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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 09-03-08, 01:28 PM   #1
city lights
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convert road bike or buy new

I currently have an old raleigh grand prix and am trying to decide between converting it to fixed gear or buying something cheap like a kilo tt...any thoughts?
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Old 09-03-08, 01:32 PM   #2
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this topic has been covered many times, you're not going to get much direct help. Do a search and you'll find all the opinions you need.

IMO, buy the kilo, you'll get the most for you money that way.
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Old 09-03-08, 01:35 PM   #3
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I'd tell you to search for previous threads, but it won't really help, since you'll just find pissing matches full of useless information. If you want to wrench and maybe save some cash, do the conversion. If you prefer not to have to tweak things yourself, or if you're really lusting after something newer and "track"ier, get the kilo. You might save a little cash on the conversion, depending on how you want to build it up, but you might easily spend just as much as if you had gone new.
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Old 09-03-08, 01:41 PM   #4
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get the kilo!
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Old 09-03-08, 01:45 PM   #5
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convert, that way you can say you put something into the bike, it always taste better when you have had a hand in it.
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Old 09-03-08, 02:07 PM   #6
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if you can find a clean $5 bike, convert it. otherwise go with teh kilo tt, windsor "the hour" or the motobecane messenger. good luck with your purchase
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Old 09-03-08, 03:21 PM   #7
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It is like saying do you want butter pecan or chocolate. Do what you want to do. Seriously.

If you want to do a conversion, awesome! Then fork over $160 for the wheels, about $100 for other stuff, and ride it.

If you want a Kilo, excellent! Price it, buy it, ride it.

The economics aren't much different (a few hundred bucks at most). It is all aesthetic. You won't be wrong, if that is what concerns you.

** note: this opinion does not hold true for any bike with French threading or vertical dropout. Nor does it hold true for the midget bikes that clowns ride in circuses. All are notoriously difficult to convert to a daily ss rider.
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Old 09-03-08, 03:29 PM   #8
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I bought my first fixed gear. I have learned more about them from riding it. I have a frame that has sentimental value to me out in the garage. It will be my next fixed gear and in my opinion better built then if I had tried to do it first with little knowledge. So I suggest you buy the Kilo tt and hang on to the raliegh for next time.
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Old 09-03-08, 03:31 PM   #9
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i like cheese on my chilli dogs.
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Old 09-03-08, 03:39 PM   #10
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i like cheese on my chilli dogs.
I like onions and mustard on my chili dogs
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Old 09-03-08, 03:58 PM   #11
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i like my coffee black.
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Old 09-03-08, 07:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city lights View Post
I currently have an old raleigh grand prix and am trying to decide between converting it to fixed gear or buying something cheap like a kilo tt...any thoughts?
It basically boils down to whether or not your conversion will cost more than the off the peg kilo.
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Old 09-03-08, 08:25 PM   #13
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It basically boils down to whether or not your conversion will cost more than the off the peg kilo.


I think the conversion cost won't be THAT much cheaper than the kilo. But I hear that alot of people say that they replaced alot of the parts that came stock on the kilo, so I thought I'd get some second opinions.


Thanks everyone for the replies
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Old 09-03-08, 08:32 PM   #14
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Converting is a lot of fun and very satisfying, at least for a while. If you want to really save money though, you need to go bargain bin on pretty much everything; and then after the excitement of building your own bike wears off and a while goes by, your cheap rattly parts start feeling cheap and rattly. Buying a new bike is considerably less of a hassle and not considerably more expensive for what you're going to get.

If you're on a budget and you're confident in your work and you have knowledgeable friendly folks around to help you out, converting is the way to go. If you've got some money and want something to get you around reliably, buy new.

Buying new makes a lot more sense for a lot of people. For my part, I've done a lot of cheap rattly conversions and I've enjoyed them all. So there's not really a stock answer; if you're inclined one way you should totally see what it's all about because you can always change your mind later.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-03-08, 08:41 PM   #15
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Well if you want a fixed road bike for training convert away. If you want to get
crazy with the skidding and skipping and such then you may want or really need
a bike with track geometry. I have no idea about the geometry of quality of this Raleigh.
If it is a nice old frame made from Reynolds or Columbus or some other good tubing then
you can have a classy conversion. If it has relaxed angles (track bikes typically have
seat/head angles of 74 degrees or so and less than 40 mm of fork rake) then you will
find it harder to skip and skid. Track bikes also have a higher bottom bracket. This is
called bottom
bracket drop--which is less than a road bike when expressed that way because it measures
the distance between the line between the axles on your wheels and the bottom bracket--higher
off ground = lower number. So anyway BB drop is less on track bikes because this creates less
risk of pedal strike. If you BB is really low (i.e. you have a high drop) on your raleigh you will
have more chance of pedal strike. How long are the pedals? Go with 165 mm track cranks if possible for fixed. Etc. etc. This consideration really, practically comes down to is the Raleigh
a fixed gear trainer? Are the angles steep enough for what you want to do? Alternately do you want more relaxed angles because you will ride long distances.
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