Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Fixed" My Bike

<===70's era Raleigh Grand Prix. I figured, why not?

Okay, so yesterday I had to sit with my daughter, who had to stay home from school because she was sick. (She's better now) I figured I may as well kick a few things around down in the Lab. So, I finished off the Raleigh fixie project I had started awhile back.

These are the projects I love. An old, unwanted bike in great shape. Transform it into a useful, fun bike that can be used for several things. And all for a very attractive price. I maybe have about $30.00 into this project. I'm not bragging, mind you, I am saying that anybody that pays attention could do the same. These bikes are everywhere if you look in the right places. Granted, you might spend a little more on a project like this, but I think anybody could score a basic platform for this and get it up and running for $75.00 or less anywhere. Really!

This Raleigh I got for free in great shape with all the running gear intact and a leather saddle! (I have used the saddle on my Karate Monkey quite a bit) I ended up sitting the bike in a trainer with the saddle you see pictured, but never rode it, due to my instinctual aversion to indoor riding. So, since I kept looking at it languishing there all the time, I finally decided to either rid myself of it, or transform it into something usefull. First try was an ice bike. I just popped on some 700c wheels and studded tires. Went for a ride back in December and decided that wasn't the right thing to do with it.

Then it came on me. A fixie! I didn't have one and I always was curious. This would be a cheap way to go. Track cog on, a bottom bracket lock ring to hold it, sort of. (I know! That's why there are brakes on it yet!), and strip off everything unecessary. What is kind of nice about the older road frames is that there are no braze ons. So, nothing protruding from the frame to catch your clothes or shoes on. Cool! Clean looking too. I left the original crank on since it is working just fine and it has a nice little chain guard on there. Yeah, there is that big ring just sitting there, but this is a cheap-o set up, okay?

A Specialized forged stem (free) and a Gary Bar (cheap) with a fresh wrap job with some cast off tape (free) and I'm done. It fits a 38mm tire in the back and a 45mm tire in the front. Cushy! Should be a fun townie/gravel bike.

What cheap-o projects can you do? I'll bet some pretty nice ones! Just keep your eyes peeled! You never know when it all might come together for you.

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