How To Build A Fixie – Real Time Complete Build | Cheap Bike To Fixie Ep. 3

How To Build A Fixie  – Real Time Complete Build | Cheap Bike To Fixie Ep. 3

– Welcome to part three,
the final installment of cheapo road bike
into fashionable fixie, or something along those lines anyway. First up though, let’s recap
what we’ve done so far. In part one, I showed you this frame and exactly why I decided to go for it, the 1986 Peugeot Premiere. Then in part two, I ran
through all these components just behind me, and why I decided
to go for those ones, too. So today, it could only
mean one thing, the build. Let’s do it. Now I am going to warn you, here, this video is quite long in length, but it is actually at the
request of you, the keen viewers, because underneath the past
couple of builds that I’ve done, you’ve all said, “Why don’t you show it “in all of its glory, every
single component being fitted?” So that is exactly what we have done. Now, I do appreciate that some of you may well want to skip forward
to certain items being fitted, so if that is the case, we have linked to those exact
timestamps in the description that you can find below this video. Right, first up then, let’s
start making this frame look more like a frame and fork. So, by that, I mean it’s time
to actually add the forks on. So, we need to fit the headset. So, I’ve got here the crown race, so you can see it just there and that interference fits
onto the actual fork crown. So, it means it won’t
just slide on in place, it needs to be nicely, well,
essentially hit into place. So, I’ll place it on, and here
you can see, I’ve got a drift and that one is specific,
again, for this size of headset, so it’s one inch and using
the fork crown race system, I just need to put that on there and then give it a sharp
blow with a hammer, making sure, of course, I don’t
trap my fingers or anything. But, you do want to make sure
it goes on nice and straight, so cover your ears, this
one get a little bit loud. Right. Woops. There we are, the fork crown’s on. Okay, let’s put those
headset cups into place. First up, I am just going to
put a little bit of grease around the inside of the head tube there just to help those cups
go in nice and smoothly. I prefer to fit the cups in as a pair, some people like to put
them in individually but I’ve always been a fan
of just putting them in as a pair, for some reason. Let’s have a. Do that. Also, put a little bit
of grease inside here. There are already bearings in there, they are kind of sealed bearings, I don’t really want to take them out and fiddle around too much. Like I said in the last episode,
it is just a cheap headset that I’m putting into this one. I don’t want to spend a fortune on it. See how much we enjoy riding it first. We will do the same on the uppercut, too, we’ll just put a little
bit of grease in there. Just rub it around. Can always wipe away any
excess right at the end. Okay. So, you’ll see I’ve put
my gloves on for this one, it’s a little bit messy,
it can be at times. So, we want to start, sometimes it depends on
that actual bearing shapes and everything and the style of headset. It can be directional, so upper and lower sections of these fixed cups, but in this case, they’re not. You want to try and get them
in as straight as possible to start with before you
actually start pressing them in so they don’t go, you know,
oval or anything like that because you can actually warp the shape of the inside of the head
tube when doing that. So, let’s put them lower
one onto the actual guide before we begin to tighten it into place, this lower one is quite, it
is in quite a fair bit anyway before it even starts to bite. Just tighten that up. Checking, always, to
make sure it’s going in absolutely straight. It’s minimal effort on this one. Yeah, there we go. Okay, so, then I’ll putting in the fork. Up through. There we go. Putting on the first bit of crown adjustable race on the top there. I always like the put a touch
of grease if you’ve noticed in one of my maintenance videos. There’s nothing worse than
something getting stuck in place after many years, and, yeah,
having to struggle to undo it, so, just tighten that on. A lot of people out
there thought that this was going to have a
French diameter headset, or French thread, as well. But, the good new is, it didn’t. Which is very good new
because trying to get things which are modern and still work all right isn’t that easy these days. So, just do that by finger tight, just to get it roughly where you want it. Now, I know this headset isn’t going to be the smoothest of things
because I spent about £5 on it, so I’m not looking for
Chris King-style precision. But, I don’t want it to be, be all right for riding round town on. So, figure there’s a bit of play there. maybe a little bit more. Little bit of playing. Not bad. Okay, not the smoothest, you know, not ceramic bearing or anything like that, well, you don’t get that for £5. But I think that will do the job. Yeah. Right, so, now we need to put on, we’ve got a little washer here. You can see that little
bit of extra material there and well, that, is actually going to slot inside of the back of the
steerer tube on the fork where there’s a little cutout. Now, not all forks have that but loads of bikes from
the 80’s and the 90’s did so we need to just make sure that lines up on the back of the actual steerer there, you can see there, hopefully you can see my little blue glove poking through. So, we’ll line that up and that’s there so it’s not going to move either way. Just a handy little spacer, to be honest, I don’t really know why
they ever decided to do that but they have played people in the past because if your fork steerer doesn’t have one of those slots and
you try and put it on, you could end up damaging the
actual threads of the fork. Then, we’re going to put a
little bit more grease on, again, just on this locking nut. And just going to spread that
on top of the actual steerer before locking the two together. So, some of you may well
remember a video I did recently on how the headsets work, and where we had a
traditional-style headset like this as well as the A head style. And for these, of course, it means you need to use some special tools here. But, what I am going to do it
actually protect the paintwork of this headset a little bit even though, like I’ve already said, it only costs a very small amount so I’m just going to slide
over, if you just saw, that plastic bag so I don’t scuff it up. Handy little tip for
you, that, if you’ve got some nice components you
don’t want to get ruined. This one’s not that nice but still don’t want to run it, though, so, want to make sure
when you’re doing it up that, of course, you’re not
ruining the bearing tension or anything like that
that you’ve already set. So, it does take a little
bit of toing and froing just to get it spot on, right. Lovely. It was a challenge on
these, on your best bike, back in the 90’s, or well,
if you had a set-up like this to try and get the two
nuts to line up perfectly, it was never as simple as it seemed. Never that straight forward. Right, job a good one on that. Bottom bracket next. So, we’re going to add,
again, a little bit of grease onto the actual thread here. In this case, the actual fixed cup, or what used to be called the fixed cup, is built actually onto the
side of the bottom bracket. Now, what is quite funny,
some of these ones, you could actually put this
bottom bracket into a bike, smack it off and put it
on the other way around if you had a frame that was
