building a Fixed Gear bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by complience, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. complience

    complience New Member

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    Hi im hoping you can help me

    I want to build the perfect bike for causing havok with commuting around london Town.

    I want it to be a fixed gear.. but i don't really know anything about fixies..
    can someone point me in the right direction of what sort of frame and drive train i should be getting?
     
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  2. complience

    complience New Member

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    Okay not much repsonse.. ive made a parts list.. hoping you could give it the once over

    Frame:- Kinesis CrossLight 3T
    [​IMG]
    Its a Cycle Cross frame giving me lightness to get through the traffic.. but enough strength to handle the potholes and when i jump of curbs.

    Forks :- Manitou Sliver Comp Lockout 2007
    [​IMG]
    I need some front forks for when im jumping off those kurbs, but ill want to be able to turn it off at all other times.

    Cranks - Sugino RD Messenger
    [​IMG]


    I just need to think about wheels.. but im not even sure if all this stuff would go together anyway.. please help
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well, the parts might fit, but I reckon the largest tire you can fit in that fork is a 700x25 because I think it is a MTB fork and the cantilever bosses are too low for use with a 700c rim UNLESS you were going to use a 700c in the rear & 26" in the front ... so, if a 700c rim in the front then it had better be mounted on a wheel that was laced to a front disc hub.

    BTW. Manitou forks have a bad reputation with regard to how well they perform AFTER being rebuilt ... supposedly great when new, but ...

    Regardless, the suspension fork is probably overkill ... and, if you want a 700c compatible fork, then look at the REBA (it's the only one that comes to mind ... there must be others, now).

    FWIW. I would suggest you simply buy a ready-to-ride, single speed 29er (approximately, 700x58 tires) with a solid fork -- it will probably cost close-to OR less than the Manitou fork you're looking at if you can get one on sale.

    The only thing you might need to change is the gearing (usually pretty low since the presumption is that you are going to be powering UP hills rather than riding around town). You can ALWAYS put a suspension fork on the bike, later, if you really feel the need.

    AND, don't forget to have a GREAT & ROBUST lock unless you are taking the bike into where you work/study/whatever OR will have a locker that you can secure the bike/etc. inside.
     
  4. geo8rge

    geo8rge New Member

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    Sheldon Brown is the best source of wisdom:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html

    If your rear dropouts allow the axle to move back and forth, why not build a wheel round a fixed gear/single speed flip flop hub? Once you build and ride it you will be a fixed gear expert. Condider the Surley dual cogs on your first build.
     
  5. complience

    complience New Member

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    Great thanks for your response..

    Ive got some XCR remote lockout forks on my mountain bike and they are great, suspension when you need it doing stupid things jumping off kerbs and over pot hols.. and then hard when you want to put some power down.

    Im not sure what you mean about rebuilding forks.. why would i need to be rebuilding them? ill buy them from new?

    tyres wise i like the look of these, no problem with mountain bike wheels.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=20457

    Im really looking to build a the ultimate bike for being a hooligan in the city... skitching along cars the lot..

    do you have an example of a standard single speed 29er thats for sale?
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    The 29er that comes to mind is the Raleigh XXIX -- a single speed 29er -- yeah, it's almost a coals-to-Newcastle situation since it is undoubtedly made outside the UK.

    The frame & fork are CroMo, so that will definitely make it bomb proof. Weight is listed at ~26 lbs (some of the weight is due to disc brakes & concentric BB). MSRP is $750US (okay, that's 3x the cost of the Manitou fork you were looking at). You can probably put "smaller"/CX/700x30-32 tires on rims if the 700x58 29er tires turn out to be too beefy ... the FAT tires become your suspension.

    Anyway, I think it is what I would be looking at for the type of riding you are planning.

    There is a geared version with a front suspension (XXIX+G).

    There are several OTHER brands ... some may be more/less expensive.

    BTW. The moving parts & seals on ALL supension forks wear out over time ... I don't know why Manitou's rebuild kit has been (apparently, according to numerous people) unsatisfactory -- you would think that it would bring the fork back up to spec, but apparently not.

