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  1. #1
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    Fixed Gear Touring Build Advice - Redline 925

    Hey bicycle buddies, (sorry in advance for the long post)

    So I had a track bike, a cheap but good Windsor Clockwork Plus, that just got stolen. (Bummer.) It was my mode of transportation, to school and back, 14 mile roundtrip total, but I would regularly ride farther, even as much as 80 miles.

    Anyway, I'm going on my first bike tour this spring break to San Francisco from Santa Barbara and back (~800miles) as part of my English Capstone project. I was going to do it on that bike -- Fixed gear touring? Yes. I like the ride, simplicity, and challenge. But now I have the challenge of finding another suitable bike.

    I found an unused Redline 925 chromoly frame on ebay for $70, and I plan on sourcing everything else online or from my garage. It will be a bit more practical as a commuter/tourer, but still fixed. I'll be sourcing some parts from various sites, such as jensonusa, bikeisland, and benscycles, and perhaps various stock parts I took off of my old Windsor.

    So, on to the questions: I've only done routine maintenance on my previous bike and don't have complete build experience or all the tools. How much would the build cost if I present an LBS with all the parts? (I know buying everything from a LBS is ideal, but I'm on a pretty tight budget.) Am I going about it the wrong way? What would you recommend (I've scoured the internet for days)? Etc. I just need some advice before committing to a bike build that needs to be done in a couple of weeks. I can provide more details, but this is too long already.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    think about what you can as far as the build is concerned before taking the bike to the LBS. can you attach the handlbars to the stem? can you put the stem on the steerer? can you attach pedals? can you mount wheels? and tires? put air in them? put a saddle on a seatpost and a seatpost in a seattube?

    maybe you only need to have the BB installed or have the crank put on the BB. how about the chain?

    it's possible you can do more, or less , than you think... when you have a list go to the LBS, talk to them about what you plan to do, your trip, etc. and ask them what they will charge. if they are like most of us they will admire you ambition and be more than happy, and maybe even cut you a deal, to do the work.

  3. #3
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    Well first of all how much weight are you planning to carry on this fixed gear. Frankly if you havent carried the weight you intend to carry on a fixed gear as yet you need to before you buy anything. I understand that you can do the miles BUT can you do the miles plus stuff? Are you sure your knees are you to that level of challange? Now to answer your question. Do you have a relationship with a LBS now? What are you asking the LBS to install? Fenders are time consuming to install correctly racks can also be a challange. Post more specifics. If it were me I would get everything together that I was planning on installing and then show up at the shop. I wouldn't hit them repeatedly as that will surely cost you more dollars overall. I would also go speak with the LBS first to let them know your plans. Honestly if you havn't done this with a shop by now your build may not be finished in "a couple of weeks"

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    Thanks for the quick replies,

    I think I've got most things handled. I would just need wheels trued, BB and crankset installed, along with the chain and the headset. I may have access to a Bicycle Kitchen that can aid me on a few things as well.

    I ordered the frame. Time is running short and I figured that if Sheldon Brown recommended it, then I should go for it. There are also many positive reviews that I found.
    @egear - I've done a couple of 80mi trips, and a couple more 50mi ones. I only did one 80mi trip with packed panniers, which probably added around 30lbs. That trip was noticeably more difficult, but I managed, and didn't lose to much time in comparison to the other. I was riding relatively hard though. Without panniers it took me 5.5 hrs and 6.5 hrs with. On the tour I plan to pace myself a little more, but I think that I can handle it. I also plan a lower gear ratio. I'll have flip/flops so that I can switch depending on terrain. What would you suggest? I had 46/16.

  5. #5
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordbikely View Post
    Anyway, I'm going on my first bike tour this spring break to San Francisco from Santa Barbara and back (~800miles) as part of my English Capstone project. I was going to do it on that bike -- Fixed gear touring? Yes. I like the ride, simplicity, and challenge. But now I have the challenge of finding another suitable bike.
    Wear walking shoes.
    800 miles on a fixed gear w/o any type of load is extremely ambitious for experienced FG cyclists, with any touring kit it becomes a whole other deal.

    In the Single Speed & Fixed Gear sub-forum there are riders who have experience on FG with Brevet loads at 1200KM distances in less than 90 hours. You might wish to post there as well for their feedback.

    Good luck,

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

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    Some more:

    Ok,

    Frame: Redline 925 frame. I don't know the year: http://www.ebay.com/itm/331142494431 (bronze one)

    Wheelset: Alex 700c Sub Track w/ 18 fixed and 17 freewheel. http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=2038

    Crankset: Retrospec 44t crank?

