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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 11-25-12, 10:44 PM   #1
Rnauth1418
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Mountain bike Fixie conversion

Hello all.

I just started my first Fixie build. It's off of an old aluminum mountain bike I had growing up. (26 inch Pacific trail), it's a decent frame. Pretty light and durable. It's seen about 2k miles over 4 years. Nothing is mechanically wrong with the bike.

I'm planning on sanding and painting the bike. It I'm not sure what the best paint to use is. What brands have people used in the past with success? I would like to keep it pretty cheap as I have a road bike that takes most of my financial investments in the hobby.

Any suggestions are much appreciated!
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Old 11-26-12, 09:03 AM   #2
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I paint my bikes with appiance epoxy from the big box store.
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Old 11-26-12, 09:05 AM   #3
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You are not going to get the paint off with sanding, assuming you mean paper. So back up to the stripping phase and evaluate the plan.

As for paint, you'll want a paint that is worthy of the frame, take a look at these.
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Old 11-26-12, 09:15 AM   #4
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Also, do you know what you are doing in the way of conversion? Does the bike have horizontal dropouts etc.? I'm just asking because you might want to consider all the factors before you go too far down the road before realizing what a pain it can sometimes be to convert a bike.
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Old 11-26-12, 09:22 AM   #5
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Do you mean fixed gear or single speed because the term fixie gets tossed around quite a bit. Alot by would be manufacturers as well. Proof is right if youre actually converting to a fixed gear setup but if youre doing a single speed setup it should be quite a bit more simple. rear wheel setup and a chain tensioner.
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Old 11-26-12, 10:00 AM   #6
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You are not going to get the paint off with sanding, assuming you mean paper. So back up to the stripping phase and evaluate the plan.

As for paint, you'll want a paint that is worthy of the frame, take a look at these.
Can always degrease and sand/prep the existing finish, then paint over. I've been able to get some pretty decent finishes without stripping down to bare metal.
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Old 11-26-12, 11:46 PM   #7
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The bike has got semi-vertical dropouts. Definitely enough to get good tension the chain. I have a wheel set with a flip flop hub (fixed and single speed freewheel). I think I'm safe as far as the conversion is concerned. It is my first conversion though. So I appreciate the suggestions on what to be aware of.
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Old 11-26-12, 11:51 PM   #8
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That's awesome! I thought it was required that I sand to the metal in order to get a good finish. I'm definitely willing to put the time into getting down to the metal if it's worth the better quality finish. But if the added quality isn't worth the extra time I'll take you're suggestions.

Just to clarify, I what does sand/prep entail if I don't have to sand to the metal?
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Old 11-27-12, 07:32 AM   #9
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You just want to roughen the surface so that the new coat will stick better.
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Old 11-27-12, 05:06 PM   #10
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I guess a wire brush wheel on a hand drill would do well to rough the surface? I any other techniques I should try?
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Old 11-27-12, 05:08 PM   #11
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How about some ****in sand paper? haha, wtf.

Roughing the surface requires like 200-300 grit sand paper, not a wire brush.
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Old 11-27-12, 06:52 PM   #12
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I couldn't stop giggling hysterically enough to get past the words Pacific Trail to realize you were serious?

Dude, pick up a chrome mid-90s MTB frame on craigslist and bypass about 99% of the angst you're setting yourself up for with that paint idea.
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Old 12-01-12, 11:31 PM   #13
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What's the problem with the Pacific? I haven't run into a single problem other than having bought a flip flop hub with a 3/32 cog rather than a 1/8th that fits my chain.

