Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

Building my first fixed gear?

Notices
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)

Building my first fixed gear?

Old 11-21-20, 09:12 AM
  #1  
trail_monkey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
trail_monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,024

Bikes: Soma B Side, Soma Wolverine, Salsa Fargo

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Building my first fixed gear?

I have been building all my rides for several years now including all my wheels. I own all the tools and have collected some vintage parts along the way. I have never ridden a fixie (only single speed) but it's on my bucket list. I am looking for a 2021 project and finances will not dictate a build like all my previous builds which had wheelsets in the $400 (Shimano XT hubs) and $700 (Hope hubs) range alone. The basic things I lack beside rings and threaded cogs are a frame and wheels. I keep thinking maybe one day I will stumble onto that one bike in someone's garage covered in cobwebs and score my frame lol but that's easier said than done. If I can get lucky enough I will scavenge my stuff but if I have to buy, it will be later on as money is tight right now. If you can find a decent (not old high end but not a cheap gas pipe frame either lol) frame and had to buy wheels, what kind of money could a person expect to have wrapped up in some wheels that didn't tick the high end pricepoint but not cheap junk either? I thought I scored recently with a early/mid 80's Schwinn Tribute road bike that was missing the front wheel and the rear was junk. The frame was lightly rusted and I was gonna sand it down and re paint but upon stripping the frame down, I noticed it was a 63 cm frame. I typically ride a 56-58 so back to the drawing board.
trail_monkey is offline  
Old 11-22-20, 05:42 PM
  #2  
mrv 
BIKE RIDE
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,042

Bikes: my very own customized GUNNAR CrossHairs

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 31 Posts
i got a frame for sale. it's a mid 80s Nishiki. Probably borderline gas pipe, but I think it had a sticker on it saying 4130 chomoloy, nothing double butted or fancy. FS: '84 Nishiki sport touring frameset
- we'd have to deal with shipping, which adds cost but no value.
i got some bull horn bars, which I see on fixed gear bikes lots: FS: bull horn bars / brake levers / aero bars
I got them because they had 9 spd bar ends on them, and i wanted the bar ends as spares, since they are getting hard to find and expensive
the wheels in the pics are sold.

as far as building wheels, i just built up a set this fall using HELOMATIC hubs from a BF member. $50
The rims came from a google search: Sun CR-17 (a basic, not expensive, touring rim) $70 for the pair (or a bit more); and spokes and nipples from Universal Cycles, like another $70. I went double butted.
My single speed is currently equipped with a coaster brake, not fixed. I'm planning to build up a 2 speed kick back wheel this winter, at which point I will be banished from the single speed pages.....

Lots of folks are making single speed hub: Surly, Orgin8 (i think), Velocity https://www.velocityusa.com/product/hubs/track-hub-rear
is this answering what your asking? (i'm posting hoping you'll be interested in my parts for sale.....)

cheers.
mrv is offline  
Old 11-22-20, 08:08 PM
  #3  
acoustophile
Senior Member
 
acoustophile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Calgary
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 28 Times in 13 Posts
You can buy a cheap wheelset from velomine.com ranging from $110-150 with sealed bearing formula hubs. If you manage to find a road frame with decent cranks, you can cut savings by using those cranks. I've used old shimano 600/105 road cranks and find them far better quality than any sub $100 track crankset. Other than that, $30 for a cog and lock ring and you're off to the races.
acoustophile is offline  
Likes For acoustophile:
Old 11-23-20, 07:19 AM
  #4  
trail_monkey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
trail_monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,024

Bikes: Soma B Side, Soma Wolverine, Salsa Fargo

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by mrv View Post
i got a frame for sale. it's a mid 80s Nishiki. Probably borderline gas pipe, but I think it had a sticker on it saying 4130 chomoloy, nothing double butted or fancy. FS: '84 Nishiki sport touring frameset
- we'd have to deal with shipping, which adds cost but no value.
i got some bull horn bars, which I see on fixed gear bikes lots: FS: bull horn bars / brake levers / aero bars
I got them because they had 9 spd bar ends on them, and i wanted the bar ends as spares, since they are getting hard to find and expensive
the wheels in the pics are sold.

