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  1. #1
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    Super Sport single speed conversion

    Forumite DCV45 set me up with a '72 Schwinn Super Sport. I've stripped it down to bare frame and started rebuilding it. The idea of a single speed came to mind.

    Questions:
    Will an old Ashtabula crank from a vintage coaster brake Schwinn fit the Super Sport?
    I'm guessing Ashtabula cranks are pretty much interchagable from bike to bike but not sure.

    The single speed crank will be 1/8 inch. Can you find 1/8 inch freewheels? Or can I run an 1/8 in. chain on a 3/32 freewheel?

  2. #2
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    You can run a 1/8 chain on a 3/32 freewheel with no problem.
    Not sure about the crank question. All I know about Ashtabula is that the longest race in the homing pigeon club my Dad was in when I was a kid started there. Kind of amazing--they'd let the birds go at sunrise, and they'd be home to the loft (in the Boston area) by nightfall. That's a long day.
    "Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long."
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
    You can run a 1/8 chain on a 3/32 freewheel with no problem.
    Not sure about the crank question. All I know about Ashtabula is that the longest race in the homing pigeon club my Dad was in when I was a kid started there. Kind of amazing--they'd let the birds go at sunrise, and they'd be home to the loft (in the Boston area) by nightfall. That's a long day.
    Makes me want to join a Homing Pigeon club. Never heard of that one before.

    I found 1/8" freewheels on ebay. But I have a few 3/32 ones "in stock".

    So now I'm curious about the crank. Wonder if the crank arm length is different for vintage single speeds too?

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    I would guess that the crank would fit, but don't have any experiences trying. The issue would be whether your chain will line up with your rear cog, but I suppose if it was meant for a single-speed in the first place, you've got a shot at it.

    Neal

  5. #5
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
    You can run a 1/8 chain on a 3/32 freewheel with no problem.
    Not sure about the crank question. All I know about Ashtabula is that the longest race in the homing pigeon club my Dad was in when I was a kid started there. Kind of amazing--they'd let the birds go at sunrise, and they'd be home to the loft (in the Boston area) by nightfall. That's a long day.
    My Dad and my Grandfather raced homing pigeons as well (Baltimore area). The birds were taken south, as far as south GA, before being released. Dad was never successful.

    My guess is that a crankset from a Racer or a similar Schwinn would work. Want to try a mini crank? noglider sent this to me in the Box of Crap game!

    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

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  6. #6
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    All of the shops around here sell 1/8" ss freewheels, but I live in the hipster Capital of the Southwest. They are generally referred to as BMX freewheels. A 3/32' will work, but might be a little more noisy. I would recommend you go with the Shimano. White Industries makes a good one, but it is incredibly expensive. ACS has a cheaper one. While I have had no problems with my ACS freewheel, many people have.

  7. #7
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    Most of those cranks are interchangable, sometimes, though you find different cone widths. I think there's also two different cone threading diameters (old American vs newer Asian). There a lot of good Ashtabula compatable stuff in the BMX world and it's sometimes inexpensive. The gears, of course, come off the crank and you can use pretty much any gear. I have a spider that bolts into a standard cranks that then mates to the 5 bolt chainring of my choice. I forget the BCD.
    Of course it's always good to consult Sheldon;
    http://sheldonbrown.com/opc.html
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Let me know if you need some chain links. My last single speed conversion used a 1/8" chain so I bought a cheap Bell brand chain at the local x-mart. The chain was fine but since it was intended for BMX bikes I had to splice two chains together to make it reach. So...I have about 90% of a 1/8" chain waiting for another conversion.

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    I guess my main concern was whether or not the chainring would clear the chainstay. Most are 46 tooth. After looking closer at the bike I think the clearance is no problem. But the crank length may be shorter, I dont know. I guess I'll buy one and give it a shot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    here's some pertinent info:

    chainline may well be a crapshoot, but i reckon you'll be close enough with a track hub or a coaster hub.

    there are different threadings for ashtabula cranks, but the american-standard BB shell is universal. You'll need to make sure that the BB cups you use are compat with the crank you use; in any case, your frame will accommodate the cranks.

    Most modern freewheels are marketed as being compat with either 1/8" or 3/32" chains. Simple fact is, for singlespeed applications, you can always run 1/8" chains on the narrower 3/32" cogs/chainwheels. The main advantage of the acs freewheel over the shimano is the greater availability of sizes. Select a freewheel that, when combined with whatever chainwheel you have, yields the gear-inches you're looking for. You'll need 1/8" chain to run with the chainwheel, and that'll run fine with the modern freewheel. it'll work nicely (assuming the rest of the set-up is well-sorted) and no one will care.

    hth,
    -rob

  11. #11
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    You can fine tune the chainline of a one piece crank, many chainrings are dished you can flip them either way, you can also use washers between the cone and chainring. Old BMX cranks come in different lengths and chromoly.

