OK, it's probably been asked, but what would be the least expensive way to convert my 1987(?) Specialized Streetstomper (similar to Hardrock) into a singlespeed? Can I use the existing rear wheel and crank arms (Sugino VP)?
u might be able to get away with pulling the multi-speed freewheel, sticking on a SS freewheel, respacing the rear axle to achieve proper chainine, then re-dishing the rear wheel. your cranks should work.
Pull off all derailleurs, cables, and shifters. took off two chainrings. You'll need a crank puller to get the granny gear off. Remove the cassette, replace with a single cog and spacers. Add a chain tensioner. break Chain to proper length.
I had a Sram cassette and they come apart really easily. The cluster is held together with a screw unlike my Shimano cassette which was rivited. You'll have to play around with the spacers to get a proper chain line. I used a spacer kit from Misfit Psycles (http://www.misfitpsycles.com) and a Surly Singleator. Cost me about $50. You can do it cheaper if you go for a knockoff singleator. There are a lot of kits that include spacers, tensioner and sometimes a cog and lockring. Search single speed on ebay.
I run 32x18. Its really slow but it gets me up the hill to my house. I'm actually going to do a 32/36 x 16/18 so I get 32x18 for the huge hill, and 36x16 for flat. Its only a two tooth difference and the singleator can take that slack.
Fortunately it has horizontal dropouts, so I don't think a singulator will be necessary. I need to take a closer look at the cassette and hub and figure out if it has that "freehub" that I've read about. BTW, it's a 6-speed cassette. Thanks for the responses so far!