threaded in a different way and you had some spare
cups or anything like that, you could play around with
them, get them to fit. You don’t have to do that on this one, this had got British threads on it because it’s actually a bike
that was in the British market. So, you want to make sure,
obviously, it threads on okay. If there is any resistance
or anything like that, you could well be cross threading, I’ve done a fair few of these in my time. So, obviously you want to get it torqued up to the correct amount. Now, Shimano actually recommend
49 to 68 newton meters, so I’m going to be putting mine in at 60 because it’s a good half way house there. You can see it went in nice and easily, obviously been cared for all right, or it’s been chased out okay. So, we’ll just torque that up. There we are. That’s torqued up. It’s just a case, then, of
doing exactly the same thing on the other side, again applying
plenty of grease on there. The last thing you want
is a seized bottom bracket because they can be an
absolute pain to get out. There we are. 60 newton meters. I’ve had a little work
out for the day, anyway. Time to fit the chainset onto
that bottom bracket then. Now, some people, they tend to
actually grease the splines, or tapers, rather, of one
of these bottom brackets before fitting on the chainset, however, my personal preference
is I don’t like to do that. The reason being, if there
is a slight difference in tolerances, I mean, it
is an interference fit, but if it starts to
get a little bit sloppy because a crank bolt works loose, that grease can work
almost as a cutting agent and start to round of the
insides on the chainset which renders it useless. So, what I’m going to do is,
obviously this is perfectly clean, as is the inside of the crank arm, is place it on but I’m not going to use the little Allen key bolts
here that are supplied. The reason being, I don’t
like to put too much torque through them, to be
perfectly honest with you. I prefer to actually use an old
crank bolt first, like this, use a thin washer as well behind it then use a hex socket like this
to actually tighten that up. Now, it only takes about 40 newton meters to put one of these on, nice and tight onto the
actual bottom bracket but it’s just something
I’ve always decided to do and I’m, well, I’m going to
stick by my guns with that. So then we’ll torque this bolt up before taking it out and replacing it with the Allen key ones
because they look really nice unless, of course, you’ve got
some fancy dust caps on there, like the old Campagnolo
ones, something like that. But we’ll just tighten that up again with the handy torque wrench. Make sure I’ve got it in
the right direction, yep. So, we’ll tighten it up then remove it and refit
those Allen key bolts and basically reverse the
process on the other side. Right, so like I say, get that one out and replace it, remembering,
of course, that little washer and replace it with the Allen key one. Do it fairly tight, it
does a little bit of sort of blue Loctite on there but, well, it’s kind of like a thread locker, but just put it on some grease. You don’t want any bolts to get stuck, I know I always say it
and you lot at home laugh but I’m being serious, you don’t want to get them stuck on there. Because once it’s on, it shouldn’t ever work it’s way loose anyway, that crank, that’s why you need the
special crank puller to actually get it off,
but do them up air tight, I mean, that’s nowhere
near 40 newton meters because, believe me, I’d know about it. And it’s just the case then of repeating that exact same process on the other side, of course, making sure
that they are lined up 180 degrees to one another because otherwise, you’ll be
pedaling around like a clown, something like that, so want to make sure that we’re all okay with that. All right, let’s have a little play around then with the back wheel. So, first up, we’re going to
fit on the actual fixed sprocket so you’ve guessed it,
some more grease going on. We’ll put that on the threads and that should be about right. I’m going to put the
fixed sprocket on first, so as you can see, here it is, threads on the conventional way so
it tightens as you pedal but something you’ve
got to bear in mind here is that if you were to try and back pedal on a fixed wheel bike, well, that sprocket could come loosened. Obviously, that’s not ideal
so we will tighten it up using chain whip here. Luckily, I’ve got an eight of an inch one. If you haven’t got one and you are using an eight of an inch standard one will work but you need to wrap it around a fair bit. Do it up, tight as you can, and to keep that sprocket in place, we are going to actually
put a lockring onto the hub. Now, this tightens against the sprocket meaning if you were to
back pedal and try and, well, untighten, release that sprocket, you’re not going to be able to do so because you’ve actually
got this working against it and the two forces just won’t allow that. So, then we’ll use a bottom bracket tool, so an old adjustable cup one to just full torque it up so we just, oh, wrong way, they do actually thread
on in opposite directions so we just fully tighten that, put a little bit of force behind it. But enough to actually lock that in place. And of course, the
freewheel sprocket again, use my favorite ingredient,
little bit of grease on the actual thread of the hub shell, just make sure that they’ve
all got a little bit. It’ll get pushed on as you actually tighten this freewheel
sprocket into place. You remember in the last
episode, I told you, you’re going to get two bikes
for the price of one with this because you’ve got freewheel on one side and a fixed wheel on the other side. My personal preference has to be freewheel because, well, you don’t
have to pedal round corners, no risk of grinding out if
you’re really going fast. But that there, you don’t actually really have to tighten that on any more because the force of
when you’re riding along, that will tighten it into position but whilst we’ve got the chain whip out, we may as well just give it a gentle little bit of persuasion there to just, well, save your legs doing the work. There we go. Free hub soundcheck. It’s starting to take a lot more shape now and something to consider, actually, when putting wheels into a
bike which is the next step is that sometimes it can
be a little bit easier if the bike is actually on the floor. The reason being is that
gravity can do it’s job and well, it can actually,
the wheels themselves will find their way into the dropouts just a little bit easier. It’s starting to take
a lot more shape now, looking more and more like a bicycle. Especially when I put the rear wheel in. Now, I did have a play around with the actual spacing the rear but because it uses cartridge bearings, it’s not as easy as an
old cup and cone one but for round town and
the lack of maintenance, it really in my eyes make sense to have a good old cartridge sealed
bearing to work with. So, we’re just going to loosely
tighten this wheel into place so that, well, we can
start making the bike look more and more like a bike. Now, the reason I say about playing around with the chainline and everything is you want it to be almost
as straight as possible really so that the chain itself is not running at any unusual angles of anything, but believe it or not, I’ve seen riders in the Olympics World
Championships and all sorts using terrible chainlines and they’ve never had a chain dislodge. The way we used to do it,
actually, on track bikes years ago was set it up and then
