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getting fixed?(21 posts)

getting fixed?thbirks
Aug 6, 2002 3:08 PM
Hi all. I have some questions about building a fixed gear and this looks like the place to ask.

I've recently purchased a Miyata 110 frameset for $50. It has 126MM rear-spacing and is designed for 27" wheels. The only other parts I have for this frame are a seatpost and some weinmann brakes that I found in the woods. I would like to build the bike as inexpensively as possible and currently it looks like I would be better off purchasing a complete bike off of Ebay. I orginally thought that I could have a completed bike for around $300 and now It looks more like $400 or more. It's not that I'm poor but I don't want to spend alot on this bike.

I stopped at a shop in Philly and talked to the owner about having them build the bike for me. He estimated it would run about $350 with my frame. The shop was quite busy so I didn't get many details but he did say that they would use track hubs. This sounds like a good deal, although I'll have to find out what parts they would spec. This would put at $400 for a complete bike and again I'm wondering if I'd be better off buying a bike that someone has already finished or even going for the Fuji track bike or bianchi's pista for a little more money. Opinions?

two more things. When I was at the shop in Philly the owner said that they would respace the rear-spacing of the frame to fit a 120mm track hub. Sheldon Brown seems to recommend adding spacers to the hub to fit into the 126mm dropouts. What do ya'll think about this.

Finally, The frame is made for 27" wheels. I have no problem with using 27"s but using 700c would give me a wider selection of tires and wheels. It seems to me the the 27" wheels would put the bottom bracket up higher and therefore reduce the possibility of pedal strike. Am I correct? What would be advised for wheelsize?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.
What about the dropouts, can't see them in the picture...Djudd
Aug 6, 2002 4:08 PM
are they vertical or horizontal? I find it much more fun and a better learning experience to read, research and build the bike yourself. It is a easy process that enhances your riding in the end.

Do you have wheels?

Are you serious about brakes you found in the woods?
Can only speak from experienceLone Gunman
Aug 6, 2002 4:28 PM
Just built up a SS/Fix that I bought as a whole old bike from the LBS for $65. The parts I kept were, BB, HS, crank, brake arches, post. I don't see a fork in your pic, no fork? With the parts I kept and spare parts I had lying around (saddle,pedals,brake levers, front hub, tubes and tires) I had a good head start on the project. Most of my expense was in the wheelset(Suzue basic track flip flop hub with a DA track cog and lock ring and a claws freewheel $85, $10 front hub rebuild, wheel lacing $50, 2 Sun M13II rims $54, rim tape $6) I spent another $18 for a used bar and stem plus $12 on cork tape. My chain was $8 and the ring was $11. Incidentals (brake pads and cables/housing, chain ring bolts, $14) so all together I spent $335 to $350 for the whole project and I did all the work myself except lacing the rims. Over $200 in the wheelset, because as far as I was concerned a solid wheelset on the bike was as important as the good frame I bought.

As far as pedal strike, you are speaking of 1/2" or so, not a great difference. Be more concerned with the crank length, 170 or 165mm, that is what will contribute to a ground strike. The only concern with wheel size is going to be if your brake arches will reach the rim face and if not then you may need to add some expense for new arches or find a drop bolt kit that lowers the arch to fit 700c rims. You will struggle to find 27" rims of any quality at all. My fun in the project was finding parts to fit and when I did, I saved alot of money as opposed to buying new, and everything worked, that was the satisfaction and I love riding the new SS/fix.

Since you don't have alot of parts lying around, I guess finding alot of used parts is going to be your challenge to control cost. Also if your mechanical ability is lacking, the project price just went up. BMX parts work well for SS/fix projects. Others will say it can be done for less than $400 but you need sources of used parts and deals on key parts that wear like parts with bearings. I would say price it out and see how close you come to a new Fuji, KHS, or Bianchi. I also found that Excel Sports had better prices on track stuff than Harris Cycle.
Can only speak from experienceeddie m
Aug 6, 2002 5:41 PM
I've used 700c wheels on frames designed for 27" with no problem. The difference in radius between 700c and 27" is only 4 mm. I use older Shimano Look style pedals and I don't worry about ground clearance. I also have a lifetime supply of obsolete road hubs, so I have never used a track hub. I use a bottom bracket lockring with the fixed cog on a road hub, and I have never had a problem. Avoid any kind of narrow chain. I like BMX chains but they are shorter than road chains so you may need to buy two if you use a chainwheel larger than 40 or so. I have also found that a standard 126 mm 6 speed wheel lines up well enough with the inside chainring of Sugino cranks. If you ride a lot of hills, a rear brake is also a good idea. BTW, fixed gear bikes seem to get higher prices on Ebay than similar derailler bikes.
Aug 7, 2002 3:31 AM
I noticed that too. Must be the labor involved with removing all the extraneous parts. lol.
Can only speak from experiencethbirks
Aug 14, 2002 4:23 PM
I've noticed a seller on Ebay seems to take his garage sale bikes and rigs them into fixed gear/singlespeeds. He seems to have no problem selling them. Hmmm, so you're saying that I could just thread a cog onto the the 6speed wheel and be able to put a decent sized chainring on and still get the chainline correct. This sounds like the way to go as long as I can get the chainline right. Unfortunately, there aren't many hills where I'm at. I'm wondering about the legal aspects of riding without a rear brake though. I mean if I was involved in an accident it seems like not having a rear brake could be used against me.
....'sources of used parts'.Steve_0
Aug 7, 2002 3:37 AM
all necessary parts (except the locking hub) can be had at a garage sale on any given day for 50 bucks (in the form of an old road bike).
re: getting fixed?thbirks
Aug 6, 2002 6:07 PM
wow, thanks for the speedy replies. I would really like to use this frame and also I think it would be neat to use as many recycled parts as possible. I was only thinking of my options before getting into the project. I can handle all the mechanicals except for wheelbuilding. The shop that I mentioned in Philadelphia can supply me with old and used parts, hopefully inexpensively. I've included the brakes that I found in the woods in this photo. They're Weinmann 810 calipers. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with them and they're long reach calipers so I may use them with some new pads. I'll need some new levers though.

