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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 07-01-12, 05:07 PM   #1
Samyouel5
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1987 Lotus Excelle Conversion?

I was thinking about converting my 87 lotus excelle to a single speed. I'm not sure if I should though. I've had it for about 5 months now and it works perfectly. I'm not sure if I should convert it or just buy a single speed bike.

Here's a picture of it
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Old 07-01-12, 05:08 PM   #2
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Don't you dare.


Just buy a SS.
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Old 07-01-12, 05:12 PM   #3
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A decent, entry-level stock SS bike is going to run you $300ish. You could probably sell that for around $200 or so. Converting that bike can cost anywhere from $20 to $90 depending on if you want a new rear wheel or just want to use the stock one.

I would convert it, but then again I love 80s road bikes and find most modern offerings unexciting.

It's not like you can't just convert it back if you don't like it or want to sell it later.
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Old 07-01-12, 05:12 PM   #4
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Don't you dare.


Just buy a SS.
+1
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Old 07-01-12, 05:21 PM   #5
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With patience and the help of Snydermann here on BF, you can probably get $350 for it. You can then take that $350 and get all the powdercoated nonsense your heart desires.
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Old 07-01-12, 05:21 PM   #6
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Also, $350 is pretty high for Chicago.
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Old 07-01-12, 05:26 PM   #7
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350 would be sweet seeing as how I bought it for 200
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Old 07-01-12, 05:32 PM   #8
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I'm surprised your Lotus has the correct dropouts to even think of doing such a thing. I have an 87 Elite 600 Lotus that has dropouts without little adjustability for chain tension. I ended up buying a 1974 Koko 3000 complete bike that I stripped and bought a new rear wheel for a fixed conversion. It ended up being pricer than I was hoping for(about $140 just to get it Fixed gear rideable) and then I spent another $200 doing stupid things to it like putting Brooks stuff all over it(although admittedly it looks pretty sweet!)
I wouldn't convert a sweet stock bike to SS/Fixed, there are plenty of good frames out there that you could do that too. But I am a Lotus fan anyways, so unless I found a Lotus high end frame with nothing original on it, I wouldn't convert it to start with.
BUT like I said....you might wanna be sure your dropouts will work as fixed/SS anyways. My Lotus wouldn't even if I wanted to.
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Old 07-01-12, 06:11 PM   #9
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Frame-up conversions are generally the least ideal way to go since they get so expensive. It's extremely hard to get to a complete bike for less than $500+ and you generally end up with low end and used parts.

Much better to buy a complete, functional road bike to convert and just replace the rear wheel.

Best is to just buy a complete fixed/ss bike from bikesdirect.
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Old 07-01-12, 06:58 PM   #10
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Oh god.

It must be the heat because that's the most clever thing I can come up with at the moment.

What you have there is the most popular Lotus bike made, in a popular color and a popular size. It's an appreciating asset, if you keep it original.

NBT is mostly correct, up until 1986 the Excelle had vertical dropouts, but just because Lotus changed them for you doesn't imply that you have permission to convert it into a ss/fg.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:03 PM   #11
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Thanks Snydermann! I couldn't tell by the 1 pic if it had the right dropouts or not, but either way, it is a sweet setup the way it is!

OP, Spoonrobot is totally right at saying for the money, your best bet is complete new. Much like part building a car, you will spend way more in time & cash by building. While fun & a learning experience, your wallet will thank you.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:04 PM   #12
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i'd ride it as is. i -wish- something that nice would turn up around here.

then grab something else in your price range.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:27 PM   #13
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its a ****ing bike, billions of bikes exist. it isnt a super rare bike that will make the gods cry if he converts plus he can put everything back later...

i say go for it bro, try it out ride it as single and if you enjoy it save up for a proper single speed/fixed gear frame with the correct dropouts and then put said bike to its original status.

so tired of hearing OMG DONT CONVERT THAT ITS HERESY... its not like hes taking a ****ing hack saw to the frame.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:41 PM   #14
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i'll see what I end up doing, If I find a SS speed somewhere in my price range that I like i'll get it. But as for this bike I didn't know it was the most popular one. The guy I bought it from said it was one of his favorites maybe thats why.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:43 PM   #15
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Just don't shift. Instant single speed. No work.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:59 PM   #16
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no street cred.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:04 PM   #17
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Keep it geared, but take those horrible BioPace rings off.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Keep it geared, but take those horrible BioPace rings off.
either love em or hate em.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:17 PM   #19
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Biopace is no big deal after the first 20 minutes of riding with them. If he has been riding with them then he probably doesnt even notice them anymore. There's no need to spend money on new chainrings.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:21 PM   #20
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Keep it as is.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:28 PM   #21
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I can't even notice a different feel in Biopace road rings. Small Biopace chainrings on MTB and tourers were pretty ridiculous, though.


Shimano BioPace chainring _ 76 BCD by stronglight, on Flickr
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Old 07-01-12, 08:40 PM   #22
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I thought you couldn't do BioPace rings with SS/FG anyways due to the oblong shape & chain tension?
I thought Sheldon Brown had a special paragraph reguarding this in his page on conversions.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:44 PM   #23
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Naww, Sheldon ran BP fixed:
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Among other bikes, I run Biopace on several of my fixed-gear machines, where high cadences are quite common in descending hills. In practice I have found no less ability to spin fast with Biopace chainrings, and, if anything, they permit me to spin faster without bouncing in the saddle.
--http://sheldonbrown.com/biopace.html
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Old 07-01-12, 08:45 PM   #24
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sacre bleu !
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Old 07-01-12, 08:57 PM   #25
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Biopace and fixed is less than ideal.

There is a very definite "lash" at certain points in the crank's rotation that can be felt, similar to a loose crank arm.

*lash is when the chain is loose and the cranks can move up/down a few centimeters even though the wheels are stationary. This translates to an odd sensation when riding. If you've ever used a fixed 2/3 speed hub you may be familiar with said sensation.
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