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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 01-25-09, 05:48 AM   #1
thespacerockkid
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2006 Schwinn Varsity single speed project

I have a bike that was pretty much given to me, a budget 2006 Schwinn Varsity. I don't ride it mainly because the way it is stock. The gears and shifter suck and I don't have much use for them as I rarely do any fast or heavy duty hill work. I would really enjoy this bike if I wasn't bothered with shifting and having to be worried with the various speeds. I searched and found a guy on velospace who took this same model and turned it into a single speed, while single handedly turning it into a cool "hipster" looking setup with what seems like pretty much stock parts. I am a novice when it comes to bikes and all these things but I am interested in turning my bike into roughly the same if not similar setup, i.e. a single speed conversion of this same model bike. Can anyone help me with this? I need someone to help point me in the right direction as far as parts, tools and any other suggestions. While I am a bicycle novice, I do however know a little bit about mechanics and feel I can work my way through it. Also, I see this as a learning experience so I am not looking to completely scrap this bike simply because it may be easier to convert something else. If I can do it for less, if not roughly the same price as converting something easier or completely purchasing a new bike, I would rather work with this regardless of how "difficult" it may be. Any help?

Bike From Velospace Page (the same stock model as mine):
http://velospace.org/node/2424

Schwinn Varsity single speed project (what I am going for)...



My Setup Stock...

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Old 01-25-09, 06:12 AM   #2
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http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html

Sheldon can tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 01-25-09, 06:23 PM   #3
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I have been told through many forums to check out that site. I read through the articles from Sheldon Brown and have a general understanding of what I am looking to do however, I am still somewhat lost. Is there anyone who can help point me in the right direction as far as exact parts, tools and any other suggestions when it comes to this specific project and model itself?
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Old 01-25-09, 06:46 PM   #4
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Did you try contacting the guy who made the one you found on velospace?...
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Old 01-25-09, 07:41 PM   #5
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Yes, I did try and contact him but I have not heard anything back. I am waiting to hear from him.
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Old 01-25-09, 07:42 PM   #6
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i have the same pearl bass pedal
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Old 01-25-09, 09:02 PM   #7
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haha right on! music is another thing i am into. i guess im not real great with organization though.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:14 PM   #8
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What kind of dropouts are those? I can't quite tell if they're vertical or semi-verticalish..
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Old 01-25-09, 09:58 PM   #9
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pretty sure they're completely vertical.
i think that's why he's concentrating on singlespeed instead of fixed?
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Old 01-25-09, 10:12 PM   #10
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http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/fixed-hubs.html

YOU NEED THE WHITE INDUSTRIES ECCENTRIC HUB (I THINK). For vertical drops! So take your stock rim + the new hub 160 + spoke 15 = a little bit o money! But totally do able.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:17 PM   #11
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http://www.whiteind.com/rearhubs/singlespeedhubs.html more info on how it works.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:20 PM   #12
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http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html scroll down to the other fixes for this issue
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Old 01-25-09, 10:49 PM   #13
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they are vertical
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Old 01-25-09, 10:51 PM   #14
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and yes, i don't really care if its fixed or merely single i pretty much just don't want to be worried with all the speeds.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:39 PM   #15
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also, i merely want to do what the man from velospace has done with the same model bike with mostly stock parts. i don't believe he used any after market hubs, perhaps i am wrong.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:25 AM   #16
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im pretty sure he has an eno hub or an eno bottom bracket.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:28 AM   #17
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heres a direction:

pull off all deraillures/shifters, brakes
convert the chainring set to one chainring. (you have to cut the stack bolts)
get a new rear hub, eno hub.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:37 AM   #18
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Hey bud, You're talking Freehub single speed conversion...google it

You'll need a single speed freehub casette and spacers (google it)

EITHER

A) math to figure out the right size chain wheels
or
B) a chain tensioner (google it).

In fact google everything.

