Building first Fixie, Melbourne commuter

Hello all. I’ve found an old racer for my Fixed conversion project. I have a couple of questions before I go to work.

- My frame has Horizontal Dropouts (no hangers). Is this Horizontal Dropout type fine to use or does one require some kind of special track frame with track fork ends?

- Hubs… is a track hub the way forward, any recommendations would be strong? Flip-Flops seem good for their flexibility. I’m aware; I can find parts in this forum, ebay, Abbotsford Cycles is handy, Brunswick Cycling club plus Bicycle Recycle in Moorabbin, Vic.

- What’s the verdict on using the original old rims/tyres and either finding a hub to drop-in or fixing (with thread lock) original free-spin hub. The latter seems a cheap solution however, slightly rude.

Help would be great. I’ve read bits here and there on the web and read through some of Sheldon Brown’s pages and understand some of the tasks I’ll face throughout this mission. I’m keen to build and learn.

BTW - HUTCHINSON video on Home page is tasty as! Music sounds sweet.

I think if you hit the search button you’ll find the answers to all of your questions, but in the meantime…

Dropouts: If you stick the rear wheel in its dropout, without tightening the skewer, can you move it back and forth? If so, then done. You just need space to adjust the chain tension.

Hubs: Do you plan on doing long rides out of the city with big downhills? If so then a flip flop could be useful. Otherwise don’t bother, if it’s just around the city i don’t see much use for a freewheel. (my opinion only.) See if you can find a track hub, or better still, a built-up pair of track wheels, just to save re-lacing the back wheel. There’s not much you can do with the rear hub on an old racing bike.

Rims: are they 27" or 700c? An old racer could be either. If you want a snappy bike with nice tyres, you may as well change over to 700c, but it’s not a big deal since you can get tyres for either pretty much anywhere now. Are they nice rims? You’ll want good sturdy ones for commuting. If you like what you’ve got, consider getting someone to lace in a new back hub for you.

Frame: If you want the bike for commuting, you don’t need a track frame. You’ll probably end up addicted to riding fixed though, and sooner or later you’ll find yourself spending money on a nice track frame and nice bits and pieces and maybe even - imagine the possibilities! - riding on a velodrome one day.

Thank you Electric Tomato, I shall continue with the search button when stuck.

I plan on city commuting 95% of the time however, I do make that rare longer journey (down our flat Melbourne peninsulas) such as 80 to 100k’s. I presume a ride that long would be draining on a fixie? I’ll take your advice and locate a track hub or a pair of built-up track wheels and use my other old racer for longer journeys. Have you ever laced up a wheel yourself, is it a pain in the backside?

I measured these rim’s BSD to be 630mm which tells me they are older 27". I’ll continue my search for a cheap pair of track rims (700C) and tyres for a snappier ride.

Well, many thanks for your help and recommendation. I’m very keen to feel the power of a fixie. I’m certain an addiction is not far off.


Yes this is true IMO. After about 100KM I find myself wanting a freewheel.

Well, it is addictive, but it’s certainly not magical if that’s what your thinking! :evil:

Ta One-Thousand. Still considering a Flip Flop as it would be nice to transform the fixie into a coaster for long adventures.

I’ll be sure not to expect magic to happen anytime soon.

Don’t forget to chuck on a brake or two if you’re planning to flip that flip flop over and use the freewheel


Ta Shue. Will do.

Slow down Brendan