fixed-gear idea - 27" to 700c? brakes? help?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    fixed-gear idea - 27" to 700c? brakes? help?

    hey all,

    just found out i'm "inheriting" my stepdad's old cannondale st500 (read, he just got a new touring bike and my mom wants this thing out of their garage).

    it's kinda cool: this was the 2nd (or 4th?) cannondale frame ever brought to canada, special ordered back in the day. i thought it would be fun to make something interesting of it - like a fixie. something i would never have dreamed of doing before hanging out in this place ...

    but there are a few issues to work out:

    vertical drops - that's easy, i go eno (and make ernesto proud).

    i'd like to go 700c instead of 27" - the wheels will fit the frame, but the mounting of the top-pull caliper brake post means that brakes won't fit on properly with 700c wheels.

    most of the fixed pics i see run at least a front brake ... can someone(s) explain to me the fixed gear brake situation? do i need a front, or is it just a good idea? are there any other braking options out there? or do i just need to stick with 27" wheels if i want any brakes on the frame?

    as always, your time and thoughts are appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I've got a fixie conversion that now has 700c rims instead of the original 27s. I'm using a long reach brake in the front and it works just fine. As far as the whole brake issue is concerned, the front brake is a good idea, especially if you plan on riding in traffic. It makes quick stops a lot easier.

  3. #3
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    I've got a Miele road bike that I've converted to an SS but am looking at going fixed down the road. I posted pics of it here a couple weeks ago. It has 27" wheels and most likely will stay that way unless I inherit some 700c wheels. 27" tires are still readily available so I don't feel there is a need to switch. It's pretty much done but the bb need some fiddling around with but I lack the proper tools to do so. I don't think needle nose pliers and a screwdriver and hammer will do to adjust the play I get in the cranks. Although it may come to that if I the weather warms up and I'm itching to ride! When I do go fixed, I will keep the front brake for safety issues as this bike will most likely see a lot of lunch hour riding through traffic where I work in NJ. For now, both brakes will remain.
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  4. #4
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    i find tires okay ...

    ... but it's the tubes that i have trouble with. i usually just take a real skinny 26" tube and use it ... actually, come to think of it, that's probably the best idea anyway, eh?

    canoodle, thanks for the long-reach brake idea. don't suppose you know make/model, to point me in the right direction? if i can swing it, i'd still rather go with 700c wheels as it makes the set use-able on other frames down the road.

    something about the thought of tying an eno hub - the priciest hub i will have ever bought/used - into a 27" wheelset on a "cheap-o" project bike seems ... well, wasteful. or perhaps just frightening to me. i might investigate other options, now that i think about it more.

    remarkably, the crankset and bb (and chainrings!?) on the cannondale are in great shape. i think it still runs the original chain - certainly it's an old one - and there's no stretching of any significance. new cassette last summer. it kind of makes me highly disappointed to see how well 'old stuff' lasts when my new cassettes and rings and bbs and sti shifters wear in such a hurry ... i'm growing into a retrogrouch, i know it.

  5. #5
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    never mind ...

    we got shimano and tektro long-reachers here on the qbp catalogue page at the harris cyclery site, where i'm likely headed tomorrow anyways ...

  6. #6
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    The existing front brake might work. I have a frame that was built for 27" but there's enough adjustment in the brake to fit the 700c wheel on the front. The rear on the other hand doesn't even come close so I manufactured a drop-clamp from a piece of steel and a stack of washers. My fixie is the same way except I don't have a rear brake on it so no need to mess around on that one.
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  7. #7
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    Huh? 700C tubes fit 27" tires fine. Much better than 26" tubes and available in narrow enough widths to keep from being difficult to install. 700c is smaller than 27" but only by a few millimeters.

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