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The Age 40+ Singlespeed & Fixed Gear Thread

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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)

The Age 40+ Singlespeed & Fixed Gear Thread

Old 08-21-22, 07:37 PM
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I've already posted this in the regular Post your SSFG thread, but I guess I'll post it here as well, since I'm well over 40 years old.

So, after nearly 6 years, I've finally built a new bike. This time it's an All City Bike Block, something I've had on the drawing board for over a decade. The frameset was purchased on eBay for $549, which is $200 less than the current MSRP. I installed a Cane Creek S3 headset that I had in my parts bin. I wanted this to be an all-road type bike that could even do some single-track on occasion. So, I spec'd Panaracer GravelKing SS+ tires, 32mm in the front and 35mm in the rear. Unfortunately, although the 32mm fits fine in the front, the 35mm will not fit in the rear, rubbing on the seatstays even with the wheel axle moved to the very end of the dropout. So, in order to get the bike on the road, I've temporarily installed a 32mm Panaracer Pasela ProTite in the rear until I can source a 32mm GravelKing. The wheelset was built at Retrogression with H+Son Archetype rims and Grand Compe LF hubs that weighs only 1650g. The cranks are Andel Deluxe with no logos. Bar and stem are Nitto, seatpost is Alpina, saddle is Charge Spoon, cog is Soma, chain is KMC K1SL, pedals are Shimano PD-M520, brake caliper is Dia-Compe BRS-101, brake lever is Dia-Compe Tech 99 and grips are ESI Extra Chunky. Some of these components were sourced from my parts bin. Total cost is just under $1800. Total weight is just over 20 lbs.


All City Big Block in Midnight/Frost/Violet


All City Big Block cockpit


All City Big Block rear view
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Old 08-21-22, 08:42 PM
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First time on this thread. Question - does my Peter Mooney qualify? It's only been a fix gear since 2017 though it passed its 40th birthday 3 years ago.

And it's not a single speed. In fact it usually carries 3 ratios; typically 46-14, 42-17 and 36-21 though it's been known to go on flat riders with just two of 16, 17, 18 and 19 (with the 42). But it has seen nothing but fix gear since I converted it. (Now I passed that 40 year mark a while ago but this thread is about the bikes, right?)

That Mooney (named Pete; not the Peter of either its builder or my brother or uncle, just Pete) will be going for its/his first Cycle Oregon in three weeks. The Painted Hills of Oregon, fittingly enough under a new and snazzy paint job. And sewups! I'm returning to the rubber I so love and trust. (Blew off/out - I didn't do the forensics - an old clincher going 20 a few years ago. It came off and sent me for a crash I never want to do again and that I cannot remove from my mind going downhill (and comes up in nightmares fairly regularly). The 40+ mph blowouts on sewups in my racing days? I cannot remember if I did it once, twice or even which wheel it was. I just rolled to a stop, changed the tire and went on. NBD.

I had this bike made with horizontal dropouts even though verticals were the new thing and what Peter Mooney did, just so I could run fix gear if I ever wanted to. It spent nearly all of its first 20 years on sewups. Putting the fix gear wheel on and riding - it was "this is what this bike is made to do!" A classic road bike in the tradition of the elegant English road fix gears. Now it has big, cushy 28c sewups (Vittoria Corsa G+ Controls). About as nice as I've ever ridden though without the magic of far east silk and without that silk's aversion to water. Current rims are Mavic GP4s, very, very nice but quite heavy. I have some GEL330s laced to beautiful gold Suzue track hubs. Most gorgeous wheels I've ever seen and easily best built. Tied and soldered perfectly. Showcase wheels. Never seen a brake pad or road. When the time is right, I'll glue on 200g Corsa Speeds. Pete will be in heaven. (So will I.)
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Old 08-22-22, 06:57 PM
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Yet another in my series of old Treks, this one an '84 610 converted to 700c and fixed gear:



I was 12 when this bike was new.
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Old 08-22-22, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
I've already posted this in the regular Post your SSFG thread, but I guess I'll post it here as well, since I'm well over 40 years old.

So, after nearly 6 years, I've finally built a new bike. This time it's an All City Bike Block, something I've had on the drawing board for over a decade. The frameset was purchased on eBay for $549, which is $200 less than the current MSRP. I installed a Cane Creek S3 headset that I had in my parts bin. I wanted this to be an all-road type bike that could even do some single-track on occasion. So, I spec'd Panaracer GravelKing SS+ tires, 32mm in the front and 35mm in the rear. Unfortunately, although the 32mm fits fine in the front, the 35mm will not fit in the rear, rubbing on the seatstays even with the wheel axle moved to the very end of the dropout. So, in order to get the bike on the road, I've temporarily installed a 32mm Panaracer Pasela ProTite in the rear until I can source a 32mm GravelKing. The wheelset was built at Retrogression with H+Son Archetype rims and Grand Compe LF hubs that weighs only 1650g. The cranks are Andel Deluxe with no logos. Bar and stem are Nitto, seatpost is Alpina, saddle is Charge Spoon, cog is Soma, chain is KMC K1SL, pedals are Shimano PD-M520, brake caliper is Dia-Compe BRS-101, brake lever is Dia-Compe Tech 99 and grips are ESI Extra Chunky. Some of these components were sourced from my parts bin. Total cost is just under $1800. Total weight is just over 20 lbs.


