Thursday, July 28, 2011

First Fixed Gear Conversion: pt I, Aquirement of the Donor Bike

This is the first post, of most likely many, documenting my first conversion of a road bike to a fixie.

I had been looking for a good used, cheap road bicycle recently. I searched Craigslist and yardsales for weeks. Most of the ones I found were either asking too much or were so rusted out and beat up it wasn't worth it.

Finally, I found a 1976 Raleigh Grand Prix at a garage sale for $5. It's in amazing condition (considering that it's over 30 years old) with basically no rust, no dents and rode at time of purchase with no repair. As far as I can tell from research, every part is original. Its only downfall is that the front derailer was nowhere to be found.

It even has the original tensioned leather saddle stamped as a "Wright W3N"; I've found that the Wright Saddle Co. was (or is) owned by Brooks, the very well known, and possibly only existing company still making leather saddles and that the Wright W3N is basically an exact equivalent of the Brooks B17.[1]

The hubs are made by Normandy, the crankset is Sugino, the derailer's Simplex, the brakes and levers are Weinmann, and I'm assuming the rims are Sturmey Archer from research and because of the spoke protector stamped "STURMEY ARCHER". I can't identify the manufacturer of the handlebar stem, other than a logo with "CB" or "GB" imprinted on it.

Four of the remaining five gears shift, though not smoothly or quietly, and the chain hops off the front chainring every once in a while (hopefully onto the smaller ring). The bad back shifting is probably due to the back derailer pulleys being worn close to smooth. The slipping front chainring is probably due to every tooth on the chainring being rounded off. I guess I can't complain knowing how old it is.

Here are some pictures:
First Fixed Gear Conversion: pt I, Aquirement of the Donor Bike

1. ^ Bregan. "Wrights Saddles." The Brooks Blog. Brooks England Limited, 22 June 2011. Web. 23 July 2011.

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