Need for (Single)Speed

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Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:43 am

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So I have officially begun my first singlespeed project. I had it planned for the new year, but I got lucky and snagged two bikes last week that fit the bill nicely. Progress will be slow and steady, with frequent visits to this forum and Sheldon likely :) Also, my girlfriend likes to nag that i spend more time with the bikes than her so that may hamper the project timeline :lol:

Bike 1: 1980s Repco Traveller (~57cm TT)
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Bought from fellow forum guy 'reddogbic' for $60. Frame is in great condition, no dents or rust at all. Components are similar, most only needing a good polish and abit of elbow grease. Perfect for a first-timer like me.

Bike 2: No idea, no idea (~57cm TT)
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Saw this leaning on a fence on my way to Bunnings to get some rags and Autosol. It was next to 2 other bikes, which had made best friends with Iron Oxide and were a lost cause. This one however has a good frame but the other components are probably unsalvagable. Paid $5 for it, not bad for some spare change in the ashtray.


Progress to date: So far i have stripped both bikes down to just the frame (with BB and cranks still attached). I ordered some bike tools from Torpedo7 that should help me get the bike down to frame and fork only. While im waiting for the tools to come, Ive started polishing up the parts off the Repco and will use them on the final build. The brakes are coming up a treat, as are the pedal/toeclips. The brake levers are excellent but stem/handlebars will need more work. Might have to borrow a handheld grinder with a polishing wheel attached to life easier - my hands are aching already!

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Other things i have considered in the many hours of hand polishing (while watching the cricket):
- Gearing: Most likely gearing will be 48/18 as theres a few hills around here. But might change it to something taller if my bike legs get stronger.
- Color scheme: My leading favourite combo so far is a Pearl White Frame with Blue highlights on lugs and forks. Most likely powdercoated, with the Blue sprayed on afterwards. Blue tape and chain to be fancy. Also up there is spraying the entire thing in Glow-in-the-dark paint which will look off white during the day and supergnarlyradfantastic glow-worm-green at night. Not sure of the durability of this paint tho. Could match it up with some white tape and chain.
- Cockpit: So many options - keeping the drops with existing road levers, flop n chop with existing road levers, flop n chop with some small bmx type coloured brake levers in the centre, dropbars with no brakes or no bars whatsoever and just hold the brakes in my hand (just kidding) :lol:

:idea: I welcome any thoughts/suggestions you guys have. No doubt most of you have more experience with DIY than me :mrgreen:

Fingers crossed it all goes well (and if it doesnt, I at least learn something from it). Stay tuned for more updates.
Cheers,
Rob 8)
Last edited by RobM on Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:14 pm

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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby JeanPierre0 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:14 pm

Hey Rob

Great to see the start of your project. I too am starting an SS project, though my girlfriend can't complain as the bike will eventually be her birthday present!

I pick the frame up tonight, so kick off is tomorrow!

I look forward to enjoying your updates, and will put some pics up of mine too.

Best of Luck

JP
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:50 pm

JeanPierre0 wrote:Hey Rob

Great to see the start of your project. I too am starting an SS project, though my girlfriend can't complain as the bike will eventually be her birthday present!

I pick the frame up tonight, so kick off is tomorrow!

I look forward to enjoying your updates, and will put some pics up of mine too.

Best of Luck

JP


Cheers JP. Ill take it slow on the rebuild - ive got plenty of time to research things so i dont waste too much money making mistakes. This forum is a really good source of infomation AND for help when you get stuck. See Dans recent build here for some pointers - he seems to know what hes doing!

Cheers and Goodluck with yours!
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby Dan » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:09 pm

Robster,
Looking good. I too bought bikes on the weekend - 3 in fact. 2 x 16" kiddies cruisers, and 1 x ladies frame for mrs digger. total price? $60 for the lot. happy Dan.
Will be great to see how your projects turn out, good luck! I think you'll tire of 48/18 pretty quickly - I've got 42/16 at the moment and am spinning out massively through west end, even with all the hills. 48 front gives you room to drop to 17 or 16T rear later on though.

