Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-27-09, 06:43 PM   #1
dadsmith
noob
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Brand of Frame for Fixed Gear Conversion?

I am looking into converting an older (70s-80s) road bike, and was wondering if someone could help me out with a list of older brands that would make a good fixie. I've found a couple of frames on craigslist, but according to some other posts, Free Spirit, and Galaxy are very cheap bikes. I'm looking to go pretty cheap, but still want a decent frame (under $70 or so). I've read that Schwinn WorldSport frames aren't bad, and I've read a lot about Peugeots. Any others?
dadsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 06:47 PM   #2
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Bikes:
Posts: 2,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
steer clear of anything with one-piece bottom brackets. those are a hallmark of a cheapo frame. also, while peugeots can be good frames, they are french threaded, which makes replacement parts hard to come by.
wearyourtruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 07:10 PM   #3
ZiP0082
Senior Member
 
ZiP0082's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: 2008 Mercier Kilo TT
Posts: 1,703
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In terms of 80s steel road bike frames that may make decent conversions, I like these:

Nishiki
Takara
Schwinn (but not the high-tensile ones like the Varsity)
Bianchi
Lotus
Centurian

Personally I think Japanese and Italian are better than American and French in terms of budget 1980s conversions.
ZiP0082 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 07:52 PM   #4
rotharpunc
BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE!
 
rotharpunc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 54914
Bikes:
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Japanese and higher end older Schwinns are good places to look, I picked up an old Columbus framed Tempo the other day for $30. old Treks can still be had for good deals as well. Look for a chromoly frame.

Last edited by rotharpunc; 01-27-09 at 07:57 PM.
rotharpunc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 08:11 PM   #5
ryan.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would throw Panasonic into the mix as well. I've owned a few over the years (CL finds) and loved them.

Ryan
ryan. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 08:46 PM   #6
j.walker
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
what about a bridgestone?
j.walker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 08:58 PM   #7
dadsmith
noob
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for all the quick replies. Also, would craigslist be the best place to find a good frame? I live in the Denver/Boulder CO area. Anyone had any luck finding frames elsewhere?
dadsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 09:44 PM   #8
rotharpunc
BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE!
 
rotharpunc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 54914
Bikes:
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thrift stores and garage sales. police auctions and flea markets. CL and Ebay are usually going to be more expensive.
rotharpunc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-09, 10:21 PM   #9
dayvan cowboy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Athens, Ohio
Bikes: Fuji Track, Half built 70s Azuki
Posts: 1,568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by j.walker View Post
what about a bridgestone?
from what i understand those are solid.
dayvan cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-09, 08:10 PM   #10
fuzz2050
Real Men Ride Ordinaries
 
fuzz2050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 3,707
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
most brands made good bikes and cheap hi ten bikes as well. It's a better idea to look at the dropouts, a bike with forged dropouts

Will usually be made with much better tubing than one with stamped dropouts

It's an easier test than trying to figure out what tubing went into a rattle-canned frame.
fuzz2050 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-09, 08:20 PM   #11
carleton
Elitist
 
carleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 13,364
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 169 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsmith View Post
I am looking into converting an older (70s-80s) road bike, and was wondering if someone could help me out with a list of older brands that would make a good fixie. I've found a couple of frames on craigslist, but according to some other posts, Free Spirit, and Galaxy are very cheap bikes. I'm looking to go pretty cheap, but still want a decent frame (under $70 or so). I've read that Schwinn WorldSport frames aren't bad, and I've read a lot about Peugeots. Any others?
I really don't understand this. If you are going to take an apple and convert it to an orange, then why not just start with an orange???

Conversions are made when people already have a bike but just want it to be a fixed gear. Since you have nothing but cash, why not just try to get a fixed specific bike/frame to start with?

There are some really nice track/fixed specific frames out there, old and new.

EVERYBODY wants it to be cheap. We know. But, whatever you want, they know you want it and will charge you accordingly. Consider it a fanboy tax.

