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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 11-22-03, 03:17 PM   #1
pjbaz
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newbie questions...

Hello,
I've been searching this forum for a few days and decided I NEED to build a fixie. I have an old FUJI (thrift store find) with horizontal dropouts that will be the cost effective way to start this...so I'd like to modify if I could.

I have a few questions though...here goes.


1. What geometry should I be looking for? Is a fixie frame supposed to be smaller or larger, or will any frame that fits traditionally be OK? The Fuji is about right for me.

2. Can I just reuse the front wheel (700c) or do I need to change that hub setup?

3. Is a flip flop hub an easy alternative to balance $$ and hassle.

4. The front crank arms are 171, is that too long for a fixed? I read alot of people run 165.


I'm sure to have more question in the next few weeks... so thanks in advance,
PJBAZ
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Old 11-22-03, 03:52 PM   #2
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Your front wheel shouldn't need any kind of change. If you're considering using two different gearing ratios or using a freewheel on one side, a flip-flop hub is a great idea, and it's much cost-effective to have it and use it eventually than to get a one-sided hub and then replace it later on. The reason for having shorter cranks on a fixed bike is mainly to avoid striking them on the ground while leaning into a turn, since you can't coast and keep the inside crank up.

http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/ should be able to answer a lot of your questions, and the http://lists.davintech.ca/mailman/listinfo/fixed-gear fixed gear mailing list is also really informative.
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Old 11-22-03, 06:55 PM   #3
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1) I ride fixie on the same size frame I ride geared.

2) You shouldn't have to do a thing to the front wheel.

3) I like my basic suzue flip-flop. Works fine.

4) I ride on 170's and have never had any problems with striking. I don't blast around turns, though, and the PX10E is a neat turner due to a very steep frame geometry. Your bottom bracket height is also a concern.
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Old 11-23-03, 05:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info...although I looked last night and I have 27" rims , not 700C so I need to check all the sizing stuff out before I decide what to do. Also, I loked at the crankset I have and the big ring is forever installed, no chance of taking it off because it's one piece to the arm...so I might need to replace the whole smear.

BUT, if I end up needing to do all that I might just find a way to pony up the extra $$$ and buy a Pista and slap on a front brake.
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Old 11-23-03, 06:16 PM   #5
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it has one piece cranks?
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Old 11-23-03, 09:25 PM   #6
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It's likely a setup where the big ring is actually one piece with the spider. Not uncommon on lower end 70s/80s bikes. Still a three piece crank setup.

You could also build a back wheel on a 27" rim. The main problem with riding on 27" wheels is the lessened tire selection. You can generally find 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 width tires easily, but not narrower. You can cut the old hub out of your thrift store fuji and rebuild the wheel around a flip-flop, which is the route I'd take.

The wider tire is not a bad thing, if you're riding in an urban setting. I prefer a slightly wider tire on my fixie, because it's an around-town bike. I ride with a 28.

I would use a front brake if you're riding in an urban setting. There are those who will argue with me on this, but I like a redundant braking system-- ie, if one brake fails, the other can back me up.
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Old 11-24-03, 09:00 AM   #7
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Yes, it is a three piece crank, but the big ring IS part of the spiders...not molded but press fit or something. Last night I was thinking about cutting the hub out and rebuilding around a flip flop. Tire width is not much of an issue as I plan on making this a fun bike, not a race machine at all, basically a "grocery getter."

I was planning on using the front branke for sure.

I'm going to stop at my LBS to see what I can find today...maybe they have some of these parts lying around, but I doubt it.

PJ
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