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  1. #1
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    Single speed to multi-speed conversion?

    My wife is shopping for a comfort bicycle. The last time either one of us was on a bike was decades ago. She really thinks the single speed 2006 Raleigh Retroglide with coaster brake is "...just so cute " but it only has one speed....she "thinks" she wants a seven speed. In here defense she has test ridden a single speed, three speed and seven speed. I would really like to make her day and bring the Retroglide home retro-fit with a seven speed set up...is this practical / possible?
    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Probably not, you need a rather expensive rear wheel with a internally geared 7spd hub, which in and of itself probably would cost as much as the Raliegh single-speed. I don't know if the singlespeed would be set up with the proper cable stops and routing for the shifter cables or not either. I'd just get her a gift card from the shop and stick it in a Raleigh catalog and wrap that up or something.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The same bike comes with a Sturmey Archer 3-speed internal hub. That's what I would recommend. The color is different, of course, so I don't know if that might be a deal breaker or not.

    Unfortunately, the 7-speed version uses a derailleur.

  4. #4
    THIS SPACE FOR RENT
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    That bike comes in a 7 speed version, does she just not like the looks of the rear derailer? Or does she think the brake cabling and stuff is ugly?

    The 3 speed is a coaster brake, so the only cable is to the shift mechanism in the hub. They make a 7 speed internal gear version, but they only sell it in Europe, and it has a conventional rim brake on the front and I believe a cabled roller brake on the back, and thus the attendant cabling and levers. If she likes the look of no rear D and no brake levers, she's not going to do better than the 3 speed coaster. The 3 speed has nearly the gear range of the 7 speed, and if she doesn't like the current gearing the shop can change out the cog on the rear hub to move all of the gears higher or lower.

    Edit: using the wheel below or something similar would get you 7 speeds, but as the poster above said, the cabling could be a mess. No offense, but this is just a little more custom work than I would do for a low-quality bike to satisfy the desires of someone who hasn't ridden enough to actually know what they want/need. The 7 speed hubs are made for people who ride pretty hard and need a big gear range; a casual rider who isn't slugging it up hills will be totally fine with a 3.
    "I don't buy new frames, it just encourages them."

    -T.G.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Something like this might work gor you:

    http://tinyurl.com/pcude

  6. #6
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    Thanks all!

    Thanks! for the replies....it was kind of what I suspected. Ya know how the love thing goes though....generally common sense is tossed out the window. She was really infatuated with the particular color of the single speed which is not available in the multi-speed.....maybe I just buy the multi-speed and get a custom paint job for it .... THANKS again!
    Bill

  7. #7
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Find a shop that sells Electra bikes. www.electrabike.com
    DEMON

    Satanic Mechanic
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    2011 Lynskey Sportive (Shimano Ultegra 10s)
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