essentially, pick the bike up and shake it around a lot and
see if the chain fell off. I’ve never had one fall
off because generally, you have enough tension there and as long as it’s not too tight, well, it’s going to be running oh so smooth. Now, the reason I say too tight is because unless you are buying
very, very top-end components, the chainrings and sprockets
aren’t necessarily that round so inevitably, there is a
tight spot when you ride unless, of course, like I say, you do use that really top-end components. In my case here, I haven’t used that so there would be a tight spot. So, we are going to have a chain which has a slightly looser spot, I
guess, at one point than another but we’ll come onto that shortly. Time to fit the pedals then because it’s going to make the next step just a little bit easier. Remember, of course,
pedals are left and right thread specific, although
it’s not that easy to actually remember which direction unless you’re fitting
them on a regular basis. And you’ll be pleased to know as well, I’ve pre-greased the threads. Yep, grease, again. So you want to make sure
it goes in there again, nice and smoothly. You won’t be the first person to cross thread a pedal
thread, believe me, I’ve worked with a few people
over the years who’ve done it and I’ve given them a right
old ear bashing as well so you want it to be
nice and tight in there, you don’t ever want a pedal to come loose because you will know about it. Again, just make sure that
you don’t accidentally slip and catch your knuckles on the
chairing because, believe me, I’ve got a lot of skin
missing from my knuckles, hence the gloves. And then, the other one, straight in. Some pedals, of course, they
don’t have a flat on here, they only tighten up using an Allen key which can make it a little bit easier but it can also make it, well, it can give you skinless knuckles. My cheap and cheerful pedals, they’ll do the job around town, stopping and starting, racing
away from the traffic lights or something like that. Right, let’s get that chain fitted. This, I think you’re going to love. For the chain, I contacted
KMC who are leader in chains in my opinion and they sent me
in one of these night chains. They even asked me,
“Why do you want those? “We don’t sell very many of those.” And I said, “Well, it’s for this bike “and it looks pretty
different, let’s face it. “Has a flat top on it, not that dissimilar “to the new SRAM AXS chains.” But importantly, it’s an
eighth of an inch pitch, and get this, it’s also
got also got half links. So, you know normal when you
have to take apart a chain, you have to remove two links
to join it back together. With this, you don’t, you
only have to take out one, so therefore you can
get a better chainline on a bike like this or
better chain length, sorry, so you don’t have to worry too much about the length of the drop outs which, of course, is pretty critical because on a road frame like this, they aren’t that long as opposed
to a track specific frame or a fixed gear specific frame. They have long old
dropouts for you to have quite a lot of room to be
able to play around with. So, for this, we’re just
going to fit it and luckily, the joining pin is very
similar to that of Shimano where you fit it through, snap it off and once I actually got it in place, I can then retention the back wheel so I can just undo those
nuts and just pull it back and get that chain nice and correct in regards to it’s tension. So, when it comes to
chain length, you can see, like I’ve said before, I’ve got the wheel quite far forward in the dropout. I’m going to pull the chain taught. Now, I’m not going to
go for this link here, the reason being is if I do that, I’m not going to have enough room really, safely to have the wheel in place, so instead, I’ll go for
the one just behind it so that one there, so
I know that’s the one. So, before I forget and go
and grab the chain tool, I’m just going to count, the
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10,
11, 12, 13, it’s the 14th. So, I know it’s the 14th
one there I want to do and then I can rejoin the
chain in that position, undo slightly the tension
of the nuts here on the rear and just pull the wheel back in place and get that chain nice
and correctly tensioned up. And then we can go about
the rest of our business. We can just pop out the rest of that link. Seems a shame to waste
this nice looking chain, big fan of this. I once had a white BMX
chain on my track bike, everyone laughed at me, especially because I fell of
really badly that day, as well. Didn’t help my cause. Right, okay, let’s put that joining pin in before snapping it off. Sometimes it might be a little bit easier to actually not do it whilst
it’s on the chain and sprocket because you might not have that much room to actually be able to
play around with there, as you can see, handy
little tool you could use is a bit of a old coat hanger
or something like this. Now, at the moment, you can see, it does look a little
bit loose but believe me, once I pull that wheel
back into the dropout, it’ll make the world of difference. But, for this, I will
actually take it just off and rest it just to give me
a little bit more freedom, really to work with it. So, you can see here, there is that pin. The pointy end will go through first, or slight chamfered edges, I guess, that’ll go through leading away and then I snap it off
when it comes through leaving the shorter end inside of it. Just like what happens on
Shimano chains, for instance. Just a job when you want
like three or four hands but once it goes in, you
can see, nice and easy. Then, you can probably put it in place just to make this next step
a little bit easier, really. We could even play around
now with that wheel just to make sure that the chain, we’ll do the final chain
adjustments at the end but I just wanted to make
sure that chain was okay. If you have a little
bit of room like that, it’s never going to come off, believe me, it’s never going to come off. Not even over the Carrefore de l’Abre or the Forest of Arenberg, or whatever cobbles classics
that takes your fancy. So, just a case then of
lining up that chain, of course, not that easy with one of these because you can’t access it
which I’ve just remembered because of the flat bits so you’re going to have
to go from the top, I’ve never had to do this ever in my life, who knows if I ever will again? If I go round the other way, of course, I can do that, just need
to have enough room. Just goes to show, obviously
always join the chain on the bottom, never on the top, there we are. Right. Just push that pin through, funny how used we get to using joining pins these days. Or rather split links, very handy, but. That’s nearly through. There we are. Through on the other side so you can see there
then, got that little bit. And this was always
quite unnerving really, when Shimano first launched
their version of this back, I think it was with
the Hyperglide chain, so the HG models, I think the Uniglide, the UGs were just a simple
pin that went in and out, much like an old Sedis chain. I couldn’t believe that you
had to just snap something off, I thought this is very strange. Either way, it is the way you do it, so we just snap that off,
takes a little bit of force, get that out and look,
there’s the old bit, or, there’s the new bit
which you don’t use. But it’s more of like a guide really and just make sure that
you get everything A-OK. You can see there, it’s
