Saturday, August 22, 2009

Malvern Star Single Speed conversion - Part 1

Been a while since I have updated this blog. There have been no trips to report of, so instead I have been making myself busy up in the home region. Part of this has been a recent obsession with making myself a Single-Speed bicycle. Courier style. It's all the rage down in Melbourne. I was all keen to just go out and buy one. I had my eyes - still have my eyes - on a Trek Soho S, but then I thought a cheaper option would be to build one from an old road bike frame.

The problem. I didn't have an old road bike frame. I didn't let this stop me so I went on to Freecycle to see if any local suckers kind people would give away their old bike hanging up in their shed.

Message pleads:
Hi all,

I have a dream of building a fixie bike and to get me started I need a basic old road bike frame. It doesn't matter if the frame is half buried under rubbish and the wheels are rusted and tyres rotten, as I just want the basic frame.

Lo and behold only a few hours after sending it out, I get a response.
Hi, we have an old Malvern Star pushbike if you are interested.

Scant info to go by but it sounds good. An old Malvern Star, they were, I thought, the bees knees when I was a kid. I gave them a ring and we arranged to pick up on the weekend.

Fast forward to Sunday and cruising over to the suburbs I was making my acquaintance with possibly a new friend for life. And he was good looking. Apart from the tyre sidewalls that looked like they had a horrid skin disease, the bike could have been ridden away. The tyres still had pressure. The philanthropist showed me that the headset bearings were grinding, but as I discovered later this was not because of a busted bearing, but because someone had put in the bearing cages upside-down.

Love at first sight. This Freecycle malarkey is bloody brilliant.

The bike was just what I wanted. The frame is right size and design and best of all the bike has horizontal dropouts (see image below) which is precisely what is needed for single-speed/fixie convert.

All I have to do now is strip it back to the frame and buy the required parts.

continued in Part 2 ...

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