About three years ago, I set about to build the lightsaber of bicycles more commonly known as a fixie conversion. A good friend had an old 1973 Peugeot UO-8 lying around in his shed unused and collecting dust. So I set about restoring it, only to be convinced by Fixie Jedi Master Zuke to turn into a fixie for my commute into town along the Lachine canal. Since there were no hills or stop along the way a “track bike” made a lot of sense. Some considerable man hours of research on Sheldon Brown’s most awsome site and some great advice from Zuke, Fab and the good folks at Bikurious. The original Peugeot Fixie was done.
Speed ahead some 12,000 KM and many many innertubes, tires, chains, one saddle and three bottom brackets later, I thought the old Brokie (thanks Alister for the new name) was finally beyond repair. The original headset/stem and just about the only original part left on the frame finally snapped under some repairs and need to be replace with something a little more modern. I ended up picking up a quill stem replacement at the LBS in Lachine on a ride home and unknowingly attempted to ram a 22.2mm stem into a 22.0 headtube before realizing my mistake. I struggle with some heavy twisted and greasing and to be honest nothing was working until a neighbour suggested heating the headtube up with paint removing gun. This just about worked and with the help of a 12 inch nail pressing up against the quill and some light to moderate to heavy hammering, the stem same loose and proceed to shoot across the garage floor. So after sanding 0.2mm off of it and gently trying it again and again, I was finally able to fit it properly, replace the handlebars, install new brake cables* and apply some fresh tape to the bars. She is done and I am quite happy to put aside my thoughts of buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker or MEC National off again for another season.
All kidding aside about its new nickname, the tires and chains and other parts I have to replace are still cheaper than 6 months of buss passes and petrol for that Jetta that hasn’t moved in 9 months. When I do decide to get a serious tourer to compliment the Red Rocket in the stable, it will be because of a long trip like: Land’s End to John O’Groats or Vancouver to LA, or even Montreal to the Rock. For now more training and time spent along Mother Natures longest natural wind tunnel: The Lachine Canal.
*Yes, I installed brakes on a Fixie, 1) I value my life 2) the hoods are comfortable 3) I value my life 4) Hills Suck 5) I value my life.