Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Skull Stable

You ain't a player if you don't have more than one bike! Baby I'm a player! Four bikes in the living bike in the bedroom and two or three more in storage. You say what? Yeah I be bad! My main three...(this can change,) but right now...
1) The Skull Express- Lean classic lugged British track frame. Originally when I got it used it was painted white with a hand brush, but I saw a hidden beauty under that crappy paint job, so I picked her up for a $100 bucks. I stripped her down and had her powder coated jet black. Threw on some black SINZ Bmx cranks, traditional campy pedals and a classic Selle Italia Trans am leather saddle now you with me baby? Took some road bars and did the chop and drop bull horns! I installed a black Mavic road brake on the front with a tri brake lever in the end of the bull horn.The fork that came with the bike was good. I put a completely black Wienmann DP-18 wheel on the back and a completely black road wheel I had on the front. With that she was ready to roll .ohh I forgot the tell tale Skull decal on the head tube to complete it. This is my everyday commute bike. I'm running a 46 x 17 gear ratio.
2) Ride number two. KHS Flite 100 I think the 2006 model yellow with blue decals. I've changed this bike around several times. Right now as she sits she's set up for long distance. A RIDO saddle for comfort. I put some Tri bars without the extensions so they look like deformed bull horns, but because they're longer they allow for more hand positions. Tri brake lever on the right side for the front brake. An old Mavic aero wheel on the front, the KHS factory wheel on the back. A bike rack for when I need to tote a cooler and she was ready to go.
3) The newest edition to my stable the Sparton classic lugged track frame that I just built. Pictures below. I put a new Origin8 red anodized crank on it. I found some old NITTO classic track bars that I cleaned up and installed on a classic Cinelli Titaniaum stem. Red Selle Italia saddle. For now this bike is brakeless. I'm going to leave an easy gear ratio for tricks and skidding. This will be my play bike.

What is it I like in a Fixed Gear?

If you asked me what I liked in a fixed gear I'd tell you the simplicity. My fixed gear is always ready to go. It's quiet and it sticks to the essentials.... simplicity! I still have a road bike but I rarely ride it and when I do it usually needs an adjustment or it's making an irritating noise that I usually have to tweak. Ask me what kind of frame I like...Classic lugged track frame hands down! There is an artistic beauty to a hand lugged frame. The look and ride of steel can't be beat! Now don't get me wrong I like the custom look of the bikes coming out now. I like seeing everyone putting their personal touch to their bikes it's one of the things that keeps the fixed gear scene fresh and exciting. For me personally I just like the look of the lugged frame.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finished Sparton

Finished Sparton in all her splendor!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Well I got the alignment problem fixed. I just had to touch up the dropout a little. Wheels and chain are installed. Handlebar and stem are on. I went to put the seat on and I don't have the right seat post. I figured it would be a 27.2 or 26.2 it's not. Probably a 26.0 which I don't have so I'll have to pick one up. The bike is definitely looking nice. The track fork has a very close clearance over the wheel. The brake that I had that I had a short reach won't work...damn. The brake was sweet a Campy Delta. Anyway for now I'll keep it brakeless. Once I get the seatpost it's pretty much ready to go. Sparton offers two different forks so if your going to use a front brake make sure to tell them.

Quick Release and hub info

A young lady sent me an email on using a quick release on a fixed. I wrote her back and thought maybe some other people could use the info so I copied it. Below:

