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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 05-27-10, 08:40 AM   #1
Flandry
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I don't get it (ss/fixie conversion mania)

I see all these old bikes being bought up off CL and converted to SS/fixies and don't understand it. As a SS owner and (briefly) fixie owner i can't comprehend this huge interest in turning functional geared bikes into less versatile ss bikes.

My jaded thought would be that it's a movement driven by market flippers who can generate added value by hype while actually stripping off and consolidating parts to maximize profit, but it's so widely bought into that i wonder if there's more to it that i'm missing.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-27-10, 08:52 AM   #2
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Thoughts?
Be happy with your gears and leave things you don't want to understand for those who do.
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Old 05-27-10, 08:54 AM   #3
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Now might be the time to invest in Greek companies.
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Old 05-27-10, 08:56 AM   #4
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$$$

If I didn't place more value on my free time, I'd be at the dump and hitting rummage sales every week picking up old road bikes to "fix" and flip for $100 profit.

But, I gotz better things to do in my free time. There is a market for "sweet fixies" so people step up and provide... basic demand/supply.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:01 AM   #5
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Thoughts?

Your awfully late to the party!
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Old 05-27-10, 09:06 AM   #6
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Be happy with your gears and leave things you don't want to understand for those who do.
If i didn't want to understand, i wouldn't have asked. Also, your reading comprehension leaves a lot to be desired.

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Now might be the time to invest in Greek companies.
Now there's a good thought.

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$$$

If I didn't place more value on my free time, I'd be at the dump and hitting rummage sales every week picking up old road bikes to "fix" and flip for $100 profit.

But, I gotz better things to do in my free time. There is a market for "sweet fixies" so people step up and provide... basic demand/supply.
Well that's what i thought but where does the market for "sweet fixies" come from in the first place?

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Thoughts?

Your awfully late to the party!
Meh i noticed it when i shopped CL for my previous 12-speed a few years ago but it seems to have actually gained momentum after three years, unlike most fads.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:10 AM   #7
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****, you got me.

Not all "functional" older geared bikes are just that. My wife just recently finished converting a 1984 Centurion that had corroded, barely working derailleurs and non-functioning friction shifters. Also, the steel rims were rusty and hubs were complete junk in need of overhaul. Seems like a good candidate for a fixed gear conversion to me.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:16 AM   #8
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This thread has run it's course. Closing.

Enjoy
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Old 05-27-10, 09:17 AM   #9
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I love it.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:31 AM   #10
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Yeah, like Scrod said, a lot of bike that are converted aren't really all that functional, I don't see MANY people converting bikes with STI brifters and nice component groups or anything. It's mostly old bikes with friction shifting that works for ****.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:39 AM   #11
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I guess it was when a random girl on a junker with fat tires told me she wanted a bike with "no gears" because "they go faster" and my roomie told me he was going to convert his nice vintage motobecane to a ss that it all seemed to be out of hand.

Okay, so it's a product of market hype and people reusing old, busted bikes. The (lack of) mystique has been revealed, thanks everyone. Back to trawling CL for a nice old steel bike that hasn't yet fallen into the hands of Drs. Frankenstein and Frankenstein.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:43 AM   #12
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Sorry if my initial response seemed a bit snippy. I was kinda half-kidding, which doesn't always come across correctly on the interwebz.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:45 AM   #13
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Those who know a little history would know that many riders of old used to turn their geared road bikes into fixed gear winter bikes and the benefits if a conversion are that you get a better riding bike, many can accommodate fenders and racks,and in many cases you get a better frame and fork.

Bikes have not always had derailleur gears... this is a 1955 Raleigh... it came from the factory as a fixed gear.

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Old 05-27-10, 09:51 AM   #14
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Yeah, like Scrod said, a lot of bike that are converted aren't really all that functional, I don't see MANY people converting bikes with STI brifters and nice component groups or anything. It's mostly old bikes with friction shifting that works for ****.
This is pretty functional... if functional means light and fast and really comfortable... the 531 frame and fork have a lot to do with that.



I have built up a lot of functional and utilitarian ss/fg bikes from readily available and nice frames... always follow a rule of not killing kittens and make sure the bike can be restored to a geared version if wanted.
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Old 05-27-10, 10:11 AM   #15
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Oh, no sorry I meant that before they were converted they weren't really functional. My conversion is 100x more functional now that it's a fixed gear. In fact, I'd say that most conversions are more functional than most "track" bikes. Seeing how they allow for fenders and all of those goodies.
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Old 05-27-10, 11:01 AM   #16
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I guess it was when a random girl on a junker with fat tires told me she wanted a bike with "no gears" because "they go faster" and my roomie told me he was going to convert his nice vintage motobecane to a ss that it all seemed to be out of hand.

