I've ridden fixed since around 2007, the vast bulk of my commuting miles and my after work training has been done on a variety of fixed gear bikes- initially converted road frames, the inevitable lo-pro, and a variety of aluminium track frames.
Of them all my favourites were (prepare yourself!) a Langster and a Cannondale CAAD7 track - both of which are essentially road frames with track ends.
Prior to the Path Racer I'd just replaced my dead CAAD7 frame with a Ridley Oval 907C - an outright track frame, stiff as hell and totally uncompromising.
I have to admit I really didn't like it - apart from sprinting flat out, it was not in it's element, it beat me up over rough roads and the toe-overlap was "challenging" when weaving through traffic.
It now belongs to a chap who keeps it at the Velodrome- where I'm sure it's happier than it was when it was with me.
Now as a type of bicycle the Path Racer has honest claim to be one of the oldest- designed when a lot of roads were unmetalled, it was used to train on the road and raced on the track.
Hence it has a road biased geometry, yet it boasts a fixed drivetrain.
I decided to build one for myself, and if it worked, offer it as a model from Talbot Frameworks.
The geometry was lifted directly from one of my all-time favourite handling bikes, my Serotta CSi, with a slight lift to the BB to reduce the chance of pedal strike when cornering.
Tubing wise we went with 853 OS for the downtube, a Paragon Machine Works 44mm head tube, a swaged 853 seat tube (28.6 at the top, 31.2 at the BB), a PMW PF30 BB shell, Columbus MAX top tube (in a reversed orientation from how Columbus intended -more on that later), Zona chainstays and 14mm 4130 seat stays into a wishbone, with one short 16mm 4130 tube completing the rear end.
To allow (convenient use of) mudguards with a fixed drivetrain we used PMW rocker dropouts - once chain tension is set and the dropouts locked down the wheel drops out vertically.
For anyone who has had to fix a flat in the driving rain on their fixed-training bike with mudguards the ability to simply drop the wheel out and then put it back in without removing the mudguard and having to re-tension the chain should resonate.
Living in England a lot of my after work training is done at night, so we used a Shutter Precision dynamo hub, linked to Supernova E3 lights, running the cable through the top tube (Di2 grommets are useful for this) to keep things clean.
I used a Powertap G3 Track for the rear hub to record training load etc.
A Kinesis fork with mudguard eyelets but a road bike A-C measurement completed the picture.
Finally, being a fan of the older performance Volvos we painted it T-5R Gul yellow.
I have to cut the mudguard stays down still:
Dynamo wiring through the frame, and both brake levers operate the front brake via the Problem Solvers device:
Who can tell me what the Volvo reference is in this photo?
A relatively modest 48/18 as there are (contrary to popular belief) hills in London:
I'm a power-weenie, I admit it: