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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 07-17-09, 01:42 AM   #1
Prairie.Shaman
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I'm new here and it looks like this is the section for me!

Hey everyone.

I just signed up here, and just bought myself a bike.

I am hoping to convert it to a SS/FG bike soon unless that sounds like a bad idea. I am just getting a bike after not having one for about 3 years. . I want a fixie because they are more fun... I'm probably going to get a conversion kit from Charlie the BikeMonger and do it myself.

Does this 2009 Giant Boulder SE look like a decent bike to convert? I'm not really looking to do tricks or anything, just for riding and having some fun.. Not a racer or a trickster or anything like that...

Here's a pic.
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File Type: jpg GiantBoulder2009SE.jpg (104.0 KB, 52 views)
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Old 07-17-09, 03:47 AM   #2
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Can't see the drop-outs clearly from your image, but it's likely you have vertical drop-outs. In this case, the bike is not a good choice for a fixed gear.
You said you wanted a fixed gear, but the kit you are referring to is probably a single-speed kit. Your frame will work OK for that.
The difference is a fixed gear does not coast when you stop pedaling. Here's some background reading to get you up to speed.
http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html
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Old 07-17-09, 10:18 AM   #3
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it doesn't look like that bike has the right geometry either.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:25 AM   #4
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it doesn't look like that bike has the right geometry either.
SS mountain bike...
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Old 07-17-09, 10:41 AM   #5
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troll.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:42 AM   #6
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Old 07-17-09, 10:46 AM   #7
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Take that bike and make it a SS. Lose the derailleurs.

You'll need to get a tensioner, some cassette spacers, and a rear cog for the rear wheel. You'll probably be ok with the crankset it has on it already if you can remove some rings.
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Old 07-17-09, 10:59 AM   #8
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I'm not sure why you'd be converting a brand new 2009 bike. Most of the motivation to make a conversion is the availability of cheap older frames.
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Old 07-17-09, 11:00 AM   #9
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If you plan on using it on trails with obstacles, I would personally stick to SS, which will be cheaper, and a little easier. As has been mentioned, the right kit from Charlie the Bikemonger will suit fine for singlespeed and is all you will need.

However, for fixed gear, you are more than likely going to have an issue with chain tension. You can't use the kit for that for several reasons. The chain tensioner will not provide tension the second you put backpedaling force. You can use an inner ghost-ring as a chain tensioner, but I don't know if anyone sells a specific kit for that. The only practical method you can use to get your chain tension right is using a half-link. But it's a hit or a miss. Beyond that, you will need to make modifications to your frame or axle (file down a flat spot). Granted, you can also play with your gear ratios, but it requires a lot of trial and error. The last two things are an off center bottom bracket and an off center rear wheel hub, which cost a good amount. But even before you get your tension, you're going to have to buy a new hub and lace it into your old rim or buy a new wheel all together that accepts a fixed sprocket. Your chain tension is very important on a fixed gear, especially if you ride brakeless (which I don't think you plan to do) as you can easily throw your chain if you do not have enough tension.
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Old 07-17-09, 11:12 AM   #10
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troll

i say make it SS anyway.
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Old 07-17-09, 11:15 AM   #11
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thanks Yo.

Folks the plan was to go fixed gear (yes, so it doesn't coast) . With a single speed free wheel it will coast, right? What about back pedaling? I'm assuming that if you can coast, you can't pedal backwards and go backwards? Maybe that's not such a big deal though because I am not really into doing tricks or anything as I mentioned above.. I guess I will try SS on this bike first. Sounds like a lot of fun.

I haven't received the bike yet so I am not exactly sure of the what style of dropouts it has. Once the bike arrives I will have to do a little investigating and see. Hopefully they aren't complete vertical dropouts to make the convert a bit easier.

and why would I convert a brand new 2009 to a single speed?..... because single speeds are so much cooler.

Last edited by Prairie.Shaman; 07-17-09 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 07-17-09, 11:27 AM   #12
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This cannot be real. Why would you buy a brand new bike with plans to convert to something it is not? Why not buy the bike you want in the first place? How do you know fixed gear is more fun?
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Old 07-17-09, 11:40 AM   #13
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This can so be real. It's real.

