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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 11-18-08, 02:19 AM   #1
golfer007
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New...SS...many q's

I have very recently caught the single speed bug. I noticed we had an od 1970's Nishiki sitting in our garage so I brought it to school and a week later made it a single speed. I put on a 16t freewheel and a new KMC chain, took off the old bars and made some bull horns with a pair of old drop downs that were left for free in the campus bike shop, and got new brake pads. As of today, I stripped the bike down and am working on sanding it to get ready to prep for paint . I am VERY new to all this but I am obsessed with the cleanliness and ridability of a single speed. I plan on getting new wheels/tires, stem, crankset, housing, wrap, and possibly brakes depending on money situation lol. Anywho, thats my story and I would seriously appreciate all the advice, wisdom, and criticism in the world. I really have a knack for learning more about these amazing machines and doing everything myself.

OK, so, I guess I am concerned about the prices and what products I should be looking for for this bike. I am on an extremely tight budget and want to spend as little as possible. I am not concerned about going really fast, looks and functionality as well as price is what im allllll about. With that being said, what brand/price should I be looking for for:

Wheel set
Tires
Crank set
Brakes


Also, I am in the works of sanding the bike down as we speak. I have started to sand it down by hand using 3M 60 grit sand paper and I was thinking about hitting it with like 150 grit also after. I am taking it down to the bare metal. What else should I do to ensure a good looking, durable finish? I was thinking about getting an auto body shop to mix me some paint and use a spray gun with compressed air I have somewhere at home (I think its a cheapo and on the smaller side). What primers/clear coats (brands, places, etc.) should I go with?

Thanks for everything in advance. I know these are a lot of pretty stupid questions, but I want to get some good advice beforeI dive in head first.

Thanks,
Freelander
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Old 11-18-08, 01:03 PM   #2
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Uhhh, hello? Help here please!?
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Old 11-18-08, 01:13 PM   #3
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Did you see the search button at the top? Also re-search as well.
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Old 11-18-08, 01:37 PM   #4
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Uhhh, hello? Help here please!?
You're gonna last here with that attitude, I can already see it!
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Old 11-18-08, 02:08 PM   #5
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O.P. The d-baggery on this site is rampant.

Start here....

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

Then explore that site. Sheldon is Gods bike mechanic

You have to do a little leg work yourself... then come back with specifics... after you exhaust your search.

Your best bet for a durable finish is powder-coat. It should not cost you more than $100. Less if you prep it yourself.

If not, do a rattle can job with a spray urethane finish.
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Old 11-18-08, 03:16 PM   #6
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If you're buying new expect $300-$500 for lower priced parts for all the things you listed. If you're buying used off EBay or Craigslist it could be much lower.
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Old 11-18-08, 04:08 PM   #7
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Ok, I have visited Sheldon Browns site once before so Iguess I need to visit a coupe more times lol. Thanks for the insight guys.
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Old 11-18-08, 04:17 PM   #8
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Ok, I have visited Sheldon Browns site once before so Iguess I need to visit a coupe more times lol. Thanks for the insight guys.
Once? It's a godly resource. Once will never be enough. I still use it once every 2-3 days at least. Just go ahead and take a couple hours to read the Sheldon Brown Bicycle Glossary, that'll be a good start (surprisingly serioius about that one, you'll learn a lot.)
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Old 11-18-08, 04:41 PM   #9
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What kind of components are already on it? I see a lot of people who pull off perfectly good cranks and replace with cheap bulletproofs/whatever, same with a lot of other parts... Upgrading for the sake of upgrading is kind of pointless.

Paint: Unless you have used automotive paint before, along with a proper spray gun, let the pros do it. Or get some cheap paint and practice a lot first. No use wasting $80 of paint/clearcoat, only to strip it again and start over.
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Old 11-18-08, 10:43 PM   #10
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Wheel set
Use the one you have. Redish and respace the rear. $10 spoke wrench. $10-15 for new bearings and grease. $15+ for a small set of cone wrenches if you don't have a pedal wrench and crescent wrench that will fit.
Quote:
Tires
$15-20 each at your LBS. There aren't too many 27" tires to choose from. $40 for Armadillos/Gatorskins for flat resistance.
Quote:
Crank set
Use the one you have. Or $50-75, something like Sugino, Origin8, or Bulletproof. Plus $25 bottom bracket plus $15-30+ for a crank puller and installation tools. Or used parts bin, but a no-fuss sealed BB is so much better than messing with cups and cones and possibly cottered cranks.
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Brakes
Use the ones you have. Or used parts bin at your local used bikes shop.

Brake levers: the ones you have, used parts bin, or Tektro R200A levers from a place like aebike.com for $20.
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Old 11-19-08, 12:10 AM   #11
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The only new bit you need is a fixed cog ... or bmx cog if you're going SS.

New brake pads are always a good move and make a big difference to your braking - the 70's brakes will probably work really well with good quality pads and maybe new cables if they are at all rusted. Modern brakes are better but not essential.

Old/worn/cracked tyres will cause you more dramas than anything so buy new tyres. 27 inch shouldn't be hard to get, any lbs that tries to tell you they are probably wants you to buy nothing but modern/expensive stuff. Big superstores like KMart and Target often have them really cheap.

