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If it ain't broke...Fix it...(23 posts)

If it ain't broke...Fix it...biknben
Oct 15, 2002 4:49 AM
With all the talk here about fixed bikes I became curious. All I needed were the parts. While at a friends house recently, I was eyeing his old road bike. I was noticing the horizontal dropouts. He casually says, "I doubt I'll ever ride that thing again." I had it over my shoulder without skipping a beat. He owed me some cash so I said we were even. He laughed.

I've been commuting on my C'dale and growing tired of having to swap wheels, etc. I've also been wanting something to revitalize my interest. I've put on a lot of miles this year and been fighting burn-out. I needed something a little different.

It's an '89 double butted & luged steel frame (126mm spacing). I was offered a carbon fork at my LBS. I ordered a QBP flip-flop wheel from Harris Cycles (a.k.a. Sheldon Brown) and a few other "fixed" parts. Replaced the toasted BB. Bio-Pace chainring wasn't gonna cut it. Then threw on an old seat and pedals. All the other parts are original. Gearing is 42x15 (fixed). No freewheel yet. Total cash spent = $220

First ride impression:
Is this my first day on a bike? I just rode it around the neighborhood on Sunday night. I nearly feel over trying to clip in the first time. I commuted on it yesterday. It certainly makes intersections a little more interesting. I'd try to stop pedaling each time I came to a light and got a nice jolt. Kinda like a kick in the pants. Clipping in requires a little more coordination at this point. I'm sure I'll get used to that stuff though.

The choice of gearing is still in question. I use my commute as a recovery ride. I've got to push it to get over a couple small hills. I'd consider a lower gear for the climbs but I'm already spinning like a fool on the descent. We'll see.

BTW: None of my riding buddies have even considered riding fixed. They think I'm a little strange now. It's just something I felt I needed to try. Kinda like tubulars. It's the same but it's different at the same time.
Welcome to the light. SS is big fun too-now take it to the dirt. nmMB1
Oct 15, 2002 5:50 AM
Welcome to the darkside Luke............Dave Hickey
Oct 15, 2002 6:25 AM
Great looking build. My only suggestion would be to throw a 16t BMX freewheel on the other side. For a recovery ride, there is nothing wrong with coasting. Around my area(flat with slight hills), around 70-72 inches of gearing works great. One bike is 42 x 16 and the other is 45 x 17.

Beauty.... A Phine Phixie! nmrwbadley
Oct 15, 2002 6:29 AM
re: If it ain't broke...Fix it...aliensporebomb
Oct 15, 2002 6:37 AM
That's a really cool bike. For $220 you got the "Deal of
the half-decade" I think. Nice.
Cool -Gregory Taylor
Oct 15, 2002 7:14 AM
Only comment is that if you put a freewheel on the other side of the hub, I'd run a brake out back. You lose the ability to slow by backpedaling when you put the freewheel on. Yes, most of your braking is done up front anyway, but I'm just a big ol' chicken when it come to stuff like brakes.
I agree...biknben
Oct 15, 2002 7:28 AM
At this point it's just a fixed rig. I have the rear brake caliper. If I add the freewhell I will also add the rear brake.

I got the Flip-flop wheel even though I didn't intend to use it. I figured I'd give myself the option for the future.

I really like the minimalist look now though. "Elegant Simplicity"
Source for Frames/old bikes?gregario
Oct 15, 2002 7:54 AM
Nice looking Fuji!

Short of having a friend that owes me money, does anyone know of a good source for a frame that can be converted? I've been checking E-bay but haven't as yet found anything in my size (62cm with a short top tube if possible) but it does look like one or two people have made a business out of conversions. I don't want to search garage sales. Is there a source that specializes in older used bikes?
I've got one....empacher6seat
Oct 15, 2002 10:12 AM
Not sure exactly what geometry you're looking for, but it's a Cyclops steel frame 'n fork, 61cm with a 55cm top tube I believe, I'll double check when I get home. It WAS my ride, until the drivetrain wore out. Now I'm stuck with either replacing the drive train or buying a new bike (so far, the later choice is winning the battle). It's in good condition, never been crashed, used only for a few triathlons.
just re-measured....empacher6seat
Oct 15, 2002 3:07 PM
61.5cm with 56.5cm top tube, horizontal drops as well (now that I actually know what they are!! (see my question below)). Since I'm opting for the new bike, if you wanted the bike you could have whatever you wanted from it (minus the pedals).
hey,can you...gregario
Oct 15, 2002 5:47 PM
send me a photo? and is the seat tube C-C or C-T? what else is on it?

