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  1. #1
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    New to the forum! What do I need for a single/fixed gear conversion?

    Well this will my first road bike ever. And my first restoration so im taking everything apart. I found a Raleigh Sprite 27 like pictured below but in the coffee color. Pretty positive its all original specs. So what do I need to buy for a cheap single speed coasting bike. And Im looking for something near matching tan/khaki handlebar tape and seat. Good sites to find those off of? And some cheap 27inch wheels. This won't be used for anything for pleasure, riding around the lake and etc. So I don't need expensive equipment. This is actually for my girlfriend, so its more cosmetic then performance. But definately want to do a single speed coasting bike.

  2. #2
    tommasini trollin' fungis's Avatar
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    give it awhile. somewhere in all the crap that's about to hit this fan, you MIGHT find a tid bit of good solid advice. don't hold your breath. me personally, i know nothing of coasting OR brakes. best of luck.
    rubber side down

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubsta05 View Post
    Well this will my first road bike ever. And my first restoration so im taking everything apart. I found a Raleigh Sprite 27 like pictured below but in the coffee color. Pretty positive its all original specs. So what do I need to buy for a cheap single speed coasting bike. And Im looking for something near matching tan/khaki handlebar tape and seat. Good sites to find those off of? And some cheap 27inch wheels. This won't be used for anything for pleasure, riding around the lake and etc. So I don't need expensive equipment. This is actually for my girlfriend, so its more cosmetic then performance. But definately want to do a single speed coasting bike.
    For a very nice looking seat and bar combo, you want a honey coloured leather Brooks and shellaced cork grips, like so:

    These aren't particularly cheap (~$100-150 combined price) but they are very functional and look beautiful. Google will let you know where to find them. If you google "brown bike saddle" you will probably find something cheaper but less functional than a brooks; lots of retro-styled comfort bikes like Electras come with oem plastic-based padded saddles that are made to look like a brooks.

    You only really need a 27 inch coaster wheel to make that bike a coaster. Again, google will show the way. The easiest but possibly not the cheapest way to do this would be to have your lbs build one for you. But maybe you could find a used coaster wheel on ebay or at your local coop.

    You could cartainly reuse the cranks on that bike, although they are most likely complete crap, since this won't be used for serious riding. For cosmetic reasons you might want to remove a ring though. Putting the other one back on might require getting shorter bolts to hold it on the crank spider as the ones you're using now are probably designed to go thru the theickess of two rings. This could be wrong as I'm not sure how cottered cranks like yours go together.

    Also, singlespeed bikes are a general category that subsumes coaster bikes and fixed gears. Coaster bikes form a different subcategory of single speed bikes from fixed gears. If you want good definitions of these terms check out Sheldon Brown (RIP)'s glossary.
    Last edited by mander; 02-05-08 at 04:48 AM.

  4. #4
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    Well besides the coaster wheel, how much would just a regular single/fix speed conversion cost. Having that I do all the work. So parts only?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubsta05 View Post
    Well besides the coaster wheel, how much would just a regular single/fix speed conversion cost. Having that I do all the work. So parts only?
    You need to get the current cluster of cogs off and put on a freewheeling cog. This could be done for $10ish at your local bike co-op, though itd cost more if you had to buy the tools to do it yourself. This bike cannot readily be made into a fixed gear without some dodgy mechanical kludges, but it'd be straightforward to make it a freewheeling singlespeed.

  6. #6
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    Alright Sweet deal dude. Thanks for the help. Appreciate it.

  7. #7
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    NP. I have to warn you though, I'm no expert on this kind of conversion. Someone who knows more than me may chime in and fill us in on something i've missed, so watch this space. One thing that may need doing is respacing the rear axle to get the single cog (in the back) in line with the chainring in front. Doing this puts the wheel's rim off centre, and so after doing it you need to redish the wheel, so that the wheel's rim is back on the centerline of the bike. This is trivial for someone who knows what they're doing but it could be a bit tough for a noob to figure out. Someone at your local bike co-op could definitely help you out with this.
    Last edited by mander; 02-05-08 at 05:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jet sanchEz's Avatar
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    Why do you want a single speed coaster for your girlfriend? Do you live in a really flat place? I would just get everything nice and clean, make sure the gears are aligned, pop a front basket on it and a rear rack and call it a day. Gears can be a lot of fun too...

  9. #9
    Member JonH's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of links that may help you out (though I think Sheldon Brown has already been mentioned):

    Single Speed Conversions by Sheldon Brown
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

    SingleSpeed Links
    http://www.vmunix.com/~gabor/singlespeed/links.html

    x2 on the cork grips. I have some on a cruiser and they're nice.
    Brooks saddles are nice, but expensive. You might be able to find a good deal on one on eBay or Craigs List.

  10. #10
    Free Loader CF4L's Avatar
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    http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html

    go there. spend 5-10 hours reading that site and you will know everything you need to. if you still have specific questions then, we can help.

    one thing to note is that your bike has cottered cranks. it would be worth it to convert the bottom bracket to a square taper style and get "modern" cranks. get something with a 110 or 130 bolt circle on the crank so you can have good choices for chain rings.
    Quote Originally Posted by [165]
    I think I have absolutely nothing else to add to this forum ever again.

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