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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 03-16-08, 07:42 PM   #1
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Converting from a rear cassette hub to a flip flop hub?

I have a "newbie" question about wheel building/ fixed gear conversions
I have been reading up alot about wheel respoking and hub replacing-

is this possible:

Taking a normal rear road bike wheel that has a cassette hub (36 spoke) and buying a flipflop hub (36 spoke), take pictures of how all the spokes overlap and cross and where they are located- find the offset of the hub to the rim and switch from a casette hub to a flip flop hub? Can this be done if one takes his time without a jig?

I have this mint condition schwinn from 83' that I want to keep as original as possible, but want to either convert it to a fixed or single speed- but want to use the same original rear rim, but just convert the hub. What are the chances of the original spokes being too long or too short for the new hub?
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Old 03-16-08, 07:49 PM   #2
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You should always get new spokes, anyhow. They're cheap and the 25-year old ones will likely be all sorts of problems to work with.
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Old 03-16-08, 07:51 PM   #3
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surly fixxer?
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Old 03-16-08, 07:53 PM   #4
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surly fixxer?
No.

To the OP, it's possible to relace a rim, and provided that the hub is the right diameter, to reuse your spokes. However, your endeavor is needlessly complicated and will cost you nearly as much or more than an inexpensive rear wheel. Just buy one for $80 and be done with it.

Also, there is really no 83 Schwinn that's worth keeping original, unless it's a Paramount.
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Old 03-16-08, 07:56 PM   #5
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^
I have read about the surly fixxer conversion kit thing-

If I decide I want to keep my stock rear rim, is it a better idea to just try the conversion with the surly fixxer--

or is it better to try and replace the hub with a flip flop and respoke it, even though I have no bike building experience?

If I bought the surly fixxer, how do I know it will fit my hub, do they come only in one universal size or what? Do I need to measure my hub in any way?
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Old 03-16-08, 07:58 PM   #6
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in my mind, its not value im concerned with, its the idea of having a mint schwinn bike that no one else might have-

just like: who the hell would care to have a mint honda hatchback from 89 with all original parts/paint? not worth that much, but how many people have that?
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Old 03-16-08, 08:08 PM   #7
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Instead of buying a new hub, simply remove the freewheel cassette from your old Schwinn wheel, spin on a track cog, re-dish/re-space hub and you're good to go. You are keeping everything else original or intact as you say, like keeping both brakes?

I'm assuming your wheels are from your '83 Schwinn....in which case the rear hub is not a freebody hub, but instead a threaded hub. Surly fixxer is only for Freehubs.
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Old 03-16-08, 08:37 PM   #8
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^
Thanks for the advice-

I also read up about what you are talking about- which seems to be the most "budget" way to go about converting it. Do I need a special tool to take the casette off the hub? Also, what exactly is re/dish, re/space the hub mean? I assume it means to center everything in relation to the front crank/ and also the axle ends?

One more question: is there a specific size track cog I need to get? Do I have to get a lock ring also? And how is that held on?
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Old 03-16-08, 08:43 PM   #9
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Did you also read up on Sheldon's Fixed Gear Conversion?
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Old 03-16-08, 09:12 PM   #10
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yes, actually that is what I read!

this specifically:

The cheapest way to convert a multi-speed bicycle into a fixed gear is to use the original rear hub, assuming that it is made for a conventional threaded freewheel. A fixed sprocket will thread right on, but there is no provision for a left threaded lock ring.

If you go this route, it is a good idea to use LocTite or a similar thread adhesive. You can use an old lock ring from a British-threaded bottom bracket as an additional safety measure, it is the same thread.

Although you can just screw on the sprocket and put everything together, the chain line will probably be incorrect. If you go this route, you will usually need to re-arrange spacers on the axle to correct the chain line, then re-dish the wheel so that everything will track correctly.

I should mention that there are those who say you shouldn't use a lockring. This theory is based on the fact that if the chain should come off the chainwheel and get caught, a sprocket without a lockring will just unscrew, rather than locking up the rear wheel.