All City Big Block in Midnight/Frost/Violet


All City Big Block cockpit


All City Big Block rear view
Oh man, that looks nice. Congrats on finally being able to scratch that itch, too.
The reverse happened to me. Saved up my nickels and dimes to get me a new Wabi Special when one became available and now that they are, I can’t pull the trigger on it. The wife says all of the pandemic projects I picked up during lockdown are enough. She might be right as I acquired a few. But none are the Wabi I been wanting…
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Old 08-23-22, 12:32 PM
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That is a sharp bike!
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Old 11-05-22, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
That Mooney (named Pete; not the Peter of either its builder or my brother or uncle, just Pete) will be going for its/his first Cycle Oregon in three weeks.
How did Cycle Oregon go on Pete? Thank you for the great description of the bike, its setup, and your feelings about it. I like what you said about the early British bikes. All of those time trials (on rutty roads) were on fixed-gear. It's amazing the times they were able to pull, too.
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Old 11-05-22, 05:50 AM
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How did I miss the July incarnation of this thread?

OK, I admit to being over 40...and apparently starting to miss stuff.

But you gotta admit guys over 40 have some nice bikes, amirite?
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Old 11-07-22, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by IAmSam
How did I miss the July incarnation of this thread?

OK, I admit to being over 40...and apparently starting to miss stuff.

But you gotta admit guys over 40 have some nice bikes, amirite?
I miss lots of stuff, but I don't think mine is age related 🤔

I missed this thread, as I was in my 30s when I first started on the forum and now have matured into an over 40 (where does the time go?!)

Some beautiful bikes on this forum. Gives me a lot of inspiration. I saw a guy on the path yesterday, almost 60, riding a single speed conversion.
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Old 11-18-22, 09:14 PM
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Closer to 50 than 40... just put this together. Got into lacing wheels recently as well... such a lovely ride.
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Old 11-19-22, 09:35 AM
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Kind of a repost from 2011. You'll find the same bike back on page 5. It's been sitting dormant in my garage for awhile, and it was time to dig it back out and start riding again (yah, I'm fighting some post lockdown and continued work-at-home weight gain.) It's a budget-build based on an old Cannondale. Sketchy juggling with a half link, cog size, not quite all the way in the dropouts, and massive torque on the axle nuts. It's not ideal, but it works..



Motivation to keep riding? I really want to build up fixed gear on a classic Itallian lugged frame, quality wheels with an Eno hub, and shiny Italian bits everywhere. I need to get in better shape and commited before I can justify that, though.

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Old 11-19-22, 11:11 AM
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It just dawned on me that not only do I qualify for this (with almost 30 years to spare) but one of my fix gears and next year another qualify. My Peter Mooney has run fixed since 2017 (yeah, only 5 years but it was ordered 44 years ago with horizontal dropouts so if I ever wanted to go fixed, I could). And my workhorse winter/rain/city '83 Trek fix gear, purchased as a frame to replace the just crashed Miyata 610 - 40 years next year. (Frame was probably built by late fall of '82.)

If we re-titled this thread to "40+ Years of Single Speed and Fixed Gear Riding", I'd still qualify. So would the Trek, but now in the context of it being the latest frame of an ongoing bike that simply has everything, frames included, replaced at least 4 times. (The original frame, a '67 Peugeot UO-8, went fix gear in 1976.)
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Old 11-23-22, 05:27 PM
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Add Another One.... 62 Year Old Rider, 38 Year Old Bike

Hi Folks, Just did my first single speed ride in nearly 50 years. Been riding multi-speeds since the early 70's, and I turn 63 next month. The bike is (was?) a 1984 Trek 460 built from various pieces I had lying around. Turning 42 x 19 gears with 700 x 28mm tires, giving me roughly 59 gear inches. I'll probably bump that to around 65 inches in the spring. I didn't really miss the gearing options on my mostly flat 8 mile ride, but standing to climb a couple mild hills took some adjustment time. >>Happy Thankgiving All<<
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Old 11-30-22, 12:35 AM
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I'm 62, recently picked up a '88 Dave Scott Ironman Expert the P/O had converted to ss/fg. It's my first foray into FG and I'm enjoying it so far. I'm a randonneur; we'll see how far I want to go on FG.

I've replaced the flat bars with drops and lowered the gearing to 42x16. That'll do for mods for the time being. When the 25mm tires wear out I'll put on some 28s for long distance comfort. I'd go wider but that's the limit.

If it turns out I like this FG rando thing, I'll have to upgrade. Wider tires, fenders, dyno. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll do a series of 100k ride, and see how I feel about carrying on.
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Old 12-02-22, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
I've already posted this in the regular Post your SSFG thread, but I guess I'll post it here as well, since I'm well over 40 years old.

