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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-10-05, 07:59 PM   #1
J-McKech
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Idea's of SS

So I have been lurking on this section of the forums for a few days, doing searchs and basically learning. I fell in love with the single speed look after watching all the bike messengers ride by downtown all day. I figured it was time to start thinking of building one myself. So, I have the few basic's down such as get a frame. I have my sights set on a 70's or 80's model road frame but from there I'm kind of lost. Here are a few questions.
1. Will any BB and crankset work?
2. I know I can use a freewheel hub on the back wheel and just space it out, but what do I use as spacers?
3. Does the frame matter, or can I use any one that I fall in love with?
4. How does sizing work? I know that I ride a 58cm frame on my road bike, but on my mountain bike, because of my style of riding, it's a bit smaller than that I would normally ride. Should I shoot for road bike size dead on or in and around that size?

Alright, I'm really looking forward to start this build up. I'm finishing up summer school and am going to have a lot of free time until the fall semester starts. I'm hoping to finish this project before school starts so as I can take my bike with me. I look forward to everyones opinions and suggestions. THANKS!
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Old 06-10-05, 08:03 PM   #2
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"SS are just a fad"
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Old 06-10-05, 08:06 PM   #3
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lol Ain't it the truth though?
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Old 06-10-05, 08:13 PM   #4
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Just to set you on the right track, there is a difference between SS and fixed....
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Old 06-10-05, 08:14 PM   #5
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Yes, I have figured that part out. Thats why I stated I was looking to build a single speed as opposed to a fixie.
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Old 06-10-05, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerTheHill
Yes, I have figured that part out. Thats why I stated I was looking to build a single speed as opposed to a fixie.
Are you sure you want to go the SS route? As ink1373 says, it's just a fad. Go fixed, you won't regret it...
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Old 06-10-05, 08:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerTheHill
1. Will any BB and crankset work?
Pretty much. You can put your ring on the inner part of the spider to get a decent chainline.

Quote:
2. I know I can use a freewheel hub on the back wheel and just space it out, but what do I use as spacers?
PVC is easiest, if you're talking about redishing then wheel. Just find some scrap and cut it to length. You can buy aluminum spacers from a place like BikeToolsEtc, or just scrap some old freehubs you have lying around. If you don't want to mess with dishing, you can get cassette spacers from a variety of sources and put your favorite sized cog on there.

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3. Does the frame matter, or can I use any one that I fall in love with?
4. How does sizing work? I know that I ride a 58cm frame on my road bike, but on my mountain bike, because of my style of riding, it's a bit smaller than that I would normally ride. Should I shoot for road bike size dead on or in and around that size?
Look for horizontal dropouts, or chainstays with "magic" lengths for the right ratio/chain length. You can go the tensioner route, if you can't find anything that fits you with horizontal drops. I'd recommend the tensioner if you've already got a frame and just want to try out singlespeeding (not fixed). If you get more serious about it (or want to go fixed), you can always find another frame.

I like riding my SS MTB and my fixed track bike about equally... it just depends on how lazy I am that day.
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Old 06-10-05, 08:26 PM   #8
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I dunno Fixer, I like the idea of coasting, call me lazy.

Thanks yonderboy, but can you explain "redishing"? I was just planning using a freewheel, take off the cassette, using spacers and then putting a cog on. I might be mixing up some terms but I figured this would be the easiest way of going about it.
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Old 06-10-05, 08:31 PM   #9
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Yeah, that's the easiest way. I'm running an old LX hub I have in that setup. If you're using a cassette, you don't need to redish or respace because you've still got the width of the freehub body to deal with.

If you've got one of the old school hubs that freewheels screw onto, you can put a BMX freewheel on there and re-center the rim on the hub after you respace the axle.
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Old 06-10-05, 09:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by HammerTheHill
I dunno Fixer, I like the idea of coasting, call me lazy.
um... it doesnt get any lazier then lettinng the bike pedal for you
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Old 06-10-05, 09:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sloppy robot
um... it doesnt get any lazier then lettinng the bike pedal for you
and squeezing a brake lever can really wear out your fingers on long rides
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Old 06-11-05, 05:19 AM   #12
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yonderboy already gave a bunch of great info, but here's a bit more...

One of the most popular SS conversion kits is this one. Of course, PVC pipe is a LOT cheaper, but it doesn't look as nice.

One of the most popular tensioners is this one.

As far as sizing, if you like your current sizes for road and mountain geometry, stick with those. Good luck.
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