Thursday, July 15, 2010

Assembling a fixed-wheel

It was mid-June when I finally made up my mind to assemble that heap of pieces into something similar to a bike. First of all I want to state that I had not the sligthest experience in fixed riding but a bike is a bike and a fixie is a bike with less mechanical complications than an ordinary bike so, theoretically, it should pose very little problem even to an unexperienced fixie-builder.
The first task was to retrieve the frame for my parents's garage. I found it in a corner under some layers of dust. It happened to be an old Romani , in fact it was New Old Stock from a closing down bike shop. After some clean up the frame seemed to be in good condition but for some rusty spots and a partly scratched paint. There was no fork though but some time ago I'd managed to get the last gracefully raked steel fork from another bike shop. It was polished steel and more or less matched the "champagned" coloured frame.
Installing the head set was a cinch

Friday, July 2, 2010

My conversion to fixed gear riding

I cannot tell how it all began. To be sincere I've never been interested in fixed-wheels. Some time ago I read Sheldon's article on fixies but it arose no real interest in me. There were too many odd things about it: Why should anybody wish to renounce to multiple gears? Who would like to strain his tendons unnecesarily? , Is coasting really that bad? What's a "misthycal connection to the bike"?  Nevertheless, something unadvertedly  got ingrained in my brain since a month or so before BPB the idea of a fixed-wheel conversion started to turn over and over in my mind. Well, maybe it was that guy I saw walking a neatly repainted old frame what triggered it all. Yes, perhaps I got stunned at its elegant simplicity.Two weeks ago I finally stopped beating around and went straight fort it.  There were , though, some hurdles to overcome. First one: wife persuading (I'd already been firmly told  "no more bikes welcome" and I'm not going to detail how I did it; suffice to say that... I did it). Second one: the budget. How much was I intending to spend? Fortunately there was an old Romani frame (sorry, no fork) that I got for free from a bike shop and there were lots of spare parts roaming around the garage. I only needed to invest some money in specific missing parts like a track hub and a chain set. Where could I get these oddities? After some web search I found  three or four promising shops in Barcelona. One good day I took a day off and visited one of them. No need to say that I stepped out poorer but happier.  Now I had all the pieces around but with BPB looming I opted to put any fixie delusions aside.