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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 06-01-11, 11:07 AM   #1
word_nerd
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My first conversion - huffy to tuffy!

Not sure if i'm completely through fiddling with it (especially the paint - i may redo it with better paint), but i'm pretty happy with my first ever single speed conversion. i pulled an old Huffy LeGrande 12 speed out of the trash. It was in pretty sorry shape, but i figured it was an excuse to give conversion a try. i tried to reuse as many parts as possible, to keep this on the cheap, but also in the name of recycling. After mangling the rear hub, after trying to get it apart and convert it, i broke down and bought a relatively cheap (around 50 bucks) rear wheel with a flip/flop hub (which came with a fixed cog) and a new 16T freewheel. I also invested in a new brake lever. Everything else is either original or taken from other bikes - special thanks to the BMX that a neighborhood kid abandoned from which i commandeered the chain ring.

I re-upholstered the seat using some leftover faux leather vinyl to give it an old school look, though it's harder to do than i thought and consequently the material is not as tight as i would have liked it. oh well.

overall i'm excited to ride it! Here are some before, during and after photos.

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Old 06-01-11, 02:58 PM   #2
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Pretty nice, but something about the fork seems strange...
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Old 06-01-11, 03:03 PM   #3
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I wrote this in 2007. It still applies: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-Diving-Noobs
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 06-01-11, 03:48 PM   #4
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OP - Sounds like you qualify to post in this thread >>> http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ghlight=%24100
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Old 06-01-11, 04:21 PM   #5
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I wrote this in 2007. It still applies:
what you said in that thread doesn't apply at all.. this guy finished his build and it came out looking decent. he probably learned a lot and if he doesn't like the ride he's got the skills to build a nicer one next time
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Old 06-01-11, 04:23 PM   #6
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what you said in that thread doesn't apply at all.. this guy finished his build and it came out looking decent. he probably learned a lot and if he doesn't like the ride he's got the skills to build a nicer one next time
+1, I don't see what's wrong with saving the life of an old bike, even if it's not the nicest. He'll have just as much fun pounding around on his Huffy conversion as I do pounding around on my SE Premium Brew.
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Old 06-01-11, 05:00 PM   #7
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I wrote this in 2007. It still applies: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-Diving-Noobs
I might build up a bike from scratch one day... thanks for the tip on the stock parts.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:54 AM   #8
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thanks to those of you who have responded positively after carleton's rather rude and judgmental link. the reality is that even with all the mistakes and frustrations (there were a few), i'm more into biking than ever before! I didn't go looking for some vintage find. the bike showed up on the curb in my girlfriend's old neighborhood, so we grabbed it. i had doubts about its fixability, but the point was just to dive in and see what happened. i am in no position to spend hundreds of dollars on a new bike just to learn how to build it, and philosophically, i prefer to keep another usable machine out of the landfill. i posted the results here because i respect the opinions and insights of forum members. In the year i've been a member, it has felt like a cool biking community. i know that i often look to this forum for good ideas and inspiration and if someone out there saw this, perhaps they would be psyched up about trying it out too.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:12 AM   #9
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thanks to those of you who have responded positively after carleton's rather rude and judgmental link. the reality is that even with all the mistakes and frustrations (there were a few), i'm more into biking than ever before! I didn't go looking for some vintage find. the bike showed up on the curb in my girlfriend's old neighborhood, so we grabbed it. i had doubts about its fixability, but the point was just to dive in and see what happened. i am in no position to spend hundreds of dollars on a new bike just to learn how to build it, and philosophically, i prefer to keep another usable machine out of the landfill. i posted the results here because i respect the opinions and insights of forum members. In the year i've been a member, it has felt like a cool biking community. i know that i often look to this forum for good ideas and inspiration and if someone out there saw this, perhaps they would be psyched up about trying it out too.
I (falsely) assumed that your purpose was to make a "sweet fixie", which is what 95% of these project are. I apologize for that. That post was written years ago and my tone in it was very condescending. But, that's how SSFG was back then. Lots of snark, hate, bashing, and NJS mania. "Aluminum?!! Ewww...". "Sloping top tube?! (I just threw up in my mouth a little.)" "HA HA! You have a modern bike!! LOL.". That's just how it was. I hated it. So, I went into the post with lots of venom.

Whenever someone wanted a new bike, the first response would more often than not, be: "Do a conversion"...no matter what you use as a base bike, no matter how much it costs, no matter how long it took, no matter how much you knew (or didn't know) about bikes. It was stupid advice.

I whole heartedly believe that a person can learn more by working on one's modern bike than learning how to build and maintain a vintage bike...which only trains one on vintage bikes. Restoring a '73 Super Beetle does not help me very much in understanding a New Beetle. There are better ways to learn.

But, if your aim was to recycle, then mission accomplished. Good job (seriously). I can't fault you for that.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

Last edited by carleton; 06-02-11 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:29 AM   #10
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Restoring a '73 Super Beetle does not help me very much in understanding a New Beetle. There are better ways to learn.
very well put
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Old 06-02-11, 10:44 AM   #11
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how much difference is there between a fixed gear built on a '73 frame and a '11 frame?
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Old 06-02-11, 11:48 AM   #12
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how much difference is there between a fixed gear built on a '73 frame and a '11 frame?
About as much difference as there is a 73 Super Beetle and a New Beetle.