    BB: Shimano UN-26 /53 /73? How important is the length? MM110 / LL113?

    Fork and Headset: I'm not sure yet. Any suggestions? How do I match a fork with my frame?


    I have 26.0mm handlebars (i believe), a brake lever and cables, what else do I need?

  7. #7
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    All I can say is good luck. 46/16 may be a bit short. I would look at something like 46/18. Make sure that the chainline on that thing is RIGHT. You will be putting a tremendous amout of force on the drive line and as such you dont want it popping off. My preference for fixed is an Sram 01 chain. I would also consider a chain keeper on the front just cause of the level of force being applied. The rear wheel really must be a bolt on. I would not use a QR again the amount of force may cause the wheel to slip in the dropouts. Please tell me you are going to be using brake(S) on this thing.

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    Thanks @Bandera , I will check out that sub-forum. My adventure is pretty ambitious, but even though I'd like to follow through, I have some leeway. I plan on 10 days. That'll put me at 80 miles a day, but I might be able to go as far as 16 days, and that'll put me at 50 miles a day. And even then, if I can't complete that, I have the option of catching the train back down -- but of course I don't want it to come to that.

  9. #9
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    Dude the spindle lenght is critical to the chainline. If the chainline is off the dammed thing will jump off the crank. You should have 2 brakes considering the load.
    I hope you truly realize the amount of force you will be putting of that thing when climbing it is not trivial. I would not use a UN-26 BB as the non-crank side cup is plastic not alum. Again not sure how well that will hold up under load. As for the fork I would look around to see what the redline came with as a full build from them.
    the rake is critical to handling of the bike. Is the frame 1-1/8 or 1 inch for the headset/fork-steerer tub?

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    Oh yea, I'll probably do higher than 46/16. That was the setup on my old bike. Is 44/18 to easy or should I do 46/18? I had no problems with my 46/16 until I had to climb high with semi-packed panniers.

    Oh and I'll only do a front brake for sure, unless a rear brake is absolutely necessary.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordbikely View Post
    Oh and I'll only do a front brake for sure, unless a rear brake is absolutely necessary.
    A rear brake IS Absolutely Necessary for this application.
    Get thee to the FG forum ask & learn.

    Just so you feel better here's a pic of the FG set-up I've been riding for the last 20 years w/ F&R brakes.

    -Bandera
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  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Wear walking shoes.
    good advise , when the hill gets too steep , the 24" gear is available.

    2 feet, get off and walk the bike .

  13. #13
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordbikely View Post
    ......my first bike tour this spring break to San Francisco from Santa Barbara and back (~800miles).....I plan on 10 days. That'll put me at 80 miles a day....
    are there any hills thereabouts?

  14. #14
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    yes there are hills and plenty of them ..

    BTW, so we are all on the same page, i think, a "higher" gear, "taller" gear, "more difficult" gear, "bigger" gear, are synonymous. example: a 46/16 is a higher gear than 46/18, for instance.

    just as a reference point, i recently took a approximately 700 mile tour loaded enough for camping with in 40ish temps and rain. route was from San Francisco to Red Bluff to Fortuna to Clear Lake to Vacaville and back. about 20-25,000 ft of climbing. on my 1985 Trek Elance singlespeed. i took two cogs, a 21 and a 23. the chainring was a 42. the last two days were centuries. i would NOT have wanted anything higher. ya, i was spinning pretty good on the flats, but when i wanted to i could catch just about every other tourer out there. really.

    fortunately there will be plenty of bike shops along the way to buy bigger cogs or smaller chainrings, so it's not a gamebreaker when and if you want something smaller. good luck

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Are you using a flip-flop hub? Gear one side for flats and one side for climbing, and as fietsbob pointed out you always have the two foot drive, I don't tour on fixed gear.

    Aaron
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  16. #16
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    I'd recommend an 18t SS freewheel on the flip-flop for climbing and then coasting. Of course you'll need a rear brake when coasting. 16t on the fixed side and 44t, or smaller, chain-ring.

  17. #17
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    I couldn't find redline 925 geometry, so any fork rake is a guess. 43mm as a guess should be safe. The Nashbar carbon forks are decent for the price (especially when 20% sales hit). Whether you want carbon or steel is up to you.

    If you aren't going to install the headset yourself, I would buy an Aheadset at an LBS and have them install it. Or you can go nicer without too much hit. I just got a Cane Creek 40 through my LBS, and it was only $8 more than online. If I am installing headset myself, I buy online. If they are installing, I buy through them.

