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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 03-09-08, 08:24 PM   #1
vincev
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a,b, or c

there is a Murrey 10 speed for sale down the street for $10.would the frame be any good for a fixed gear?should i :[a] pay $10,[b] wait till they throw it in the garbage and try to get it,or [c]let the junkman have it?
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Old 03-09-08, 08:25 PM   #2
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i'd scour craigslist for a real frame.

like an old trek or specialized.
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Old 03-09-08, 08:28 PM   #3
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Do yourself a favor and pretend that Murray doesn't exist. Dig around thrift stores and CL and find something decent that fits, and then throw stuff at that frame instead.
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Old 03-09-08, 09:13 PM   #4
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Agreed. in 6 months you'll have the Murray and a real bike. except the Murray will be unfinished, cluttering up your hallway with $50 of new tires and tubes that don't fit on your new bike.
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Old 03-09-08, 09:32 PM   #5
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ask the dude if he'll throw in a pair of oldschool roller skates, then only give him $8.
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Old 03-09-08, 09:48 PM   #6
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Say you want to take it for a test ride. Then ride it into a river. It will be so much fun!
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Old 03-09-08, 09:50 PM   #7
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Dont make the same mistake my friend made, please please please
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Old 03-09-08, 11:53 PM   #8
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You could make a sweet stool outta that bike. But I would still spray paint it and put some more gooder decals on it.
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Old 03-10-08, 12:18 AM   #9
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things to look for in old road frames to convert to fixed gear use ( not in any kind of order or hierarchy)
a) steel frames, with cro-moly, or other steel alloys being strong AND light, aluminum will certainly work, but it is SO stiff, you usually need a cro-mo, or carbon fork so you don't get the crap beat out of you on the rough roads we all have to ride on.
b) standard ISO BB threading
c) forged horizontal rear dropouts, the longer the better (campagnolos are REALLY long) but again if you have cash (eccentric hub, or BB) or creative ingenuity AND cash, you can make vertical dropouts work just fine, keeping in mind that if you use a chain tensioner, your NOT going to ride it fixed, but single speed freewheels will work
d) brazed lugs (totally esthetic, you can get GREAT quality steel welded frames, but the lugs USUALLY indicate higher quality tubing than say, plumbers pipe (like that murray for instance! )
e) stem mounted shifters (so there aren't any shifter bosses on the down tube)
again esthetics, but it looks cleaner without the holes on the downtubes.

really you can make a fixed gear bike out of almost anything, but if you stick with the above list, at least you shouldn't run into any roadblocks along your conversion/restoration journey, and I also would recommend waiting for a better frame to come along.

I see older schwinn's, miyata's, nishiki's and centurions on CL and on fleabay ALL the time, and usually for about $50 or less.

Last edited by j0e_bik3; 03-10-08 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 03-10-08, 03:07 AM   #10
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things to look for in old road frames to convert to fixed gear use ( not in any kind of order or hierarchy)
a) steel frames, with cro-moly, or other steel alloys being strong AND light, aluminum will certainly work, but it is SO stiff, you usually need a cro-mo, or carbon fork so you don't get the crap beat out of you on the rough roads we all have to ride on.
b) standard ISO BB threading
c) forged horizontal rear dropouts, the longer the better (campagnolos are REALLY long) but again if you have cash (eccentric hub, or BB) or creative ingenuity AND cash, you can make vertical dropouts work just fine, keeping in mind that if you use a chain tensioner, your NOT going to ride it fixed, but single speed freewheels will work
d) brazed lugs (totally esthetic, you can get GREAT quality steel welded frames, but the lugs USUALLY indicate higher quality tubing than say, plumbers pipe (like that murray for instance! )
e) stem mounted shifters (so there aren't any shifter bosses on the down tube)
again esthetics, but it looks cleaner without the holes on the downtubes.

really you can make a fixed gear bike out of almost anything, but if you stick with the above list, at least you shouldn't run into any roadblocks along your conversion/restoration journey, and I also would recommend waiting for a better frame to come along.