Difference are (but not limited to)
- Frame materials
- Seat tube angle
- Head tube angle
- Fork Rake
- Fork length (made for 27" vs 700c wheels) which affects brake arm reach
- Seat tube diameter
- Head tube diameter
- Bottom Bracket shell (diameter, press fit, English/French threaded)
- Compact vs Standard (old) geometry
- The frame's "road worthiness". Basically, is it rusted out or pristine.

...and that's just the frame. The components have difference, too.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:08 PM   #13
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Except that the new beetle is a piece of **** plastic-fantastic, tarted up VW Golf. Whereas the Super Beetle is the pinnacle of the evolution of that small car, even came with the option for disc brakes and the 1600cc engine.

Now I know the Beetles are just a quick-to-the-point analogy, I can't help being a bit biased as I ride old steel, too. However, I will concede that perhaps there are better choices to 'restore' rather than a generic Huffy.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:19 PM   #14
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Except that the new beetle is a piece of **** plastic-fantastic, tarted up VW Golf. Whereas the Super Beetle is the pinnacle of the evolution of that small car, even came with the option for disc brakes and the 1600cc engine.

Now I know the Beetles are just a quick-to-the-point analogy, I can't help being a bit biased as I ride old steel, too. However, I will concede that perhaps there are better choices to 'restore' rather than a generic Huffy.
I'd rather have that tarted up Golf when going from 60 - 0 within a few yards.

Drum brakes all around?

But, yeah, I get your point.




The 84 GTI was the pinnacle. That car single-handedly created the sport compact car class.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

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Old 06-02-11, 12:25 PM   #15
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About as much difference as there is a 73 Super Beetle and a New Beetle.
The reason i said something is because, to me, the most obvious difference between a classic VW and a modern one is the drivetrain: old VWs are aircooled, while new ones are watercooled. The drivetrain on fixed gear bikes hasn't changed that drastically, has it?

I think learning how to wrench on old bikes, especially fixed gear, does translate over to newer bikes.. simple things like changes in materials, sizes and geometry don't require learning tons of new things.

newer road bikes do have a lot of technology differences (indexed shifting, disc brakes, etc) but most fixed gear bikes don't incorporate much of that technology.. they don't have any shifting, and i rarely see any brakes

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Old 06-02-11, 12:28 PM   #16
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I'd rather have that tarted up Golf when going from 60 - 0 within a few yards.

Drum brakes all around?

But, yeah, I get your point.




The 84 GTI was the pinnacle. That car singularly created the sport compact car class.
Ah, a man that knows his small cars. I think I like you :3
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Old 06-02-11, 12:35 PM   #17
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The 84 GTI was the pinnacle.
Coincidentally 80s roadbikes are the pinnacle of road frames for conversions.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:45 PM   #18
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The reason i said something is because, to me, the most obvious difference between a classic VW and a modern one is the drivetrain: old VWs are aircooled, while new ones are watercooled. The drivetrain on fixed gear bikes hasn't changed that drastically, has it?

I think learning how to wrench on old bikes, especially fixed gear, does translate over to newer bikes.. simple things like changes in materials, sizes and geometry don't require learning tons of new things.

newer road bikes do have a lot of technology differences (indexed shifting, disc brakes, etc) but most fixed gear bikes don't incorporate much of that technology.. they don't have any shifting, and i rarely see any brakes
I agree! I think that a properly restored bike or car with period-correct parts is an absolute thing of beauty. It's when guys try to make the old stuff modern is when I (and others) cringe.


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Ah, a man that knows his small cars. I think I like you :3

Thanks!

I don't know my grammar, though. I meant to write "single-handedly instead of "singularly".
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:31 PM   #19
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I think a lot of people are missing the fact that this is a SINGLE SPEED not a TRACK BIKE. The intention was never to make a modern lightweight track bike with high end materials. There is nothing wrong with converting an old bike on the cheap for something to do. Some of us like working on bikes and it's still satisfying to get some grease on our hands and have a little project just to have something to do for a weekend. It's still satisfying to work on a bike regardless of how modern or expensive it is. I see nothing wrong with what word_nerd did here and no reason to judge him.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:35 PM   #20
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Dude, a Huffy would not have been my choice for a conversion, however, it was your choice and I think you did an awesome job based on what you had avaliable and chose to use. Hell, I even like the paint! Ride it like you Built it!
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Old 06-02-11, 01:36 PM   #21
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Pffft. This thread is about cars now.



(just kidding)
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

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Old 06-02-11, 04:46 PM   #22
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I was ready to roll my eyes when I saw the title. But I judged too early. Very good job, you made a nice looking workable bike for not much money.

I'd be rolling my eyes if you would've said you stuck $300 into it .
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Old 06-02-11, 06:59 PM   #23
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Pffft. This thread is about cars now.



(just kidding)
Fixed gear cars?
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Old 06-02-11, 11:22 PM   #24
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I was ready to roll my eyes when I saw the title. But I judged too early. Very good job, you made a nice looking workable bike for not much money.

I'd be rolling my eyes if you would've said you stuck $300 into it .
haha. thanks. yeah, i never had any intention of sinking real money into it. i had a lot of fun and learned a ton. and i didn't choose the frame. the frame chose me. i made the most of an opportunity when someone discarded the thing. from being on this forum, i also know a lot more of what to look for in a used bike. Take this thread for instance. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but i have much more know-how now.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:39 PM   #25
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i think you did a great job on the paint job btw like the stripes a lot
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