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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 01-21-07, 08:24 AM   #1
Sammyboy
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SS Urban Assault, and Single Speed Cassette Convertor Question

So, I had a cool orange gas pipe frame, and a pair of bullhorns. I wanted to do something fun with them, and I was bored, so I hauled out an MTB with relatively narrow (for an MTB) hybrid style rims that someone gave me, and started making an urban assault bike. My idea, have a bike with enough rim width for a bit of trail riding, blasting across parks, hopping curbs etc, but with the riding position and geometry I'm used to, plus, to try bullhorns. It cost me nothing, so it's a beater I can lock up and leave, with the fenders, I can use it in the rain, ice, snow. I'll add a rack, so I can use it for commutes etc too.

So, I've got a ghetto single ring crankset (someone had done it with bolts and nylock nuts, rather than pay for single ring bolts! Perfect for this bike), so all I need is a cassette convertor kit for single speed. I'm such a C&V grouch that I've never messed with a cassette hub before, and I have a question. The kits seem to come with 16 tooth sprockets, but I think I want 42x15, so what I'm wondering is, can I grab a 15t sprocket off the cassette I'm removing, and use that instead?

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Old 01-21-07, 08:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy
so what I'm wondering is, can I grab a 15t sprocket off the cassette I'm removing, and use that instead?

Yes, you can, you just need spare cassette spacers (free if taken off from old cassette from your local LBS trash bin)
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Old 01-21-07, 08:31 AM   #3
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So I could save buying the cassette at all? Interesting. I'd better talk to my LBS! Thanks
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Old 01-21-07, 09:15 PM   #4
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Yeah, about three old worn freewheels will give you enough spacers to fill a cassette hub. It is really dirty work taking those things apart though.
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Old 01-21-07, 09:56 PM   #5
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or just find the right sized washer at the hardware store
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Old 01-21-07, 11:58 PM   #6
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You can always get a conversion kit as well.
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Old 01-22-07, 03:26 AM   #7
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so all I need is a cassette convertor kit for single speed.
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You can always get a conversion kit as well.
Yep, that's what I meant! I'm now thinking that I can do it without spending money, and I'm all about the ghetto conversions!
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Old 01-22-07, 05:36 AM   #8
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I wouldn't use a cog from a cassette. They are designed to allow the chain to derail so they'll try and do that all the time. Get a 15t ss cog. They are out there, in large quantities. A BMX shop sounds like the best place to try first, or the good old internet. (I think there are several different spline standards, so look into that.)
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Old 01-22-07, 06:51 AM   #9
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I wouldn't use a cog from a cassette. They are designed to allow the chain to derail so they'll try and do that all the time. Get a 15t ss cog. They are out there, in large quantities. A BMX shop sounds like the best place to try first, or the good old internet. (I think there are several different spline standards, so look into that.)
That is true to an extent. If you have a good chainline and proper tension the chain should have a hard time derailing. My fixie mtb uses a bolt-on cog and a crap truvativ front ring but runs extremely well (Kool chain, btw) It'll be completely finished tomorrow.
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Old 01-22-07, 07:12 AM   #10
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I wouldn't use a cog from a cassette. They are designed to allow the chain to derail so they'll try and do that all the time.
I'm using a ramped cassette cog on my Norco 125 ss 26" MTB that I use for park/street/urban with lots of bunnyhops/drops/grinds and it's working fine, just find the right chain alignement and it will not slip
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Old 01-22-07, 07:22 AM   #11
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Yeah, if you keep on top of chain tension it should be fine. But if you are lazy like me, then chain stretch will get your ass sooner or later. It's worth $10 IMHO.
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Old 01-22-07, 07:23 AM   #12
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I think my approach will be to try to make or find some spacers for free or very cheap, and use the cassette cog. If it derails, then I've lost nothing, and I can spring for a dedicated SS cog (I have plenty other bikes to ride), but I don't see why it necessarily would. When you're riding a geared bike, it doesn't happen, and with this, I can make the chainline perfect. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 01-22-07, 07:36 AM   #13
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When you're riding a geared bike
Then you have a derailleur to keep the chain on...
Ask the people who ride 1*9 cyclocross what happens when you take the derailleaur off... you need a mock der. cage.
That said, if/when the chain in nice and tight it will work. Good luck.
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Old 01-22-07, 07:48 AM   #14
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Yeah, if you keep on top of chain tension it should be fine. But if you are lazy like me, then chain stretch will get your ass sooner or later. It's worth $10 IMHO.
I HATE having my chain not correctly tensioned, anyway I've done sproket grinds and the chain is still there so there's non real need for a non ramped cog
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Old 01-22-07, 07:53 AM   #15
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that bike is similar to my current commuter. sooo much fun. it really frees up your riding style not to be restricted to pavement.

i don't think the ramped teeth are a problem as long as the chain is straight and tight.

42x15 is gonna be a little tougher on that thing than it is with skinny tires. obviously, ride what's comfortable. but remember with the softer tires, more rolling resistance from the knobs and greater wheel diameter you're going to notice a difference.
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Old 01-22-07, 08:13 AM   #16
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that bike is similar to my current commuter. sooo much fun. it really frees up your riding style not to be restricted to pavement.

i don't think the ramped teeth are a problem as long as the chain is straight and tight.

42x15 is gonna be a little tougher on that thing than it is with skinny tires. obviously, ride what's comfortable. but remember with the softer tires, more rolling resistance from the knobs and greater wheel diameter you're going to notice a difference.
Agreed, 42x15 is burly for this kind of thing.
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Old 01-22-07, 08:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sammyboy
I think my approach will be to try to make or find some spacers for free or very cheap
1 1/8" PVC pipe works great. Take the hub to the DIY store and make sure it fits. You only need a few inches. Should cost pocket change.
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Old 01-22-07, 10:30 AM   #18
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1 1/8" PVC pipe works great. Take the hub to the DIY store and make sure it fits. You only need a few inches. Should cost pocket change.
I was about to suggest this, but you did it first. Thanks!

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Old 01-22-07, 11:16 AM   #19
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Brilliant, thanks guys! Don't worry too much about the gearing - if I'm doing it for pennies with the parts from the cassette, I can experiment. The help is very much appreciated.
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