If it were me I'd floss the eccentric hug.

pace brudda
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Old 01-26-09, 01:51 AM   #19
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Yes, I am starting to understand what I am talking about and have googled and read many things here on the internet. I have also posted and talked to many people about this topic on various web forums. While it could be nice to have a track type hub or fixed gear, I realize a Freehub single speed conversion with a chain tentioner would probably be easiest, not only to figure out how to put together because of my vertical drops but also to ride and get use to. Either way, I have read and researched and I understand what I need to do to convert my setup. What I am not quite sure about is what parts I will need, exactly to do it. I have researched the hubs and the tentioners and everything everyone as mentioned thus far. I also know I will need things such as spacers and a chain whip to remove the old gears, new single speed cog and new chain ring bolts (or cut them down) but other than that, I still need help. I really just want to figure out all the exact parts and tools I will need. I would like to do it as close to stock and for as cheap as I can. I am sure if I had all the right parts and tools I could figure it out easily. If anyone can lay it out as a list for me, that would be great! THANKS AGIAN!
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Old 01-26-09, 02:01 AM   #20
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IMO you should just convert it to a Riser bar commuter with gears. But thats just me
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Old 01-26-09, 03:16 AM   #21
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how would i go about that? i am a complete newb, suggestions?
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Old 01-26-09, 03:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by thespacerockkid View Post
Yes, I am starting to understand what I am talking about and have googled and read many things here on the internet. I have also posted and talked to many people about this topic on various web forums. While it could be nice to have a track type hub or fixed gear, I realize a Freehub single speed conversion with a chain tentioner would probably be easiest, not only to figure out how to put together because of my vertical drops but also to ride and get use to. Either way, I have read and researched and I understand what I need to do to convert my setup. What I am not quite sure about is what parts I will need, exactly to do it. I have researched the hubs and the tentioners and everything everyone as mentioned thus far. I also know I will need things such as spacers and a chain whip to remove the old gears, new single speed cog and new chain ring bolts (or cut them down) but other than that, I still need help. I really just want to figure out all the exact parts and tools I will need. I would like to do it as close to stock and for as cheap as I can. I am sure if I had all the right parts and tools I could figure it out easily. If anyone can lay it out as a list for me, that would be great! THANKS AGIAN!
You can probably take apart the cassette and use whichever cog you want (using spacers to move it in line with the front chainring) and not buy a new cog. In addition to a chainwhip, you will need a cassette remover ($5), a crank puller (~$12) and chain break (~$10).

Play around with your bike while still geared to figure out with gear you want. Remove all shifters and derailleurs. Take the crankset off, remove all non-desired chainrings and reinstall the one you want with new shorter screws. Remove your cassette, take it apart, and put it back together with the desired cog and a bunch of spacers. You'll need more than are on the cassette, but your LBS will likely give you some for free. Use the spacers to line the cog up with the chain ring. Install chain tensioner where the rear derailleur was. Break and shorten the chain. Voilla, a SS.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:22 AM   #23
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oh, you said WITH the gears... i get it now. the gears are the worst part though.
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Old 01-26-09, 09:18 AM   #24
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So bro, again, no one is going to do this for you, but what you need to do is real easy.


Forget tools and all that, I assume you can figure that out.


1) Chain tensioner.

2) freehub spacers + your fav old cog off the cassette you already own. Or a new bmx free hub one speed

3) special crank spacers that will allow you to run one cog on your road crank (you may not need these) but you're going to have to take the bike apart to know for sure.

I don't think you need anything else in terms of parts, you don't really have to worry about a super perfect chainline because THIS IS NOT A FIXED GEAR.

Take off the chain (keep)
Then, take off all the rear wheel
Take off the derailers.

Keep the front brake (or both)

Get rid of the shifter levers...

Take the cassette off your rear, go to LBS for help (they'll probably do it for free). Then add your spacers and cog (Google this for more info, this is a decision you'll have to make).

Get rid of the chainrings you don't want on the front (this is your choice).

PUT ON YOUR CHAIN.

BRO JUST GET TO WORK< NO MORE HELP UNTIL YOU PUT WRENCH TO BIKE...Do what me and Scratcher said! except I don't understand why he need to remove the crank...the charinrings will slip off the arm and onto the floor no need to remove the arm...

Last edited by Drwecki; 01-26-09 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:28 PM   #25
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except I don't understand why he need to remove the crank...the charinrings will slip off the arm and onto the floor no need to remove the arm...
oh, even easier then -- no need for a crank puller. To the OP: I would keep both brakes.
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