got a different appearance to the rest, it is slightly darker. But yep, it’s nice a flexible,
it’s going to do the job, putting the watts through that. So, look at that. Beautiful. Probably get that chain just
a little bit tighter again, but yeah, you will see
there’ll be different parts of this chain which are
tighter that the rest but it’s funny, some riders, I used to mechanic a
couple of Six Day riders and some of them liked to
have a really loose chain on their bikes, on their track bikes. And others wanted them really tight, in the end, I used to tell them just to do it themselves
if they weren’t happy. They’d always come creeping
and crawling back, though. All right. Let’s have a go then and
just tightening up this, getting it exactly how we want it. It is a case often of toing and froing with the actual pressure but too tight and you will know about it, and you don’t want it too tight. Too loose, course, like I
said before, it will come off. That’s too loose. We will just get this spot on. You can see now I’ve put
the front wheel in place and it’s time to actually
get our steering sorted out. So, the stem, the
traditional quill style stem, that’s going to be fitted
into the steerer tube here so once again, you know the
regime by now, I reckon. Put some of my stuff, bit of
grease, on the actual stem, and also down there on
the expander bolt, too. These used to have such a tendency to become stuck in a
frame, or rather forks. I remember a friend of
mine putting his forks in the grate of a drain, a roadside drain, trying to bend the bars out of place and ended up snapping his forks. His father gave him a right
telling off that night. Oh, it wasn’t me, by the way, I ruined a back wheel when I was 14, that’s about as far as I got. Right, so we’ll put it in,
doesn’t have to worry too much about how lined up it is but get it in the ballpark place then you can always adjust it later once you’re actually sat over the bike and you can get your eye in, so to speak. This stem, it is like an
old fashioned looking thing but it can’t be that old,
because it does in fact have on the top of it, a torque setting. It’s 22 newton meters, so
here’s on I prepared earlier. I’m going to just tighten that up just in case we forget to straighten it further down the line. As you can see, I didn’t really do up the front wheel either there so we just had a little slip out of place but let’s just put that up. See, you forget how tight you actually have to do up these things, and forget, oh, there we are. Exactly right. Good, there we go. Let’s see, I do like a stem like this. I reckon it’s going to be
slammed all the way down trying to look as cool as possible and the bars, okay, they’ll simply slide before we’ll do up this bolt
on the bottom there, too. Not sure if this one actually has a, does 10 newton meters,
so there we are again. Is it a six or a five? It’s a six, that’s handy. So we’ll tighten that up, again, into about the right sort of place where you want these bars to be fitted so if they are a riser
bar, or that sort of thing, so we’ll put them, there’s
some handy indentations as well on these bars so you can get
them lined up almost perfectly in the front. Tell you what, it’s a lot
easier putting these bars in than the old drop handlebars. Just always get a little
bit sad when you buy a pair and you’d fit them in
there for the first time, you’d end up scuffing them. And you know what? I know these get covered up
with the bar tape and everything but still, it was ever so sad. Especially if you’ve saved up all your paper round money to buy them. Right. Anyway, I should focus
on this, shouldn’t I? Enough tales of my childhood. And again, I wasn’t that boy
who put the forks in the drain, that was my friend. Not going to give his name away, Hobbit. All right. There we are. It’s looking about right. So, just do them up nicely. There we go, lovely jubbly. I’ll take hat wheel out actually,
now just for the moment. Right, lets put some brake levers on before we put the calipers in place. So, where do we know exactly where to fit our brake levers then? Well, I’ll come onto that in a moment but just to give you a
little bit of advice here, most brake levers are left
and right hand specific. How do we know though? Well, luckily, you’ve
got manufacturers logos on there like that, although some brands
are actually reversible so you can use them on either side which is really handy, let’s face it. But in the case of this one,
we’ve even got an LH just there stamped on it and the
other one has got an RH. So, if in doubt, have
a little look around, but where are we going to fix it then? Well, lets take our grip which you will see attached
in a moment or two, and you’re going to hold that
exactly where it would be and then using something sharp, something at least that can score just very gently, the metal, you only want a very slight
little mark on the handlebar, use something like that and that’ll give you the position then so you can simply slide that
on and then clamp it into place or at least loosely clamp
it so it’s held there and it’s not floating
around in no man’s land because that won’t do you any favors. Ultimately, though, it’s
likely once you set it up, you will want to move it around slightly just into your preferred position and also the direction
of the handlebars, too. But just for the first fix, if you like, that’s what we’re going to do here, and then the right hand one, in my case, it’s going to be the exact same process. I mentioned in the last video
I had a good little hack to get some grips on easier. People previously have
used such things as saliva, or even washing up liquid. However, the washing up liquid theory doesn’t tend to work very well when you encounter rain because
it ends up with the grip becoming a bit like a motorbike throttle and not staying place. So, for this, I’ve got
myself some hairspray. That’s right, I’ve raided
to GCN make-up wardrobe and well, I’ve got this so what we’ll do is we’ll just simply spray
some onto the actual handlebar or alternatively, you can
spray it inside of the grip and then you can simply
press it into place and once that actual liquid
within the hairspray evaporates, it means that these stay
nicely stuck in place. Look at that, how easy did that go on. Use a little bit more than
what you probably think you do but yeah, that will soon be
rock solid and stuck in place. No motorbike throttle
on this bad boy, oh, no. If you don’t put enough
on, maybe sometimes you have to put it inside
both the handlebar, sorry, rather both on
the handlebar itself, as well as inside of the grip just to give it something to
sort of work together. Do you know what? Someone’s not going to be very happy I’ve used up their hairspray. Sorry, Lloydy. There we go. Look at that. Like a dream. Oh, yes. I’m starting to like the look of this. Easy, rider. Right, lets put those brake
calipers on, cable it up, and then one final little hack of the day. Time now to fit the brake
calipers onto the bike and you can see they
are slightly different in that there’s a central fixing bolt which runs through them and there’s a shorter
one and a longer one. Now, the shorter one goes
on the rear of the bike because all it has to go
through is a very thin tube on the brake bridge, or what
is called the brake bridge, and then the front one is
longer because it goes through the fork crown which again,
is slightly bigger in depth. Now, fitted onto this
bolt which runs through, so it’s like the mounting
bolt, if you like, you’ve got these washers
that have a slightly sort of wavy internal to them. The reason behind that is
