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  1. #1
    Powered by: meradi's Avatar
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    Want to get into fixed riding ... questions on how to do it

    Sorry, I know a lot of this might have been asked before. I've searched but just can't decide what to do.

    I'd like to get into fixed gear riding. It's always been fascinating to me but I haven't had the chance to actually do it. Where I live, the riding would be primarily flat, and no commuting concerns to worry about. It's almost a no-man's-land out here. The only concern would be some gravel roads (so I'd like wider tires if possible).

    I have a small budget to speak of. I already have a Trek Police mountain bike and a Giant hybrid that I enjoy riding over longer distances.

    I was looking for a fixed-gear setup for not too much money; say less than 300 give or take. I know that knocks out the widely-recommended Kilo TT. I saw on the Eighthinch.com website a "Lo-Fi" fixed bike complete for $200, but have seen no reviews on it at all and the site offers no information on what it's composed of. I also saw a "Thruster" from Walmart, but I saw reviews on these... and I dislike Walmart and would rather not buy there unless forced to out of economics. Even so, I was almost tempted since it was so cheap. (How bad could it be, to ride around my small town and just outside it?). I saw things online from Bigshot bikes, and Purefix, and State Bicycles, and Republic Bike... I am not too concerned with colors though, more concerned with something that might last more than a few months. There is nothing on Craigslist around here. It seems like so many companies are jumping on the "let's customize colors on fixed-gear bikes" bandwagon -- which is fine, but I just want something of decent quality, for casual riding, that won't break in a year or less.

    I'm not worried about bars or pedals; I have some I might be able to use if I had to switch. I'm used to flat bars but wouldn't mind a change.

    I do have an old Sekai 12-speed frame I suppose I could convert (Eighthinch offers a conversion kit), but I'd have to replace the wheels, bottom bracket, cranks, and so on. And the frame is rusting a bit. And I am not sure the frame would be suitable or my mechanical skills either. I don't know what model frame it is, it's lugged, that's all I know. It's been spray-painted one of those color-changing paints and decals removed. I don't think it's one of their higher-end frames, from what I've read online (and it is heavy!). I'd rather have something more ready to go than building one, I guess.

    So in short, I'm just looking for something fixed and fun to ride, that won't break right away under ordinary use (no commuting or track riding!). I'd like a nice frame if possible, but with my budget I know that might not be realistic. Thanks for any input you experienced riders might have!

  2. #2
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
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    An extra $100 in the cycling world is not much. I would just save up that much more to get an decent new bike with/ can fit wide tires for your dirt roads from bikesdirect (i.e. kilo WT* & phantom cross uno). They ship for free and as long as you're outside of texas, tax free too.
    Converting a bike to fixed can often times cost more then it's worth. And many people end up getting dedicated track frames after a short while; so why bother doing it twice?

    And besides, it's not like you're in a hurry too with your other bikes that you can ride in the meantime.

  3. #3
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    Go to a velodrome. The first fixed gear I ever rode was a Felt track bike at the Carson Velodrome. Took me about 10 minutes to get used to it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member heymatthew's Avatar
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    Given your price range and newness to riding, you may try going on Amazon.com and looking at the PureFix cycles on there. I think they run around $250 which would be well within your budget (and give you a little cash to play with if you want different bars, pedals, etc.). Mostly those bikes are fine for starting out. The components might not be the absolute best, but the frame should be solid enough and you can build off of it as you grow (wheels, pedals, crankset, bars, stem, saddle, etc.) and then later upgrade to a better frame, transferring all of your upgraded parts.

    A lot of people will probably tell you to avoid those bikes and you'll see some negative reviews at Amazon and elsewhere, but I really do think that for your needs, a PureFix or something similar would be ideal. Especially since you seem like you may or may not enjoy fixed riding.

    I will say that if you can afford an extra $100, then you'll probably get a good bit more for your money vs. a $300 bike budget.

    Also... as stated above, conversions will end up costing you more than your budget for the most part. The real value is in complete bikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    Buy calipers first. That way you can measure your foot so you'll know which size pedals to buy.

