Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

First Fixie Build: What to look for?

Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

First Fixie Build: What to look for?

Old 11-30-18, 02:25 PM
  #1  
dlittle
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First Fixie Build: What to look for?

Or what to avoid. I have yet to own a fixie and I feel like it is time to give it a shot. Is there a short list of critical things to look for when searching for a victim? Are there certain brands/models that are just better suited to fixie conversions?
dlittle is offline  
Old 11-30-18, 02:37 PM
  #2  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Lazyass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 8,171

Bikes: Vintage steel, aluminum, modern carbon disc, single speed, MTB's, the works

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1912 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't know about conversions, that isn't my thing. But the first thing I look at is if it has bottle cage mounts, preferably two. If just one it needs to be on the downtube, not the seat tube. That instantly takes 90% I look at out of consideration as soon as my eyes hit it. A very weird and stupid anomaly in the single speed world.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 11-30-18, 03:56 PM
  #3  
bassboy1126
Junior Member
 
bassboy1126's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 18

Bikes: State Bicycle Undefeated II

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd say for your first fixed gear bike, you should go for a steel frame. Steel frames tend to be on the lower cost side, but do watch out for what kind of steel the frame is made out of. For example, double butted 4130 grade chromoly steel and Reynolds 725 chromoly steel are definitely the best kinds of steel frames. My first fixed gear was a 4130 core-line state bicycle. I bought 4 years ago and haven't had a problems with it. Wabi cycles makes great steel bikes. There's also All City, Pure fix. There's also the Aventon Cordoba. it has a double butted 6061 Aluminum alloy frame. I've ridden this bike a couple times, and you definitely get a bang for your bike. The specs on this bike are good for the price point. As long as you look at the specs of a bike, and they look good then it'll last you a while. I would go more into it, but I'm not an expert. You should look up Zach Gallardo on youtube. He seriously knows what he's talking about in the fixed gear/single speed world. Check out "How to Spot the Best Beginner Fixed Gear bikes" on his channel.
bassboy1126 is offline  
Old 11-30-18, 05:49 PM
  #4  
3speedslow
Senior Member
 
3speedslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 7,337

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 94 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1268 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 56 Times in 44 Posts
Pay attention to the fit charts on each bike you are considering. When you narrow the search, try at least to ride or look over the ones you have chosen. Look for the better frame, components are always upgraded, IMHO.
3speedslow is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 03:38 PM
  #5  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 5,189

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Pink Klein MTB, Phil Wood VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 31 Posts
The best thing to do is go to your local shop and test ride some bikes and find the right fit. Easiest thing to do and a lot of fun. If you are dead set on conversion and have no interest in a dedicated platform I would suggest looking for an old quality steel frame with semi-horizontal dropouts or even better actual track ends. Look for a good straight frame that doesn't have any internal rust (external rust can be dealt with but if it goes inside that is bad) Ideally try and find something that has a BSA threaded BB as it is easiest to find BBs for that these days but you can still get swiss and french threads from Phil Wood (they also have other old threads like Chater Lea), IRD and Velo Orange (at least french) and Italian is still fairly easy to find but it might limit some crank choices. Make sure nothing is seized in the frame because that can be a pain to get out and can sometimes be more trouble than it is worth. Old steel frames can be stretched to 130 spacing at the rear pretty easily from 126 but if the frame is already 120 you are good to go as most track hubs and frames are 120mm. Carbon cannot do this and aluminum is iffy.

When looking for components look for sealed cartridge bearings on things like hubs and bottom brackets and headsets to make your life easier. If you are racing track and using the bike only for that or are really keen on maintenance loose ball stuff is great because it can be faster but easier for grit, grime and water to ingress and you will want to regrease more often but for racing you can use minimal grease or really thin stuff to have less friction. Generally for chainrings and cogs, the higher quality stuff is going to run a lot quieter and smoother and have a lot better teeth profiles to better engage the chain some of them will be coated with Titanium Nitride or something similar to make it smoother with less friction. There is plenty of cheap stuff out there but if you are looking to save money in the long run get mid range or higher end stuff and you will likely have that longer. If you are running a bike fixed you will want some good foot retention. I prefer a clipless pedal and shoe usually SPD so I have walkability. I hate toe clips and straps just because it can be difficult especially when used as intended to get your foot out. One final note on bars, don't go super short you want something wide enough so you can breathe easily, don't be constricted and also lose out on leverage.




@bassboy1126: You forgot the tons of other great steel 4130 is generally the generic name for stuff but Reynolds, True Temper (R.I.P.) Tange, Columbus, Ishiwata... makes all sorts of other great steels and some frames have a mix of different tubes to tune the ride. Many custom builders use a variety of tubes even from different manufacturers to get the bike they are looking for or one that will work best for the client. The best steel frames are ones that are customized to you using whatever tubes the builder chooses generally. Yes something like 853 or S3 tubing might be among the lightest but a frame made purely of that might not give the right ride quality you need for what you are doing. However yes 725 is a fine steel but then again most of what Reynolds has done has been excellent though I would say 531 is the iconic tubing that probably has graced more bikes than most (at least from a non-generic standpoint, I am sure hi-tensile steel would win overall) so it would probably have to win on that point. Either them or something from Columbus Tubi.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 12-01-18, 03:55 PM
  #6  
seau grateau
Senior Member
 
seau grateau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: PHL
Posts: 9,679

Bikes: Litespeed, IRO

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1206 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 73 Posts
If you're planning on doing a conversion, there's lots of steel road bikes from the 70's-80's still kicking around that make really nice fixed rides. Keep an eye on your local used market. Look for horizontal dropouts and avoid stem shifters and one piece cranks.
seau grateau is offline  
Old 12-03-18, 06:02 PM
  #7  
prooftheory
pro in someone's theory
 
prooftheory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 3,236

Bikes: FTP

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are we okay with "fixie", now?
prooftheory is offline  
Old 12-03-18, 07:50 PM
  #8  
j_e_r_e_m_y
Minor Annoyance
 
j_e_r_e_m_y's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 202

Bikes: 2016 Soma Rush, Swobo Accomplice

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
Are we okay with "fixie", now?
I am, but only because I've got better **** to worry about. Still lame, tho.
j_e_r_e_m_y is offline  
Old 12-04-18, 05:18 PM
  #9  
bassboy1126
Junior Member
 
bassboy1126's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 18

Bikes: State Bicycle Undefeated II

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
@veganbikes

You're definetely right my bad
bassboy1126 is offline  
Old 12-07-18, 01:54 PM
  #10  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 5,189

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Pink Klein MTB, Phil Wood VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1182 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by bassboy1126 View Post
@veganbikes

You're definetely right my bad
No worries. So much steel so little money to buy it and room to store it and time to ride it.
veganbikes is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Gothic Sunshine
General Cycling Discussion
64
05-29-14 11:03 PM
cpsqlrwn
Classic & Vintage
2
10-29-09 02:56 PM
joelh
Classic & Vintage
29
11-05-08 09:12 PM
celerystalksme
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
24
12-12-07 08:18 PM
tonym
Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area
22
04-06-06 06:12 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.