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The All Chrome Fixie project is far better than I imagined(9 posts)

The All Chrome Fixie project is far better than I imaginedLone Gunman
Jun 26, 2002 12:24 PM
Got it home and started stripping greasy grimy parts and tossing what was bad (pads, cables) and boxing what are keepers. Degreased the frame and polished it up with chrome cleaner. Not a spec of rust on it. The decals are 90%, some scratches in them but the SCHWINN has no scratches and very small wear marks where the components were attached. The headset looks like NOS. Polished up far better than I could have ever hoped. NO RUST and did not have to use steel wool anywhere. The crank is a Sugino 170 and the rings are 40/52. With the exception of the 2 dings in the top tube, it is stunning shimmering chrome. Yoi, double yoi and triple yoi.

So, how should I build it up? I am staying with the headset/bb/crank that came with it. It probably needs a new bar and stem to fit me and the wheelset and 1 tire. I am thinking that since the decals have red in them that I will use red sidewall GP3000(I have an extra now) and am undecided if I go with a colored rim, silver, or black. Black and chrome let me play with bartape color and sidewalls. I have a big flange front hub to use in the wheels that screams retro cool.

Gearing, any suggestions? want to use the 40 tooth ring that I have. Still unsure if I want a flip flop or fixed. It is not unusual for me to encounter 40mph+ downhill every ride. I live in a hilly area, then again I may not want to lug that frame up hills too often.
You really need to borrow a digital camera.........Dave Hickey
Jun 26, 2002 1:13 PM
I'd go with black or silver rims. Maybe an all red saddle and red bar tape.
L.G. we have got to see this bike ...Djudd
Jun 26, 2002 2:02 PM
please borrow a digital camera and post a pic. It sounds like a beauty
Gearing ...Humma Hah
Jun 26, 2002 3:07 PM
... the traditional road fixed gearing is around 2.5:1 for average terrain. My cruiser is geared 2.556:1 (46:18), and I generally ride the MTB around town at about 2.625:1.

With your 40T ring, a 16T cog would give an even 2.5:1. 15T would give a 2.667:1 that would probably do for someplace really flat like NYC, or give you trackie muscles if you use it someplace hilly.

For cyclocross, use 2:1 gearing, a 20T on the rear.
Gearing ... Flip Flop ...Humma Hah
Jun 26, 2002 3:11 PM
Sheldon Brown recommends flip-flops be set up geared a little taller on the fixed side. The idea is the fixie is most disadvantaged on downhills, and if you get tired on a long ride, you switch to SS and a lower gear. With that philosophy, you could try 15T on the fixed side, and a 16T freewheel on the SS side.
I may need to buy the hub from Sheldon..Lone Gunman
Jun 26, 2002 3:37 PM
But the "find" keeps getting better!! I swear this bike has less than 1000 miles on it. The cranks look like they have shop wear, the rings same, the Dia Compe black label brake arches NOS. There is a woman that runs a sub LBS, more like a neighborhood LBS out of her garage nearby and CHEAP!! I called her up today and asked her to "pull my crank" and she did for free. What makes that unusual is the LBS where I got the "find" charged me $10 today for 20 bearings and 2 cone nuts. No I mean remove the crank. And she has all kinds of NOS stuff sitting around. Stems and seatposts, hubs....

Speaking of brakes... I mentioned that I was only going to put a front on and she looked at me like I was nuts. And I said from what I have been reading, most fixies have no brake at all some with just a front. What is the conventional wisdom here, one or two arches?

Another question; Where the drive side dropout is there is a wedge that is held in place with a screw that is tight as hell. It is at the rear of the dropout and prevents the axle from going all the way back to the rear of the dropout. Does that need to be removed?

Do I need track nuts or will the QR work on the rear hub?
I may need to buy the hub from Sheldon..Dave Hickey
Jun 26, 2002 4:00 PM
My single speed has a front brake only. I live in Dallas and it's very flat. If I have to panic stop, I just slide my weight to the rear and use the front brake. If I road a lot of hills, I'd go with a two brake set up.
Fixies can use front only, singles need both brakes ...Humma Hah
Jun 27, 2002 6:59 AM
... If you go flip-flop, put two brakes on it. When riding fixed, you'll rarely use the rear brake, and will do gentle stops by resisting the pedals. For panic stops, however, you need a brake. A fixie will try to launch you to the moon if you attempt to suddenly slow it with the pedals -- there's amazing energy storage in a moving bike, and you can't make it go away any faster than you put it in there.

Track bikes don't have brakes, but track bikes don't have to contend with cars and intersections, and can take a couple of laps (1/3 km per lap) to slow down.

I'd use old-fashioned nuts on the rear wheel. I don't trust QR's for fixed gear or singlespeed.
I agreeWalter
Jun 27, 2002 8:00 AM
My fixie, based on a Schwinn as well, is front brake only but I live in Fla and the bike is fixed only. On a fixie to actually stop a rear brake is of no real use as the rear wheel at least partially unweights but while desecending hills a rear can help shed some speed if you're nearing an intersection or if you're just tired of a 150+ rpm cadence.

Obviously, if you go fixed/free flip-flop a rear brake is desirable.