So, after nearly 6 years, I've finally built a new bike. This time it's an All City Bike Block,
Very nice!
What size frame is that?
I had my eyes set on a Big Block the other year as well - specifically this colorway as well cause I really love it.
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Old 12-02-22, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy
Very nice!
What size frame is that?
I had my eyes set on a Big Block the other year as well - specifically this colorway as well cause I really love it.
Thanks ! It's a 46cm, the smallest size they make.
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Old 09-22-23, 05:08 AM
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I just found this thread and read most of the pages. I'm building up a 1951 Rudge Aero Clubman with a flip-flop Normandy track hub, 19 teeth fixed, 20/16 freewheel. This thread is an inspiration! Last time I regularly rode fixed was when I was training with the Temple University cycling team in 2009. A slow-speed crash with a car door and a bus ended cycling for me for over a year due to a SLAP tear in my left shoulder. After the repair was done, the VA dragged their feet on getting me in PT and the arm healed up with a lot less range of motion. I couldn't even tuck into a drop bar without my left elbow sticking out like a crab. Finished undergrad in 2011, life, moving a lot, and a lot of cycling on multi-geared bikes, but none of the good workout of simply standing up to push down on the pedals.

So now I'm building up the Clubman and reading old threads on BF, and here I am. The bike is waiting on a few things but will be done within a week or so. I can't wait to get out on a longer ride on this "new" bicycle. Now that I've been reading so much about folks my age and older, riding SS and FG, I feel inspired to do it more, perhaps another bike is in order...
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Old 09-22-23, 06:59 AM
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I'm 62 now and have struggled to get time enough to get back out on the bike. I've posted this one a few times through the years, but this is my Mercian Vincitore which was actually built to be a long-distance, century/brevet kind of bike. Had I known then what I know now, I would have spec'ed forward facing long horizontal dropouts and room for 32 mm tire with mudguards, but oh, well. After riding my Raleigh Competition conversion with Crank Brothers Eggbeaters, I decided to try it on this bike and have been very pleased so far. If I rode in mountainous terrain I might feel differently, but so far so good! The second photo is just a gratuitous photo from before the pedal change on one of my favorite local side roads.


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Old 09-23-23, 02:09 PM
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I'm 68 and still riding fixed. I did lower the gearing early in the season, intending to bump it up again once I got in shape, but somehow it's stayed with the lower gearing all season.
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Old 09-23-23, 07:13 PM
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JDThompson.....you're a better/braver man then I.
Riding fixed scares the crap out of me and at 63yo I'm not going to start lol.
Here are my 3 SS.
Specialized Langster, Globe Roll2 and (my latest) United Motocross BMX.


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Old 09-23-23, 08:56 PM
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That specialized langster looks like it would be fun to ride.
If you have flip flop hubs you might try fixed again.
It is not too scary with brakes once you get used to the feel of it. The first time I flipped back to ss from fixed after a few years I crashed. I just slowed my cadence thinking I would slow down, and crashed right into the runner I was riding with. It took a bit to get used to the whole coasting thing again.
now I try to do both occasionally so I don’t lose the feel and habit.
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Old 09-23-23, 09:22 PM
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Latest iteration of the Detroit Bikes Sparrow project. New carbon fork, going back to disc plus room for 32mm, has fender mounts.

Currently fixed, used as my commuter plus the occasional 100k and rare 200k. Aspirations for a 300k, maybe next summer.

Someday I'll get matching wheels.
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Old 09-24-23, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Swampthing
That specialized langster looks like it would be fun to ride.
If you have flip flop hubs you might try fixed again.
My Langster has flip flop hubs. The last time I rode fixed was on my Big Wheel.
I have nightmares about slipping off the pedals and getting slammed by the cranks down steep hills and/or making sharp turns with the inside pedal down.
I know there are ways to prevent this from happening but all it takes is one incident and this old fart will down for a bit.....
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Old 09-26-23, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedway2
My Langster has flip flop hubs. The last time I rode fixed was on my Big Wheel.
I have nightmares about slipping off the pedals and getting slammed by the cranks down steep hills and/or making sharp turns with the inside pedal down.
I know there are ways to prevent this from happening but all it takes is one incident and this old fart will down for a bit.....
the more times you go down the better you be when you get up .....................annnnnnnd FWIW "nightmares" are just almost good dreams that twist so sleep well and get FIXed
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Old 09-27-23, 05:25 PM
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1000!

Early 80s Schwinn Traveler. 3916 fixed with an 18 tooth Freewheel. Gatorskins 27 in rear, 700c Front. Going to replace the rear with a 700c soon.

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Old 09-27-23, 05:37 PM
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Riding Chrome today.

I have two rear wheels for this. One is fixed gear, but
today I channeled my inner 12 year old and used the coaster brake.
It was actually kind of fun once I got kind of accustomed accustomed to coasting.

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