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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 07-14-09, 10:18 PM   #1
josephkim
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free wheel/ fixed wheel hub

i know its been asked on the forums before, but my lack of search skills got the better of me.

what is the difference between the two?

because i plan on making a conversion of a 8-9 speed road bike to a ss.

and i read that a simple conversion kit will suffice, but that is only if it is a freewheel hub..



from that, i kinda dont like the feel of the tensioner, and i read that you can use a half link as a substitute. is this possible/ a good idea?


graci.
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Old 07-14-09, 10:33 PM   #2
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Any 8 or 9 speed is going to have a freehub, and so the conversion kit will work.

I don't think the half-link is a good solution. Even if you get it "just right" (which is mostly a matter of chance), it will only be just right until the chain wears a little.

What tensioner are you using?
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Old 07-14-09, 10:37 PM   #3
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Any 8 or 9 speed is going to have a freehub, and so the conversion kit will work.

I don't think the half-link is a good solution. Even if you get it "just right" (which is mostly a matter of chance), it will only be just right until the chain wears a little.

What tensioner are you using?
im planning on a forte conversion kit.


do you think thatll suffice?
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Old 07-14-09, 11:35 PM   #4
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I've got the forte kit. The spacers and cogs are good enough, but the tensioner is terrible. At least, off the bike it feels like it would be terrible. I never actually used it. I used the kit with a frame that had horizontal dropouts. The Forte tensioner feels like it doesn't have bearings in the pulley. I've heard good things about the Surly tensioner, but I don't have any first hand experience.
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Old 07-15-09, 12:39 AM   #5
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sigh. chains dont "stretch" the rollers just wear and it takes a long time.
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Old 07-15-09, 12:42 AM   #6
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chains DO stretch, and components DO wear. It's a combo of both.
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Old 07-15-09, 05:16 AM   #7
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I don't think the half-link is a good solution. Even if you get it "just right" (which is mostly a matter of chance), it will only be just right until the chain wears a little.
That's exactly what will happen, even if you manage to get the length right at first.

For the chain tensioner, I would recommend an old derailleur. It has much better bearings in the pulley than any ad-hoc chain tensioner, and it can be adjusted easily with the H-screw for the correct chainline. Also, you can find old, unused derailleurs easily on a junked bike - so you can get it for free.

You can find this and other useful tips and tricks in this thread, in the Mechanics forum. The tip I just mentioned is around the middle of the page I linked to.
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Old 07-15-09, 10:46 AM   #8
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sigh. chains dont "stretch" the rollers just wear and it takes a long time.
I'm not sure who you're quoting when you put "stretch" in quotes. You were the first person on the thread to use the term. But this is kind of a pet peeve of mine, so let me pick on you a little.

<soapbox>

All language is metaphorical. We use a word to correspond to an idea. Over time, the metaphors inherent in a given word can evolve. The word then means what it has come to mean in practice. The word "stretch" in talk about chains stretching can be taken as an example of this. In common practice, the word "stretch" is used to describe the process by which a chain wears out. Therefore, this is a de facto meaning of the word.

A lot of people will cite dictionary definitions and protest that a given usage is technically incorrect. This is most commonly seen with the word "irony." However, what they are in effect saying is that they believe language should not function as I have described above. Nevertheless and in spite of the protest of grammarians and English teachers everywhere, this is the way that language does, in fact, function.

</soapbox>
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Old 07-15-09, 10:53 AM   #9
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Magic ratios are very inconsistent and put an inherent weakness in your drivetrain if you have to use a half-link. Plus, to find a perfect ratio may mean more or less gear inches than what you would normally find ideal because you have to use a specific rear cog to get the magic ratio to tension correctly.

Use a white industries eccentric hub if you want to clean it up, have a tough hub, and loose an external tensioner.



The best tensioners are Yess and Rennen. The surly unit, I have heard, is floppy and and looses adjustment frequently.
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Old 07-15-09, 02:49 PM   #10
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ayyee.


so how long do you think a halflink set up would last?

maybe riding probably 20-30 miles a month or so
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Old 07-15-09, 03:13 PM   #11
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Do you guys pee in your breakfast cereal every morning?

