How Cheaply Can You Build A Fixed Gear Bike? | Cheap Bike To Fixie Ep.1

– Sometimes, you can’t beat the simplicity of riding along on a bike with no gears. Maybe to commute to.

– Sometimes, you can’t beat the simplicity of riding along on a bike with no gears. Maybe to commute to work,
or pop to the shops, or even a little pootle
around with your mates. In this series of videos,
we’re going to convert a commonly available old road bike into a fashionable fixie. Oh, and test it, along the way. (rocket blasting) For this video, I decided to head over to the hotbed of secondhand bikes. No, not Gumtree, not Craigslist, but eBay. Although, I must say, actually, that FaceBook marketplace
is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. And for just 35 British pounds, I bought this Peugeot Premier. Now it’s listed as well, spares, repairs, suitable for parts,
because as you can see, it’s an unfinished project bike. But well, it’s going to
be absolutely perfect for what I want to use it for. But what should you be doing, then, when it comes to making your decision for your road bike to fixie conversion? First up, you need to
think about the budget, and also the size of the bike. Two things which should be nice and simple for you to be able to work out. And then, it’s just a matter of time of scrolling through page after page, before you find something
which is suitable. In my case, I really wanted
something that looked the part. Because so many of these road
bike to fixie conversions use a really iconic frame design. There’s nothing more iconic, I reckon, than one o’ those Peugeots. Once you go to have a look at that bike, make sure the frame is all okay. That’s the most important thing. Anything else can be
replaced relatively low-cost. So, have a good look over the frame tubes. Make sure they’re not bent or twisted. A little dent here or there is okay, but anything too big, well,
that could well affect the structure of the frame. Obviously, if you are thinking about using or re-using any of the components fitted, make sure they’re in good condition, too. So, handlebars, for instance. That’s quite a common thing to get bent, or slightly twisted, if
a bike’s been dropped. And also a buckled wheel. And lastly, what about
those pedal threads. That’s something which no one ever checks when they go to buy a secondhand bike. Although, in my case,
well, it doesn’t even have a right-hand crank, so don’t worry, I’m actually going to be
replacing the chain set totally. Don’t forget, though, if
you’ve got a double chain set, for instance, on a bike,
you can easily convert that into a single-ring setup. Course, you are going to need to spend a little bit more time
researching chain lines, and things like that. (carefree rock and roll music) Now this video series
is all about doing it without having to spend a fortune. Because loads of fixie
aficionados out there, they want to have
NJS-stamped track components on their bike. But we’re not going to
be putting these parts through the strains and
stresses of a Cairn rider. So, all I’m going to say is, when you are looking
for one of these frames, make sure that it’s got
horizontal drop-outs at the rear. What does this mean? Well, it means that it’s
not a vertical star, which you find on modern-day bikes. Instead, you’ve got a
little bit more room, I guess, to play with, with the rear axle. So, when it comes to
tensioning up the chain, you can get it absolutely spot on. And you can do away with an
unsightly chain-tensioner or anything like that. Keeping it looking really
nice and minimalistic. In my case, it’s time to
actually strip this bike of all of the components and
give it a good ol’ clean, ready for the fresh bits
and pieces to be fitted. As ever, I’ve been hunting
around for a bargain here or there, but some things, remember, are not worth scrimping on. They’ve got to be suitable for the job. Let’s take it apart. (carefree rock and roll music) Well, there we go. The Peugeot Premier stripped
down to the frame and forks. I’ve got to say, there was a
slight heart-in-mouth moment, for a minute. I thought I was going to have
to put the bike into a vice, to try and free up the bottom bracket, but no, I’m actually going
to add the fixed cup, and then I can get slowly into
the actual adjustable cup, which took a 24 millimeter hex socket. Gettin’ on there, not a problem at all. I’m not going to focus too much
on the war wounds of the bike, because there’s no major
dents in it, whatsoever. And part of the real
love about transforming an old road bike into a fixed
road bike is that exactly. The history behind it. But stayed tuned, well, in fact, in the next episode, I’ll be showing you exactly what I’m going to be
fitting onto this bike, and why. Because it’s not quite as
straightforward as you may think. So, there we are. Remember to like and share
this video with your friends. Give it a big, ol’ thumbs-up. And why not check out the GCN shop, too? It’s And now, for two more great videos. The first one, Oliver
Bridgewood was a detective, just like Sherlock Holmes. He’s going to give you his tips on how to buy a secondhand bike. Click just down here. And for another maintenance
video, click just down here.

