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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 11-05-05, 04:08 PM   #1
skanking biker
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getting the urge to try a conversion

I just found out that my uncle has an old 70s brown Schwinn (i think its a collegiate or university) that he might be willing to give to me. I have been really itching to try a conversion, but, as i have explained on a number of previous posts, mechanical skills are not my speciality. And i definately do not have the skills of a jedi master wheelbuilder. As a result, I was toying with the idea of getting one of those fixed gear conversion kits from IRO, as this seems to my easiest, most cost-effective option. I just had a couple of questions.

1. will this donor bike make a good conversion?

2. what all do i need to or should replace on the bike, aside from a fixed rear wheel and new chain and chainring?---should i get new cranks? replace the front wheel (even if its true)?

3. if i get a complete rear wheel and a new chainring, will i need to worry about chainline?

4. is this something i should even try to attempt given my lack of wrenching abilities?
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Old 11-05-05, 04:19 PM   #2
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Old Schwinns are classic. Leave it alone.
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Old 11-05-05, 04:22 PM   #3
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I've done a 1971 Traveler ... having fun with it. Do not shy away from converting it, they are nothing really special.

If by any chance your schwinn has any upgraded components - read campagnolo or other high end brand - sell them on e-bay.
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Old 11-05-05, 04:32 PM   #4
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Why not just throw a fixed gear rear wheel on it and see if you like it? A kit really won't make things a lot easier. Basically it's:

1-remove extraneous things
2-replace wheel
3-shorten chain

So go for it.
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Old 11-05-05, 06:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skanking biker
I just found out that my uncle has an old 70s brown Schwinn (i think its a collegiate or university) that he might be willing to give to me. I have been really itching to try a conversion, but, as i have explained on a number of previous posts, mechanical skills are not my speciality. And i definately do not have the skills of a jedi master wheelbuilder. As a result, I was toying with the idea of getting one of those fixed gear conversion kits from IRO, as this seems to my easiest, most cost-effective option. I just had a couple of questions.

1. will this donor bike make a good conversion?

2. what all do i need to or should replace on the bike, aside from a fixed rear wheel and new chain and chainring?---should i get new cranks? replace the front wheel (even if its true)?

3. if i get a complete rear wheel and a new chainring, will i need to worry about chainline?

4. is this something i should even try to attempt given my lack of wrenching
abilities?

the lower-end Schwinns all have One Piece Cranks/ American Bottom Brackets, which means a modern crank won't fit them without special adapters. If you don't mind that, it's fine. Replacing the chainring requires quite a bit of mechanical bullsh!t and you're going to need a ring that works with a once piece crank. I would tend to say that if the ring that's on there isn't what you want, you probably want to find a different bike to convert.
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Old 11-05-05, 06:38 PM   #6
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yea. the only reason I wouldnt mess with them is that damn 1pc crankset
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Old 11-05-05, 06:58 PM   #7
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All you need to do is replace the rear wheel and shorten the chain. Remove the front and rear derailleur and levers and your back brake if you want.

Buy the rear wheel and cog from IRO and go to your lbs and buy a chain tool to remove the extra links from your existing chain. Master links, a piece that joins two ends of a chain together, are also available at your lbs (or Wal-mart, at least at mine), get one for a 3/32 inch wide chain.

Place the new wheel at about the middle of the slot in the dropouts, and put your chain around the gears and see how many links you have to remove. You'll probably have to use the existing inner chain ring (which is probably about a 39 tooth) so get a 16 tooth track cog so if you decide to replace your bottom bracket and crankset later, you'll be set. Your 1pc crankset should be fine for now.

Put the chain together, tighten up your rear wheel and thats it. If you can fix a flat on your bike, you can do a conversion.
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Old 11-05-05, 08:21 PM   #8
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Assuming the bike fits you...fix it up. I converted a Le Tour. I had no crank issues.
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Old 11-05-05, 08:23 PM   #9
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Assuming the bike fits you...fix it up. I converted a Le Tour. I had no crank issues.
Le Tour bicycles have ALWAYS had three piece cranks. Different deal entirely.
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Old 11-05-05, 08:30 PM   #10
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In that case, if it's a 1-piece crankset, get a BMX chainring and do it up. You might even be able to find one super-cheap at your LBS from when some kid put a thicker one on his/her bike to grind the eff out of some public property.

Of course, you don't really have to change it at all... Just using the little ring should work fine.
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