Friday, December 23, 2005

Assbike under $30



This is the hybrid, built up as a fixed gear. The bar and stem are from the trash heap find.

The step by step build:

-strip the deraillers, shifters and brakes (i removed the fenders too).

-remove the freewheel (involves removing the axle and cones), I had to have a shop remove the freewheel since I don't have the dedicated tool.

-thread on the cog and reinstall axle. Use spacers to set the chainline. You can lay the chain on the chainring and cog and eyeball it. If you're tha mathy type you can use the formula in this article. I rely on both methods.

-redish the wheel if you have to.

The hardest part was getting the freewheel removed since I had to take it to a shop. I set the chainline perfectly and there was no need to redish the rear wheel.

Despite all the fanaticism (more, and more) riding a fixed isn't that different than riding a single speed except for the braking.

Fixed gear bikes without shifters and brakes do have a cool simplicity (see above links) and braking with your legs is cool, but the supposed difficulty/insanity of riding a fixed gear bike in the city is waaay over-rated.

I may add a front brake if I find I'm getting too many close calls, but right now I don't feel the need (although the lockring is ineffectual so there's nothing to keep the cog from unthreading).

Oh yeah. The trash heap bike was looking like a good candidate for a fixedgear build. I set the chainline and everything perfectly but the chain kept dropping off. I couldn't figure out why, and then I notice it. Fucking Biopace chainrings. (Okay supposedly Sheldon Brown uses Biopace rings on fixed gear bikes, but this ring just looked waaay too oval to get away with).


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