so it can match up with the sort of semi circle like
shape of the fork crown there so it’s going to give you a nice surface to actually be tightened onto, and you’ve got another one which fixes onto the rear of the
fork crown there, too, and a washer. Now, this hex nut here is not what we see commonly on road bikes because normally we see an Allen key bolt which is fitted into a recess on the back of the fork
and the brake bridge. But on these old bikes,
they don’t have that. So, there is a nylon insert inside of that so it’s not going to rattle
itself loose or shake loose. Of course, brakes are a pretty
important part of the bicycle but I am just going to put a
dab of my favorite thing there, grease, on the back
before tightening it away because you don’t want something like this to get rusty and stuck in place because, remember, the wheels
throw up all that road debris and grime and that can cause corrosion. Nobody likes corrosion, do they? So, just want it to be
roughly central and then, because there are adjust
screw on this caliper then you can line up your brake pads before we ahead and fit the cables. Now, the rear is the exact same, brake pads normally have a
directional indicator on them so you know that they’re
going in the right direction. Of course these are a one piece pad, you can get pads which slot into a shoe and they need to have the
closed part of the shoe facing forward so that when you brake, the pads don’t slide out. So, we’ll just actually
get that into position, so you just hold the calipers in and just line it up, like so. Of course, you’ll fine tune the actual brake caliper position once we’ve got the cables in place. It’s now time to root
the rear brake cable. Now, it’s internally rooted here, it goes through the top tube
there then leaves it just here. Now, sadly, there’s
not an internal rooting sort of channel inside of that tube so instead you actually
have to thread it through. Well, if you watched my
recent video on how to, oh, it came straight out, now that wasn’t meant
to happen in this video but it did, believe it
or not, come straight out but it’s not going to happen again so I can actually use this special tool which I’ve made out of an
old brake outer cables. So, you can see it there, I’ve pulled it, it’s nice and spirally shaped and it’s got like a little picky end on it so I’ve got it in there, it’s simply a case of going
around, trying to look for it and hook it out. So, you want to essentially
put that inside, try and find it, normally you’ll feel like
a little bit of tension because the cable has a
mind of it’s own almost. But you can hook it out using this. Now, sadly, on this frame, you can’t even get your
finger inside of the top tube to try and direct it at all so you really have to do your best, try and see it before hooking it out. It’s not going to plan today, but I will get it, where there’s a will, there’s a way. All right, I can see it now, so let’s get that, try and direct it out. There we go. There we are. That is lucky. Now, the reason I put
through this cable first is that trying to get an
outer cable through there will not be the easiest thing, the reason being, it is
very, very close diameter to that of the outer cable so probably about six millimeters, maybe seven and the very most. So, we’re going to use this
first of all, as a guide, so with that in place, that’s
not going to move anywhere, that’s not going to go anywhere. If in doubt, you could easily
tape is so it’s not going to move but then we can grab some
of our trusty outer cable and measure how much you need. So, got a couple of
different lengths here, of course, the shorter one
will be for the front caliper which is going to be, oh, so
simple compared to the rear. But we’ll use the length
of rear first of all. Of crouse, they might be the same size but, no, there we are. There’s the rear one. So, we’ll get that, grab cable cutters wherever I’ve dropped them, there we are, and then measure that. No, I like to have a right hand rear brake and well, at least we are
putting brakes on this fixie, or fixed wheel bike, I should call it. So, it’s a case, really, I like to always have the bars turned, almost as far as, well, sort
of beyond 90 degrees, really, so you’ve got a good loop so that if you do have to go anywhere, that’s going to be all right. So, you know, that’s the length, run it along and then give yourself enough
room, a nice little curve and well, you’re going to
have a decent rear brake. So, we can cut that, we can thread it then over the outer, over the inner cable, back through and then up
and everything is fine. Make sure when you are cutting cable ends, you want to get them as round as possible. Just check that out, can you see that? How round it is inside. So, for that, you want something like an old biro end or something
like that or a little pick, just put it inside at the end then you can just enlargen that hole. I’ll show you exactly what I
mean on the rough edged one. So, I’m now going to thread
the cable inside of the outer and what you don’t want to happen here is for it not to go through but it will because as long as you push
that cable through one end, you can gradually start to feed it through all the way, and it’ll pop
out the other end, like so. Like magic. Imagine all the time you’ve wasted in the past trying to do that. Now, I’ve given you a little hack. Right, so, we’ve got that there. What we can do now is actually
take out the inner cable, because we’ve got that
outer cable through, we are fine and dandy almost so we can now go back
putting some ferrules on the end of these cables and
also shortening that length. You don’t want to cut it
too short to start with because well, you’re
going to be lumbered then when it comes to your braking
capability and strength, and you just want that sort
of thing to be compromised. So, really, you want to have
it so it takes a nice root, something like that, that’s
all right if you ask me. You can tell, actually,
this is one built for the UK because normally you’re
brake lever would be, for the rear, would be
on the left hand side, I like to have mine on the
right, like I’ve already said, and that will just give
you a smoother rooting. Remember this bike did
come with drop handlebars so it would have gone over
and around and in like that. Whereas this rooting is
probably not quite as good as it could be but, well, it
is certainly up to the job. So, we’ve got that now. It’s just a case of cutting
that cable a little bit shorter there at the rear and
putting on those ferrules before threading the
cable all the way through and hooking it up. So, we’ll put these ferrules
just on the end there, and the reason I like to use
these is that they provide a really firm surface, when
you pull the brake lever, cable can’t move any further,
it can’t compress any more. Remember that brake cables
have got some compression within them, the outer cables, that’s why they’re bound spirally as opposed to a derailleur cable which has length way
strands which make it, and obviously those index gear
shifts, absolutely perfect. So, we’ll just put one on
the end of the bike, too, then we’ll feed the cable
through, that inner cable, tighten it up and we’ll
just do exactly the same on the front caliper. I like this. I like it a lot. So, what we can do is actually start off, if we’re using a pair of
flat bar levers, like these, because you don’t actually
need to put the barrel end, so you can thread it all the
way through, near enough, and then find the cable
