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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 09-07-06, 11:41 PM   #1
Stylo328
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Help converting Mid 90s Cannondale M300 to single speed

I currently own a mid 90s Cannondale M300 SE (mountain bike). It is equipped with a bunch of junky components and I want to convert it to a single speed. I've tried researching it, but with so many options and opinions, I am confused. Could anyone offer some advice as to where I could source the necessary parts for the conversion? and what those parts might be specifically? I would like to keep the brakes and have a free wheel. The bike currently has a 21-speed setup of which I consistently use the outer (3rd) sprocket of the crank, and the 5th or 6th sprocked of the cassette. I would like to gear the bike in a similar configuration as a single speed, probably 3 front and 5 rear and without a chain tensioner setup. The bike does not have vertical drops. I would not mind replacing the crank as it looks like it weighs 20lbs. Finaly, not sure if it matters, but the hubs are XTR.

I apologize in advance for my ignorance and appreciate any advice or direction.
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Old 09-07-06, 11:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Stylo328
I've tried researching it, but with so many options and opinions, I am confused.
Well, you aren't going to get much clarification by asking the hundreds of members on this forum. That's sort of like asking, "I bought chicken at the grocery store, how should I cook it?"...you are gonna get 100 different answers.

If you don't have a plan of your own, take it to your LBS and get someone there to offer a SINGULAR vision for your project.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 09-07-06, 11:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the chuckle... I thought maybe someone on here had converted an M300 and might chime in. I am new to this whole cycling forum thing and obviously have much to learn. I will take your advice though and hit the LBS.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-07-06, 11:59 PM   #4
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Also, remember: Your budget is very important. I've seen conversions cost $900+. For real. And the resulting bike wasn't worth it.

Decide what your budget is early in the process and let the LBS know what the budget is. Also, if you aren't mechanical, don't forget to add labor charges to the budget.

Good luck!
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Old 09-08-06, 12:35 PM   #5
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if the bike does not have vertical dropouts....all you need to do is replace the rear cassette with something like this....

gusset 1'er conversion kit - should cost around 30$ comes with 16 and 18 tooth cogs or at least mine did

then get some short stack chainring bolts and remove the excess chainrings....done and done and cheap to boot
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Old 09-08-06, 03:55 PM   #6
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You'll more than likely need some sort of tensioner to keep the chain tight, since I'd be willing to bet it has vertical dropouts. Surly makes a popular one, so does Rennen and Soulcraft. The Rennen (and the on-one knockoff thereof) have a pretty solid rep.

I wouldn't go with a gusset kit because then you lose chainline adjustability. Just go to a shop and buy a cassette cog (Shimano makes cheap ones) and some spacers.

For more (basic) info, check out the guru: http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
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Old 09-17-06, 08:28 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice thus far. I have found a great local shop (fatcat) who is helping me with the conversion. I have been purchasing parts over the past few weeks and anticipate having it done sometime in early October. I will post before and after pics when it is complete..
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Old 11-13-11, 01:38 PM   #8
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A very slim longshot but has anyone seen this guy around or his bike?

I found my father's old Cannondale M300 in the basement (pretty good condition I must say) I believe around 94'-96' and I have the idea of converting it to SS/FG. I'm going to commute with it tomorrow but would much rather be happier with a fixed gear or even SS conversion.

-budget say around .. ~$150? emphasize the ~ (can't be taking money away from my Kagero build!)
-uninterested if it's too much work or too much of a hassle.
-will be used primarily for commuting, 10-15 miles MAX
-cannot be at all worried about what happens to it, so cheap parts preferred.

Possible?

I'm also open to any discussion about if it's even worth converting/it's already nice as is. I'm about 85/15% set on converting. On the other hand, if I'm building something that I don't have to worry about getting stolen why put money into it at all?

Last edited by calv; 11-13-11 at 01:57 PM.
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