Critique my fixie build

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Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:15 pm

Hey all, I've recently developed a hankering for a single speed/fixed gear bike for tootling around on and for easier group/club rides, I'm also thinking that I could use it on the track if I ever get that way inclined too.

I'm keen to build up the bike myself, I've done it before and I like that it gives me a choice of components and I can make something personal. Here is my proposed list of components, I'd love for people to make comments about the items because it's my first fixed build and some things I'm not too sure about (especially the gears, brakes and brake levers).

2012 Cinelli Vigorelli Frameset
Cinelli Vai XL Seat Post
Selle Italia C2 Gel Flow saddle
Deda Pista Track Handlebar
Cinelli Vai XL Road Stem
Miche Performance 57mm Drop Brake Calliper Set
Dia-Compe Tech 99 Gold Finger Brake Levers (front and rear brakes)
Token C30AK Track Alloy Clincher Wheelset
Miche Primato Track Bottom Bracket
Miche Primato Advanced Silver Track Chainset
Wippermann BMX/Track 108 Single Speed Chain

Already have some continental GP 4 seasons 25C tyres and the wheelset comes with sprockets (flip flop hub with fixed and freewheel).

Certainly not a cheap build, I could probably pull a fair bit of money out of it in a few places if I wanted to but I generally look towards quality over price. I'm not sure about the brakes and brake levers, the frame needs to be drilled for brakes and I'm fine with doing that but I don't know if those tiny brake levers can give much stopping power (but what else fits with track drop bars).
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by BNA » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:49 pm

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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby HLC » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:49 pm

That's a fairly solid parts list. Will give you no dramas there.

Re:drilling, whilsts the fork has a guide hole for drilling, the rear bridge on the Vigorelli's and Mash's have a square profile which doesn't suit drilling for a rear brake (not that you need one anyway).

I've also used a gold finger brake lever and they do the job, but now I don't run brakes as my frame isn't drilled, and I'm badass.

Are you completely sold on the Vig? Or Cinelli's in general? Because if you are 100% on running front/rear brakes, maybe look at the Cinelli Gazetta... Yes it's steel and classic styled but it's only a minor weight penalty over the Vig and it's drilled front/rear already.

Otherwise there are other Track / TT frames (with horizontal track ends) that have suitable bridges/forks for brakes.

But ultimately, a front brake is suffice on a fixed gear bike. You use your legs to slow remember?
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby HLC » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:51 pm

Plus, iirc Deda Pista bars are 31.8 diameter, and the gold fingers are only 23.8 bar clamp... Unless you can get them o/size now.
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:09 pm

Not sold on any of the parts, just what I've found to be available after a quick browse around. I'm not a huge fan of the classic steel style but not averse to it I suppose. I was hoping to use a rear brake as well for if/when I ride single speed, I just kinda assumed that I could drill a brake hole into the rear of the frame (you can also get clamp-on rear brakes for frames that aren't drilled, any idea on how they go?).

You're right about the brake levers and bars not being compatible, do you have any suggestions? I'll have a look around anyway. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:09 pm

Actually here's something disturbingly similar to what I was speccing except without the brakes: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cin ... rce=121196

Price is pretty good compared to my list too...
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby HLC » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:10 pm

You'll find the seat stays of the vig are also a square/rectangular profile so a clamp on won't work either!! I do have a clamp on brake for my bike, but never used it. You can drill the rear, no ones stopping you, but it will be messy as opposed to something with a rear bridge that was designed to be drilled or already drilled. Plenty of frames out there, just shop around!

Re levers, Any cyclocross style crosstop levers in 31.8 will do the trick.

And once you ride fixed, you won't ride SS... Of all the fixed gear/track bikes I've built, all with dual sided hubs, I've never ridden single speed. But everyone is different I guessssss....
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:19 pm

Maybe I just need more experience on the fixed gear, I've only ever ridden one once at the track and it seemed like it took forever to slow down just pushing back against the pedals, certainly I'd need at least a front brake to ride on the road/path.

I've had a good look around at finished bikes and frames available and it doesn't look like what I want is all the common. Basically I want something that looks like a modern track bike (larger diameter formed tubes, deep sweeping drop bars) but with at least a front brake and preferably something that isn't painful to ride off the boards like a real track bike would be. The Cinelli frame still looks good in that respect and I suppose I could live without a front brake.

Otherwise I have seen these frames around a fair bit: http://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/track ... th-fork/TF

Not much heavier than the Cinelli and obviously a lot cheaper, I don't like the look nearly as much and I'd be concerned about the quality and ride of the frame but perhaps I shouldn't be dropping so much money on a bike for leisure riding anyway.
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby HLC » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:31 am

AndrewBurns wrote:Maybe I just need more experience on the fixed gear, I've only ever ridden one once at the track and it seemed like it took forever to slow down just pushing back against the pedals, certainly I'd need at least a front brake to ride on the road/path.

I've had a good look around at finished bikes and frames available and it doesn't look like what I want is all the common. Basically I want something that looks like a modern track bike (larger diameter formed tubes, deep sweeping drop bars) but with at least a front brake and preferably something that isn't painful to ride off the boards like a real track bike would be. The Cinelli frame still looks good in that respect and I suppose I could live without a front brake.

Otherwise I have seen these frames around a fair bit: http://www.cyclingdeal.com.au/buy/track ... ith-fork/T

Not much heavier than the Cinelli and obviously a lot cheaper, I don't like the look nearly as much and I'd be concerned about the quality and ride of the frame but perhaps I shouldn't be dropping so much money on a bike for leisure riding anyway.


