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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 05-23-08, 01:41 PM   #1
S4gasm
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Noob question. Which frame should I start with

Ok. So I have decided build a free/fixed as a bike to get around town for the summer. I have two choices for the frame I'll start with and I need your help deciding which.

The red bike is a Schinn World Tourist that my dad bought in the 80's sometime that has been sitting in the garage and would be free for me.

The yellow bike is also a Schwinn that a friend got in a deal with another bike. I can pick that up for about 50 or 60 bucks.

The yellow one is a road bike (has spots for downtube shifters), the red a touring. But from what I see the geometry is very similar. I noticed on the yellow bike that the top and downtubes are closer together where they hit the headtube than they are on the red bike, but not significantly. Looking at my 06 Trek road bike, they are very close.

My main concern is weight. The red one appears to be newer than the yellow one, judging by decals (80s vs 70s I think). But at the same time, the red one has butted joints and the tubing is minutely thicker. I guess what I want to know is will the technological advancements due to it being newer cancel out the extra weight of it being a touring bike with butted joints etc? I don't know the exact year for the bikes, but I did include pictures.

I'm thinking the yellow one might be a little better. But is the difference in weight/geometry good enough to merit spending 50 or 60 bucks on it? The red one is free. Keep in mind I'm going to change most of the stuff on either of them, so I'm really just talking about the frames. I didn't want to take them both apart and weigh them if someone here had a more educated answer.

Thanks.

Pics, think in terms of frames. The yellow one has my Trek 1500 front wheel on it and is a single with drop bars and no fenders, so I know overall it looks more appealing:

Sorry I didn't resize the pics. I wanted to show as much detail as possible.

Grand Tourism










Big Bird








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Old 05-23-08, 01:43 PM   #2
S4gasm
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Wow. Sorry again about the size of the pics. Most of the other forums I'm on automatically show them smaller until they're clicked
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Old 05-23-08, 01:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by S4gasm View Post
Ok. So I have decided build a free/fixed as a bike to get around town for the summer. I have two choices for the frame I'll start with and I need your help deciding which.

The red bike is a Schinn World Tourist that my dad bought in the 80's sometime that has been sitting in the garage and would be free for me.

The yellow bike is also a Schwinn that a friend got in a deal with another bike. I can pick that up for about 50 or 60 bucks.

The yellow one is a road bike (has spots for downtube shifters), the red a touring. But from what I see the geometry is very similar. I noticed on the yellow bike that the top and downtubes are closer together where they hit the headtube than they are on the red bike, but not significantly. Looking at my 06 Trek road bike, they are very close.

My main concern is weight. The red one appears to be newer than the yellow one, judging by decals (80s vs 70s I think). But at the same time, the red one has butted joints and the tubing is minutely thicker. I guess what I want to know is will the technological advancements due to it being newer cancel out the extra weight of it being a touring bike with butted joints etc? I don't know the exact year for the bikes, but I did include pictures.

I'm thinking the yellow one might be a little better. But is the difference in weight/geometry good enough to merit spending 50 or 60 bucks on it? The red one is free. Keep in mind I'm going to change most of the stuff on either of them, so I'm really just talking about the frames. I didn't want to take them both apart and weigh them if someone here had a more educated answer.

Thanks.
I would go with the red one. The "butted joints" are actually called lugs and they make it possible to use thinner tubing overall for a lighter bike. Also it has three piece cranks and an "English" bottom bracket rather than the 1 piece "American" set up on the yellow bike. This is generally an indicator of a better quality bike. Also, the things on the yellow bikes down tube are cable guides, just like the red bike has, not shifter bosses.

Neither one of these will be a particularly light bike however, even as a fixed gear. What sort of budget do you have for the conversion? If your dad will let you, it might be worth your trouble to sell the red bike for $100 or so and put that money towards a new or used fixed gear. I say this especially if you are planning on replacing pretty much everything but the frame.
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Old 05-23-08, 01:59 PM   #4
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a Schwinn Continental is in no way worth $50
the touring bike is by far the better frame.
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Old 05-23-08, 03:32 PM   #5
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stick with the red tourer. it'll make a looker if you make some nice choices. if you make bad choices, it'll make a sturdy, nice, averagelookingwhichisstillprettygood bike.
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Old 05-23-08, 03:48 PM   #6
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that yellow thing is a piece. go for the red guy. lugged construction, no HOLE IN THE HEAD TUBE, and overall nicer. f that yellow thing.
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Old 05-23-08, 04:45 PM   #7
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and i shall add yet another comformation , go w/ the red one
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Old 05-23-08, 07:59 PM   #8
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i concur, red because lugged tubing is teh sexy.
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Old 05-23-08, 09:08 PM   #9
S4gasm
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Thanks for the insight. Definitely going to use the red bike. I like its looks more anyway. I just assumed it way heavier... Guess not
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Old 05-24-08, 09:01 AM   #10
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the red bike is much better due to it's lugged frame (as said) and that it uses a bottom bracket and cranks, instead of the much cheaper 1-piece style used on the schwinn. plus it's free!

p.s. at first glance your name reminded me of Homer's grunge band Sadgasm.
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Old 05-24-08, 11:53 AM   #11
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Go with red
Pretty lugs, and it has multi-piece cranks which you can switch out if you so desire
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Old 05-26-08, 12:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
p.s. at first glance your name reminded me of Homer's grunge band Sadgasm.
Ha.
This is actually the inspiration for the name. The green guy on the left.


Can the crank arms and pedals be easily removed? I want to paint or at least polish the crank arms and switch out the pedals.
She is now single speed with a freewheel. I haven't decided on a fixed cog sizing yet. Using the stock 52 tooth chainring with an 18 tooth Shimano freewheel.

I'll grab a pic of the progress later
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Old 05-26-08, 09:32 PM   #13
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the red bike is quite nice.

I'd leave the fenders, and make it a nice townie. don't paint the cranks! polish sounds good though, and you wouldn't have to take them off. pedals come off easily with a pedal wrench.

if it were me I'd spit'n polish the whole mess, get things down to a single ring in front, clean up the back, maybe switch to a single cog freewheel, put new cables and housing and clean up how it runs (maybe some old metal mini-clamp cable guides along the top tube for the rear-brake cable), some nice platform pedals, new saddle and possible post (if it is one of the heavy jobs with a separating clamp head) etc...
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