Thursday, April 30, 2009

Put it together Fool!

This is part three of the three part series on converting your classic road bike into a fixed gear bike.
  • It goes without saying that you need to have a minimum amount of mechanical skills and bike tools to complete this conversion.
  • If you really need help understanding the components or assembly then go to the source of all things cycling
  • The late great Sheldon Brown's website
  • The illustrated guides provided by Park bicycle tools.
  1. Start with installing your bottom bracket, then your assembled crank and chainring to make sure your chainring is close to the chainstay without running the risk of touching the stay.
  2. Now you need to respace your rear wheel hub, then redish the wheel. Respacing the rear wheel means removing the large one sided spacer on the drive side and replacing it with equal length individual spacers that are approximately equal on both the drive and non drive sides of the axle. Redishing requires spoke adjustments on both the left and right sides. The Right nipples will need to be loosened 2 full turns and the Left nipples will need to be tightened 2 full turns. Don't do this all at once. Do a max of 1/2 turn on each nipple, one side at a time until you get there. If you are not comfortable with this get a wheelbuilder to do this for you. Remember that since the nipples are threaded through the rim, they appear to need be turned the opposite way to tighten them. They are regular threaded but the perspective used when using a spoke wrench is the opposite. Just memorize this easy to remember saying for wheel building, "Lefty Tighty, Rightly Loosely".
  3. Now you can turn on the Track cog and use grease on the threads, then reuse the old Bottom Bracket Lockring to snug the cog to the hub. This is referred to as a suicide hub or faux lockring setup. This is appropriate for a budget fixed gear, but if your girlfriend or boyfriend will not be impressed without you rocking a block long skid, then just buy a rear track wheel and a classic cycling cap from the 80's. Viva La Claire!
  4. Set your chain by starting with the wheel all the way back in the frame. Then line up the chainlinks that will allow the next longest chain. Re-connect the chain with the wheel moved forward, and pull the wheel back to marvel at your new drivetrain with chain tensioned, with only a slight amount of movement.
  5. Get that seat attached to the post, post attached to frame. Bar attached to the stem, hip bone connected to steerer tube and button that ride up. Get your pedals installed and bolts secured for safety, drink a Red Bull and get your wings.


mike said...

I was browsing the net for help on converting a road bike into a fixie, and I am thinking I will need help. Do you build fixies for people? I could not find a location for you or contact info.

Danny said...

Hey! We met a few years ago at the Bike Swap Meet in Kiwanis Park. I was looking for a fixie at the time, and ended up converting a 1998 LeMond Zurich into a fixie, and then sold it. I'm now looking for a new fixie (again!) and would like to put a bike together. I don't wanna spend more than a couple hundred, and don't have many spare parts, but lotsa know-how on mechanics and wrenching. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance-


Eric said...

Hey Danny and Mike. Hit me up on email to see if I could help you with your projects.

Check out the latest from Brazen Cycleworks.