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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 05-25-07, 04:27 PM   #1
carbonjockey
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singlespeed conversion noob question

I'm building a singlespeed (i live in the suburbs or i'd make a fixie) and was wondering the cheapest way to make the rear wheel/gearing work. Ive looked at buying flip-flop hubbed wheels but there has to be a cheaper/easier way. thanks
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Old 05-25-07, 04:44 PM   #2
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find an old rear wheel that uses a thread on freewheel, replace it with a single cog freewheel, redish it and respace it, and you should be solid.
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Old 05-25-07, 05:04 PM   #3
jet sanchEz
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I did it super cheaply by finding an old road bike, popping off the rear cassette and adding spacers to the cog-thingy to get a straight chain-line. I wish I had pics but I think you get it. It cost me about a buck a spacer and I needed 8, if memory serves correctly. You can reuse the old chain too, just buy a half-link for 50 cents and you are golden.
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Old 05-25-07, 05:06 PM   #4
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SS specific cogs ...check it.


spaced and placed.


New cogs, new chain, you might need a new crank ring....golden.
I bought a cheapy tensioner, my mechanic did a super job (woot! Keith!!!)
all told about 100 bones...all hubs busted open and done up nice.....

For the CHEAPEST spacers, a SS cog and go.... less than a case of beer
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Old 05-25-07, 06:43 PM   #5
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a buddy of mine simply removed the derailleur, shortened the chain, and used one of the gears on the cassette. he also took the outer ring off the crankset, and moved the inner ring to the outside of the crankarms. he liked the gearing (42/15 i think?), and the chain tension and alignment was right on (close enough for s.s.). sure, he still had all the other gears on the back, but it was his beater, ran good, and it cost him zero.

if you need some chain tension adjustment, get a 1/2 link like stated above. switching the front ring in to out also gives you some adjustment with chainline.

you said you wanted cheap. for free, or the buck for a link, it's worth a shot...
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Old 05-28-07, 10:23 AM   #6
carbonjockey
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what about if it has a freewheel
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Old 05-28-07, 10:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonjockey
what about if it has a freewheel
Easy. You need one of these: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/singl...tml#freewheels
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Old 05-28-07, 10:32 AM   #8
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so what if you live in the suburbs?

i recently converted to s/s and now i regret it... i miss fixed. if you can't spin down a hill just use your brakes.
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Old 05-28-07, 10:51 AM   #9
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I did mine for free if you've horizontal dropouts (which i assume you do), just rip off the deraileur, tension the chain And your golden. i did this saying id wait for the setup to die, a year later its still riding like a dream and my bikes fromt he 70s and the original freewheel is holding up fine
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Old 05-28-07, 12:49 PM   #10
carbonjockey
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so keep all the gears, just use one? actually doesnt sound bad
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Old 05-28-07, 02:03 PM   #11
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Ss

Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonjockey
I'm building a singlespeed (i live in the suburbs or i'd make a fixie) and was wondering the cheapest way to make the rear wheel/gearing work. Ive looked at buying flip-flop hubbed wheels but there has to be a cheaper/easier way. thanks
This depends on what bike you are converting. My old Raleigh from the 80's has a freewheel rear hub so I just swapped out the bottom bracket axle to a shorter one, added a 18T BMX freewheel,used a steel 42T chainring, shortened the chain, set up tension for about one third of the way in the horizontal dropout, for chain wear room and presto a 63 inch SS for an old fat guy. I can ride this sucker in my area all day and while I have to walk up a couple of hills, I can ride my normal daily route faster than any other bike I own. I used an old Raleigh Technium aluminum and glue joint frame. I have both brakes and use 27" wheels with 28mm tires. This bike was built from all the spare parts I had and the only thing I purchased was the BMX freewheel. It weighs around 20-21 pounds with my tool bag and water so I am extremely happy. Total cost so far $30. I had to buy some stainless washers and grind them to fit for spacing the chainring and I achieved a perfect enough chainline for a SS (I'd say 98%). I can ride this at 90 rpms about 15 mph comfortably and climb most grades. I coast on steep downhills or whenever my pedaling becomes a wasted effort. This leaves me time to recover for the climbing. The rythum of the ride is different, compaired to a multi gear bike, so I am not hammering as much. My knees actually feel better after my daily 9 mile excercise route. I don't think however that I would use this bike for anything longer than maybe 20 miles, unless I knew it was virtually flat. For City or suburb riding a SS is ideal especially if you are young, light and want low maintainance costs and a trouble free ride. If you are young and light you'll probably want higher gearing, especially if you have a flat route. Maybe something around a 68-75 inch would be better.
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