The flip flop hub is a hub that has threading on both sides. Meaning you can have a different gear on either side of the wheel. To change your gear you just need to take your wheel off and flip sides. Now you can get a hub that is fixed/ fixed which means you would have to use a track cog on both sides or you can get a hub that is fixed/free, which is threaded on one side for a cog and the other side for a freewheel.
The cog and freewheel threads are not the same. The cog side will have two rings of threads the first which is closest to the spokes is where the track cog spins on. The second threads are smaller and tighten in reverse so you go left to tighten. This is for your lock ring which locks down the track cog.
Your freewheel side will only have one set of threads. So you want a fixed/ free hub. You put a freewheel on one side and a track cog on the other. You can switch back and forth as you like.
Now reference the quick release hub as far as I know nobody makes this type of hub with a quick release. They will either use a standard bolt or an allen bolt.
On a derailleur bike you don't put that much torque on the rear wheel because the derailleur keeps the chain tight. On a fixed gear the chain is direct drive so it has to be locked down super tight. A quick release was not designed for this type of application.
Let me know if this helps. If your buying a commercial/new fixed gear bike it will be set up this way. If your buying something used or converted then there's no telling.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I should of had the Sparton frame finished this weekend, but I ran into a snag. I finished the bottom bracket. Everything went smooth, the threads and facing were finished nicely, so all that was left was to slap wheels and a chain on it and it was ready to go. I put a rear wheel in the rear dropout and the wheel lines up crooked. I suspect the frames out of alignment. I'm going to throw another wheel in there just to make sure the wheels not off, but I suspect the frame. I was rushed for time, so I just put everything aside till I had some more time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sparton Up Date

Sorry I didn't work on the frame this weekend. I had a bottom bracket at the house that I had planned to use, but when I got ready to install it I noticed the threads were damaged. I will try and pick up a new bottom bracket in the next couple of days. However, I did find some chrome track bars and an old Cinelli stem. I picked up some ORIGIN 8 red annodized cranks that should look trick. I also have a nice red Selle Italia leather saddle that will be going on the bike. Talking about frames check out the Pinarello time trial frame at Dropped curved frame with a 650c front wheel 700c rear.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Origin 8 Del Pasado

A new fixed gear frame is on the horizon. Origin8 the guys that came out with the UNO have a new frame set coming out the Del Pasado. Full treated 4130 chromoly frame and fork.

Ovalized 28mm tall chainstays

Custom machined horizontal dropouts

25.4 seat post

120mm rear spacing

1 1/8 threadless headset

room for 35c tires and fenders

integrated seat collar

Straight blade fork

This frame has a really cool look. It will be available in black or white. A perfect frame for bike polo or tricks. Now the best thing this frame set should retail for $180 dollars!

Monday, March 2, 2009

NAHBS Winner

Best Track Bike
Shin-Ichi Konno is continuing a family business that has made Cherubim one of the most respected handmade bicycle brands in Japan and a builder for keirin racers there. According to Shin-Ichi, the current design of track/keirin racing frames has been in place since the 1960s. The award-winning Cherubim Pista is made with due respect to the long tradition of track bicycle frame building.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The finished photo

Headset and fork finished and ready to go!

Above photo fork locked into vice with saw guide. Right photo showing threaded cup on fork before putting it in saw press. This saves you if the threads are damaged when cutting. When you unscrew it, it will straighten the threads so you can re-install the headset.

First photo showing headset press. Second photo installed headset with marked fork before cutting.

Progress on the Sparton

I wish I had had a video camera. Filming this would have been more helpful, but since I was on the clock I didn't want to be to obvious. Anyway these were the final steps to mounting the fork. 1)First I needed to press the cups into the frame. I used a headset press which is a tool designed just for this. It basically applies pressure from both sides forcing the cups into the frame. 2) Next I needed to measure where to cut the fork off. Usually this is done at the factory for you, but if you ever need to replace a fork you will need to know how to do it. Put your headset on and screw it down. Mark where you need to cut the fork, just under the locking nut. Once the fork is marked remove it from the frame. 3) Now screw the threaded upper cup down the fork past your mark and put the fork in a saw guide and lock it into the vice. The reason you install the upper cup is if you damage the threads when sawing, when you remove the threaded cup it will fix the threads. Make sure you line the mark on the fork with the saw before you start sawing. If you cut it to short you will not be able to use the fork! 4) Once the fork is cut remove it from the saw guide. Touch up the cut area with a file then unscrew the threaded cup. 5) Now re-install the fork and headset. Grease the cups and bearings and tighten it down.