Taking the plunge
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  1. #1
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    Taking the plunge

    After lurking for some time now, I've decided to take the plunge and try out this fixie business. Won't be an ultra cheap, use all the spares in my shed job, since all my spares are MTB, but still needs to be pretty cheap. Looking at a few old road frame options on ebay, but have a couple of questions about components.

    What bars should I go with, or is this a personal preference? I'm hoping for this to become my regular commute and was thinking about a moustache bar like on-one's new Mary, or perhaps Mungo. Or should I just find some old drops? Cuuld I even use some MTB flats? Will MTB levers work a road brake?

    What should I be looking for in cranks? What length?

    What gearing? I'm not all that strong in the legs and it's a bit hilly here.

    Last but not least, anyone know where I can get some Suzue hubs in Australia?

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    jag

  2. #2
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    Bars are a personal preference. I like to the way pista bars look, but for me the most functional are bullhorn bars. They allow me to ride higher up in all hand positions, making it good for city riding and looking out for cars. I find the bullhorns good for standing up and accelerating way from a stop aswell. I've seen people use flats too. Riding fix requires more out of the saddle riding for accelerating or climbing, so having barends on flats will be helpful so you rock the bike side to side as you mash down.

    I run 170mm cranks in my track frame.

    Gearing is all personal because it is based on many factors: rider muscle strength, your knees, local roads (hilly, flat, both?), some like to spin while others like to mash, etc. Takes some experimenting before you find the right combo.
    You can call me "MTP" if my full screen name grosses you out.

  3. #3

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    I built mine on a budget like you are. I used an older Miele frame so it was a little easier to train on and commute on. The first thing i would sudgest is getting an adaptor so you can run a standard 1 1/8: road stem in a 1" quill headset. Then you can get a decent road bar. I run a front brake on mine and on the other side of the bar I run a hood with no guts in it so I have a good hold on the bike if im not in the drops.

    For cranks, make sure you get shorter ones if its not a pista frame. Using a stiffer rim is always a good idea too since you tend to run over alot of things that normaly youd un weight to get over.

    For people who come into my shop to get fixies that dont know what gear to run I give them this advise. Get on a road bike find 1 gear on it you think works for you, not to hard to climb steeps, but not too easy. Then a mechanic (like I pretend to be) can figure out that gear measument and translate it into a track style drive train.

    As far as distributers in Australia, Im not sure who to deal with, Other than Campy Pista and Dura-Ace its next to immpossible to get track parts in Canada.
    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
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    Thanks

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm sure I'll have more questions when I actually get a frame and start putting it together.

    jag

  5. #5
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    If you can find an old, lugged steel frame, you should have a cheap start.

    There is nothing unusual about running shorter cranks- like even 165s...

    A pair of cheap brake levers cost about $20US- and they are cheaper if you buy used. Almost everyone uses STI style levers for road bikes, so plain brake-only levers, or levers for aero bars (if you use bullhorns) are quite cheap).

    I'm building another fixed gear with a frame I literally found. I've had a bunch of friends donate parts to the project... it should cost next to nothing.

  6. #6

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    This may help

    Quote Originally Posted by planetjag
    Last but not least, anyone know where I can get some Suzue hubs in Australia?
    You could ask Hillbrick who carries their track stuff locally to you? Those shops may carry other track parts including Suzue.

    See http://www.hillbrick.com.au/. At the very least they carry Miche hubs which are cheapish and better than the Suzue Jrs.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=planetjag]After lurking for some time now, I've decided to take the plunge and try out this fixie business. Won't be an ultra cheap, use all the spares in my shed job, since all my spares are MTB, but still needs to be pretty cheap. Looking at a few old road frame options on ebay, but have a couple of questions about components.

    What bars should I go with, or is this a personal preference? Personal preference - mine is road bars with clip on aero bars that let me strap more stuff on the bike with the seatpost free for blinky light and fender.


    What should I be looking for in cranks? What length? Shorter is better than longer, but not a big deal to me.

    What gearing? I'm not all that strong in the legs and it's a bit hilly here. Start with a gear ratio you can spin comfortably on flat land for a long time.

    Last but not least, anyone know where I can get some Suzue hubs in Australia? I'm sure somebody does, but I ain't the one.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

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