Continue with project or buy new

Hi everyone. Just found this forum and can see myself spending a bit of time here as the single speed bug has bit!

I have an old steel bike I am stripping and planing to repaint. I have everything aside from wheels, cable and brake levers if I decide to go a flat bar. It’s a 27inch wheeled bike though so I will have to make some drop bolts to make the brakes work.


I was planning just to prime and rattle can spray it. Along with the modified brakes and extra costs of a flat bar and brakes. I am wondering if it is worth just buying a new one for maybe $100 more?

Wheels would be either Cell ones for $90 or Velogear ones for $169 + flat bar $50 + levers $30 = $250

my cheapest other option is FIXIE/SINGLE SPEED, NEW, FLIP/FLOP HUBS, CHRO-MO,10.5kg - eBay Road Bikes, Bikes, Cycling, Sport. (end time 11-Aug-10 11:59:34 AEST)

something off the shelf will almost always be cheaper than building up something custom. people usually forget to include all the incidentals: chains, tyres, tubes, cables, grips… etc.

that said, go the custom build. its half the fun, and you will learn heaps.

Thanks icecream. Tyres and tubes I already have hanging around. But I forgot about grips.

I used to be a bike mechanic, so it isn’t anything wildy new for me. I just found some carbon forks in my collection… could pimp my ride a bit! Just found a little device on Wiggle that can go on my road bike cassette to make it a single speed! $20 and I can use my existing wheels and tyres and such!

run some 27’s dude, that’d be well nice.

i think Cafe De Kerin had something for sale about that price, internal cabling and weinman wheels with the flip and the flop.

there is a for sale section?
My nextdoor neighbor can do 2pack so the project is back on!

Glad to hear the project is back on. Its great to have a bespoke bike that’s uniquely yours, even if the ‘off the rack’ option is cheaper.

If you have some patience, you may also find that most of the parts you need turn up for free (from friends, from bikes in the hard rubbish collection, etc), or can be bought very cheaply (from on-line bike store specials). That can close up the ‘cost gap’ between your custom bike and something like the Cell fixie (which seems like very good value).

I assume your existing wheels and tyres are 700c. I’d go with 700c rather than a 27" wheelset as the choice, price and availability of good tyres and rims (if you ever need to replace them) is so much better.

Check your 27" frame to see if 700c wheels will mean that your brake calipers are too short. You may find that the original calipers have just enough reach. However, if brake reach is a problem, then I’d think about fitting a 700c front fork so you can use almost any front caliper. This will change the geometry slightly – but not enough to really matter. You may also be able to fit a 26" fork if you find one that suits your purpose and your ‘look’ (i.e. so that your 27" frame has 26" forks and a 700c wheelset), which may also offer other front brake options (i.e. v-brakes, cantis and disc brakes).

A 700c or 26" fork won’t solve a caliper reach problem for your back brake. However, the front brake is much more critical. I don’t like the idea of using Sheldon-Brown-type drop bolts as they’re ugly and I’m not entirely convinced they’re safe. I’d rather look for some really l-o-n-g reach calipers. If you need to buy them, then carefully measure the amount of reach you need and then look at places like Yellow Jersey ( Long Reach - Standard Length - 500 - Dual Pivot Caliper Brakes from Yellow Jersey ), Harris Cyclery ( Brakes for Bicycles from Harris Cyclery ), The Bike Shed ( Shimano Road Long-drop Brake BR-R650 - $73.95 : TBSM, The Bike Shed Mortdale, Australias Online Downhill and Freeride Mountain Bike Shop and Shimano Road Long-drop Rear Brake BR-R450 - $50.95 : TBSM, The Bike Shed Mortdale, Australias Online Downhill and Freeride Mountain Bike Shop ), and Bike Exchange ( see the entry for Borsari Cycles in Carlton - Buy Long reach dual pivot brakes in VIC - BikeExchange ). Google is your friend.

El Kabong- Thanks for the detailed reply. I have some carbon 700c forks but I think they are 1 1/8 which wont fit my steelies head tube.
My work and home life has halted proceedings some what. That and getting sick AGAIN! Anyway, my old man just upgraded his (my old) Malvern star 6 speed to a nice new Giant something. So he is donating it to me. It has very nice Araya semi deep dish wheels and all the other gear I need :slight_smile:
The other good turn of fortune I had was that whilst chatting to my next door neighbor he said he has all the gear and know how to spray paint bike… in 2pack!!! STOKED. He has done some before that I checked out and it looks pro quality. So I have, at the moment, a spare 27inch wheeled frame with no home… Thinking I might keep it, do it up as a project with some of the kids at school (am a teacher) then sell it so we can buy a computer.

Must say. I am REALLY enjoying this building a single speed thing. Ive built my own road, tri and MTB before and whilst it was fun, this is WAY better! Trying to find a bargain and using used parts gives a real sense of satisfaction. Also, the whole fixie/single speed community dont seem so obsessed with having carbon this and titanium that. In fact, I reckon one would be laughed at for getting ceramic bearings in the SS!