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  1. #1
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    is this odd or...

    ok, i just signed up, i have to ask a question
    i recently came into posession of a very beaten up old miele road bike (can't remember the exact model right now), and i'm thinking of converting it to a single-speed for now (and maybe a fixed gear later on)
    but i have to ask, in all the reading i've done, and all the guys a the bike shop i work at have told me about, it seems that only mountain bikes get converted to single-speed
    maybe i'm totally off base on this, but am i just gonig to get odd looks if i tell people that i want to convert my road bike to single-speed?

  2. #2
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I believe every single poster on this forum rides a track/road styled fixed or ss bike. And many have both.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kathrot's Avatar
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    you can convert a road bike to single speed, as long as it has horizontal drop-outs (not vertical).
    go to a different bike store, and get a fixed / free hub (aka flip-flop hub).
    that way you can go either fixed or free without changing your rear wheel.

  4. #4
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathrot
    you can convert a road bike to single speed, as long as it has horizontal drop-outs (not vertical).
    go to a different bike store, and get a fixed / free hub (aka flip-flop hub).
    that way you can go either fixed or free without changing your rear wheel.
    right now, i want to do it with just the stuff on the bike, don't really want to lay out too much money. i just want to see if i can do it, and what it's like
    i was planning on using on of the rings off the cassette, then using spacers to get the right chain line
    if it all goes well, i'll be investing in a flip-flop hub, or possibly just a surly fixxer kit, depending. more likely the new hub, though

    and the bike does have horizontal drop-outs (thankfully)

  6. #6
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    From what I've gathered, most people who decide to convert a road bike tend to go all the way to fixed, and if you're converting a mountain bike, they stop at singlespeed (though there are people nuts enough to go fixed on trails, www.63xc.com). Coasting, and being able to adjust pedal position on the fly are incredibly useful on trails where rocks and roots are all over the place. On a road bike, the only real disadvantage of fixed is pedal strike on tight corners. Plus, the added benefit of ultra control over speed. That's why most road conversions are fixed.

    IRO and On-One both make single-speed road/cyclocross bikes. Surly makes a cross bike that is easily converted to either singlespeed or fixed. Singlespeed roadies have been done, they just aren't as common. and you can't post it at the fixedgeargallery.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  7. #7
    I sing the body electric
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huehue
    right now, i want to do it with just the stuff on the bike, don't really want to lay out too much money. i just want to see if i can do it, and what it's like
    i was planning on using on of the rings off the cassette, then using spacers to get the right chain line
    if it all goes well, i'll be investing in a flip-flop hub, or possibly just a surly fixxer kit, depending. more likely the new hub, though

    and the bike does have horizontal drop-outs (thankfully)
    if you just want to see what single speed is like on your road bike, just dont change gears and keep in mind that the bike will be lighter if you put money into it by getting parts and dropping the extras.
    no reason to set it up for a "try" if it involves messing with what you have unnecessarily. If you want to try out fixed, thats another story

  8. #8
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absntr
    I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I believe every single poster on this forum rides a track/road styled fixed or ss bike. And many have both.
    Sorry about your limb, but my only 700c and/or drop bar bike has a ton of gears.

  9. #9
    Patrick Barber weed eater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huehue
    right now, i want to do it with just the stuff on the bike, don't really want to lay out too much money. i just want to see if i can do it, and what it's like
    i was planning on using on of the rings off the cassette, then using spacers to get the right chain line
    if it all goes well, i'll be investing in a flip-flop hub, or possibly just a surly fixxer kit, depending. more likely the new hub, though

    and the bike does have horizontal drop-outs (thankfully)
    if it's an old miele, it should have an old non-freehub rear hub, yes? meaning you can screw off the old freewheel cluster and replace it with a "bmx" freewheel cog. you will have to respace/redish the rear wheel and axle to do this, though. so, i second the suggestion of just riding in one speed for a while. Take off the derailleurs, pick the cog with the best chainline (you'll have a choice of two if you leave both chainrings on), shorten the chain, and ride like that for a few days, see how it goes. And note your gear ratios.

    if it does have a freehub then never mind what I said. spacers are the way to go if you have a freehub. use the derailleur for a chaintensioner till you decide to blow some money.

  10. #10
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    you're right, it did initially have a freewheel, not a freehub, but the previous owner (my brother) managed to horribly mangle the rear wheel, and bought a new one with a freehub

  11. #11
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    The chainline may be okay using the middle ring, so perhaps you can get away w/out respacing/redishing the rear wheel.

  12. #12
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    ok, so after consultation with my boss at the bike store i work at, i'm going to be going in early for my shift tomorrow and he's going to help me do this
    i'll post pics once i'm done if anyone is interested

    and for those saying i should just stick to one gear to see what it's like so i don't mess up my bike, this is a secondary bike, i'll still have a good road bike (though that was a good point to bring up, thank you)

  13. #13
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huehue
    you're right, it did initially have a freewheel, not a freehub, but the previous owner (my brother) managed to horribly mangle the rear wheel, and bought a new one with a freehub
    that makes converting it even easier. you'll just need 1 cassette cog (or a shimano DX BMX cog), a stack of cassette spacers (or PVC pipe) and a regular cassette lockring.
    no redishing oir respacing recessary. and you can dial in a perfect chainline with the spacers.

  14. #14
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    that's what i was initially going to do, then my boss gave me an old hub of his and a bmx cog, so i'm going to relace the wheel (i need practice on doing that for my job, anyway) with the new hub and cog (which is in better shape than any of the cassette cogs

    yes, i know i'm jumping back and forth a lot, but it all seems to make sense in my head (sometimes)

  15. #15
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    20 yr old SS schwinn running 27" wheels, flip flop rear, for a little time and effort it can be duplicated for under $200

  16. #16
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    day 1 of the work on the bike was done yesterday
    turns out that there was a bit more damage to the bike than i'd expected, from what my brother had told me
    the back of the bike was bent a few inches to the right, so i had to do my best to correct that
    then i had to overhaul the hub on the rear wheel, and respace it
    today i'm going to redish the wheel and cut the chain to the right size

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