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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 10-09-10, 02:52 PM   #1
evbophoto
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which to convert to fixie? older mountain bike or free spirit?

Basically looking for some input on which of my bikes to convert over to a ss/fixie. Here's what I've got: bike #1 - 99/00 Gary Fisher Wahoo MTB (no suspension) with big ole knobby tires, slightly rusty chain and gears and worn out brakes but the frame is in perfect shape. bike #2 - early 80s(?) Sears Free Spirit w/bad breaks, a chain that's too small to go through all the gears, new 27" tires and a dirty but seemingly rust free frame. I've had the gary fisher since new and it's been a fine bike. I picked up the free spirit on the super cheap (>$20) with the intent on building a fixed gear. The thing I've realized though is that the MTB is much lighter than the FS and I'm starting to wonder if if I'd be better off just using that frame. It's a bit smaller than the FS as well.

my riding will consist of short trips to the store and around town, not planning any long journeys, just trying to use my car less. I've been riding the FS around for the past few weeks and despite it's obvious flaws it's been fine. Regardless of which bike I end up going with I know I'm gonna need new wheels and bits and pieces but wondered if anyone had done a ss/fixie conversion on a MTB. Is it more difficult or a bigger PITA than doing a conversion on an older road bike?

Anyway, any advice or comments would be appreciated. I'm a newbie to this but eager to learn.

Thanks

evan.
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Old 10-09-10, 03:05 PM   #2
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The Free Spirit is junk. If you're just looking for a round-town ride, definitely use the Gary Fisher. Save your pennies and buy a real track frame - you'll spend more than the Free Spirit is worth converting it.

You might have a hard time converting that MTB to fixed, so I'd recommend going with SS.
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Old 10-10-10, 06:49 AM   #3
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no doubt the free spirit is not exactly your top of the line bike. I'm considering selling the MTB and buying another frame/bike to build up. Are there any decently priced (around $100) older bikes that I should maybe look for?
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Old 10-10-10, 07:26 AM   #4
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I'd up your price range if you want a decent bike.... 300-400 should get you a good frameset with horiz. dropouts. Screw the conversion on either of those bikes.
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Old 10-10-10, 09:54 AM   #5
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I'd convert the mountain bike. Get some 26" Schwalbe Big Apple tires instead of your knobbies, flat bar and two brakes.

This will accomplish many things:

1. The bike will be practical as ****
2. The bike will be strong as ****
3. You will not be "just another ******bag who converted an 80s frame"
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Old 10-10-10, 10:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by evbophoto View Post
no doubt the free spirit is not exactly your top of the line bike. I'm considering selling the MTB and buying another frame/bike to build up. Are there any decently priced (around $100) older bikes that I should maybe look for?
Lots of Japanese bikes from the 1970's/80's/90's are okay candidates for conversion. Problem being that with so many people flipping fixed conversions on Craigslist, finding older road bikes for reasonable prices these days is pretty tough.

If you're set on riding fixed for whatever reason (do you even know why?), sell both your current bikes and buy a BikesDirect fixed gear.
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Old 10-10-10, 10:26 PM   #7
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SS the Gary Fisher. You will enjoy it more. Bullet proof and can go anywhere.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:15 AM   #8
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MTB singlespeeds are pretty badass. so i vote for the Gary Fisher. Do you have pics of the bikes?
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Old 10-12-10, 06:19 PM   #9
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Well, as it turns out, my father in law has apparently purchased me a set of fixed gear wheels. I have no idea what they are or anything else about them. For some reason he is super stoked on this whole fixed gear thing. So I'm not sure if they'll fit on the MTB or not, we'll have to wait and see.

Quote:
If you're set on riding fixed for whatever reason (do you even know why?), sell both your current bikes and buy a BikesDirect fixed gear.
I guess the idea of building up a bike myself is pretty appealing to me. I like to do things myself rather than just purchase something pre-made. I'm also drawn to the simplicity of the whole fg/ss bikes.

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300-400 should get you a good frameset with horiz. dropouts
sorry to say that's a bit out of my price range.

Here are photos of the two candidates:

Free Spirit

Gary Fisher
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Old 10-12-10, 06:28 PM   #10
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i like the fisher, get some slicks for it and ride it like it is till the drive train dies. it's not a good option for a fixed with the vertical dropouts so...
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