Don't bother with the cycling deal frame.

You can drill the fork on the Vig as I said, it has a guide hole and everything.

You just cant mount a rear brake, but like I said you don't need one anyway. A front brake is enough on a fixed gear bike.

Go the Vigorelli if you want it. My trackie is worth over $3500 and I just smash around on the roads occasionally taking it to the track lol

And all track bikes are painful to ride on the road. They are far from ideal, especially hardcore track bikes with tight clearances.. (mine is a Kieren bike from Japan) but we all deal with it because we like them.


Get the big and parts list you suggested, put on the front brake and you'll have a sweet bike!
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:10 pm

HLC wrote:Don't bother with the cycling deal frame.

You can drill the fork on the Vig as I said, it has a guide hole and everything.

You just cant mount a rear brake, but like I said you don't need one anyway. A front brake is enough on a fixed gear bike.

Go the Vigorelli if you want it. My trackie is worth over $3500 and I just smash around on the roads occasionally taking it to the track lol

And all track bikes are painful to ride on the road. They are far from ideal, especially hardcore track bikes with tight clearances.. (mine is a Kieren bike from Japan) but we all deal with it because we like them.


Get the big and parts list you suggested, put on the front brake and you'll have a sweet bike!


Yeah I think my heart is set :P Also turns out you can get the goldfinger brake levers in 31.8mm (only in black but whatever) and I remembered that I already have a campy veloce front brake still in the box so I can just slap that on the front and be done with it. Still not sure if I trust braking with one finger but most of the other flat-bar style brake levers either don't fit 31.8mm bars or generally look poor quality (or are very expensive and way more than I need).
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:51 pm

Frameset order placed, excited! :)
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby SentryBox » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:49 pm

I bought the Gazetta last year after looking at the aforementioned braking 'issues' on the other Cinellis... very happy with it too - simple yet something about it that really appeals.
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:47 pm

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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:06 pm

The build is done!

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Took it for its first ride today along the local shared path (with front brake). Despite the fact that I didn't go out of my way to get light components (wheels especially are quite heavy) it's a very light bike compared to my road and CX bikes. The frame itself is actually very comfortable, I was worried that being a track frame it might ride harsh but I think because I'm using some spare 25c tyres I had sitting around most of that is cancelled out.

It's certainly not built to be a long distance cruising bike though, riding on the tops (especially with a hand on the brake) gets quite uncomfortable after a while due to the angle your wrists take on the track bars and riding on the bottoms currently puts a bit of pressure on my 'softer saddle areas'. I already have bikes that I can ride 100+km on without problems though so I'm fine with having a track bike that's built to go really fast over short spaces of time (well it would if I had a taller gear on it).

Still getting used to the fixed aspect though, braking with my legs is pretty good on the small gear, don't often need to use the front brake in normal riding. I am getting some chain noise and vibration through the pedals during hard accelerations and braking though which does seem a little odd to me. I think the chainline and chain tension are ok but it's hard to know without a reference, I might have to let somebody who knows about track/fixed gear bikes take a look at it and advise me.
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby HappyHumber » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:29 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:I think the chainline and chain tension are ok but it's hard to know without a reference, I might have to let somebody who knows about track/fixed gear bikes take a look at it and advise me.


Assuming the chainline is OK, a mix of new componets can make for an initially noisy set up as things bed in. Can be very subtle things like the cut of the sprocket teeth and the like. A chainline being slightly out, or an out of round or slightly bent chainring can also cause uneven tension and noise where things go tight in the pedal revolution. A give away to uneven tension is checking the play of the chain at the 12, 3, 6 & 9 o'clock (i.e. every 90 deg) positions of the crank arm. Remember - don't spin the crank to test... turn crank 90 deg, stop.. check play.. turn next 90 deg, stop, check.

Whilst it's hard to say from your picture, you chain looks taut enough (crank at ~4 o'clock) but it may be pulling tighter at different points and creating some friction & noise. If it runs tighter at other positions; back the tension off a bit.
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:33 pm

Ally frames are always a little louder(magnifying), especially if the chain line is a little out. if you are only using as a tarck/poseur bike then man up and ditch that front brake as it makes these bikes look naff (IMHO). Cant see your pedals clearly, but I hope you have foot retention of some sort?
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby AndrewBurns » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:32 pm

BRLVR.v2 wrote:Ally frames are always a little louder(magnifying), especially if the chain line is a little out. if you are only using as a tarck/poseur bike then man up and ditch that front brake as it makes these bikes look naff (IMHO). Cant see your pedals clearly, but I hope you have foot retention of some sort?


Pedals are currently SPD because they're way easier to get in and out of when riding around but I'll be putting my SPD-SL pedals on when I eventually take it to the track as I pull my feet out of my SPD's when out of the saddle too often.

I'm not so much concerned with the look of the bike when it comes to riding around on roads and cycleways and I definitely need the brake for the time being. Maybe once I start going to the track more often and I get used to not having a freewheel I can take off the brake and keep it just for track but for the time being I need more kilometers with it to get comfortable and that means roads.
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby BRLVR.v2 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:15 am

Ah, all good then. Never pulled out of an spd ,even when skidding. Track is much more fun as you dont have to worry about sudden stops and crazy peds and cars. Open up and go for it.
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Re: Critique my fixie build

Postby rustychisel » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:55 am

BRLVR.v2 wrote:Ally frames are always a little louder(magnifying)


+ 1

your chain is too tight and you have high and low spot on the chainring. Can also happen with bedding in, as suggested, and 1/8 chain on 3/32 drivetrain components.
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