I see older schwinn's, miyata's, nishiki's and centurions on CL and on fleabay ALL the time, and usually for about $50 or less.
Crap. After reading this my first thought was "where's dutret when you need him?"

If you're just getting into riding, you probably won't notice too much difference between quality steel and quality aluminum (you might, but I doubt it. It is a feel that comes with experience riding many different bikes). The cheap stuff is heavy and rides poorly either way.

I can almost say that without exception, anything with stem shifters is going to be heavy and crap. Almost. But the few descent old bikes with stem shifters are so few and far between that it's generally a better rule to stay away from them. If you're really concerned about not having shifter bosses, look for bikes with the downtube shifters mounted with a clamp. But these will either be 1960's or older or on the low end of more modern bikes. Shifter braze-ons generally indicate a higher quality bike.

Quality lugs (generally difficult for inexperienced people to discern) and forged dropouts (easy to see) are a pretty good indicator of a quality bike.

Still one of the best ways is to pick it up.
Over 40lb = run away
30 - 40lb = maybe good, probably not so good
under 30 lb = Probably good, maybe not so good.
Under 20 lb = either an unbelievably amazing find or something is very very wrong.

And learn the names of the good manufacturers, or at least the names of the ones to stay away from. Murray is certainly one of the latter.

All of this is my opinion based on experience. None of it is definitive. It's rare that the first bike you buy and convert will be great (even though you may think it is). Most of us in here learned by screwing up. Embrace it as a learning experience.
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Old 03-10-08, 05:18 AM   #11
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Goodbye

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Old 03-10-08, 06:08 AM   #12
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The good news with screwing up a build with a not-so great frame is that it can always be a beater. Assuming you don't have something with hard to find parts like a french bike. If you get one of those. Run away.
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Old 03-10-08, 06:38 AM   #13
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Well, hate to say, but as a total beater back up snow bike if the Murray is in near perfect condition including tires that hold air, $10 may be ok. But, never spend another penny on it. DOn't plan a build around it. A total beater, backup, snow bike only if it is perfect.
Other than that find a decent bike.
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Old 03-10-08, 06:56 AM   #14
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you guys are being really really picky here. ive seen fixies made out a lot of random old frames, and they work just fine. idk if its just me but it doesnt seem like a carbon fork is that necessary, especially if he's converting on a budget
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Old 03-10-08, 07:13 AM   #15
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I think they were saying if the frame and fork were aluminum, he might want to do that to soften the ride a bit. You can use pretty much any old frame, true, but some are better than others. My cheap conversion was made from a $10 Centurion, which I'd say is a better frame.
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Old 03-10-08, 08:44 AM   #16
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It is true that just about any frame can be turned into a good fixie (except french frames), but i've seen enough good frames around for cheap that there's no reason to convert a murray. You might have to look a little harder for them, but they are there. Check you're local bike coop if you have one.

What makes no sense to me is when people spend $20 on a crap bike and then all of the sudden it becomes their beloved. They lavish time and money (generally more of the former) on it and are offended if anyone suggests that they might have more fun if they get a nicer bike. I guess my advice for anyone who is getting into bikes for the first time is this:
Other people know more than you. Not all of their (or my) advice will be good, but be open to the idea that there are things you could do better or change to make your experience more fun. And do lots of research on your own before you bug people. But just because you've done a lot of research, it doesn't mean you know anything.