  12. #12
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Just to throw you a curve ball, but how about a coaster brake setup?

    Just a thought.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowegian View Post
    Let me know if you need some chain links. My last single speed conversion used a 1/8" chain so I bought a cheap Bell brand chain at the local x-mart. The chain was fine but since it was intended for BMX bikes I had to splice two chains together to make it reach. So...I have about 90% of a 1/8" chain waiting for another conversion.
    I ran into the same thing with this stupid half link chain and buying two wasn't cheap.


  14. #14
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    ^+1
    I considered a pintle chain for my fixed gear, but I would've had to buy two. Add to that that they're heavier and I settled on an SRAM silver 1/8" chain.
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  15. #15
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    had the same issue with my SA hub'ed miyata. Luckily that was the second time so I'd already had another length.
    Mmmm, bicycles.

    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com

  16. #16
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    You can use any Schwinn (or other) ashtabula crank on it, you can also buy an adaptor to use a three piece alloy crank if you like and the adaptor shouldn't cost you anymore than $13-$20.00.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  17. #17
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    I forgot to add homing pigeon content, sorry (must keep the discussion's parallel tracks in sync).

    My grandpa had some homing pigeons in Oregon. When I was a kid and we visited he took us fishing up in the Cascade mountains and would release his pigeons up in the mountains, then we'd go fishing. When we got back to town the pigeons were usually already back home.

    Okay, carry on.

  18. #18
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikebikes View Post
    You can use any Schwinn (or other) ashtabula crank on it, you can also buy an adaptor to use a three piece alloy crank if you like and the adaptor shouldn't cost you anymore than $13-$20.00.
    you can buy the euro-BB adaptor, but doing so would cost you about a million dollars in street cred, in addition to the $15.USD.

    Keep it rill.
    -rob

  19. #19
    likes to ride an old bike
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    I'm so jealous, and wish you luck on your Singlespeed build.

    All the talk around here about tubulars has gotten me jonesing for a Super Sport singlespeed too!

    I'd love to have some TNT Revolver flip-flop BMX hubs laced to vintage Fiamme tubulars... take advantage of that Ashtabula bottom bracket with a nice Profile 3-piece cromoly BMX crankset... old Campy Record brakes... you get the idea!

  20. #20
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrEss View Post
    I'm so jealous, and wish you luck on your Singlespeed build.

    All the talk around here about tubulars has gotten me jonesing for a Super Sport singlespeed too!

    I'd love to have some TNT Revolver flip-flop BMX hubs laced to vintage Fiamme tubulars... take advantage of that Ashtabula bottom bracket with a nice Profile 3-piece cromoly BMX crankset... old Campy Record brakes... you get the idea!
    i certainly get the idea, and i want an ancient cruiser, mostly to run profiles on it. personally, MrEss's concept of combining outdated standards with racy hott stuff and bomb-proof overbuilt stuff appeals to me a lot.

    -rob

  21. #21
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    One piece cranks are cool, here's my 26" Super Sport with a 175mm CroMo BMX crank and Schwinn "Lucky Seven" sprocket from a Jr bike (36T). Drives an SA 5 speed IGH/drum brake hub:


  22. #22
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Weight Comparo:
    - Shimano DX single speed 175mm cranks with Al 38T chainring, Shimano UN-54 BB and adapter= 960gms
    - 1 pc BMX CroMo 175mm cranks with steel 36T chainring and sealed 1pc BB = 1400gms

    Total savings for 3 pcs crank = 440gms or ~1lb.

    Only problem with 1 pcs cranks is pedal selection, 1/2" selection is lacking, no SPD pedals. Maybe someday we'll see 1pc cranks with 9/16 pedal threads.

  23. #23
    Senior Member raverson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surreal View Post
    you can buy the euro-BB adaptor, but doing so would cost you about a million dollars in street cred, in addition to the $15.USD.

    Keep it rill.
    -rob
    I went with a Nippon-BB (Sugino) adapter that I got for free, but I guess it'll cost me my retirement. Doh!
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    One piece cranks are cool, here's my 26" Super Sport with a 175mm CroMo BMX crank and Schwinn "Lucky Seven" sprocket from a Jr bike (36T). Drives an SA 5 speed IGH/drum brake hub:

    Thats what I wanted to see. Nice!
    I've been investigating BMX cranks, they tend to be long - a lot of 180mm. Maybe one day I'll do the IGH as well.

  25. #25
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    I found mine at local swap meets, there's plenty of 'em out there, not too much interest, I had to ask. I bought 2 chromo cranks for $12.50 each, new sealed BBs for $8, 36T sprocket $5, cheap

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