D
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:35 am

Just an update on progress... :)

Have stripped the frame right down and seperated the forks. I didnt realise that the original paint is black with glittery speckles in it, which looks sorta cool as it is. But theres chips here and there so i will still go ahead with the respray...plus it will be more fun this way :D

[Frame and fork stripped bare]
Image


So even with all the Christmas craziness (family lunches, visiting relatives etc) i found a few hours on Saturday to start sanding back the paintwork. I probably didnt need to get it back to bare metal as the powdercoaters said they would be sandblasting it anyway, but i felt like checking out the metal underneath. Forks are pretty much done, and i just need to do the tricky parts of the frame. The sanding also revealed the serial numbers on the BB, which ill note down for later reference.

[Sanded down frame and forks]
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Once im finished sanding ill be taking off the gear cable lugs (first with a hacksaw then file) so it looks abit cleaner. The powdercoaters dont open up until January so ill have plenty of time.

For those that are doing a fixie/SS conversion, ill start adding the links and info that i figure out as i go along. Im not saying im an expert (this is my first attempt) but it might be helpful to others :wink:

Below are the powdercoaters in Brisbane that have given me quotes:
    Unicoatings - neil (AT) unicoatings.com = $120 incl. blasting and painting per frame+fork
    Beenleigh Powdercoating - sales (AT) powdercoatingservices.com.au = $110 incl. blasting and painting per frame+fork
    Wallaby Powdercoating - ~$120 incl. blasting and painting per frame+fork
    Peter & Sue Brown - bpc (AT) onthenet.com.au - ~$120 incl. blasting and painting per frame+fork
    Full Listed Directory

Ill be going with Beenleigh Powdercoating as theyre pretty close to me. And theyre the cheapest so far. At the moment i will be getting the frame and fork in a pearl white finish. An option later would be to tape off the main parts of the frame and spray the lugs a royal blue. I have a friend that does hotrod pinstriping too, and that might look pretty cool. See how fussy i get or if i just want to get the bike finished :mrgreen:

Stay tuned...
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby creux » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:30 pm

Make sure the powdercoater you choose have done bikes before and know how to mask off the BB shell. The last thing you want is removing excess paint from the bb threads.
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:33 pm

creux wrote:Make sure the powdercoater you choose have done bikes before and know how to mask off the BB shell. The last thing you want is removing excess paint from the bb threads.


Better than masking is to screw an old decesed unit in first.

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby dant » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:15 pm

Hey Rob,

Don't know if it is too late but I have used Beenleigh powdercoating before. They took much longer than anticipated and then on the day they said it would be ready and my wife went to pick it up they told her it wasn't ready. They said come back and then the second time she was running late and called them. They said 'oops, still not ready - we have to redo it as it has bubbles'. When it was finally picked up there were still little 'pinprick' holes and 'sharp pimples' in various places. Also had to pony up cash to get the bb chased and faced because the powder invaded there somehow.

Eventually got that frame powdercoated by the same guys that did my fixed MTB. They are P & J Powdercoating at Tingalpa. Cost was $80 for a pearl finish at the time (which Beenleigh wanted to place a surcharge on).

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Got the original Beenleigh one redone last year - again for $80. Best thing is one of the guys raced MTB overseas and still rides road and track. they have silicone plugs that go into every hole :wink: They do the job right and even if they have gone up I would use them again.

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I am in Kuraby if you ever want to see the frames. Commute daily on the one above and another fixie to the cbd.

Cheers,
Adam
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:08 am

(AT) Cruex, Mulger Bill and Dant - i really wish i read your posts a week ago. Wouldve saved me alot of time and money :cry: :cry:

So after a busy holiday period i had managed to get the frame ready to paint (90% sanded and lugs filed off). I dropped the frame+forks+seatpost+bars off at the Beenleigh Powdercoaters on the 18th Jan. I will summarise my issues with this place:
    1. I took a day off work to drop the parts in at around 10am. I stood in the warehouse for 15mins while various staff members all ignored me :| Finally after i cornered a particularly stoned teenaged worker, he grunted and pointed to the boss. I told him i just wanted them painted in a basic gloss white and i filled out a form with my details. I specifically asked "have you done bike frames before? do you want me to show you what parts need to be taped off?" to which he replied "yeah mate, we do them all the time with no worries. Well be fine". The quote for all the bits painted was $150 (which is higher that i was told but i figured the extra was for the bars and post - i didnt really have time to run around for another quote anyways). He said it would be ready to pick up in 7 days.

