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question: where to start with fixies?

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)

question: where to start with fixies?

Old 06-25-05, 12:53 PM
  #26  
weed eater
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Originally Posted by Slartibartfast
I think someone tried to come up with a list of things would-be fixie riders should look for (and things they should avoid) in road bikes that they want to convert but I can't seem to find it. So ... I'll try to do this:

....

Things to avoid:
...
- Horizontal dropouts. (These are common on most bikes from the mid 90s on. While not impossible, it will make fixie conversion harder than it needs to be your first time.)
Great list Slarti, but I think you meant that _vertical_ dropouts should be avoided, ja?

agreed about cottered cranks/french bikes (my partner and I are all tangled up in one of those right now...they're so pretty...they say nice things to you in that breathy voice...and then you're on your knees, watching a 30 year old crank cotter turn into muddy steel waste, and wondering what you were thinking.)

Someone else asked about 27" fixed wheels...Harris Cyclery has one, a weinmann rim with, I think, a suzue basic hub for a pretty decent price.
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Old 06-25-05, 01:08 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by patso
okay well. i went to every yardsale and thriftstore in my town this morning looking for a good frame. i only came across two: one was a schwinn sprint that was too small for me (and pretty busted up/rusted out). the other was something called a 'superspeed' 10 speed or something. it was rusted too and $20, so I passed on it. Anyone have any other suggestions for finding a frame aside from yardsales? Anyone know any good used bike stores in virginia that I might try out? I'm thinking of just checking ebay for a geared roadbike for cheap and then stripping it down and building my fixie from that.
A pity... there was a nice Centurion fixed gear for $100 at today's DC area swap meet. As well as a variety of old bikes you could have had for a pittance. A nice Fuji from the 70s for example...

Anyway, how far are you from the DC area? Richmond-ish? There are tons of 10/12 speed bikes and frames to be had around here... took me about a week of keeping my eye on craigslist to find one that was just right for me.

Are there any local bike clubs near you? You might email their listserv and ask if anyone has an old bike they'd be willing to sell.

The problem with eBay is fixies are trendy now, so anyone selling a steel bike with horizontal dropouts slaps a fixed gear cog on a suicide hub and *poof* Instant Magical Inflated Prices.

The good thing about fixed gears is that you can build a great fixie from the kind of bike that someone's had in the basement for 20 years, and is dying to get rid of The bad part is that you have to find these folks before they realize there's a demand for it
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Old 06-25-05, 01:22 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Mr. Shadow
French Motobacanes are plenty nice.
I love my Moto. But as I'm also thinking about building a fixie, I'm rather intimidated by trying to convert my Nomade. It's such a cool bike, it's be an awesome fixie... but it's so... french. Looking for an old (but not too old) Italian bike now and then I'll decide which one goes fixie.

Or rather, which one goes fixie first.
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Old 06-25-05, 09:13 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by weed eater
Great list Slarti, but I think you meant that _vertical_ dropouts should be avoided, ja?
ja. that's what i get for posting sober. i edited the list for posterity.

also, for the record, i love french bikes. i'm just saying, they can be a pain to work on. some of them are worth the hassle but, in the mean time, a good japanese boom bike will get you on the road with little fuss.
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Old 06-25-05, 09:42 PM
  #30  
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Check for older (Chicago made) Schwinns. Ooh, hows I love them...
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Old 06-25-05, 10:51 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by el twe
Check for older (Chicago made) Schwinns. Ooh, hows I love them...
i love my 73 continental so much. beautiful work of art. however, there are some problems with lots of the old schwinns when you want to revitalize them. Many them have the single piece crank which can be a hassle (see my previous post). also, many of the chicago schwinns have odd sized parts. its hard to find seat posts, stems and HBs for them (unless you get lucky on e-bay). none of this is a problem if you find a bike that has all this stuff in good shape already because they are built tough. mine will bury me, get drunk at the wake and sleep with my wife afterwards.

all that being said, some of the 80s schwinns built in asia (not sure if it was japan or taiwan) are really easy to work on. most of the 80s manifestations of the traveller are easily doable.

but these comments are like my remarks on french bikes. if you are willing to put the time and money into it, any bike can be a cool fixie - and french roade bikes and chicago schwinns are particularly cool. but, if you are short on time and/or money, GET A BIKE THAT IS EASY TO WORK ON. its not like japanese boom bikes are in short supply.
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