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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 01-22-08, 05:45 PM   #1
HandsomeRyan
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SS virgin w/ stupid questions...

I'm a compulsive bike addict and I just purchased a 1994 Schwinn CrissCross from a craigslister. The original idea was to build it into a cross bike but now I'm thinking maybe a SS would be nice. I'm not a bike mechanic, nor do I pretend to be so I was wondering if someone could help me in figuring what parts I'd need to convert this bike to a single speed.

My bike looks identical to the one in this picture:
http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1..._Sport_21.html

Here are the Stats for the bike (right-most column)
http://www.trfindley.com/flschwinn_1..._Sport_23.html

What i believe to be the relevant information for a SS conversion:
Cranks: Shimano Altus 170mm, 28/38/48T
Freewheel: Hypergear, 7 speed, 12-28T

I have the idea that I can get a kit similar to the Nashbar kit linked below to convert the rear wheel to be SS.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...A%20Freewheels

For the front, I think I need some spacers that fill the gaps left from turning my triple into a single crank. (Not sure where these spacers come from though?)

This bike has "touring" bars with integrated brake/shift levers so i believe I would also need to pick up some MTB style levers to make the brakes work.

I have 2 main questions...

Will the parts I posted work to convert this bike to SS?

Based on how little I know about wrenching on bikes am I getting in way over my head?
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Old 01-22-08, 06:11 PM   #2
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Does your bike have horizontal dropouts? If yes, you don't need the tensioner.
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Old 01-22-08, 06:12 PM   #3
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Be warned that, if your wheel has a freewheel (threaded) interface, and not a freehub, that conversion kit won't work - those spacers are for a freehub.

EDIT: depending on whether you can use the conversion kit or not, the ease of setting the chainline straight regardless of how the chainring is positioned, will be easy or hard. If you really have a freewheel and not a freehub, and hence can't use the nashbar kit, you will have to use a singlespeed freewheel in the rear, and the position of the cog/sprocket in that case is not adjustable, so we'll have to adjust the chainring. Whether you'll need spacers for the crankset to achieve this, is an open questions. First things first - let's see whether your dropouts are horizontal and whether your wheel has a freewheel or freehub/cassette.

Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 01-22-08 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 01-22-08, 06:15 PM   #4
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To reply to your 2nd question: conversions are pretty simple to make. You will learn a lot in the process, and you will succeed. It'll feel good.
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Old 01-22-08, 07:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info and the words of encouragement. I'll post some pictures if/when I go SS.
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Old 01-22-08, 07:15 PM   #6
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Yeah, you're welcome. But I posted questions, as well...
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Old 01-22-08, 08:16 PM   #7
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Yeah, you're welcome. But I posted questions, as well...
The dropouts are fully vertical.

I'm not sure if it has a freehub or not? I'll see what Mr. Brown has to say about this and get back to you.
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Old 01-22-08, 08:18 PM   #8
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The dropouts are fully vertical.

I'm not sure if it has a freehub or not? I'll see what Mr. Brown has to say about this and get back to you.
Oh, well, that's too bad that the dropouts are vertical. You must have the chain tensioner, then. It'
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Old 01-22-08, 08:19 PM   #9
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The dropouts are fully vertical.

I'm not sure if it has a freehub or not? I'll see what Mr. Brown has to say about this and get back to you.
Oh, well, that's too bad that the dropouts are vertical. You must use the chain tensioner, then.

I'd imagine that if the bike is of such vintage that it has vertical dropouts, it probably would have a cassette on the wheel (freehub), too, but who knows where that wheel came from.
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Old 01-22-08, 08:20 PM   #10
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FYI:
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Old 01-22-08, 08:29 PM   #11
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If you're trying to do it on the cheap, there's no shame in keeping the rear derailleur and using it as a chain tensioner.
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Old 01-22-08, 08:38 PM   #12
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^^^That's true. I have done that twice. Then later I switched both for a chain tensioner. The nice thing about derailers is that you can accurately and easily adjust them to your chainline, which is slightly more of a PITA with most chain tensioners, especially with the Alfine chain tensioners. Those look totally dope - but you have little to no option in adjusting them to a certain chainline.
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Old 01-23-08, 05:20 AM   #13
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Is there a way to tell if I have splines or threads without taking the cassette off?
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Old 01-23-08, 09:17 AM   #14
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Is there a way to tell if I have splines or threads without taking the cassette off?
Yeah. It's called "visual inspection".
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Old 01-23-08, 11:31 AM   #15
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Is there a way to tell if I have splines or threads without taking the cassette off?
The specs say "Hypergear" but I can find no reference to that relative to Shimano cycling components. If they meant Hyper Glide, which is referenced for some of the other models then it is a cassette / freehub system.

Take the wheel off and remove the quick release. Look at the gears. If it a cassette arrangement it should be fairly obvious by the use of a lockring which might look similar to this



In fact the print on this relevant surface may help determine if it is a freewheel or cassette.

(http://sheldonbrown.com/k7.html)
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Old 01-23-08, 01:44 PM   #16
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It is indeed a cassette freehub. Sheldon Brown said that it is an off-brand part but probably interchangable w/ Shimano.
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Old 01-23-08, 01:55 PM   #17
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Great, so then you can use the Nashbar singlespeed kit to full avail! Luckily, this very cheap yet excellent kit contains a lot of little spacers, allowing you to set your chainline without any problems whatsoever.

To remove the cassette you need a chainwhip and a cassette lockring tool - good luck, and if you have any problems don't hesitate to ask - here or in the mechanics subforum!
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