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Converting a C/V bike to Fixed?

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Converting a C/V bike to Fixed?

Old 01-07-11, 08:51 PM
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RunningPirate
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Converting a C/V bike to Fixed?

Good evening to everyone on the board

I have sort of an etiquette-based question, I guess, that I was hoping for some help with.

I have been toying with finding a cheap fixed gear bike something to play with, just for sh*ts and giggles.

Yes, I know the SS/FG forum is 17 lines below the C&V.

Heres the issue. For reasons I cannot quite fully understand, fixed gear bikes (either new or on CL) are surprisingly expensive (relatively speaking) which to me is restrictive when it comes to something that I might not like. However, in my garage, I have an old Dawes Galaxy (~1972, Id guess) in the rafters I was considering pulling off the unnecessary parts (keeping the brakes, thank you) and throwing on a flip flop wheel and seeing what shakes out.

My question, then: Am I committing some sort of unforgivable sin by doing this? Is there anything particularly rare or special about these bikes that should preclude conversion to FG?

My fear, I think, is that at some point in the future, I might be idly chatting with the curator of The Smithsonian at a cocktail party and hell say You what?! You had an original Dawes Galaxy and you converted it to a fixie? You ******bag! (OK I didnt say it was a rational fear).

Also lest the question comes up the reason why I just dont restore/refurbish the Dawes in standard multiple-speed trim is because I already have one, and its quite lovely (pics are posted somewhere around here). The second bike was a gimme when a friend moved.

Thoughts? Am I over thinking this?
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Old 01-07-11, 08:53 PM
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It's your bike, so you can do what you want with it. Just don't cut any braze-ons off such as derailleur hanger, etc. Keep the geared parts in case you ever want to take it back to multi-speed and original.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:07 PM
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Yeah, as long as you don't do anything irreversible, you should be fine. There will be C&V as well as fixie snobs, purists, whatever you want to call them, who will scoff at it, but that should deter you.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:09 PM
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Generally people around here are tolerant of what you do to your own bike as long as you don't drew it for posterity.

Aside, if you are new to fixed gear, you need to be aware of the potential for injury from pedal slap, pedal strike, and pant cuffs.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:17 PM
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Yup -- save all original parts and don't do anything irreversible.
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Old 01-07-11, 09:48 PM
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Sounds like an awesome candidate for conversion. Post pictures!

(Edit: People say that no one will care as long as you don't chop anything off, but they'll still grumble if your bike ends up with white deep v's.)
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Old 01-07-11, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Generally people around here are tolerant of what you do to your own bike as long as you don't drew it for posterity.
+1 Have fun!
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Old 01-07-11, 09:52 PM
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I knew a guy who did it in stages - First he went to a single on his crank - Then he changed out his free wheel - Then he went to fixed and then went back to a single on a free wheel - Hey man - This is fun...
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Old 01-07-11, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
Generally people around here are tolerant of what you do to your own bike as long as you don't drew it for posterity.

Aside, if you are new to fixed gear, you need to be aware of the potential for injury from pedal slap, pedal strike, and pant cuffs.
I've seen "drew" a few times on the forums. From context, I can tell it's a verb, but that's it. What is drew-ing?

...and yes, I am somewhat aware of the hazards you mention. These are the reason why I'm wanting to do this on the cheap - that way, if I find that I don't like it (or find it too injurious) I'm not out that much $$

Thank you for the responses.
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Old 01-07-11, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
I've seen "drew" a few times on the forums. From context, I can tell it's a verb, but that's it. What is drew-ing?
"Drew" = dremel and/or grind off derailleur hangers, shift lever bosses, cable guides, and other items originally present on the frame you're converting to SS/FG.

Basically, don't do anything irreversible to the frame.
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Old 01-07-11, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
"Drew" = dremel and/or grind off derailleur hangers, shift lever bosses, cable guides, and other items originally present on the frame you're converting to SS/FG.

Basically, don't do anything irreversible to the frame.
Oh! Got it - thanks!

So was there someone named Drew that once did all of the above, hence the word?
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Old 01-07-11, 10:49 PM
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Sounds like a great candidate. It's a fun project and it's your bike so go ahead and hack off the shifter bosses and derailleur mounts if you want to. The anti-drew contingent around here can get kind of bossy - comes from buying hacked up bikes at thrift stores I think.
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Old 01-07-11, 11:00 PM
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It's your bike, world peace is not in the balance, whatever you do with it.
If there are hills where you ride though, you better save the bits.
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Old 01-07-11, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
... if I find that I don't like it (or find it too injurious) I'm not out that much $$

Thank you for the responses.
Don't wait until you are injured to decide. It's not a dollars and cents consideration.
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Old 01-07-11, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
For reasons I cannot quite fully understand, fixed gear bikes (either new or on CL) are surprisingly expensive (relatively speaking)
Actually, anymore, there are a lot of really cheap brand new FG/SS out there. Bike Direct of course, Nashbar, Performance, many others sell them cheap.

