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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 05-10-10, 07:02 AM   #1
SamE30
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Newbie Alert.. Need some advice on SingleSpeed conversion

Hi there,

As you can see this is my first post on this site and im hoping you knowledgable guys and girls will be able to help me out.

I have just recently got into Road Cycling. I have always ridden a mountain bike and recently fitted road tyres for the commute to my new office.

I have decided however to get myself a road specific bike.

I recently got hold of a 1980's MBK racing Bike at a a good price and at the perfect size for me.
I spent the first day i got it cleaning it up and converting it to a single speed using a shortened chain and a single speed freewheel 16t cog from my local bike store.

I then hit the road yesterday and took it for a 20 mile trip and absolutely loved it!
This has given me the motivation to take the next step.

I would like to Strip the bike and have it powdercoated and then refit everything with some new bits like brake levers etc, Chop & Flip the bars ( cant get used to the current ones) maybe eventually some deep rims when I can afford it!

I have started doing some research ( Sheldon Brown / Bike Forums etc ) but have already managed to confuse myself.

It seems that with some of these old French bikes it is not as easy as others to strip the bike down.

I am just wondering if anyone has worked on one of these or similar?

If so would they be able to write an IDIOTS guide to stripping it down for paint detailing what I need to do, What tools may be required and what I might come up against.

I am a fairly mechanically minded person and can use tools but taking bikes apart is a new one on me!

The bike is an 80's MBK (Team Emelle) Tour De France replica.
(Picture below)

Really appreciate any help / advice you can give me!

Thanks

Sam

P.S Great site...... Bookmarked!

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Old 05-10-10, 07:09 AM   #2
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Hi Sam, and welcome to the light! It's not hard at all. Just unbolt everything that's bolted on, take off everything else. Just disassembling the thing will be a learning experience. Take it to the powder coat shop, and there you are. I read somewhere that velo orange has some french-friendly gear. Stick with Saint Sheldon and the forum and you'll be fine. Just dive rightin to the project and favor us with some more photos. Oh, that's a nice bike - horizontal rear dropouts and all! You know, the crankset and brakes look pretty cool; you have brake levers, not shifters, and an elegant threaded stem. My take on it would be to use the present stuff on the ss, it's classic, specific to the uses, and very nice looking.

Last edited by RoyIII; 05-10-10 at 07:11 AM. Reason: re-think replacing all the present parts?
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Old 05-10-10, 08:03 AM   #3
jet sanchEz
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Reassemble the bike with the parts you took off of it, sell the bike for $350, take $50 from your mom's purse and buy a Kilo TT from Bikesdirect.
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Old 05-10-10, 08:15 AM   #4
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That's a nice looking bike. I would keep that as original as possible. Get rid of the Velo saddle and put on a Turbo, or if you can find a French made saddle get that, and keep the standard profile rims.
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Old 05-10-10, 08:28 AM   #5
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That MBK looks relatively new, I highly doubt that it uses French parts.
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Old 05-10-10, 08:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vixtor View Post
That MBK looks relatively new, I highly doubt that it uses French parts.
I was told when I bought it it was a 1989 model....

The Bike shop had to dig out a different spline tool from the depths of their bench to get the rear cassette off... thats what got me worried... Trying to do this on a budget and don't want to be shelling out on all sorts of special tools
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Old 05-10-10, 08:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jet sanchEz View Post
Reassemble the bike with the parts you took off of it, sell the bike for $350, take $50 from your mom's purse and buy a Kilo TT from Bikesdirect.
Definitely. Check out the Classics and Vintage forum to get a read on how much its worth... put it back together with original parts and give it a nice spit shine. That could easily pull $350 on my local craigslist. $350 will take you a long way getting into SS/FG on bikesdirect.com

OR (edit) Leave the paint as is (it looks really nice) and upgrade your wheelset, saddle and cranks... this would probably be the best way to spend your money, and easiest way to get there. The only tool you should need is a crank puller, or you can visit your LBS and have them swap em out for ya.

Last edited by dagonpaul; 05-10-10 at 08:42 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 05-10-10, 08:44 AM   #8
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I'm pretty sure that it uses English/ISO parts, French companies have stopped using French parts after the late 70's...
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Old 05-10-10, 10:21 AM   #9
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Ok thats Good news! Im gonna start pulling it apart tommorrow... am Undecided whether to paint it or not after all your comments.

The Crank Bearings need replacing at least so will need to go out and get a puller tool I guess.
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Old 05-10-10, 10:26 AM   #10
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In my opinion, that original paint job looks quite good, I'd stay with it.
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Old 05-10-10, 11:18 AM   #11
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again though... before you go any farther, you might want to check on the Classic and Vintage forum to see how much that bad boy is worth. You may be sitting on a gem, or a dud... Id hate to pull it apart and swap things out or paint it only to find out its worth something.
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Old 05-10-10, 01:45 PM   #12
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It is a mid-range model, hence the eyelets for fenders, but it is still in very good shape and a very nice looking bike so I would not use it for a 'fixie' myself. I would rather sell it so that someone else can have the headache of 'fixing' it because, yes, those are French parts. Good luck with that.
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Old 05-10-10, 03:33 PM   #13
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Right thanks for your input, Have posted over in Vintage & Classics to make sure im not ruining a future classic!

Got it for next to nothing so would be suprised....
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