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What The Bike Shop Says

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What The Bike Shop Says

Old 06-30-22, 04:19 AM
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Colorado Kid
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What The Bike Shop Says

I have an old road bike that I would like convert to a Fix Gear bike. The only problem is the LBS. They say without a F.G. dropouts, you will never get the Rear Wheel tight enough. All I can hope for is a Single Speed. Is this true or a load that the shop is trying to sell me?
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Old 06-30-22, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I have an old road bike that I would like convert to a Fix Gear bike. The only problem is the LBS. They say without a F.G. dropouts, you will never get the Rear Wheel tight enough. All I can hope for is a Single Speed. Is this true or a load that the shop is trying to sell me?
The shop is basically correct. If you have vertical "road" dropouts, it is difficult to properly adjust the chain tension, although it is possible to get close with a "magic gear." You don't necessarily need track dropouts, you can also use an old road frame with horizontal (forward facing) dropouts. You cannot use a spring loaded chain tensioner on a fixed gear setup.
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Old 06-30-22, 06:46 AM
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Yeah, if I were a LBS I wouldn't touch that project. Magic gear may be possible, but then you have to manage chain stretch. A gear that works one with a new chain may be too slack in a few hundred miles. There is also the option of building up a rear wheel using a white industries eno eccentric hub. Although, that may set you back about the cost of just getting a frame better suited for the job.
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Old 06-30-22, 07:52 AM
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Shop is right. You need horizontal dropouts to provide chain tension adjustment. A single speed can be set up with a chain tensioner, but that is because the bottom dun of chain on a single speed (with a freewheel) is not under tension, while a fixed gear bike gets tension in both top and bottom runs of chain and you are likely to rip off a chain tensioner the first time you try to slow down using back force on the pedals.
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Old 06-30-22, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I have an old road bike that I would like convert to a Fix Gear bike. The only problem is the LBS. They say without a F.G. dropouts, you will never get the Rear Wheel tight enough. All I can hope for is a Single Speed. Is this true or a load that the shop is trying to sell me?

Vertical dropout are the problem -- not the LBS. I can't imagine why you'd think they would tell you this if it wasn't true.
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Old 06-30-22, 03:28 PM
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I see a few vertical drop out bikes for sale on eBay being sold as fixed gear and think I wouldn't want to stand on those petals, I wouldn't even set up a single speed with VD's.

There is this:

convert a road frame to a track frame - YouTube
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Old 06-30-22, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I have an old road bike that I would like convert to a Fix Gear bike. The only problem is the LBS. They say without a F.G. dropouts, you will never get the Rear Wheel tight enough. All I can hope for is a Single Speed. Is this true or a load that the shop is trying to sell me?
OP, I'm not sure if you are saying your bike has vertical dropouts or (near) horizontal dropouts that open to the front. If you have horizontal dropouts, what the shop told you is BS unless you are very strong. I've been riding horizontally dropped fix gears 45 years and 120,000 miles without issue.

"rear wheel tight enough"? Did the shop mean getting the axle nut tight enough to keep the wheel from slipping? A 6" crescent wrench did that job for me just fine when I was a bike racer and stronger than I'd ever be again. Did they mean getting the chain tight enough? Simply bad! The chain should always have ~1/2" vertical play midway between chainring and cog to ensure it never goes tight.

If you have vertical dropouts, you "can" pick one of the chainring/cog combos that yields the right size to produce a chain circle with proper chain slack but that is living life the hard way. You can also buy an eccentric bottom bracket to adjust chainslack. Expensive. Cog changes might alter effective seat height. Far easier is to pass on that bike and get one with either track ends (truly horizontal and opening to the rear) or horizontal dropouts. Horizontal dropouts work and are the choice of many.
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Old 06-30-22, 08:41 PM
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Get a proper fixed gear frame, there are tons of them out there and plenty of companies making custom bikes and you can get them built to do whatever you need.
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Old 07-03-22, 02:07 AM
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Are the dropouts vertical or semi horizontal? Vertical you can go singlespeed with derailleur or a Surly Singulator. If it's an old road frame with semi horizontal drops you can make it into a fixie .
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Old 07-03-22, 02:08 AM
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Back in 02 I asked a bike shop if they could convert an old Raleigh. They fed me this garbage that frame would crack under the pressure of a fixed wheel and advised that I buy fixed bike from them.

Last edited by sleepy; 07-03-22 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 07-06-22, 02:26 PM
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If you have vertical dropouts then your best option is a wheel built with the White Industries ENO hub. It's a fantastic hub but not cheap and nor is a complete wheel build.

https://www.whiteind.com/product/eno...ric-flip-flop/
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Old 07-06-22, 05:01 PM
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Shop should have told you the only way (which kinda is true) is with a $300 ENO laced up by their wheelbuilder. Figure spokes and rim at full retail, plus labor, $500 wheel minimum.
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