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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
That's the "adamant" suggestion from my LBS when I showed them the road frame I want to convert into a fixed-gear bike.



The road frame has a short horizontal dropout (with hanger). The LBS basically said that they won't want anything to do with a conversion if it doesn't have a track fork end, supposedly for safety reasons.

I suppose I can understand their distaste for exposure to risk. They were afraid that I was going to go so fast and hard on the converted rig that when I brake, my wheel would pop out. I am not planning on going more than 17 to 20 mph on this fixie/townie/commuter converted rig.

Is their concern legitimate? Should I not tempt fate? Thanks.

Jack
 

· Frog Whisperer
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wouldn't a surly tug-nut keep that from happening?..... I converted an old Trek....to fixed...no problems
 

· Yo no fui.
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It's hard to get the proper chain tension when you have vertical dropouts, which I think is what you're saying--it's rather unclear. You'll need to try to find a "magic gear" if that's the case. If it's an old school semi-vertical dropout, you'll be ok. Ive seen lots of conversions on those. Another option is a White Bros. hub that lets you change the chain tension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pablo said:
It's hard to get the proper chain tension when you have vertical dropouts, which I think is what you're saying--it's rather unclear. You'll need to try to find a "magic gear" if that's the case. If it's an old school semi-vertical dropout, you'll be ok. Ive seen lots of conversions on those. Another option is a White Bros. hub that lets you change the chain tension.
Just included a pix for the dropout. It's horizontal, rather than vertical.
 

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jack650 said:
Just included a pix for the dropout. It's horizontal, rather than vertical.
A fixed gear wheel will not come out of a vertical dropout inadvertently. With my track ends, my rear wheels have occasionally slipped a little bit over prolonged riding. A traditional horizontal dropout will have room to tension the chain and accommodate rear wheel slippage. That short horizontal dropout will make it trickier to get the right chain length to get the wheel far enough back to be safe. It lacks the chain tensioning flexibility of track ends or standard horizontal dropouts, and the secure coupling of a vertical dropout. That said, I'm sure someone has done it and hasn't yet pulled their rear wheel out of the dropouts.
 

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I run fixed in dropouts like that no problem. With the shorter dropouts you might need to work on gear ratios to get a chain length that works, but outside of that I have no idea what your LBS is talking about. It's called bolt-on hubs with sufficient torque.

Heck, I run quick-releases on my geared road bike with similar style dropouts with no issues, and I am a big strong rider.
 

· hello
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Upon re-reading the OP's post, perhaps the LBS wants nothing to do with conversions in general. Bring them a frame with either track ends or horizontal dropouts, then they will build a fixed gear using fixed gear components.
 

· Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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purist elitists?

one of our shops downtown here won't sell you anything Shimano. Campy or nothing.
 

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I've seen lots of good conversions with the shorter horizontal dropouts. As was posted above, finding the right gear combination could be tricky. But one of our mechanics used a half-link on his old Peugeot to get the 42-16 spot on.

Find another bike shop.
 

· Spicy Dumpling
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My first singlespeed used the semi-horizontal dropouts like you have with no problems. Worked just fine with quick releases for a couple of years. And it's still being ridden by my friend who bought it. Find another shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got it. Thanks for all the feedback, guys. My conclusion is that my LBS probably doesn't feel that there's enough margin to be made for this project. I showed them my frame, so it wasn't like I wanted them to do the entire conversion.

I would like to do this build-up myself, but I'm a bit stumped. I wish I could find a list of components and tools to buy/find (perhaps velospace?), and then a local fixie wrench-guru who'd not mind walking me through the process of building up one step at a time (having a workstand that I can borrow would be great too :blush2: ).

Oh, before I forget, could I trouble you guys once more? I've heard that there may be issues relating to conversion if the dropouts are too wide apart (in my layman's memory). Is that the case for my frame? Thanks much!

 

· Militant commuter
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You've got 126mm or so of space back there, if I'm converting to metric properly...most "real" track hubs have 120mm Over-Locknut-Dimension, but most hubs also have long enough axles that you could just throw some thin spacers in there and be on the road in no time! That spacing shouldn't be an issue, for the most part.

Building a fixed-gear bike is easy...check out Sheldon Brown's conversion tutorial or the Park Tool website (nothing fixed-specific there, but plently of other tech stuff) for particulars.
 
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