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  1. #1
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    Advice - Building a fixed gear on the cheap...

    I've built a few bikes now. Now I have friends coming up to me asking me to build bikes for them. I'd love to, it's a lot of fun for me. The problem is, I don't feel right asking them to shell out some large amount of money to recycle some crappy old cro-moly frame. I want to be able to build them for CHEAP (less than 100 dollars). I feel like I've got building a fixie on the cheap down to a science. The original cranks, headset, frame, bars, and maybe brakes can be recycled.

    Here's how I'd break it down...

    UN53 BB - 20 dollars
    Bar Tape/grips - 10 dollars
    Cog/Lockring - 30 dollars
    One Cyclocross lever - 10 dollars
    Brake Cable - 5 dollars
    Spray Can/Paste/etc - 5 dollars
    Chain - 10 dollars

    So, 90 bucks so far not including the frame which isn't part of the budget.

    The only thing that's left is a wheelset. That's where things get hard. How can I put together a decent fixie without spending 200 dollars on a wheelset?
    Last edited by tgrssn; 03-25-08 at 04:13 PM.

  2. #2
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Suicide hub? I'd get a nice waiver together if you're selling those things.

  3. #3
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    How do you reuse the original crank? Just take the inside chain off? Wouldn't that throw off the Q factor? What wheels do you put on there?

  4. #4
    %#&*#%>?% Build your own's Avatar
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    How is repacking a bb hard?Put that $20 toward a hub.

    Edit:i see you changed your post
    Last edited by Build your own; 03-25-08 at 04:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Look at all these buttons EivlEvo's Avatar
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    You could just not buy $200 wheels?

  6. #6
    %#&*#%>?% Build your own's Avatar
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    If you want to keep it cheap keep the frontwheel and buy a cheap 27" rear with a generic hub.

  7. #7
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    I would get some short stack bolts instead of keeping both rings (or the old bolts and some washers if you are super cheap).

  8. #8
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    re: selling the bikes - No way. I do this for fun and for free. Actually, I usually end up throwing a bit of my own money in. I just like to build bikes for friends. It's rewarding and it gets butts on seats.
    re: replacing the bb - I like to. It's much smoother when it's done and it doesn't loosen up. I always get a 107mm because then I can get a nice straight chainline with an inexpensive set of Shimano 600s in the future.
    re: just spending 200 on wheels- That's why I'm posting here. I can spend 200 on wheels no problem. It just sucks to ask not so fortunate friends of mine to shell out that kind of money when for less than $150 they could go buy a never used mountain bike that some yuppie around here bought on a whim and never rode. Or maybe a bike like this. http://phoenix.craigslist.org/bik/615735557.html
    We're lucky here in Phoenix. Every day dozens of bikes are posted up for sale by people who buy them to hang up in their garage for a year. There's also a lot of serious racers with a lot of money who sell their bikes cheap when they outgrow them. It's great.

  9. #9
    %#&*#%>?% Build your own's Avatar
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    Since you mentioned MTBs and roadies,unless your friends are hellbent on a fixed,why not build SS with a freewheel on the original hub.Just redish.

  10. #10
    kicker of elves weltall82's Avatar
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    perhaps just tell your friends that instead of dying on a suicide machine, they could just wait and put together some cash for a decent rear wheel, you know?

    putting a fixie together with a nice rear wheel and proper chainline for less than three hundred is pretty freaking sweet as it is, you know?

    sure they could get a cheapo huffy or something off of craigslist, but if you're converting a rig to do a completely different operation, it's going to cost no matter how you look at it.

    and it's worth it.

  11. #11
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Yeah, why not tack on fifteen bucks for an ss freewheel and not bother with a deathwheel?

    Bikes that coast are superior anyway.

  12. #12
    kicker of elves weltall82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim-bob View Post
    Yeah, why not tack on fifteen bucks for an ss freewheel and not bother with a deathwheel?

    Bikes that coast are superior anyway.


    they may be superior in mechanical theory, but not in the context of your anatomy. coasting often gives your legs time to stiffen up. they're harder on your muscles in that respect.

    not to say that groupset-using cyclists are wrong, by any means.

  13. #13
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    The trick is that on a freewheeled bike you can choose to keep pedaling.

  14. #14
    kicker of elves weltall82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim-bob View Post
    The trick is that on a freewheeled bike you can choose to keep pedaling.


    true. ultimately it's arguable which gearing format is best for you. one only has to try em both and choose accordingly.

    i ride fixed all over portland, but i grew up riding geared mountain bikes and bmxers. i've had great fun on all of them.

  15. #15
    Chicago needs more hills. andychang's Avatar
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    I know this is a bit backwards thinking...

    300 dollars will get you a complete fixed gear bike at bikesdirect.com
    http://bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/thehour.htm

    sort of takes away the fun of what you want to do, but maybe you can just take the wheels off of these guys and then use the frameset for your own project?

    there seem to be a pretty good selection of track/ss wheelsets for sale on ebay. if your friends aren't too concerned with having the best or the fastest, i see no reason why they couldn't make good use of some of the utilitarian listings.
    on average, i eat 1.5 clif bars a day.
    http://ridefetish.com/profile/wch759

  16. #16
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    buy someone's stock pista wheelset or equivalent alex wheelset. i've seen some sell for 50$

  17. #17
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    the bikeisland.com budget wheelset is apparently decent, i think it's like 120.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the advice.

  19. #19
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    http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ils&ProdID=960

    That's the best advice I've gotten. 110 bucks is super cheap. They look like formula hubs. I've built two bikes with those and they're not amazing but they're sturdy and work fine.

  20. #20
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    Nah. Nobody I know is concerned with being fast. They don't know anything about bikes. They just want to hang out and build something that is uniquely theirs. Can't fault them for that.

  21. #21
    Look at all these buttons EivlEvo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgrssn View Post
    Nah. Nobody I know is concerned with being fast. They don't know anything about bikes. They just want to hang out and build something that is uniquely theirs. Can't fault them for that.
    This is ss/fg... we'll find a way.

    Hahaha.

  22. #22
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    hey tgrssn, are you still building fixed gears on the cheap, and up to date with the market parts and prices? I am trying to help a friend potentially build up a fixie on a cheapie bike and frame. I just have several questions.

    Where do you find the lowest price items? a website, local bike shop, more than one website?

    Why the UN53 Bottom Bracket? is that the cheapest or best bang for the buck for bottom brackets?
    How would the stock BB compare with the UN53, and what do you mean by it loosening up?

    Is Bikeisland the cheapest you find a fixed wheelset? They seem to be out of stock at the moment, ya think they will restock quickly or frequently?

  23. #23
    Harumph somegeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgrssn View Post
    The problem is, I don't feel right asking them to shell out some large amount of money to recycle some crappy old cro-moly frame.
    You're not forcing anything on them... it's their final say if they want to spend the $ - it is what it is. Don't feel bad since you're already donating your time to the project. Good on you.

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