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converting vintage race bike to fixed

Squeak191Squeak191 Posts: 24
edited November 2007 in Road general
Hi there,
I have found a very old Coventy Eagle race bike on a scrap-heap! Apparently they are vintage 1970's racing bikes. It's in a real bad state and looks like it would need completely re-stripped, re-sprayed and new parts everywhere, including wheels. But the frame looks solid enough to me. So I got to thinking that it could be converted to make a fixed wheel bike. Would anyone know if that's possible? Or, before I start on this mission, what would I need to check to see if it is possible to convert it to fixed wheel? Lastly, what bike shops in London specialise in fixed wheel bikes that I could take it to? I am so loathe to just let it go to the tip and really want to do something to 'save' it from that! I also think, when re-sprayed and done up, it would make a gorgeous fixed wheel bike. Any advice appreciated as I don't know anything about fixed wheel bikes!
Many thanks indeed.

Posts

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Very possibly.................I resurrected an old Roy Thame frame (1960's?) that I used as a winter hack years ago and was up in my loft. Got it re-sprayed (Argos Racing Cycles), new carbon forks (for mudguard clearance), bars, stem, brakes and bottom bracket. Re-used an old chainset and pinched my track training wheels. Cost me about £350 all told (would have been cheaper to buy a Specialized Langster but not so fun or rewarding).

    Here's the finished article:
    http://flickr.com/photos/bronzie/284050687/

    Your frame will probably already have forward facing horizontal rear dropouts (pretty much essential in order to get chain tension right - very difficult to use a frame with vertical rear dropouts). You will also need to check the spacing between the rear dropouts - standard track rear hubs are 120mm over locknuts if I remember right - my frame didn't need adjusting, but if yours is 130mm spacing, you can either get it re-spaced (Argos again) or just fit some extra nuts onto the rear axle (provided axle long enough) to get the right width.

    Very few shops "specialise" in fixed wheel bikes because it's a pretty small market, but Condor are usually the place to go for track stuff in London. Also check eBay for 2nd hand track wheels as a cheap alternative to new.
  • Brixton Cycles are somewhat of s fixed specialist - as well as selling the usual suspects (Langster, fillmore) they do loads of conversions and build-ups of old frames.
    \'You Come At the King,You Best Not Miss\'
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    As long as your frame has traditional forward-facing drop-outs it'll be fine to convert to fixed gear/SS use. Best look on www.fixedgeargallery.com to see the bikes on there that have been converted. A frame of that vintage probably has 126mm width across the rear drop outs, whereas a track hub is 120mm - but if you've a long enough axle on the hub, you can take up the slack as you tighten the axle nuts or fit a couple of spacers to the axle. Anther issue is finding a suitable chainset / bottom bracket combo - you could either buy a dedicated track chainset and BB, or try converting a road chainset - depends on your budget. Your frame might also be designed for 27" wheels - so will need deep drop brakes if you fit slightly smaller 700c wheels.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    Brick Lane Bikes on Bethnal Green Road also seem to specialise in fixies... They also seem to favour converting old frames into fixed so would certainly be worth a call if you're nearby.
  • njc97njc97 Posts: 184
    Another shout for brixton cycles; they do a lot of fixed stuff, or how about going to kiwi cycles:
    http://www.kiwicycles.com/aboutus.htm
  • Thanks for all those replies! Very much appreciated. After following the link to the fixed wheel gallery I saw someone else has a vintage Coventry Eagle converted to a SS - so I'm sure I will be able to convert my frame! Very happy about that. I think I'll go to Brick Lane Bikes as that's easy for me to get to so thanks for that recommendation.
    Cheers again,
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