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Just curious,why convert a bike to fixed gear?

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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)

Just curious,why convert a bike to fixed gear?

Old 06-29-13, 09:27 PM
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jsidney
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Just curious,why convert a bike to fixed gear?

I was wondering why people convert an existing bike into fixed gear. Aren't there a lot of fixed gear bikes made that was from the start?

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Old 06-29-13, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jsidney View Post
I was wondering why people convert an existing bike into fixed gear. Aren't there a lot of fixed gear bikes made that way from the start?
yes
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Old 06-29-13, 09:32 PM
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Because they want to. Customization. Make it yer own. DIY

And cuz Sheldon said so

https://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

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Old 06-29-13, 09:35 PM
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Because it isn't a very special frame (still decent), I like the color, and I made it better than how it was.
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Old 06-29-13, 09:37 PM
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because converting something from a junk pile that cost $0-100 is much cheaper than buying a new bike.
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Old 06-29-13, 09:38 PM
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Conversions aren't usually aren't even remotely pricey, so that is one attractive aspect. They're functional enough for someone with a full parts bin and a high tolerance for dysfunction. I would never recommend investing in a conversion, but if it's approaching free (sub 150) why the hell not?
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Old 06-29-13, 10:03 PM
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Because some people don't wanna **** with a geared drivetrain just so they can ride to work, and they keep blowing up freewheels.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:11 PM
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A converted road bike makes a nicer road machine than a track bike and you can always change it back... winter riding and spring training usually involved turning your geared bike into a fixed gear so you could work on cadence and conditioning.

Rule was a 1000 miles before you went back to geared.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
A converted road bike makes a nicer road machine than a track bike and you can always change it back... winter riding and spring training usually involved turning your geared bike into a fixed gear so you could work on cadence and conditioning.

Rule was a 1000 miles before you went back to geared.
Back in those days it was a lot easier with horizontal dropouts spaced at 120mm and screwed on freewheels. Gearing was low 60s 42 x 18 using the inner chainring, and a cog w/o a lockring could be used if you kept the brakes on it. I agree with 1000 mile rule.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jsidney View Post
I was wondering why people convert an existing bike into fixed gear. Aren't there a lot of fixed gear bikes made that was from the start?
The wide availability of brand-new fixed-gear bikes is a recent thing -- not too long ago, if you wanted a fixed-gear bike, you either rode a track bike or converted something (or bought someone else's conversion.)
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Old 06-29-13, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
The wide availability of brand-new fixed-gear bikes is a recent thing -- not too long ago, if you wanted a fixed-gear bike, you either rode a track bike or converted something (or bought someone else's conversion.)
Not exactly. Long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth there were low end cheap track bikes that were really intended to be ridden on the road. They had heavy clincher wheels, forks drilled for a front brake and fairly slack geometry. Many of the modern fixed gear bikes are basically like that with some bling added. The problem with converting road bikes is they typically have lower bottom brackets and longer crank arms, which makes cornering on flat roads more of a problem. This is why I have returned all of my old road bike conversions back to their original geared setups and am using track frames for my fixed gears on the street. For example:

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Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel keeps getting longer - me
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Old 06-29-13, 11:02 PM
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I was actually thinking of one for short trip transportation. I just assumed they were always available.

My reason for thinking of one was for something very low maintenance and save my touring bikes for longer and hillier stuff.

It looks like I also confused fixed gear with single speed.
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Old 06-29-13, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
The wide availability of brand-new fixed-gear bikes is a recent thing -- not too long ago, if you wanted a fixed-gear bike, you either rode a track bike or converted something (or bought someone else's conversion.)
The fixed gear road bike went the way of the dinosaur in the late fifties as derailleur gears became available and affordable... my 1955 Raleigh Lenton is pretty much stock and came as a fixed gear model. This bike would have cost you a week's pay in 1955...



Here in the 80's the preferred bike to convert (if you were a messenger) was a Nishiki road bike as the frames were very well made and they could take a beating.
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Old 06-29-13, 11:19 PM
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I ride with a freewheel, but I prefer the single speed over gears because its less crap for me to worry about and spend money on. I've heard a lot of people say that fixies are a bigger challenge, because you have to pace yourself instead of being able to coast. Also, skid stops are pretty sweet when done well. As far as conversions over retail, I think it's mainly price, but the feeling of building something is definitely a factor. I'll probably try fixie at some point, but right now I like coasting.
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Old 06-29-13, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jsidney View Post
I was actually thinking of one for short trip transportation. I just assumed they were always available.

My reason for thinking of one was for something very low maintenance and save my touring bikes for longer and hillier stuff.

It looks like I also confused fixed gear with single speed.
Well, if you want a single speed, just find an old road bike with a screw on freewheel and replace it with a single speed freewheel. Keep the rear derailleur to use as a chain tensioner if it has vertical dropouts, and adjust it so it lines up with the freewheel. If it has horizontal dropouts, you can dispense with the rear derailleur. You can just leave it on one of the chainrings in front. Voila ! Instant single speed.
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Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel keeps getting longer - me
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Old 06-29-13, 11:47 PM
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I have found that after riding fixed over longer distances that I feel fresher than I do when I am running an SS... the lack of coasting (which is a bad habit) contributes to improved stamina as your muscles are working continuously instead of cycling on and off.
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Old 06-30-13, 04:47 AM
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Even though there's these in the world:
https://www.nehrspeedcraft.com/superkit.html
https://www.choppersurplus.com/bikekits/

Some people still like to build.


Nothing wrong with showing some love and attention to older things, that might not happen to have been getting any lately. Changing things up freshens them and makes some people happy.
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