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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 03-15-09, 06:38 PM   #1
Ogi
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First build- theoretical questions

Hey everybody, I'm looking to convert an older bike into a fixed gear this year because Im going to need to start commuting by bike, and my road bike isn't to great for that. I wanted to come and ask some questions before I begin to seriously look for parts. If I had an older bike, a new (although cheap) wheelset, how much would the drivetrain cost? Assuming I bought the most affordable parts possible, I don't want to cut corners by any means, but I don't want to break the bank for a commuter fixie. Also, is a conversion pretty easy on old bikes? I know you cant really answer without knowing the specific frame, but will all of the newer parts be compatible with an older bike?
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Old 03-15-09, 06:48 PM   #2
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Find something with a standard Euro bottom bracket and it should be easy. Everything else, ebay and then ask.
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Old 03-15-09, 06:50 PM   #3
Ogi
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Find something with a standard Euro bottom bracket and it should be easy. Everything else, ebay and then ask.
How would I know a bike includes that?
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Old 03-15-09, 07:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ogi View Post
Hey everybody, I'm looking to convert an older bike into a fixed gear this year because Im going to need to start commuting by bike, and my road bike isn't to great for that.

I find that hard to believe. Road bikes are great for commuting. As far as commuting goes, fixed gear bikes have no advantage over road bikes.

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Originally Posted by Ogi View Post
If I had an older bike, a new (although cheap) wheelset, how much would the drivetrain cost? Assuming I bought the most affordable parts possible, I don't want to cut corners by any means, but I don't want to break the bank for a commuter fixie. Also, is a conversion pretty easy on old bikes? I know you cant really answer without knowing the specific frame, but will all of the newer parts be compatible with an older bike?
^^ Oh man, this is part so confusing.

Good parts aren't cheap.
Cheap parts aren't good.

If you have no bike and no idea, then just buy an off the shelf entry level bike from a local bike shop. If you don't, you will wind up asking a cajillion questions here.
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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.
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Old 03-15-09, 07:17 PM   #5
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I find that hard to believe. Road bikes are great for commuting. As far as commuting goes, fixed gear bikes have no advantage over road bikes.
Well their value as commuters is equal, but considering I paid a good amount of money for my road bike I think its understandable that theres many reasons I would want to go to a cheaper form of bike for commuting, and because I've just heard commuting on a fixed gear can be a lot of fun.



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^^ Oh man, this is part so confusing.

Good parts aren't cheap.
Cheap parts aren't good.

If you have no bike and no idea, then just buy an off the shelf entry level bike from a local bike shop. If you don't, you will wind up asking a cajillion questions here.
I don't see whats so confusing, I want to buy parts that are inexpensive yet aren't so cheap that they present major problems in durability or quality. Not only that, but Im not asking for a detailed list of parts, but an estimate on the money I have to save to start this project. Considering this is a large community of experienced fixed gear riders, I figured this would be a good place to ask.
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Old 03-15-09, 07:29 PM   #6
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Everyone wants a great, awesome, light, fast, good-looking, sweet-assed bike that's cheap. This horse has been beaten to death.

Start here: Fixed Gear/Single Speed - Start Here!

That should keep you busy for a few days. Seriously, read it and the links therein. There is years of knowledge and wisdom in there.
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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.
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Old 03-15-09, 07:49 PM   #7
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I find that hard to believe. Road bikes are great for commuting. As far as commuting goes, fixed gear bikes have no advantage over road bikes.
Except perhaps is snow/ice; a fixed gear has no derailleur or gear cluster to jam up with ice encrustations.
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Old 03-15-09, 07:58 PM   #8
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I find that hard to believe. Road bikes are great for commuting. As far as commuting goes, fixed gear bikes have no advantage over road bikes.
I found a few advantages when I switched over from road to fixed a couple years ago:

1. Not having to take my feet off the pedals for the whole ride was nice. (and added a challenge every day).
2. Fewer parts to break, especially nice in the winter.
3. Fewer parts to maintain.
4. More control in slick/icy condition (IMO).
5. Deraileurs stop working after a few miles in sand/salt/ice/snow.
6. Zen.
7. Babes.
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Old 03-15-09, 11:59 PM   #9
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Depending on your budget you may want to look into fx on www.bikesdirect.com. The Mercier Kilo TT seems like a good buy. Add a frt brake from www.bikeisland.com for about 25.00 and you're set. Or BI has a decent set of Tektro dual-pivot calipers, w/levers,cables and housings for 40.00...no shipping. Your in for just under 400.00.

Having done an older SS conversion I ended up at close to that pricepoint when all was said and done.
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