Bicycle Mechanics - Single speed question
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11-16-10, 12:45 PM
Haven't posted for a while.
I have a 14 speed schwinn road bike. I want to eliminate the read derailleur and shorten the chain to accomodate the front large sprocket and the rear small sprocket to run single speed exclusively. How difficult will it be to get the chain length correct so it will run smooth? Will wear and temp changes make it a bad idea? My climate will vary from 50F to 95F.
11-16-10, 12:47 PM
did you red this yet?
use a chain tool to break it and reattach. you can usually get it tight enough by adjusting where the wheel sits on the horizontal dropout. in some cases you may need a "half link". if you have vertical drops you may need to get a tensioner
11-16-10, 03:01 PM
I think your climate is way out of the range of singlespeeds.
11-16-10, 03:18 PM
First see what gearing you prefer. Then use a chain length calculator to see how many chain links you need. If the fraction portion of the unrounded result is more than 0.1 and you do not have horizontal dropouts you will have to change the front chainring and rear spocket size to get a more rounder result. Sometimes an older stretched chain might fit. Good luck!
11-16-10, 03:23 PM
Single speeds started in Canada on the west coast, particularly Vancouver . The excessive rain made the single speeds fly south to Florida for the winter.
At 50F, the oil on your chain will coagulate like clotting blood and slow you down. At 95F use an automobile oil with high temperature parameters.
11-16-10, 04:23 PM
what are you talking about? my SS has been working fine at 32F for the past week
11-16-10, 04:50 PM
May I suggest that you put the bike in the gear you think you will use and try it for a week before you decide the big to little is what you want to use. Most single speeds seem to work best with a gear of about 65 to 75 gear inches. Your proposed gear will be more like 104 gear inches and unless you are built like Lance you will not be happy with it. Try different gears until you find the one you like and then cut the chain. 72 gear inches is for example 40 tooth front to 15 tooth rear sprockets. Good Luck with it. Roger
11-16-10, 06:57 PM
I have to agree with rhenning. You haven't actually tried that combo have you? Finding the right ratio is about finding the single ratio out of all the possible gear ratios you have now that works the best for the majority of your riding. THis includes being low enough to allow for decently spirited starts and sprints across street with oncoming cars yet tall enough to ride at a decent cruise speed without overspinning your legs. Try it first to find what works.
If your frame has vertical dropouts then you may need to play with some combo of rear and front chainring that results in just the right tension. Or you need to run a chain tensioner device that replaces the derailleur. Various companies make theseup. One example is the Surly Singulator.
So maybe go back and do a bit more homework on the project and then get back to us. Or just read the excellent single speed conversion article at Sheldon's website.
11-17-10, 11:12 AM
this chart is an easier/quicker way to determine gear inches http://www.aboc.com.au/tips-and-hints/track-bike-gear-chart
+1 on experimenting with the right ratio before you commit to just one
i love riding 100 GI, but only on a closed course where I don't have to start/stop .
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