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  1. #1
    i am batman gregtheripper's Avatar
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    fixed gear winter wheels

    I've been mulling over building a fixed gear conversion for the winter, and I was wondering what I should look for in a set of wheels. Do I need an expensive wheelset, or can I get away with something like this? I'd like to keep the bike fairly low budget as I'm college student, but I'd also like something that I know is going to be able to take me to work when I start a fulltime co-op job in January. I know sealed bearings are probably better than loose, but I'm not too familiar with the quality of these hubs/rims.

  2. #2
    getting there.
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    Northeastern student?

  3. #3
    i am batman gregtheripper's Avatar
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    Yup. Third year now, so I'm a "middler".

  4. #4
    Pinhead milwaukeecyclis's Avatar
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    Rims are great, I currently ride the same Alex rims, they are schrader valves and you can put pretty beefy tires on. I would go with higher quality hubs though like the Surlys. Low quality hubs wear out quickly in winter conditions
    Are those skis with retractable heels?

  5. #5
    getting there.
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    Cool. I'm a senior. I'm thinking of doing the same thing (fixed gear mtn bike conversion) for winter riding, but I don't know much of anything about the mechanics of actually doing it. Hopefully this thread will garner some more responses!

  6. #6
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    I'm also wondering about some winter wheels. But I was thinking of putting 26"ers on my fixie 70s Raleigh conversion so's I could put bigger, winter tires on it. Anyone done this? I'm totally unversed in MTB/26" wheels...

  7. #7
    Friend of Jimmy K naisme's Avatar
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    If all you are looking for is a fixed gear for the winter without spending a lot, why not lock tight a freewheel? Then you aren't out a lot of cash. The wheels on ebay are okay. I personally have built my wheels after a couple bad experiences with store bought wheels. I have just discovered even those high end wheel sets have problems.
    What I have ridden in the winter are 32 hole Mavic MA3s 3x laced to Surly hubs. They are solid and the rims have handled the extremes here in MN. In the winter I throw my Nokians on a set and a cross tyre on another and just ride two fixed gears all winter. It has been working for me for 4 seasons going into a 4th.
    As for 26's, I'm not sure they'll work on a 700 bike. One of the inspirations for learning to build wheels was Ice Cat rims. It's a double wide 26 inch rim, made for riding in the snow. I never built the wheel, but that's why I started building wheels, to learn how so I could build up a set of those.
    "I will remain the stranger who came from a faraway land." Lance Armstrong

    "The more you drive, the less intelligent you become." Miller "Repo Man"

  8. #8
    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naisme
    As for 26's, I'm not sure they'll work on a 700 bike. One of the inspirations for learning to build wheels was Ice Cat rims. It's a double wide 26 inch rim, made for riding in the snow. I never built the wheel, but that's why I started building wheels, to learn how so I could build up a set of those.
    Naisme, thanks for the info. My bike is actually an old 70's Raleigh Grand Prix with room for fenders and 27" wheels, so I think they'd fit. I'm just wondering about the spacing width and also the actual tire widths of winter tires, if they'll make it in my clearance. There just aren't good enough winter tires for 27" wheels IMO: I want a good amount of traction for that.

  9. #9
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    Those don't look to bad. Its about what I'm running. IRO cycle sells a similar set for a little more with Velocity rims and IRO has been mentioned many times on the fixed gear fourm for great service. However remember you don't really need to replace your front wheel if it is in good shape. I had my LBS build up a Mavic MA3 on a Nashbar hub for around $80 total. If you wat to build your own wheels it would be even cheaper. The Nashbar hubs, the IRO hubs and the Formula hubs all appear to be either the same hub or very similar. Surly hubs may be slightly better but they seem to be considerably more expensive. Just avoid the Suzue Jr./Basic hubs and you should be fine.
    Craig

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