Fixed Gear Friday — 183rd Street Cycles Frameset

Man, we haven’t done one of these in a while…

Last night when I got home from work, I was thrilled to discover a package waiting for me — a fixed gear frameset from the folks at 183rd Street Cycles. You may remember the company from our coverage at last year’s Interbike.

frameset

Details on the frame are a bit sketchy…but what we do know is this: the frame is made from double-butted Tange chromoly and is TIG welded. The fork has a low rake (30mm!) for fast handling, and both fork and rear bridge are drilled for brakes, so this could be a singlespeed or fixed gear machine. The only braze-on on the entire frameset is a pair of waterbottle cage holes on the seat tube (it’s more aero that way, I swear!).

Normally, the frameset comes in white or “E.D. Black”, a flat black that requires no additional prep before powdercoating with another color. As you can see, though, 183rd Street whipped us up a special one that is a dark green with silver sparkles…they know I like to express my inner Bootsy Collins from time to time!

The fork itself is a thing of beauty. In my opinion, it’s the way a steel fork should look. 183rd Street could have taken the easy way out and designed a unicrown fork like so many other manufacturers, but they took the extra steps and specified a flat crown with long-point lugs and cutouts on the front and rear. Gorgeous.

pretty fork

Rear forkends are drilled and tapped for long setscrews that help tension the chain and also help prevent the axle from slipping under load. No additional chaintugs are needed:

forkend

Over the next couple months, I will be building this bike up with an assortment of new and used parts. This project will give me the opportunity to try out some of the bits from the good folks over at Velo Orange (stem, headset, Milano citybike handlebars and possibly a seatpost). It ain’t gonna be a “hipster fixie”, but there WILL be some colorful additions — I can’t help myself! After all, it IS a sparkle paintjob!


11 Comments

  1. RL July 24, 2009 11:30 am 

    Jack, can you post a pic of the frame while it shimmers in the sun?

  2. Ghost Rider July 24, 2009 2:31 pm 

    RL, it doesn’t look any different than under the bright flash…but I’ll take some “in the sun” photos as I build it up.

  3. Eric July 24, 2009 10:02 pm 

    “The fork has a low rake (30mm!) for fast handling”

    I don’t think this reasoning is correct. Reducing offset increases trail, which softens handling. That said, I’m digging that paint job. Might have been nice if they highlighted that crown in white or silver though.

  4. Ghost Rider July 25, 2009 7:30 am 

    Eric…I think you’re right. From what I’ve read on the subject, a low-rake fork is used to soften the handling on a steep headtube-angle frame. Frankly, the concepts of trail and rake are tough for me to get my head around.

    I suppose I should actually ride this thing before I predict the handling characteristics in any case!

  5. Jesus Christ July 25, 2009 9:44 am 

    Looks like a nice frame. I just got the new b43 velocities w/soma hubs they are so fast!

  6. Mike Myers July 26, 2009 9:10 am 

    Man, that’s a lot of flakes. Looks like a flake paint job with green undertones!

    Should be a sweet ride, Jack.

  7. Eric July 26, 2009 2:03 pm 

    I’m still a bit confused on the subject myself, I only caught that because I swapped out the fork on my bike a couple of months ago and did some reading on fork geometry at the time. My mental trick is to think of the caster wheels on a shopping cart–when the caster points forward everything gets squirrely because it has negative trail.

  8. Fringe July 31, 2009 11:56 pm 

    Liking the color! 😉
    I just recently built something similar, from a combination of (mostly used) and new parts. I had the frame powdercoated a super-sparkly metallic green as well. It’s now a single speed road bike with a coaster brake! Here it is in the sun: http://velospace.org/node/22015

    Have fun with your project!

  9. david August 1, 2009 2:35 pm 

    bikes that look like bassboats are the best

  10. Ghost Rider August 1, 2009 3:27 pm 

    Bassboat bikes FTW! And Fringe, your bike looks awesome!

  11. Fixed Gear Friday Review: 183rd Street Cycles Frameset | Bike Commuters March 18, 2010 8:41 pm 

    […] Back in July of last year, the folks at 183rd Street Cycles sent over a frameset for us to use and abuse…they even painted it our choice of colors (dark green with silver sparkles). And we got to keep it once all was said and done. I’m down with that! […]

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