Okay, so it's a product of market hype and people reusing old, busted bikes. The (lack of) mystique has been revealed, thanks everyone. Back to trawling CL for a nice old steel bike that hasn't yet fallen into the hands of Drs. Frankenstein and Frankenstein.
also gears can be a pain in the butt to maintain for novice riders.
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Old 05-27-10, 11:24 AM   #17
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A lot of fads don't make sense. Have you read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell? While not addressing fixie mania specifically, it might help explain how the phenomenon started and why it continues. It will eventually run its course and what will be left will be too many fixies and not enough riders. I personally chose this configuration because I wanted something light, fast, simple, and that would give me a good workout on my commute. A friend of mine had a fixie, recommended I try it. I enjoyed the variation on a typical free wheel biking experience, and decided to get one. It's a bonus that every 3rd twenty-something in NYC stops to ask about my bike.
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Old 05-27-10, 11:36 AM   #18
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CL or no CL, these conversions have been going on for decades...
Where've you been?
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Old 05-27-10, 11:53 AM   #19
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i think i just discovered the new bike trend to overcome this fixie shenanigans.



i have a feeling capes are also going to be the new girl pants.
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Old 05-27-10, 01:09 PM   #20
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Meh, roadies already dress like Superheroes.

Enjoy
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Old 05-27-10, 01:13 PM   #21
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that guy is having a blast!!!!!!

i'm more bewildered as to why hipsters always ride without helmets. i see a lot of people riding airdome with 'vintage' sears roadbikes from the 80's... gears and all.
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Old 05-27-10, 03:35 PM   #22
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They can't mess up their $200 haircuts.
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Old 05-27-10, 05:15 PM   #23
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I really enjoy my fixed gear bikes, but they are going out of style, sadly.
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Old 05-27-10, 05:39 PM   #24
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I understand why it can be frustrating to take a functioning geared bicycle and strip it down to make it a fixie, but It can be a real decent option.

I mean I bought an Old Soma Sport 10-speed. It's chain was rusted, but with a tune-up this bike was basically fully functioning, and probably would have made a fine geared road bike.

But a geared road bike wasn't what I wanted. I already have a geared road bike. I wanted a simple, easy to maintain bike, that I could ride for the winter or for casual rides with the girlfriend.

Buying a new bike that was built for SS was out of my price range, so I started looking at garage sales. for 50 bucks I got this bike and it is a Chromoly Lugged Frame. Additionally, it wasn't built like a track bike, so It's a little more of a cushy ride, which I prefer

At first I just wanted a single speed. Would make it easier to maintain for winter riding. I was also learning about bikes as I was doing this and found out very quickly that wheels dished for a cassette are not great for SS chainline, It ended up being a better idea to just buy a new set of wheels.

I got nice Soma high flange track wheels with fixed/fixed rear hub (32/36 spoke count) for a great deal, (200 bucks). In the end, I spent a lot of time working on my bike since I had to strip it down, overhaul what I was reusing and install what was new, but I spend less than 300 dollars.

Now the bike is a fixed gear that weighs about 20 lbs, and has been a great little bike.

so sure, I could go out and spend 600 bucks on a nice SS specific bike, but the conversion helped me learn about how bikes are put together, and also saved me a lot of money.

Additionally find me an inexpensive lugged frame/fork brand new. Sure, new welded frames are just as good if not better, but the luggs are pretty to look at, and that can be an important factor.

I don't see why it's a problem, or wrong to convert an old road bike. It's my time and money, I'll ride what I want to ride.
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Old 05-27-10, 06:13 PM   #25
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Flandry,

I believe you are not understanding because your original premise/mindset is wrong. SS/fixed gear bicycles are not less versatile. Why do you think more gears equals more versatility? Do you think it's just common sense? It's not. The reality is that geared bikes are actually the limited purpose machines. I'm not just taking a stance. I'm being on the money. There are about 3 generic circumstances that a geared bike is more appropriate. The rest of the time SS/fixed is much more of everything. The mentality that people are somehow lessening the viability/usefulness of a bicycle by turning it into a SS/fixed is just wrong thinking in most cases. Change your incorrect premise/mindset and correct thinking/understanding will soon replace it.
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