Background info: (optional )
I recently built up a new mountain bike, cannibalizing some parts from my old bike, a 1993 Tange Prestige Stumpjumper. I love the old bike, and can't bear to throw it out, and at the same time, i've been wishing i had a bike for tooling around the city and suburbs on. I was thinking about buying a road bike, but last night i checked the numbers and ****.. i'm nearly broke
So.. I started thinking about fixing up the Stumpjumper, and since i'm broke, and most of the drivetrain went onto the new bike, i figured i should go singlespeed. To be honest, i never quite understood the appeal of singlespeed, but on the other hand, i've never ridden one since i was 8 years old, so this seems like the perfect opportunity since it would also save some money on new shifters/derailers/cables/cassette etc.
Anyway, here's where i think i need the advice.
What i have is a 26" wheeled mountain bike, with a Sugino Impel crankset (42-32-22), and a Deore XT rear cassette hub (cassette itself is gone to the other bike).
I understand that what i need here is a Shimano BMX cog plus a bunch of spacers, plus a chain tensioner (the bike has vertical dropouts). Can i use any BMX cog, or do i need to get a special one to fit on a cassette hub?
Is any chain tensioner ok? This one was the cheapest i could find, and on top, the shop is pretty close to me: http://nycbikes.com/item.php?item_id=411
As for the cranks, which chainring should i use? Can i, say, use the middle chainring and simply take off the granny and big ring?
What is a good gear ratio? I plan to use the bike for city use, with slicks. I live in NYC, so there are a few hills, but nothing huge. If i use the 32T middle chainring, what is a good rear sprocket size?
Finally, the rim on the rear wheel is in bad shape, it has a hop that nobody seems to be able to repair. If i'm going to use the bike as a SS, is it worth rebuilding the wheel using the XT cassette hub, or should i get a dedicated SS rear wheel? (ie. which would be more expensive?)
And in general, any suggestions for getting this stuff as cheaply as possible? I'm hoping to keep the budget under $100, if that's possible..
Sorry about all the questions, it's my first time dealing with anything related to SS.