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  1. #1
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    DIY singlespeed crank question

    I have a 1997 Bob Jackson Messina, beautiful lugged frame that's going to be converted to a singlespeed. The cranks are Shimano Ultegra which came with the 8 speed groupo. My large chainring is a 53 and my smaller one is a 46. I'd like to move the 46 over to the outside and use it as my drive gear. I'll be using the ultegra rear cassette that's already on the bike. Is there any reason I can't simply mount the 46 on the outside of the crank where the 53 current lives?

  2. #2
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Here is a pic.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    I'm also switching to bullhorns, cheapies from Nashbar.

  4. #4
    20-Something Desk Jockey andypants's Avatar
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    I'm going to warn you there will be those who say not to convert such a lovely, well assembled bike.

    The chainline depends on which rear cog you choose to run.

  5. #5
    one word, not two braingel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathdoc
    Is there any reason I can't simply mount the 46 on the outside of the crank where the 53 current lives?
    no.

  6. #6
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    No trouble at all. I am assuming that you are going to use spacers on the 8 speed hub with a cog, which makes chainline a non-issue.

  7. #7
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warning. This has been my main bike for 9 years. I have purchased a 16t and an 18t singlespeed cogs which will slide onto the cassette as well as spacers.
    Chainline should be easy to setup. I hope to get the chain length just close enough so I don't have to resort to a singulator/tension pulley setup. My dropout are somewhat horizontal.

  8. #8
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    Sucks to the people who think you should only convert crap frames. I say do whatever makes you happy---just don't hack off that derailer hanger!

  9. #9
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathdoc
    Thanks for the warning. This has been my main bike for 9 years. I have purchased a 16t and an 18t singlespeed cogs which will slide onto the cassette as well as spacers.
    Chainline should be easy to setup. I hope to get the chain length just close enough so I don't have to resort to a singulator/tension pulley setup. My dropout are somewhat horizontal.
    You may need to use a half-link if you are unlucky with chain tension. You could just use the old rear derailleur as a chain tensioner if need be.

  10. #10
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    check your chainrings. if they're ramped and pinned, you might consider getting ss specific ones. after all, for ss stuff, you want your **** designed *not* to jump off the teeth and onto the next. cause, there's no next ring or cog.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  11. #11
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    I will not under any circumstance do anything to this frame that is irreversible.

    That was my other question. Is there any reason not to use the existing cranks. They have very little wear.

  12. #12
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    No reason not to use existing cranks. Just don't post any photos of it when it's done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  13. #13
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathdoc
    I hope to get the chain length just close enough so I don't have to resort to a singulator/tension pulley setup. My dropout are somewhat horizontal.
    i've found this calculator to be extremely accurate:

    http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  14. #14
    THIS SPACE FOR RENT
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    you may need shorter chainring bolts, but you probably knew that. Little suckers are surprisingly expensive.
    "I don't buy new frames, it just encourages them."

    -T.G.

  15. #15
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    Only due to market forces. But $6 is hardly expensive for most things these days.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  16. #16
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Where could I find shorter bolts?
    Thanks in advance.

  17. #17
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    Any lbs that sells bmx stuff.

  18. #18
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Sorry if this is a hijack, but I am curious if anyone has found a normal hardware store substitute for short chainring bolts and/or spacers. Believe it or not, but I have two bikes where those damn little bolts were the biggest investment.

  19. #19
    THIS SPACE FOR RENT
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    Yeah, most shops will have them. Get steel, Al are a pain and a haircut saves more weight. I paid $9 for a set once because I needed them on the spot, and even though I was like "Come on, you and I both know these are like $2.50 in the QBP catalog," I had to cough it up. $5-6 would be more normal. I've also put washers on or used the other chainring as a spacer to get bikes rolling when I didn't have a set on hand.

    Edit re: previous post, I've found that washers and regular chainring bolts are the easiest way out, if you can't find the right size washer you might have to file a flat place on them to get them on the spider. You can also grind down regular bolts if you have a grinder, filing would work but you'd be there for a while.
    "I don't buy new frames, it just encourages them."

    -T.G.

  20. #20
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    I have an old mountain bike crank in the garage. It may have an extra set of bolts on it.

  21. #21
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Hey thanks. I would guess shipping would make it not worthwhile.

    I manage to strip ones off junkers where I can. And I have bought sets too. They are pretty easy to come by. But it irritates me that I get charged 10.00 for something I know is worth pennies.

    (In case anyone is wondering how many sets of bolts I need, it is because I seem to be always building up another bike for myself as well as another one to sell. )

  22. #22
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    washers around those bolts where the other chainring would go would be a way to not buy singlestack bolts.

    pathdoc, when's your walker getting here?
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  23. #23
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Walker is still in progress and will be one of Don's featured frames at NAHBS.

  24. #24
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I've got a crankset that I pulled off a bike someone else had singlespeeded where the chainring is held on with regular bolts, and nyloc nuts. Awesome.

  25. #25
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    What I do is pick up an extra 3 or 4 sets whenever I buy something from danscomp. They have the single-stack bolts for $5 or so. The only LBS around here that has them charges $20 for a set.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

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