This is good advice, I suppose, for dealing with anyone more experienced than you.
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Old 03-10-08, 12:12 PM   #17
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I agree with staying away from the murray,but it is very possible to build something with a lower quality steel set.I think being able to find a high quality tubing frame for cheap depends alot on you live(here on bostons CL every old piece of S**t is being sold as "vintage"for a couple hundret or more) and with e-bay shipping is a factor.$50 for a frame + $50 shipping your halfway to a pake.
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Old 03-10-08, 12:24 PM   #18
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Stay away. There is nothing good that can be done with a Murray. It probably has steel rims so it will suck even as a snow bike. Just wait for it to go in the trash if you really want it. I picked up a similar bike for free and it was so crappy it was a waste of time to pick it up and a waste of space to store it. Plus I bet it has those 26" rims and tiny axles that nobody makes anymore, so converting it may even be impossible.

Although if you do end up picking it up from the garbage, you might want to rotafix a cog on there and make it your joke bike. Whatever you do, don't spend money on parts for it that you can't transfer to a new frame.
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Old 03-10-08, 12:43 PM   #19
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It is true that just about any frame can be turned into a good fixie (except french frames),
Possibly the most nonsensical thing I've seen posted on the forum this year...and that is really saying something. Good job.
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Old 03-10-08, 12:47 PM   #20
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d)dont waste your time
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Old 03-10-08, 04:28 PM   #21
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What makes no sense to me is when people spend $20 on a crap bike and then all of the sudden it becomes their beloved. They lavish time and money (generally more of the former) on it and are offended if anyone suggests that they might have more fun if they get a nicer bike.
So you're only allowed to like your bike if you spent a lot of money on it?
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Old 03-10-08, 04:48 PM   #22
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Say you want to take it for a test ride. Then ride it into a river. It will be so much fun!
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ask the dude if he'll throw in a pair of oldschool roller skates, then only give him $8.
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Old 03-10-08, 06:32 PM   #23
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So you're only allowed to like your bike if you spent a lot of money on it?
The important part of that statement was the the bike they bought for $20 was crap. If they bought a descent bike for $20, good for them.

Many people are under the impression that throwing enough money and time into any bike will make it a good bike. They get attached to a particular frame and do whatever they have to to make it nice. They end up spending quite a bit of money and create a lot of frustration in an attempt to stay loyal to a particular frame or components. A lot of times it would be cheaper and easier to look for a better frame to start with.

Yes, the bike might get you across town. It might get you there quickly and feel good to you. But what I learned after many years riding is that I had no reference point from which to judge the feel of a bike when I first started riding. This is why so many new riders are riding frames much too big or small, but they insist that they feel great. You can't tell what a bike is supposed to feel like until you've ridden a quality, properly sized bike. Your first bike may feel good to you, but there's a good chance that there are bikes out there for relatively little money that would feel much better. I definitely found that out when I switched from a 58cm to a 60cm frame after two years of riding.

And yes, cycling can get expensive. Just because your neighbor was able to build an awesome $50 conversion, doesn't mean you will be able to do it too.

Just...don't get to attached.

p.s. French bikes are a pain in the ass to convert because all the threadings and diameters are not currently standard. Parts (headsets, pedals, BB's...) are very difficult to find if they need to be replaced.

p.p.s. I'm a very sarcastic person
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Old 03-10-08, 08:56 PM   #24
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C,... but keep your eye on the trash bins and alleys, I looked for a "good" frame to convert for close to months before I found one, and then I found two with in a week, both were free..... so I gave one to a friend who built a wheel for me. win + win
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Old 03-10-08, 11:21 PM   #25
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One of my bikes is a French conversion. A 1986 Gitane Victoire. The Vitus tubing is an awesome thing. Yes French bikes are a pain. When I got the frame it only had the fixed BB cup and headset, thank god it at least had that. The adjustable cup is standard ISO. I am running a standard ISO spindle, so no BB lockring for me. I have put about 1000 miles on it thus far and it hasn't been an issue oddly. Quality French bikes, not 80s Puegot, can be worth it. I do worry when it comes time to replace hardware. I will be sourcing rare parts and probably spending a lot of money to do so. At least I know how to wrench...
My other bike is a 1950s Italian track bike. I am a glutton for punishment.
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