poked around in the new wheel a couple times before and just ended up with dirty hands. once i found an eighties bianchi frame/fork, and dave sold it to someone else after i pulled it out of a heap.
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Old 02-03-08, 03:01 PM   #12
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This is nice:
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Old 02-03-08, 03:16 PM   #13
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Things you want:
Forged dropouts
made for 700c wheels (otherwise, your pedals will be too close to the ground for comfort)
high bottom bracket

For that last one, you may need to take a wheelset and start measuring stuff.
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Old 02-03-08, 03:19 PM   #14
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pick it up. if it weighs a ton it ain't no prize. tubing (as said above) is probably the most important thing you can look for in a frame when digging through piles like that.

i would steer clear of peugeots and other french frames, as their BBs and headsets are not standard.

when i'm looking for a conversion frame, i personally like one without any (or as few as possible) braze-ons. a good conversion frame is one where all the cables clamp on, and the clamps can be removed to leave a nice, clean tube. nothing ruins a nice clean fixed gear for me like those dang shifter bosses
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Old 02-03-08, 03:21 PM   #15
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Other things to look for (or not look for) are braze-ons and eyelets. Do you want eyelets for fenders? Do you want TT cable leads for a rear brake?
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Old 02-03-08, 03:47 PM   #16
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i converted a khs winner and nishiki olympic and love em
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Old 02-03-08, 03:49 PM   #17
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Something that isnt boat anchor status and is lugged will be your best bet. Be careful of stuff from the "bike boom" era, like, 60s and early 70s I believe, as there were a lot of bikes made essentially out of gas pipes. I think old lugged road frames are sex. If you find a nice ish one in a 54cm ish size and its cheap, you should let me know, I want to try and re braze the back end of a road bike to make the rear end tighter in geometry and add track dropouts.

P.S. I like how everyone immediately starts asking for frames. myself included.
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Old 02-03-08, 03:52 PM   #18
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my friend found a ross frame once in a run down building and he's been riding on it for like 6 months and seems to like it a lot.
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Old 02-03-08, 04:02 PM   #19
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I'd watch out for nut-rippers and protruding shifter bosses. Also, you'll wanna do some more research once you find one you like. Conversions can turn out to be a complete waste of money if you pick a ****ty frame. Between funky-old-weird-sized BB's, headsets and stamped dropouts there are many pitfalls.

Then again, probably everyone here has gone through that at least once. Learning experiences...

Just go to Sheldon's conversion page and read up. Do not fear the beard.
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Old 02-03-08, 04:08 PM   #20
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I'd watch out for nut-rippers and protruding shifter bosses. Also, you'll wanna do some more research once you find one you like. Conversions can turn out to be a complete waste of money if you pick a ****ty frame. Between funky-old-weird-sized BB's, headsets and stamped dropouts there are many pitfalls.

Then again, probably everyone here has gone through that at least once. Learning experiences...

Just go to Sheldon's conversion page and read up. Do not fear the beard.
Haha, the good thing about conversions is if you get a dog of a frame it usually only cost you about 12 dollars, and any parts you've bought for it can be re-applied elsewhere. I'm currently riding a conversion that I simply love. Its a wonderful learning experience as well.
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Old 02-03-08, 04:27 PM   #21
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i would submit that the most important thing to look for is... size!

other than that and the usual stuff (tubing, drop outs &c) i'd see if i could find something with pre-existing parts on it that are usable: ie a non-cottered crank with a good chainline measurement, a good stem (those old-school quill stems are awesome), a usable front brake. if your bike already comes with that stuff, then that's a tonne of money saved on your conversion.
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Old 02-03-08, 04:31 PM   #22
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Old 02-03-08, 04:34 PM   #23
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made for 700c wheels (otherwise, your pedals will be too close to the ground for comfort)
-1
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Old 02-03-08, 04:36 PM   #24
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i say he'd be fine with a 27"-to-700c conversion.
I ride a 27" to 700c conv, its fine.
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Old 02-03-08, 04:42 PM   #25
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If I remember correctly, some Rosses are pretty stiff for Hi Ten tubing if you like that sort of thing. I liked mine before I got rid of it because of rust. You'd be surprised just what you can do with cheap frames.
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