    2. On the 25th Jan, i rang up the place and asked how the frame was going. I was told that it had been sandblasted but not painted yet. They would call me once it was finished but expected it to be not longer than a day. I really wanted the frame back before my bday (31st Jan) so i could put it all together as a present to myself.

    3. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday go by and still no call. I call again to be told that it has been primed and the final coat will be going on this afternoon and ready for pick up on Friday morning (29th). My GF kindly goes to the place to pick it only to be told that its not out of the oven yet and to come back in an hour (keep in mind its 15min drive to this place). She comes back and its all ready to go finally. She hand over her bankcard to be told that they only take cash, and they dont know where an ATM is. Another 20mins later my GF comes back with cash and gets the hell outta there. She is understandably annoyed by now because half a day has been wasted on running around in circles :evil:

    4. I rush home eager to see their handywork. Now to be fair, the paint finish is very very nice. No real blemishes and only a few pin sized bubbles on the whole thing (probably 3 or 4 in total). Happy with the finish. But my attention turns to the threads and i am quick to realise that ive been screwed. The thread on the forks have been taped off with what looks to be plastic electrical tape. The tape has melted in the oven and filled in the grooves of the thread just nicely. The bottom bracket has also been taped off halfheartedly and theres grit (from the blasting), primer and gloss white paint in the threads. Dammit! Not to mention they kindly painted the inside of the headtube and seattube for me so that the headset cups and seatpost dont fit in anymore. Dammit again. :evil: :evil:

So my options were as follows:
a) Complain (or get my GF to complain as she is rather good at getting refunds and discounts etc) to the powdercoaters and get them to fix their mistakes. Chances of them fixing it up properly - fair. Chances of them wrecking something else as its clear they have no idea - high to certain.
b) Take the frame down to the LBS and get them to rethread the BB and fork. Probably pretty costly and not really what i had in mind for a 'cheap' fixie project.
c) Take a punt and try and fix it myself.

I went with option C and it has been working out fairly well so far. I found that a sharp knife blade was wide enough to get in between the thread grooves and lift out the plastic gunk, grit and paint (not sure how the GF will react when she sees the steak knives now tho :? ). This got the threads on the forks fixed in a few hours. Then another few hours of sanding got the paint out of the ends of the headtube so that the cups could fit back in. And most of the afternoon was spent using the knife blade, sandpaper and wire brush to get out all the cr*p in the bottom bracket. By far the hardest part because everything is so fiddly and hard to get to down there. But at last that was fixed too. The only that remains to be fixed up is the seat tube but hopefully thats just more sanding.

Let me tell you - lesson learnt. Tape everything off yourself. Or just put a cr*ppy bottom bracket in and let them paint over it all. Saves you stress and strain later on :roll: Oh, and avoid Beenleigh Powdercoaters in the future.

Anyways heres some pics of where shes at....
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As you can see the BB is installed and snug. Same with the headset cups. Need to file the insides of the fork dropout things as i had a hard time getting them onto the wheels. All good now. Phew!!

So tomorrow and Monday (got the day off for my bday) will be spent putting all the gear i bought for the project on the frame and hopefully a few test rides. Still not too sure what im going to do with the brakes - i was planning on putting the aero brakes on so i could ride on the hoods....but i like how nice and white the bars are now. Would be a shame to cover them up with bartape. Maybe just the rubber grips and a centre brake lever like the hip kids do it. hmmmm.... :roll:
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:30 am

Thought i might do a rundown of the parts i got and where i got them incase anyone is interested...

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[$130] STARS Fixed/SS wheelset from ebay (CyclingDeal) with blue Maxxis Detonators [$22] and tubes from Velogear

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[$30] Bontrager saddle from fellow forum member and [$35] Shun Crankset (46t) from Velogear

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[$15] KMC Blue SS chain from ebay (this guy) and [$45] MTB SPD shimano white pedals from ebay (this guy)

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[$2] Blue bell :lol: from ebay (this guy) and [$7] blue brake cables from ebay (this guy) and [$12] blue long bar grips from ebay (this guy)

Also:
- metallic blue fizik bartape (which i might end up selling if i dont use) from ebay (this guy)
- bottom bracket from ebay (this guy)
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:49 pm

all done!! except for the brakes that is. need to buy a tektro lever sometime this week to sort that out. I have only had a short ride on it - chain tension seems good. 46teeth might be abit steep for the hills on my commute. see how it goes on my test commute this week. may be doing the walk of shame if its too hard :?