My feeling is that it is better to use a lockring so that you can rely on being able to slow the bike down with your feet, especially if you ride with only one brake.

If you don't use a proper track hub with a lockring, you really should have two hand brakes. If not, a front brake failure followed by a sudden extra effort at "resisting" could break the sprocket loose at the worst possible time, and you'd be toast!


The text in bold is what I am confised about - is a fixed sprocket and a track cog the same thing? He is saying loctite could hold it on, but a lockring with loctite is safer?

what and how to I measure on my bike to determine what size track cog to get?
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Old 03-16-08, 09:55 PM   #11
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in my mind, its not value im concerned with, its the idea of having a mint schwinn bike that no one else might have-

just like: who the hell would care to have a mint honda hatchback from 89 with all original parts/paint? not worth that much, but how many people have that?
You have a low end bicycle, worth something in your mind because it's completely mint, yet you want to completely alter it through conversion? This logic doesn't really add up.

Buy a cheap fixed wheelset and keep all the original parts intact if that's something you really care about. The frame is going to get scratched up from riding it, so it's probably a lost cause anyway.

ps - Are the original rims steel?
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Old 03-16-08, 10:46 PM   #12
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I guess getting a new wheelset is my best option.

Is there any sites online that sell a cheap track rear wheel, not as a set?

If my front wheel is a 27 inch, and I keep my front wheel, should I get a 27inch rear wheel or a 700c rear wheel?
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Old 03-16-08, 11:04 PM   #13
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No BD shill here, it just happened to be the 4th link on a yahoo search. The price is certainly right, tires and tubes included, get a cog, dude:

http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ils&ProdID=960
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Old 03-17-08, 12:07 AM   #14
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I guess getting a new wheelset is my best option.

Is there any sites online that sell a cheap track rear wheel, not as a set?

If my front wheel is a 27 inch, and I keep my front wheel, should I get a 27inch rear wheel or a 700c rear wheel?
Seriously, IMO you should just buy a wheelset. If the wheels are like the steel ones that came on the Varsity they are garbage. 700c is the current standard and is much easier to find good tires in that size, and if you're having a wheel built you're not going to find high quality 27" rims. 27" was the standard for cheap ten-speeds, quality race bikes have always used 700c.

Sorry if I sound rude at all, I've just had it with dumping money into conversions.
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Old 03-17-08, 12:04 PM   #15
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I've just had it with dumping money into conversions.
Why? Just curious.
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Old 03-17-08, 01:25 PM   #16
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Why? Just curious.
Because they always end up as money pits. If you have a nice frame, it fits you well, and you want to spend the money to do it up right, more power to you. However, most conversions simply have too much money in them.

I'm sure I'm not alone. I started out with an 80's bike boom road bike (Panasonic Sport 1000), chromoly, poor fitting, but who cares, it was cheap! Pretty soon every single part was replaced. I ended up selling it and buying a proper fitting and lightweight track frame. I could have saved a lot of money by buying a nice fixed gear (not necessarily track) bike in the first place.

I did enjoy learning a ton of stuff about bike mechanics though.

Just to show the other side of conversions though, I should mention my girlfriend's bike. I bought a Miyata Two-Ten bike with busted derailers for $28. I bought a new chain and freewheel, as well as a cross lever and bar wrap. In total I only needed to drop $50 into it. A suicide fix would have cost the same. I think the key to that conversion was that it came with 36 spoke touring wheels which lasted the test of time.
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Old 03-17-08, 01:49 PM   #17
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Because they always end up as money pits. If you have a nice frame, it fits you well, and you want to spend the money to do it up right, more power to you. However, most conversions simply have too much money in them.

I'm sure I'm not alone.
Word
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Old 03-17-08, 01:57 PM   #18
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Here's my two cents. I've said all this before, so if you have searched the forums, you have found lots of useful advice, and also, mine. :-)

As Sheldon's pages suggest, you can use your existing hub. You will remove the freewheel, put on a cog, and re-dish the wheel.

