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There are a lot of old, broken down bikes out there — we have at least one in our garage. It’s a good bike. It’s a little beaten and bruised, a little rusty, but a quick strip-down, a few fresh coats of paint, some lubrication, new tires, maybe a new seat, and it’d be back and beautiful. A project like this is very manageable in scope and complexity, even for a bike newbie. And you’ll gain a more intimate knowledge of your bike, and you’ll ride with the pride of knowing you revitalized something that would have likely ended up in the trash.

This type of bike refresh is the exact process that Jake Spurlock put this svelte little “fixie” through. What’s a fixie? Jake explains:

A fixie is a bike that has a fixed hub. What this means is that with every turn of the wheel, there is a turn of the pedals. This also means that there is no coasting, as the hub of the wheel is locked in place.

He bought the bike for $35, a new seat and stem for $20, $12.50 for some used pedals, and then some paint, some time, and lots of lovin’ Now it’s time for some custom emblems. Jake’s brother has a vinyl cutter. May we suggest something suitably “Makey?” Jake is actually about to come on-board as our new Web Producer guy, moving from Utah. As much as we like his new bike, we hope he’s not riding it to Sebastopol.

The Fixie Bike Build

More:

Last year, Brookelynn Morris did a project on CRAFT on repainting a bike. You can see the MAKE post here, and you can grab a PDF of the project instructions here [3.3MB PDF]. BTW: That’s our multi-talented Sales Associate Project Manager, Sheena Stevens, piloting the revamped “Space Cruiser.”

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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