Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fixie consciousness

Its been a wet November and coupled with a rather nasty virus I haven't had any real time on the bike since the Gong Ride. I'm losing condition rapidly but am aiming for a good couple of rides this weekend.

In other news, while off the bike I have been developing fixed gear awareness. I remember talking to a guy on a flipflop fixed on the Big Ride earlier this year and thinking it was cool and more recently on the gong ride I saw quite a few fixed bikes. Further exploration found a number of sites and blogs including a couple of ride reports from the 2007 PBP from Emily O'Brien and her partner Matt and Sheldon Brown's advice on going fixed. Inspired I had decided to look out for a suitable frame to convert.

So this morning, on my way to work, driving through a village that is having its annual council collection and spy a bike frame out of the corner of my eye. Not just any frame though, but a red Apollo. I quickly looped around the block and pulled up to check it out.

No wheels, a bit rusty looking, but about the right size. Put it in the boot of the Peugeot and continued on to work. I figured that at the worst it could be brazing practise, but I was pretty happy with my find.

A little while later and on closer examination, the frame appears to be a low end roadster style bike equipped with a single front chainring, and an old Altus derailleur, dia compe side pulls, and a rusty port rack.


Rear dropouts however, are fixie friendly - horizontalish and quite long. Looks like a perfect candidate!


Later still, I have commenced stripping the parts off and cleaning up the frame. Suprisingly, while there is a rust on the various nuts and bolts it doesn't seem to be too bad. Mostly mild powdery surface rusting that makes me think this bike hasn't seen a lot of action. The drivetrain doesn;t show and serious wear and the chain is quite flexible and free of corrosion and dirt. Everything seemed to be pretty well looked after though. The seat post and stem, while showing rust, pulled out easily and were well greased and looked in servicable condition. There's some mild damage to the off side chain stay whilc may indicate some form of misadvnture but it eyeballs true and the dropouts line up.


The serial number identifies it as a 1983 build, but quite low end - the frame is pretty coarse and seems a world apart in quality and details from the Apollogy but it will make a fun fixie project and I have named her the Apollogytoo.

The hunt is on now for suitable bits, which will include wheels, bottom bracket, cranks, pedals, stem, seatpost, handlbars, saddle. I think I'll reuse the existing brakes but look for some new levers.


Adrian E said...

Well, what a coincidence! Another red fixie rebuild. Good luck with the new project. I can help you source a cheap track hub and rim if your having trouble.

Grant said...

Thanks for the tip Adrian, might take you up on that after christmas. How's your build going?

Adrian E said...

All good. It was finished on Monday and has been a joy to ride. Its lots of fun, but you've got to watch the big hills.