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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 09-22-09, 03:21 PM   #1
adlai
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Installing an IGH on a single speed and a chainguard

The aesthetics of single speeds is pretty fun, but compared to my road bike is seriously lacking in utility.

So, one project that I have in mind would involve getting a Mercier TT single speed from Bikesdirect, and at some point in the future install an IGH on the rear wheel with a bar-end shifter. Apparently Sturmey Archer has some promising models for the 2009-2010 season.

Even better would be if I could just "drop in" the IGH without having to get new size spokes.

Anyone ever done it? thoughts?

Also, are there are any full-chain cases? Like, one that could cover both the top and bottom of the chain?

Lastly...lots of these bikes have a 48t front cog. For the rear, how big should it be? IGH's tend to have their 1:1 on the highest gear? so it would be like 48t-20t and then go down from there? If I went too high a ratio, like 48t-16t, would I run the risk of damaging the IGH?
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Old 09-22-09, 04:11 PM   #2
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It can be done but, trust me, every single step is going to be a lot more involved than you are envisioning.
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Old 09-22-09, 04:23 PM   #3
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Make sure to check some of the commuter forum threads about IGH. A bunch of guys over there run that kind of setup. The Bianchi San Jose, Surly Cross Check and the IRO Phoenix seem to be popular ways to go. The Phoenix can come that way stock for about $650 I think.
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Old 09-22-09, 05:27 PM   #4
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It can be done but, trust me, every single step is going to be a lot more involved than you are envisioning.
Speaking as a guy who installed a SRAM S-7 in a Motobecane Messenger it wasn't that difficult.

1) Decide what hub you want
2) Build it into a wheel or have bike shop build it into a wheel
3) Figure out how you plan to mount the shifter. (I used some scrap steel to fab up a bar end mount for the S-7 twist shifter)
4) Spread the rear triangle. (Sheldon's website can tell you how)
5) Replace BB with a new one with the correct length spindle. (in my case a 118mm did the trick)
6) Zip tie shift cable to downtube and chainstay.
7) Go ride!







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Old 09-22-09, 05:30 PM   #5
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i put on a wald chainguard last night that i picked up from a parts bin for 5 bucks. terrible mounting, but it guess it works. I've been running a pretty wide chainline though, i'll probably have to move the chainring on the inside of my double cranks.

velo orange makes a fully covered chainguard. she ain't too cheap though: http://www.velo-orange.com/postch.html
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Old 09-22-09, 05:32 PM   #6
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The complicated parts of course are installing it on the rear wheel.

I do want it to be as "drop-in" as possible. Why replace the BB? that's definitely not on the radar for this project.

Are IGH's in general the same dimensions as regular rear hubs? Or would they require special length spokes? Getting spokes shouldn't be too much a prob, can probably get them for under $5...and spreading out the rear triangle seems iffy to me.
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Old 09-22-09, 05:33 PM   #7
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i put on a wald chainguard last night that i picked up from a parts bin for 5 bucks. terrible mounting, but it guess it works. I've been running a pretty wide chainline though, i'll probably have to move the chainring on the inside of my double cranks.

velo orange makes a fully covered chainguard. she ain't too cheap though: http://www.velo-orange.com/postch.html
Yeah, I've seen that before. Eww.

really am surprised that chainguards aren't more widely available.
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Old 09-22-09, 05:55 PM   #8
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Why replace the BB? that's definitely not on the radar for this project.
You have to replace it to get a correct (straight) chainline. The IGH hub is wider than the FG hub. A traditional FG hub is 120mm but most IHG hubs will be 135+mm. If you don't replace the BB your chainline will be off causing noise, excessive ware, and the chain is more likely to jump off the cog.

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Are IGH's in general the same dimensions as regular rear hubs? Or would they require special length spokes? Getting spokes shouldn't be too much a prob, can probably get them for under $5...and spreading out the rear triangle seems iffy to me.
You will need to rebuild the wheel with new spokes, there is no way the stock spokes will be the correct length. There are plenty of calculator online that can help you figure out what you need. You will also have to spread the rear triangle. The new hub is physically wider than the stock rear spacing so without spreading the rear triangle the hub simply won't fit.

I understand that we all start somewhere so I'm not trying to be critical of you as you learn but based on your comments in this thread it does not sound like you fully grasp what is involved in this type of project. I recommend some more reading about hub spacings, chainlines, and wheel building before you begin.

Good luck and if you have any more questions I'm happy to offer any assistance I can.
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Old 09-22-09, 05:56 PM   #9
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I do want it to be as "drop-in" as possible. Why replace the BB? that's definitely not on the radar for this project.
Because the IGH hub is wider than a track hub, you will have to spread open your rear drop outs for the hub to fit in there. The rear cog will be more to the outside than the cog was on your track hub and therefore it won't really line up with your front chainring correctly. So the solution is to replace the bottom bracket with a wider one so your front chainring will once again be in line with the rear cog.

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Getting spokes shouldn't be too much a prob, can probably get them for under $5...
I really doubt you can buy 36 or 32 spokes for $5. I'd suspect more like $20 to $40 for decent spokes.
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Old 09-22-09, 05:57 PM   #10
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Looks like HandsomeRyan and I were writing at the same time. Right on.
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Old 09-22-09, 06:06 PM   #11
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I put an Alfine hub into my Singlecross (the singlespeed version of the Specialized Tricross cyclocross bike). While using a Nexus8 would be easier than an Alfine, it's not nearly as trivial as you are making it sound. You can read about that here.

I don't know what the new SA IGHs look like, but the one i'm familiar with only adds gear ratios above the one provided by the chainring and cog, so for starters you'd have to put a much smaller chainring and/or larger cog on to have low enough gears. You'd also need to "respace" the hub unless you start with a frame with mountain/hybrid dropout spacing (135 mm). The good news is that respacing would also reduce the impact on your chainline, perhaps making a new BB unnecessary.
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Old 09-22-09, 06:19 PM   #12
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Looks like HandsomeRyan and I were writing at the same time. Right on.
Great minds think alike.
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Old 09-22-09, 06:28 PM   #13
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didn't see the spoke cost thing. spokes are generally a dollar each, nipples about 10 cents each. i'd replace both.

it's funny that spokes seem to be the most expensive part of any of my wheel builds :/
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Old 09-22-09, 07:09 PM   #14
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actually, I believe that some IGH hubs, 3 and 5 speeds come to mind, are less than 135, about 120-ish or so. Sturmey Archer in particular seems to be aiming its newest hubs at single speed bikers who want to "upgrade"
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Old 09-23-09, 02:13 AM   #15
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I just want to advise against the wald chain guard, having owned two and destroyed two, in about a month. Not only is the mounting hardware crap, the chainguard itself is cheaply made, and all it take is getting caught on your cuff once to be permanently bent out of shape. I bought a chainguard so I didn't have to roll up my cuff god damn it.
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Old 09-23-09, 06:41 AM   #16
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actually, I believe that some IGH hubs, 3 and 5 speeds come to mind, are less than 135, about 120-ish or so. Sturmey Archer in particular seems to be aiming its newest hubs at single speed bikers who want to "upgrade"
That is true. IIRC, the Shimano 5-speed IGH was the last one to have this spacing from that company; there are still classic SA hubs that way, and could very well be new ones. So there are definitely more options if you are willing to go with less ratio/gears.
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Old 09-23-09, 07:28 AM   #17
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It can be done but, trust me, every single step is going to be a lot more involved than you are envisioning.
See what I mean?
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Old 09-23-09, 01:48 PM   #18
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See what I mean?
you win.
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