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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:37 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 6
Good evening gents!

I'm a mountain biker, and can usually be found in the north somerset hills on this sort of thing:
Image

I know next-to-nothing about road biking, however recently i've been yearning for an On-One Pompino. The thought of road-wheel speed, and simple singlespeed really appeals to me. However, i've been looking over these forums recnetly, and i've been really inspired by such beauties as these:
Image
Image

So i've started thinking about getting on the 'bay, and looking for an old road/track frame, to build up into a singlespeed with some contemporary components (modern brakes, 700c wheels, etc.) I was wondering what your opinions of this sort of project are? I gather that old English frames use reletively modern standards for BB/headset/etc. Is this the case?

Please feel free to direct me to LFGSS if you think my questions would be more appropriate there - although i don't live in London :wink:

Many thanks, chaps! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:48 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 16750
Location: Yorkshire, England
I would say go for it and buy the looks of what you're after.
, it'll be stylish too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:57 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 303
Go for it, but don't be suckered into paying too much for your frame. There are plenty of sellers on ebay who will stick words like FIXIE, FIXED or for some reason FIXTIE in the title of a mundane frame. For some reason gullible souls will then pay a premium for some crappy overweight lump of steam pipe. Get suckered into a bidding war on one of those and you could get burned.

My advice would actually be to buy a cheap bike rather than a frame. The reasons for this are twofold; firstly a complete bike will often go for opening bid (yes I've had a cheapie for 99p); and secondly a complete bike gives you plenty of (hopefully) usable components for your bid. Having things like brakes, stem and bars can save you a fortune if you don't already have a lockup full of road components. A five speed might even give you a servicable chainset and BB with the right chainline for single speed or fixed. Likewise a three speed.

I converted a Coventry Eagle Flyte Deluxe very cheaply a couple of years ago. It looked incredible, unfortunately it was too small so it went on the market to pay for my next project.

I've seen a few very nice Guvnor lookalikes built out of three speeds, if that appeals.

Cheers,

Gareth


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:37 am
Posts: 936
Location: Bristolcestershire
Hi Duffer - I would echo what Gareth says with the additional question of "what size are you?" and "where do you live?" - as I have a couple of nice frames for sale at the moment.

I've had fun with older frames, stuff does generally fit. Things to watch out for are stuff like Swiss BBs and the fact that old French frames have a different size of 1" headtube to English 1" ones... but rather than try and learn all this stuff first, just scope out a few potential purchases and then post here - there are plenty of people here who will help out with advice.

Also, don't bother with LFGSS. There's far more useful advice, and nicer people, on this forum.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:28 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:06 pm
Posts: 51
djoptix wrote:
Things to watch out for are stuff like Swiss BBs and the fact that old French frames have a different size of 1" headtube to English 1" ones...


i'd like to add raleigh to that list - the obtuse devils that they were :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:29 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 303
+1 on the Raleigh thing.

Back in the day Raleigh used their own fittings and threads not for any reasons of supposed technical superiority, but because they owned the component companies. Using their own component "standards" meant that they could make money supplying spares, whereas any old company could manufacture and sell spares for the likes of BSA. These days it would probably be considered anti-competitive practice.

It's another reason to buy a complete bike rather than a frame. At least if you do get something with funny fittings you've got some parts to fit, even if they do need some refurbishment.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:05 am 
Newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you very much for all your replies.

GarethPJ - Thanks for your advice ref. buying a complete bike. I can imagine it would be quite easy to pay over the odds for a frame, on the strength that the seller has put "fixie/singlespeed project" in the title.

djoptix - I am about 6' (a 20" mountain bike comes up about right - although i usually prefer to ride 18" as it gives me a bit of extra space to move the bike around) and live in North Somerset. What is it you're selling? I might be interested, but please don't count on it - i'd have to get dispensation for any purchases from the Domestic Chief of Staff (you know how it is :wink: )

So from the sounds of it then, i'm looking for something English, although possibly not Raleigh, as they used a lot of proprietary standards. Dawes? I don't know too many English road frame manufacturers, only Mountain Bikes ones (Pace, Whyte, On-One, Orange, etc) and that's not what i'm looking for...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:37 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 303
New Raleigh's tend not to be a problem, not sure when they changed over to using standard components but I've had a couple of eighties examples that did.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 pm 
Newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:15 pm
Posts: 6
ok, thanks for the advice :)

Based on this, it looks like i'll be keeping a look out for a complete bike.

Thanks again :D


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