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  1. #1
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    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?

  2. #2
    Ride for Life wearyourtruth's Avatar
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    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.
    before posting, a "noob" should always ask themselves "could this have been answered by first visiting Sheldon Brown

    -Tim-
    www.velocipedebikeproject.org

  3. #3
    Senior Member ZiP0082's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE! rotharpunc's Avatar
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    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 06:57 PM.

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    I would throw Panasonic into the mix as well. I've owned a few over the years (CL finds) and loved them.

    Ryan

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    what about a bridgestone?

  7. #7
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    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?

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    BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE! rotharpunc's Avatar
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    thrift stores and garage sales. police auctions and flea markets. CL and Ebay are usually going to be more expensive.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.walker View Post
    what about a bridgestone?
    from what i understand those are solid.

  10. #10
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    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.

  11. #11
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #12
    Designer steppinthefunk's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #13
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    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.

  14. #14
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    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.

  15. #15
    1+1=10 do while x's Avatar
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    pista

  16. #16
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    +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

  17. #17
    BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE! rotharpunc's Avatar
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  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    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:

    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  19. #19
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    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.

  20. #20
    partly metal, partly real sp00ki's Avatar
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    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...
    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    Road [racing] is one of the only sports where adult men can compete in a non-scholastic setting, so inevitably 8/10 racers are fiercely-competitive nobodies. It's fun as hell, but it's also the foremost refuge of defeated and aging jocks, turned middle-management types.

  21. #21
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    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.

  22. #22
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    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

  23. #23
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    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.

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