    110 mm BB looks OK if you are doing a double crank and using the inside ring location. Else, look at 107 or 103. See what your crank manufacturer recommends. I have had much better luck with IRD bb's vs shimano, so I use them. And personally, if the crank you buy has an extractor bolt built in, buy the BB tool and do the install yourself. Way easy, and makes future service a dream.

    Run both brakes.

    Gearing is personal. I am doing my first SS tour in 7 weeks, and I have flip flop 47/16 and 47/18, and a good knowledge of the terrain. I will also be light loaded. Your gearing sounds too tall to me, but also personal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
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  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the Quick beam type setup may offer advantages , the total tooth count remains the same ..

    so for the 1 cog with more teeth , the 2nd chainring has less by that number .
    so the actual difference in the gear ratio is greater. .

    so that 47:16 and a 45:18 ..

    wheel in dropout at almost the same spot after the flip .

  19. #19
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    I had a 925, I suggest no panniers

  20. #20
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    Really great replies guys! I'm taking notes. Yea, I'll have a flip/flop for flat and climbing. I may do something like 44/18 and 44/20.

    I have more details, but I have no time right now. I'll update very soon.

  21. #21
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    Why not a 3spd?

  22. #22
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    Rack mounts on the frame? Fixed gear? Good luck with that. Thinking about SS? You could at least coast downhill with that.

  23. #23
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    2 chainrings on a Sugino RD-2 cranks w/ 103mm bottom bracket mates up perfectly w/ a standard (usually Formula or rebranded Formula) track hub wearing a Surly Dingle cog. Gives you a 2 speed, so you can run a lower gear for days when you're really tired. I used to run 42:17 / 39:20 on my Dingle setup for touring, bike camping, etc on a fixed gear. If the difference between the chainrings and cogs is the same, you don't have to realign your rear brake after moving the chain over to change gears. 42:17 put the rear wheel in the same place in the dropouts as the 39:20.

    I ran that setup on a Surly Cross-Check w/ Formula track hubs (spaces out to 130mm w/ one 5mm spacer on each side of the axle) for several years.

  24. #24
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    Alright guys, so I've finally come up with an almost complete setup. I found out that the original fork rake is 45 and the axle-to-crown is 397.

    I think I've settled on a Fuji fork: Fuji 700c Steel Road Fork 1 1 8 inch Threadless Mislabel Carbon FC 770 White | eBay

    It's steel but mislabeled as carbon, which is odd, but it's from a top-rated seller on ebay (99.9% good ratings). The rake is 45 and the axle-to-crown is 390. Close enough. The Sheldon Brown guide says the ride difference will probably not be noticeable. I'll eventually paint the fork to match, possibly chrome.

    The rest:


    Frame: Redline 925 frame. I don't know the year: Redline 925 Track Frame | eBay (bronze one)

    Wheelset: Alex R450 Sliver with Formula/JoyTech hubs

    Crankset: Sugino XD Silver 165mm Crankset.

    Chainrings: 42/40 Sinz Silver

    Cog: Surly Dingle Cog 17/19

    BB: Sunlite Square Comp 68x103

    Saddle: Retrospec

    Seatpost: Fuji Aluminum Silver 27.2 seatpost+clamp

    Pedals: Kink Black Platform BMX

    Brake Levers: Tektro RL720 set Silver

    Brakes: I have a Promax rear brake I took off my old bike, I guess I'll just try to match it?

    Stem: Generic 90mm stem taken off old bike

    Handlebars: Generic Drops from old bike

    Headset: I'll get one at the bike shop that builds it.



    Rack I'll probably get what I had before: an Axiom Adjustable Journey rated at 100lbs


    @LeeG Why no panniers? Not even small/medium ones? Does the bike handle funny with them? Also, I've looked at the Sturmey Archer S3x, but I've heard mixed reviews, and the possibility of them breaking. That scares me a bit. I like the simplicity of fixed cogs that I most likely don't have to worry about.
    @FKMTB07 Thanks for the Dingle suggestion. I'd considered them, but didn't know how to match the chain lengths properly.
    @RollCNY Thanks, your post, along with FKMTB07's helped me figure out the crankset and chainline.



    So that's what I have planned so far. I'll order everything soon, but is there anything I missed (besides the trivial stuff)? Any more suggestions/comments? Thanks all, this forum is super helpful.
    Last edited by lordbikely; 03-11-14 at 03:36 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Oh look another fixed gear tourists that wants attention. Here you go, have brakes and walking shoes.

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