    BTW2. I'm not sure that ANY 700x30/32 CX tire will fit in a MTB/non-29er suspension fork because of an inevitable lack-of-clearance under the "connecting yoke" -- 700x25, yes ... larger, problematic. Since you have a MTB bike/fork, already, find a roadie whose front wheel you can fit into your fork AND see how much/little clearance there is.
     
  7. geo8rge

    geo8rge New Member

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    Not sure, but the picture seems to have vertical not horizontal drop outs. If you are going to buy a new frame make sure it has horizontal, track type, rear dropouts. If you are going to dumpster dive, semi horizontal is good enough.
     
  8. complience

    complience New Member

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    im really confused by "fixed gear" "mountain bikes" I thought the whole point of gears was to help you go up mountains.. why would you want a fixed gear mountain bike...

    Im not looking for a mountain bike, just a bomb proof commuter city bike.. the sort of thing bike couriers are riding I guess.
     
  9. complience

    complience New Member

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  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    The reason for lack-of-gears on a 29er Single Speed is the simplicity -- virtually nothing to break. But, the trade off is that the bike is geared for the climb, hence the miniscule chainring (I think 32t chainring + a 20t freewheel is the out-of-the-box setup).

    HMmmm. If you just want a bomb-proof single speed for rolling through the city, then find a 30+ year old Raleigh Grand Prix (or, Record -- essentially the same bike, but with steel rims, I think) ... remove the derailleurs ... replace the freewheel with an ACS BMX freewheel of your choice (16t to 20t) & redish the wheel ... adjust the chain's length ... remove the outer chainring ... keep-or-change the handlebars & brake levers, accordingly. Voila.

    Of course, to reduce weight, you can replace the steel components (seat post, etc.) & saddle if desired.​

    New tires, of course.​

    Cost: Under £100

    RALEIGH XXIX:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=11&itemid=341

    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/29er/product_127623.shtml
     
  11. complience

    complience New Member

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    apparently the cannondale badboy 8 is not a fixie.. its got a drum hub with eight gears.

    ive got no idea what that actualy is or means?

    is it like fixie with a few gears?

    does it freewheel?
     
  12. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    For the benefit of others in case there is a nomenclature problem ...

    A "fixie" has a drivetrain that is "borrowed" from Track/Pista racing ... direct drive ... you can, as on a unicycle, run the rear wheel forward OR in reverse.

    A single-speed may be a "fixie" ... in addition, a single-speed coaster brake bike and a BMX bike are also two more examples of single speed bikes.

    Apparently, some/many bike messengers DO have true fixies because it is much easier to "track stand" with a fixie than with a bike that can freewheel ...

    Now, whether-or-not being able to execute a track stand on your bike is important to you will determine whether you want a "fixie" or simply a single-speed.

    The Cannondale BAD BOY must have an internal geared hub ... akin to a 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub, but with more gear ratios. There are advantages AND disadvantages to an internally geared bike.

    BTW/FWIW. The reason that I (in particular) have mentioned the ACS CLAW single-speed BMX freewheel (in other threads) is because it has 4-pawls ... it is a brick, but I've got to believe that it is the most "reliable" in the normal-people's-price-range. Some BMX freewheels only have 1-pawl. For some reason, BMXers don't like the Shimano BMX freewheel (but, this may be a similar prejudice as the one MTBers have against Shimano). Apparently, you can pay 4x as much for a White Bros. (?) BMX freewheel, but I don't know ANYTHING about it.

    ... I don't know if the RALEIGH XXIX has a flip-flop hub.
     
  13. FreeHueco

    FreeHueco New Member

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    If you want a good commuter bike, get something than can take wider tires and fenders. Get the simplest bike you can (no suspension). My choice is the Bianchi San Jose (though I have no clue what its availability would be like in London), which comes stock as a singlespeed, but you can always get a fixed or flip-flop hub so you can ride fixie.
     
  14. complience

    complience New Member

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    sorry whats the difference between a single speed and a fixie? i thought a fixie was a single speed
     
  15. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    All fixies are single speed. Not all single speeds are fixies.......

    Single speeds may or may not coast, fixies are direct drive from the pedals to the rear hub and you cannot coast on them. If the wheel turns on a fixie the pedals turn, in either direction.
     
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