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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 07-07-04, 01:11 AM   #1
j3rmz
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what type of frame for a conversion...

ok, first off, I am fairly new to this place! Been lurking for a bit but never got around to posting, seems every time I had a question I could always find it in the archives...

I am looking for a frame to convert and am curius as to what I should look for, I know I need something with horizontal dropouts, but are there any specific brands that are good/bad? or do I just need to go find any old frame that fits me and start swappin in the right parts? I have just seen people post before and all the sudden someone goes "oh yeah, that bike has a funky BB and you will have a heck of a time replacing that" ... anyway, any tips/input would be greatly appreciated, thansk all and its good to meet you!
-jeremy
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Old 07-07-04, 07:56 AM   #2
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Go for something light and fast, go for a frame which is at least double butted, you probably can find a triple butted frame if you look around long enough. You don't want straight cast steel, kind of like riding a cast iron bathtub around. I would stay away from one piece and cottered BB's. Go to sheldon's site if you need some help figuring out which is which. Stick with normal cotterless tapered BB (most of them) and you shouldn't have much a problem servicing the bike. Cottered BB aren't all bad, it just sucks removing the cotter pin, unless of course you have the super expensive tool...

Phil
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Old 07-07-04, 09:09 AM   #3
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Find a bike that you like and then convert it. The ride wont change when you make it singlespeed. What do u need the bike to do for you? How far will you ride it? Do you need to be able to put fat tires on it for winter/mud?

Also make sure it has waterbottle/fender/rack mounts if you want those and, as you said, that it is the right size for you.
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Old 07-07-04, 09:26 AM   #4
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Welcome,

I usually tell people to look for a bike boom bike (70's and 80's), a racer if you can find one. A complete bike might be a bit more at first but all you have to do is to remove parts for a SS or buy a new rear wheel for a fixie. This will solve your "which BB?" issue. A good bike from this period is usually spec'd out with good parts that are lightweight (well not by today's standards) and will serve you well. Then you can take the time to reserch any parts to upgrade.

If you have an old dusty bike shop in your area, start there. They should have plenty of used bikes and the guys have been around long enough to appreciate the older bikes.

Good luck and report back. The guys/gals here have tons of info and don't mind honest questions.

Cheers
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Old 07-07-04, 01:04 PM   #5
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I usually tell people to look for a bike boom bike (70's and 80's), a racer if you can find one
is there any specific brands I should look out for or just start digging? Thanks for all your help guys great info, I am sure I will be back for more!
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Old 07-07-04, 06:24 PM   #6
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is there any specific brands I should look out for or just start digging? Thanks for all your help guys great info, I am sure I will be back for more!
Depends a bit on your cash situation. You can find old mid 70's 80's POS's around for next to nothing at thrif stores or garage sales. You can often find frames by ten speed boom bikes like Nishiki or Bianchi around for not too much. If you get into more 'vintage' frames (e.g. de Rosa, Masi etc.) it'll start running into $. The lightweight vintage guide http://www.sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-a-f.html is a helpful reference.

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 07-10-04, 10:49 PM   #7
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Welcome,
If you have an old dusty bike shop in your area, start there. They should have plenty of used bikes and the guys have been around long enough to appreciate the older bikes.
Off the topic of bikes, bu I've had a LOT of luch lately going to the back of the bike store, where the mechanics usually are, and standing around till one asks if you need any help. Tell them you're looking for partname but you're not really looking to spend a bunch. Then you throw in "Y'all got anything laying around back there you could sell me?" I've found they almost always have something decent they took off of some bike and it's either taking up space, or waiting to be used as a quick fix on a repair job. I've gotten a really nice set of pedals for $2 and a shimano derailer (dont remember what kind) for $8. The good part is, they were in AMAZING shape since they were cleaned and ready for them. of course, I try to buy new from them too, but some projects just dont justify the price.

Vincent
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Old 07-11-04, 09:24 AM   #8
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Take a look here...most any bike with deep dropouts (or track ends) will do.
Everything else comes down to your choice of style. There are lots of nice lugged steel frames just begging for a conversion.
http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/
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