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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 01-23-11, 06:07 PM   #1
timfinnigan
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Transition to fixed gear.

Just really getting in to riding. Currently just day to day riding to and from work. I have been looking into the whole fixed gear set up and would like to try it out to maybe get me more active in riding.

So basically I know nothing on how to change my bike from its current 12 speed set to fixed. If anyone could give me some direction on where to start with parts, tools, ideas, or just any general advice I would appreciate it.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:10 PM   #2
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Just wondering exactly why you think going fixed would get you more active in riding.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:20 PM   #3
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Just from seeing people riding around, i just have an old road bike and my city doesnt have much in the way of bike paths or well paved roads.
I watched some videos and it looks enjoyable, something i would like to try out.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:24 PM   #4
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honestly a bike is a bike bro. Just get out and ride.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:31 PM   #5
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my city doesnt have much in the way of bike paths or well paved roads.
And having a fixed gear would somehow change this?
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Old 01-23-11, 06:34 PM   #6
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Just looking to try something different.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:38 PM   #7
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Look up Sheldon Brown, wealth of knowledge on fixed gear conversion
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Old 01-23-11, 06:50 PM   #8
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honestly a bike is a bike bro. Just get out and ride.
I agree. But if you really want to, here's where to start: http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html

Learn to work on your bike before you try a FG conversion. It'll go much smoother that way, I promise.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:57 PM   #9
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I started riding fixed gear seven years ago and it ruined geared bikes for me.

I now have three fixed gear bikes and no geared bikes.

Do it.
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Old 01-23-11, 07:03 PM   #10
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And having a fixed gear would somehow change this?
Switching to fixed gear immediately installs those features into your city.
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Old 01-23-11, 07:03 PM   #11
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I started riding fixed gear seven years ago and it ruined geared bikes for me.

I now have three fixed gear bikes and no geared bikes.

Do it.
Ken I'm in exactly the same boat. FG made me want to ride more, and some don't understand why I converted my last road bike into another fixed. I have 4
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Old 01-23-11, 07:07 PM   #12
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honestly a bike is a bike bro. Just get out and ride.
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
I agree. But if you really want to, here's where to start: http://<a href="http://sheldonbrown....index.html</a>

Learn to work on your bike before you try a FG conversion. It'll go much smoother that way, I promise.
Quoted for truth. If you REALLY wanna go fixed, I'd suggest having a beater bike that you don't have to rely on to use as your toy. My "daily driver" is an 80s Ross Professional Gran Tour 10-speed. I didn't wanna screw it up so I instead posted an ad on craigslist asking for a junky road bike less than $100. I ended up buying an old beat up Schwinn. Started by taking it apart and learning what everything was. Then I bought a repair book and did repairs on it. From there I did what I could with what came on the bike. That's where I'm at now and I plan on buying some parts and making it into a trendy fixie.

That's what I suggest at least. But your miles may very. In summary, don't think about it and just find a way to ride.
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Old 01-23-11, 07:58 PM   #13
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Then I bought a repair book and did repairs on it.
Know where I can find a repair books for old bikes?
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Old 01-23-11, 09:17 PM   #14
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I don't see how spending money on a working bike to change it into something it wasn't meant to be is going to make you more interested in riding. If you think that fixed gear will be fun enough to make you want to ride more, you're probably better of scoring a fixed gear off of craigslist and keeping your old bike as well. If you don't like it, sell it. If you're smart enough you can probably come out even or ahead. If you like it, fix up your old bike and sell it, or keep it and have one in case the other breaks or you need a specific bike for a specific job that it's better for.

When you can get a decent fixie on Craigslist for 250-500 bucks, why spend the time and money to change a working bike when you can have two working bikes?
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Old 01-23-11, 09:18 PM   #15
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Bikes are fairly easy to work on Tim. There's nothing you can do to a bike that your local bike shop can't either fix or provide a replacement part for (even wheels), so it's pretty safe fiddling around with them - having said that, it's a bloody sight cheaper NOT ruining parts.

The Park Tools website is excellent for working out how to do things, though I don't know how it goes for the older stuff (because I learnt that as a teenager and haven't had to go looking). My local library has a collection of books that cover bike repair so I'd suggest that yours might too.