holder, if you like, this like bit of kit there, thread that through and then,
thanks to the way that these, the barrel adjuster on lever
has a little slot there, you can see, you can line
it up with another one that you turn. You can line them all up and you can just slot that in and out. So, if someone does want to get on this and they like to have the
brakes round the other way, it’s so easy for them
just to swap them around from side to side. In fact, Doddy, from GMBN,
he had to do that recently, he borrowed my very old mountain bike and I had them set up the other way and I said, “Oh, I’m really sorry, mate.” And then he reminded me
that we could just do that, that’s how long it was since
I last rode my mountain bike. It was in the loft for about 15 years. All of that aside, let’s
hook up the rear cable there and then we’ll just do the front one, too. I like to grab the caliper
in from side to side, push both brake pads against
the sidewalls of the rim and them tighten up that
clamp bolt on the brake cable. Give it a few pulls, seems
to be working all right, give it a few sharp pulls
just to try and stretch the inner brake cable a little bit. They do stretch a tiny amount
and also try and get those, it also helps get those
ferrules really well planted on the end of the outer cables. I always like to then
put the barrel adjusters all the way back in so
that when those cables do gradually stretch a little
bit over time and over use, you can just wind them out a little bit and get a little bit more
tension on those cables. But this seems to be all okay. Just pulled it through again just to give it a little bit more. Sometimes you can do it too much, like now, that’s a little bit too much. I’ve just got to loosen that off a tad but yeah, you get the idea, I’m sure. Remember that dilemma last week when I told you about 24
millimeter diameter seat tube? Oh, yes. That one played me for
probably about half an hour before I thought to myself,
why do you just hack it? Oh, so that’s what I’ve done. Bought myself a 23.4 millimeter seas post, if you look at it, it
goes inside of there, but that, that’s not very good, is it? You know, you can tighten
up that seat clamp bolt but it’s very lightly,
you’re just going to crush the back of the frame
and that’s not good news because ultimately, that
could lead to a crack. So, what have I decided to do here? I decided the good, old
fashioned shimmy it out with a bit of aluminum can, other drinks are available by the way, or other types of can but really, you want to get yourself enough so you can give at least 360 degrees worth of coverage inside of there so you’ve got an equal clamping force all the around the diameter,
or circumference, rather, of the actual seat post. So, I’m going to use this
slightly thinner one, as you can see here, so
it’s not quite as deep but it does all the way around. Now, if you really wanted to, you could measure it
perfectly and make sure that, well, you have the
correct amount of overlap all the way around so you had 720 degrees or 360 degrees worth of coverage. I’m not really going to go down that route because I think once it’s
in there it’ll be A-OK. So, what we’re going to do is
wrap it up nice and tightly, like this and then kind of let
loose of it a little bit, put it back around the seat post and then wrap it up again
as tight as you can, make sure, of course, there’s
no sharp edges on the can. I’ve seen world tour
mechanics do this before on a Friday night before
the Tour de France start when they had a problem
with a slipping seat post on a rider’s bike. But you want to make sure
it foes in there okay. So, you can see it’s starting to go in. Now, when you’ve got something
like this, of course, if you add grease into the mix, it could be slightly more problematic and, you know, you want to make sure things like this don’t happen so just check that out there, you can see it’s got caught on the back of the seat
tube where the slot is and it’s just started to
cut it up a little bit. So, what I’m going to do is
actually just trim that off and hopefully it’ll still be enough, yeah, I’ve still got
360 all the way around. Hopefully it’ll be
thick enough, otherwise, I’ll have to drink another one of these and I’ll certainly have
a weakness then, won’t I? Right, let’s see what we can do. Let’s get that in there. Believe it or not, this does work. What the designer of this
bicycle was ever thinking putting a 24 millimeter seat
post in there, I don’t know. I guess they were thinking,
“Well, when it comes to them “needing to get a new seat
post, they won’t be able to, “they’ll have to buy
themselves a new bike.” But, how I’ve cursed that
person over the last seven days. Right, there we are, it’s in there now. Still a little bit loose, to be honest, I’m going to get myself another can and give that a bit more of a wrap because I’m just not quite comfortable with that amount of sloppiness
inside of that seat tube. There we go. What you want to try and do as well is not lose it down the seat tube, so get your saddle height about right and then get it all there in place, grab your Allen key or your spanner, hopefully no one else out there has this same sort of
problem as what I have but if you do, you want to hold it so it doesn’t actually fall
down the side of the seat post. Now, the reason I use aluminum
or something like that, it’s so thin, easy to work with, people in the past, they’ve used things like very thin bits of plastic
but they become so thin, basically, when you apply
more and more pressure whereas the aluminum doesn’t have quite the amount of compression, so that’s why it’s really good to use it. Alternatively, someone
recently asked actually, in one of the Tech Clinics, can they use some
insulation tape in there, sort of fiber grip or something like that, and also to stop the galvanic corrosion. I’ve heard of people, as
well, using gaffer tape, insulation tape, that sort
of thing to act as a shim. But don’t go a do that,
but look, look at that. That is nice and firm, that’s
not going to go anywhere. Hope not, anyway. Shouldn’t do, I’ve done
it before in the past and, like I say, I’ve
seen all manor of people using bits of aluminum can for things. Now, just going to put the
saddle on and we are done. There we are, now it’s just a case of fitting on this saddle. Like I said in the last episode, now sure how long it will stay on but it’s certainly all right
for an interim bit of kit. Just need to try and get it in the fiddly sort of micro adjust clamp here, I’ll work it from the other side, seems to be a little bit easier and then, it’s a case of
leveling everything out. So, remember, we still need to
line up the handlebar stems, make sure it’s perfectly straight, in line with the front wheel. Also, the angle of the handlebars, not to mention the brake levers, too. So, once it’s out of the stand, it’s much easier to do that because, of course, you are
generally on a level surface. Let me know, though, about this video and what you though about it and, in fact, the whole
series, I would love to know. Let me know down there
in the comment section and what would you like
to see me tackle next? Nothing too fancy, nothing too
wild, nothing too outrageous. I’m not a legendary inventor such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a very local legend to the offices here. But do get stuck into
the comment section below because I’m sure you will. And now, for two more great videos, part one, click just down here and part two, just on the saddle.