100 thoughts on “How Cheaply Can You Build A Fixed Gear Bike? | Cheap Bike To Fixie Ep.1”

  1. You know…, there was a time where fixed gear (woth freehub…) and a "step backwards" pedalbrake was the norm, was the normal bike.
    It was simple, cheap, functional and lasted for decades.

  2. I think I shall win the cheap fixed gear competition. All prices in AUD
    Found a frame and stem next to the tram stop bin – free
    Paid a mate $20 for his bodge job bike that was meant to be a fixed gear but didn’t even have the same width cog and chainring. Used the crankset, bars and wheelset from this bike
    Shimano spdsl 105 pedals – $20
    New chain of fb marketplace – $10
    Rear cog from second hand bike workshop – $5
    Used some badminton handle tape I found in my cupboard for bar tape
    Total cost – $55
    I also bought a front brake and cable for $12.50

  3. #AskGCNtech Does that Peugeot have a French thread bottom bracket? If yes, I can't wait to see how you got around it. There's a juicy Peugeot for sale around here but the possibility of having to deal with a French thread and thus, as far I could find so far, be stuck with a square taper BB is stopping me buying the bike –as those BBs tend to die on me very quickly…

  4. Heeeeeelp. I bought a bike to do this and ended up falling in love then bought another because I couldn't part out the first and then fell in love with that one and so on and now I have a metric fuck ton of bikes

  5. I just bought a Peugeot Corbier from the 80's in great shape and had this same idea in mind. Looking forward to seeing what you put on that frame. Not looking forward to removing the bottom bracket…

  6. From someone who has grown up with cycling from 1980’s to 2019, the tools to take those components apart from an early frame would cost considerably more than the bike you purchased if you don’t already have them. Just the flip side to retro . Just saying. 🤘🇨🇭

  7. Yes! Very much getting into fixies and single speeds lately. I'm thinking of turning a old carbon tt bike into a fixie. Can you make a video on that please. I have a feeling it's also not as straightforward as I might imagine.

  8. Jon, nice spot you have there, GCN bar. That bargain frame is going to pop up in your hands. Keep it simple.

  9. #AskGCNAnything what music are you listening to in the background while stripping the bike John? I can see your laptop playing a concert.

  10. I know the pain of Peugeots with metric pedal threads. I discovered them on my PH40 when I went to change the pedals, decided to change the crank set to solve the issue, then found that the French and English cottered BB spindles are different diameters, so I had to get an English spindle to put between the french cups.

    It's a sort of fixie, in that it is fixed gear under acceleration above 14 mph, but in low gear (any speed below 14mph) it's got a freewheel, and if you coast then it changes down. The Sram Automatix 2 speed really is a fascinating hub.

  11. I have a Peugeot Columbus SLX frame with a Mavic BB in the loft and that's where it is staying. Build quality was pretty poor, poor tube mitring, cheap lugs and sign of overheating in the BB shell. Waste of a Columbus SLX tube set as far as I was concerned.

  12. did not mention the dropout spacing 130 vs 120mm. im afraid people are bending their dropouts on their steel, aluminium and carbon frames right now.

  13. Now you've got me looking at a frame for a fixed wheel bicycle such as the Holdsworth Zephyr Frameset 531 with silver hard soldered investment cast lugs on Planet X…..I've just spent £300 on a new Felt ZC carbon frame set after an earlier eBay group set splurge (mostly Dura Ace and Ultegra components) inspired with the Cheap bike to Superbike series for under £1000.

  14. A word of caution: be careful when choosing a frameset for a ss/fg conversion. Those old French bikes had some goofy bb threading alongside French specific headset and seatpost diameters. Even the fork brake drilling could be smaller than modern caliper brakes. That is, should you choose to employ a front brake.

  15. About 10 months ago I bought a Peugeot premiere and changed it into a fixed gear haha. All for around £100, including price of the bike

  16. Can you use a 34/52 combination on a non di2 Ultegra 11 speed, I currently have a 36 and would like to swap out for a 34

  17. How do you add horizontal dropouts to that kind of frame (to adjust chain tension if switching cogs/chainring)? Or is there some "other way"?

  18. €180 is what my first fixie cost me and it’s still running.
    The most was on the wheel which was €120.

  19. how often are you guys gonna be posting these? I'm just in the process of converting my bike to a fixie and this is by far the most promising video series for it I've ever seen! don't be weekly please! be daily or every other day, I need it!

