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HOWTO: Fixed Gear Bikes

January 5, 2005

This nasty California weather has revived an old urge I’ve had to make a fixed gear bike. Partly because fewer parts means less maintenance after a wet ride, but partly because I feel I can’t call myself a serious rider without experiencing some fixed gear riding.

With four bikes in the garage as it is, I suppose I should consider converting one of those before looking at making it five… but every time I think fixed gear, I think of old salvaged Italian road frames- chrome, lugs, and glory. Has anyone out there converted a bike? Do you actually ride it over your geared bikes?


From → Misc

  1. But will you start to look like this guy if you ride one?

  2. Yup, and yup (with qualifications). I love my fixie, but I’ve got it geared way too high for San Francisco. It was the perfect around-town bike when I was living in Santa Cruz, though.
    More info here:

  3. You don’t have to look like Sheldon Brown to ride a fixie. Honest.
    Old road frames make GREAT conversions to fixed gear. You could find an old Italian racing frame (with its loooong Campy dropouts), or get a decent ’80s Japanese frame. Either way, do it.
    Best way to go: find an old bike at a thrift store, strip it, and built it up as a fixie. Most of the cost will be in the wheelset.
    Four bikes really isn’t enough anyway.

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