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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 02-28-09, 10:15 PM   #1
CannondaleDudez
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Converting Cannondale to SS

Hello,

I have a 90's Cannondale Killer V 21 spd mountain bike. It has everything working on it, it just doesn't have any wheels, or rear sprocket.

I'm looking to convert it to a single speed, and I'm wondering what the easiest, most economical way of doing it is?

From what I've read so far, all I need is a wheelset (obviously), single speed conversion kit (cog, spacers, chain tensioner), and of course a single speed chain.

I have a few questions though...

1. Is it recommended that I purchase a SS crankset, or can I just use the one I have, and take off the sprockets I'm not using?

2. Do most standard wheelsets come with freewheels built on the hub, or should I buy a freewheeling cog?

3. Is there a reasonably priced single speed wheelset on the market that would work with a 21 spd mountain bike frame? I was planning on buying this wheelset: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/120...-Lite-Rims.htm , I was just wondering if I could kill two birds with one stone, and get a wheelset thats already set up for SS.

Thank you very much
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Old 03-01-09, 01:06 PM   #2
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So far, these are the components I plan to order:

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/120...-Lite-Rims.htm

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/149...peed-Chain.htm

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Fresults%2Ecfm

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/170...-Chainring.htm

I'd really like to be able to do all this with the crankset I have, because it will cost me $150 or so to get a good single speed crankset.

let me know what you guys think

John
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Old 03-01-09, 01:37 PM   #3
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edit: didn't catch the lack of wheels comment

You can use your crankset you currently have. If you want to you could get yourself a single speed chainring because multi speed ones are designed for shifting.

Last edited by dayvan cowboy; 03-01-09 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 03-01-09, 01:41 PM   #4
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If you're buying wheels, just go with a flip flop set up for rim or disc, depending on your preference. If you're able to run a single ring on your current cranks, they will work, but some MTB cranks would require using the small chainring BCD and you may not find a large enough chainring to make you happy. The spacer kit route will be a lot easier to work with if you're not experienced in dealing with chainline issues, such as respacing/redishing your rear wheel. You may need to run a tensioner unless you can find the "magic ratio", the perfect combo of freewheel and chainring to give you proper tension.
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Old 03-01-09, 01:43 PM   #5
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P.S., are your cranks 4 arm? Because that chainring is...
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Old 03-01-09, 01:44 PM   #6
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I'd say you're good to go.

Post pics!
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Old 03-01-09, 01:51 PM   #7
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Just in case you haven't seen this:
http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
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Old 03-01-09, 02:43 PM   #8
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GO FOR IT! I love to see your pics after you have done witrh your bike conversion..
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Old 03-01-09, 03:13 PM   #9
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Awesome, thanks guys!

So that wheelset should fit my frame, and it should come with a freewheel right?

itarver--my cranks are four arm, I just need to make sure I purchase the right size for my crankset

I'm just stumped on whether to get a mid sized front sprocket (32t), and a small rear cog(16t), or a bigger front sprocket (42t), and a bigger rear cog (18t??)

Once I figure it all out, I'm going to order the parts tonight, then I'll post pics once I get everything installed (god wiling).

Thank you all very much for the advice...I can't wait to get this thing ready for spring

peace
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Old 03-01-09, 04:10 PM   #10
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The wheelset you're looking at has a freehub and will be fine for the spacer kit you are getting. The gearing depends on the use, I assume you'll be on the trail, so smaller front ring(more clearance) with smallish cog(18ish)depending on the terrain. The spacer kit should include enough cogs for you to switch out. Have fun, I love my Gary Fisher conversion. I used a spacer kit and elongated the rear dropouts to avoid having a tensioner. Mine's steel though, so I had no qualms about a little grinding. Yeah, just make sure to get the proper BCD chainring for you cranks and some short stack(BMX style)bolts to get it in there.
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Old 03-01-09, 06:54 PM   #11
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here is a link with tons if info:

http://www.mtbr.com/ssfaqcrx.aspx
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Old 03-06-09, 05:56 PM   #12
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Alright guys, I really appreciate all the advice you gave me

I'm ordering the parts pretty soon, I'm just debating whether to order a new single speed crankset to go with it.

I will definately let you guys know how it all comes together, and I'll post a few pics when I'm done.

peace
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Old 03-11-09, 07:50 AM   #13
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if you don't want to mess with a chain tensioner, you can find that "magic ratio" using this tool: http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php

for example, my bike has a 415mm chainstay with vertical dropouts. i currently have a 32x18 ratio and i cannot get it tight, even with a half-link. according to that tool, i can use a 32x17 and it should be just about perfect.
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