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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 11-25-11, 09:53 PM   #1
thehugoball
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What is the ideal fixie conversion frame for year-round riding?

I've been searching high and low for my dream frame, but can't seem to figure out what it should be. Here are the requirements, I'm looking for a frame that meets all of them, or comes very close:

*High quality lightweight steel, like Columbus, Tange or Reynolds
*Fast, racing-oriented geometry, not a touring frame
*Room to run 700c x 28 wheels with SKS chromoplast fenders
*Full braze-ons for racks and fenders
*Model not so fancy that I'll feel weird building out as a fixie, (ie. not looking for Schwinn Paramounts)
*Not Italian. Why? Because I'd feel especially weird building out any decent Italian road frame as a fixie
*Sells for no more than $150 on Ebay so that it isn't too valuable to ride year-round and park outside the grocery store.

For a long time I was hoping to find a Centurion or Miyata but nowadays people seem to have caught on to their value. Mid-eighties upper-level Schwinns can be nice, but haven't found the right one yet. Also looking at Raleigh, Univega, Nishiki, etc. but those are the obvious choices. What am I missing? Anyway, just looking for ideas. Any opinions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-25-11, 10:00 PM   #2
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you want a high quality lightweight steel frame for less than $150?
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Old 11-25-11, 10:03 PM   #3
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racing geometry with 28mm tires AND fenders?
try a 27" norco avanti SL.

or any other multitude of 27" wheeled bikes, but a majority of them are not light, nor high quality.
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Old 11-25-11, 10:05 PM   #4
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you want a high quality lightweight steel frame for less than $150?
Well, until not too long ago, there were plenty to be had. I bought a Nishiki Olympic 12 about a year ago for $80 on eBay. That's the sort of thing I'm looking for. Not looking for a fancy frame, just a decent one. Maybe high quality lightweight wasn't the right way to describe it. I'm talking about a featherweight Cinelli Supercorsa. More like a Centurion Accordo.
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Old 11-26-11, 12:24 AM   #5
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Even pretty good quality steel road frames from the 80s like my old Shogun Samurai conversion don't fit 28s AND fenders AND have rack mounts.
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Old 11-26-11, 12:43 AM   #6
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Fender mounts double as rack mounts.

Aside from that, you know what you want, just spend the time looking until you find it for cheap. Anything made of Tange, Reynolds or (Heaven forbid) Columbus tubing will fetch a pretty hefty sum. Just browse your local craigslist, scour ebay, and don't pay more than $150.

It helps to develop a good eye for frame quality, since often stickers will be removed.
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Old 11-26-11, 12:49 AM   #7
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Go to the Classic and Vintage forum. They'll know and be able to name more examples than we will.
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Old 11-26-11, 05:54 AM   #8
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also brush up on your steels. just cause is has a sticker saying a certain brand does not make it great. Example Tange Infinity. Many modern frames use the same quality of tubing and are cheaper than finding a "vintage" frame. However, lugged is another matter. If you are looking for the style of a vintage frame good luck in your search (no sarcasm intended). if you just need a good bike to ride on then maybe keep your mind open to some newer stuff.

p.s. what size are you looking for? I might have something or can at least keep my eye out.
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Old 11-26-11, 07:54 AM   #9
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I could easily convert this vintage bike to fixed if I wanted: 120mm dropout spacing, long semi-horizontal dropouts, room for 27 x 1 1/8 tires and fenders, rack, moderately aggressive geometry. Total weight as shown is 26.5 lbs. It would probably be under 25 lbs stripped down to FG.
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Old 11-26-11, 08:05 AM   #10
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I agree with Tejano, finding a race frame with all the brazed lugs for mounts may be something far from attainable, a 70's to 80's Tourer will suit you fine, unless you really want a straight sportster with no utilitarianism haha. Best of luck, I am in the process of converting my 74 Fuji Special Tourer to a coastie (I think its novel and like my knees)
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Old 11-26-11, 09:08 AM   #11
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Go Peugeot!
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Old 11-28-11, 10:38 PM   #12
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You can just snag a fixie off an online dealer for $300 -. Take the frame, use the rest as spare parts. Frames from these are actually pretty durable because they're either made of aluminium or steel (Well I suppose most bikes are) that is low-grade.You can practically bang these around everywhere and not give a wank.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:41 PM   #13
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Go Peugeot!
There's a good chance of running into french threaded bottom brackets or headsets on Peugeots though so make sure you get the right year.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:51 PM   #14
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You want this:



AND you want to pay what I paid for it... But good luck. I met a guy who had a basement full of stuff to get rid of before he moved back to Cali. The frame you are looking for might exist... but you're going to have a hard time finding it.
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Old 11-28-11, 11:33 PM   #15
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You can get a nice butted steel frame for about what you want to spend. You just have to be diligent in research and deal-hunting. It will also help if you're not super concerned with a lot of patina.

Edit: and don't rule out Italian stuff. Why would you exclude a huge potential group of frames because of the country of origin? You're just narrowing your total pool of possible scores.
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