The place for fixies and other rides without gears
Finally got around to completing a rebuild of my old 1980ish Repco Traveller bike that I have had for around 20 plus years and it was tucked away in various garages until I caught the fixie/single speed bug and decided to do a cheap as possible rebuild that ended up taking over 12 months to do and cost more than I'd like to admit to
First up excuse the photo's as I'm using the camera on the mobile at the moment.
Ok here are some snaps of the bike in its original condition except for the drop bars as I cut them to see what bull horns would look like before I realised I'd better take some pics.
At this point I decided I didn't like the bull horns and hard rubbish brake lever that I acquired so I put that on the backburner for now and decided to start removing components that I wouldn't need and filing off the cable guides and braze ons to get it back to a simple smooth frame.
To strip the frame I used a combination of paint stripper, coarse sand paper, paint scrapers and a lot of elbow grease. In hindsight sandblasting would have been the obvious quick option, however I was still in denial about spending too much and decided to do it by hand.
Bare metal -
Due to unforeseen circumstances (betting all my rebuild money on Dane Swan to win the Brownlow) the frame sat in my garage and accumulated small amounts of surface rust to which I applied rust buster and re sanded lightly to get it back to a condition suitable for spraying; this happened more than once
Last edited by Mulger bill on Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed the pic
The time it took to restock the bank balance gave me some think time about whether to rattle can it or powder coat it. After scouring the internet for options in the Melbourne area, I found a bike forum that recommended some powdercoaters, to which I chose a company called Prism powdercoaters in Dandenong and they offered to spray the bike for the pricey some of $50 dollars I chose a gloss black finish after chopping and changing the colour about a dozen times. The finished product for $50 dollars was bloody good, only negative was the bottom bracket got painted as well
I should add that the price was for just the frame as a work colleague was able to get the forks chromed for free, here they are with a Tektro R365 Longreach brake attached-
Ok the next bit may invoke some debate, as one of the earliest pieces of the rebuild that I purchased were the wheels - a shiny set of white deep v flip flop STARS wheels and for eighty bucks I get what I paid for them. At least I dressed them up a little in some Fyxation Session 700 series tyres
For now the wheels will have to do
The next purchases were made sporadically over god knows how long. I replaced everything except fot the Stem which a workmate set to work polishing it on a polishing wheel and it came up sparkling. I also bought some cool green Oury grips riser bars that I had some length taken off them, a brake lever and new headset with sealed bearings.
Followed by a new cartridge sealed bottom bracket, in the pic is also a new seat post bolt(taking pics of everything now)
I purchased a generic seat post after that and then had the saga of buying a saddle from ebay which was a bargain Fizik saddle in team liquigas colours - blue and green. This was purchased before I chose black for the bike colour and after some doubt on what the final look of the bike would be I decided to sell it back on ebay at a little profit and put the money towards a Fizik Tundra 2 saddle that was black and green; the black in the saddle helped sway the choice of powdercoating with black gloss-
The next purchases were again ebay cheapies- wellgo pedals and straps from the same supplier as the Stars wheels may have to revisit that purchase down the track
Choosing cranks and a chain ring took a while. I settled on a set of 165mm FSA Vero cranks and a generic 46 tooth chain ring. I'm hoping that with the combination of the 46tooth chain ring and 16tooth rear may give me a good starting ratio for my area, not to many hills and the main purpose of building the single speed was for quick sprints to work and making a light easy to ride bike that I can bring with me on the train when needed.
Finally to finish off the rebuild, I went to the guys at Pista Bikes in South Yarra where I bought a lot of the gear for the bike. They were good enough to step me through the last part of putting it all together, ensuring that when I do ride it that it wont fall apart under me, and here it is
All that was added in the shop was a white brake cable to match the wheels and a chain and finally a cool Pista Bicicletta Melbourne headtube decal and I'm done
From this I learn't that I spent more than the price of a brand new shop bike, however the fact that my 20 year old bike gets another go around made it worth it- at least thats what I try to keep telling myself when I look at all the receipts for the parts
If it rides well the next addition will be to offload my regular ride and maybe get rid of the stars wheels for some black wheels, maybe a deep v and aerospoke combo...we shall see
Given the start point, you've done that rather nicely.
Consider this as you gaze at receipts: You're way ahead on parts quality compared to many, many conversions, and even many 'budget' off the rack SS/fixed bikes. If you get the urge to upgrade, just buy a better frame and swap the parts over.
