When life gives you "Goddamnit, my frame broke" make "Goddamnit, my frame broke"-ade.
In a plot that could only have been conceived by my fatass after two (so far) 8% ABV beers...
After a couple of half-commutes* into the office on the fixie, I noticed the headtube/toptube crack mentioned previously had bested my attempt to have it welded shut and had re-cracked. (Cue the much deserved "Told ya so" from Spearman and Palmero Cycles). I decided not to further risk life and limb and deconstructed the bike. My original plan was to take the parts off and fix the other frame hanging in my bike shop...and '80s era Canondale. Sadly, that bike has got two things going against it: vertical drops and a ridiculously-long 11.25" head-tube (for which, apparently, no fork exists with a long enough steer tube) so that plan was ruled out.
So now my former Sekai fixie sits disassembled in the basement. Destined for a sledgehammer and a recycling bin. (Don't want anybody finding it and trying to use it again). With play-money in short supply these days, the question becomes "What to do about my budding interest in fixed-gear riding...on a budget?".
Cue the beer.
At some point in the evening (at about beer 1.25), I decided it would be fun/interesting/adventurous/life-threatening (in a good way) to fix my Karate Monkey mountain bike. Why not? It's got 29er wheels (which are nothing more than 700c road wheels with a fatty mountain tire on there). It seemed destiny. All I needed do was take the fixed rear wheel from the recently departed Sekai and mount the 29er mountain tire on it. There will be no rear brake, as the wheel from the Sekai had a non-disk hub, and the KM is disk, but running fixed, all that is necessary is a front brake. Which I've got covered. You want a brake in back? Stop pedaling.
10 minutes and a couple of greasy knuckles later and I've got a fixed off-road machine.
There's little chance of her ending up on any hardcore trails (the 'Shed, Gambrill are right out, not that I ride there often anyway...I'm just sayin'). Inaugural ride will probably be Wakefield. As will many subsequent rides. And the lamest/flattest part of Wakefield that I can find. If I'm feeling particularly strong, I might try to climb a hill, but no promises. The only fixed cog I have is 15t mounted to the formerly-road wheel. The cog that came off of the KM was a 20t. That's a 5t difference that I'm gonna feel. A lot. The chainring on the KM is 32t. So...
The gear-inch measure that I'm used to riding off-road is 46.4.
The current gear-inch is 61.9.
Truth be told, I don't know what exactly gear-inches are, but bigger=harder. I foresee a lot of hiking on my future mountain bike rides. More then usual, even.
* As I'm still quite new to fixed gear biking, I opted to test-commute before committing to the full 10 mile ride. I drove about half-way in and biked the other half.