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Building a fixed gear under $150?

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 a fixed gear under $150?

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Old 08-09-06, 06:47 PM
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sunv
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Building a fixed gear under $150?

I have been bitten by the fixed gear bug even tho i ve never ridden one. damn you SS/FG!

anyways, i am NOT mechanically inclined about bikes. There's only so far i can ask my bro since he rides and builds flatland BMX bikes. ive read almost all articles on fixed gear on sheldon's website but there's way to many techincal terms for me to understand what he's talking about.

currently i have ZERO tools and parts spare a wrench and allen wrench. no spare cranks or wheels or anything around. I think i can take one of my bro's bmx freewheel hubs tho.

so i want to build a fixie, i want it to be under $150. I plan on buying an old 1980s racer for $30.
Then what?

I understand you only need a rear wheel and i read an IRO rear is about $105. so that gives me $15 for other parts. probably front brake and a chain half link?

How exactly do you put on the rear wheel? do you just screw in like normal bike tire?
do you need stuff like lockrings?
and what about the original chainring from the bike, can i take off one of those discs?
how will you know the rear axel will fit in the space on the rear forks?
I have so many questions. Do you think a bike shop would teach me for free?
Do bike shops let you ride their bikes without any intention of purchasing them? or maybe in with intention to buy but leave saying yo'ull sleep on it and never come back.

Does the IRO rear wheel come with flip flop fixed/free?

I think I need a bigger budget = getting a job.

Going under $150 just doesn't seem possible if you start from scratch.

Last edited by sunv; 08-09-06 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 08-09-06, 06:49 PM
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BigNoseWhipper
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you are prety much screwed if you dont know how to work on bike and have no tools. just puss out and buy a compelte for 5-honey
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Old 08-09-06, 06:53 PM
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sunv
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Dammit I Dont Got 500 Clams!
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Old 08-09-06, 07:19 PM
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You might not know anything about bike mechanics now, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you can teach yourself. As a (more or less) rocket scientist, I'll tell you you don't have to be one to figure out how to work on a bike.

look at your local library for "Zinn and the art of Road Bike Maintenance" read it, wrench a few things on your bike and you'll figure it out.

if the bike's older (like mine) you'll find you need 4-5 tools for most work. a 5/8 wrench, a 9/16 wrench, and 8 and 10 mm wrenches. you might find a few allen screws that need allen wrenches (allen wrenches are inverse socket wrenches if you don't already know) 6mm is the one I seem to use most. a tire lever is also handy, but my experience is the ones that come on multi-tools wear out quickly unless you're good at changing tires.

I'd say buy a good multitool for $15-25 (which gets you all but the 2 big wrenches) but count that outside the cost of the bike, why? because it'll be your friend every day you ride.

sheldon brown's site has almost everything you'd want to know about fixed gear. I haven't done my conversion yet, so I can't really throw a cost at you. you'll probably edge closer to $200 is my guess.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:19 PM
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There are always cheap fixie conversions on ebay. You could start there.

Jesus...this guy I met scored a Pinarello off of Pittsburgh's CraigsList for $25.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:27 PM
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Where do you live?
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Old 08-09-06, 07:28 PM
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Where do you live? Is there a bike co-op in your city? I would steer you there for both answers and tools/help.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:34 PM
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my friend got a univega frame converted to singlespeed, with a handbuilt rear wheel, and mostly new parts built up for $300. i considered this a good deal. this was at bikes not bombs in roxbury, ma. do yourself a favor, save your pennies, shop around, and keep an eye on craigslist.

for $150 potentially you could buy a bike, and convert the rear wheel to a suicide hub for the cost of a cog and some loctite. it's not entirely uncommon, but i wouldn't reccommend it to someone like yourself.
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Old 08-09-06, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sers
my friend got a univega frame converted to singlespeed, with a handbuilt rear wheel, and mostly new parts built up for $300. i considered this a good deal. this was at bikes not bombs in roxbury, ma. do yourself a favor, save your pennies, shop around, and keep an eye on craigslist.

for $150 potentially you could buy a bike, and convert the rear wheel to a suicide hub for the cost of a cog and some loctite. it's not entirely uncommon, but i wouldn't reccommend it to someone like yourself.
I did a suicide hub with JB Weld. The hub was crap anyway, so I didn't care much. Ride cheap until you can ride *well*.
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Old 08-09-06, 08:09 PM
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I was able to with an old MTB I had. Bought a Surly fixxer online for about $70, bought a chain breaker, a casette tool, cog and lock ring for about $60 and went from there. Worked fine. Was ugly though.
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Old 08-09-06, 08:20 PM
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The $15 left in your budget won't even buy you a track cog & lock ring, and I think you would need a new BB to get the correct chain line.

I would make a list of the parts and tools you will need for the job after you buy the used bike and start hunting for bargains. It may take a few months to spec, find, and afford stuff, but you will learn about bikes.
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Old 08-09-06, 08:30 PM
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Check out Fixedgeargallery.com
They just finished a contest to build a fixie for $147.83 or less!
They have photos of the 10 or so bikes that were built, most have great descriptions about how they were made up for 147.83 or less.
Remember, this is bicycle mechanics, the easiest way to learn is to take it apart, keep the pieces in order, clean each piece up, grease it, and put it back in the same order.

I have built a single speed from a mountain bike, it wasn't difficult.
I plan to build a fixed gear later this year, probally on the same sort of budget as you.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-09-06, 08:34 PM
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^ good advice

if you're inclined to learn about bikes, give it a shot. just leave both brakes and make sure they work well.

if you're not really, spend the extra buck fifty and get an ebay mercier.
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Old 08-09-06, 08:45 PM
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jump in with both feet and just do it... you'll be pleased with the results even if they are totally ghetto.

why?

because the bike will be YOURS.
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Old 08-09-06, 09:15 PM
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the iro wheel is $105, but a cog is $20 and a lockring is $10.

buy the old road bike for $30. make sure it has long dropouts and a rear wheel that accepts a thread-on freewheel.

make friends with your bike shop mechanic or someone with tools. have them remove the freewheel, derailleurs, cables, shifters, and rear brake.

pick up a cog for $20 and bottom bracket lockring for a $1 or whatever.

JB weld them on in place of the freewheel.

pull some links out of the chain.

fixed for $51.
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