Go for it.
Don't mind the grumps above.
Just bear in mind that you do NOT have to take your current bike and do a total, thousand dollar conversion. My own Europa (see my avatar), started as an 80's roadie. The first step was to pull off the gears, screw on a track cog and go riding fixed, much like Sheldon Brown's Fixed Gear on the Cheap article.
Once I'd decided that fixed was for me (oh okay, that happened in the first few kms, but a couple of months later where I could afford it), I bought some new wheels for her with the correct rear hub. Later, I was able to fit some better brake levers and about then, removed the spare chain ring. And so on and so on. She didn't reach her final form till about 3 years later ... and probably hasn't reached it yet.

Richard
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Old 01-23-11, 09:21 PM   #16
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When you can get a decent fixie on Craigslist for 250-500 bucks, why spend the time and money to change a working bike when you can have two working bikes?
Because building bikes is fun. Not everyone wants to have a fleet.

Sheesh, the negativity in this thread is astounding - I don't mean the truth in the comments, just the way they're being presented.

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Old 01-23-11, 09:58 PM   #17
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I think some of the negativity is not negativity, but rather some very direct questions to help the OP refine his thought process. Sometimes people think they want something and a couple of pointed questions will either reinforce their thinking or cause them to say "what was I thinking".

The point about the OPs roads suddenly getting better might be construed as snarky, but it actually should cause him to think. The presentation might have been a little abrasive, but the point is roads are roads and no matter what bike you are riding the roads are the same.

If the roads are really that bad, the OP might want to consider either 26" or 650c wheels. A good way to go and somewhat cheap would be to buy an older mountain bike off of Craigslist and convert it to SS. You can find nice CR-MO framed mountain bikes that are decent candidates for conversion for as little as $50.00, especially right now.

Another option would be to try Ebay or Bikes Direct and just get a cheap FG/SS and ride it until you decide whether you like it or not and then either sell it and upgrade or keep it as a beater/bad weather bike.

Lots of options. Personally, I would keep your 12 speed a 12 speed. I think you'd end up spending more money converting it than it would ultimately be worth. I'd go the Bikes Direct route before that. Saw some decent ones on there the other day for around $275.00. Not bad for entry level.
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Old 01-23-11, 10:34 PM   #18
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The point about the OPs roads suddenly getting better might be construed as snarky, but it actually should cause him to think. The presentation might have been a little abrasive, but the point is roads are roads and no matter what bike you are riding the roads are the same.
I'll go with abrasive rather than negative - I do prefer a gentler approach (which is why I go to the 50+ forum)


Quote:
Lots of options. Personally, I would keep your 12 speed a 12 speed. I think you'd end up spending more money converting it than it would ultimately be worth. I'd go the Bikes Direct route before that. Saw some decent ones on there the other day for around $275.00. Not bad for entry level.
I agree with this with one caveat - does he want the cheapest option or the most satisfying and if the latter, where does that satisfaction come from?

I personally spend more on bikes than I strictly need to, because I get the satisfaction from building and then using the built product. I'd rather spend a bit more and get a good part rather than go for the cheapest. If I was him, I'd convert the 12 speed and be completely unconcerned that I could have bought a new bike for the same or less. Mind you, my needs/preferences usually can't be met by the cycling industry anyway, so any new bike will get modified (I'm not one to sit back and put up with compromises).

Richard
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Old 01-24-11, 07:48 AM   #19
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Just really getting in to riding. Currently just day to day riding to and from work. I have been looking into the whole fixed gear set up and would like to try it out to maybe get me more active in riding.

So basically I know nothing on how to change my bike from its current 12 speed set to fixed. If anyone could give me some direction on where to start with parts, tools, ideas, or just any general advice I would appreciate it.
Tim, what kind of 12 speed do you currently own? It might be a good candidate or a not-so-great one. If it has lots of braze-ons it is not the best option, but it might have cable clamps, clamp-on derailleur hangers, etc. and be a nice clean frame when you're done. Tell us more about it or post a pic and we can give you some better advice. It might even already have 700c wheels, which would be good as you would have better options on tires.
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Old 01-24-11, 06:36 PM   #20
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It's and old pinnacle free spirit. Not much to look at but its been dependable. I'm going to just look for something cheap to fix up and use as a learning tool. I honestly didn't think about just keeping what i have and having two. Thanks everyone for the advice, snide or not, its all helpful.
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Old 01-24-11, 06:46 PM   #21
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If your willing, just purchase a new bike for around 500 at bikesdirect.
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