as far as building wheels, i just built up a set this fall using HELOMATIC hubs from a BF member. $50
The rims came from a google search: Sun CR-17 (a basic, not expensive, touring rim) $70 for the pair (or a bit more); and spokes and nipples from Universal Cycles, like another $70. I went double butted.
My single speed is currently equipped with a coaster brake, not fixed. I'm planning to build up a 2 speed kick back wheel this winter, at which point I will be banished from the single speed pages.....

Lots of folks are making single speed hub: Surly, Orgin8 (i think), Velocity https://www.velocityusa.com/product/hubs/track-hub-rear
is this answering what your asking? (i'm posting hoping you'll be interested in my parts for sale.....)

cheers.
Thanks for the offer and advice. I built a wheel set for an old Panasonic a few years ago using cr-18 rims. Good set! I am not in the market now but dreaming and drooling lol. Maybe sometime in 2021.
trail_monkey is offline  
Old 11-23-20, 07:23 AM
  #5  
trail_monkey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
trail_monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,024

Bikes: Soma B Side, Soma Wolverine, Salsa Fargo

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by acoustophile View Post
You can buy a cheap wheelset from velomine.com ranging from $110-150 with sealed bearing formula hubs. If you manage to find a road frame with decent cranks, you can cut savings by using those cranks. I've used old shimano 600/105 road cranks and find them far better quality than any sub $100 track crankset. Other than that, $30 for a cog and lock ring and you're off to the races.
thanks! I have a couple sets of polished Sakae cranks hanging on the wall. One is 110 bcd and the other is 144 bcd. I had 3 sets of original double rings for them too that were scavenged from mid 80s road bikes but I cleaned my garage one day.......😔 oh well. Come to think of it I wish I stil had those frames too although being 80s vintage I imagine they were 126 spaced and arenít most fixie hubs 120?
trail_monkey is offline  
Old 11-23-20, 08:58 AM
  #6  
rustystrings61 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Greenwood SC USA
Posts: 1,309

Bikes: 2002 Mercian Vincitore, 1982 Mercian Colorado, 1976 Puch Royal X, 1973 Raleigh Competition, 1971 Gitane Tour de France and others

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 437 Post(s)
Liked 357 Times in 206 Posts
What sorts of rides do you envision taking your fixed-gear on? If you want a super flexible road-going fixed-gear that can be adapted to all sorts of rides, I will humbly point you towards vintage Raleighs. The late 60s-early 70s Raleighs, from the Super Course on up through the International, make AWESOME fixed-gears. The Gran(d) Sport(s) (because depending on which decals were in the bin that day they were labeled Gran Sport, Grand Sport or Grand Sports) and especially the 1971-76 Competition/Competition Mk. II are relatively plentiful and take stock headsets and bottom brackets. The Competitions built with the rapid-taper round-section chainstays are especially adaptable and permit the use of fatter tires than many other road bikes. I have a GS sitting in my workshop right now that I am considering building up as a fixed-gear. The only bike I truly regret selling was a '71 Competition fished from a trash heap, with all the above features.

My most recent fixed-gear bike started off at $70 for a 1973 Raleigh Competition Mk. II in basket case condition.



