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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 08-24-10, 05:06 PM   #1
gmh39
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Singlespeed build

Ok. So im converting an old road bike to a singlespeed for easier transportation around the city (Philly to be exact). I have the bike stripped of all the parts and Im in the process of degreasing everything. I would like to make this as cheap as possible. So far it has been around $80 for everything (bike and tools). I have run into a few difficulties though.

-I am trying to remove the sprockets from the rear cassette and the wont budge. Is there any easy way I can get them off? Currently I am using the old chain to try and unscrew them.

-Im not sure how to remove the rivets connecting the two from sprockets. Can I just drill them out like any other rivet?

-Once I choose my gear combo I plan on using spacers to align the chain on the existing hub and bottom bracket. Will this work?

This is my first time really delving into a bike like this so please bare with me if you need any other information.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gmh39 View Post
-I am trying to remove the sprockets from the rear cassette and the wont budge. Is there any easy way I can get them off? Currently I am using the old chain to try and unscrew them.
Need more info. This depends on the type of hub/freewheel/sprockets you have.

Quote:
-Im not sure how to remove the rivets connecting the two from sprockets. Can I just drill them out like any other rivet?
You could, but why bother? just leave the chain on the ring you prefer and ignore the other one.

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-Once I choose my gear combo I plan on using spacers to align the chain on the existing hub and bottom bracket. Will this work?
In general, yes.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:51 PM   #3
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You probably have a freewheel style hub which means the whole cluster of gears is a single unit that threads onto the hub. There are special tools that remove them depending on what brand you have. Bike Church(on Penn's campus) has the full selection and will you help get it all off.

You dont really want to remove the rivits. It would be much better to leave the second ring on it and not use it, or get a new single ring(again bike church $5-10)

It will work, but take a lot of effort a whole lot and a decent amount spacers. Go to Bike Church.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gmh39 View Post
-I am trying to remove the sprockets from the rear cassette and the wont budge. Is there any easy way I can get them off? Currently I am using the old chain to try and unscrew them.

-Im not sure how to remove the rivets connecting the two from sprockets. Can I just drill them out like any other rivet?

-Once I choose my gear combo I plan on using spacers to align the chain on the existing hub and bottom bracket. Will this work?
1. You will need a tool for this. The type of tool depends on what you're working with. (Pictures please!)

2. I did that on a cheap steel crank. I drilled out the rivets, and replaced them with nuts, bolts, and washers to center my chainring. It worked.

3. There are two ways to get a straight chainline: move the chainring, or move the hub on its axle. Moving the chainring is easy (just add more or less washers after completing #2 ^^). If you move the hub by rearranging spacers you will probably find that your rim is not centered in the frame anymore. You will then need to have your wheel re-dished. My LBS charged me $10 to do this.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:36 PM   #5
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1. You will need a tool for this. The type of tool depends on what you're working with. (Pictures please!)

2. I did that on a cheap steel crank. I drilled out the rivets, and replaced them with nuts, bolts, and washers to center my chainring. It worked.

3. There are two ways to get a straight chainline: move the chainring, or move the hub on its axle. Moving the chainring is easy (just add more or less washers after completing #2 ^^). If you move the hub by rearranging spacers you will probably find that your rim is not centered in the frame anymore. You will then need to have your wheel re-dished. My LBS charged me $10 to do this.
1.
I have the cassette removed from the hub. I am trying to get the individual sprockets off of the cassette.

2. Then that is what I will be doing.

3. Sounds like moving the chainring is easier.

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Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
You probably have a freewheel style hub which means the whole cluster of gears is a single unit that threads onto the hub. There are special tools that remove them depending on what brand you have. Bike Church(on Penn's campus) has the full selection and will you help get it all off.

You dont really want to remove the rivits. It would be much better to leave the second ring on it and not use it, or get a new single ring(again bike church $5-10)

It will work, but take a lot of effort a whole lot and a decent amount spacers. Go to Bike Church.
I will definitely have to check out Bike Church once im back on campus.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:47 PM   #6
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1

3. There are two ways to get a straight chainline: move the chainring, or move the hub on its axle. Moving the chainring is easy (just add more or less washers after completing #2 ^^). If you move the hub by rearranging spacers you will probably find that your rim is not centered in the frame anymore. You will then need to have your wheel re-dished. My LBS charged me $10 to do this.
As long as you replace the amount of room taken up by the cogs(and their spacers) there will never an issue of centering your wheel, its just not possible if you have the right spacer arrangement. Its a pain to do, but can be done.



To remove certain cogs from your freewheel, first step remount it back on the wheel. Then get two chainwhips(both 3/32" pitch, not track chainwhips) Put one on one of the larger cogs and hold tight. Put the other one on the smallest cog and twist counter clockwise. It will unthread. You might have to unthread the second smallest cog too. Now take a Digital Caliper and measure hyper acuratly the size of all the spacers and cogs that exist on the freewheel. That is the same amount your stack of spacers and one cog that you are going to use. It will take some reassembling and playing around to find the right chainline, but it always needs to be that thickness.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:13 PM   #7
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ok. looks like I gotta get some chain whips.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:21 PM   #8
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Rather than investing $50 in two tools you will use once, why not just go to bike church? Thats what its there for. Even if you decide its important for you to cobble together 20 single speeds from old freewheels, its just not worth investing in the whips for it.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:35 PM   #9
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well im not in Philly atm so i cant really do that.
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Old 08-24-10, 09:51 PM   #10
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As long as you replace the amount of room taken up by the cogs(and their spacers) there will never an issue of centering your wheel, its just not possible if you have the right spacer arrangement. Its a pain to do, but can be done.
Ah, I see... You speak of customizing a freewheel. I have never done this, but it sounds like a lot of work. BUT I think there could be a misunderstanding here. ghm39, do you have a Cassette Freehub, or a traditional Threaded Freewheel? If you're not sure read this: http://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html

Both terms have been mentioned, and I'm still not sure which one you have. But it sounds like you have a threaded freewheel.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:09 AM   #11
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I have a Thread-On Freewheel and Hub. Just like the one shown on the left in the picture in the Sheldon Brown link.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:46 AM   #12
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In that case I suggest buying a thread-on freewheel with one cog. I think they go for around $20 new. Unless you're willing to tear apart your freewheel. Like Kayce said, if you use your original freewheel your chainline will be straight, but it might be more trouble than it's worth (like I said I've never done this.)
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Old 08-25-10, 09:54 AM   #13
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The advantages of all the work is a guaranteed straight chainline, no need to redish your wheel, and proper fitting in your dropout. The negitives its a ton of work, you need to get enough spacers which can be tricky.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:17 AM   #14
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eh, the work shouldnt be that big of a deal. I got time. I just need to get the sprockets off. Do they just screw off?
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Old 08-25-10, 11:22 AM   #15
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To remove certain cogs from your freewheel, first step remount it back on the wheel. Then get two chainwhips(both 3/32" pitch, not track chainwhips) Put one on one of the larger cogs and hold tight. Put the other one on the smallest cog and twist counter clockwise. It will unthread. You might have to unthread the second smallest cog too. Now take a Digital Caliper and measure hyper acuratly the size of all the spacers and cogs that exist on the freewheel. That is the same amount your stack of spacers and one cog that you are going to use. It will take some reassembling and playing around to find the right chainline, but it always needs to be that thickness.
...
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