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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 07-28-08, 01:45 PM   #1
Catnap
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Royce Union SS conversion - PICS!



Over the weekend I started work on my first SS / FG conversion. I bought an old Royce Union 10-speed off of Craigslist last week that was in rough, but working condition. It's a heavy frame, probably gas-pipe (although that makes for a smoother ride on NYC streets, compared to my aluminum frame Trek SS.)

On Saturday I stripped off the shifters, derailleur, seat, chain, kickstand, and bar tape. Then I put on a new SRAM chain, flipped the bars, and put on a new seat. I also got a 16T freewheel to put on there, but haven't gotten that far yet.

Tomorrow night I'm heading over to the Times Up! bike co-op to true the wheels, re-dish the rear and add the freewheel. I'm also planning on chopping & flipping the bars into a bullhorn-type configuration. I'd also like to strip off the stickers, sand down the rust spots, and then rattle-can the whole frame a new shade of yellow... but I'm kind of on the fence because I'm not sure the bike fits me!

I rode it to work today and it felt cramped. My hands wanted to be about 3-4 inches more forward than they were. It got better as I raised up the seat, but still, my legs and arms hurt in ways they don't normally, when I ride my regular bike, an SS Trek Soho S. Here's the measurements: 21" top tube, 18.75" seat tube. Stem is 3.5" long, 3.75" high. I'm 5' 6" lightweight guy, used to an upright hybrid riding position (from the Trek).

So here's some questions, looking for opinions:

1. Is it too small for me? (see above measurements)

2. if so, will changing the bars and stem to something with a longer reach fix that, or is it not worth the trouble?

3. i'm also considering changing the cranks, chainring, and bottom bracket. however, the cranks are cottered, which (i think) will make that a pain in the @ss. is it worth it? i honestly have no complaints about the current setup right now, other than looks.







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Old 07-28-08, 06:24 PM   #2
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a 53cm, might be on the smallish size for 5'6" but it nots terrible
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Old 07-28-08, 06:39 PM   #3
Jabba Degrassi
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Will you please fix those bars before I punch your face? </internet tough-guy>
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Old 07-28-08, 07:47 PM   #4
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O M G .....

Well if it's any consolation, good job.
Just keep on fixing 'er up.
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Old 07-28-08, 07:52 PM   #5
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*awaits deathhares snotty ass remark about making a thread for this*
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Old 07-28-08, 09:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
Will you please fix those bars before I punch your face? </internet tough-guy>
yeah, they are pretty lame right now, but i'm used to an upright riding posture and was having a lot of trouble riding with the drops in the usual "down-low" position. tomorrow i will take a hacksaw / pipe cutter to them and make bullhorns.

the biggest challenge for me right now is to make this bike as rideable as possible without blowing anymore money on it. thanks to Times Up! i have a place to work on it, with all the tools i'll need and experienced mechanics to give advice. but in terms of components, i want to use as much stuff that's on the bike as possible, versus buying new ones, since the frame itself doesn't justify them. although i'm open to anyone who wants to make a counter-argument on that point.

anyways, feel free to tell me the bike sux, but please also include at least some useful suggestions* as well.


*telling me to throw it in the East River is not a useful suggestion.


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*awaits deathhares snotty ass remark about making a thread for this*
...because threads about how you roll your jeans, wear your backpack, or teach your girlfriend how to skid are so much more important.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:43 PM   #7
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Jeez the bar setup is hideous.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:45 PM   #8
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a 53cm, might be on the smallish size for 5'6" but it nots terrible
Actually a 53 would be big for 5'6
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Old 07-28-08, 09:56 PM   #9
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Actually a 53 would be big for 5'6

so should i invest in a longer (horizontally) stem? my issue is that i feel like my arms should extended an extra 2-3 inches forward.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:01 PM   #10
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Either chop and flop the bars or get real bullhorns, they'll give you the forward position you want. Don't feel bad about spending money on it. Just be smart and buy components that are universal, like handle bars, wheels, etc.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snails View Post
a 53cm, might be on the smallish size for 5'6" but it nots terrible
I'm 5'11" and I ride a 53 and it's perfect for me.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:02 PM   #12
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Will you please fix those bars before I punch your face? </internet tough-guy>
HAHAHAH Oh man that made me laugh out loud. Thanks dude.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:11 PM   #13
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I have to say that IMHO you have already spent too much on this bike. I tell you what, tell me what your inseam is & I'll keep my eyes peeled for a better foundation on which to build for you. It would also help if you let me know how much you can (honestly, even if you have to save) spare for another bike.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:35 PM   #14
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I have to say that IMHO you have already spent too much on this bike. I tell you what, tell me what your inseam is & I'll keep my eyes peeled for a better foundation on which to build for you. It would also help if you let me know how much you can (honestly, even if you have to save) spare for another bike.
i appreciate the offer, my inseam's 28 / 29" ish.

