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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 06-17-05, 11:29 PM   #1
Elisdad
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New to SS and I need to know what to do

I just picked up this older Giant bike used from Craigslist and plan on building it into a SS this Fall/Winter. I'll be sure to post a better pic once I take my camera to it later in the week.

My main question is, how easy will it be to set it up as a SS? My main goals will be to setup the gearing and upgrade the brakes to V-brakes. This bike will serve main duty as a hauler for my son in his trailer, but will see some XC/singletrack use as well.

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Old 06-18-05, 12:08 AM   #2
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it's hard to tell, but they don't look like horizontal dropouts, so you've likely condemned yourself to using a chain tensioner of some sort. other than that it's just a matter of taking bits off and putting other bits on.
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Old 06-18-05, 11:26 AM   #3
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you have the (pricier) option of going to an eccentric hub made by White Industries and designed just for your situation.

as is often the case, sheldon brown has extensive information on this subject

http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
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Old 06-19-05, 09:50 AM   #4
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Or you might get lucky and find the right chain stay/chainring/freewheel combination that requires no chain tensioner. I can't remember what its called or where it is (big help, I know) but there is a website out there somewhere that talks about setting up a vertical-drop SS mountain bike without using a chain tensioner. It's all about getting the getting the chain length perfect. You might be limited to certain chainring/freewheel combinations though.
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Old 06-19-05, 11:12 AM   #5
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Somebody here recommended ssconvert for these (and gear inch, etc) calculations. I have not had the chance to check if it is accurate in forecasting the ratios that will work with your chainstay length, but it's probably not a bad starting point if you don't want to use a tensioner. Nice little programme with a bunch of functions. Here you go: http://www.teambigtime.com/software/ssConvert.htm.
There are numerous others, too.
If you have at least something like 3 mm of horizontal play in where exactly you put the wheel (say, the dropouts are at 45°), it should be easy. You might have to pick a slightly bigger or smaller cog then you originally intended, but if that bothers you, you can always get the desired gearing by changing the front chainring size as well. Ssconvert will help in picking the gear combo.

If you want to stay low budget, just pick the gear combo you want, take the superfluous derailers, shifters and chainrings off, shorten the chain and replace the cogs you don't need with spacers on your rear freewheel/cassette. This allows you to set a straight chainline from chainring to cog by playing with the spacers. (If you lack tools/expertise, have a mechanic do this for you)

Last edited by LóFarkas; 06-19-05 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 06-19-05, 01:46 PM   #6
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you could also look into using halflink chains....shadow conspiracy makes one and KMC makes one too I believe
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Old 06-19-05, 04:52 PM   #7
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You want single-speed as opposed to fixed, so you can buy a Surley 1x1 Singulator that replaces your derailer. Performance has them for $55, but what you have on the bike might work. Then you would just need a single speed cog and maybe some spacers.
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Old 06-20-05, 10:56 AM   #8
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I used Eric's Eccentric ENO by White Industries to convert an old GT Zaskar to single speed. It is a very elegant solution to vertical dropouts. Good luck with the single speeding.
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Old 06-20-05, 10:59 AM   #9
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Here is a link to White Industries.

http://www.whiteind.com/ENO_web/eno-index.html
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Old 06-20-05, 11:04 AM   #10
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Instead of buying a whole chain made of half-links, you could just buy one and add it to your chain. I think you can find half-links for most chains at webcyclery.com.

But, even a half-linked chain will only help you if you are lucky enough to have a magic ratio. Otherwise, the singleator or the ENO hub will have to do.
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Old 06-20-05, 04:53 PM   #11
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Here's the site that I mentioned above.

http://www.peak.org/~fixin/personal/fmu/php/index.php

You have to measure the length of your chainstay and figure out what kind of gear ratio you want to ride. After that, it will tell you the possible cog/chainring combos that will fit without a tensioner. In my experience, the chain tension on a SS can be a little bit looser than on a fixie. This method is kind of a pain, but its a lot cheaper than a tensioner or an eccentric hub.
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