New to fixies - how to build one?

Hi all, I am new to the cycling world and have heard that fixies are the way to go. I’ve done a bit of research and think I understand the basic concept - buy an old bike, give it one fixed sprocket and paint it. Just wanted some specific advice.

How can I build a fixie? What is the best old bike to use and what would the steps be?

Thanks for your help.

Read through this, then come back with some more specific questions. This should really help you out a lot though.

It doesn’t matter what the best old bike is because you don’t get much of a choice when you come across old bikes. Anything with horizontal drop outs is sufficient.

Forget about this part. It’s not important.

Go see what Sheldon has to say.

Hey ToRancid,

Great to hear that your getting into riding, and as everyone on this site will tell you, riding fixed is a lot of fun. However, I would very strongly suggest that you consider carefully your decision to ride fixed if you don’t have much experience riding on the road.

My suggestion would be to get a bike and start with a single speed freewheel, with front and back brakes. There are some really cool single speeds around that will be a lot of fun to ride. If you still want to convert it to a fixed gear later then its easy.

Fixed riding takes a bit of getting used to and can make your riding experience awkward and frustrating (watch the next guy that you see struggling to slip his feet into his toeclips after leaving the lights if you want to know what I mean). At worst, riding fixed without the experience can cause a nasty accident.

If you are actually an experienced rider, then feel free to tell me to shut up, but hopefully you find this helpful.

First post - Hi all.

I found a pretty good series of video tutorials on youtube (about 8 in the series) which covers the complete process of building a fixed gear from parts:

Vids put together by ‘shiftless bastards’ - a US bike shop AFAICT. I’d expect you’ll have some questions along the way that the LBS, these forums or a decent book should be able to fill in, but this is a pretty good overview.

That said, I just picked up a masi speciale fixed from my LBS because it looked like a bit too much work ;p

I adjusted ok to fixed riding on the first try, but the first couple of times your feet decide to stop spinning (because you think you’re going to do a bunny hop, or you’re braking over rough terrain) you’ll get some adrenaline going.

industry bikes are pretty good option

If i was to start again id buy an eBay Track frame/fork for $200 - $300 in your size then build it up with cheap but good new and second hand parts.

Your looking at a few hundred bucks to build a half decent conversion anyway so for an extra $200 - $300 dollars you will have a much better bike and it will make your fixed gear riding experience much better.

If it doesn’t work out then you will also get your money back selling it than you would some bunky heavy old heap of shit repco junk.

Just do alot of research before you buy anything, make sure you get everything the right size so you dont have to make too many trips to the LBS or get stuck with shitty parts which dont fit.

Mite also pay to buy a cheap bicycle tool kit so you dont fuck up your new parts with shitty incorrect tools and you wont have to pay $15 minimum labour at a bike shop to fit a $5 lock ring in 15 seconds.

Id also start off with smallish gearing so you dont fuck your knees out and so its easier for you to stop. Something like 42 /17 then when you know what your doing and know what kind of riding you want to do you can go from there.

All the best with it

Yeah, one of those cheap VISP (etc) frames from Ebay is a good idea. Then you can get the size you want.

if i had my time again,

i would do it all the same…

that is, i’d buy a bike off the shelf and replace the parts when they break.

thats the funniest thing i think i have read in quite a while…but i dont get out much.
Now that 2010 is here all the '09 stock will get cheaper as coulourways get change and you could get your sely a bargin…which one to get? search a big thread exsists on tis topic as well.

if i could go back to 82

Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would’ve been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.

back in 82 I used to be able to throw a pigskin a quarter mile

How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?

Is that big audio dynamite that guy on the right is the drummer Chris Kavanagh also in sig sig sputnick. After he blew all his money after the rock years he worked in bars in London he worked for me as a bar back in a bar I ran but would not talk about the music years I guess he wished he could have done it all again.

in 82 i became a the youngest 6’r in south blacktown scout history… i could build a campfire blindfolded while doing a half sheepshank.

Hi all! I also am new to this cycling game. I currently have a bike on order from Norwood Parade Cycles (SA) with SS/FW hub on the back and brakes both ends. I intend to just replace stuff as it breaks and in the end I will have a different bike to the one being built for me. I don’t have the time or tools right now to build up a bike from scratch. (but there is talk of a bike co-op starting in Adelaide so keep your ears to the ground)

In the mean time, I bought a $20 mountain bike from a garage sale that also has horizontal dropouts so I COULD convert that to a fixie with some patience, but I have other plans for that one once I have my new bike.

I have started commuting to work (about 14-18 km each way) to get my fitness up (which is one of my reasons for getting back into bikes after about 15 years off them!) before I start riding my SS bike… having said that, I have been doing my commute in top gear all the way since 1/2 way through the first week and it is going ok… tiring, but ok.


similar to wombat… but been riding since forever… friggin old fart here :smiley:

but getting sick and tired of the railers on my Shogun SlickRock LX getting out all the time so “gearing” :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: up for a single/fixed combo by riding for the last month or so in near top gear with no changing… been good so far… but got to get my head around the constant spinning in fixed

so looking for the cheapest but decent way to go without looking looking like a freakin hipster… :sunglasses: :mrgreen:

looking to do a very simple build… plain vanilla black and silver rims, bits and bobs tan old school saddle (my old Wrights from the 70’s be perfect) and tan hide on moustache bars… how come no one runs with these in Adelaide :expressionless: :?

anyone got a neato mid size horizontal drop they don’t want?? :smiley: