The Official Retrobike Fixed and S/S thread

Nabeaquam

Retro Guru
You'll be better off starting with a modern flip flop hub or a 70s Normandy if you're going to build a wheel IMO. The Harden will likely be 110mm or 120mm wide and I think the axle might be smaller than the usual 9mm. Besides, Harden hubs predate that bike by decades. They're really nice hubs, but it'll be out of place on a 70s fixie conversion. Keep it for a nice 50s frame.

Easiest way to 'just try' fixed gear is to unscrew the freewheel (assuming it's a screw-on one) and put a 3/32" fixed cog on instead. Choose whichever gear you usually ride on the flat and get that number of teeth. 48 x 18 is a good start (= 52 x 20 or 42 x 16 if that's what's on your chainset). Tighten it up good and proper, put the chain on and see if you like it. If yes, get a flip flop hub with a lock ring and rebuild the wheel. Stick with 3/32" cogs if you don't want to change the chainring. You'll also need to change the bottom bracket to a narrower one for the correct chainline.
Avoid the inexpensive Chinese aluminum flip flop hubs. I stripped the threads off one doing down hill leg braking in the mountains of North Carolina. It was really frightfully steep and long and I was trying as hard as I could to slow down but still I wouldn’t trust them for regular riding. Sometimes it’s hard to get the chain line right. A bike shop will be able to measure and order the correct offset for you. Adapting old bikes to any style always presents a few problems. One of my turn of the 20th century bikes had a stripped hub so I couldn’t ride it. Everything is steel so I welded it together. I can never replace the cog but I can ride it.
 

StevemOs

Dirt Disciple
You'll be better off starting with a modern flip flop hub or a 70s Normandy if you're going to build a wheel IMO. The Harden will likely be 110mm or 120mm wide and I think the axle might be smaller than the usual 9mm. Besides, Harden hubs predate that bike by decades. They're really nice hubs, but it'll be out of place on a 70s fixie conversion. Keep it for a nice 50s frame.

Easiest way to 'just try' fixed gear is to unscrew the freewheel (assuming it's a screw-on one) and put a 3/32" fixed cog on instead. Choose whichever gear you usually ride on the flat and get that number of teeth. 48 x 18 is a good start (= 52 x 20 or 42 x 16 if that's what's on your chainset). Tighten it up good and proper, put the chain on and see if you like it. If yes, get a flip flop hub with a lock ring and rebuild the wheel. Stick with 3/32" cogs if you don't want to change the chainring. You'll also need to change the bottom bracket to a narrower one for the correct chainline.
I'd not thought about the hub width of the harden hub.....the falcon I'm picking up does have wheels, so i'm in no rush, and will do as you suggest, stick a cog on and use that as the basis of the build.

I'd wondered about the need for a shorter bb.. I will consider this.
Cheers for the advice!
 
Top