I found a deal on Sun CR-18s and got them for under $60 shipped for the pair; I found a U.K. retailer offering ACI/Alpina butted spokes and got 64 of them for around $32 shipped (!); I bought a gently used Surly Ultra-New front and older New rear track hubs and wound up with the pair of them for around $60. I picked up a Surly Dingle 17/19T cog for I think $30 in a newslist, I had an old unused 9-speed chain I'd bought c.2010 in the parts bin, I cleaned and re-used the Raleigh's stock T.A. bottom bracket and T.D. Cross headset, I had a set of Nervar Star cranks I'd purchased for $20 a few years back, I bought a 42T ring for it for $10 shipped from one guy and splurged on French eBay and bought a 44T ring for I think $40, shipped. I scored a set of Tektro aero levers for $17, used Velo Orange Grand Cru bars for I think $30?, and a used Nitto Technomic stem for around the same amount. I had purchased the Continental Cyclocross Speed 35 mm tires on closeout for $22 or so, shipped (!) from the U.K., and the Brooks B17 aged saddle was purchased used on the 'Bay and required another $10-15 for a replacement rivet and some muscle to straighten a bent rail and some effort to reshape the top. The seat post was an old swap meet find, and the Egg Beaters pedals were purchased on sale a dozen years go. The brake calipers were the stock Weinmann 999 centerpulls, a really effective brakeset that fell out of fashion but works better than what replaced it, and works astoundingly well when combined with modern cables, housing and aero levers. All up, I came in around $500 total for a bike with quality sealed-bearing hubs and newly-built wheels, a Reynolds 531 frameset with bountiful tire clearances, a B17 saddle and a setup that fits me and my riding style. All up weight with bell, bottle cage and computer is 24.8 lbs on the 35 mm tires. If I went with a lighter saddle, rims and smaller tires, it would be less, of course.

My assembly notes are - the Raleigh came with a 5-speed rear wheel but somehow had been spread to 126-ish mm, so I added a couple of spacers on each side under the locknuts. I also replaced the rear axle with a hollow one from the bin, because I am a heretic who uses a q/r on a fixed-gear, and have done so for many years with great success. It makes it easier when I switch from the pavement 70-in gear of 44x17 to the 60-in gravel gear of 42x19, something I can accomplish in around 30 seconds. Here is the really exhaustive build thread on this bike.
Now the bike looks like this -



- and about all it lacks is a White Industries Dos Eno 20/22T freewheel on the other side for days when I feel like single-speeding it, or for when I decide to try light single-track.

You have the skills and the tools. Figure out what ride characteristics YOU want. If you're thinking road work, I would steer you towards vintage road frames with minimal braze-ons and good tire clearances, preferably something built with nice butted tubing and 120 mm rear spacing, though again, hubs can be spaced out to fit wider rear ends.

FWIW, I have two other fixed-gears, a full-on custom Mercian Vincitore designed for long-distance (think centuries and maybe even someday some brevets) and a '71 Gitane TdF that I thought would be a beater, but it turns out it has an exceptional speedy magic-carpet-floating quality that has gotten it the most mileage of any of my bikes over the last decade.
rustystrings61 is offline  
Likes For rustystrings61:
Old 11-23-20, 09:48 AM
  #7  
Bluechip
Senior Member
 
Bluechip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Cypress TX
Posts: 1,160

Bikes: Salsa Fargo Ti, Cannondale CAAD9, Carbonello Fixed Gear, Specialized Epic Disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Any 80's-90's decent bike can make a nice fixie with an Eno hub. I had a couple of old Cannondales that are still a pleasure to ride with an Eno hub and some modern handlebars. The main reason I prefer a converted road frame is most pure fixies are of track heritage and the ride feels like it. Also most if not all do not have two sets of bottle bosses (most have none). I like to ride a fixie just like any other bike and need two bottles on any ride over 30 miles (Texas). If you are looking for an in-town bike then that may not be an issue.
Bluechip is offline  
Likes For Bluechip:
Old 11-25-20, 06:51 AM
  #8  
trail_monkey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
trail_monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,024