You can spin a track cog onto the geared hub you have now. A bottom bracket locking ring is supposed to fit on there as well but it's never happened for me. Just do the cog up really really tight (search on rotafix for a good method). This is called a 'suicide' hub because there's nothing to stop the cog spinning off under back pressure except how tight you did it up, but in reality, that's not a problem if you don't go doing skids and stuff. A track hub is better, but save that (and new wheels) for stage 2.

You don't have to remove the unused chain ring but if you choose to do so, you can buy a set of bolts to do the conversion (save that for stage 2).

Although your current bike will run a 3/32 chain and cogs, just buy a standard, 1/8 track cog and el cheapo bmx chain (also 1/8) - the chain will run on your chainrings just fine.

Wheels can be trued quite easily on the bike - you use your brake pads as a guide. Spray each nipple with something like RP7 or WD40 to free them up before trying to twist any of them.

Redishing the rear wheel may or may not be needed (it wasn't on my Europa with its european crank but was needed on the other two bikes I've done). That too is really easy if you take it quietly and think about what you are doing. A spoke wrench is cheap.

Pull all the bearings apart, clean and regrease. That's almost self explanatory but there are website's that'll talk you through it.

After that, it's just replacing the things that are broken or worn out.

No need for it to cost you much at all.

Have fun, that's what it's all about.

Richard

and yeah, I'm repeating a lot of what captaincool said
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Old 11-19-08, 12:21 AM   #12
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My Europa (see avatar) cost me a track cog, a chain and an afternoon's work to convert - mind you, she was serving regularly as a geared bike at that time so things like cables and brakes and tyres were fine. That left her with 27" wheels, a suicide hub and two chain rings and left me with a box of bits.

Incidentally, although I've got a selection of cassette removing tools, two out of the three bikes I've done required me to go to the lbs to get the *&^^%%$#$ cassette off - the buggers tend to seize on over time. In each case, it was done free, but that was at a lbs that was getting a lot of cash for bits from me.

Stage 2 (three months later) involved a new wheel set - 700c with track hubs - a local wheel builder put them together for me with elcheapo rims and decent hubs for less than the total retail price of the parts, so it's worth going and asking daft questions. Of course, the new wheel set also meant that I needed new tyres. One day I might think about buying some Velocity Fusion rims for her, but the elcheapos are doing fine

Stage 3 involved losing the unused chainring and fitting aero brake levers.

Stage 4 hasn't happened yet (and it's been 2 years since I started) and will include bullhorns, a Brooks saddle and Tektro long reach dual pivot brakes.

Just get her mobile and update/change as the whim takes you.

Richard
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Old 11-19-08, 12:30 AM   #13
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Also, I am in the works of sanding the bike down as we speak. I have started to sand it down by hand using 3M 60 grit sand paper and I was thinking about hitting it with like 150 grit also after. I am taking it down to the bare metal. What else should I do to ensure a good looking, durable finish? I was thinking about getting an auto body shop to mix me some paint and use a spray gun with compressed air I have somewhere at home (I think its a cheapo and on the smaller side). What primers/clear coats (brands, places, etc.) should I go with?
A good primer.
A good enamel (not water based).
Don't leave it sitting around after sanding it to bare metal or it'll rust (don't ask how I know )
Don't leave it sitting around with just primer on it because a lot of primers aren't 'waterproof' and the metal can still rust - a mate restoring an MG TC found that out the hard way.

Many paint shops have spare paint left over at the end of a job. Strike up a good relationship with one, maybe offer to do some hard work like sanding or sweekping, and they might just be willing to wave the spray gun at her at the end of a job.

Frames are real bears to spray paint because of all the odd angles and lack of flat surfaces. You can do a really good job with a brush and if you're doing that yourself, it's worth giving it a go. Rattle cans work too but can be really tricky to get a good finish thanks to over spray and the old rattle can habit of irregular spray (sit the can in a pan of hot water first, then shake really really really well).

You don't need a top line paint job on a bike because of the small paint area and lack of flat surfaces, not to mention the usual layer of road grime. Just so long as the metal's protected you'll be right.

My son recently redid his bmx with KillRust - primer and top coat - brushed on. A fussy sort would wrinkle his nose at it but he'd have to go looking for the defects, they don't jump out at you.

Richard
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Old 11-19-08, 01:11 AM   #14
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Also, I am in the works of sanding the bike down as we speak. I have started to sand it down by hand using 3M 60 grit sand paper and I was thinking about hitting it with like 150 grit also after. I am taking it down to the bare metal.

Thanks,
Freelander[/quote]


You should try "Aircraft stripper" it is wonderful,spray it on come back 20 mins later and scrape it off.It removes paint to the bare metal.A little messy,but a helluva lot faster than sanding.

Duplicolor makes some good engine enamels that are more durable than the regular rattle can paint,in some good colors also,look into them.The stripper and paint are able to be found at Wal-Mart or most auto part stores.




Edit:If you use the Aircraft stripper,make sure you wear gloves,that stuff can burn you if you arent carful.
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