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Newbie, need some help . . .(6 posts)

Newbie, need some help . . .Jas0n
Dec 9, 2002 7:18 PM
hey, whats up

im in college, and just sold my giant tcr 2 after a summer of hard riding. im going to be buying a calfee tetra pro before the spring season, but want to build a fixed gear. i will be doing so with the help of the wrenches at the shop where i work during the summer, but wanted some suggestions first. first off, i need a frame. im looking at something cheap, afterall, the calfee is going to break the bank. noticed a bianchi veloce on ebay for cheap. what do you think? is it a problem that it doesnt have horizontal dropouts? also, what kind of hub would you recomend. more importantly, what kind of gearing considering i live in a pretty hilly section of the north east (westchester, ny)? thanks alot in advance. by the way, im a lightweight at 145 pounds 5'11". thanks.
re: Newbie, need some help . . .LC
Dec 9, 2002 10:38 PM
You must have horizontal dropouts or you can not adjust the chain tension. If you already had a frame you might be able to get it to work by screwing around with the chainrings and cogs combinations, but it is cheaper and easier in the long run to have a the adjustablity of the horizontal dropouts. My nice lugged steel frame was free, but that was just being in the right place at the right time. I probally could have bought it for under $20 though since every component, the paint, and the wheels were trashed. Look around at old 10 speeds at garage sales, thrift stores and eBay and you will probally see one with horizontal dropouts. Just make sure it is your size.
Dec 10, 2002 5:35 AM
If you can find one, use a wheel built around a freewheel hub. Probably will cost you less than building a new wheel, and with the shop supplies available, you could play around with the axle spacers to get the chainline right.

I just built a fixed/ss wheel around a Suzue Promax flip/flop hub. It seems like a good one. Sealed bearings, nice finish, solid axle with track nuts. Picked it up from Harris Cyclery ( which also carries other fg/ss hubs.
re: Newbie, need some help . . .eddie m
Dec 10, 2002 6:12 AM
By far the easiest way to build a fixed gear is to start with a complete bike from the early 1980's. Use a track cog and a BB lockring on the standard freewheel hub. Often you will not even need to respace the rear wheel. Avoid narrow modern chains, and use either a BMX chain or an inexpensive chain designed for 6 or 7 speeds. Narrow chains are expensive and failure prone. If you need to build a rear wheel, use a flip flop hub so that you can use both fixed and freewheel. Freewheel is way faster on long downhills.
I ride 40X16 in a hilly part of upstate NY. The strongest guys use 46X16 or even 48X16. Riding in hills was better when I could push a higher gear, because I could descend faster. Rolling hills are my favorite terrain for the fixed. I avoid both long uphills and long descents. You should use at least a front brake, and a rear brake is useful as well.
re: Newbie, need some help . . .fixedgearhead
Dec 10, 2002 11:05 AM
Don't bother with the Bianchi. Get a cheap horizontal rear drop frame locally. Goodwill, Garage sale, Friend bailing out, whatever. It dosn't have to be top of the line. You are just looking for something to get you going. Get a hub from Harris Cyclery, preferably not a sovos. I know they are cheap but they are not that great. Suze or Miche would be good to start with. Build up a wheel, bolt it on the bike with the appropriate cog.42/15 or 42/16 and have at it. Lots of fun

thanks alot. much learned. nmJas0n
Dec 10, 2002 4:07 PM