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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 05-30-09, 12:11 PM   #1
augustao
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Thinking about going single-speed

My rear derailer seems to be having a hard time shifting gears. It also requires constant adjusting, which I really don't want to waste my time doing; so I have been looking into converting my road bike (vertical dropout ) into a single-speed, mainly because I like simplicity.

Today I went out on a short ride (7km; I was tired from the 45km I rode yesterday) and I only used one gear (52/18). Surprisingly, I managed to do it, although there are some hills that will require practicing I think.


I guess that's it; just wanted to share it with you guys
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Old 05-31-09, 02:04 AM   #2
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Right on.
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Old 05-31-09, 04:34 AM   #3
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Do it! [and post pics]

Keep in mind that a [well built] SS will be noticeably easier to pedal than a geared bike using that same gearing.

• less weight from all the parts you can take off like the extra cogs.
• straight chainline.
• no drag from running the chain through the derailleur pulleys.
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Old 05-31-09, 06:57 AM   #4
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Go ahead & do it. I did it to my 24 speed last Spring when I broke my left shifter lever, I couldn't be happier with the bike. Don't worry about the vertical dropout, that's nothing that a chain tensioner or a half-link won't fix. I suggest using a half-link myself. I left the 52 tooth ring on & added a 20 tooth cog which gave me just above 70 gear inches. Perfect for the hills around here & I can spin nice on the flats.

you are gonna need some single stack bolts if you remove the extra chainring.

your spacer kit.

surly cog, i'm assuming you'll need a 3/32.

your chain, it's great for single speed use.

half-link to get your chain sized properly.

aside from the spacer kit I used all the above plus some new brake levers.


hope this helps.
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Old 05-31-09, 07:01 AM   #5
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With the vertical dropouts you might need more than a half-link to get your chain snug. You won't need quite the tension you do riding fixed, but a tensioner or eccentric hub/bb might be necessary depending on your desired gearing.
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Old 05-31-09, 09:44 PM   #6
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I de-commissioned my geared roadie and built up a singlespeed roadie last year. I haven't regretted it one bit.
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Old 06-01-09, 02:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidLee View Post
Go ahead & do it. I did it to my 24 speed last Spring when I broke my left shifter lever, I couldn't be happier with the bike. Don't worry about the vertical dropout, that's nothing that a chain tensioner or a half-link won't fix. I suggest using a half-link myself. I left the 52 tooth ring on & added a 20 tooth cog which gave me just above 70 gear inches. Perfect for the hills around here & I can spin nice on the flats.

you are gonna need some single stack bolts if you remove the extra chainring.

your spacer kit.

surly cog, i'm assuming you'll need a 3/32.

your chain, it's great for single speed use.

half-link to get your chain sized properly.

aside from the spacer kit I used all the above plus some new brake levers.


hope this helps.
Thanks for the tips DavidLee. I'll keep note of this thread for when I start my project too.
Ernest
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Old 06-01-09, 03:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Samwiches View Post
With the vertical dropouts you might need more than a half-link to get your chain snug. You won't need quite the tension you do riding fixed, but a tensioner or eccentric hub/bb might be necessary depending on your desired gearing.
As long as you're just doing single speed and not fixed, just leave the derailleur on as your tensioner.
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Old 06-01-09, 04:56 PM   #9
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As long as you're just doing single speed and not fixed, just leave the derailleur on as your tensioner.
Beat me to it.

Just adjust the limit screws to put the derailer in the right spot.
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Old 06-02-09, 05:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DavidLee View Post
Go ahead & do it. I did it to my 24 speed last Spring when I broke my left shifter lever, I couldn't be happier with the bike. Don't worry about the vertical dropout, that's nothing that a chain tensioner or a half-link won't fix. I suggest using a half-link myself. I left the 52 tooth ring on & added a 20 tooth cog which gave me just above 70 gear inches. Perfect for the hills around here & I can spin nice on the flats.

you are gonna need some single stack bolts if you remove the extra chainring.

your spacer kit.

surly cog, i'm assuming you'll need a 3/32.

your chain, it's great for single speed use.

half-link to get your chain sized properly.

aside from the spacer kit I used all the above plus some new brake levers.


hope this helps.
Did you have to redish the wheel?
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Old 06-05-09, 02:25 PM   #11
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Did you have to redish the wheel?
Nope, that's what the spacer kit is for. Just add & remove the individual spacers around until you find the proper chain line. Remember that the only thing you are removing from your wheel is the cassette. Good luck & post pics of your build should you decide to do it!
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Old 06-05-09, 02:36 PM   #12
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Leaving your derailleur on as a tensioner is the most ghetto thing you could do--unless it's a Campy Record or DA you won't get the clean feeling (or near silence) you get pedaling the chain through nothing. Not to mention that one of the main ideas of a SSFG bike is to cut that weight.
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Old 06-05-09, 03:31 PM   #13
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IMO I would get a purpose-built SS and keep your road bike as is. I'm very happy with my fixed gear, but sometimes I do wish I had a geared bike as well.
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Old 06-07-09, 04:53 PM   #14
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I'm yet to buy a single freewheel (my bike doesn't have a cassette), but I wonder if I can set my derailleur to one of the cogs and leave it there, removing the shifters. Is this possible?
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Old 06-07-09, 05:00 PM   #15
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I'm yet to buy a single freewheel (my bike doesn't have a cassette), but I wonder if I can set my derailleur to one of the cogs and leave it there, removing the shifters. Is this possible?
of course. good way to decide how you really feel about it before you go through the trouble of altering your wheel. My main road bike had a derailleur issue so I just adjusted the limit screws to keep the rear in one place, and pulled the cables. simplest single speed.
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Old 06-07-09, 05:04 PM   #16
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I wonder if I can set my derailleur to one of the cogs and leave it there, removing the shifters. Is this possible?
It's possible but it's not the "best" way to do it. Part of the beauty of SS is the straight chain line and reduced drag since the chain isn't winding through all the little cogs on the derailleur.
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Old 06-07-09, 05:14 PM   #17
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I've been riding using only one gear since that first post. It's really great, not having to think about shifting. But, as a temporary fix, how would I go about adjusting the limit screws to keep it in one place? I fiddled with them a bit but I can only seem to keep it in the 2nd smallest cog (16t) or the 1st smallest (14t) , and those gearings are a bit too much for me.
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Old 06-08-09, 09:15 AM   #18
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I snapped my shifter cables and cut a small piece to tension the rear derailleur. I also removed the front derailleur. It was definitely an improvement, since when I had my shifters on the rear derailleur was constantly auto-shifting.
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