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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Should you attempt to change a one-crank bike to a 3-crank?

    I've been talking with a potential seller but they know hardly anything about the bike, warning. Then when I asked if it was a 3-crank they said I think so, red flag. It's pretty cheap, $40. I want it as a "starter" road bike (I have a Specialized hard rock mtb) and a fix-up but if it is a one-crank should I bypass it and keep looking?

  2. #2
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Hmm, generally bikes have 2 cranks (4 if it is a tandem). I assume that you mean swapping a single chainring to a triple chainring crankset, which is something else entirely. The value of the bike, and how much work you are willing to put in is a question only you can answer.
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  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Or is it a steel one piece crank, and you want to change to 3 piece ie, aluminum arms and a steel axle .

    Imprecise language is muddling the subject in question..

    try again.


    is it A Craptastic bike? IDK
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-10-13 at 01:55 PM.

  4. #4
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    I apologize (with only a little sincerity) for not giving you a nicely packaged question. My profile says "newbie" and I'll admit I don't know much. Save your jargon and arrogant attitude unless you actually want to be helpful.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your input, I received help elsewhere as well.

  6. #6
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    Are we talking about 3 chain rings or 3 cranksets?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
    Are we talking about 3 chain rings or 3 cranksets?
    3 cranksets, without a doubt!
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
    Are we talking about 3 chain rings or 3 cranksets?
    Sh sh sh shhhh..... you'll upset him.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codi View Post
    I've been talking with a potential seller but they know hardly anything about the bike, warning. Then when I asked if it was a 3-crank they said I think so, red flag. It's pretty cheap, $40. I want it as a "starter" road bike (I have a Specialized hard rock mtb) and a fix-up but if it is a one-crank should I bypass it and keep looking?
    I'm going to assume you meant 3-piece crank and 1-piece crank. If that's the case, I'd keep looking. Everything on that bike is going to be heavy and you'll probably have to modify replacement parts to make them fit. You already have a bike that you can ride so, for your next bike, I'd hold out for something nicer. This isn't it.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Codi, your question really could be looked at several different ways.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    was a triple one pedaling with 2 freeloaders, now they have to turn the pedals as well,

    or 2 baby seat riders, and now they're moving to a tandem +a trail-a-bike.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    probably a standard crankset
    plus half the drive system from a handcycle

  13. #13
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    OP, With the lack of accurate information the best answer is yes, no and sometimes maybe. and you can stuff any apology with your disposition.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  14. #14
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Wow! Admits ignorance, but resents guidance. Maybe he should ask this in the road forum and see what kind of response he gets.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    I'll assume you mean adding a triple gear front derailer set up front. I did it 21 years ago when I brought my 6-speed Schwinn Cruiser Supreme from Iowa to Colorado. It worked out swell for me. As I remember, it was fairly inexpensive at the time. The added gears let me handle hills better and cruise faster. I guess it depends on price. BTW. While the gears made the bike more capable, the inadequate canteliver brakes were not up to stopping the bike on long fast downhills. After one too many scary Flintstone maneuvers I sold it to help buy my Nishiki Blazer.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Good time to Go into your neighborhood Bike shop so someone can see ,
    and ask them .

    the attempt here with the information offered was a fail.

    Blind guesses and assumption aside , with no pictures offered ,


    its just not going to work , but was free..

    'should you attempt'.. am I Choosing for Me or You?
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-10-13 at 11:16 AM.

  17. #17
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    This might be more useful advice, if not the advice you want to hear:

    Chances are, a $40 bike is not worth spending the money it would cost to swap out any single part of it, unless you have a really clear idea of what it is, what you want, and what work it really needs to make it work for you. Craigslist (or similar) is not a good place to buy a bike when you don't really know a lot about what you are looking at.
    I don't know what you mean by a one-crank or a 3-crank, but one way or another, a new crankset will cost anywhere from $50 to $150 minimum, depending on what you actually mean you want to switch to, and you'll also need a new bottom bracket or deraileur or both, and possibly a new shifter, which is another $20-$50. The labor will cost anywhere from $20-$60 or possibly more.
    Again, sight unseen and not knowing what you really mean with regard to the crank, that's a cost of anywhere from $90 to nearly $300 in parts and labor for a $40 bike. And the chances are good that if it needs this one thing in order to be a decently usable bike, it probably needs other stuff too that you don't even realize. (And BTW I am not implying that the seller is trying to take advantage or anything - the seller may not know much, or knows very well that the bike needs a fair amount of work and that's why it's $40 and not $400.)
    It's not uncommon for people to buy a bike for $40 and then over the course of a few weeks or months start discovering all these things wrong with it and start paying to fix them, replace parts, etc, and end up spending more than if they'd just bought a decent bike in the first place.

