Newbie - Help/suggestions please!

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  • Hi all - I'm a newbie to LFGSS but also Fixed Gear riding, so be kind!

    I'm a newbie to Fixed Gear riding - so be kind!

    With the pandemic and the trains being generally useless, I bought this Fixed Gear bike this morning second-hand via Facebook Marketplace.

    At some point, ideally, I'd want to change the handlebars to a bullhorn bar, but other than that there isn't anything else I can think of.

    • Where can I get the right bullhorn bar from and are there any specs which I need to find the right one?
    • The back brake is very worn - can someone suggest me some low-midrange cost to replace them?
    • Any other suggestions based on looking at the bike that you would typically do?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

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  • Get a front brake (tektro usually fine). Sort out the cable housing length for the rear one. Saddle angle. If you just need new pads for the rear check on ebay to find some identically shaped ones. Brands like clarks are usually safe bets.

    Consider switching it to singlespeed if you haven't ridden fixed before and find it awkward / hard.

  • A front brake is far more use than a rear brake, sort that first, you'll need a specific caliper for the front, you can't just use the rear. As said above. You can just replace the pads with an Allen key and some practice

    Handlebars are sized on overall width and diameter of tube used. The diameter has to match the current handlebar if you want to keep the same headset ( you probably do.)

    Rising fixed without foot retention is considered unnecessarily dangerous, straps or clipless pedals/shoes are typical solutions.

    Shopping list:
    Front caliper
    Brake pads to match
    Foot retention if fixed
    Allen key set
    Spanner set
    Front lever, housing/outer, inner/cable. You could just repurpose the rear cabling and ride front brake only. Quite common.
    Track pump
    Tyre levers
    Spare tube
    Decent tyres, optional for now.
    £100 ish without tyres and lock.
    Another £100 for those.

  • You need to add foot retention to that shopping list.

  • Stick a post in the wanted section and you may get the right/better parts you need.

  • Thanks @Backstop for this, very helpful - Out of curiosity, what 'looks' wrong with those tyres?

  • Nothing looks wrong from here, just a hunch they could be improved, I go for full puncture protection as I'm not too bothered about weight.

  • I see, thanks @Backstop - I'm lost on what front brake is best. Any chance you could link me to one you'd recommend? Cheers

  • Hi @Jaaamie, what is wrong with the saddle angle?

  • @Backstop thanks for answering my basic q's :)

  • The seat looks from the pictures to be quite nose down.

    Also is it high enough? You’ll find that most people ride with more seatpost showing, you can find some guides to Simple bike fit on YouTube. If you can’t raise your saddle more than it is now then it’s likely that the frame is too big for you in general (too long)

    If you’re considering bullhorn bars then you’ll likely need new brake levers if/when you switch to those, either “aero” ones that go in the end of the bar or ones that clamp in the centre of the bar next to the stem. (Personally I’d keep the risers)

  • @hp93 Thanks for your message!

    I ordered the attached handlebars in the end. Ideally I'd want brake levers that clamp in the centre of the bar - are these easy to find? Any you can link me to or suggest?


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    • Screenshot 2020-06-29 at 13.03.17.png
  • The diameter of the central fat piece needs to match the diameter of your headset, where it's held, to the mm.

    It looks like the rest of the central part tapers which makes it unsuitable to position a break lever there.

  • Thanks @Backstop - this is way more confusing than I thought :(

    What would you do about the brake then for these handlebars? At the ends of bullhorns?

  • Why not both? You can get a pull through level for close to the stem that joins to a bull end lever

    I would say the most important lever is the one near where your hands are when riding cautiously, eg in heavy, slow traffic.

  • You may need to explain a pull through lever...

    It allows you to have two levers controlling the same brake mechanisms, with the same cable. The cable runs from the lever at the end of the bull horn, and then through a second lever on the central horizontal but of the bars, before heading on to the brake.

    As it happens, I am stood next to a bike with a similar setup, but on drop bars. The cable runs under the handlebar tape from the hood lever and then pops out before going into the cross top lever and then on to the brake.

    I'll put a pic of it here.

    Ignore the cable coming out of the side of the hood lever. That is for gear changing.

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    • IMG_20200629_190502.jpg
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Newbie - Help/suggestions please!

Posted by Avatar for mbretton @mbretton