Bikes: Soma B Side, Soma Wolverine, Salsa Fargo

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
What sorts of rides do you envision taking your fixed-gear on? If you want a super flexible road-going fixed-gear that can be adapted to all sorts of rides, I will humbly point you towards vintage Raleighs. The late 60s-early 70s Raleighs, from the Super Course on up through the International, make AWESOME fixed-gears. The Gran(d) Sport(s) (because depending on which decals were in the bin that day they were labeled Gran Sport, Grand Sport or Grand Sports) and especially the 1971-76 Competition/Competition Mk. II are relatively plentiful and take stock headsets and bottom brackets. The Competitions built with the rapid-taper round-section chainstays are especially adaptable and permit the use of fatter tires than many other road bikes. I have a GS sitting in my workshop right now that I am considering building up as a fixed-gear. The only bike I truly regret selling was a '71 Competition fished from a trash heap, with all the above features.

My most recent fixed-gear bike started off at $70 for a 1973 Raleigh Competition Mk. II in basket case condition.



I found a deal on Sun CR-18s and got them for under $60 shipped for the pair; I found a U.K. retailer offering ACI/Alpina butted spokes and got 64 of them for around $32 shipped (!); I bought a gently used Surly Ultra-New front and older New rear track hubs and wound up with the pair of them for around $60. I picked up a Surly Dingle 17/19T cog for I think $30 in a newslist, I had an old unused 9-speed chain I'd bought c.2010 in the parts bin, I cleaned and re-used the Raleigh's stock T.A. bottom bracket and T.D. Cross headset, I had a set of Nervar Star cranks I'd purchased for $20 a few years back, I bought a 42T ring for it for $10 shipped from one guy and splurged on French eBay and bought a 44T ring for I think $40, shipped. I scored a set of Tektro aero levers for $17, used Velo Orange Grand Cru bars for I think $30?, and a used Nitto Technomic stem for around the same amount. I had purchased the Continental Cyclocross Speed 35 mm tires on closeout for $22 or so, shipped (!) from the U.K., and the Brooks B17 aged saddle was purchased used on the 'Bay and required another $10-15 for a replacement rivet and some muscle to straighten a bent rail and some effort to reshape the top. The seat post was an old swap meet find, and the Egg Beaters pedals were purchased on sale a dozen years go. The brake calipers were the stock Weinmann 999 centerpulls, a really effective brakeset that fell out of fashion but works better than what replaced it, and works astoundingly well when combined with modern cables, housing and aero levers. All up, I came in around $500 total for a bike with quality sealed-bearing hubs and newly-built wheels, a Reynolds 531 frameset with bountiful tire clearances, a B17 saddle and a setup that fits me and my riding style. All up weight with bell, bottle cage and computer is 24.8 lbs on the 35 mm tires. If I went with a lighter saddle, rims and smaller tires, it would be less, of course.

My assembly notes are - the Raleigh came with a 5-speed rear wheel but somehow had been spread to 126-ish mm, so I added a couple of spacers on each side under the locknuts. I also replaced the rear axle with a hollow one from the bin, because I am a heretic who uses a q/r on a fixed-gear, and have done so for many years with great success. It makes it easier when I switch from the pavement 70-in gear of 44x17 to the 60-in gravel gear of 42x19, something I can accomplish in around 30 seconds. Here is the really exhaustive build thread on this bike.
Now the bike looks like this -



- and about all it lacks is a White Industries Dos Eno 20/22T freewheel on the other side for days when I feel like single-speeding it, or for when I decide to try light single-track.

You have the skills and the tools. Figure out what ride characteristics YOU want. If you're thinking road work, I would steer you towards vintage road frames with minimal braze-ons and good tire clearances, preferably something built with nice butted tubing and 120 mm rear spacing, though again, hubs can be spaced out to fit wider rear ends.

FWIW, I have two other fixed-gears, a full-on custom Mercian Vincitore designed for long-distance (think centuries and maybe even someday some brevets) and a '71 Gitane TdF that I thought would be a beater, but it turns out it has an exceptional speedy magic-carpet-floating quality that has gotten it the most mileage of any of my bikes over the last decade.
thatís a beautiful bike! Thank you
trail_monkey is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.