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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 01-26-04, 08:15 AM   #1
kurremkarm
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Building a fixed, help a newb?

First, let me say that I want to build this myself but I don't want to reinvent the wheel, literally. I'm planning on picking up an old 70's 10 speed frame with horizontal drops, the one I have actually bid on comes with a seat binder bolt, front headset, and fork.

I want to use this as a city bike, it will have fenders, a rack, and lights. I know I need a bottom bracket, stem, crank, pedals, seat post, and wheels, track cog, lockring, etc. This will be my first ever attempt to do this and I'm hoping for some expert advice.

I want to start fairly low geared, something like 65-70 gear inches--yes I'm a wimp-- 42:16 ish. What advice for good basic parts that are decent quality, strength is more important than weight since the rider is going to be around 200 pounds--me. Rims should be big enough to let me use 700x28 tires at least.

Where can I skimp, where do I need to spend the money? Are there any pitfalls that newbs make that I should avoid?

I guess I will budget this at 400 dollars-- not including the frame, the rack, or the lights. If spending another 100 bucks would pay off in the long run I could prolly go 500.

Thanks much.
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Old 01-26-04, 09:56 AM   #2
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Check out Sheldon Browns site for starters. He even has "kits" that will at least give you some good ideals and ballparks

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/fixed.html

Scroll down to the bottom.

You'll want to check that rear end spacing, since its an old frame.




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Old 01-26-04, 11:40 AM   #3
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since it's your first, and you're not looking to build a racer, you can skimp almost everywhere. cheap fixies from the parts bin are somewhat of a tradition, after all.

i'll append that by saying that the one thing i think it's wise to spend some scratch on is the rear wheel. you're a big guy, and since you'll probably be doing some skidding, you'll want something strong. (and it won't even be that expensive.)

i'd recommend a surly hub and a rim like the mavic MA3. (actually, i don't know offhand if the MA3 will support the wide tires you want, but it's a popular choice for a cheap, strong rim.)

also, (esp if you're not running a front brake), get a decent rear tire. the specialized armadillo is a good choice, and runs about $30.

skimp on the cranks. get an old road crank and run it with one ring. get a big fat KMC BMX chain (a 1/8" pitch rear cog and chain are a wise plan if you're going brakeless). stem, bars, headset, bb, post and saddle, front wheel and all that other stuff should come from the spare parts bin!
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Old 01-26-04, 11:52 AM   #4
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You should look at Harris Cyclery as suggested. I would think about Shimano Sora 165mm length cranks with 42 ring and 16 or 17 rear cog. Shimano un-72 bottom bracket with installation tool, which you will need to install the bottombracket, in a 113 length. Whatever hubs you may want.This depends on the rear drop out spacing. I don't believe in skimping here. I know other people do and then they regret it later and upgrade to a beter hub. I prefer sealed bearing hubs for any wet weather use such as you would experience commuting, and get them with good track nuts not quick release on the rear. You are not road racing so the quick release is unnecessary and not as secure. Suzue flop flop fixed/free sealed bearing would allow you to use a freewheel on the off side thereby doubling the utility of the bike, if used with a rear brake. See what brake levers are available from Harris on sale. If you are only running fixed gear and not a freewheel then you don't need a rear brake. If you can build your own wheels then you will save the build fee. Sram pc48 or pc58 chain in 3/32 profile is pretty good to get started. Mavic ma-3 rims and double butted spokes in 14/15 makes up a nice true wheel if you use at least 32 hole.14 straight guage is cheaper and about as strong but not as aerodynamic. If you want an even stronger wheel, use 36 hole. Any tire with Kevlar belting that you can get at a decent price is good. You may even want to use a kevlar tire liner for flat free riding if you have to negotiate badly maintained streets and don't mind the added weight. Nitto Technomic stem, in whatever reach length you normally use, is available with a taller length that will allow you a more upright position for city riding during heavy commute traffic and better vision; easier on your back also. The trade off is that it is not as aerodynamic. Nitto also makes nice drop bars if you won't be running aero brake levers and don't need grooves. But again you are not building a race bike. Kalloy makes an inexpensive seat post in a large variety of sizes for about 20 dollars. Pedals are a rather personal choice. Do you want to use clips and straps or will you be riding with shoes that have a built in cleat to match the pedal. If clips and straps then MKS track pedals are good entry level sealed bearing pedals that are not too expensive and are maintainence free when combined with toe clips and straps. I don't use clipless pedals so I can't recommend any.
You should be able to put that all together and still stay within you price range. It should build up to a long lived and very trouble free bike to get you to work and back and still provide some fun on the weekends. Hope this helps.

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Old 01-26-04, 11:52 AM   #5
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I am about 200 pounds and I ride on 32 hole Mavic open pros with 14ga spokes. No problems.

I would also recommend a good hand built wheel. A good cog and lockring also helps ( doesn't chew up your hub) and is fairly cheap.

You should also decide what size drive train you want. For cheap stay with 1/8 inch (make sure you get the right size cog). Cranks can usually be gotten for cheap.

Everything else can be found very cheap.
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Old 01-26-04, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedgearhead
Mavic ma-3 rims and double butted spokes in 14/15 makes up a nice true wheel if you use at least 32 hole.14 straight guage is cheaper and about as strong but not as aerodynamic.
im pretty sure aerodynamics isnt an issue here bladed would be better for aero anyways!

from what i learned through the world of trials riding is that a straight gauge spoked wheel will stay truer than a double butted wheel. upon heavy impact the double butted spoke will stretch out more, thus giving the rim an oppurtunity to become out of true. im not sure how this applies to road cycling bc the wheels are under much less stress, so dont hold me to it.

on a side note, an effective way to build a very strong stock trials rear wheel is to use straight gauge on the drive side, and double butted on the non-drive side. this helps balance the spoke tension on multispeed rear wheels bc of the dish. i wonder if this would be applicable to XC MTB wheels and/or downhill/freeride MTBs?
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Old 01-26-04, 05:24 PM   #7
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I see some suzue/ritchey wheelsets with the steel flip/flop in back with alloy up front on ebay with the ritchey rims for cheap. Would that suck or would it be ok?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=36144
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Old 01-26-04, 06:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurremkarm
I see some suzue/ritchey wheelsets with the steel flip/flop in back with alloy up front on ebay with the ritchey rims for cheap. Would that suck or would it be ok?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=36144
I think that is the cheap Suzue hub. A number of people have said that the bearing surface leaves much to be desired, entry level and basic. I actually have one on a bike that I keep on a trainer in the basement and they do work. It would be better to go to the next level up in quality in Suzue hubs. IMHO. Don't know about the rims. Never had any dealings with Richey. Big name in the Industry though. I guess it depends what you could get them for. If cheap enough, you could use them and then swap out the hubs when they destruct. Fixed gear bicycling seems to be a constant attempt to upgrade and refit parts to improve the ride. At least for me.

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Old 01-31-04, 11:29 PM   #9
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Well, picked up this frame on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...EBWN%3AIT&rd=1
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Old 02-01-04, 01:24 AM   #10
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big lek!
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Old 02-01-04, 02:08 AM   #11
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big lek!
Translation? Oh Stewardess, I speak Jive.
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