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Torn on my new ride.... (show me your fixie)(20 posts)

Torn on my new ride.... (show me your fixie)sctri
Jul 23, 2002 6:38 PM
I aspire for one of those single speeds, i dont know why, they dont make that much sense in a time of affordable, relable, and rapid shifting, because on my race bike i have ultegra, and i have to say that it's pretty sweet and i really have nothing to complain about.

BUT, i want a fixie, and i torn as to how it should look, part of me thinks that it should be peiced together with whatever i can find, as cheaply as possible, and ridden as a "city bike" which would somehow give me more cedibility as a hardcore retro-dork.....

ON the other hand, i am tempted to get something shinny and high class, some nice old frame, maybe with a little crome, nice smooth lines, quality wheels, nice paint job, perhaps italien or french which would somehow result in additional respect for my bike-nerd status



So the call goes out, to all of you with fixies, or single speeds, give me your impressions, pics and thoughts...


re: Torn on my new ride.... (show me your fixie)onespeed
Jul 23, 2002 7:02 PM
56cm Aegis frame

Sweetest ride on the street.
OOOH! (keep 'em comming eh?)sctri
Jul 23, 2002 7:13 PM
hey, thats a nice ride, very high-tec/low tec.... cool, i hadnt thought of using carbon as a frame, ($$$$$$)

But very nice, how do you find only haveing one brake? powerful enough?


my humble steedctisevn
Jul 23, 2002 8:50 PM
while I dont have a pic, I'll offer my insight. I have a surly steamroller that is my primary ride. I put around 200 miles a week on it and have zero complaints. its the best bike Ive owned from a practicality standpoint. I have a mix of ultegra and DA bits with suzue/rigida wheels. I find the frt brake to be more than enough to slow it down and I find 42x15 to be the best ratio for my use. When I was building it I considered a couple others, the GTB1 from GT, Bianchis Pista and I even thought about doing something higher end like a dean but settled on the Surly as I was really looking for a workhorse not something for the track. If I had it to do over I think Id go with the surly again or perhaps on-ones il pompino but its a bit blue for my taste. If youre thinking cyclocross, I had a van dessel country road bob cyclocross fixxie/ss before I got the steamer that I would recommend if cyclo-x is your flavor. check them out at that was a fun bike but not as fast and nimble as the steamer. the steamrollers got wide stays too so you can put the 38c's on if youre riding in the winter/dirt.
By the way SCTRIonespeed
Jul 24, 2002 7:19 AM
if you are interested in an Aegis carbon track frame, I have one that I tried to sell on Ebay 2 months ago that didnt sell (obviously if I still have it). It is a 58cm and a very sweet ride-I can say this without reservation since I actually ride one. Frame and fork, both carbon.
My fixie, finished last weekLone Gunman
Jul 24, 2002 5:12 AM
Full chrome frame, lugged steel, Schwinn Voyageur 11.8. $65 from the LBS, I stripped off the parts, kept the HS/BB/Crank/brake arches, spent about another $275 in wheels/ring/hubs/sprockets/incidentals and now have a slick lookin full chrome fixie. Sorry, no pics yet. I like riding in the SS mode, too many hills in my area. Bike has Lemond geometry, classic steel ride. I, as you, wanted something really different if I was going to make the effort and expense of getting a fixie and it just happened that this frame was my size so I grabbed it.
No Pic, but here goes....Gregory Taylor
Jul 24, 2002 5:53 AM
I love my fixie --

Frameset: Steel lugged frameset of unknown origin, picked out of dumpster. Spaced 120mm out back. Long wheelbase and slack angles. Stipped and refinished in a nice, light green. Custom by Rustoleum. Don't laugh, it looks GREAT.

Wheelset: Suzue flip-flop hubset laced to Araya rims from an old hybrid that was picked out of the trash. Panaracer Stradius Elite tires (black) from Nashbar -- my new favorite cheap tires.

Crankset: Sugino, 110mm bolt pattern, 175mm length. Another item picked from the trash. I polished it up with a cloth wheel attached to my bench grinder. Looks sweet. I was running a cup and cone Shimano XT bottom bracket (another dumpster find) but I swapped it for a new UN-52 cartridge model. No problem with functionality, I just got tired of repacking it - it's still in perfect shape.

Gearset: 46 x 16.

