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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 01-17-11, 02:15 AM   #1
jedoubled
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Using Bianchi Pista parts for conversion..?

To the point; I bought a Bianchi Pista a few years ago, bought plenty of add-ons and accessories, rode it a bunch and now I want something different. Namely, a single-speed/flip-flop conversion bike that's a little bit taller (I didn't know much about sizing then). Anyways, I think it was a mistake (for me) buying a new track bike and I don't want to sell it and lose a bunch of money. I would rather use the parts to build up something else. Maybe I'll sell the frame/fork/etc. when I'm done, I don't know yet.

I am on a budget so I want to convert an older, steel road bike with drops to a SS..

My questiion for all of you is; Using these parts, what do I need to look for in a bike to convert? Obviously, horizontal dropouts and room for 700 wheels but, what about the cranks/bottom bracket? I guess that's the main thing, really. Hypothetically, would I be able to use my (threadless) fork/stem/bars if I wanted to? Oh and, do I need to worry about the chainline or what? Obviously, I am new to all of this..

Thanks in advance for any help! I am really hoping to salvage as much as possible.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:35 AM   #2
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Well i guess ill say something...

There are alot of things you need to pay attention to but luckily its not very complex, but as you pointed out the BB/crankset is a little difficult to figure out.

here's a link that should help:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html

Im curious why you are swapping a pista frame for something presumably not as nice, is it just the size or are you not a fan of the geometry or looks or something?
...any ways the pista frame is a nice frame and you shouldnt have a problem getting good money for it as its not available as a frameset and it does have the same geo as a concept which arent cheap.
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Old 01-18-11, 08:50 PM   #3
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I too am in the middle of swapping out a Pista frame. I just got my Dolan Pre Cursa frame in the mail today and am pondering what (if anything) i am going to swap over.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Blue_R24 View Post
I too am in the middle of swapping out a Pista frame. I just got my Dolan Pre Cursa frame in the mail today and am pondering what (if anything) i am going to swap over.
Off the bat, your headset, spacers, and stem won't work...

And if it's a nearly stock pista you're talking about as the donor, eeeeewwwwwwwww, just eeeeeewwwwwwww....
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Old 01-19-11, 11:26 AM   #5
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Thanks Blue for the link but, it didn't really answer any of my specific questions about the fit of my pista parts to an old frame. Like I said, my main concern is the bottom bracket/cranks and the chainline. If the chainline isn't right (but the cranks do work) can I have my alex/pista hub respaced? Again, like I said, I'm new to all of this. I would like to at least use my wheels, hopefully the crank/bb/chainring/pedals, maybe the seat and possibly the headset and handlebars, if needed. It all depends on what the bike/frame I find to convert already has. To answer your question, the main reason I am switching is the size/fit. I kinda jumped into it a a few years ago when I had the money and while the bike felt fine when I test rode it, over time it has really done a number on my body. The fact that it is too small AND a shorter track geometry really ****s me up on anything but a short ride. Also, I don't really want to drill into it to add a back brake (which I'd have to buy), nor get new road style brakes for drops. I like the simplicity of a SS but fixed is just too hard on my body for now.

I know the pista's components aren't the best but, I bought all this new for over a grand (with the add-ons) so I really don't want to lose a bunch of money selling it. If I could trade straight across for a nice SS I would but, since it would have to be bigger, I doubt that is going to happen. People complain about the wheels but I am a little guy and I've been pretty hard on them for years now and they're still true. The hubs are good, good tires, I already have a variety of chainring/cog combinations, nice pedals/straps, seat, various handlebars.. none of this re-sells very well tho.

Thanks again for your help but is there anyone out there that can tell me exactly will my pista's bb/cranks and hub fit an old road bike? What about the chainline? Or, would I be better off buying a newer frameset? Any suggestions for a cheap one that this would all fit? Thanks!
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Old 01-19-11, 01:11 PM   #6
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Off the bat, your headset, spacers, and stem won't work...

And if it's a nearly stock pista you're talking about as the donor, eeeeewwwwwwwww, just eeeeeewwwwwwww....
why would you even make this post? do you feel better about yourself now?

i know the difference between 1" and 1-1/8" but thanks for your invaluable input, ill be sure to come to you for help when i cant figure out why my square taper crank wont fit onto an isis BB.......

no need to be so negative chief
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Old 01-19-11, 01:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jedoubled View Post
Thanks Blue for the link but, it didn't really answer any of my specific questions about the fit of my pista parts to an old frame. Like I said, my main concern is the bottom bracket/cranks and the chainline. If the chainline isn't right (but the cranks do work) can I have my alex/pista hub respaced? Again, like I said, I'm new to all of this. I would like to at least use my wheels, hopefully the crank/bb/chainring/pedals, maybe the seat and possibly the headset and handlebars, if needed. It all depends on what the bike/frame I find to convert already has. To answer your question, the main reason I am switching is the size/fit. I kinda jumped into it a a few years ago when I had the money and while the bike felt fine when I test rode it, over time it has really done a number on my body. The fact that it is too small AND a shorter track geometry really ****s me up on anything but a short ride. Also, I don't really want to drill into it to add a back brake (which I'd have to buy), nor get new road style brakes for drops. I like the simplicity of a SS but fixed is just too hard on my body for now.

