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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 12-16-09, 02:31 AM   #1
erikstouffer
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Looking For Help Building My Single Speed Giant Compact Road Sl

I have a compact road sl with a carbon fiber fork, seat post and drop down handlebars. There isn't anywhere to put the brake levers, but then again maybe they attach on somehow. I want to know about what Wheels to buy, tires, brakes, I have Shimano Ultegra BB 6600. I don't even know if I need one. What should I buy. How big do my wheels have to be, I bought some wheels and they didn't fit onto the back of the bike. I hear you can make some wheels bigger in the back, maybe that's what I needed to do.

HELP!!!!
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Old 12-16-09, 03:12 AM   #2
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The wheel is too big around or the spacing is wrong..?
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Old 12-16-09, 12:23 PM   #3
Dr Fu Manchu
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Originally Posted by erikstouffer View Post
I hear you can make some wheels bigger in the back, maybe that's what I needed to do.

HELP!!!!
Just keep rubbing the back wheel. Maybe you will need some lube. but keep rubbing and eventually it will get bigger.

works everytime on me.
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Old 12-16-09, 01:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dr Fu Manchu View Post
Just keep rubbing the back wheel. Maybe you will need some lube. but keep rubbing and eventually it will get bigger.

works everytime on me.
no lube, i like the friction
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Old 12-16-09, 01:36 PM   #5
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OK, assuming you're being serious.

1) Take your bike to a bike shop /bike mechanic / bike co-op, tell them what you want to do, let them do it, and pay the appropriate (largish) amount of money. They may snicker, and you may spend, but this will be the most hassle free way to achieve your objective.

2) Since you're probably full of youthful enthusiasm and minimal common sense, you're not going to do that, so here are the things you need to be aware of:

A. The Giant Compact Road SL is a great bike, but unfortunately it has vertical dropouts for the rear wheel. This means that if you want the sexy singlespeed / fixed gear look, you're either going to have to do a lot of work finding the proper chainring / freewheel combo, and maybe use a half-link, and get very lucky, or you're going to have to spend much dinero getting a rear wheel with an eccentric hub to allow you to space things properly. Otherwise, you're going to have to keep your existing derailleur, or buy a chain tensioner, which will leave you with none of the aesthetics of a singlespeed, and none of the functionality of a geared bike.

B. You'll need to unwrap the handlebars before putting brake levers. You can either put road levers on the curves of the drops, or you can put cross levers on the flat part of the handlebars, or both.

C. Wheels. It sounds like you've bought the wrong size wheels. 700s will fit on 27" wheel frames (you may need longer reach brakes) but not vice versa.

To sum up. Leave your bike alone and ride it with gears, and then go to bikesdirect.com and buy a cheap singlespeed, or go to craigslist and buy an old road bike with horizontal dropouts to convert to singlespeed, and have someone who knows what they're doing either do the work or help you do this. Either option will be cheaper and less frustrating for you.

Good luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by erikstouffer View Post
I have a compact road sl with a carbon fiber fork, seat post and drop down handlebars. There isn't anywhere to put the brake levers, but then again maybe they attach on somehow. I want to know about what Wheels to buy, tires, brakes, I have Shimano Ultegra BB 6600. I don't even know if I need one. What should I buy. How big do my wheels have to be, I bought some wheels and they didn't fit onto the back of the bike. I hear you can make some wheels bigger in the back, maybe that's what I needed to do.

HELP!!!!
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Old 12-16-09, 02:13 PM   #6
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Post pictures of the problem areas. Text leaves too much room for terminology errors.

I'm guessing that you're talking about the space between the dropouts when you say the wheels aren't big enough. You'll need to replace the axle. This can be pretty easy, depending on what hubs you have. Single-speed/fixed wheels are typically built for 120mm spacing, but your bike has 130mm spacing. What wheels did you get?

If you want to go singlespeed (as opposed to fixed gear), you're probably better off with the bikes original wheels, replacing the cassette with a single cog and spacers. Fixed gear would require the new wheel.

Although an eccentric hub is one possible solution to the chain tension issue, you could also try an eccentric bottom bracket. Forward Components makes what they call a universal eccentric bottom bracket that is compatible with the Ultegra cranks. It replaces the bottom bracket cups from your crankset and gives you (hopefully) enough variability in effective chainstay length to get the chain tension right. The inner chainring position from your Ultegra cranks should give you about a 41mm chainline, which I think would work with most fixed-gear hubs.

I don't have any idea what the problem you're trying to describe with the brake levers is. What kind of brake levers are you trying to use?
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Old 12-21-09, 04:14 AM   #7
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The wheel is too big around or the spacing is wrong..?
The spacing is wrong. I've decided to sell the frame and buy an already built bike. Thanks though.
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