Monday, October 24, 2011

Fixed Gear Bike # 1 Finished

Hello and Welcome,
Before I start I would once again like to thank everyone who has checked-out the new Face-Book page for this blog. Considering the short time it has been up, I think it is doing pretty good. If you have not seen it yet, the link is in the right column. Just click on the logo "Hughs Bicycle Blog on Face Book" and you are there. Please show your support and click on "Like" while you are there.

Left Click on Image to Enlarge. Use Back(<)Button to Return.
Above: A reader asked me recently where I found the white replacement hoods for the aero levers on the Centurion. I told them I can`t find them in white either. I just clean-up the old ones and re-use them. I have had this old set laying around here forever. I had to cut-off the top to make it non aero. I then used an old brake lever mud-guard off a mountain bike to fashion a cable end that would hide the cut and keep out the debris/rain.
Above: The handlebars wrapped with Specialized S Tape. The cork tape behind the lever are actually 3 separate pieces, tucked under the hood. This works better with an adhesive backed tape. Then I wrap the tape from the flat about (4&1/2 centimeters from the stem) to the lever. Then finish with white electrical tape.
To keep the black cable end or (dust cover)in-place I used a little bit of 3M automotive emblem adhesive under the flap. This adhered it directly to the hood.
It would have been much easier to just use the correct hood, but unfortunately I did not have one on hand.
Above: The very inexpensive White Origin 8 Track/Road Bike Saddle looks great. Although I need to experiment with finding the correct height and pitch for me.
As it is right now, it is very uncomfortable. Even though it has the "comfort groove" and a narrow nose and seems to be well padded. I mean it looks like it would be reasonably comfortable. But it is not and I`m not sure why. So this time I will make an honest effort to adjust it to my needs or comfort zone. UPDATE: I decided to move the saddle forward and pitch it down in front just a hair. What a difference feels 100% better. I still think the WTB Speed V Comp is a little more comfortable though. But I`ll give it some time before I make a change.
Above: The TEC-9 single fixed-gear crank set with 170 mm arms and 46 tooth CNC machined chain-ring. Which like my 14 tooth cog takes a 1/8 chain. This was kind of a hassle to install, as the square-taper hole in the crank arms is a little too small. I could only thread the retainer nut on about 1/2 way. I decided to file the taper down a little. The hand file did not work at all, so I decided to use an mini angle grinder. I was careful to not flatten-out the pitch on the tapered bracket spline ends. Also I was careful to grind each of the four sides for the same time approximately. After each time around I would test fit the crank. After about four attempts I was finally able to tighten the retainer nut. I still have a little flaw or curve in the chain-line. But plenty of unused thread left on the bracket spline end to work with. I will most likely give it one or two more times around with the grinder. It is extremely important not to grind off too much from the bracket spline. Grind it too much and it will bottom-out and the bracket spline will be useless. That is why I test fit it each time after grinding. When I am finished I want it to still require lots of torque to secure it. And I want to make sure I still have some depth left. In other words I do not want the crank flush with the flat surface on the end of the spline. When I check it I still want to have some depth there.
Above: After it was finished I decided to replace the pedals as well. So I returned the old pedals the the Rock-Hopper FA. And took these new ones off the Rock-Hopper. It just looked so good I needed to finish it. I`m probably going to sell the Rock-Hopper FA in "as is" working condition. I have not had much luck in "getting my money back" on mountain bike builds. I really need to re-think what I will and will not replace on a Mountain bike build.

Above: I think re-painting the fork was really the only way to go. It was so badly scraped there was no way any amount of graphics was going to make it look acceptable. And with the white piping on the seat stays, I think it gave the whole
thing some balance. I may have gone a little overboard on the graphics. But that's the great thing about vinyl. If you don`t like it, just warm it up and peel it off and try again.
Ok enough about all that. Lets see some pics of the finished project.
Above: A nice shot of the drive side with the morning sun filling in the back drop
Above: A shot of the left side of the bike. And yes it does have a kick-stand.
Above: A shot from the right rear of the bike

Above: I found the stem very uncomfortable as I pushed my weight (200lbs) forward to practice my skid today. I managed to skid the bike three times. The first two times I picked an area on the paved path that was covered with wet leaves. I figured I needed all the help I could get. The third skid was on a damp sandy spot in the parking lot.
Well that's about all there is for now. After a brief search of the internet for a suitable stem pad. I decided to make my own. It actually came out "pretty fair" especially for my first attempt. I remember what a disappointment the last stem pad I purchased was. It was "all logo and not much padding", or as they say in Texas "All Hat and No Cattle". I will be posting the "Do it yourself Stem - Pad" real soon. Till then, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

P.S. Please check out the new "Video Of The Week" on How to Skid a Fixed Gear Bike.
You will find it in the right column near the top right under the Face-Book link. I think you will find it interesting.


  1. Looks sharp Hugh as I knew it would I will be curious to see how quickly it gets swept up. You may be onto a niche here - the Patriotic fixie.


  2. I'm too chicken to try a skid on my fixed gear. Maybe in another life.

    I'm wondering about the crank & bottom bracket - could one be JIS and the other ISO? I learned the hard way that not all square tapers are the same.

  3. Thanks Ryan,
    I am having a great time learning to ride this bike properly. I think I`m going to keep this one at least until I find a suitable 57-58 cm frame to build another in my size.
    I really did the patriotic theme because I did not want to re-paint. I will be more selective with my next frame choice for a fixed-gear conversion.
    My friends at the "not at all trendy" Coffee Shop are already calling me "Captain America". (: Hey I have been called worse! So I told them I had to go because "The Super Friends" were waiting for me at the park.
    Overall the response to the bike has been great or at least great fun. But I would like the next one to have a more "Classic Look". I would sure like to find an old Raleigh Pursuit like the red wine and gold one I did last summer. That would have made a beautiful platform for a fixed-gear build.

  4. Hey Big Oak,
    I think you are right on the money. I have two bracket spindles that fit that bottom bracket assembly. It was my understanding that I needed to use the longer of the two. I`m not sure if they sent me the wrong crank set or if I accidentally ordered the wrong one. But being I moved the crank in about 4.50mm I`m guessing it was the wrong crank-set.
    But the good news is, it is working fine now.
    However getting it right the first time would have been much easier. Next time, I will call the "tech support" dept first and make sure we are all on the same page.
    I`m just fortunate that I had the tools on hand to make it work. Waiting a week for the correct crank to arrive would have really "yanked my chain". All's well that ends well. Cheers


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