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Old 05-02-11, 03:57 PM   #1
Apeynard
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Building a single speed

I'm new to this whole gig and looking for some help. I was given an old free spirit dynasty and want to convert it to single speed. I've stripped everything but the brakes. I've purchased a set of wheels with a flip flop hub. The rear wheel fits perfectly but front wheel does not. What should I do??
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Old 05-02-11, 04:08 PM   #2
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Sheldon Brown + the SSFG forum
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Old 05-02-11, 04:38 PM   #3
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Is there anything wrong with using the original front wheel? If not then just use that with the new rear wheel. It may be that the new wheel has a different dropout spacing to the old? Pictures would help.
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Old 05-03-11, 05:12 PM   #4
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The original front wheel has a very old tire which appears to have some dry-rot. I tried removing the tire from the old wheel but it almost seems attached to the wheel itself, which i didnt think was possible. Its a Free Spirit dynasty made by sears back in 85 and all of the parts are clearly original. Is it possible to change the front axle?
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Old 05-03-11, 05:13 PM   #5
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I'll post pictures tonight when I get home if that would help!
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Old 05-03-11, 05:30 PM   #6
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I'll post pictures tonight when I get home if that would help!
That'll probably help. Is the axle too big to fit into the dropouts (places where the axles are SUPPOSED to go)? If so, it MAY be possible to file the dropouts bigger, but I'd be cautious. The FS is a cheap bike that I'm sure had stamped steel dropouts--they'll look like flat pieces of steel welded to the fork blades, not like they were cast from molten metal.
If the spacing is wrong--the hub is too wide or too narrow for the forks--you can probably just jam it in there and clamp it down, but no guarantees. I'd probably do both those things, but I'm not advising you to do them.
As for the tire, it has to come off, so just take it off. Try tire levers, then a screwdriver (longer for more leverage), pliers, a scraper, sandpaper, whatever it takes. Clean off ALL the debris, get new rim tape and a new tube and tire and ride into the sunset.
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Old 05-03-11, 06:21 PM   #7
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The Hub is too wide I believe. The nut closest to the wheels center is preventing the threaded axle to slide into the fork drop outs. If that makes sense..haha
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Old 05-03-11, 10:55 PM   #8
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Old 05-04-11, 10:28 PM   #9
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The Hub is too wide I believe. The nut closest to the wheels center is preventing the threaded axle to slide into the fork drop outs. If that makes sense..haha
You should be able to pull the fork blades apart enough to get the wheel in place. If you pull a little harder, it'll stay that width. Don't worry- this is a normal bike shop procedure for cheap bike. You can overdo it- so don't.

The process is almost identical to spreading a frame: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
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Old 05-05-11, 09:52 AM   #10
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You should be able to pull the fork blades apart enough to get the wheel in place. If you pull a little harder, it'll stay that width. Don't worry- this is a normal bike shop procedure for cheap bike. You can overdo it- so don't.

The process is almost identical to spreading a frame: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html
I agree with Jeff.

My Raleigh Record converted to single-speed (and 700c wheels) has the same issue with the front wheel. It's a pain to put the wheel back in, but I've done it on the side of the road before.

Steel is flexible.
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Old 05-05-11, 01:40 PM   #11
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I made it happen! thanks alot guys.

Now, Another problem..The original crankset was obviously a multispeed set with three chain rings. when I tried to fit the chain to the smallest chain ring from the single speed freewheel the chain wasn't running straight it had a slight twist to it. Obviously this isn't going to fly. Im assuming i should purchase a single speed 48 tooth chain ring and crankset however I fear ill have similiar issues to the one i had when trying to install the front wheel. Any suggestions??
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Old 05-05-11, 06:21 PM   #12
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I made it happen! thanks alot guys.

Now, Another problem..The original crankset was obviously a multispeed set with three chain rings. when I tried to fit the chain to the smallest chain ring from the single speed freewheel the chain wasn't running straight it had a slight twist to it. Obviously this isn't going to fly. Im assuming i should purchase a single speed 48 tooth chain ring and crankset however I fear ill have similiar issues to the one i had when trying to install the front wheel. Any suggestions??
We'll need to know what crankset is on the bike now. There's several different types of cranksets, although I bet you have a one-piece type steel crank. This can be made to work.

BTW: try posting to the Bicycle Mechanics forum- but also wander through Sheldon Brown's web pages. Lots and lots of good info there.
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