ImageImage

ImageImage


:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby bigadz » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:22 pm

Looks hot-as. I love the chrome dust cap on the headseat. How have you found the wheelset? I saw them on eBay but have never heard of the rim or hub brand before. At $130 they look great, but is the quality there?
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:29 pm

Is very nice. 8)
We know a song about that, don't we boys and girls?

Tomorrow wrote:Ridin' all around the streets
Four o'clock and they're all asleep
I'm not tired, it's so late
Movin' fast everything looks great


Good stuff Rob.

Shaun
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:00 pm

bigadz wrote:Looks hot-as. I love the chrome dust cap on the headseat. How have you found the wheelset? I saw them on eBay but have never heard of the rim or hub brand before. At $130 they look great, but is the quality there?


To be honest i havent really rode more than 100m on them yet (as i dont have brakes yet) so i cant really say. Theyre heavier than a set of Velocity wheels i think - but im pretty confident theyll be fine for normal commuting use (i wont really be jumping gutters or pulling 360 endos on them). They feel pretty solid and roll smooth and straight. If you in the market to spend $300 or so, get some Velocity track wheels or theres some Dia Compe ones on ebay. Ill post some thoughts on the wheels in this thread or the Gear Review one in a month or so. Fingers crossed theyre still going strong :roll:

Mulger bill wrote:Is very nice. 8)
We know a song about that, don't we boys and girls?

Tomorrow wrote:Ridin' all around the streets
Four o'clock and they're all asleep
I'm not tired, it's so late
Movin' fast everything looks great


Good stuff Rob.
Shaun


ha great song! i have memories of dad playing that song when i was younger.
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby blokeinamoke » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:08 am

fantastic use of colours rob, very minimalistic... and the bars look very unusual. very nice.
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby neild » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:39 pm

Hi, great looking bike, it's almost exactly like my current project (though I plan on going white / red).

I've got a few questions about the build if you wouldn't mind answering. This is my first project so I'm learning as I go, trying to read as much info as possible. I picked up an old Repco Traveller off ebay and have stripped it down and am currently in the process of getting it ready to paint.

Initially I was looking at the Stars wheels off ebay, however I thought that as they were 700c not 27" that I wouldn't be able to use the existing brakes. You haven't had any issues with the brakes set up and these wheels? I did notice that you said you haven't got brakes on yet, so do you still intend using the originals? Lastly, looking on ebay at the stars wheels, only the silver & blue versions say they have machined braking surfaces, it doesn't mention it for the while versions. Do you have your brakes on yet and have you found this an issue?

Because I thought I couldn't use the Stars, I was going to use the existing wheels (which are in good condition), however I have been trying to remove the freewheel (thinking I would just replace / change to a single cog with aproriate spacers to get the correct chain line), but I can't seem to get the thing to budge! I've got a shimano cassette tool but this is just slightly too big and after doing research I think I need to get another chain whip to get off the cogs. But if the stars fit fine then I might just get a set of them instead.

As much as possible I wanted to use existing parts to keep the cost down, but those wheels look good and don't cost too much.

I'll be sure to post pics once complete.

Thanks for reading and look forward to any information you can provide.
Norco VFR1 Disc, Merida 903, Mofo Single Speed, Giant MTB, soon to be vintage Gazelle fixie
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:05 pm

G'Day Neil

Most likely a frewheel, not a freehub on the Traveller. You'll need the right tool and no chainwhip to pull it. It's a simple unscrew job.

If you want 700c wheels, most likely you'll need longreach brakes. Shimano 450 0r 650 will do the job nicely.

Look forward to the pics.

Cheers
Shaun
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:34 am

Hi neild,
Yeah she was my first build and honestly i didnt know very much about the process at all. This forum and the internet answered 99% of my questions.

If you've got the frame ready to paint - pay close attention to the problems i had with my powdercoater. Hopefully theres someone in your area that has done bikes before and will properly tape off the important bits. Or you can do it yourself (maybe even ask you local bike store for advice).