  5. #5
    Pirate/Smuggler jlafitte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meradi View Post
    Want to get into fixed riding ... questions on how to do it
    (on $300 budget)

    1. look over this thread: I Love My Windsor Hour!
    2. go to Singlespeed and Track Bicycles from bikesdirect.com and make purchase
    3. receive delivery, check tension on spokes hubs and cranks, do final assembly and fit
    4. ride bike
    5. learn from mistakes
    6. report back here

  6. #6
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Convert your current bike using Sheldon Brown's Fixed Gear on the Cheap

    No need to spend a heap. Just go with a 'suicide hub' - that's where you spin a fixed cog onto the geared hub in place of the cluster and lock it with a bb locking ring. You won't be able to do skids but this is fine when using brakes to stop and is fine for simply controlling your speed with your legs. You'll soon work out whether you want to go further with the experiment.

    My initial conversion of my Europa cost me the price of a fixed cog, about $20. The full conversion took a couple of years with the bike in constant use from that first day onwards with upgrades as I could afford them and/or felt the need for them. Older bikes are nice for wider wheels and tyres too.
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  7. #7
    Member of Derp
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    In Australia, we have shops like Just Ride It, (justrideit.com.au) and they do an 8.5kg alloy bike for $300 AUD. I know that in the US State Bicycles are a good company. Also, if you want to ride faster and still look cool, check out Chrome, as in the streetwear store. They sell sick cycling shoes, which have cleats but look and feel like Vans or Converse. They don't actually have stores in Australia, so shipping for me would be more than the price of the shoe. Anyway, have a look at State bikes and chrome as well!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Convert your current bike using Sheldon Brown's Fixed Gear on the Cheap

    No need to spend a heap. Just go with a 'suicide hub' - that's where you spin a fixed cog onto the geared hub in place of the cluster and lock it with a bb locking ring. You won't be able to do skids but this is fine when using brakes to stop and is fine for simply controlling your speed with your legs. You'll soon work out whether you want to go further with the experiment.

    My initial conversion of my Europa cost me the price of a fixed cog, about $20. The full conversion took a couple of years with the bike in constant use from that first day onwards with upgrades as I could afford them and/or felt the need for them. Older bikes are nice for wider wheels and tyres too.
    i like this idea the best out of all of these.

    or get probably the cheapest new one you can find and take it to a LBS and have them make sure the wheels right( proper tension, straight, hubs not loose or too tight), headset and Bottom bracket are adjusted properly, proper chain tension and the brakes are dialed in.

  9. #9
    Powered by: meradi's Avatar
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    Hi all,
    Thanks for the advice.

    I happened to be in town and saw what appeared to be a fixed gear/singlespeed bike at a used-stuff store. I ended up getting it for $50.
    I could tell it was a cheaper model from the garish stickers and tires (yellow!) but it should do the trick. I just want to try it out, and it wasn't a huge investment. And it fits wider tires which is good for the gravel roads here.
    I didn't think it was too heavy, but when I got home and googled it (Takara something or other) I was surprised that it weighs almost 30 lbs. Good thing it's very flat where I live!

    If it turns out to be as much fun as I hope it will be, I can always get something nicer down the road. But it should work for now!

  10. #10
    Senior Member heymatthew's Avatar
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    Glad you found something that works for you for now... Worst case scenario is that you end up loving it and sell the bike for what you paid for it. Or, if the frame is decent, you could swap components to do a "custom build" along and along and eventually transfer said components to a new frame.

    Whatever you end up doing, enjoy the bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
    Buy calipers first. That way you can measure your foot so you'll know which size pedals to buy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by meradi View Post
    Hi all,
    Thanks for the advice.

    I happened to be in town and saw what appeared to be a fixed gear/singlespeed bike at a used-stuff store. I ended up getting it for $50.
    I could tell it was a cheaper model from the garish stickers and tires (yellow!) but it should do the trick. I just want to try it out, and it wasn't a huge investment.
    That's how I got into to it as well. A guy near me was selling a fixed gear for $60 and I felt it was a worth a try for that price.

    I no longer ride my other (geared) bike and have replaced virtually everything on the bike I purchased--including the frame--to make it fit my needs. Even though many of the things I replaced wound up being salvage from the local bike co-op (handlebars, pedals, fork and frame) I have spent more on upgraded/new parts than I did on the assembled bike in the first place (tires [of course], front brake, chainring, cog, straps) though, admittedly, $60 is a pretty low threshold to pass when it comes to bike parts.

    So happy riding! I love my bike and I hope you love yours too.

  12. #12
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    My pedals were more expensive than $60

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    Not trying to rain on your parade but, does this bike fit you?

  14. #14
    Powered by: meradi's Avatar
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    Sure does, not too small nor too tall!

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