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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 11-30-09, 10:48 AM   #1
jlc
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Conversion question



This is the donor a 1984 Trek 560(was given to me and was incomplete at best....saved it from a dumpster more or less) that had been stripped of all of its original markers (badge-decals, etc). Since I am new to this I am sure I will be punished accordingly but... since it had already been defiled of sorts I had it sand blasted and powder coated to convert to a single speed for my daily commute to work. My question is since this is my first single speed... are there any suggestions for the rebuild... yes I will be using brakes (fixie is not my idea of a good commuter.. fun to ride just not for me... knees cannot handle it all the time).

Here is what it looks like now...



Idea for the rebuild are as follows:

Tangerine Deep V's 700c
All City Cranks 46t
All City Hubs (radial laced front, Crow foot hybrid in the back)
Adapter Stem so I can run a different handle bar set up

Any thoughts.. thanks ahead of time...
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Old 11-30-09, 10:54 AM   #2
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lots of people are going to tell you to google, use the search function, or look at sheldonbrown... so i am not going to. (even though in a way, i did)
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Old 11-30-09, 10:55 AM   #3
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Also, what is your background? Do you have any other bikes? What have you ridden? What is your commute like? Distance? Lots of hills? Flat? How often are you going to ride? Are you riding mostly on pavement or dirt or combination? Do you want a more upright position or do you want aerodynamics?
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Old 11-30-09, 11:38 AM   #4
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That's a big frame! I hope that you're tall.

Otherwise, it's your bike, build it up however you like. It looks to me like you're off to a good start.
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Old 11-30-09, 11:43 AM   #5
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if you are going to get deep vs, I would stick to black or silver. otherwise the bike could become headache-worthy. all city cranks are just fine. If you are running SS, I recommend getting some drops and putting canke creek aero-levers on them. or you can get bullhorns and run some reverse levers. Get some MKS GR9 pedals. As far as saddles go, there's a million options.
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Old 11-30-09, 07:57 PM   #6
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Fork and headset?
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Old 11-30-09, 10:18 PM   #7
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Thanks so far for the input... but to answer some of the questions posted....
1. I travel about 3.5 miles one way on pavement... up hill going down hill on the way back... 2 miles public roads (no bike lanes) 1 mile paved multipurpose trail
2. I have 2 other bikes 1) A soft ride and 2) 1976 Schwinn (Chicago made) all original Speedster (use it to commute with currently (heavy as a tank but fun to ride)
3. I ride almost daily... out of the last 25 days I have riden 22
4. I would prefer to ride in a more upright position- since I ride the roadbike for training I want more of a commuter feel of sorts
5. I agree it is a big frame... good news is that I am a little over 6'4" so it is cool...
6. I am running the stock fork that came with the bike... sorry I didnt include it in the picture
7. Headset... dont know yet .....


Thanks for the info so far... I have already have looked at Sheldon Browns info and got some ideas... such as gear ratio and other basic stuff that I dont know about single speeds. Sorry I am sure these are simple questions but if you have never done it .... Thanks again

Picture of my current commuter... The Schwinn

Last edited by jlc; 11-30-09 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 12-01-09, 07:03 AM   #8
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Picture of my current commuter... The Schwinn
That is a really nice schwinn. Since you are building a new bike, I think you should give me your schwinn.

Anyway, a 7 mile commute daily is not bad. You just have to figure out the highest gearing you can have so that you can still go uphill comfortably. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is by experience. Or you can use your geared bike. and try to go up the hill on the highest gear you can. Use that ratio as a starting point. Even though you might see that the same gearing is easier on a single speed because of the lack of derailleur friction.

If you like the feel of your schwinn, why dont you make a townie? Theres a good thread for inspiration: Showoff Your Townies. I have the Nitto albatross bars which are super comfortable. They are similar to the Nitto North Road bars (but shaped a little different). The only bad thing is that they only have one hand position. But since you are only riding 3.5 miles each way, I dont think it will make much of a difference. Another option would be to go with mustache bars which will offer more hand positions and will usually make you sit more upright than a drop bar. You could also go with risers. I know a lot of people here hate risers, but if it is comfortable for you, you should go with it.

+1 on the MKS GR-9 Pedals. those are great. They are wide enough so that you can use soft soled shoes and still be comfortable. Also, if you are not using low profile shoes (like chucks or vans), then you should get the deep toe clips.

Also, if you like different colors, flashy things, etc. I think you should go for it. It is your bike, so build it how you like it to look. Some people might call you a hipster or call your bike tarcky. But as long as you dont make a stupid bike that is uncomfortable or slow or unusable, I think you should be fine. Dont listed to other people and just ride your bike.

Also, your questions are not stupid. We all had to start somewhere.
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Old 12-18-09, 10:09 PM   #9
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Well the good news is that the parts are on their way (here tuesday).... wahoooo ..... thanks to the wifey for an early holiday gift.... Ok so here is what I ordered:

Velocity Deep V's White
All City Hubs Flip/Flop (Red)
All City Crank 46t (170mm) (White)
Schimano 16t rear cog
Schimano BB
Concor Supercosa Saddle (San Marcos) (Red)
Orign 8 Pro Thread headset
Quill Stem adapter
Stem
Still figureing out the handlebars.....

