Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Fixing The Fixie

Utilitarian- Not Hipster!
Well, first off, I am feeling much better after two solid days of flu-like symptoms including incapacitating headaches. I don't think my head has hurt like that since my old par-teeing days.

Anyway, I felt well enough at the end of the day yesterday to go downstairs and tweak on this old Raleigh Grand Prix ten speed that I converted into a fixed gear bike years ago, then tore it apart. I missed having it around, so I put it back together, for the most part, last night.

Now I never really ever got into the whole "fixie" culture. I just decided to try a fixed gear bike in the "old school" way that I was aware of. That being the way the older guys used to take apart old ten speeds, re-dish the rear wheel, strip off the "shifty bits", and slap on a track cog. These bikes became "winter" bikes, training devices, and in some cases, commuters. That's exactly where I was coming from when I put this together. I just wanted a utilitarian rig and also to see how I could use a fixed gear bike.

And I did use it quite a bit to run errands, mostly. It is a great rig to use for that purpose since it is an old bike which isn't very attractive to thieves. Low maintenance is also a great feature of a fixed gear bike. Speaking of features, one of the things I need to do here yet is to add brakes. Using the bike the way I do, brakes are a necessity.

I'm pretty happy to be getting this back to road-worthiness. It will definitely be a big part of my utilitarian cycling here in 2014.


Andrew said...

Why do you have to re-dish the rear wheel?

Guitar Ted said...

@Andrew: Old ten speed hubs, with the threaded on freewheels of 5-6-7 speeds, all have their axles centered to accommodate those cogs. When you go to a single threaded on cog/freewheel, you by necessity have to re-center the axle in relationship to the hub/chainline, or in other words, re dish the wheel.

You also have to re-space the axle, which I did not mention, to recenter it as well.

Newb Biker said...

Can you tell us about that stem?

Guitar Ted said...

@Newb Biker: You bet! It's an old, 90's era Specialized hybrid stem with a hole in the stem body which you pass the brake cable through and is machined so it also acts as a cable stop.

One inch wedge type, of course!