Lastly, just because it's old doesn't mean it's good. Bike manufacturers back then sometimes made bullsh*t just like they do now. The messed up part is that BS from 20 years ago is pretty bad.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
carleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-09, 09:02 PM   #12
steppinthefunk 
Designer
 
steppinthefunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
most brands made good bikes and cheap hi ten bikes as well. It's a better idea to look at the dropouts, a bike with forged dropouts

Will usually be made with much better tubing than one with stamped dropouts

It's an easier test than trying to figure out what tubing went into a rattle-canned frame.
Excelent advice right there.
__________________
steppinthefunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-09, 01:26 AM   #13
fuzz2050
Real Men Ride Ordinaries
 
fuzz2050's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 3,707
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by steppinthefunk View Post
Excelent advice right there.
Thank you, I've contemplated writing a 'how to identify a nice bike', but I realize it would end up being a 'how to find a nice bike to steal'

The dropouts are almost always a dead giveaway though, and it's sufficiently shady to stare at someones dropouts that I don't fear it being misused.
fuzz2050 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 10:47 AM   #14
dadsmith
noob
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What's an easy way to spot a one piece bottom bracket?
Carleton, it doesn't really matter what kind of bike it is, I've just found that the older bikes tend to be the cheapest, and that's what I'm going for. I understand it's easier to go buy a pista for $600 than find an old ten speed for $40, but that's not what I'm trying to do.
dadsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 11:08 AM   #15
do while x
1+1=10
 
do while x's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: dallas, tx
Bikes:
Posts: 149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
pista
do while x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 11:21 AM   #16
patbateman
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 for old treks.

I have an 87, its reynolds 531 tubing
Picking up an 82 today for $50, I haven't checked yet, but most trek frames from back then were columbus or reynolds 531

And those frames are some of the most comfortable frames you'll find
patbateman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 11:46 AM   #17
rotharpunc
BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE!
 
rotharpunc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 54914
Bikes:
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
www.vintage-trek.com
rotharpunc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 12:02 PM   #18
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 34,105
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 246 Post(s)
I have an 89 Trek 660 that I built up as a fixed gear. Wonderful bike but with one tiny caveat. Later Trek steel frames (I'm guessing mid-80s) have house forged dropouts that are probably 3mm shorter than the classic Cinelli dropouts pictured above. Which means you are slightly limited in your gearing choices. Not a huge deal, but if you're using a flip-flop hub, you may be able to have only 1 or 2 tooth differences.

Edit:

Here's a picture:

caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 01:30 PM   #19
Scratcher33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Eugene, OR
Bikes: Jamis XLT 2.0, Kona Fire Mountain
Posts: 564
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
most brands made good bikes and cheap hi ten bikes as well. It's a better idea to look at the dropouts, a bike with forged dropouts

Will usually be made with much better tubing than one with stamped dropouts

It's an easier test than trying to figure out what tubing went into a rattle-canned frame.
Definitely a good way to get an idea, but it can deceive you. I ride a Soma Rush which does not have forged drop outs. The Rush is by no means the best frame in the world, but it is still a high quality steel and makes for a good foundation for a fixed gear. Just saying that - like with every rule - this one has exceptions too.
Scratcher33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 02:27 PM   #20
sp00ki
partly metal, partly real
 
sp00ki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philadelphia.
Bikes: Hummer H2
Posts: 3,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsmith View Post
I am looking into converting an older (70s-80s) road bike, and was wondering if someone could help me out with a list of older brands that would make a good fixie. I've found a couple of frames on craigslist, but according to some other posts, Free Spirit, and Galaxy are very cheap bikes. I'm looking to go pretty cheap, but still want a decent frame (under $70 or so). I've read that Schwinn WorldSport frames aren't bad, and I've read a lot about Peugeots. Any others?
terrible question.

this is like asking to recommend a car manufacturer because you're getting into auto racing. it's not nearly as much about ford vs honda as it is the type of car...
sp00ki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-09, 03:38 PM   #21
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.
Posts: 16,764
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by patbateman View Post
+1 for old treks.

I have an 87, its reynolds 531 tubing
Picking up an 82 today for $50, I haven't checked yet, but most trek frames from back then were columbus or reynolds 531
Or Ishiwata.
JohnDThompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-09, 10:33 AM   #22
patbateman
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Or Ishiwata.
Haha funny you should say that since the bike I just picked up is in fact Ishiwata tubing
patbateman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-09, 12:51 PM   #23
Balefire
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Or Ishiwata.
Thirded. I just picked up a Norco frame (more common up in Canada I think) with quadruple butted ishiwata tubing for cheap.
Balefire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:23 AM.