100 thoughts on “How To Build A Fixie – Real Time Complete Build | Cheap Bike To Fixie Ep. 3

  1. Did you enjoy this type of video? Would you like to see more real time bike builds? What type of bike project would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below 👇

  2. great video, very instructional, very clear steps nut god damm stop facing those bars up, and get some foot retention!

  3. That chain is gorgeous

  4. Right hand rear 😉 top man John

  5. That you for this series! Your timing is perfect. I have been wanting a fixie, and thought it might be fun to build one, not to mention more economical in case I hate fixie life. By the way, how much did your build end up weighing? All the best!

  6. Thank you for a long video!

  7. Look at the top tube with the ding and tear right through tubing just behind the head set. The frame is junk. I would never atempt to ride with a frame in that condition which could fail in a heart beat under normal use.

  8. Neil get one of those cheap chinese carbon frames and build it up

  9. Can you list out the new parts please?

  10. I have a cannondale system six with flat topped road bars. I have been experimenting with aero positions on these bars, because the flat tops now make it more comfortable to get aero.
    I find that it is quite easy now to adopt a clip on tt bar like position, without the tt bars, putting my forearms on the flat tops, when the road is a reasonable surface on the flat with my hands free and pointing forward, not holding anything. The next position is forearms on the flat tops, horizontal forearms with hands on top of the hoods when surface is a little bumpier and less secure. Another position is less horizontal but still low, forearms not on top of the flat bars but hands on the hoods and small fingers under the brake hoods for security for climbing slight inclines and decending at speed. The last position is on the hooks for full climbing and putting most power into the bike and also for when the road surface is bumpy, very steep ,technical , tight corners etc. and thus more control required and more security. Can you test all four positions for power differences and your thoughts particularly on the suodo clip on tt position that i have seen quite a few pro riders adopting now, ps i know there are dangers with this position and care and attention must be used.

  11. First, let's see how this baby rolls. Later it would be great to see something about the fine details of the fixed gear. Bamboo frames are also trendy…

  12. This is bike nerd heaven!

  13. Jon you convinced me, when it come time to replace the chain on my SS bike I'm getting a half link as well!
    But those bars! Nah fam, either use flat bars or drop bars, none of these beach cruiser bars pls.

  14. Today I've learned that building a bike takes less time than choosing the parts — or even just deciding on a wheelset!

    Maybe Jon could do a show on how to decide when you're overthinking your choice of pedals, or how to know when you should give up on finding the right part and should use an aluminium can instead. 😜

  15. Great vid guys… Really enjoyed the long build….For the next one do an old 26 inch wheel mountain bike to a drop handle tourer/commuter.

  16. Watch this in at least 1.25. Thank me later.

  17. Honestly I was hoping once it was all finished you would do some shoots of it completed and would do a quick vid of riding the bike

  18. Can also use brake cleaner to put grips on as it Evaporates quicker then hair spray

  19. Hmmmmmmmmmm, I remember bloke that killed a woman while riding a fixed gear with one brake. DO YOU?

  20. Great work and build Jon. Would have liked to see a bit of more frame restoration / prep / paint? prior piecing everything together….WELL DONE nonetheless 🙂

  21. 49 minutes of how to ruin a perfectly good retro steel bike. Tedious.

  22. Is that a crack on the back of the bottom of the steerer tube or am I the only one seeing this?

  23. Covering the faces of the wrenches with masking tape or duct tape stops the tools damaging good / chrome on headsets

  24. Loved the three part series. I have done 4 separate single speed conversions thus far and I reckon there is always something new to learn with each project or at least new stitch-ups with every build.

  25. Nice video Jon, very informative.
    Have you guys ever considered building your own freak bike frame or a recumbent frame? I got into this a few years and have built a few mad contraptions over the years. Mine were never fast, but they were a huge amount of fun, which is an aspect of cycling that can get forgotten as we push for fast times or the latest tech. Go silly I say, well at least once anyway!

  26. good build and information Jon.why do you not use the work stand more dynamically?, moving up / down, twisting the bike to the best place to work, after all, this is what they are designed for, stop bending, stretching, working in tight spaces etc?

  27. bike porn.

  28. Love this video for all the people out there getting started but the info about chainline is a bit off. Purchase your rear wheel, measure for chainline, then purchase a crankset and bottom bracket that gives you that chainline. Now you have a perfect chainline. Otherwise you will eventually drop the chain and fracture your clavicle or crack your skull or something worse.

  29. Hey guys I really like your channels, could you open a francophone channel for Belgium, French, Switzerland, Quebec and African we are are more than 300 millions people

  30. I built a good amount of fixed gear conversions and found this series very educational. It's great to have your professional PoV.
    However, you've made some part choices I find arguable (no toe clips, the 2nd brake etc.). In the end, it looks like the fixed gear of the type of people calling them "fixie" 😀

  31. the childhood memories throughout the video were so good :')

  32. Hey Jon, love the series. I would like to do the same thing and I was wondering how exactly you would size a bike like this. I’m 5’10” and typically fit a 54cm road bike pretty well (I’m in between a 54 and 56) but because I’d like to switch the drop bars for flat bars should I look at getting a larger size to compensate for a little more upright ride position?

  33. i challenge GCN to build a "performance" folding bike.

  34. Hobbit! 😆 Great job by the way! Thanks for the tips on nM and tightening up

  35. Brilliant more “real people” bike maintenance, commuter bike maintenance, Brompton maintenance, upgrading gear sets.

  36. Great vidio , looks a goog bike now 👍

  37. Loved this perhaps a modern build next with carbon frame and disc set up ????

  38. How many "fixie points" would this bike get????

  39. A nice gravel bike would be amazing

  40. I have to thank this channel to my new found fondness of Peugeot Bike Frame Collecting. 😅😅😅

  41. This is a freewheel bike not a single speed bike, that the title dont cheat you :v

  42. 10:35 MTB rider here. I happened to do exactly that and in 2 days of hard riding on my hardtail the left crank was feeling a bit loose. Checked it out… It was rounded out. I'm waiting for the replacement crankset. Don't grease square taper splines, guys.

  43. How about a tour around that tool rack behind you explaining what all the tool do? great video.


  45. Below is a link to the proper seatpost for your Peugeot

  46. Have to see somebody of the crew riding this bike! In crit perhaps 🚴😉

    Would be good to see a convertion of the similar frame, or cheap modern frame into a single gear, but proper modern components, i.e. at least to see a decent stem.

