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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 03-24-08, 07:24 AM   #1
corbeledgt
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Is this unheard of?

Hey guys! A friend gave me a 10 speed which is in pretty aweful shape. The rear shifter doesn't budge and the derailure is encased in bright orange rust. it is stuck on the middle gear. The front shifter works fine.

Is it unheard of to remove the rear shifter and put a fixed cog back there, and leave the front gears as they are? Is that a big no-no in the world of fixed gears?
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Old 03-24-08, 07:26 AM   #2
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This will work as long as you realize you're limited to a single gear ratio at a time.
you won't have enough slack to shift without a rear derailleur.
the other way around would work, but can be risky.

good luck, and check that your chainline is within the optimal range.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:36 AM   #3
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Are you just trying to get on the road? If so, what will work better is to spend $5 on a used derailleur and new cable.

If you really want to go fixed, spend the extra couple of hours and dollars to do a proper conversion.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:49 AM   #4
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Yessir, that's exactly what I'm trying to do, just get it on the road.
I'd like to go with your advice, but the cassette is rusted through too. Sigh...it's one of those camel's nose under the tent problems. If I buy X I might as well buy Y. If I buy Y I might as well by Z. So I was trying to go with a solution that wouldn't require fixing everything and just removing the shift mechanism in the back all together.

In any event, thanks for the advice! I'll see what I can do!
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Old 03-24-08, 07:53 AM   #5
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Yessir, that's exactly what I'm trying to do, just get it on the road.
I'd like to go with your advice, but the cassette is rusted through too. Sigh...it's one of those camel's nose under the tent problems. If I buy X I might as well buy Y. If I buy Y I might as well by Z. So I was trying to go with a solution that wouldn't require fixing everything and just removing the shift mechanism in the back all together.

In any event, thanks for the advice! I'll see what I can do!
Try posting in mechanics or classic and vintage. I think you will be amazed how much life is in those rusted up parts. A little lube and time cleaning goes a long way. If this really doesn't work, I think I have an old 5 speed freewheel and derailleur you can have for the cost of shipping. Send me a pm.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:54 AM   #6
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Buy a ss freewheel. That should be easiest. You won't be able to shift between the two front rings as they'd require two different length chains or a derailleur to take up the slack. You'll have to pick a front ring and go with it. (The inner usually provides a better chainline.)

Hopefully you'll be able to remove that rusted through freewheel cassette off the hub.
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Old 03-24-08, 07:57 AM   #7
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If you want to use the front derailer you'll need a rear to provide chain tension.

If you want to just remove the derailers, and shorten the chain, and run it as a single speed with all the extra cogs and chainrings, that will work fine. It'll look clunky, but it'll work.

If you want to run it fixed then we are talking about what is lovingly referred to in these forums as a suicide hub. Opinions are mixed on this and it's been argued over and over. Do a search on "suicide hub conversion" and you'll find plenty of opinions. A good basic how-to that covers all the options at sheldonbrown.com
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Old 03-24-08, 08:04 AM   #8
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I am in sort of the same boat. If I take a geared bike, leave my chain in one position and retension the chain, am I fine with a single speed? Or do I have to buy a whole new back wheel to make it SS?
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Old 03-24-08, 08:13 AM   #9
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^no, you can do that.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:19 AM   #10
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I am in sort of the same boat. If I take a geared bike, leave my chain in one position and retension the chain, am I fine with a single speed? Or do I have to buy a whole new back wheel to make it SS?
You will be fine that way. If you put on a single freewheel, you might want to respace and redish the wheel.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:24 AM   #11
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You will be fine that way. If you put on a single freewheel, you might want to respace and redish the wheel.
Yeah, its just for a bike that my friends will ride when they are over. I am the only one of my friends that has a car, and people rely on me to drive them places. Since I despise driving and love riding, I decided to look around and get a few older road bikes. I have an 80s Bianchi and a 80s supercycle. Both are in pretty rough shape, so I think I might take the Bianchi to get fully fixed, and the supercycle I am in the process of converting to single speed, the cheapest way possible.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:40 AM   #12
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Yeah, its just for a bike that my friends will ride when they are over. I am the only one of my friends that has a car, and people rely on me to drive them places. Since I despise driving and love riding, I decided to look around and get a few older road bikes. I have an 80s Bianchi and a 80s supercycle. Both are in pretty rough shape, so I think I might take the Bianchi to get fully fixed, and the supercycle I am in the process of converting to single speed, the cheapest way possible.
In that case, as I said to the op, it doesn't take much to keep a geared bike running fine, especially an older one with friction shifting, and you end up with a more versatile bike, which is good for a loaner. If you want fixed or ss, by all means, go for it, but it's often more work and trouble to convert.
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Old 03-24-08, 09:03 AM   #13
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The derailleur broke, and we didn't know how to fixed it. I'm not going to go on a search for a new one, when it will only cost me 10 dollars to get a new chain put on, in which I probably needed anyways.
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Old 03-24-08, 09:42 AM   #14
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I love it when people try to come up with excuses to convert their bike. It's great to watch them backpedal when people just tell them how to fix their problem and run it geared.
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