fixed gear, frame specifics & a few questions :D

Hey All, first post here, ever. -small celebratory dance- :smiley:

I’m planning on assembling my first fixed gear bike, in hopes it will provide another training tool for me. After reading Sheldon Brown’s pages on fixed gears i still feel the need to check with some experienced riders. & get advice on any pitfalls from people who’ve taken up similar projects to mine.
firstly, I want to convert an old road bike frame by changing the drop outs to horizontal, Should I be looking for any special features in my frame? i didn’t want to get the frame all set up & find I can’t get a wheel set to fit hehe. Also would I encounter a problem putting a flip flop hub into what used to be a 10 speed? i was thinking of just bending the forks to fit, but I’m concerned about the safety aspect there.
Oh & to the experienced track riders, Primarily I’ll be riding this on the road, but I would love to give riding track a go, would i need specific sized parts for this? i was thinking shorter cranks may be needed?
those two are my major worries before i get started…

I really appreciate any advice or help anyone can offer.

changing the drop outs to horizontal

not sure what you mean here?

If you’re going to convert a frame, try look for a frame that was made for 700c wheels with horizontal dropouts, 27" wheel frames with 700c wheels seem to look a little manky, they have pretty low bottom brackets plus very slack geometry.

Secondly, you don’t really want to convert something that functions perfectly well with gears already (too good to convert :wink: ). so usually old rust buckets or mass produced frames of the 80’s are ideal candidates, that way you can do what you want with it, shave off all the braze on’s, powdercoat it ect. If it is a nice colnago frame, don’t even think about holding a hacksaw close to it!

Bending the forks/rear triangle should be fine, just make sure you try and keep the frame as straight as possible. Sheldon “Bend it” Brown has a few tips on this.

good luck with it

I meant that I know someone who does modifications on bike frames for a living and can change the vertical drop outs to horizontal drop outs for a pretty reasonable price =)

Thanks Heaps for the info prawza! that is exactly the kind of info i need!!

from what i can gather, swapping vertical drop outs for horizontal ones can be an expensive process, but if you have a friend who can do it for minimum bux it may be an option, i guess. as for crank length, i think a lot of guys tend to use 165s or so on the street. more spin and a little less chance of pedal strike on the street.

oh k,
do u mean horizontal, or track forks?

i reckon just try and find a bike which has steeper geometry.

looking forward to how this turns out!

Basicly, the reason for my changing the drop outs was more out of necessity. After looking for roughly a month and finding only frames that were either too big or had vertical drop outs i resigned my self to getting it modified :smiley:

Thanks for the info Mckenny, off i go to hunt down some 165 cranks :slight_smile: to the LBS

Build an ENO rear wheel and use any frame with vertical dropouts.

Personally, I wouldn’t bother getting dropouts changed. I think there are better alternatives.

There’s a few guys in brisbane that do it. It was $50 for each frame from fiddley welds. It’s not a beutiful job, but it should work… (I haven’t tried out the frames yet…)

There are a ton of frames out there with horizontal drop outs including a few under my house.

Changing a vertical drop out to horizontal seems a bit fiddley to me unless you want specifically some special track ends like Paul etc

Have you tried the dump recyclers and the salvos?

The good thing about a steel frame is that the rear triangle can cope with a lot of spacing.

Just a thought, no insult intended ,but you are not confusing horizontal dropouts with track ends are you.

Bottom bracket height can be a problem causing pedal strike in some old racer / tourer especially if you go down from 27 inch to 700c. But the solution is simple bigger tires or shorter cranks or narrower pedals. :smiley:

My two cents is get an old frame with horizontal dropouts make your bike and learn something for the next rebiuld