Black wheels might be ok, but Deep V + 'Spok? Just. Don't. Please.
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I was a bit nervous about a 50 dollar powdercoat job, but the finished product was faultless, bar the inside of the bottom bracket; even this had a great coating . I even got a quote for 25 dollars, which sounded way to cheap for a good job. Both places asked if I had sandblasted it and when I mentioned that I had been pretty meticulous with doing it myself by hand, it didn't seem to worry them. In the end if there was specs of paint left on then it was my fault if the powdercoating job had some imperfections, so for the cost save and time handstipping the frame versus the risk of the paint job quality it was worth the risk
Nice bike. It looks really good.
I recently went through the decision of building up a bike or buying a complete bike but the buying complete won due to budgetary constraints.
Why the half link chain?
No real reason other than this was the chain that the singlespeed bike shop in South Yarra offered up. A quick google search after your post to answer my own curiosity, all I could find was that it was perhaps a bit stronger although a little heavier with thicker pins and plates; here is a common bit of info from the net that kept relating back to half link chains
- Half link designs have two distinct advantages. First and foremost, strength: each link is designed to protect the other which can prove particularly significant when accelerating aggressively or braking using the transmission. Secondly, it ensures very precise chain alignment especially with horizontal dropouts.
I have set the rear wheel about half way into the dropout so if it begins to stretch I'll still have some room to pull it back and tighten the chain, otherwise I'll take a link out - no problems there
Nicely done mate, and as mentioned by jim, dont fret about what you spent, as long as you plan on riding it, its money well spent. I especially the part of giving the old girl a second chance at life! another 20 years of service easy!
Aussie dollar is good, so some deep vs /b43s/ aerospokes are not as silly in prices as they once were, i say go for it!
Also, good thing you left the mudguard eyelets, you may change direction and decide to go full fenders, racks, brooks..etc etc...handy for wet winters too
Yeah nearly filed them off, especially after filing off the bike stand plate, I was looking for more things to offload, in the end apathy overruled obsessive compulsion and the eyelets stayed
Great rebuild Kingfisher. I rate the colour scheme. I just picked up a Repco Traveller today.
Any advice or tips you would give to a new to converter? Perhaps things you would of done differently or not overlooked?
One thing the previous owner of the bike said to look out for is feet hitting the wheel when it turns. I think if I just simply get a shorter crank arms. He mentioned something about the frame being slightly smaller than a normal size? The top tube seems to be about 54cm-56cm which fits me well.
Cheers for that.
Decide first off if you are going for a quick and simple conversion, ie. less cost, or spend a bit more to overhaul the lot. I enjoyed sanding it back myself and it took a while, but if you do a nice job of it you probably save $50 give or take on sandblasting to put into something else. I scrimped a bit on the wheels at the start and will probably upgrade them; mostly because they are pretty ordinary quality - lesson learned there for me. I f I didn't know how to fix/change/upgrade a bit I found a bike shop that specialized in single speed/fixies and used them for info - best move in hindsight. With the crank arms, I went for shorter arms maybe only 5-10mm difference but it can minimize pedal strike. Also for colour scheme etc I found a website that helped where you can create a mock fixie from colour to wheel choice, saddle ,handlebars etc, etc, from memory its called design your bike or something. I originally was going with a blue/green/white scheme. Using that website made me realise that it looked shithouse, so have a look at that one.
Must be a good bloke to polish your stem for you!!!
I have a set of Stars wheels on my new SS and i reckon they will last a good while and roll fine. The finishing quality isn't much but for the price...
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
S/S is ok, but I'd be leery of riding them on the fixed side given the experience of others with stripped hubs.
Yea i've seen a few comments about that, no concern for me though as my commute is pretty hilly, i don't think i'd enjoy trying to keep up with the pedals down Tinbeerwah hill at 82kmh...
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
Hi Kingfisher, nice bike, hope you enjoy the build process. I too have a Repco traveler, and I am having trouble with the bottom bracket.
Looking for some help, mine has spindle axle and cones, with square taper and has nuts on the end, not bolts. Did you have these and somehow replace with a cartridge? This has caused me to purchase several sets of cranks and none of them fit?
I have kept the old worn and faded red paint scheme, with some nice shiney new bits, I wanted to make this bike look like crap so no-one would steal it, but go like stink. Now it looks a bit silly with too much bling. may have to paint it now.
Looking forward to any help from anyone,
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