  20. I did this exercise a few years back with a rare Swiss Tigra frame – the parts cost no more than 50 quid, then again having a close friend who owns a bike shop helped 😀 … It's a joy to come across random parts that come together in a unique assembly – it's my favourite bike of all of them, and there are carbon frame racers in that bunch. That side of tinkering with bikes completely gets lost with buying an off the peg bike, which is something I've never done and can't see myself doing.. Looking forward to seeing the rest of this series!

  21. I'm in the middle of a similar project, but sadly the aluminium seatpost is REALLY stuck in the steel frame, I'm at the freezing spray / glide hammer end of my solutions list…

  22. I'm sorry to say that but Peugeot is a poor choice for a cheap conversion:

    It has a french threaded BB that you will have to get re-threaded to BSA if you want to put a new BB.
    And it also has a french threaded fork+headset so you'll have to change both of them if one is broken because french part are no longer produced and kinda expensive now.

  23. Did you thread the bottom bracket? I'm converting my wife's bike with a internal gear hub and I'm thinking about replacing crankset and the bottom bracket but I don't even know what are the options here.

  24. Why not a singlespeed? Some spacers from old cassettes, a BMX sprocket (about FOUR quid each) and your old wheel, done.

  25. I did exactly this!! Sent in to 'Upgrades' on the uploader last week…..I'll take the credit for inspiring you! I'll send again.

  26. Nice to see the full strip and clean treatment! Being from Brazil, my first fixie build was obviously a Caloi 10. We always ran away from peugeots because of the italian thread bottom bracket. I'm looking forward to see what will come up of this. Nice work!

  27. Just like to say cheers to Jon and the GCN tech team, the channel has quickly become my favourite. Due to laziness, work and bad weather I haven't really ridden much this year. In place of that i've stripped my entire bike gave it a good clean and put it back, without these videos and their invaluable information this task wouldn't have been as fun/stress free!!!

  28. Nice video. But can you guys please, please test 1-2 models from Decathlon. They got some nice bikes with good components and decent price. I am realy curious to know the opinion of a pro biker betwin decathlon bikes and something from Giant, Orbea, Canyon, Giant, etc. Thank you:)

  29. I had two Peugeot as commuter, they've been the best commuter I ever had, first was Peugeot tubing second one Vitus 172, weirdly I did prefer the Peugeot tubing (also it's not the HLE that is on this video, HLE tubing is pretty shite IMO).

  30. oooooOOOOO………. is horizontal drop outs the only requirement ? my 1987 Raleigh (531), i convrted her to fixie …..oh the fun i had trying to keep that rear wheel aligned. Tension ! TENSION !!!! 3 ft lever of tension, stripped bolts, slack chain, going too fast downhill, bobbin away, chain between the frame and tyre. 10 ft skid. blow out. ripped jersey and lots of attention from 70+ year old women. advent of wide/narrow chain rings help but make sure the rear wheel stays in place ……… oh what to do with my 1987 Raleigh ????

  31. I got a China direct unbranded carbon aero frame… I dare you guys to review one. About 500 miles so far on my frame and it's been awesome.

  32. I'm currently doing my first restoration/customisation on an 80's claud butler. Loving these resto videos they're really helping me! Keep up the good work!

  33. I would love to do this kind of video but from road to CX! With tips on how to increase tire clearance and so on…

  34. I have two premieres – one is my partner’s resto mod with 2011 centaur and roberto Corsas from a bianchi. Cost less than £300 to build and it’s an awesome ride. The other is my l’eroica bike! “Carbolead” I call them but their geometry works for me 🙂

    Nice to see one getting worked on 🙂

  35. That's the thing that this show was missing! I ride my fixed gear bike (scorcher-like) every day for commuting for 7 years so far. It's built with an old three-speed frame, and TIG welded Shimano freehub. I wasn't satisfied with the thread on hub and sprocket, the threaded portion was off centre. However, it wasn't unscrewing because of the lockring from a british bottom bracket. I can totally see myself working in GCN and/or GMBN alongside John and the crew.

  36. By gosh, you were quick. I have a ficxie. Now converted to a road runner .8 gears on the back. And not running true. Is it because they are not compatible?

  37. I see this a lot around my area and I love seeing vintage bikes back on the road and out of the landfill

  38. What tools should I buy to have the base set? I have nothing today and I want to build and learn 🙂

  39. I did a steel frame fixed gear conversion on an old Nishiki, I think it was an International. Anyway, I picked up the bike for $30 I believe. The goal was to build it for as little money as possible. I think I managed under $100 USD total including the initial purchase, though I went over budget when I put on some extra goodies like fenders. Point is, building a fixie can be fun and CHEAP

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