but that's actually irrelevant; i already own an almost brand-new Trek Soho S that I love and that fits me perfectly. the reason why i bought this beater is to learn how to work on a singlespeed / fixed bike.

i wanted something i can take to the co-op and get my hands dirty on. i didn't wanna mess around with my Trek and risk screwing it up. so i was specifically looking for an easily convertible old road bike to take apart and rebuild. problem is, it seems like everyone in the 5 boroughs is too! i'm well aware that i overpaid for this thing. but i read Craigslist and Ebay every day and have only seen one or two listing come through at a similar or lower pricepoint (that weren't totally sketchy).

i'm dealing with that by trying not to let the expenditure climb any higher, while still improving the bike the old-fashioned way. i also think that when i'm done, i can probably flip it for $200-250... (not my appraisal of its actual value, but based on the current prices found CL & Ebay) meaning that i can reasonably drop up to $50 more on this bike.
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Old 07-29-08, 06:31 AM   #15
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The size all depends on the top tube length.

I have seen 53 seat tubes with 55 top tubes, and 53 seat tubes with 53 top tubes. Even 49 seat tubes with 54 top tubes.

For 5'6 of normal build, I think your top tube should be about 51-52. Meaning a 51-52cm bike for square geometry, or 51-52 top tube.

You probably feel wierd on the bike becasue your handlebars are in the wrong position.

Drainyoo: your top tube is probably 56 or longer. Otherwise you're stem is too long, or your bike is too small.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
i appreciate the offer, my inseam's 28 / 29" ish.

but that's actually irrelevant; i already own an almost brand-new Trek Soho S that I love and that fits me perfectly. the reason why i bought this beater is to learn how to work on a singlespeed / fixed bike.

i wanted something i can take to the co-op and get my hands dirty on. i didn't wanna mess around with my Trek and risk screwing it up. so i was specifically looking for an easily convertible old road bike to take apart and rebuild. problem is, it seems like everyone in the 5 boroughs is too! i'm well aware that i overpaid for this thing. but i read Craigslist and Ebay every day and have only seen one or two listing come through at a similar or lower pricepoint (that weren't totally sketchy).

i'm dealing with that by trying not to let the expenditure climb any higher, while still improving the bike the old-fashioned way. i also think that when i'm done, i can probably flip it for $200-250... (not my appraisal of its actual value, but based on the current prices found CL & Ebay) meaning that i can reasonably drop up to $50 more on this bike.

I understand.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:47 AM   #17
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update...

chopped & flopped the bars last night:

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Old 07-30-08, 07:26 AM   #18
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^^^^^I'm not sure that's an improvement.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:38 AM   #19
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... needs more chopping ...

Regards.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:39 AM   #20
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chop again, chop them a little shorter those brake levers look awkward
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Old 07-30-08, 08:38 AM   #21
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I guess most importantly is how do the bars feel now?
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Old 07-30-08, 10:27 AM   #22
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I guess most importantly is how do the bars feel now?

they feel a lot better. i spent quite a while sitting on the bike checking & measuring my hand placement before cutting. and then a while longer positioning and angling the brake levers to where they in line with my grip.

that said, overall i think the bars are too narrow (width wise) compared to "real" bullhorns, but i don't have the measurements on hand to tell you. this will do for now...
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Old 07-30-08, 10:38 AM   #23
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should have kept the Bum Bars
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Old 08-02-08, 04:52 PM   #24
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Looking at the rust spots on the bum bar close-up pic, it looks like your frame's bent, = fail.

In terms of flipping it for $, I would not in good conscience sell that to anyone.

Last edited by sneaky viking; 08-02-08 at 04:54 PM. Reason: added stuff
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