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Old 07-15-09, 03:34 PM   #12
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The argument reminds me of when Bill Clinton was asked to define a "sexual relationship"

Per Sheldon Brown:

"Cyclists often speak of chain "stretch", as if the side plates of an old chain were pulled out of shape by the repeated stresses of pedaling. This is not actually how chains elongate. The major cause of chain "stretch" is wearing away of the metal where the rivet rotates inside of the bushing (or the "bushing" part of the inside plate) as the chain links flex and straighten as the chain goes onto and off of the sprockets. If you take apart an old, worn out chain, you can easily see the little notches worn into the sides of the rivets by the inside edges of the bushings. With bushingless chains, the inside edge of the side plate hole that rubs against the rivet has a smooth radius instead of a sharp corner. This probably contributes to the greater durability of bushingless chains."


I've used half links before without problem on freewheeled bikes, but I wouldn't do it for a fixed drivetrain. If you opt to use a half link on a chain with a powerlink, the general consensus is to install it in the middle of the chain, and not directly next to the powerlink, where most failures occur for some reason. You could always buy a complete half link chain (KMC and Shadow Conspiracy make a decent half links), but they're heavy, and in my opinion, are more bark than bite.

My Shadow Conspiracy Half link chain on my DJ was like $40 and wore out faster than any Kool chain I've run.

Last edited by Yo!; 07-15-09 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 07-16-09, 04:49 AM   #13
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Magic ratios are very inconsistent and put an inherent weakness in your drivetrain if you have to use a half-link. Plus, to find a perfect ratio may mean more or less gear inches than what you would normally find ideal because you have to use a specific rear cog to get the magic ratio to tension correctly.

Use a white industries eccentric hub if you want to clean it up, have a tough hub, and loose an external tensioner.



The best tensioners are Yess and Rennen. The surly unit, I have heard, is floppy and and looses adjustment frequently.
I have one of those. I rebuilt it several times, so I know it inside-out, quite literally. I am not hugely impressed by the quality and tolerances of machining - inside the hub itself. It's a fine hub, but not for US$130. Besides, the hub is not the only cost that you'll incur: you need to buy a rim, the spokes, and a rim tape. Even if you opt for a cheap rim and spokes, your wheel will end up costing US$160 at least, even if you build the wheel yourself, and all this just so you don't have to buy a frame with horizontal or track dropouts. I strongly believe that a much more cromulant solution is to buy an appropriate frame, on which you can then put any wheel you like. There's one more advantage to not using an eccentric hub setup, but I won't bore you, the above should suffice.
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Old 07-16-09, 06:49 AM   #14
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For the amount of mileage you are talking about (20-30 a month is minimal), if you can find the proper gear ratio, a half-link will be fine. My wife's townie has been set up like that for months and months and sees more mileage than that and the chain is still tighter than I'd like. You'll need to use a calculator to figure what gears will work with your bike. You can scroll to the bottom of this SS conversion article I wrote for a link to the calculator (plus info to a bunch of other stuff you asked). Yes, chains "stretch", I do it all the time, but it also is dependent on how you ride and how much mileage you are putting in.

If you need a tensioner, the poster who suggested a derailluer is spot on. You probably have one on the bike already. Spacers from an old cassette or PVC pipe cut to size and an non-ramped (SS specific) cog for the rear will set you on your way.

Conversion is easy but you may need a few specialty tools that you don't already have such as a chainwhip and a cassette lockring tool.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:05 AM   #15
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sigh. chains dont "stretch" the rollers just wear and it takes a long time.
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chains DO stretch, and components DO wear. It's a combo of both.
Hahaha youse guyses
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Old 07-16-09, 08:08 AM   #16
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every skinnyland post is now not safe for work.
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Old 07-16-09, 08:19 AM   #17
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they're just TINY butts. ;P
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