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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 06-01-10, 09:11 AM   #1
arodia1
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Fixie conversion

Okay,
So... I've never worked on bikes at all before and I want to convert this old road bike I found into a fixie. I've take apart everything and now I'm sitting with a back wheel and a freewheel (i took the freewheel off because I hope I'd be able to freeze it up somehow). I really want to make this project a cheap diy whatever it takes. I'll probably buy a flip flop hub soon so I can be safe. For now though I just want some way of using all my old parts for a fixie( I just don't want to go spending hundreds). Is this even possible?
I've read some things saying I could weld the freewheel, but I'm looking for more options.
I also read something that made it seem as if I could buy a track cog and a lock ring and just thread those on where the freewheel used to be, but that didn't seem right to me.

Any suggestion of help are greatly appreciated. Even if it is to tell me I'll never make this work or if I do it'll be unsafe and and I'll hurt myself.

Thanks
Alex
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Old 06-01-10, 09:34 AM   #2
coma061
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I hate to have to do it, but...
http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html
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Old 06-01-10, 09:53 AM   #3
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post pics of the bike.

before you go too far, does the rear have a vertical or horizontal dropout? (see images halfway down the page: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html)
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Old 06-01-10, 09:54 AM   #4
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Sheldon Brown is the place to start and then ask question on what ever is unclear to you.

I will say that you can't just spin on a cog/lockring on a bike that had a multi-speed cassette or freewheel. Because your chainline will basically be unworkable.

If you have a cassette you can get spacers, if you have a freewheel you'll have to re-dish the wheel. This is because rear wheels on bikes with multiple speeds need space for said gears. So the bikes spokes are more 'inline' on the drive-train side. If you look at the wheel edge on you can see how the spokes are more 'in' on one side.

Re-dishing a wheel is tricky, and probably best to have a professional do. Olderwheels tend to bust spokes when you do this, and to be honest, it's usually not worth it for old wheels.

My suggestion is to buy a rear wheel that is already dished to be used for SS/Fixed with a flip flop hub. That's probably the easiest way
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Old 06-01-10, 10:05 AM   #5
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besides the redishing issue, there is the problem of your hub not having proper threading to accommodate a fixed gear lockring. You could thread a cog on there anyways and rotafix it, but beware that this setup is typically referred to as a "suicide hub" for a reason...
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Old 06-07-10, 08:35 AM   #6
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Okay number 1. Thanks for the reply. First thing I ever looked at was sheldon brown's site. It get a little confusing at points that's why I came here. 2. The bike definitely has the right type of dropout. 3. Buying a flip flop hub is something I'm sure I'll do eventually but as for now I'm tight on money, and I really wanted to make this project out of mainly the old bikes parts. As for the flip flop hub, does anyone have any suggestions or links to good quality inexpensive hubs.
4. If I got just a hub I'd have to get the spokes and wheel put on correct? Would I need a whole new wheel or could it just replace the old hub in the rear wheel? (i don't really even understand how spokes attach) 5. I'm gunna try to post some pictures soon.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-07-10, 08:45 AM   #7
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Surly Fixxer

Hey,

You'd be able to use your old wheel if you added on the Surly Fixxer. Honestly I don't know how well it works though. There might be some spacing constraints plus I'm sure a new wheel and fixed hub would be a better option. Since you asked for it, here it is:
http://surlybikes.com/parts/fixxer/


-A

Last edited by apopuri; 06-07-10 at 08:50 AM. Reason: grammar mistake
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Old 06-07-10, 10:45 AM   #8
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The Surly fixer works for cassette hubs and costs as much as a decent rear fixed wheel...

