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Convert a Road Bike to Fixed Gear

By Edited Jan 30, 2014 0 0

Road Bike to Fixed Gear

Converting A Road Bicycle To A Fixie

road bike to fixed gear: vintage bicycle

Converting an old, vintage road bicycle to a fixed gear is a great and fun project that almost anyone can do! It's rewarding to breathe new life into a bike, and fixed gears are a lot of fun to ride. You can learn how to build a fixed gear bicycle here, and this article will give you further insight on how to turn your vintage road bike into a fixie bike. 

Before you do anything, try drawing up a sketch of how your road bike to fixed gear project is going to look in the end. Decide on color, wheel size, tires, handlebars, etc. A good vision of where the project is going is a good policy in order to making this conversion go smoothly. If you're deciding as you work, you may end up redoing work you've already done, or ending up with something you don't love.

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Road Bike To Fixed Gear: Find a Bike That Works

Fixed Gear Conversion For Vintage Bikes

road bike to fixed gear: find a bike that works

The best advice when converting an old road bicycle to a fixed gear is to find a bike that already works well. If the bike you're buying is covered in rust, has lots of mechanical problems, or needs extensive work, you're likely not going to be able to fix all those problems, even with a road bike to fixed gear conversion. Even if you do, the bike may be flawed or less than ideal. 

Try to find a bicycle with cotterless cranks. That means that it isn't held in place by cotter pins A cottered crank is held onto the bicycle with these little pins, and they are in turn held on by little nuts. It's an antiquated technology, and it'll be tough for you to do a proper conversion with this gear on there. You may want to replace the original crank with a good fixed gear crankset.

Make sure to find a vintage bike frame that suits your height. Find the proper size and give it a ride around the block. Converting this road bike to fixie isn't going to make it any more comfortable if it's too small. 

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Road Bike To Fixed Gear Conversion

Strip the Frame Of All Unnecessary Parts

road bike to fixed gear: strip the frame

You'll want to pull off any parts that your donor bike doesn't need anymore. This will reduce the weight, and make your road bike to fixie project a lot lighter and leaner. This is part cosmetic, part practical. You don't want old bike bits hanging off the bike if they're not being used. 

To get you started, here are a few things you'll commonly need to remove. You'll need to pull off the derailleurs (front and rear, if it has both), the chain, and any derailleur cabling. If you're going brakeless with your fixed gear build, you'll want to remove the old brakes. If you're painting your frame, you'll want to pull everything off and tape up anything you don't want painted. 

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Road Bike To Fixed Gear: Add Your Parts

Vintage Bicycle Fixie Conversion

road bike to fixed gear: finished and beautiful

Ok, now that your old frame is stripped down, you can add your parts and start turning this road bike into a fixed gear! Add your fixed gear wheelset, preferably 700c wheels if you have them. Ensure your chainline is straight, and add a single speed chain.

Set up your brakes and admire your work! Be careful that all parts are tight and tuned correctly before you take it for it's inaugural ride around the block.

Good luck!

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