How to build a low-buck Fixie

Sep 3, 2006
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How to build a low-buck Fixie:

1 - First get yourself a garage sale road bike* like this one:



Most important of all is to find a frame with horizontal dropouts. Vertical dropouts make adjusting chain tension difficult to say the least. There are solutions for that, but going the low buck route, we'll keep it simple and stay horizontal. A chro-mo frame with high quality components is ideal.



* A mountain bike frame will also work.



2 - Take off all the stuff you won't be needing any more:



Freewheel, derailleurs, shifters, extra chainrings, brakes if you're hardcore...

This is a good time to clean the frame, re-lube the headset, bottom bracket, wheel bearings etc.



3 - The heart of the matter: the rear wheel. You will need a track cog. Fortunately, track cogs share the same thread as freewheels. Cogs are available to fit 1/8 or 3/32 size chains. 3/32 is what you will find on most older road bikes.
Remove the existing freewheel. Toss.
Spin your new cog onto the hub. Tighten it well. Track cogs are asymmetrical. The flat side goes outboard so you can:
Spin a bottom bracket lock ring onto the hub. Tighten it well.







4 - Chainline. This may take some adjusting (depends on the frame). Chainline is VERY important on a fixie. With my frame, I was able to use the inner chainring and everything lined up properly. On the first try too! If you find things don't line up, you may have to add spacers to the front cog. If things are really bad, respacing and re-dishing the rear wheel is the solution. Hopefully this won't be the case. Some bottom brackets allow for side to side adjustment.





5 - You should end up with something that looks like this:



This bike was built for less than $50CDN. The most expensive part was the track cog. It set me back $30.

For much more indepth tech, Sheldon Brown is the man:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html

Fixed Gear Gallery has plenty of goodness too (lots of eye candy)

http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/

-Mp
 
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Feb 22, 2007
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i am in the process of "fixing" a schwinn world sport. today i spent 4 hours dishing, truing, axle spacing and bottom bracket adjustment. this is definitely NOT an easy build. multipass is right, sometimes everything lines up and youre good to go. but be prepared, sometimes during a fixie conversion one thing leads to another and soon your head is spinning.
 
Sep 3, 2006
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tomb said:
lean and Mean!
very nice!
what make did it start out as?
It's a mid 1980's Bianchi. When I picked it up it was completely original, right down to the tires! I've kept all the original parts should I ever want switch it back to original form. It has changed a bit since the pictures were taken. I'll be posting pic's of the brake set-up and handlebar chop n' flop real soon ----Don't touch that dial!!!----

More hub spacing and chainline info coming too. :D

Thanks for the compliments guys

-Mp
 
Jan 9, 2007
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Cool...all the rage in Paris

That looks dang fine...

Fixies are all the rage in this town I can't believe how many are out there on the busy downtown streets.

I often spend an hour at the Starbucks on 17ave. and enjoy a latte and do some bird watching. Sometimes I see a half dozen fixies go by in that short time.

P.S. lose the brake all together to prove your cool and celebrate our free healthcare system :wink:
 
Sep 3, 2006
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Re: Cool...all the rage in Paris

RatFink said:
P.S. lose the brake all together to prove your cool and celebrate our free healthcare system :wink:
How about a fixed gear, brakeless SwingBike? Now THAT would be a celebration of our free healthcare system :shock:

-Mp
 
Sep 3, 2006
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The Chop N' Flop: Regular road bike drop handle bars cut down and inverted.

The purpose of this modification is twofold:

1- Improved ergonomics. The drop bars were not working for me. Not enough forward reach, plus I never used the drop portion.

2 - Style! Nothing says 'fixie" like chopped n' flopped bars

Now admittedly, not everyone is thrilled with this style of handlebar, But I like 'em so on they go!



First up, the (freebie!) donor bars. These are just regular alloy drop bars, nothing fancy here.





Next, mark the where the bars are to be cut. How much you decide to chop is up to you. I measured and made an educated guess. For the first cut, I left a bit extra allow for fine tuning the length. Shortening is much, much easier than adding more tubing back on. In the end I took an additional 1/2" off from my original measurement.





Cut carefully. Marking all the way around the bar helps keep things neat and means less filing later on. Your bars should now look something like this:



As mentioned above, I did shorten them a bit more once installed on the bike. After I had the length where I wanted it, the cut ends were filed smooth, the bars were cleaned and new cloth wrap was installed. Topped off with some new bar end plugs, it really makes the bike look a lot more finished.



The chopped bars with new wrap:





You can see the simplified brake set up. An old-school BMX brake lever with a short cable does the trick. And yes, I did replace the 20+ year old OEM brake pads with some new ones.





Almost finished! The bike as of this evening:



-Mp
 
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cman

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MP- Great looking fixed gear. Simple and sweet. The tutorial is perfect too.


Steve, their are plenty of other needy bikes lookin for your touch. Please leave the Super le Tour alone.
 
Sep 7, 2006
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cman said:
MP- Great looking fixed gear. Simple and sweet. The tutorial is perfect too.


Steve, their are plenty of other needy bikes lookin for your touch. Please leave the Super le Tour alone.
hehehe Steve just got his hands spanked :p
 
Sep 6, 2006
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I have a le tour waiting for me at the scrapyard to be picked up when momma's not home...maybe I'll make it a fixie so you can see what it would look like Rat Rod!!
 

Rat Rod

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ultraclyde said:
Rat, I think the Super Le Tour would be perfect like that! You have to have cojones to ride fixed. Major street cred with that great black bike, and you can always pu back original.
Honestly...I'd probably build it...try it once and scare the poop out of myself and then just stare at it for months...ha ha!

I think I just like the way they look more than anything.

There is such beauty in simplicity.
 
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