Mu suggestion would be to buy an ss freewheel for 15-20 and run the bike as an ss until you can pony up the 100.00 and change for a rear fixed wheel and a proper fg cog and lock ring and then you can re-use the ss freewheel you bought..
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Old 06-07-10, 12:42 PM   #9
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65r, any tips on where to buy a ss freewheel for 15-20 ?
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Old 06-07-10, 10:06 PM   #10
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check local bike shops first to possibly save on shipping + wait time
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Old 06-07-10, 10:09 PM   #11
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Okay so I'm pretty commited to doing this project right. I keep getting told to just man up and buy the flip flop hub. SO.... anyone have any good ideas/ links to where I can get a good hub on the cheap. Also, where to get spokes because I feel like the ones on the wheel now are too old to reuse? Would I need certain spokes or is that a kind of generic thing?. I've also been playing around with the pedals and I can't figure out how to get them off because I'm sure it's be a good idea to get pedals with some sort of attachment especially if I'm going fixie.
All help and criticism is welcome. I'm not too educated on bikes so if I'm saying wrong stuff please let me know.
Thanks
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Old 06-07-10, 10:40 PM   #12
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This is the best deal for Formula hubs.
http://www.irocycle.com/iro36holefro...earhubset.aspx
Spokes length depends on the rim you are willing to use, also I'd get spokes from your LBS, they are generally a buck each. If you are unclear about all the numbers, just take the hub and your rim to the bike shop, they can calculate the length you'll need. You could also sell the front hub you aren't planning to use.
Support your LBS and get spokes there.
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Old 06-07-10, 10:45 PM   #13
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I read these web sites for about 10 hrs, then talked to the kind folks at a few LBSs. Then I bought a built flip flop wheel from one of them for $85, its awesome.

READ...

http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html

http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/wheelbuildfull.html

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html#exotic
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Old 06-08-10, 09:58 AM   #14
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I measured and got the spacing to be 128 mm so im assuming it's 130 mm
also is it worth it to buy a hub and attach it to the old wheel or should I look for a new wheel set. My old hub has 16 holes on each side for spokes. I have some pictures I took. I'll upload them later.
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Old 06-08-10, 11:56 AM   #15
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here are some pictures of the bike and the rear wheel
0608001146..jpg0608001157..jpg0608001147..jpg
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Old 06-08-10, 12:05 PM   #16
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65r, any tips on where to buy a ss freewheel for 15-20 ?
Any shop that handles BMX bikes should have them.
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Old 06-08-10, 08:31 PM   #17
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Wheels, handlebars, and cranks look like theyre in pretty good condition. Do have a cottered crank there though. Although if you're not planning to change the crank its no problem.
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Old 06-08-10, 10:09 PM   #18
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Yes it is a cottered crank. I didn't have much trouble taking them off though. Is there any problem with them I should be looking out for?
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Old 06-09-10, 02:45 AM   #19
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lol you took it off?
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Old 06-09-10, 08:17 AM   #20
arodia1
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Yes, I'm tinkering with this bike. The main idea of doing this for me is to learn more about bikes and how they work. So... I did take the pedals off but they are back on now
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Old 06-09-10, 07:48 PM   #21
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Good to tinker and learn, however, cottered cranks are a very old, crude technology. I still have a frame with mine attached because once you take them off they'll never go back on as well as they were on before since you have to hammer the pins back in. It would still work, but it would have been better to just leave them on. I know you're pressed for budget so I wont suggest the easier and more progressive route of getting a new bottom bracket and crankset.

Have you found a freewheel yet?
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Old 06-09-10, 09:09 PM   #22
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problem with the freewheel is he is unlikely to have a good chainline if he just spins it on there, and it looks like he had a freewheel on there, not a cassette, so he can't use spacers.

Wont know till he tries, but...
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Old 06-09-10, 10:14 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by cg1985 View Post
problem with the freewheel is he is unlikely to have a good chainline if he just spins it on there, and it looks like he had a freewheel on there, not a cassette, so he can't use spacers.

Wont know till he tries, but...
hmm, very true. probably best to just take everything in to a LBS.

also, OP, your removal of your cottered crank prompted me to finally disassemble my cottered drivetrain on an old frame I have. Dont know what my point is, but figured I'd post a picture of it disassmbled. (for fun)

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Old 06-09-10, 10:21 PM   #24
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Hey guys. I got a wheel and flip flop hub today found it on craigs list.
I'll be heading to the LBS tomorrow to get a fixed cog. Any suggestion on a good ratio?
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Old 06-09-10, 10:47 PM   #25
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Is it a full built up wheel? If so, nice job.

16 tooth is a very common size. Depends on how many chainring teeth you've got though.
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