Bar/Saddle/Stem: All stuff that I had laying around. Oh, I did buy new bar tape. I like a bike where the price of the bar tape is a significant contribution to the overall cost of the bike.

Pedals: cheap Nashbar Wellgo mountain pedals. $25. You can't kill them.

Brakes: old Weinmann 999 centerpull brake calipers. I polished them up too. Look nice, don't stop worth a damn. I have some Shimano long reach calipers that I could put on, but they don't have the same retro soul that the Weinmann's do.

Okay, I have about $125 - $150 into this thing, and it is my favorite bike to ride. I've had people ask me whether it is a Richard Sachs (I loved that) or an old back-in-the-day steel Italian bike. I commute on it, do the occasional group ride on it, generally fart around on it. It gets ridden at least a 100 miles a week, and it certainly has made me a stronger, smoother rider.
I have an old nishiki 10 speed in my garage...TomS
Jul 24, 2002 6:51 AM
downtube shifters, old disintigrating brake levers... what would it take to convert it? I've been trying to figure out what to do with it for ages, this might be a fun project!

I figure I could strip off all the parts, I don't even remember what it has on it exactly; I do know it has 27" wheels, would I be able to just replace them with 700c wheels? Any recommendations for cheap SS/fixed hub'd wheels, and where to get them? I don't feel comfortable building my own...

I'd also need the custom rustoleum paintjob, it has a ton of scratches and some rust (it was my commuter/beater in college).
Never mind, Sheldon Brown to the rescue!TomS
Jul 24, 2002 7:32 AM
Just found some pages on his website about doing a single-speed/fixed-gear conversion. He sells pre-built wheels with flip-flop hubs, spacers to get the chainline right; and even some "kits" with everything you'd need if you want to completely rebuild.

hopefully I can get away with just the wheels, this should be a fun project but I don't want to dump a lot of money into it...
The only moderately tricky things....Gregory Taylor
Jul 24, 2002 7:58 AM
....are getting the chain line set up and making sure that your brake arches are long enough if you run a 700c wheel on a frame originally set up to run a 27 inch wheelset.

As for the chain line, I seem to remember that the Suzue hub sets the cog 52mm from the center of the hub. I've found that a 122.5mm bottom bracket results in a pretty dang good chain line with any of the old cranks that I've tried. I've never needed to use spacers or shims. For want of a better description, the the machined area for the bottom bracket on the inside of the right crank arm lines up with the land for the small chainring (if that makes sense).

Ask Sheldon -- he'll get you set up.
How did you strip the paint?TomS
Jul 24, 2002 8:15 AM
Did you use chemical paint stripper, or just sand it? The chemical strippers scare me... but if that's the only way, I'll give it a shot. This frame is still solid but it's definitely seen better days.

Thanks for the tips on the chainline setup!
Chemical Strippers are NASTYGregory Taylor
Jul 24, 2002 9:07 AM
I used an 8 inch wire wheel on my bench grinder -- not everyone has one of those...

If I were you, I'd just take some sandpaper (200 wet or dry to start) to blend in the paint dings, remove the rust and decals, and rough up the paint. You want to break the glossy finish on the paint in order to give the primer something to grab on to. Clean up the frame with mineral spirits, and shoot a couple of coats of primer. A light sand job with 400 wet or dry to remove any nubs or sanding marks, clean it up with mineral spirits, and shoot the color coats. Go light, and use a couple of coats. If you like how it turns out, think about finishing it up with a coat or two of clear. One spray can of Rustoleum will paint a bike with plenty left over for touch up.

One thing that I've noticed with spray enamels like Rustoluem is that the finish isn't terribly tough or chip resistant, but that it toughens up over a period of a few months. The finish on mine still looks great after 18 months.

Uh, not to dis Sheldon Brown and Harris Cycle but..Lone Gunman
Jul 24, 2002 8:53 AM
Excel Sports in Colorado has the Suzue basic track hub $10 cheaper than Harris, they have Surly cogs and not sure about lockrings for the cog. Also will need a BMX freewheel that can be had locally. Chances are you could rebuild the front hub of your Nishiki and coupled with the Suzue rear, now you got a set of hubs. Try a 700 rim in the front fork to find out if your brake arches will reach the rims of a 700vs27". New brake pads for the arches (if they fit), cables, and levers if you need them, BMX shortstack bolts for the crank(local), and have your wheels built up, $40-$50. Chain, rim and bar tape, tubes and tires. If your hubs are 36 hole, I bought a set of Sun M13II rims from for $27 each, high polish rim.
Also try...Gregory Taylor
Jul 24, 2002 9:10 AM

I bought my hubset there, and they are a great source for obsolete parts.
Jul 24, 2002 11:37 AM
I was looking at harris mainly for info, they have a bunch of pages about building up a singlespeed and/or fixie from a road or mtn bike.

