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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 10-11-10, 10:02 AM   #1
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Gandalf the White - SS build for my father

I managed to get my father's grey '73 Atala stolen when I was a punk teenager running around on it in the middle of the night.

Aquired a 25" White Atala frame that is exactly the same as his old bike, and plan on resurrecting it as a ss.

I need some shopping help-- where can I get a 120mm wheel with a fixed/free hub and machined rims? I'd dig wheels in blue to match this:





but chrome or white would be fine. Where should I go for an inexpensive sturdy wheel? I don't want boat anchors, but don't need super light.

Other than that, I need to find the right size italian BB, and I should be set to go. I have the clips for the brake cables, levers, and some old weinman centerpulls. If the weinmans don't reach a 700c wheel, I'll get some other brakes.
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Old 10-11-10, 10:09 AM   #2
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get off the internet and go to a bike shop. ask these questions to a qualified mechanic and get real answers, not internet answers from kids who get there information from this site. you have a neat looking old frame and i hope your dad is totally jazzed about your find
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Old 10-11-10, 10:15 AM   #3
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Velocity makes rims in about every color you can imagine, as well as patterns. Usually they are matched up to generic formula flip flop hubs or similar, which are spaced at 120mm. However, I think that particular bike would look great with some open pros or something similar (a little more classic looking than deep v's). Most modern wheels that are built properly will be plenty strong for most purposes. The deep v's will tend to be heavier and maybe slightly stronger than a traditional box type rim.
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Old 10-11-10, 10:21 AM   #4
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First, ignore post #2. There are plenty of well informed adults who post on this forum. I'd recommend looking at the www.velomine.com wheel offerings. You can actually get 27" wheels with a flip / flop hub there. As to the BB, are you needing to buy cranks? If so, you'll need a BB to match the cranks as well as the frame BB threading (Italian) and width (probably 70mm).
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Old 10-11-10, 10:21 AM   #5
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check out velomine.com
great customer service and prices on wheelsets. no im not a shill lol
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Old 10-11-10, 10:23 AM   #6
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First, ignore post #2. There are plenty of well informed adults who post on this forum. I'd recommend looking at the www.velomine.com wheels offerings. You can actually get 27" wheels with a flip / flop hub there. As to the BB, are you needing to buy cranks? If so, you'll need a BB to match the crank as well as the frame BB threading (Italian) and width (probably 70mm).
oh, you beat me to it.
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Old 10-11-10, 10:36 AM   #7
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I've just dropped around $2k at my bike shop over the summer, including a wheel build that turned out semi-acceptable, but still isn't holding true the way I'd like. For this build, I want some cheap ready made wheels. I'll check with them, and see what they have or can offer.

Dad's happy about the project. He even wants me to keep track of what I spend on it and pay me the cost of parts. Can't say no to that with two kids and bills to pay...!

Yes, I am scrapping the cottered crank setup and replacing the whole thing with something more modern. I'd guess that I'd want a basic square taper bb?

I haven't made the final decision on whether I'm going flat bar or drops on it.
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Old 10-11-10, 10:42 AM   #8
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i would say "yep" to getting a square taper bb. although first step is obviously finding the right bb to fit.
and you removing the cottered cranks yourself? let me tell you, they are NOT easy to remove (experience)....the cranks are held onto the spindle with a tapered metal pin, so you have to hammer it out, which is not easy (at least it wasn't for me. in fact, i never got it out lol) ALSO, when hammering them out, you have to do it in like, one or two karate style blows. else you will probably either bend the pin or mushroom it.
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Old 10-11-10, 10:53 AM   #9
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as you can see, it's been done already. I grew up working on my parents old matching (well, my mother's was orange) Atalas in my basement 20 years ago, so I'm used to rusty stuck old bike parts.

Velo mine is pretty good. The electric blue velocities are sold out, though. The sun rims 27" look good. I think I might grab the 22mm wide ones and get wider tires for dad's greater comfort.
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Old 10-12-10, 01:15 AM   #10
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Are you calling your pop "Gandalf the white?"

Or your bike?

If it's your Pop than you can call the bike "Shadowfax".
if its your bike then you need a custom horn that sounds out "Fool of a Took!" when people step off the curb in front of you.
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Old 10-12-10, 01:53 AM   #11
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Or your bike?

