How to build a low-buck Fixie

Sep 3, 2006
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blue72beetle said:
Wow, nice thread. I've got a junky 74 Letour that I've been trying to unload. Now I know what to do with it. I think I'm going to make it a "Fake Fixie" though. I have a spare Bendix RB2 laying around. Use a coaster brake and maybe a small front brake to make it a little safer...
If braking is a concern, you can always run both a front and rear caliper on a fixed gear. Granted, even though I have only a front caliper on my fixie, extra braking power is never a bad thing IMHO. I'll probably add the rear brake to mine because it is hilly where I live and my knees will thank me :roll:

That LeTour would make a sweet single speed or fixie - I say go for it :D :D :D

-Mp
 
Oct 20, 2007
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I don't know why it took me so long to realize this, maybe lookin at the rear hub picture again, do the pedals keep going on a fixie? I'm assuming yes since its not a freewheel?
 
Feb 5, 2008
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ratina said:
I don't know why it took me so long to realize this, maybe lookin at the rear hub picture again, do the pedals keep going on a fixie? I'm assuming yes since its not a freewheel?
The first time you ride one and forget about that, it feels like it wants to throw you over the bars! Good fun! I've borrowed a friend's Surly Steamroller and the simplicity is really cool, but I like having brakes... And coasting.
 
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Sep 14, 2007
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I don't understand this. Im not against it. I don't see why it's cool. It seems like it would be very difficult to ride at times. What is it that makes it so fun?
 
Aug 6, 2007
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jtdaddy said:
I don't understand this. Im not against it. I don't see why it's cool. It seems like it would be very difficult to ride at times. What is it that makes it so fun?
Some people use these with no brakes? If you've picked up speed and a car cuts you off, how do you stop? I get the impression that the fun aspect of it might be more along the lines of a skydiver saying it's fun to jump out of a plane. The fun is in the danger involved. Yes?

To each his own, I like to coast and brake when needed. The non-stop pedaling would be too much for me.

The bikes do look cool though. Very basic and clean.
 
Mar 24, 2007
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ifitsfreeitsforme said:
i would like to have a bike that looks just like the OP's bike but with a single speed freewheel. doable right? what would be the simplest (cheapest) way?
Replace the cluster with a single, line up the chain, and make sure you have a front brake.
 
Sep 3, 2006
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mastershake916 said:
ifitsfreeitsforme said:
i would like to have a bike that looks just like the OP's bike but with a single speed freewheel. doable right? what would be the simplest (cheapest) way?
Replace the cluster with a single, line up the chain, and make sure you have a front brake.
Yup, just as mastershake916 said, a single speed freewheel is doable and easy. A single speed freewheel is not expensive at all. I have one that only cost me $10 CDN. I'd recommend front and rear brakes though.

As for the no brake thing, I feel it comes from the track-bike-on-the-street mentality. At the risk of sounding overly critical, IMHO running brake-less is a fashion statement and a bit of chest thumping. Myself, I run brakes. I'm a big fan of stopping power. The more the better because sometimes you have to stop RIGHT NOW :shock: That's why I run disks on my commuter (it's a multispeed hybrid, not a fixie, completely different breed of cat).

The appeal of a fixed gear bike is hard to sum up in ten words or less. It's definitely a different riding experience that comes with it's own pro's & con's.

-Mp
 
May 4, 2008
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Can i put a track cog on the original wheel that came with the ten speed? Like remove the 10 speed gear and replace it with a track cog
 
Feb 10, 2007
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i ride a fixie everyday. i love it, it so much fun especially skids or slides i love it! but to all who are first timers here's my 2 cents, make sure your pedals have the slide in toe straps! it will be VERY helpful when stopping or slowing down. and for the New guys i would suggest don't go down any hills or into traffic until your comfortable on your fixie, and one thing i learned in the recent years of riding downtown is you have to watch for cars because they don't watch for you. be safe!
 
If you want to be really cheap you can always grind down the existing chain ring bolts, but buying them at the local bike store would be easier and quicker.

I was thinking, wouldn't that make you tired faster, having to keep pedaling no matter what?
After one week of daily riding I don't even notice it anymore, but I also live in a fairly flat area. The braking probably works the muscles of the legs more than constant pedaling, but I'm not using handbrakes and only leg power to slow 230 pounds of Big Mac fueled momentum.

Some people use these with no brakes? If you've picked up speed and a car cuts you off, how do you stop?
I'm currently a no brake rider, but only because I haven't had time to add them, not because I'm a no-brake fixie purist. But I'm totally comfortable without brakes, it's just that at one time or another an incident will occur when I'll need them, and I'll sure as heck be glad that they're on when the time comes. In the meantime I just ride the fixed gear bike more defensively than I would my commuter or coaster brake cruisers. But being a no brake rider hasn't made anything more dangerous in and of itself, it's just that eventually, every rider experiences a clueless car driver and those situations demand hand brakes.

The appeal of a fixed gear bike is hard to sum up in ten words or less. It's definitely a different riding experience that comes with it's own pro's & con's.
It's definitely different, and fun in it's own right. I have a few of the pros and cons listed in The Cat's Meow thread.
 
Feb 10, 2008
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One peice of advice when choosing a crank, try to go with the shortest length that you feel comfortable with. The first fixie I built had 175 crank arms and I discovered that taking tight corners when your pedals are in constant motion can end in sparks :)
 
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