Normally you need a freewheel tool to remove the freewheel... but if you do not intend to put the freewheel back on ever again, you can do a destructive removal, in which you take the freewheel apart to get it off. It is described in adequate detail on Sheldon's site (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/freewheels.html)
Then put on a track cog (a.k.a sprocket) (use lock-tite. I didn't and had no problem, but it seems like a good idea). the page you quote says, there is some debate about whether to use a lock ring. I did. It worked fine. I also have a front brake, in case the cog (and lock ring) comes loose.

Another note: the lock ring you will use is NOT a track cog lock ring (which is a different size). It is a lock ring from an old-style bottom bracket. Any bike store will have them cheap if you can't scrounge one up. I got one from the shop where I bought my cog and new chain. He gave me the lock ring for free (well, he charge me $22 for all three things.)

Eventually, you will upgrade to a true track hub (build the wheel yourself; it is very satisfying). But this set up (unfortunately known as a suicide hub) will get you started.

This approach seems to be best suited for people like me: cheap, inclined to want to build things instead of pay someone else to build it, and looked for the cheapest entry point to try out something new.
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Old 03-17-08, 02:38 PM   #19
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Because they always end up as money pits. If you have a nice frame, it fits you well, and you want to spend the money to do it up right, more power to you. However, most conversions simply have too much money in them.

I'm sure I'm not alone. I started out with an 80's bike boom road bike (Panasonic Sport 1000), chromoly, poor fitting, but who cares, it was cheap! Pretty soon every single part was replaced. I ended up selling it and buying a proper fitting and lightweight track frame. I could have saved a lot of money by buying a nice fixed gear (not necessarily track) bike in the first place.

I did enjoy learning a ton of stuff about bike mechanics though.

Just to show the other side of conversions though, I should mention my girlfriend's bike. I bought a Miyata Two-Ten bike with busted derailers for $28. I bought a new chain and freewheel, as well as a cross lever and bar wrap. In total I only needed to drop $50 into it. A suicide fix would have cost the same. I think the key to that conversion was that it came with 36 spoke touring wheels which lasted the test of time.
I guess you can look at it that way but i think it is just more rewarding to build a ride than just buying one.Building will always be more expensive than buying but even when starting out by putting decent parts on a freebie low end frame the parts are still gonna be there later to put on a better frame.
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Old 03-17-08, 05:50 PM   #20
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For a beginner with no wrenching experience or fixed gear time - go buy a prebuilt bike like the kilo tt. Fix it, ride it into the ground then you'll know exactly what you want in your next bike. Converting a bike on your first try without someone there to help you may result in an exercise in wallet depletion and frustration.
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Old 03-17-08, 05:50 PM   #21
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hmmm...

maybe I should just keep my bike as is- a 12 speed.

I talked to a friend and he said that if I got 700c size wheels, I would have trouble with setting up the brakes and whatnot.

Is this true?

so many different opinions, I dont know which one to go with!
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Old 03-17-08, 06:05 PM   #22
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It may be true or false. Some old brakes have enough reach to be able to use 700c wheels. Some do not. You're looking at about $20-$50 for a new front brake with the required reach. Most likely tektro medium reach.

Center your pads on your 27" rims now, and if it looks like you can move them down 4mm more then you should be ok.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:15 PM   #23
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Also, what exactly is re/dish, re/space the hub mean? I assume it means to center everything in relation to the front crank/ and also the axle ends?

One more question: is there a specific size track cog I need to get? Do I have to get a lock ring also? And how is that held on?
Dishing is how the center of the hub is situated with relation to the rim. You use a dishing tool to take a measurement of the distance from the plane of the rim to the axle. Respacing would be in reference to your chainline, if I'm reading that correctly. If you don't have much experience building wheels, this is going to be a pain in the ass. My first wheel rebuild (ridiculously out of true mtb wheel) took me a good 3-4 hours to relace and true. If you're still hell-bent on the new hub ( I didn't read all the rest of the post), then take it to your LBS and ask to hang around and watch the mechanic build it. In my experience, if you have a good repertoire with your lbs, they'll gladly let you sit in. Good luck.
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