If it's your Pop than you can call the bike "Shadowfax".
if its your bike then you need a custom horn that sounds out "Fool of a Took!" when people step off the curb in front of you.
I love you.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:19 AM   #12
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dont get blue rims.
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Old 10-12-10, 11:57 AM   #13
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dont get blue rims.
+1. Unless your dad is miraculously under the age of 25, save him the humiliation. (People under 25 still end up humiliated with blue rims, it's just that they seem to thrive on the shame.) Assuming you've got your eye on the CR18s, that's a great rim for running tires of reasonable width. Note that if you go 27", tire selection is okay but not great, whereas 700c opens things up a bit. Good 27" tires are available, just not out past 1 1/4" widths.

Also do your dad a favor and go with reasonable, well positioned drops (i.e. not track bars on a steep stem) or some relaxed cruiser/mustache bars.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:15 PM   #14
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Are you sure SS is appropriate for your dad? Older guys might not love struggling up hills as much. An internal hub could be a pretty cool setup.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:26 PM   #15
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Rivendell Bicycle Works, where else...
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Old 10-12-10, 12:29 PM   #16
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dont get blue rims.
+2. A sweet classic frame like that deserves better. Open pros ftw. Some shiny campy shifty bits would go
real nice too...
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Old 10-12-10, 06:00 PM   #17
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or your bike?

If it's your pop than you can call the bike "shadowfax".
If its your bike then you need a custom horn that sounds out "you shall not pass!" when people step off the curb in front of you.
fify :d
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Old 10-12-10, 07:20 PM   #18
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You should stick with the original hubs. I recently bought my dad a Bottecchia that was just like your Atala, and I really liked the Campy nuovo tipo hubs. I know its a lot of work but have you considered removing the cassette and redishing the rear wheel? It would be really awesome if you could make it a singlespeed but still keep it all orginal. Also what kind of crank are you considering?
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Old 10-13-10, 02:06 AM   #19
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relaxed cruiser/mustache bars.
Does not compute.
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Old 10-13-10, 02:19 PM   #20
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You should stick with the original hubs. I recently bought my dad a Bottecchia that was just like your Atala, and I really liked the Campy nuovo tipo hubs. I know its a lot of work but have you considered removing the cassette and redishing the rear wheel? It would be really awesome if you could make it a singlespeed but still keep it all orginal. Also what kind of crank are you considering?
Thats what I did everytime I built my SS bikes. Works great too.
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Old 10-13-10, 07:55 PM   #21
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Dont get blue rims.

If you really want to get him new rims go with the CR18s. They are a decent eyelette rim, and cheap. I don't think your dad needs deep v's and they will only draw theives to his bike.
I would also definitely look into getting some modern long reach brakes, they will work that much better.
If you need help determining what would originally be on this bike hit up the Classic & Vintage forum. They are helpful and may have stuff for sale to fit that bike at reasonable prices, and they will probably be able to help you find a reasonably priced Italian thread BB.

I assume you are going to clean up the frame as best you can before you start?
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Old 10-20-10, 01:53 PM   #22
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You Shall Not Pass!

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If it's your pop than you can call the bike "shadowfax".
If its your bike then you need a custom horn that sounds out "you shall not pass!" when people step off the curb in front of you. fify :d
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Old 10-24-10, 04:15 PM   #23
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Ok, ok, no blue rims. His original had all campy shifty bits. It was stolen and I do not have the original wheels and hubs-- maybe one tacoed wheel sitting around. I do have my mother's matching orange bike that could be stripped to put all period correct original parts on it to make it back into a 5x2.

"Shadowfax" has already been done. The story of this bike necessitates naming it Gandalf the White, since I managed to get his grey one stolen when I was a punk teenager in the 1990's. This is a frame I picked up on eBay.

I have always liked the bikesdirect WT5, and that sort of setup would be awesome on this bike. Are there 3 or 5 speed hubs that will fit a 120mm rear triangle?
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Old 10-24-10, 04:59 PM   #24
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SA 3-speeds will fit 120mm. Their 5 speeds are 130mm, but you can certainly set the spacing easily enough and the gear range is a lot better.
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Old 10-24-10, 05:40 PM   #25
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Does not compute.
I'm def. not going for a track fixie kind of look at all. I like the blue rims to bring out the blue on the stickers....

It's not a poser fake fixie thing, just like the way they look. Regular drops or some risers would make sense for my dad.

The best argument I've heard against the blue V's is that they will attract thieves, so no V's.

And to reply to the admonition to clean up the frame, that was already done by the seller on ebay. I doubt I could improve on his work. It's a beat up frame, but one that shined up nicely. The scratches in the stickers are beyond my goals to fix.
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Last edited by Standalone; 10-24-10 at 06:12 PM.
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