I have onebigrider
Oct 15, 2002 10:55 AM
I have a schwinn 62cm with a small 57cm top tube. It comes with a fork and headset. This is not a top of the line frame but has real long horizontal dropouts.
I have onegregario
Oct 15, 2002 5:48 PM
can you send me a photo with more details?

re: If it ain't broke...Fix it...desmo
Oct 15, 2002 7:56 AM
"is this my first day on a bike" will soon take on a new meaning, with out the screw ups and just the fun left.

I planned on putting a freewheel on about a year ago but just never got around to it, don't think I ever will now. In fact I just keep going to bigger gears and find I can turn them without a problem (and much nicer going down hill). It does reek as a recovery bike though, cuz I just can't keep from hammering when I ride it.
re: If it ain't broke...Fix it...scary slow
Oct 15, 2002 8:12 AM
very nice! funny thing is, i have the exact same frame. it has been sitting around for about 3 years now collecting dust. i have always wanted a fixed bike and for some reason never thought to convert the old heap. i was saving it as a rainy day bike, but i have yet to ride in the past few years. question, does anyone know a good online source for ordering the "flip flop" hub/wheel? also, other than that is there anything special i will need to convert the bike?
Try here...biknben
Oct 15, 2002 8:53 AM

I found everything I need plus answers to many questions I didn't know I had. I got the rear wheel, sprocket and lock ring from these guys. I also got a spacer conversion for the hub so it would fit my frame.

Other than the flip-flop wheel, all you need is a sprocket, lock ring, and short chainring bolts.
How do you like the wheel?Tig
Oct 15, 2002 11:21 AM
I'll post a photo of my project when it is completed.
I ordered the same wheel and parts last week from Sheldon. I think he might have forgotton me since he was at Interbike. How long did it take to receive the parts? Thanks!
How do you like the wheel?biknben
Oct 15, 2002 11:55 AM
The wheel is solid but nothing special. Suzie Basic hub/mavic rim/36 spokes for $120. It's a fair price.

I placed the order online on a Monday and recieved the wheel on Friday. I ordered the wheel with a 126mm hollow axle, the sprocket, and lock ring. They forgot to change the axle and didn't include the gear or lock ring. Basically, they just shipped the wheel. I called and they made good on the problem but it did take a few more days.

Apparently, they are swamped due to some recent mag publicity but they are doing their best. I ended up getting the new axle for free.

That web site has everything you need and explains everything really well. I'd order from them again.
Hang on there Hoss...Lone Gunman
Oct 15, 2002 4:24 PM
Sheldon Brown is not the only source of fix parts. I used some local BMX parts to complete my SS, I did order a Suzue Basic hub from Harris. I later discovered that Excel Sports has the same parts cheaper than Harris. I ordered a set of rims from for $30 each and had the rims laced locally, probably had $200 in a solid wheelset, $65 in the frameset with bb and hs, another $20 in bars and stem and another $50 in odds and ends to complete the project. I figured the wheelset was equal as important as the frame and put a bit more money into it.
Ok... here's pathetic newbie question...empacher6seat
Oct 15, 2002 10:15 AM
what are horizontal dropouts?
Ok... here's pathetic newbie question...No_sprint
Oct 15, 2002 10:21 AM
Horizontal dropouts are the things on the frame where the rear wheel attaches. They are horizontal because without a derailleur, you've got no way to adjust chain tightness other than to slide the skewer back and forth in the dropout.
Ok... here's pathetic newbie question...brider
Oct 15, 2002 10:57 AM
Not just fixie / SS bikes. Most older frames had at least semi-horizontal dropouts. I had a Trek 560, circa 1984, that had them. Shimano made the industry standard vertical dropout when they specified the axle-to-derailleur distance for indexing performance. For some good illustrations of vert and horizontal dropouts, go to this site (Kavik Cycles)
Here's the place for answersTig
Oct 15, 2002 11:16 AM