5.12.2010

Hey Hon, can you get me a fixie?

There are some things that are necessary and many things that are not.

A bicycle? Yes.

A folding bicycle? Arguable.

A fixie? No

A folding fixe? Absolutely.

That's right. I'm not the first to pull off such a feat nor will I be the last. For the last year, I have joked with friends that I wanted to build up a folding fixie to have when I traveled and to simply to keep in my car to always have a bike with me. Sure, I could have kept it kosher and rocked it single, 3, or 7 speed like many that come stock but there was simply some allure to making it fixed.

This was the second folding bike that I got my hands on but the first that I made into a fixie. The first was a 20" wheel Dahon Speed D7, that I ended up trading my former co-worker, Brent, for my Karate Monkey frame. I got this 16" wheel folding bike, a Hon, precursor to Dahon from another former co-worker at my old shop for a pair of Oakleys. Check out an old post on the No Drive website to see what this started out like.

I did do a few modifications to the bike to be able to make it work. Since I am all legs and arms at a little over 6 foot. In order to get proper leg extension and reach to the handlebars, the first thing was to cut off the attached flat bar that was on the steering column. Without putting much thought as to what I would do after removing it, I soon discovered that the it was extremely close to an 1 1/8" steer tube. Grabbing a stem, it confirmed it. I then, added a pair of mustache bars that had been floating around on a couple of bikes but had never found a good home.

The bike then sat for a good month or so. I built up the wheels once I found the Maxxis Hookworms, then I knew I wanted to change the color of the bike. Originally, I was going to black out the bike but ended up changing my mind after taking it completely apart. Raw seemed to be the better way to go. The bike sat in pieces for 2 months as I explored how I was going to extend the seatpost.

Enter, a good friend of mine, Bob Hammond [who happened to do all the photos in our current catalog], who is a bit of a machinist and took up the challenge of making a post that would not only be long enough for my leg but also strong. What he ended up using was steel, machining it down to size for a seat clamp and the notched properly to keep the seatpost in line; even going a step further to drill completely through the middle to lighten it up a bit.

The last week I've spent clear coating the bike after having it sandblasted, cleaning/polishing all the parts and attempting to remember how it all went together. In the end, the bike came together great and I even discovered that one of the old Velocages worked remarkably well on the old reflector mount on the steer tube. I topped the bike off with a rear rack that was made specifically for the Hon, the Pedro's Trixie [carefully placed I might add; see picture below, right side] and some hipster cysts for good measure. There a few things I'll be adding but for the most part, it's all done.

Here's a few of the specs on the bike:

Frame: 19?? Hon 16" Folding Bike
Wheels: Velocity [349] Aeroheat 32H, Radial Front, 2x Rear on Velocity Solid Axle/Cutout Flange Track Hubs
Tires: Maxxis Hookworm 16 x 1.95
Gearing: 46 x 13 [roughly 59.7 gear inches]


9 comments:

  1. Did you have to cut the handle bars to put in a bull horn one?
    Do you have better pictures - this is awesome! I do have a Hon and a Dahon old skool A-frame brace w/ the porta wheels...I was thinking of tricking up.
    Did it have sturmey archer hubs before? How heavy is the bike now?

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  2. Amy-

    I cut the top off the old handlebar tube off and then installed a 1 1/8" starnut with a normal 1 1/8" stem. This then allows me to but on whatever handlebar I like.

    I'll get a few more photos taken here soon, check out our Twitter [@velocityusa] for those links

    It did have a 3 speed Sturmey on it before and I haven't had a chance to weight it but I don't think I added any weight to it with the lighter wheels then with the modified seatpost.

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  3. Thanks much, I re-read and you did write you cut it off. I'm just starting out - what house hold tool did you use?

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  4. House hold tools used during this/or could have been used... Off the top of my head?

    -15mm socket
    -large and small crescent wrench
    -hack saw
    -large phillips screw driver
    -flat head screw driver

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  5. Hi A.Lo - this is a stupid Q...I am wanting to remove the spider (the thing that holds the chain ring, since i am trying to fix an issue to see why it is so close to the frame) - but when I removed the nut I could not slide it off the spindle, it is either badly rusted or threaded...I cannot find a manual detailing the older chain ring I have (but it looks like yours) - could you tell me what you did? (You prob stripped it off to sand blast it right?)

    Amy

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  6. Not a stupid question... taking a crank off can be tricky the first time. You'll need a specific tool if you're hoping to save the crank for re-installation.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_cn-z.html#crankpuller

    You won't need this tool for re-install, so if you just want it off to paint, head to your local bike shop and they should be able to do it for you cheap. My old shop would do it for less than $10.

    The other option if you're not looking to save the crank is to just hit it with a hammer from the inside. It's made to fit snug as you don't want that part of the bike going where it's not suppose to. If you hit it right, you could be in the clear and the crank will still be usable.

    When you're finished it would be great to see some pictures!

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    Replies
    1. hey ALO! i just found this blog... hope you still look at it!
      i'm fixing up an old dahon III, which has the same frame as this.
      my question is - any problems with the maxxis hookworms fitting? my forks are 50mm width at the top and the hookworms are stated as ETRTO 53-305, which would be too wide! I know from experience that tyre widths aren't as stated though and wondered how tight the clearance was for you...?
      many thanks,

      sb

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    2. SB-

      I haven't had any problems with the hookworms. The front fork there is plenty of clearance and the rear is slightly tighter. I'll post over on my personal bike blog soon an update on where the 'Hon has gone: nodrivejustride.com

      Alo

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  7. Check this out!
    http://www.wretch.cc/album/show.php?i=gogino&b=18&f=1350029590&p=2

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