I have an old 80's Schwinn Continental and I figured I'd convert it to a single speed b/c 1) it doesn't shift well anyway and 2) I use 1-2 gears at most anyway.
I don't want to spend a lot of money on it, and the main reasons I want to convert is to make it a little lighter and to make it more simple looking.
Can I just take off the deraillers and shifters and use the existing gears? (and then, shorten the chain I suppose) Yes it won't be as light as getting new gears, but how much would it cost to get ones to replace the front and rear?? Since the bike itself costed $30, I don't want to spend too much on new cranks/gears/whatever.
And also, what gear sizes in the front and rear would I want? What is the "norm" around here... I don't want something too, too high or too, too low.
Thanks! Sorry I'm a complete nub, but we all have to learn somewhere.
Yeah, you can do what you are talking about. You won't really have a choice of gearing though, and you're chainline may be significantly off and you may not be able to tension it properly(only if you find the magic gear ratio and chain length, if it has vertical dropouts). My friend has a peugot he's done that too.
The better option would be unthread that freewheel in the back, respace the rear hub and redish the wheel and by a bmx freewheel with whatever number of teeth you want to get the gearing you want. a bit more costly but works better and leaves you more options in the long run. though if you have vertical dropouts it still probably won't work very well. I'm running a 42/16, I think that's somewhere between 68 and 72 gear inches.
Gearing is to taste, 42:17 is a nice smooth spinning gear, for ever 2 on the front figure one on the back and adjust accordingly. A little higher or lower is a good all around gearing imho. Continental isnt gonna be a weight weanie but it will be strong and making it a ss will make even less that can go wrong with it.