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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)

First fixie

Old 09-05-19, 06:28 PM
  #1  
alikitch
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First fixie

Thought I'd have a go on a fixie before I get too far into my 50's. So far got frame, wheels, sugino 75 cranks and BB, Kashimax seat.

Bits I haven't figured out yet - rear cog. Have a 46T ring so assume a 18 or 20T cog will be suitable for old man's first fixie? There's a few hills around here and I don't need to go fast.

Bars. As I don't want to drill fork and can't replace fork (Soviet headset), so looks like only choice is Diacompe bolt on front brake kit? I'd like some deep NJS drops to match everything else, but as beginner maybe better off with something like Nitto B260AA riser handlebar. Presume this will be easier for riding and braking? Mainly I want it to be safe.

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Old 09-06-19, 05:36 AM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by alikitch View Post
Bits I haven't figured out yet - rear cog. Have a 46T ring so assume a 18 or 20T cog will be suitable for old man's first fixie?
I think you would find 46t:20t pretty spinny starting around roughly 20mph, so I say 46:19 or 46:18. If you have a little time and determination you could estimate a good ratio beforehand with a geared bike (and Sheldon's gear calc). You won't be able to feel if the gearing is too spinny, of course, but you will be able to tell if it is easy enough for hills.

Originally Posted by alikitch View Post
sugino 75 cranks and BB
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Old 09-06-19, 01:31 PM
  #3  
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I would agree that 46 x 18 is a good ratio for a guy like you to start with. 46 x 20 is probably a bit too low, even for an old guy on moderate hills not trying to go really fast.

Looks like you're starting out with a pretty good platform.

If you're unwilling to drill the fork, then yes, a clamp-on brake is your only option. I mean, there's a constant debate about brakeless fixed gears, but you seem like a reasonable, mature, safety-minded individual, so I doubt you want to go there.

Deep drop (pista) handlebars are good for looking cool and for track racing, but not for comfort or for mounting brakes--pretty much limited to cross levers. There are tons of good riser bars available to you.
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Old 09-06-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by alikitch View Post
As I don't want to drill fork and can't replace fork (Soviet headset), so looks like only choice is Diacompe bolt on front brake kit?
I can't believe nobody's brought out the old "Soviet bike rides you" trope yet...

I used a clamp-on front brake on my undrilled fork for quite a while before I changed to a different thingy. I still have the mounting parts off the EAI/Promax front brake that I no longer use. The lever and caliper are long gone but the clamp/mount is fine - worked great for years for me, and I also still have the 2nd set of unused leg clamps so it can work on round or oval steel fork legs.

It is yours if you are willing to pay the postage...



Let me know
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Old 09-06-19, 03:20 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by alikitch View Post
Thought I'd have a go on a fixie before I get too far into my 50's. So far got frame, wheels, sugino 75 cranks and BB, Kashimax seat.

Bits I haven't figured out yet - rear cog. Have a 46T ring so assume a 18 or 20T cog will be suitable for old man's first fixie? There's a few hills around here and I don't need to go fast.
As a man in my mid-late 50s... I'd say you've sort of answered your own question: you don't want to go too fast, and you do want to have brakes. Therefore, being slightly too low geared is a safer option than being slightly too high geared.

You need a gear that will get you up your toughest hill on your intended regular rides. If that gear has to be on the low side, you may need to scrub off some speed with the brake(s) on the descent. The alternative may be having slightly too big a gear, being unable to get up the hill, and still needing the brakes on part of the descent.

When you're riding on local errands, commuting to work, weaving through crowds, or negotiating tight corners on paths that you're exploring, a lower gear will make it easier to adjust your speed intuitively without constantly reaching for your brakes.

However, as you gain more confidence and experience, you may find that you would prefer a different ratio. Fine: a new sprocket and putting a couple of links back in the chain, or removing a couple, will hard break the bank.

A good option is a flip flop (2 sided) hub, with sprockets 2 teeth different. You can quickly flip the wheel at the start of a ride, depending on your mood, or the likely terrain, and you can flip it half way through the ride if a strong headwind becomes an issue.

