Re-Cycled Fixies

I love it when someone breathes new life into an old bicycle. I’m in the process of doing it myself and am getting a real kick out of binning the derailleurs and changing the bike from old clunky piece of shit to smooth riding urban transport. 

I’ll post about the Repco soon. What I want to bang on about today is Classic Fixie in the Adelaide Hills. They take old bikes and turn them into new bikes (okay…old bikes with a fresh lease on life) via the transformative process of removing all the old shitty gears shifters and knocking them out as a classic fixie. It’s poetry in motion.

Everything old is new again.

You need a steady supply of old bikes to make the process of renewal possible so they’re actively seeking old bikes. To grease the process they will “will pay anything from a 6 pack to a carton depending on condition”.

If you’re a Gold Coaster like myself and you like the idea of getting a recycled cycle try The Bicycle Revolution in the West End of Brissy.


  1. Pedro Cordeiro

    Hi James

    I just picked up an old frame someone left on the side of the road and am thinking of converting it to singlespeed. Could I have some advice as to what components to buy. I think I’ll need everything appart from the frame.


  2. James Pollock

    Hi Pedro. How you proceed depends on what sort of frame you have there. If it has sliding drop-outs or horizontal drop-outs then you’re in good shape because you can tension the chain. Without that you’ll have to get some kind of chain tensioning device or a half-link chain and fiddle about until you get something that works. Next thing you need to know is the width of your drop-outs. Many older bikes have the same width drop-outs as single speeds but most modern bikes do not. The 8-9-10 speed frames have wider drop outs. I won’t pretend to know what those widths are without looking them up. I think the standard single speed width is about 110mm but don’t quote me. I enjoy being ignorant about numbers.

    Assuming you have those things in place, the correct type and width drop-outs, then you can buy up parts from any bargain fixie store or ebay seller. You need to know what type head tube you have and what width bottom bracket but you’ll get parts to accommodate you either way. I’d reckon though, if you want everything except the frame, you’d buy a complete bike cheaper than you’ll buy the parts you’re after. So unless you’re keen on having a project have a think about buying a complete bike. Or be prepared to hunt down 2nd hand and bargain parts.

  3. Pedro Cordeiro

    Hi James, weird i didn’t get any notification of your reply…

    I’ve already checked that stuff. Luckily I’ve picked up an old 10 gear road bike with horizontal dropouts with about 120mm width.

    Unfortunately I’ve come to the same conclusion: it might actually be cheaper to buy a complete bike but that sort of beats the original purpose of creating a fixie/SS from an old bike and makes fixies/SS as expensive as any other bike if not more expensive.

    Being originally from Melbourne, you wouldn’t know of some sort of forum or club that facilitates the exchange/sales of used parts?
    There must be a lot of guys customising their bikes and ending up with extra parts to sell cheap.

    I really was looking forward to have a project that could end up with an interesting yet cheap fixie/SS.

    Oh well, I suppose I could always go for a Create Originals but that for me beats the whole purpose of the supposed fixie philosophy…

    Best regards

  4. James Pollock

    Hi Pedro. Sorry man, missed your reply.

    As a project it’s always justifiable to spend too much time and money on a bike. So long as you’re happy with the process and the outcome.

    There must be swap meets and the like in Melbourne. I reckon you should pick up a copy of Treadlie magazine. They seem to keep up with things like that. I’m pretty sure they’re Melbourne based as well.

    My local tip shop was a useful place to forage for a while. It’s well picked over these days but I made some useful purchases previously.

    What worked for me when I was doing the old Peugeot Mixte was having a friend who bought a bike and systematically upgraded every single part, donating the old stuff to the Peugeot in the process. I’m not sure how you come across these friends, except by good fortune, but if I could recommend any approach to rebuilding a bike then I’d have to say this was my favourite.

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