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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 06-15-09, 05:58 AM   #1
BigDaddyPete
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71 Super Sport conversion

Not sure where to put this, here or C&V. I'm picking up an early 70's Schwinn Super Sport. It's been sitting in a basement for several years and I'm thinking about stripping it down and going SS or perhaps getting a flip flop hub so I can eventually move up to fixed. What crank does anyone recommend? Wheelset? I'm going to go with a b-17 and moustache bars but I want simple and classic. Love to hear some thoughts and ideas. And if it can be done fairly inexpensively, even better. Thanks.
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Old 06-15-09, 09:20 AM   #2
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I got an Origin8 Pro Pulsion crank for like $40 off eBay for my old Gitane conversion, and I'm happy with it. With a 103mm bottom bracket it gives a pretty nice chainline. You can get better cranks for more money, but I would personally recommend this over the ubiquitous Sugino RD.

For wheels, I definitely recommend going to Bicycle Wheel Warehouse and picking something out. I've gotten two sets of wheels from them and have been very pleased with both. For my ssfg, I went with the Formula/Mavic CXP22, but the Open Pros are really nice if you want to spend the money.

People here will likely harass you about what a waste of time and money it is to do a conversion. I haven't had that experience at C&V, though if the bike is really nice as is they might plead with you a bit.
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Old 06-15-09, 03:01 PM   #3
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The other pressing question is can I use the stock set of wheels and just swap out the rear cassette for a single gear?
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Old 06-15-09, 03:04 PM   #4
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The other pressing question is can I use the stock set of wheels and just swap out the rear cassette for a single gear?
If it's a 1971 bike, it'll have a freewheel hub in the back, not a cassette hub. You can use the hub if you're riding freewheel, but if you want to go fixed, you'll have to get a new hub.
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Old 06-15-09, 03:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BigDaddyPete View Post
Not sure where to put this, here or C&V. I'm picking up an early 70's Schwinn Super Sport. It's been sitting in a basement for several years and I'm thinking about stripping it down and going SS or perhaps getting a flip flop hub so I can eventually move up to fixed. What crank does anyone recommend? Wheelset? I'm going to go with a b-17 and moustache bars but I want simple and classic. Love to hear some thoughts and ideas. And if it can be done fairly inexpensively, even better. Thanks.
What crank is on there?
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Old 06-15-09, 03:56 PM   #6
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The other pressing question is can I use the stock set of wheels and just swap out the rear cassette for a single gear?
The stock wheels are probably steel, which is one strike against them. As is, they probably won't give you the best chainline, but that can possibly be fixed with respacing and redishing if the spokes and nipples are still in good shape. With singlespeed/freewheel (unlike fixed) I understand you can get away with a bad chainline, so you might be able to use it as is. If you're getting a new crank and bottom bracket you could also possibly figure out an appropriate bottom bracket length to buy to get the chainline the wheels have as they are.
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Old 06-15-09, 04:02 PM   #7
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What crank is on there?
Good question. A little googling indicates it's probably an ashtabula. That puts an additional wrinkle in the discussion. You can get a conversion kit for about $15 so it'll take a standard bottom bracket. Or if you want to stay really cheap you can just swap out the chainring.
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Old 06-15-09, 05:29 PM   #8
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The stock wheels are probably steel, which is one strike against them. As is, they probably won't give you the best chainline, but that can possibly be fixed with respacing and redishing if the spokes and nipples are still in good shape. With singlespeed/freewheel (unlike fixed) I understand you can get away with a bad chainline, so you might be able to use it as is. If you're getting a new crank and bottom bracket you could also possibly figure out an appropriate bottom bracket length to buy to get the chainline the wheels have as they are.
Ok, then where does one find 27 inch wheels? Craigslist? Because it's a little slim pickings around here. Or failing that, how hard is the conversion to 700c?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Good question. A little googling indicates it's probably an ashtabula. That puts an additional wrinkle in the discussion. You can get a conversion kit for about $15 so it'll take a standard bottom bracket. Or if you want to stay really cheap you can just swap out the chainring.
I'm guessing that's what it is. I may swap out the chainring to start.
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Old 06-15-09, 06:01 PM   #9
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Ok, then where does one find 27 inch wheels? Craigslist? Because it's a little slim pickings around here. Or failing that, how hard is the conversion to 700c?
Scan through the C&V forum; there're plenty of conversions from 27" to 700c. I think the only issue is brake reach, and it's a minor one.
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Old 06-15-09, 09:38 PM   #10
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I swapped out the 27 inch on my Gitane for 700's, and I had a bit of a problem with the front brake not having quite enough reach using the original brakes. I shaved off a few millimeters of brake pad, which took care of it, but since then I got another brake (still a vintage Dia Compe center pull) which had the extra reach I needed.

Anyway, it'll probably work for you. You might need new brakes.
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Old 06-21-09, 11:20 AM   #11
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Ok, so I think I've solved some of the basics. I'm getting a B17, and i've ordered my moustache bars. My LBS can get me a good deal on new 27in wheels. What do I need to know about cranks. It's got the heavy ashtabula crankset on there now, but I want something lighter and more asthetically pleasing. Any recs? What do I need to know about bottom brackets in this rig? Thanks. Hopefully next week I'll work on getting some pics up.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:21 PM   #12
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So as promised, here are some pictures thus far. I'm waiting on some parts to arrive and then figuring out the next step.










Need to figure out the crank and the wheels. Everything else seems to be falling into place. Hopefully by the middle of July I'll be on it, I'd like it to be sooner, but we'll see what happens.
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