I was at my favorite LBS today, and they are now selling a cheap one for $290. Its just about killed the hipster vintage bike conversions.
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Old 01-08-11, 01:59 AM
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I have built up a few fixed gear bikes and lots of Single Speed conversions. This is how I go about converting to Single Speed and Fixed gear is very similar.
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Old 01-08-11, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
Oh! Got it - thanks!

So was there someone named Drew that once did all of the above, hence the word?
The actual story is on here, somewhere, but rather than go to all the trouble to find it, just figure "yep."
(Last I heard, he was in California, trying to find Sarah Connor.)

A single speed conversion is pretty fun. If you want to ride far, the Galaxy may be a good frame choice. If you want to ride fast, maybe not so much. Most single-speeders I know like to hook and jab with traffic. They're young.

However, I know of a single speeder on an 84 Pinarello Montello, a high-end frame. He prefers to simply (pun intended) ride 20-30 mile workouts, and is in his 60's.

Every time I build one, someone wants it. I'd like to build another, and probably will, with custom powdercoat.
They make great errand bikes, but are prime theft candidates if they look good.

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Old 01-08-11, 08:59 AM
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The tale of Drew.
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Old 01-08-11, 09:00 AM
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The fixie craze is why people are gushing over Varsity frames these days.

I've been considering making my Gardin Shred frame into a fixed gear; complete with bullhorns and reverse brake levers. I highly recommend brakes on your fixie. Not only will you be able to stop more easily and more quickly; but you will ride faster and not have to be constantly thinking of locking up the rear wheel to brake.
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Old 01-08-11, 01:14 PM
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I give the thumbs up to fixed gear conversions, even on high-end frames. I don't see why anyone "should" ride a crappy frame just because the drivetrain is fixed or singlespeed. If you can appreciate a nice frame when it's geared, you'll appreciate it just as much when it's fixed/singled.

My personal preference is for singlespeed for longer and faster rides though. I like going down hills fast, and digging deep into corners. Fixed limits your speed too much in these circumstances.

And coasting, I like coasting.
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Old 01-08-11, 04:07 PM
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You realize that you will have to replace ALL of your man pants with skinny jeans right?
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Old 01-08-11, 10:33 PM
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auchencrow - Thank you for the education re: Drew. Also, I do not intend on getting injured multiple times before I choose to give up FG. The whole purpose of this exercise is to see if a) I like it, and b) if I can ride FG, reasonably, without injury and enjoy it. Being that the "Pirate Looks at 40", my knees and Achilles and ankles let me know when I've gone too far. No point in ignoring them, only to wind up seriously injured.

Tashi, et al - Thanks for the input. As I already have a SS bike (old Mt bike that I converted) this will be FG (though I plan on getting a flip flop, lest I need to coast).

Von Stively - There's no way in hell I could replace my man pants w/skinny jeans, even if I wanted to: I have ~25" diameter thighs and ~20" d calves (they call me "Los Arboles" down Mexico way). That simply does not translate to skinny jeans. In fact, I have to buy "loose" jeans just so they'll fit like "normal" jeans.
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Old 01-08-11, 10:56 PM
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it's kind of like, imagine if you were about 13 years old, and your parents went away for the weekend, and they said "do whatever you want, but don't convert that old Dawes to FG while we're out!" Of course, you're gonna, but sometime on Sunday afternoon, you're gonna have to put all the derailers and shifters back on, and you know dad'll surely notice if the derailer hanger is missing....

Except, as others have mentioned, it IS your bike, not dad's (not anymore, at any rate); you are totally allowed to "drew" your bike, and few ppl on here will actually care at all. Sure, they'll piss and moan alot, but not quite as much as if someone posts a query without using the (worthless) search feature, or tries to sell a bike in the main forum. Just remember: if you do dremel off the bosses and hanger, you're also gonna hafta hack off the driveside seatstay and the non-driveside chainstay, or it will never look "tight". (So nobody sues me, i'm j/k)

-rob
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Old 01-08-11, 11:12 PM
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Sounds like you have a handle on it, RunningPirate.

Another bike that has always struck me as a good, cheap candidate for fixing, is a Raleigh Grand Prix. I've gotten a bit spoiled by having something a bit lighter though.

Have fun with it, and show us before and after pictures.
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