    So my advice is, don't buy a $40 used bike. Go to an actual bike shop (also, not Target or Walmart or whatever) and let them help you. Some bike shops do sell used bikes if you ask, so that's always worth a try. Buying from a bike shop will cost more, but there's only so far wrong you can go if you're buying from a reputable dealer, and the bike will come with a certain amount of service and quality guarantee.
    And that's to say nothing of whether it fits, whether you like things like the style of shifter, the handlebars, the saddle, etc. If you go to a bike shop, you have choices about that stuff and the shop staff can help you figure out what's going to work for you.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codi View Post
    I've been talking with a potential seller but they know hardly anything about the bike, warning. Then when I asked if it was a 3-crank they said I think so, red flag. It's pretty cheap, $40. I want it as a "starter" road bike (I have a Specialized hard rock mtb) and a fix-up but if it is a one-crank should I bypass it and keep looking?
    Part of the red flag is an ambiguos question on your part. If you can post a picture of the bike, or at least information about the make & model & year, then you might get more help.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Wow! Admits ignorance, but resents guidance. Maybe he should ask this in the road forum and see what kind of response he gets.
    A few things... I'm a woman, but I know my name throws people off. More importantly what you fail to see is that I resent ********. I'm welcome to help but I am NOT welcome to people being rude especially over the internet, there,s no need for it. I received help on a different website without all this bull, so thanks but no thanks.

  20. #20
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codi View Post
    A few things... I'm a woman, but I know my name throws people off. More importantly what you fail to see is that I resent ********. I'm welcome to help but I am NOT welcome to people being rude especially over the internet, there,s no need for it. I received help on a different website without all this bull, so thanks but no thanks.
    Regardless of your gender, I'm not sure why you're upset.

    You asked a poorly phrased question that was genuinely not understood (it's still not clear to me what you were actually asking). You're a newbie. Fine. It's hard to ask the right question.

    People tried to answer the question as best they could. And when it became clear that we couldn't figure out what you were asking and asked for clarification, you got defensive and decided to act like a spoiled child.

    So who has the problem?
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Regardless of your gender, I'm not sure why you're upset.

    You asked a poorly phrased question that was genuinely not understood (it's still not clear to me what you were actually asking). You're a newbie. Fine. It's hard to ask the right question.

    People tried to answer the question as best they could. And when it became clear that we couldn't figure out what you were asking and asked for clarification, you got defensive and decided to act like a spoiled child.

    So who has the problem?
    A spoiled child? Are you saying this because I got upset? The problem is that I expected respect, not mockery, but apparently that's too much to ask.

  22. #22
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codi View Post
    A spoiled child? Are you saying this because I got upset? The problem is that I expected respect, not mockery, but apparently that's too much to ask.
    First of all, before posting on a forum, you should read it at least a little bit. The behavior here is pretty standard for this forum.

    Second, you posed a question that wasn't easily understood. The first replier answered it interpreting it one way. The second interpreting it another. The third response was you:

    Quote Originally Posted by Codi View Post
    I apologize (with only a little sincerity) for not giving you a nicely packaged question. My profile says "newbie" and I'll admit I don't know much. Save your jargon and arrogant attitude unless you actually want to be helpful.
    It's fine that you didn't ask a good question. This response, however, is flippant at best, and the jargon in this case helps us understand what you' were actually trying to ask.

    And not surprisingly, after this response of yours, well, if you weren't taking the question seriously, why should they?
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Post pictures Girl .. ones of the bike in question.
    since you haven't gotten the Jargon down, yet

  24. #24
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    <ignore>

    Problem solved.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    my first instinct when i read the question in the op
    was to say

    not sure what you mean
    are you referring to one peice crankarms vs three peice crankarms
    or
    single chainring vs triple chainrnigs
    please clarify

    but by the time i opened the thread
    the jokes and
    i thought
    innocent ribbing
    had begun

    just so you know codi
    this is just about always the response when somone asks a question that is very hard to understand
    nobody was picking on you specifically

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