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Hey guys,

I'm starting my first fixie conversion project and I'm hoping to go with a vintage frame.

What are the key things to check when picking out that heavy steel frame? How beat up can it be but still usable? Are there tricks to finding out if its still in the proper geometry (not bent or crooked)?

Thanks for helping a newb. :thumbsup:
 

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Sometimes it makes more sense to just buy a new complete bike that it does to do a conversion if you have no sentimental attachment to the frame you're thinking of converting. One I know of is up to over $400 so far and a few more items showed up during the disassembly prior to putting the new parts on. The cost will end up over $500 before it's done.

If you have an emotional attachment to the frame in question then cost is sometimes secondary or can be emotionally justified.
If you have an emotional attachment to the concept of riding a vintage frame conversion then that can also be emotionally justified.
If you just want to do it just because you just want to do it then just do it and worry about the cost later.

But if cost is a factor then consider just buying a new bike.
http://www.fujibikes.com/2008/bikes.asp?id=418 MSRP: $510

http://www.bianchiusa.com/05_pista.html MSRP $549.99

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2008/urban/soho/sohos/ MSRP $549.99

http://www.surlybikes.com/steamroller_comp.html MSRP $665.99

I don't know how the one I know of will turn out, maybe the guy will proceed, maybe he'll try to get the shop to take the parts back and just buy a new bike, but when the conversion costs start to get up over $400 and all you want is to just have a fixie then sometimes the conversion doesn't make any sense. Plus he can possibly sell his stripped frame with the old takeoff parts on craigslist for $50-$100 or so, possibly.

Ignore this post if it offends anyone.
 

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treebound said:
Sometimes it makes more sense to just buy a new complete bike that it does to do a conversion if you have no sentimental attachment to the frame you're thinking of converting.

Ignore this post if it offends anyone.
It doesn't offend me, but I sort of disagree. It depends what you're looking for. You can do conversions really cheaply if what you want is a functioning fixed-gear, and not a lot of bling. There aren't a lot of parts. Sometimes it's possible to convert an old (freewheel) bike into a fixed for the cost of one part: a cog.

It helps if you like to tinker, and if you have old parts lying around. If you have a nice old frame that you like, that's a plus, as you acknowledge.

It sounded like the OP wants to enjoy the tinkering bit.
 

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Yep, and the tinkering part is fun so no argument about that from me.

A gal came into the shop last week with a garage sale find. My recommendation to her was to just slip on a new set of tires and don't use the front shifter. She liked that recommendation as she was sort of thinking of a singlespeed and didn't feel so bad about buying a used bike needing more work that she realized it needed.
 
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