I flipped my wheel round a few weeks ago. I think I'm on 49 x 20 at the moment. That suits me for a mixture of roads, paths, and easy cross country on rides of an hour or two.
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Old 09-10-19, 03:50 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by BikeDodgeBall View Post
I think you would find 46t:20t pretty spinny starting around roughly 20mph, so I say 46:19 or 46:18. If you have a little time and determination you could estimate a good ratio beforehand with a geared bike (and Sheldon's gear calc). You won't be able to feel if the gearing is too spinny, of course, but you will be able to tell if it is easy enough for hills.

Thanks - I'll start 18T and see if I can get up the hill.
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Old 09-10-19, 03:53 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
I would agree that 46 x 18 is a good ratio for a guy like you to start with. 46 x 20 is probably a bit too low, even for an old guy on moderate hills not trying to go really fast.

Looks like you're starting out with a pretty good platform.

If you're unwilling to drill the fork, then yes, a clamp-on brake is your only option. I mean, there's a constant debate about brakeless fixed gears, but you seem like a reasonable, mature, safety-minded individual, so I doubt you want to go there.

Deep drop (pista) handlebars are good for looking cool and for track racing, but not for comfort or for mounting brakes--pretty much limited to cross levers. There are tons of good riser bars available to you.
Thanks for the advice. Definitely need a brake. Will try out some riser bars.
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Old 09-10-19, 04:14 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
I can't believe nobody's brought out the old "Soviet bike rides you" trope yet...

I used a clamp-on front brake on my undrilled fork for quite a while before I changed to a different thingy. I still have the mounting parts off the EAI/Promax front brake that I no longer use. The lever and caliper are long gone but the clamp/mount is fine - worked great for years for me, and I also still have the 2nd set of unused leg clamps so it can work on round or oval steel fork legs.

It is yours if you are willing to pay the postage...



Let me know
Cool - to New Zealand? I could Paypal you. Forks are around 29mm x 19mm so oval may fit?
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Old 09-11-19, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by alikitch View Post
Thought I'd have a go on a fixie before I get too far into my 50's. So far got frame, wheels, sugino 75 cranks and BB, Kashimax seat.

Bits I haven't figured out yet - rear cog. Have a 46T ring so assume a 18 or 20T cog will be suitable for old man's first fixie? There's a few hills around here and I don't need to go fast.

Bars. As I don't want to drill fork and can't replace fork (Soviet headset), so looks like only choice is Diacompe bolt on front brake kit? I'd like some deep NJS drops to match everything else, but as beginner maybe better off with something like Nitto B260AA riser handlebar. Presume this will be easier for riding and braking? Mainly I want it to be safe.

I'd like to see more pictures if you have the time. Interesting bike. The first KBAHT I've seen. I understand that they made some bikes in the Ukraine. Very cool ride you have there!
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Old 09-11-19, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by alikitch View Post
Cool - to New Zealand? I could Paypal you. Forks are around 29mm x 19mm so oval may fit?
New Zealand?

Yeah, I'd ship it there if you don't mind paying the freight, and Paypal would be fine. Can you use PM here yet? Get me your mailing address and I'll check into the shipping cost.

I've got to think one or the other clamp set will work for you....
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Old 09-13-19, 06:10 PM
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alikitch
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
I'd like to see more pictures if you have the time. Interesting bike. The first KBAHT I've seen. I understand that they made some bikes in the Ukraine. Very cool ride you have there!
A few more pics with seat, cranks and some grease in the bb. Riser bars, chain and 16,17,18T cogs on the way as recommendations above. Hopefully ridable in a few weeks if I haven't done anything too wrong...







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Old 09-13-19, 11:01 PM
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Thanks! Very cool bike. Great components on it. Looks like it was raced. Great hubs and cranks. That saddle is great too. Kashimax makes good saddles.
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Old 09-14-19, 06:51 PM
  #13  
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One concern i'd have is those hubs. Looks like they were laced in both directions.. higher chance hub flange may crack
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Old 09-15-19, 09:46 AM
  #14  
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Absolutely beautiful in so many ways!

The pattern on those tire treads looks so unique. I like the steep head angle and close tires. I gather it would be a twitchy bike? If so, probably great for city riding where the rider is often making tight turns, swerving in and out of obstacles.
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