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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 11-22-08, 03:08 AM   #1
newsun
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What wheels/brakes?

Hey so I just scored an older 80s Univega and I am gonna build it up as a single speed. I am looking to do this fairly cheaply. What wheels would be a good candidate for this? Also what about brakes? I will probably run two brakes just so I can do something with both hands.
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Old 11-22-08, 03:23 AM   #2
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Need info: What wheels and brakes does the bike currently have, if any? Are they or were they 700c wheels? If yes, then any brand of road brakes will work. If the bike had 27" wheels in its former life, then you'll need to do some measurements and research what brakes have the right reach.

Here's a good wheelset. I've used and abused a set of these for two years. They've hauled my 210 lb butt around for almost 3000 miles and never went out of true.
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Old 11-22-08, 03:37 AM   #3
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Bike has no wheels or brakes, it's just frame, seat/post, handlebars/stem/fork and a campy crank with 53-42t chainrings, one of which I will use.
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Old 11-22-08, 10:21 AM   #4
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You definitely want to buy the wheelset before you get the brakes. Then you just measure the needed brake reach and get brakes that have a range that encompasses the reach you need.

Brake reach varies from brake to brake. The longest I know of is the Tektro R556. I use it on the front of my main fixed gear and it works pretty good. But if you can get by with shorter brakes, you'll have many options. Ask the roadie forum for a brake recommendation since many more of those guys actually use brakes on their bikes.
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Old 11-23-08, 12:33 AM   #5
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You definitely want to buy the wheelset before you get the brakes. Then you just measure the needed brake reach and get brakes that have a range that encompasses the reach you need.
+1

i have a alex r-450 / sealed formula / stainless spoke set from ben's cycle on a 80's conversion and im really satisfied. $120 for the set or so. im guessing the bike had 27" wheels originally. modern road calipers won't reach the rim. i didn't have to use rediculously long reach calipers, but i have had to in the past on a conversion. anywho, buy the wheels first!
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Old 11-23-08, 07:58 AM   #6
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If you need 27" wheels, Weinmann sells some, also Sun. Velocity has some 27" rims but they aren't cheap. Rivbike.com and Velo-orange.com sell brakes that will fit 27" wheel frames. Rivendell's version of the long reach Tektros is called "Silver" and looks very nice plus has very good Kool-stop brake pads. Dia-Compe makes a centerpull brake that has a long reach, too. I've used both of these brakes on bikes and they work well.

On my Raleigh Sprite, I had to use the long reach brakes even though I put 27" wheels back on it.

Depending on how old the bike is, you may just need 700c. Might want to ask your LBS if you can't tell.
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Old 11-23-08, 10:06 AM   #7
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Don't bother with 27" unless you like limiting your choices tire size wise.
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Old 11-23-08, 11:22 AM   #8
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i have a alex r-450 / sealed formula / stainless spoke set from ben's cycle on a 80's conversion and im really satisfied. $120 for the set or so.
same.
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Old 11-23-08, 01:47 PM   #9
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pretty sure my uncle said it was 700cc and it measures almost identical from brake mount to hub mount as my 2008 fuji. Anyhow I plan on getting some wheels first. I have been looking at craigslist as I am trying to stay as close to $100 as possible. I imagine after I get a freewheel+cog, bar tape+pedals in addition to the wheels and brakes I will be over that budget.
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Old 11-23-08, 04:31 PM   #10
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Also see whether or not your frame and fork use recessed or non-recessed brake bolts. If they're recessed, then the Tektro's will work fine. Non-recessed and you might need to go old-school. If it had 700c wheels, then they are probably recessed.
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Old 11-24-08, 12:26 AM   #11
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Yeah, I did a lil bit of craigslist buying today and scored some wheels, the brakes are recessed, so I am hoping to score a pair of calipers from a guy near me, else it's gonna be tektros or something cheap like.

Wheels I got were a Ritchey rock 450ce and alex da16, I imagine nothing special, though they were only $20. I then picked up some cane creek brake levers new, tires, bar tape and a cog with spacers kit.

A chain, cables+housing and calipers and I am on the road.
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