    I wonder if you could collaborate with somebody and reweld the headtube of the old frame to take in modern carbon fork!?

  47. These parts are all very familiar to me, I work in a bike shop and we have loads of older parts like this in almost mint condition.

  48. bukild a tracklocross bike

  49. He's my fav guy in the gcn.

  50. Great Stuff!!!!

  51. Humm, building a fixie with cheap parts while using crazy expensive tools from Park Tool that exceeds the cost of all the bicycle parts…
    I understand GCN has a nice tool set at hand and thus using it for the build, but most of us do not have their $ 7.600,- 'Master Tool Kit' or a $200 head set press tool at home.
    If you are not able or prepared to pay a premium price for their tools you'll have to find cheaper ones or build your own alternatives.

  52. Humm, building a fixie with cheap parts while using crazy expensive tools from Park Tool that exceeds the cost of all the bicycle parts…
    I understand GCN has a nice tool set at hand and thus using it for the build, but most of us do not have their $ 7.600,- 'Master Tool Kit' or a $200 head set press tool at home.
    If you are not able or prepared to pay a premium price for their tools you'll have to find cheaper ones or build your own alternatives.

  53. 2 tires worth more than the whole bike

  54. koool but. build a cheap thing with high end tools makes this bike unreal.

  55. you should have put on some straps or toe clips if you r building a fixed gear bike

  56. Lacks foot retention and has too many brakes

  57. Wonder what grease does he use

  58. Rather big loops on that rear brake cable.

  59. This bike would be even better with a three-speed IGH.

  60. What kind of chain is this ?

  61. Крутое видео. Спасибо вам, команда GCN.

  62. I hope there is a finishing episode

  63. not a track frame , breaks , no straps . Not a fixie , juste hipster bike.

  64. Here is a real fixie.

  65. will there be a followup video to this one?

  66. I loved this series, but could you do an in depth spin off of this to show how you chose spacing and measured it up to fit on the old bike?

  67. I've just been thinking about building one

  68. Are we gonna see it on the road?

  69. @gcntech just a thought – would hand sanitiser work for the grips?

  70. who needs breaks

  71. good day. Do you know any history of hercules bicycles?

  72. It seems like you mixed up the front brake washers with the back one. The curves are slightly different.

  73. He uses grease how I use copper antiseize

  74. Build up a vintage MTB next

  75. Hi Jon and GCN Tech,

    Very nice build and video series. I hope there will be a 4th video with the overview of the finished bike and shots of it in action in the city!

  76. Just one thing: Never, EVER touch a chain on a fixed gear unless its still on the floor. You fingers might get pulled and get trapped between the chain and the cog/chainring teeth.

  77. What was the spacing of the rear axle and rear hub?

  78. Really cool video series. Would have loved to have seen it fully built up and put to the test outdoors though.
    Was surprised to see the wheels and tires didn't rub on the fork, chainstay, etc. Things were narrow then.

  79. WHYYYYYYYY have you put the bars like that

  80. thanks bro

  81. Such a shame, a sad ending for a majestic Peugeot to be turned into something for a SoyBoy Latte drinking bearded hipster to park outside his coffee shop.

  82. I liked this very much. Thank you. Now I want to build one for myself.

  83. Make a mark where you need to put the brake levers on ?! Why would you do that ?

    Slide the levers all the way to the steerer tube, then put the grips on all the way in, then move the brake levers flush against the grips.
    No markings on the handlebar, and you're certain they are at the exact same spot left and right (which is unlikely the case with your eyeballing technique of putting the grip in front of the handlebar and marking the bar…)

  84. It's videos like this that make the 21st century a great time to be a bike enthusiast. I love this kind of thing. Thanks.

  85. It would be nice to see you riding the bike and telling us how it feels, what worked, and what you would have done differently.

  86. Very much enjoyed watching the whole process of you building the bike from start to finish. Would you be willing to do this again in a future build, but in the style of Gee Milner's Dream Builds? Those are great to watch.

  87. Grease – quill to handlebars interface!?

  88. I also use a lot of lubrication. But that's on all together different website… 🙂

  89. I was just about to wonder if a freewheel can be spun either side (15:24) and turns out it can – making those 4 inlets face inwards, obscuring them forever. 😨

  90. I've hardly ridden any bicycles over the past 5 years… yet here I am having the time of my life watching a 50 minute video on building a fixed gear bike. Love it.

  91. Great video. I also upgraded an old Peugeot Premier and had similar problems with the seat post. After a bit of digging around on eBay in Germany, I found a company that create modern 24mm versions. It seems that the old East German MIFA bikes also used the 24mm standard, and I think there are enough of those bikes around to support that market.

  92. Really nice video but why the incrediably tacky music…. excruciatingly annoying.

  93. @gcntech believe it or not I have the exact same issue with my seatpost! Hahah what a hack! Superb.

  94. The headset can't really be properly adjusted until almost at the finish of building the bike. It's best to wait for final adjustment until wheels have been mounted with handle bars and stem. If fitting with brakes for road use, you can check final by using brake(s) and seeing if there is any slop or tightness. For the seat post, fold over the top edge of the shim to create a lip. The lip faces out. If you want, cut up a tuna fish can and have a built-in lip. It helps to prevent it from falling in.

  95. Cover your ears this one gets a little bit loud……*tiniest metallic pinging you’ve ever heard*

  96. So jealous of this workshop..all l can do is dream…l have a set of similar bars ( boardman mtb) for my next rebuild..

  97. Adding grease to a bolt that has thread locker compound? Where did you go to engineering school? A good video conceptually, but some strange techniques and some old wives tails / ignorance about the mechanical / engineering or assembly techniques… greasing the headset but not the bolt, talking about scratching drop bars, then scratching the flat bars and possibly moving the brake levers to expose the scratch… torque settings for bolts are usually given for dry assembly, and greasing the bolts can change the settings that the torque wrench goes off at…

  98. Wait, so after all that, we don't get to see the complete final product? :/

  99. Those handlebars are criminal

  100. Awesome! Absolutely love these bike build videos! Thank you Jon (hug)😀

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