Oh yeah.... Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair

Well hope to take it for a spin before the holiday.....
Thanks for everyones input... I plan on getting the MKS GR-9 Pedals as well.

JLC
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Old 12-18-09, 10:25 PM   #10
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Did you order the whole Deep V wheelset? if you did, then you wouldn't need the hubs.
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Old 12-19-09, 01:58 AM   #11
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Looks like you're pretty on top of things, but some advice.

Skip the crows foot spoking. 3 cross is a much better idea. It's strong, easy to build, and easy to service. Once you have a few wheels under your belt, then try the crows foot.

oh, and if I can throw another option into your handlebar debate, check out the Velo-Orange Porteur Bars. I have them on my townie, and they work great. Even better when used with inverse brake levers like people use on bullhorns.
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Old 12-19-09, 10:18 PM   #12
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I did get just the Deep V rims- thanks for the insight though.... Yeah I decided on the 3 cross lacing.... a friend of mine gave me the same advice about the wheel strength. I will check into the Porteur bars... I appreciate everyone's insight and knowledge as I am learning the whole single speed culture.... Hope everyone has a nice holiday.... will post pics soon.
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Old 12-19-09, 11:10 PM   #13
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if your knees can't handle fg, why would they be able to handle ss? and why are you getting a quill stem adaptor?
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Old 12-20-09, 01:50 AM   #14
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if your knees can't handle fg, why would they be able to handle ss?
You can't apply backpressure without resistance for one.
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Old 12-20-09, 02:19 AM   #15
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^why would he be applying back-pressure if he's using brakes?
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Old 12-21-09, 09:10 PM   #16
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To answer the first question regarding the FG vs SS my knees cannot handle the breaking issues related to FG vs brakes with a Single Speed. That is the only reason... with my current commuter I run essentially a single speed... (it is a three speed hub but I dont change gears very often).

I appreciate the questioning about the knees and that is a good point but I do ride beyond just commuting. This year I rode in the HHH 100 as well as several other 100k's but the difference is the ability to stop without having to lock out my knees in a bent position. Oh well.... guess that is the best reason I can give....

Regarding the quill stem adapter is becasue I do not want to run drops and I hope run a more upright position with a flat bar or as suggested above the porteur bars.

Again I appreciate the questions; I have also been having a friend of mine that rides FG almost of the time help me with some of my questions as well. He suggest the adapter since he knows how and where I ride for my daily commute and thinks that a more upright riding postion would be more comfortable since it is a commuter bike

Thanks again everyone.... parts will be here Wed... yeah....
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Old 12-22-09, 12:27 AM   #17
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^why would he be applying back-pressure if he's using brakes?
Just because you have brakes doesn't mean you have to use them to slow down.
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Old 12-22-09, 12:01 PM   #18
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If you're going to run single speed your honestly need to get a rear brake as well as a front. Just the front is not enough.
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Old 12-28-09, 09:49 AM   #19
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Okay, well I guess it is still not clear.... I am not running a fixie - I am running a single speed freewheel.... which means I am utilizing front and rear brakes (that was the plan from the beginning) .... almost built as we speak waiting on wheels to be built.... dropped off hubs and rims before the holiday... Installed headset, bottom bracket, and waiting on stem and bar to get here so I can put the brakes on... oh well... have a great new year.
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Old 01-08-10, 01:15 AM   #20
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Well all done... thanks for the input everyone...
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Old 01-08-10, 02:48 AM   #21
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I'm not sure you get how this works. you don't just say all done now. You post pics. lots of em, in good quality, of multiple angles, with the main shots being drive side.
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Old 01-08-10, 07:29 AM   #22
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I'm not sure you get how this works. you don't just say all done now. You post pics. lots of em, in good quality, of multiple angles, with the main shots being drive side.
You forgot to mention that if he has a hot girlfriend or sister, he should post a few of her too.
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Old 01-08-10, 08:12 AM   #23
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Are you using tangerine brake cable housings? What color spokes? You better be using tangerine bartape.

One of the problems with going with funky colors is not being able to reconcile them with the color of the brakes and crankset. Black usually but not always works for these components if you've got a lot of color; in other cases it's better to stick with the classic polished aluminum.

With your green/tangerine scheme, either silver of black would work, just not a mixture.

Yes, lots of pics from a decent camera, cellphone pics will get you booed off the stage. For examples of some really good bike photos, hit the C & V forum, pm Rad from the Roadie forum, or check out www.raydobbins.com
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Old 01-08-10, 06:04 PM   #24
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White Velocity Rims, Black tires, White Saddle, White bar tape on bull horns, White grips on risers.

DO IT! JUST DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!
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Old 01-10-10, 08:42 AM   #25
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Everybody and their grandmother is doing white these days. All of Trek's bikes at the LBS had white bartape, white saddles, white cable housings. You can even get white tires.
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