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  1. #1
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    Teach me about Fixed Gear Freestyle

    I've been intrigued by the idea of 26" or larger BMX-style ride...without paying out the nose for a Fireman's Texas Cruiser. Enter Fixed-gear freestyle. I guess the trend has largely passed, but I'm still very interested. While I personally have no desire to ride fixed, a flip-flop hub can quickly change the bike into a decent singlespeed.

    So, where do I start looking? Can an 80's or 90's MTB be converted into a riser-bar singlespeed without destroying the bike's handling too badly? Or, would it be better to buy a complete bike from one of the few companies still making FGFS bikes?
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  2. #2
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    Wow, did fixies really die this hard?
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  3. #3
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    Reputation: David Loving's Avatar
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    I don't know what a fixed freestyle is! My fixed gear is a Fuji frame. Great workout bike.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Loving View Post
    I don't know what a fixed freestyle is! My fixed gear is a Fuji frame. Great workout bike.
    It's sorta like a 26" or 700c BMX bike...a little more upright and a little more durable than a typical road bike, but not quite as extreme as a DJ frame

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_fuji View Post
    It's sorta like a 26" or 700c BMX bike...a little more upright and a little more durable than a typical road bike, but not quite as extreme as a DJ frame
    Can an 80's or 90's MTB be converted into a riser-bar singlespeed without destroying the bike's handling too badly?
    I can't think why converting a rigid-fork MTB to SS would affect the handling at all. I still don't exactly get what's distinctive about a freestyle bike (or a DJ for that matter), but if you want a rugged SS that you can bounce around the streets, I'd think converting an older MTB is the perfect way to go.

    I'm also confused whether you want FG or SS. If strictly the latter, converting a cassette wheel is easy. If the former, you probably need a new wheel.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I can't think why converting a rigid-fork MTB to SS would affect the handling at all. I still don't exactly get what's distinctive about a freestyle bike (or a DJ for that matter), but if you want a rugged SS that you can bounce around the streets, I'd think converting an older MTB is the perfect way to go.

    I'm also confused whether you want FG or SS. If strictly the latter, converting a cassette wheel is easy. If the former, you probably need a new wheel.
    What I've seen on a few older websites is a straight (non-canted) fork with a super short BMX style stem. I read a few things on-line about how doing those types of modification can lead to undesirably quick handling and weird forces being put on the head tube, causing the frame to sheer off right there.

    Regarding fg vs. ss, I'm particularly in a single speed...I love coasting. But, the type of bike I'm looking for is called a 'fixed gear freestyle,' or FGFS in some circles.

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  7. #7
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    I'm still on the hunt for some kind of fixie or SS that'll hold up to the rigors of curb hops and general bombin' around town. I'm not strictly sold on the idea of a pure FGFS, but I do know that my roadbike isn't exactly tough or durable enough to hop up and down curbs regularly.
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  8. #8
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    Try to find an old Redline Monocog which has or can have disc brakes. I had one a few years ago and turned it into a fixed gear mountain bike when I picked up a full suspension for fun duty. I removed the rear disc and replaced it with a Tomicog. Simple conversion.

  9. #9
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    i'm looking for my first fixed/single frameset too. i bought an old paramount that was setup that way with little original on it, and i refurbished it as a period correct 10-speed.

    now i have all its old parts: nice suntour high-flange flip/flop hub laced to a weinmann rim, a crankset, chain, and bb. i just need a good looking frameset in my size. it was really slim pickin's on craigs all winter when i thought i could get something cheap. sad!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    i'm looking for my first fixed/single frameset too. i bought an old paramount that was setup that way with little original on it, and i refurbished it as a period correct 10-speed.

    now i have all its old parts: nice suntour high-flange flip/flop hub laced to a weinmann rim, a crankset, chain, and bb. i just need a good looking frameset in my size. it was really slim pickin's on craigs all winter when i thought i could get something cheap. sad!
    It's weird, isn't it? Craigslist around here has mysteriously shed most of it's fixies.

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  11. #11
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    Oh, wow, another guy looking for what I'm looking for.
    I've been riding kid mountain bikes since I bought my schwinn in 1986. But the bent over posture annoys me, and the twitchyness of the steering has thrown me over the handlebars thrice in the last four years. I hit a bump, the front wheel slams sideways, the rear bucks up and over I go on my chin. My Mother's 1946 Firestone was so stable, I didn't have to use hands riding. Also after an hour my hands go numb, even with foam tubes on the grips. I want to sit up straight.
    But I don't want single speed, there is no way I can get up Reed's lane or Gum Tree Corner road hills without at least a 36:28 low gear, unless I get off & push. And single speed 36:28 is about one mph, and I like to knock out 27 miles in 2:45 when I'm in shape. So 15-21 gears is really nice.
    I'm afraid to cut & weld the front tube of a MTB more vertical, I'm not that great a welder & I've already been stabbed in the belly by a front tube that broke off (1957, W. German 20" po* from Sears).
    I have a salvage riser handlebar from a 70's 3 spd "racer", but the tube diameter is different from modern MTB's from china. I thought about putting a 3 speed crankset on an Austrian racer bike with the 3 spd clicker hub from Taiwan, but I can't get the nut to come off. Either the donor or the recipient.
    So the best I can do now is turn the handlebar extensions around to point back at me on a Pacific Quantum. But they are still too low, and there are no brake or shifter controls out there so I can't ride like that very long. See picture of my 21 spd "cruiser" at post 455 of Even newer new "who are you" thread
    Happy craigslist hunting.

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