Hi all mechanically minded peeps:-)
I'm keen to give building up a fixie/singlespeed a go to learn more about how a bike goes together and heck it's a good winter project for when it's too cold to ride hey!
Can anyone point me in the right direction of any good books, websites, locally run courses etc which will help me with the build?
Experience level is: not a total noob. I know all the bits and what they do, I just don't necessarily know the right way to put 'em all together:-)
FWIW Someone posted in the forum recently about a girl in Melbourne who built up her own bike (it was pink I think) - that's whats inspired me to give it a crack!
Ya know mate, I'd take your bits down to the Community Workshop. There'll always be people to help/guide/mislead you and you can pay back by putting your new found skills into getting a bike for the refugees working.
Failing that, there's bods like me who like tearing bikes apart who can come and help - I'd down south and have plenty of fixed gear/ss experience.
Bek, I stripped a bike and rebuilt a new one and had a fantastic time. I didn't use any books just a lot of research on the net and a lot (LOT) of time watching youtube videos. Mine wasn't a fixie and I found the only real problem I had was calibrating the front deraileur. So a fixie would be a cinch given that you don't have to worry about that. Have a great time and if you need any tools I'd be happy to lend you mine as they require a serious investment. Enjoy
I'm working on my third and fourth right now, a pink and white women's single speed and another fixed. I've made a few mistakes along the way including throwing a 170mm crank on a 70's road bike and hitting the pedals on every corner.
The biggest problem I have with every bike is getting the chain line straight, always find the skinniest bottom bracket and try find a wheel with an offset towards the freewheel side.
I had a wheel with the spokes set up perfectly for this until I stripped the threading yesterday, There were tears.
You can avoid all this by finding a frame made for the track with the read dropouts, they're not normally cheap but save on getting too podantic about chain lines, pedal strike and finding the right set of brake pads to reach if you use 700c tires.
As always don't forget to show us once it's complete.
Lucas, you don't mention if in getting the chainline straight, that you tried correcting it by using a different BB. These come in a variety of lengths, specifically for achieving just that. This is important when building a bike with two or three front chain rings, otherwise the front derailleur will run out of adjustment in one direction or the other.
In this instant, Shimano recommends a chain line of 43.5 mm measured from the centre of the frame to a point mid-way between the two rings. If it needs to be altered, change the BB to achieve that figure, remembering that say a 4mm increase in BB length will alter the chainline by 2mm ( the other 2mm being on the other side ) With a single speed, of course you have more choice by also varying the spacers at the rear.
Yeah I did forget to mention that, with most bikes I'll change them over to the skinniest sealed bottom bracket I can find and use a few other methods as mentioned above.
The one bike that worked out perfect had a combination of a few things, the skinniest bottom bracket I could find, a chainring running millimetres from the chainstay and the wheel which when flipped had the offset in the prime direction for a single speed. This is the only bike I've managed to get with a perfectly straight chainline.
I'm not too sure on how to use the spacer method yet. I've tried a few different things with them but have found the wheel runs too close or even against the frame when the chainline is getting close to straight. I'm heading into the LBS today so the fella can show me exactly what to do and if it will work.
By talking about using spacers, I was assuming the rear wheel had a cassette type hub. This allows you to move the necessary spacers one side or the other of the sprocket to correct the chain line. If you are using a dedicated single speed hub, then this option is not on.
The wheel I'm currently having problems with is an ex cassette hub, the problem is when I change the spacers over to move the chainline, the whole wheel moves over and is no longer straight or centre.
I'm considering the drastic option and rebuilding the wheel and flipping the spokes seeing as one side of the spokes are shorter than the other.
The spacers that I am referring to should not alter wheel position. They go on the splined section of the hub to "sandwich" the single sprocket.
For examples of the variety of BB axles (discrete component type) check Bicycle Parts Wholesale. These parts would need to be ordered by your LBS if not in stock. Using components from this range it is possible to make fairly fine alterations in the chain line at the chainwheel.
If you want any stickers/decals for it let me know.
Sheldon Brown's site is great. Has all sorts of mechanical gems and workarounds.
As noted above by Maya ** Tools **
I'd add to that - nice rag (old t-shirts are great), a place to actually do it all, containers, hydrocarbon solvent