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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 05-13-10, 07:59 AM   #1
ekib
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just discovered fixed gears. OHMY!

Hey guys,

im new here and this is my first post. lately, ive realized an appreciation for well made bikes and even though i havent got on a bike for a loooong time, i wanna get into it. the last bike i had/rode was a mongoose brand bike from the local sports store and that was when i was 10 years old. so im pretty much a complete noob on bikes. i dont know any terminology that you guys might use and even the different types of bikes out there.

my friend gave me his old fixed gear bike, so ive been given a great opportunity to get started on my newly found bike hobby. all i know is that its a fixed gear (which was converted from a multi-gear bike) and that i wanna fix it up.

so, i plan to get new handlebars, paint the frame, and get a new chain/crankset etc? (dunno what that is, but i was told it might need maintenence).

my first priority is getting handlebars (they are in pretty bad shape). then painting. then other new parts.

so... any of you guys have advice for a novice like me? could be anything, even if its not related to fixing up the bike. is there a specific size handlebar i need to get that will fit the frame? tools i would need? where to get quality parts at a decent price? brands? how to paint? i dunno, im just throwing stuff out there. oh, and im open to used stuff from ebay.

also, if you dont wanna explain everything, directing me to other sources of info would be greatly appreciated.

thanks guys!
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Old 05-13-10, 08:10 AM   #2
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Well, have you ridden the bike yet? The first step in any bike hobby is, TO BIKE! :-P

Are you and your buddy approximately the same height? or at least very close? The difference between riding and not riding for a lot of people is whether or not is comfort. If the bike is too big (or to a lesser degree, too small), than you may find biking an uncomfortable experience. First thing I would do is ask your buddy about bike fitting and see what he has to say about you and your new bike.

Next, what shape is the bike in? I would focus on what makes it ride-able or not. a New chain isn't a bad idea.

The crankset is usually referring to the pedals, the pedal "crank arms" and the Chain ring. Some people include the Bottom Bracket in this (the bracket the crank axel goes through).

IF that is not an immediate problem I'd just get it rideable and get some miles on it.

Next, if your buddy is a avid fixie, he might not have had brakes on it, if you're a bicycle newbie, you might want to get some brakes, AT LEAST at front brake, and for a new rider, I'd suggest both.

Also get a helmet.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ekib View Post
also, if you dont wanna explain everything, directing me to other sources of info would be greatly appreciated.
Mmkay.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:08 AM   #4
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A picture of the bike would probably be helpful. Are the bars in bad shape or do they just need new bartape?
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Old 05-13-10, 09:56 AM   #5
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Thanks guys! Im gonna spend a couple hours looking through that thread you gave me kyselad. and cg1985, thanks for the advice and info. My friend is a little shorter than me actually and i rode the bike around for a test run and its comfy. i guess its rideable, but i dont have an eye to spot potential problems, so im trying to be extra cautious. also, the bike doesnt have brakes *YIKES!* (my test run was probably at .25 mph), but he gave me a brake handle/clasp that attaches to the handle bar. i would need to get the wire and brake pads etc..

I dont have the bike with me right now, but ill try to get pictures up when i get the chance. itll probably be in a week.

the bars arent crumbling apart, but they are shaped weirdly though. my friend modified them for his comfort a long time ago, but id like to have ones that arent cut.


thanks again! keep the friendly advice coming!
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Old 05-13-10, 10:40 AM   #6
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What I'ld suggest you do is to take it to your local bike shop (LBS) and get a brake installed. That should be your priority over handlebars at the moment.

And if ur next concern is handlebars, it basically comes in a variety of shapes. But what's important for you to look for is the clamp size. That's where the handlebar mounts to the stem. If you have a digital caliper, measure it. If not, have the bike shop measure it when you get ur brakes installed. Also the width of the handlebar should be about your should width.

In addition to the "start here" threads, you should also read Sheldon Brown.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:08 PM   #7
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thanks ichitz, i really should have thought about brakes first. good look!
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Old 05-13-10, 09:48 PM   #8
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troll or tv hipster??
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Old 05-14-10, 06:38 PM   #9
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I have a question on the brakes. If i install brakes, wouldn't that be weird with the fixed gear since the pedals will keep rotating? i know there is a free-gear type of modification that can be done so i can coast on the bike, which would make braking easier too. is that a hard mod to do on a fixed gear bike?

what's a troll or tv hipster?
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Old 05-14-10, 06:54 PM   #10
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Yes, your cranks will still go around while you are braking but that's no problem. You'll get used to not coasting in a hurry!

If you don't like the constant pedalling, you can make the bike a singlespeed. With a singlespeed, you can coast. Many of us have flip-flop hubs; they allow you to ride fixed and then flip the rear wheel around so you can coast. I recommend a flip-flop hub; simple way to have the best of both worlds.

When you rode the bike very slowly, no doubt you noticed how much control you had over the bike, your speed, and didn't feel the need for a brake to control the speed at all. When I ride with my wife, I ride a fixed gear bike. She isn't concerned with maintaining a constant speed so the fixie helps me stay at her speed, whatever that may be.

If you are going on hilly rides, you may want the option of riding singlespeed. I find descending on a fixed gear harder than the climbing since I'm having to scrub speed to keep my cadence (rpm's of the cranks) down to a manageable level.
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Old 05-14-10, 07:22 PM   #11
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Spend about 5 hours minimum, clicking on threads in this forum. Welcome to a fun source of exercise, entertainment and good times.

Also spend about 10 hours reading and absorbing info from Sheldon Brown <----click this for the website. He is the reason I converted a free 12spd from the '80s into a FG/SS bike.
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Old 05-14-10, 07:33 PM   #12
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What is the point of a flip-flop hub if you can put a freewheel on cog threads anyway?
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Old 05-14-10, 07:34 PM   #13
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Damn, someone already said the 4 things I was gonna say:

1) Get a front brake installed.

2) RIDE THAT BIKE AND HAVE FUN.

3) Read a bunch of Sheldon Brown.

4) Let's see some pics!
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Old 05-14-10, 07:39 PM   #14
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whats a freewheel and cog?

and im trying to get pics soon! its down at school and im at home for a week before i go back for summer school. summer school sucks, but then ill have a lot of time without a car to go bike riding
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Old 05-14-10, 07:41 PM   #15
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What is the point of a flip-flop hub if you can put a freewheel on cog threads anyway?
'Flip-flop' just means it's set up for both sides to have drive-side capability, whether your running a cog/freewheel, two cogs or two freewheels as opposed to hubs with threads on only one side.
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Old 05-14-10, 07:48 PM   #16
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whats a freewheel and cog?
a freewheel will let you coast and a fixie cog won't

pics with you on the bike!
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