The bike has always served me well. It's a steel that weighs 6 pounds without components.
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Old 12-02-12, 09:04 AM   #14
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There IS no problem. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you like it, that's all that really matters because YOU will be the one riding it. Enjoy!
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Old 12-02-12, 09:49 AM   #15
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I haven't run into a single problem other than having bought a flip flop hub with a 3/32 cog rather than a 1/8th that fits my chain.
Which isn't a "problem" because you can use a 1/8" chain on a 3/32" cog without any issues.
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Old 12-02-12, 10:07 AM   #16
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Imo, I've painted a few frames and, for me, if the frame is nice, I'd rather have a professional shop strip the frame in a booth then powdercoat it for $100.00 vs. spending several days in trips to the hardware store, mess in the garage, etc.
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Old 12-02-12, 10:49 AM   #17
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Imo, I've painted a few frames and, for me, if the frame is nice, I'd rather have a professional shop strip the frame in a booth then powdercoat it for $100.00 vs. spending several days in trips to the hardware store, mess in the garage, etc.
That's actually an excellent point. Any reputable painters in NYC that people could suggest?
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Old 12-02-12, 10:50 AM   #18
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There IS no problem. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you like it, that's all that really matters because YOU will be the one riding it. Enjoy!
Thanks! I totally agree. Many cyclist jump to the conclusion that cheaper components are automatically worse components. The two are not mutually inclusive.
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Old 12-02-12, 12:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
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There IS no problem. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you like it, that's all that really matters because YOU will be the one riding it. Enjoy!
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Thanks! I totally agree. Many cyclist jump to the conclusion that cheaper components are automatically worse components. The two are not mutually inclusive.
There IS a problem. There is a host of problems. It is true that you can do what you want, but if you came here for advice you should get it, rather than getting sunshine blown up your skirt. If you were undertaking the project to practice painting, that is one thing. But if you are serious about this project you should be properly advised.

You said the bike is aluminum and then you said it is steel, which is it.
You said you grew up riding the bike, does it still fit you.
You are about to put $100 of paint on a zero dollar frame.
Is the bottom bracket standard
Is the head tube standard
What is the quality of the drop outs, are you going to crush them when you crank down on a track nut

If you take the advice that this frame is no problem, and then you paint it, and then you try to put the headset back in, or upgrade the headset, you might find that the head tube is ovalized, or maybe you will rip it open when you press the new headset in.

What you say about components does not apply here. We are not talking about components, we are talking about the frame. However, it would be very hard to argue that cheap components (we know what this means) can equal the quality of higher-priced components.

If you continue down this road, the only thing you are going to "enjoy" is throwing good money after bad.
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Old 12-02-12, 12:53 PM   #20
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There IS a problem. There is a host of problems. It is true that you can do what you want, but if you came here for advice you should get it, rather than getting sunshine blown up your skirt. If you were undertaking the project to practice painting, that is one thing. But if you are serious about this project you should be properly advised.

You said the bike is aluminum and then you said it is steel, which is it.
You said you grew up riding the bike, does it still fit you.
You are about to put $100 of paint on a zero dollar frame.
Is the bottom bracket standard
Is the head tube standard
What is the quality of the drop outs, are you going to crush them when you crank down on a track nut

If you take the advice that this frame is no problem, and then you paint it, and then you try to put the headset back in, or upgrade the headset, you might find that the head tube is ovalized, or maybe you will rip it open when you press the new headset in.

What you say about components does not apply here. We are not talking about components, we are talking about the frame. However, it would be very hard to argue that cheap components (we know what this means) can equal the quality of higher-priced components.

If you continue down this road, the only thing you are going to "enjoy" is throwing good money after bad.
To answer a few of the points you made:
1. I thought the bike was aluminum until I decided to do a Rockwell hardness test on it to find out how stiff the frame is. Having gotten a number that is representative of steel I classified it as a steel bike.

2. I've done my due diligence in terms of inspecting the bike. As a graduated engineer, I've gone over all the aspects of the bike in detail. The bottom bracket housing is a standard 68*117. The headset is in good shape, although I have replaced the bearings just for solidarity. The dropouts are semi horizontal and show no signs of serious wear.

3. The frame is a component of the bike. It's integrity is of issue. It is a low end frame however it is well made and is structurally solid. I'm in no way saying that cheap components will be of the same quality as high end components. I am saying that low end components are not representative of being unusable or mechanically unsound.

