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Old 10-06-07, 03:18 AM   #1
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Convert road bike to fixed gear

Waiting for my ebay cassette to arrive and thinking about going single speed on my trek road bike. do i need a tensioner? the lbs guy said i do but i am looking at these fixed gear conversion bikes and they don't have one. I also have a derailleur but the cassette won't come in for another week and that is the only part holding me up.
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Old 10-06-07, 03:20 AM   #2
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Fixed gear bikes dont need tensioners. Some singlespeeds have them, but not all of them.
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Old 10-06-07, 04:03 AM   #3
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Any single speed or fixed gear bike has to have a way to adjust the chain tension.

On a bike with a single speed freewheel this can be done with either horizontal frame dropouts or with a spring loaded chain tensioner that works like the arm on a derailleur.

On a fixed gear you have to be able to put pressure on the pedals in either direction so a spring loaded tensioner arm won't work. If your bike frame has vertical dropouts options include using a rear hub that has an eccentric built into it or finding a fortuitous chainring and sprocket combination that keeps the chain snug.
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Old 10-06-07, 06:57 AM   #4
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If it's a newer Trek, it has vertical dropouts, and cannot be single speed without a tensioner. Check out Sheldon:

http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
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Old 10-06-07, 07:05 AM   #5
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You can't use a chain tensioner with a fixed gear, as RG notes.

More information on your bike would be useful.
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Old 10-06-07, 07:08 AM   #6
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Oh yeah, your header says fixed, but your post says SS. Which are you looking for?

Either way, it will be work or $$.

Fixed: new rear wheel.

SS: cassette and spacers with one cog.

If you like gears, just wait for the cassette.
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Old 10-06-07, 09:33 AM   #7
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Just be patient and wait for your cassette. Do a SS conversion on a spare bike instead.
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Old 10-06-07, 10:05 AM   #8
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1) You will need a tensioner with vertical dropouts
2) Single speed kits with spacers and a cog are cheap
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Old 10-06-07, 10:44 AM   #9
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This is risky, but if you have vertical dropouts and you get lucky and are really close to your desired chain tension, but not quite there, a file can be used on the axle or the frame. But, I'm talking about very small amount of filing. I was successful using this method on a single speed mountain bike of mine. It's an aluminum trek frame that I ride a lot with no problemos. Let me emphasize risky.
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