Bad Boy 8 fixie conversion
I would like to present to the world my latest and greatest bicycle, the Cannondale Bad Boy 8 fixie conversion. Its my first fixed wheel bike and I hope you'll agree she's a beauty.
I bought the Bad Boy 8 second hand off ebay for Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£550 which I felt was a fairly decent price as it had done a few hundred commuter miles but had been well cared for. It came with a bunch of extras including a decent bike lock and some top end commuter cateye lights.
After riding it for a while with the Shimano Alfine hub gears I decided they weren't for me. Had the rear wheel and hub been a lot lighter I might have been pursuaded to stick with it but due to the increased weight and the shiny silver hub on an otherwise matt black bike I decided it had to go.
I bought a Surly flip-flop hub, Surly cog and lockring from a really good guy who sells his stuff through ebay, Charlie the Bike Monger. He advised me on the correct parts to buy and which rim would fit the style of my bike. I decided on a Mavic A317 disc hub, a sturdy touring rim with a semi aero profile designed for disc brakes. It looks similar to my front rim and fits the all-black look of the bike.
Beeline bicycles in Oxford built the wheel up using black DT Swiss 1.8 spokes in a 3 cross pattern. Although they did a good job in the end I wouldn't recommend them due to the lengthy miscommunications between their minions 'bike experts' on the shop floor and the bike mechanic. It took them about 3 weeks and four phone calls to make up the wheel which is pretty terrible really, especially when you're as excited as I was. Update: Beeline have read this article and requested I change the information to reflect what they believe happened. I find this insulting as this blog is about my personal experiences and if in my opinion Beeline Bicycles did a poor job I feel I have every right to write about it here.
Fitting the wheel was a little complex as the chain had to be tightened. The Bad Boy uses an eccentric bottom bracket to achieve chain tension so I had to work out how to do this with minimal documentation. Cannondale have an old pdf you can download explaining how the eccentric bottom bracket works, but it relates to their Tandem frames. The Bad Boy uses two wedges rather than the one shown on their pdf. Mine were slightly seized so I got the gas burner on them to heat them up and then tapper the screw which is used to pull them together to push one of them out. I also had to take off the cranks which luckily is a fairly easy process. The non-drive side truvativ gxp firex crank arm just screws off by leaving the outer nut screwed in and unscrewing the inner nut pulls the arm off.
Once the left arm comes off the drive side arm just pulls out. I was then able to adjust the eccentric bottom bracket by using the external bottom bracket tool to rotate the bottom bracket plates until the correct chain tension was achieved. If anyone is going through this process and needs clarification just drop a comment on this page and I'll go into more detail if necessary.
The weight of the bike has been reduced further by adding a carbon seatpost and handlebar from my previous courier bike. I've left the front Avid Juicy 3 disc brake on while I get my head around the subtleties of riding fixed wheel.
My first ride was a 40 mile round trip to Oxford and back and involved three near crashes when I forgot I was riding fixed wheel and nearly stacked it. Other than that I really enjoyed the experience, cornering is really fun and I love the feel of control over the bike and the constant movement of my legs. Hopefully these next few weeks will get me used to the bike before heading back to Australia to resume bicycle courier work. I think this is an almost perfect urban courier bike, it has the all-weather disc brake on the front, its super-light weight, has the required subtle 'bling' factor and hopefully isn't totally nickable.