I bought a new bike to convert because I do not have an old bike to convert.

I didn't buy a fixed gear/single speed because the only ones I can find locally are about 1300 dollars which I do not want to spend.

I got this bike off ebay for a decent price with plans to convert it to single speed when I can... Because it's more fun..

how do I know it's more fun?... I've been on a few bikes in my time.... ? Does that explain it?
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Old 07-17-09, 12:03 PM   #14
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Doesn't make sense. If you're buying a bike on eBay (or other internet source), there are plenty of more appropriate bikes available that cost waaaay less than 1300.

And they'd be more appropriate... did I mention that?
Oh, and cheaper as well.
And better suited to your purpose.
And also, less expensive.
And certainly more ideal, while at the same time allowing you to remain frugal.

You made a mistake. Got it?
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Old 07-17-09, 12:05 PM   #15
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awesome.
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Old 07-17-09, 12:10 PM   #16
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thanks Yo.

Folks the plan was to go fixed gear (yes, so it doesn't coast) . With a single speed free wheel it will coast, right? What about back pedaling? I'm assuming that if you can coast, you can't pedal backwards and go backwards? Maybe that's not such a big deal though because I am not really into doing tricks or anything as I mentioned above.. I guess I will try SS on this bike first. Sounds like a lot of fun.

I haven't received the bike yet so I am not exactly sure of the what style of dropouts it has. Once the bike arrives I will have to do a little investigating and see. Hopefully they aren't complete vertical dropouts to make the convert a bit easier.

and why would I convert a brand new 2009 to a single speed?..... because single speeds are so much cooler.
The bike more than likely has vertical drop outs with little room for movement. And yes, you're right about the Single Speed means coasting, which means no pedaling backwards to go backwards. You'll find a lot of guys who do MTB with singlespeed, and they love it, and there are also those who do MTB with a fixed gear and they love it as well.

If you're really set on this, then go with the kit, it's pretty straight forward. You may need some tools (such as a cassette lock-ring remover). But other people are right in that there are bikes available online for cheaper. If this is what you want to do, then go for it.
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Old 07-17-09, 12:17 PM   #17
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My word. Don't listen to the negative kids. I honestly don't understand how people can talk to other people they've never met so crassly on a public forum.

If you want more helpful advice for your build, check out the MTBR single speed board. I won't flame you for converting a new bike, everyone's got to start somewhere. But for your application, SS is a valid option, but not fixed. Your back wheel has a freehub with a freehub body to accept a cassette. If you remove the cassette lock ring, you can slide off the whole unit and replace it with a single BMX cog and some spacers. This will help you find a good chainline too. But you'll need to address the issue of chain tension, and for this you have a few different options. The two simplest applications would be a ghost ring or a magic ratio. You'll need a few different back cogs to try and nail down a magic ratio, and even then it may not be perfect; it requires a lot of trial and error. You could also run a ghost ring, but I've always personally thought these were temporary/novel solutions to tensioning.



Next up you've got a derailuer style tensioner. I mentioned in a thread yesterday that the best units are Yess, Rennen, and if you have the $$$, Paul. Here's a pic of the Rennen:

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Old 07-17-09, 01:30 PM   #18
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I wouldnt ride that fixed -- too much of a pain in the ass.
singlespeed, sure, why not?
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Old 07-17-09, 01:46 PM   #19
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contrary to popular belief, fixies are actually less fun.
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Old 07-17-09, 02:11 PM   #20
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Ok well single speed with a tensioner is the plan.

I was browsing ebay for the whole day and I couldn't find one I liked so I decided to just convert it myself.

Damn flamers can get off my internets. I do what I want suckas.
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Old 07-17-09, 02:24 PM   #21
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It looks like you'll need a different crankset as that one appears to not have bolts. Unless you just want to run the middle ring or whatever.

edit nvm, thats a bash guard. still, you'll want to have a look to make sure.
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Old 07-17-09, 02:29 PM   #22
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Ok well single speed with a tensioner is the plan.

I was browsing ebay for the whole day and I couldn't find one I liked so I decided to just convert it myself.

Damn flamers can get off my internets. I do what I want suckas.
...or you can just not shift gears and save yourself the trouble. the outcome is exactly the same.
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