It looks like excel has the bmx sprocket for $5 that will fit on a shimano cassette hub with spacers. sweet! (I work about 5 minutes away from their store)

I have no idea what kind of hub is on there now - didn't know or care about that stuff when I bought the bike used for $50 - so I'll check it out tonight. I know the rear wheel had been upgraded right before I bought it though.

If it's shimano maybe I'll just go with that for now to try it out, otherwise I'll look into building something around the suzue so I can do a real fixed gear and not just a singlespeed...
re: Torn on my new ride.... (show me your fixie)DougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 6:02 AM
I've got the same bike Doug........tronracer
Jul 24, 2002 9:18 AM
The first thing I did was swap the tires for Armadillos. These things are virtually flat proof...not one since last November using it as a daily commuter. I probably averaged 3 hours of use per day. Since I was intent on mastering fixed riding, I rode without a brake for awhile which led to some mishaps, but let's not get into that again. Then I replaced the plastic crank bolt cover, which cost me a whopping 99 cents (why doesn't bianchi just include that?). I put bullhorn bars on it and a dia compe front brake & lever. They made the bike really cheap, but my headset pitted and the bottom bracket creaked after a few months and no amount of tightening fixed it. XT bb and a record headset did though. BTW, you put the front brake on the right hand side...aren't you worried you'll get used to using the front brake w/ the right lever? How do you like the ride of the Pista? Mine is a 53, real stiff.
Go here for a galleryEMR
Jul 24, 2002 6:47 AM
Go here for a great gallery of fixies.

Mine is number 48
You asked for it!look271
Jul 24, 2002 10:04 AM
Her she is- 80ish Bianchi transformed to a fixie.Plz ignore the slack chain. I tightened it up! Cost me about $150, including $75 for the bike.
Here's my yellow fixie...Tommy B
Jul 24, 2002 3:28 PM
Wow, I'm really diggin' all the fine fixies! They just look so clean and elemental without all those fussy cables, derailleurs, and "extra" cogs/chainrings!

I took a slightly different route with my fixed gear project. I was torn between doing a classy older used lugged steel frame with some misc. parts I already had, or going a little nutty with lighter more contemporary parts. After looking around with no luck for a nice lugged classic frame in my size, my impatience got the better of me and I went the other route.

Even though I was an admitted weight weenie, I didn't want to sacrifice durability in certain areas. My two road bikes are aluminum so I decided to go with light steel to mix it up a little. The frame is Columbus Focus steel and Tom Teesdale of T.E.T. Cycles made it for me. I requested a Focus Megatube downtube has a unique cross-section that slightly resembles a casket...(hopefully not a bad omen!)

The wheels were built by the fine folks at Phil Wood and have a low-flange version of their track hubs, DT Revolution spokes, red alloy nips and Velocity Aerohead rims. The steel axle bolts (and most of the other bolts) were replaced with Ti ones from SRP. I know, I know...I'm a very silly little man.

The crank is a Dura Ace Track with an Ultegra BB. The pedals are BeBops (nice float like my Speedplays but allow me to use MTB shoes for easier walking around. They looked slicker than Frogs, cost a little less and have worked out great so far.)

The cow-horn bar is a Scott LiteFlite and actually is pretty light(190g). The brake lever is by Syntace. I found a nearly-new used Ultegra front brake here in the classifieds and the combo works great.

I found a great deal on the Look HSC-3 fork and it seemed to complement the shape of the downtube so I went for it.

I use the bike to commute to work and it has been a blast. You really feel like the bike is an extension of your body when you're not allowed to coast. After riding a regular road bike for a while then switching back to the fixed gear, I kept trying to stop pedaling after a sprint. Big mistake...felt like I popped the clutch in my car or like being on a bucking bronco!

Good luck with your decision! I highly recommend giving a fixed gear project the green light. As the other posts have shown, you don't need to spend much to create a beautiful, low-maintenance, high-fun factor ride. Enjoy!