I know the pista's components aren't the best but, I bought all this new for over a grand (with the add-ons) so I really don't want to lose a bunch of money selling it. If I could trade straight across for a nice SS I would but, since it would have to be bigger, I doubt that is going to happen. People complain about the wheels but I am a little guy and I've been pretty hard on them for years now and they're still true. The hubs are good, good tires, I already have a variety of chainring/cog combinations, nice pedals/straps, seat, various handlebars.. none of this re-sells very well tho.

Thanks again for your help but is there anyone out there that can tell me exactly will my pista's bb/cranks and hub fit an old road bike? What about the chainline? Or, would I be better off buying a newer frameset? Any suggestions for a cheap one that this would all fit? Thanks!
It depends on the road frame, youd need a frame that has a 68mm english threaded BB shell. Not ALL frames have them but most do. You should have no problem finding a frame that meets those requirements. Another issue you will have to be careful of is the rear stay width, road frames are wider so that they can fit the cassette, single speeds are narrower so that they dont and are about 1 cm more narrow. There are a zillion single speed frames w/ a 68mm english threaded BB shell that come with a drilled fork and drilled rear. Goodluck with your project, i hope some else can respond and give you some more help... i tried, goodluck again.
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Old 01-19-11, 04:55 PM   #8
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why would you even make this post? do you feel better about yourself now?

i know the difference between 1" and 1-1/8" but thanks for your invaluable input, ill be sure to come to you for help when i cant figure out why my square taper crank wont fit onto an isis BB.......

no need to be so negative chief
Well chief you didn't put that in your original post did you? Hmmm let's see:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_R24 View Post
I too am in the middle of swapping out a Pista frame. I just got my Dolan Pre Cursa frame in the mail today and am pondering what (if anything) i am going to swap over.
No you didn't. Apparently you're not even thankful that somebody took the time to even reply to your miniscule post.

Now, now, there's no need to rage all over the place now my good sir.
Oh I also assume that you would happen to know that components also help define the ride quality of a bike?

Also, you're a big boy now, you can make your own decisions; so why even complain in the first place about my post? On my part I don't even care; I was just stating my opinion, you can ride that new pre cursa of yours into on coming traffic brakeless for all I care.

Last edited by Leukybear; 01-19-11 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:08 PM   #9
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Your "ew" comment was definitely unnecessary and pretentious and your reply was even more so. There is nothing wrong with letting him know certain parts wouldn't fit his build but, that's not what this thread is about. I figured I would be the one getting some flack from some know-it-all here but not the people kind enough to help me.

Thanks again, Blue. You pretty much gave me the answers I needed. Except, if the rear stay is indeed too wide (I guess I could bring my wheel with me or ask the seller to measure it for me) is there anything I can do? Can just the axle itself in the hub be replaced somehow or can you bend (gasp?) the stays in enough to fit?

Also, can you or anyone recommend a cheaper SS frameset online? Not a track frame. I don't think I've ever seen an old SS other than a cruiser so I assume you meant something new(er)?
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Old 01-19-11, 07:54 PM   #10
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There are ways to bend the stays, but that is never recommended. I think there is a way to replace the axle and add spacers but im not positive, ive never converted a road bike into a single speed before. As for SS frames how much are you looking to spend? that can help people help you.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:20 PM   #11
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You can cold set a steel frame, no problem.
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Old 01-20-11, 10:35 AM   #12
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blue; no more than $200. not much, i know.. which is why i was leaning towards an older bike. i like the ride of the old steel bikes anyways but, if it's going to be too much work..

after looking up "cold setting" i found this on sheldon's site:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html

elsewhere on the web mr. brown said he believes the pista's hub is 120mm. so, if i understand correctly, according to the chart on that page would a 10-speed bike be a perfect fit? the chart says "120 mm - Rear 5-speed, Ultra 6, newer track hubs." ???

that would be perfect! it also says older bikes had more room for wider tires and fenders but that newer hubs (not necessarily fixed/ss hubs) are typically wider and have longer axles than they used to, which surprised me.
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Old 01-20-11, 10:38 AM   #13
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oh, one more thing i should point out..

if at all possible i would like to have enough room to keep the cog on the fixed side so i can have a true flip/flop wheel. not sure if this is going to make a difference tho.
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Old 01-20-11, 03:45 PM   #14
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everything but headset/steam swaped over from my 08 pista to a surly steamroller.
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Old 01-20-11, 04:03 PM   #15
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have absolutely no experience with this frame but ive always thought that the Origin-8 Del Pasado was a very nice looking frame for $170-200.



its drilled for everything which is great if you are going to be running front and rear brakes.

additionally note:

i cleaned the bottom bracket on my pista today and had to use a square taper crankpuller, the ISIS puller was too large. i dont know if you will be doing the conversion yourself or bring it to a friend/shop who has the tools.

Last edited by Blue_R24; 01-20-11 at 04:07 PM. Reason: spelling and addition note
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Old 01-20-11, 06:14 PM   #16
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yeah, that surly steamroller sounds great but they're twice as much as my max..

that origin-8 frame sounds good for the price but, after talking to someone at a local shop that specializes in recycled bikes, i think i can find something cheaper. the bb on the pista is indeed 68mm, like that on most road bikes of the last several decades. my track hub IS 120mm, whereas i was told most steel road bikes in the 70's and early 80's are 125 and newer ones typically 130, but he said they can re-space mine for only $40. i would probably have taken it to them for the conversion anyhow. so, i'm pretty sure i can find an old steel frame with a fork that will work for less than $100. maybe even with other usable components as well.

thanks again for your help tho! i will post again when all is said and done.
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