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Vintage “Townie” single-speed build PICS

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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)

Vintage “Townie” single-speed build PICS

Old 09-29-08, 12:09 PM
  #1  
Catnap
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Vintage “Townie” single-speed build PICS



This is my third bike build, a vintage "townie" style bike built on a 1970's-era Schwinn frame. The frame came with leather-wrapped handlebars, which inspired me to build it out as a classy around-the-town bike. I replaced the heavy steel 26" Araya wheels with lightweight 700c deep-v track wheels, and put Nashbar's "Duro" tires on them. The dark brown sidewalls match the leather nicely.

The seat is a riveted leather Brooks copy, taken from from a Masi Soulville bike. I installed a 68x107mm Miche bottom bracket, red KMC single-speed chain, and built the single-speed crankset from a new 170mm Campagnolo Mirage set. It has a 42-tooth chain ring up front and a 16 tooth freewheel in back, with a flipflop hub & fixed gear cog & lock ring. Pedals are MKS Syvlan touring, brakes are new Tekro side-pull calipers, and I added a set of Planet Bike "Hardcore Road" fenders for all-weather riding.

I built this entire bike in my tiny apartment, with help from my buddy Jason. The only tricky part of the build was replacing the brakes. Due to the change in wheel size, the replacements I had on hand didn't fit. So we went over to Bike Works NYC and picked up longer Tektro levers. Then we had to do some custom drilling in the fork to accommodate the the bolt. Drilling was minimal but since I was extra careful with the frame, it took almost an hour.

Overall I'm really happy with this bike. It rides quick and smoothly, and despite the vintage lugged steel frame, isn't too heavy to take up a couple flights of stairs. The frame has a lot of scratches and nicks, but the paint is still so glossy and nice that I didn't want to mess with it. I prefer to think of the scratches as extra character. All together, this built cost me about $450 in parts. Here's some more pics:




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Old 09-29-08, 12:42 PM
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HandsomeRyan
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I like a lot of things about the bike, but I don't think it flows very well as a whole.

The rear rim and colored chain look out of place on an otherwise subtle build.

Also, it looks like the chain has too much slack in it.

I don't mean to hate on your bike though- as long as you are having fun riding it that is all that matters. Pedal on.
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Old 09-29-08, 12:48 PM
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https://www.fastboyfenders.com/index.html

those would look amazing on it

but looks very classy ; D
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Old 09-29-08, 01:09 PM
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Rear rim, chain and crank look out of place. Otherwise, love it!
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Old 09-29-08, 01:51 PM
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Are my eyes going crazy or is there a cog on the front wheel in the first pic, but not the others?
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Old 09-29-08, 01:53 PM
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due to the flash on my camera, the chain looks a lot lighter than the frame color. actually, it's almost a perfect match in normal lighting. i would have preferred a silver crank but i already had the Campy one laying around. ditto with the wheelset and fenders.

Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
Are my eyes going crazy or is there a cog on the front wheel in the first pic, but not the others?
that's just a trick of the light / shadows i guess. no cogs on front wheels.

Last edited by Catnap; 09-29-08 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 09-29-08, 02:20 PM
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is the frame too big for you? or do you just like sitting low?
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Old 09-29-08, 02:43 PM
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It needs a bell. And a nice big Wald basket in front.
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Old 09-29-08, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Supreme View Post
is the frame too big for you? or do you just like sitting low?
at 55cm it's slightly too big for me (i'm 5' 6"). i built it for a friend of mine who's a couple inches taller than me though, so it should fit him fine.
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Old 09-29-08, 03:43 PM
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Looks really nice! All I would change: get chrome cranks, chain, rims, and fenders.
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Old 09-29-08, 04:45 PM
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love the bike!! clean, classy and smooth.
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Old 09-29-08, 05:26 PM
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This bike looks great. I think if I were to change anything, it would get some black non deep v rims. Chrome would be the obvious choice, but there is so much black already on the bike.

Great job.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:55 AM
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Very nice build and I like the theme you aimed for, but the black cranks, the deep-V and the red chain are out of place with the theme.

I do appreciate a vintage townie bike!
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Old 09-30-08, 11:58 AM
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(overall) Looks great! The rear rim doesn't bother me so much, but the chain is kinda nasty....
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Old 11-06-08, 05:46 AM
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Chain looks funny in the pic like others have said, but if it looks better in person, cool. I like the black crank and black fenders. I guess chrome would have more of a "vintage" look though. Saddle and bar wrap look great. The close up of the front wheel shows no cog, but the other pic is very weird!!!

I've had old Schwinns with crappy paint, and others that, although old, look amazing. Looks like you got one of the good ones

Nice Job!
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Old 11-06-08, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewro View Post
rear rim, chain and crank look out of place. Otherwise, love it!
+1
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Old 11-11-08, 01:10 AM
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Old 11-11-08, 01:19 AM
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Looks sweet. Some hammered Honjos would set it off though.
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Old 11-11-08, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by acoldspoon View Post
Weird.
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Old 11-11-08, 12:03 PM
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track bike with a basket, does not compute.

My "wife's" townie:

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Old 11-11-08, 12:08 PM
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What it really needs is a chaincase
https://www.velo-orange.com/postch.html
Then I would beat you over the head and steal it from you. That is, if it were my size
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Old 11-24-08, 09:27 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by middy View Post
Weird.
Works for me.
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Old 11-24-08, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
What it really needs is a chaincase
https://www.velo-orange.com/postch.html
Then I would beat you over the head and steal it from you. That is, if it were my size
Tell me this is humorous, please. The though of you threatening me in any way is just plain laughable. But yeah, I wouldn't be opposed to a chainguard.

As to the basket. It fits my messenger bag perfectly. My back and neck are just to screwed up for any other arrangement.
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Old 11-24-08, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by acoldspoon View Post
Tell me this is humorous, please. The though of you threatening me in any way is just plain laughable. But yeah, I wouldn't be opposed to a chainguard.

As to the basket. It fits my messenger bag perfectly. My back and neck are just to screwed up for any other arrangement.
Dude, dont take things so seriously, Im sure he was joking The only thing I dont like about your bike (not that it matters to you) are the wheels, but only because I like to make things match but if it works for you thats all that really matters
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