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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 03-17-08, 05:43 PM   #1
tealeaves
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Good Frame To Convert?

hey guys,

I'm working on building my first fixed gear and I've been looking at vintage road bikes on craigs list to convert.
I've been using Sheldon Brown's conversion article for reference but other than that I don't really know what I'm doing,
so I have a lot of questions... haha.

I was wondering what any of you thought of this frame as a starter:



http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/607326347.html

it's a J.C. Penny's and is a steel frame.
that's about all the information I've gotten out of the seller.
I've tried looking them up online but I've hardly found anything.
do any of you know if it has horizontal dropouts?
is it a good deal or am I going to have to replace too many parts to pay $110 for the frame?
so many silly questions! thanks in advance for any help.


Sarah
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Old 03-17-08, 05:47 PM   #2
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i'm sure it could be done, but if it were me i'd leave it like it is. it's already cool!

i don't know about the dropouts, sorry.
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Old 03-17-08, 05:52 PM   #3
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Nope, not a good candidate for conversion. It is a cruiser and is designed for cruisin', so it will have some very lax angles. Also, it wil be a heavy bike and the spacing will be pretty wide due to the large internally geared hub, so you would have to get all whacky with spacers. As the other guy said, it is great as it is.

That said, there are some pretty decent candidates on your local CL.

I think this bike is perfect as it is but it would be a better bike than the JC Penney thing to convert: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/609557075.html

Ditto: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/609304127.html

Again: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/608651967.html

How tall are ya? That gives us a better idea of what size you will need.
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Old 03-17-08, 05:53 PM   #4
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Don't convert that. Look for a road bike with 27 inch or 700c tires and a two piece crank. You want an old racing style bike, with drop bars, those bikes will convert the easiest. Also you need the smaller bottom bracket size, start looking at bikes as you pass em outside, you'll notice crappy bikes have a huge bottom bracket, nicer ones will have a smaller 1- 1/2' diameter one. Not a Peugot, or any 3 speed. Search Craig's list for "ten speed" or "road bike."

This bike here would make a nice grocery truck, just give it a big Wald basket.
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Old 03-17-08, 05:57 PM   #5
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I know nothing about the actual frame, but it could make a very nice conversion. First, make sure it fits. Second, figure out whether it has horizontal dropouts. If those two things are good, then, you must see it in person to see if the parts are good (look at things like cranks, bottom bracket, headset, wheels. see if things turn smoothly). If the parts are all good, it could definitely be worth $110. Throw a new back wheel with a track hub on, and you're all set.

Keep in mind, its JC Penny bike, so its probably going to be heavy as what, but you're probably not too concerned with weight. Its definitely a cute old-school frame and looks well-maintained.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:01 PM   #6
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well, any bike can be converted to fixed gear. if sarah wants a fixed cruiser, then it wouldn't take much work to acheive those results. i think an old cruiser like that would be a fun fixed gear grocery bike.

just because someone wants a fixed gear bike doesn't nessecarily mean they want to race around and act like a messenger.

but i do think that bike is better off as it is - three speed vintage slow bike.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:07 PM   #7
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The only thing that bike needs is a wicker basket.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:18 PM   #8
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I'd ride that one like it is.
Get some older road bike to convert.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:20 PM   #9
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Its an American 3 speed. It uses odd parts and poor construction. I'd ride it as it is, I got a Raleigh 3spd +big basket I shop with. But this isn't conversion material. It has US 26 1 3/8 wheels, a chain line that probably won't match that of a flip flop hub, and sadly those fenders won't hold 700c wheels. Sarah if you want a fixed cruiser, find a 700c wheeled hybrid. It'll have comfy geometry and will convert very easily. You'll need wheels and new bars. Converting this 3 spd will be a death march.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
Nope, not a good candidate for conversion. It is a cruiser and is designed for cruisin', so it will have some very lax angles. Also, it wil be a heavy bike and the spacing will be pretty wide due to the large internally geared hub, so you would have to get all whacky with spacers. As the other guy said, it is great as it is.

That said, there are some pretty decent candidates on your local CL.

I think this bike is perfect as it is but it would be a better bike than the JC Penney thing to convert: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/609557075.html

Ditto: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/609304127.html

Again: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/608651967.html

How tall are ya? That gives us a better idea of what size you will need.


ah yeah I saw all those and they were nice but too big.
I'm barely 5'5" with a 30" inseam so I'm pretty sure I need something around 50-52cm?
I was also looking at this frame:

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/607449948.html

but I wasn't sure how much more I'd be spending since it's JUST the frame and I'm doing this with my tax return.

maybe this would be better?:

http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/bik/608854612.html

might still be too big though. most of the ones I've liked are 56cm. damn being so small! haha.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:06 PM   #11
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With a 30" inseam and at 5'5", you should be looking for a frame in the 48-50 range. 52 will fit, with the seatpost jammed low enough that people assume that it doesn't fit.

Also, that Gitane looks smaller than a 52. I'd guess 50, at most. I don't know about the quality, though.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:09 PM   #12
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Odd parts, odd sizing, stems stuck in head tubes, seatposts fused to frame, BBs ****ed up.. meh. Unless it's in fantastic condition and finding parts isn't a problem for you, I'd probably stick w/ something easier, like a nice lightweight 80s steel frame.
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