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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)

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Old 04-28-11, 04:37 PM   #1
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The joys of single speeding a bike

I decided to take my Le Tour that I have had since 81 and single speed it. Looked like an easy task on all of the YouTube videos. Could be if you have a bike that is of this century.

I started by stripping everything off the frame to hit it with a brass brush, remove rust, grime, and generally clean and lube everything. That was the easy part. Then the story goes like this:

Wow, that frame would look good if it was repainted. Strip the paint. That stripper really stings when it is flung off by a brass brush attached to a drill. Oh dang, cant get the tape job straight. Started shooting the primer. Sand, reprimer, oh crap... a run, sand, reprimer, light sand, light dusting of primer.

Paint time. Go to the store get my color scheme. Why dont I do a dual color (cream on the horizontal and down tube, blue on everything else. Tape off and and trim at the lugs. Start shooting cream. Wow. Cream seems to be going on nicely. Coat, sand, coat, sand, coat. Peel tape and retape for blue using newspaper to cover the cream.

Blue paint time. Coat, sand runs, coat, sand runs, coat, sand runs, coat. Peel tape and realize that the garage was too humid which caused news print to come off on the cream. Blue has a run on the head tube. I can repair that and sand the cream lightly...

Receive some parts in the mail ordered off of ebay. Really want the project to be finished but somewhere along the way I managed 4 kids age 5-17. I may have to take care of their needs, coach soccer, help around the house. Whatdoyouknow. Tax money. I have 2 projects now as I am installing all new appliances in the house. Bike has to wait.

Get a new can of blue. Shake well, apply first coat. Oh crap! that is not the same color blue even though the top is the same color as the other blue. Totally screwed it up. Leave it for the night.

By this time, a month and a half has gone by. I want to be riding again. Quick heavy sand to the primer and make an ugly flat black bike, taping off nothing. Go to the store and get flat black. Wait, what was that? Rustoleum makes a color shifting paint that goes over black and shifts from purple to blue. $14!!! per can! I will try it. Maybe I can get away with a can.

Flat black is the ultimate paint. It goes on easy, doesnt run, but does get in your nose if applied in an enclosed garage. Next morning you get to wake with a Hitler mustache from the crud coming out of your nostrils. (Use a mask next time Adolf)

Color shift goes on easily and really thin. Coats well and looks awesome. A couple of coats and I am putting back together. Wish me luck. By now, if it gets screwed up, it will be ridden screwed up. Think I am going to try my hand at bike polo. May make no difference what the bike looks like.

I know I missed a few things like the 4 trips to Performance Bicycle down the street to buy tools I didn't know I would need. I am sure that after I purchased the bottom bracket, tool for the BB, new tape, new cable for the brake, new brake lever, bearings for the steering, paint supplies, stripper, sand paper, brass brush for the drill, pedals and enough beer to get me through the project, I should have just bought a new bike.

I will post photos when it is complete. God knows what color it will actually be by then. Ha.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:41 PM   #2
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Paint schmaint. I like scratches.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ultraspontane View Post
Paint schmaint. I like scratches.
Agreed. My rattle can job has mad scratches (obviously) but I think it adds character/shows it has been ridden.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:45 PM   #4
So tragically hip.
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I ride a 2009 SE Premium Brew that's COVERED in scuffs and scratches. You call it a mess of a frame, I call it a warrior covered in battle scars.
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Old 04-28-11, 04:47 PM   #5
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