Yes the Stars wheels are 700C and my Repco came with 27" wheels. I also own a roadie so i took the front wheel off and tried it on both the front and back of the repco to make sure the brakes could reach. I found that the brakes that came with it (not sure if they would be the same as yours or stock) had a long enough reach for them to work on 700C wheels. I was lucky though - alot of the time they wont reach. If you have access to a 700C wheel try the same thing - or i can measure the distance from the Brake Bolt Hole (that the brake fits into) to the Braking Part of the Rim if you want me to? Might give you an idea about whether your brakes would work or not.

As for the machined rims - ill have to admit that i completely missed that and only noticed when the wheels were delivered haha. I guess i was caught up trying to make sure i didnt make any massive mistakes that i didnt notice that. I havent put the brakes on yet (still waiting for the lever to arrive) but i dont think that it will be a big problem. I talked to a guy who was riding a SS with non-machined rims and he said they still work fine, you just have to be abit more deliberate in pulling the brake lever in wet conditions. He said it still pulls up fine, with the only downside being that the pads can leave black marks on your rims. I can live with that.

Also I will actually be putting a front and back brake on my fixie, and will use a dual cable lever (a lever that pulls both brakes at the same time). I figure this should be more than enough stopping power for me on the few big hills ill tackle. If theres any problems ill ask around on the forum for help.

If you do decide to use your existing 27" wheels (which is totally fine, just remember to buy the right size tubes and tyres) and your having a hard time getting the cassette off - i would just go down to your LBS and ask if they can do it for you. I would be pretty surprised if they didnt do it in 10mins and for free (or at most $10 charge). Saves you buying an expensive tool (as cheap tools are no good) that youll only use once. Plus, you might find that if you visit them often enough they will give you a discount on some extra gear you might need later (tubes, tyres etc). Always handy to have a friend in a bike shop.

Let me know how you go - keen to see some photos when youve got started.

Good Luck!

-Rob :mrgreen:
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby neild » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:18 pm

Thanks for the tips Mulger & Rob. I do have some 700c wheels and it actually didn't cross my mind just to measure them! Unfortunately they have disc brakes as they're on my Norco flat bar road daily commute so they don't fit into the frame, but from the measurements and by the look of it, having the brake pads at their lowest setting they should work well.

I might stick with my current wheels at the moment and get the LBS to remove the freewheel just to keep costs down initially. I'll be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the wheels though Rob and might pick up a pair later.

I'll definitely post up my own thread with pics once I get further along. Cheers.
Norco VFR1 Disc, Merida 903, Mofo Single Speed, Giant MTB, soon to be vintage Gazelle fixie
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby X-Infinity » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:20 pm

Beautiful bike man. The blue trimmings make it look fresh and the Autobots mark is AWESOME! i wish i had thought of putting one on my white + black project. i might have to get a Deceptacons mark and track u down! ;)
good work mate.
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_____ (_)/ (_) ....to infinity, and beyond!!!
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby Grant W » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:31 pm

You can't ride that Rob!
That bike has to go on the wall as the feature of your house. Well done Mate, looks sensational!!!
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby aeroslave » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:11 pm

Very nice!
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:41 pm

Thanks guys - love riding this thing!!! The bikes been for a few rides to work (24km each way) and i get a few riders asking me about it. But theres this one hill tho that has been impossible to climb nonstop - but ill get there eventually.

Ill upload some new pics with the brake. Got a white Blank lever for the front brake. Only thing is that it squeals like a pig when im hard on the brakes - but i dont mind as it seems to make the pedestrians get out of the way :lol: :twisted: Plus i get the uber cool pad marks on my front rim just incase anyone thought i wasnt a legit hipster :P

Only bugger is that its been rainy last few weeks and the schmick white paintjob has been a b**ch to keep clean hahaha. Thats the price you pay for looking smooth i guess.....
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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby RobM » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:35 pm

Thought id put up some more recent pics of the finished build. To be honest, she doesnt get ridden much, <50kms since I first built her. Have been thinking of selling her.....or just mounting it up on the wall for me to stare at lustfully :mrgreen:

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Re: Need for (Single)Speed

Postby aaron » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:44 pm

I think this tire is on backwards
Image
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