The frame has nice front loading horizontal dropouts. No problem there. I've also shown the fork is this photo. It sounds like I ought to go with 700c wheels, unless I find a deal on some 27" wheels.

The wheelset is really the main expense that I'm looking at. I could easily drop $200 or $300 on a good set of track wheels and it would probably be worth it. The idea of using an old 6speed freewheel hub is intriguing. I have a singlespeed MTB that I've installed a track cog and BB lockring on one side of the hub. I haven't had any problems with the setup and that's with a 2:1 gear ratio.

Thanks for the advice. I've had this frame sitting around for months now hoping on stumbling onto some bargains to build it up with. I guess it's time to get serious.
can do a lot cheaper than 400Steve_0
Aug 7, 2002 3:25 AM
you can get some old 27 inchers and just screw a track cog on the freewheel. If you wanna go the (theoretically) safer route, get a set of cheap FG wheels (~$120).

Dont bother respacing, get track hubs or freewheel hubs and add spacers as necessary.

I have a 27 inch frame, I have (and still do) routinely switch between 27 inch and 700c. If youre really worried about pedal strike(which i wouldnt be), get higher-profile 700c tires. Just make sure you get long-reach brakes if necessary (modern calipers dont normally accomodate 700c rims on a 27 frame)
agree ... a good road fixie needn't be pricey. NmSpirito
Aug 7, 2002 8:05 AM
Just a little more advice...Ginz
Aug 7, 2002 5:36 PM
If you are going to build up this frame, keep it inexpensive. If you plan to spend $400 or more, you might want to step up to a fuji or khs track bike.

If you are going to use an old freewheel hub, I'd go the distance and have the shop bend the stays inward. You may as well do it while it's convenient. If you are going with a track hub, just have them respace the hub as necessary.

When you get it built up, give me a shout. I live in philly too.
There is something wrong with...Djudd
Aug 7, 2002 5:58 PM
spending too much on a fixie or even worse, to me, is buying one already built. There are tens of thousands of great frames to be had dying for a fixie rebuild. Fixies should be unique and built-up by the person that rides them (in Juddworld)
agree. oftentimes goes for geared bikes, too. n/m.Steve_0
Aug 8, 2002 3:13 AM
re: getting fixed?xxl
Aug 8, 2002 3:57 PM
Um, someone here said they found my brakes; I left them in the woods? (yuk--I kill me!)
Regarding the 27" wheels ...Humma Hah
Aug 10, 2002 1:23 PM
... you are correct that 700c gives you a better selection of tires, but the 27" ARE available and adequate for most uses.

I'm building up a '74 Paramount, and found a nice "700c clincher" Campy front wheel for $25, which I snapped up. I nearly brought myself to tears trying to pry a 700c tire onto it. A few measurements convinced me it is a 27", and yesterday I slid a 27x1 1/4" tire on it slick as butter.

Even with that relatively fat tire (by roadbike standards) on the wheel, it clears the Paramount forks by 1/8". Not much mud clearance, but adequate for the road.

27" rims are just BARELY bigger than 700c, something around a quarter inch. Going to 700c will give you slightly greater clearance. Should be fine.
re: getting fixed?thbirks
Aug 11, 2002 5:03 AM
I'm thinking about purchasing a wheelset from BikeworksNYC. Any opinions on the Sovos hubs? I think i'd be better off spending the extra dough for the Suzues as I plan to put alot of miles on this bike.

I haven't had any luck with garage sales here in Jersey. Although one time I passed this old Raleigh roadster set out for sale. It was one with the full chainguard, dynohub, and leather seatbag, If anyone here is into that sort of thing. For some reason I didn't stop and it was gone the next day. Oh yeah, I almost got doored yesterday cruising the garage sales.

Ginz, I'm actually 30miles to the east of Philly. I don't like to drive but I occasionally get into the city. I hear that the bicycle club of Philadelphia has some fixed gear rides.
Where do you live?Steve_0
Aug 12, 2002 3:48 AM
Aug 14, 2002 4:28 PM
Aug 22, 2002 8:37 AM
I'm in medford. Used to ride through vincentown every saturday morn.

BCP Club RidesGinz
Aug 12, 2002 9:52 AM
They tend to have the rides during the winter, and even then, not very often...maybe one or two per season. I've never made it to one. I live in Manayunk and I cruise the city all the time.
Got Fixedthbirks
Aug 21, 2002 4:02 PM
The problem is solved. I won a cool fixie on ebay. Here's the link.

I think I got a good price. With the shipping charges I'll pay $267.50. which is under my original budget of $300. I'm hoping some of those decals can be removed. I have no knowledge of Benotto bikes but I guess they're nice enough to want to disguise this frame as one. Only problem is now I have the Miyata frame just lying around again.