Zoobird

Dangerously organic!

I recently built a fixie on a cheap Chinese frame for commuting.  The idea was to hold down the cost of the initial project, and then when my credit card cooled down, upgrade to a classy track frame. I haven't done the frame upgrade yet.

(This post was written by Tim Kinney and added here as a discussion by Michael Levin)

The grips were meant for a Honda motorcycle, so I had to modify them a bit.

The project started when I got  a great deal on the rims (ebay).  They were 28 hole, so I was the only bidder.  I had some Formula track hubs in 28 h, and once I built the wheels, I had to decide what to put them on.  Like most bike projects, it ended up costing more than I planned.

If you want a nice bike, you can get one at a bike shop and it will cost you at least $600.  But, if you shop carefully for parts and do all the work yourself, you can build the same thing for $3000.  I'm only exaggerating a little bit.

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I forgot to mention the flickstand.  It's the little flip-down thingie between the downtube and the front tire.  They used to be common on road bikes, but they are no longer made and a lot of young people have no idea what they are.  It is basically, an alternative to a kickstand.  When you flip it down and wedge it against the front tire, the wheel will not turn or rotate.  Then you can lean the bike against a wall or bike rack and it won't fall over.  When you're ready to go, you flip it up against the downtube and you're off.  They only fit a conventional sized downtube (28.6?)

If you decide to try one, they turn up on ebay as "New Old Stock"

I found one here

Very nice looking bike. I too have done the shopping for the parts or building it myself thingy, which cost me more than buying the ready-made product outright. I guess it is the experience I was going after [or so is my justification :) ]

Paz :)

Some of us have a "do-it-yourself" gene.  We can't help ourselves, regardless of practicality.  One of my justifications is that I build with a lot of used parts (although, not on this bike) and many of the frames I build on were destined for the ash heap of history, before I sandblasted and repainted them.  Beyond that, I'm usually building a bike which has no exact counterpart in the commercial marketplace.

Besides, rebuilding bicycles is one of the biggest joys of my life.

I totally dig! I tinker with bikes a bit, but never built one from scratch like y'all.

Something to consider for a future project?

Paz :)

I totally agree. I love getting my hands dirty and doing it myself. I also know when to ask for help. It's such a great feeling to get it right on your own. Then, you own your bike rather than it owning you. With bike shops, clubs and the web, and all the other help, we can figure it out. Sometimes, you just mess things up. I was talking with a barista the other day about an espresso machine I'm working on. I said I was taking my time and being careful not to mess up all the beautiful brass fittings. He said "You will. So be prepared!" You're gonna break some eggs to make that omelette. 

Do it, Chandra!!!  One consideration is all the specialized tools you need to do it right.  It takes some time to build your toolbox.  One other warning, if you do build a bike from scratch, you'll want to start another one the minute you finish, and, if you have more than two of anything, it's the beginning of a collection!!!!!!!  If you're not careful, you'll end up like Michael Levin!

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