4. If the rear hub is properly spaced, and then the reaction of forces from the axel bolts on the frame will be equal and negate each other. The only issue would be interface stress on the sides of the dropouts. Compressive ssive strength of steel (or Even aluminum if I am not being consistent). Is much higher than can be cracked by means of hand tools. Thus cracking the frame from using track bolts would be a result of improper installation of the read wheel.

Not to sound rude or pretentious(I honestly don't mean to be. I I think these forums are riden with people who like to be disruptive rather than helpful. I therefor I appreciate any constructive feedback and try not to be part of the problem) , but what is your point in saying that I will be throwing money away in this project?
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Old 12-02-12, 01:06 PM   #21
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I realized that I did not respond to the point on the bike fit. I have test fitted the frame with spare components that I have and my reach, pedal stroke, seat position and seated arch are all pretty good. Definitely not as nice as sitting on my road bike, but good enough that I will be plenty comfortable on my 10 mile commute.

I also have an image of the bike as it stands currently; with the headset, stem, handlebars, crankset, wheelset and chain all fitted and adjusted. I think it looks pretty good so far.

pic.twitter.com/NQB76EQ
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Old 12-02-12, 01:17 PM   #22
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I thought the bike was aluminum until I decided to do a Rockwell hardness test on it to find out how stiff the frame is. Having gotten a number that is representative of steel I classified it as a steel bike.


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As a graduated engineer
This explains why you're overcomplicating every aspect of everything.

You couldn't tell just by looking at it?
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Old 12-02-12, 01:35 PM   #23
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To answer a few of the points you made:
1. I thought the bike was aluminum until I decided to do a Rockwell hardness test on it to find out how stiff the frame is. Having gotten a number that is representative of steel I classified it as a steel bike.
Try a magnet, dude.

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2. I've done my due diligence in terms of inspecting the bike. As a graduated engineer, I've gone over all the aspects of the bike in detail. The bottom bracket housing is a standard 68*117. The headset is in good shape, although I have replaced the bearings just for solidarity. The dropouts are semi horizontal and show no signs of serious wear.
If by bottom bracket housing you mean BB shell then the 68 part is standard. 117 sounds like a spindle width, has nothing to do with the shell. Fresh bearings for solidarity!


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3. The frame is a component of the bike. It's integrity is of issue. It is a low end frame however it is well made and is structurally solid. I'm in no way saying that cheap components will be of the same quality as high end components. I am saying that low end components are not representative of being unusable or mechanically unsound.

4. If the rear hub is properly spaced, and then the reaction of forces from the axel bolts on the frame will be equal and negate each other. The only issue would be interface stress on the sides of the dropouts. Compressive ssive strength of steel (or Even aluminum if I am not being consistent). Is much higher than can be cracked by means of hand tools. Thus cracking the frame from using track bolts would be a result of improper installation of the read wheel.
You worry about some weird things. Cracking dropouts with track nuts?

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Not to sound rude or pretentious(I honestly don't mean to be. I I think these forums are riden with people who like to be disruptive rather than helpful. I therefor I appreciate any constructive feedback and try not to be part of the problem) , but what is your point in saying that I will be throwing money away in this project?
You don't sound pretentious, you just sound like someone with too much book learning and not enough hands-on learning.

Yes you will be throwing money away with this project but you might learn some things. Don't pay someone $100 to paint it. Don't spend more than $10 on painting supplies. Sand then wipe down with alcohol or acetone or something to get all the sanding dust off.
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Old 12-02-12, 01:37 PM   #24
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This explains why you're overcomplicating every aspect of everything.

You couldn't tell just by looking at it?
What is being over complicated?

The bike is painted, and I don't have the manual anymore. The only way to truly tell the grade of a material without serious effort it to hardness test it.
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Old 12-02-12, 01:41 PM   #25
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Words falling on deaf ears.

Just do what you want, because no one here knows sign language.
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