Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My New Vintage-Style Fixed Gear

 I just finished building this up, a few minutes ago, and took it for a test ride around the block.  Yesterday, I painted it, and pretty much put it together.  Today, I cabled the brakes and installed tubes in the tires.

It started life as a red 1988 or '89 red RockHopper, that I built up into one of my favorite fixed gear commuter bikes, a couple of years ago.  Then, I modified the frame, and painted it Army Green and turned it into a 26" flip-flop fixie-singlespeed  for Brad.

He, in turn, artificially aged it to resemble a "barn find".  Then, after acquiring a couple more bikes, Brad decided that he had too many, and the "barn find" came back to me.

It's been back for quite a while, now.  A couple of weeks ago, I pulled it out of the storage shed and put it in the shop building, and waited for inspiration.  Yesterday, I felt the need to build up a bike.

I really like the look and concept of the Pashley Guvnor, but $1400 for a singlespeed bike seems a bit steep to me.  So, I decided to go with 700c wheels and white tires to emulate the feel of the Brit Bike.

I used a 700c cross fork that I had lying about, so that the cantilever brakes would line up with the rim.

For a rear brake, I had to drill the bridge (these old RockHoppers had a threaded insert on the bottom of the bridge, rather than a hole through the tube) and then installed a Superbe caliper which was in the parts stash.

The handlebars are inverted Huffy 3-speed bars (Wald Tourist Bars), with the grips that Brad made for it.

I used my extra pair of 29er wheels, with a bolt-on Tomi Cog.  This gives me the option of running the bike as a singlespeed, with the addition of a cog on the freehub side, and I'm hoping the rims will hold up better than some have for me.  It's currently geared 45/18, which seems to work for me.

Now, I have to decide if I want to put a rack and fenders on it, and commute with it, or just use it as a "fun bike" (for which I already have the Orange Peugeot).  Decisions...decisions...



At 2:52 PM , Blogger Big Oak said...

Well, now you've got me wondering what you're going to do with that bike. I bet if you make a few trips around town on it, you'll figure out what you're going to do.

That's a great looking bike, and I bet it's a blast to ride.

At 6:44 PM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

I'll bet the Brit cafe racer crowd would say it looks the dog's wobblies!I asume that is meant as a compliment but I guess you'd have to ask a Brit.

At 7:57 PM , Blogger MandG said...


At 8:56 PM , Blogger limom said...

I'm digging those handle bars! I gotta find me some.

At 9:05 AM , Anonymous MT cyclist said...

Nice build.
I'm curious about the second top tube. Did you add that yourself?

At 9:35 AM , Blogger Jon said...

MT: Yes, I did. I cut the top tube out of a junk frame, mitered it with a grinder and a file, then brazed it in.

It's not the prettiest work...

At 2:09 PM , Blogger Charlotte said...

It looks wonderful!

At 9:48 PM , Blogger Doohickie said...

I love everything about that bike.

By the way, I took your hint on the comment over on The Mixte Gallery. Something new is up. Some really, really cool stuff is in the pipeline, including a bike bought from you (as submitted by it's well-known owner).

At 9:58 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Coolio. I've missed your posts!

At 11:43 AM , Blogger Apertome said...

Woah, this may be one of my favorite of your builds. It's got it all!


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