Skip to main content

How to Transform an Old Bike to a Fixed-Gear Bike

If you like to tinker and want to train for a race, transform an old bike to a fixed-gear bike.


  • Step 1: Tighten the stack bolts in a regular pattern so that the wheel is balanced and all of the nuts are snug, like the lugs on a car wheel. Tighten the nuts a little at a time as you go around, never tightening two neighboring bolts in a row.
  • Step 2: Screw down the lock ring until it's tight, and use a lock ring spanner to tighten fully. It's ready to ride when you are.
  • FACT: As of 2010, the top bicycling states were Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Oregon.
  • TIP: Make the chain line perfectly straight for smooth, quiet, and efficient operation. Re-arrange spacers or change the bottom bracket axle as necessary.
  • Step 3: Adjust for the new chain length and attach the chain around the new cog. The chain shouldn't bind if you set it right, moving the rear axle back and forth at the ends of the fork.
  • TIP: Modern bikes have a vertical dropout, making fixed gear conversion more difficult.
  • Step 4: Strip your bike of its front and rear derailleurs and the rear brake, cables, and levers. Remove all but one chain ring. Then take out and repack the pedal bearings in the bottom bracket with lots of grease.
  • Step 5: Attach a new back wheel with a track or flip-flop hub if you can't use the original rear hub. Thread it onto the fixed sprocket.
  • Step 6: Opt for an old bike frame with horizontal dropouts for the rear axle. Avoid converting an adult-sized, one-speed bike, which tend to be too heavy and sluggish for fixed-gear riding.

Popular Categories