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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 10-18-09, 07:28 PM   #1
RhodeRunner
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fixed gear mountain bike - anyone?

I'm building one up to get me through the fierce Montreal winter. I got a mountain bike frame and a formula fixed-fixed hub for $50 total today. I'm going to strip the frame and lace the hub into the current rear rim. I can't tell the make of the frame - it's been spray painted but all the parts, though rusted out or otherwise shot, were once perfectly respectable (Shimano etc) so I'm assuming the frame isn't junk. It definitely feels like it's a step above a warehouse bike. I like riding my fixie around sans snow and I've heard people like them in the winter so I figured I'd try to make one as cheaply as possible. Anyone ever done this before? I'll post a pic when I'm done
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Old 10-18-09, 07:31 PM   #2
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Mine... '88 Kuwahara Shasta.

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Old 10-18-09, 08:17 PM   #3
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She's a beaut. Definitely sexier than mine will be. What sort of ratio are you running there? I was thinking something around 40/18 but I'm not sure. I really have no idea what I'm going to want for the snow.

also, something I may have overlooked: what are the chances of me finding a 36-hole mountain bike rim (26'' i think)? Never really worked with mountain bikes before, just fixies and 10-speeds.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:31 PM   #4
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36-hole should not be tough (or expensive) to find. The most common I see in mountain bike rims are 32h and 36h - it's good to have something sturdy when riding off-road.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:43 PM   #5
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wiah i had a pic of mine, I run 42x20 winter. Its an old sears ladies frame mtb. Free Spirit Grand Prix. I rattle canned it in john deere colors, and it does the trick in the worst weather
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Old 10-18-09, 08:49 PM   #6
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She's a beaut. Definitely sexier than mine will be. What sort of ratio are you running there? I was thinking something around 40/18 but I'm not sure. I really have no idea what I'm going to want for the snow.

also, something I may have overlooked: what are the chances of me finding a 36-hole mountain bike rim (26'' i think)? Never really worked with mountain bikes before, just fixies and 10-speeds.
I am running a 40 with a 16/18 in the rear with a double stepped hub now... 57 and 64 gear inches.

36 hole mtb rims are available...my rear wheel is an old Araya SW laced to a Formula hub that has taken a massive amount of abuse and has remained true as the day I built it.

32 spoke rims are also fine, I'd get a decent double walled rim.

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Old 10-18-09, 09:50 PM   #7
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My old Shasta is a handbuilt Kuwahara with an Ishiwata triple butted frame - I picked up the frame and fork last fall and built her up for my winter messenger bike and she sailed through the winter with flying colours.

The frame is really more like a touring bike than an mtb but that is how they used to build them... the slack frame angles and long stays makes for a really comfortable ride.

My winter "beater" has become one of my favourite bikes and got ridden a great deal this year... her sister is a 1987 Kuwahara Cascade which I use for fixed gear touring and commuting in the nicer months but did use for quite a few winters but decided she was too pretty for that.

The Cascade is also a hand built with quad butted Ishiwata tubes... this was the nicest model Kuwahara offered.



I also built up a GT Karakoram some years ago as a fixed gear for off road riding...that was a blast and a fellow here is still riding it as a winter bike.
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Old 10-18-09, 10:49 PM   #8
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This is my Frame but it's not built up. This is the way the frame builder who built it for himself configured it. Waiting for some $$$ to have a wheelset built but I have everything else.

That paint job is a Silver Sparkle and it looks amazing in the sun. I can't wait to complete it.

It's a Dedacciai Zero Uno Tube set Lugged Frame.
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Old 10-19-09, 12:08 AM   #9
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I've got a 1992 RM Blizzard frame I'm planning on building up as a fixed gear. It's Tange Prestige tubing, and was the top of the line RM hardtail when it was new. Definitely looking forward to doing some off-roading on it.
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Old 10-19-09, 06:41 AM   #10
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Man I've always wanted to venture into fg mountain someday. sigh. maybe someday...
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Old 10-19-09, 04:20 PM   #11
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hey OP are we talking about using a MTB as a commuter or actually doing MTB riding fixed? i rode MTB fixed and i hated it, scared the crap out of me, but on the road there isn't the issues of rolling logs and rocks etc.

btw, do you know if your formula hub fits your mtb dropout? most mountain bikes have 135mm rear spacing...
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Old 10-20-09, 08:07 AM   #12
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I've ridden my Monocog 26r off road fixed probably less than 20 times and I'm not a fan. I just found it a lot less enjoyable. Unless you get the gearing perfect it's nearly impossible to go fast enough to enjoy. Climbing is the same, but rolling hillly sections and descents suckass. For it to work for me, I would have to run a much larger chainring and switch it when I rode fixed. I will probably still play with it for fun, great wheelies.
So, IMO Single Speed MTB is way more fun!
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Old 10-20-09, 09:17 AM   #13
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I too have ridden fixed off road but did not enjoy that nearly as much as I did riding SS but for urban assaults the drop bar fixed mtb is the bomb... bigger tyres offer a much nicer ride and devour potholes while still rolling out pretty fast (depending on your gearing of course).

My winter bike has seem more miles than most of my bikes of late as it is simply a great ride no matter what the weather is and when the weather goes to hell I'm ready.
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Old 10-20-09, 09:24 AM   #14
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I too have ridden fixed off road but did not enjoy that nearly as much as I did riding SS but for urban assaults the drop bar fixed mtb is the bomb... bigger tyres offer a much nicer ride and devour potholes while still rolling out pretty fast (depending on your gearing of course).
Off road with a fixed wheel is fun as long as the trails are pretty tame... Once you start getting technical, pedal strike will start to take away from the fun... IMO.
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Old 10-20-09, 09:13 PM   #15
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hey OP are we talking about using a MTB as a commuter or actually doing MTB riding fixed? i rode MTB fixed and i hated it, scared the crap out of me, but on the road there isn't the issues of rolling logs and rocks etc.

btw, do you know if your formula hub fits your mtb dropout? most mountain bikes have 135mm rear spacing...
I'm planning on riding it as a commuter but I'll definitely tear up some trails with it for kicks and giggles. Theres a small wooded area near me that I'll mess around in. If I can get a symmetrical wheel without too much trouble I plan on making it a flip/flop anyway and maybe even a 2 speed flip/flop, if I have a quiet weekend. The original point of this bike was to make a winter commuter as cheaply as possible. so far: $50
total and I still need a rim, spokes and chain.

Just by eyeballing (I'll measure soon - especially for chainline etc dont worry) I'm pretty sure the hub is 120, the dropouts are 135 and the axle is 160/165. I'll have to add 15mm of spacers but that's fine, no? I added 6mm for my road conversion and it's holding up nicely..
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