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  1. #1
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    Trek 520 SS Conversion

    I'm thinking of converting my Trek 520 touring bike to a single speed for commuting. The thing I'm having the biggest logistical issue with in terms of planning it is whether chain tensioning is going to be an issue because of the vertical rear dropouts.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this issue?

    Also, is it possible to run a single speed setup using standard road skewers (vs. axle bolts)?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jignall View Post
    I'm thinking of converting my Trek 520 touring bike to a single speed for commuting. The thing I'm having the biggest logistical issue with in terms of planning it is whether chain tensioning is going to be an issue because of the vertical rear dropouts.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this issue?

    Also, is it possible to run a single speed setup using standard road skewers (vs. axle bolts)?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jeff
    This has been discussed many times here, but I'll humor you anyway. You have 3 choices with a SS and vertical dropouts:

    1) Install a chain tensioner like a singulator
    2) Use your existing rear derailleur, locked at the position of your cog
    3) Do the magic gear trick and / or use a half link. With a SS chain tension doesn't need to be real precise, and you can allow a fair amount of slack w/o having problems

    As to using a road skewer, since you have vertical dropouts then it doesn't matter what kind of gearing you are using, a road quick release skewer will work.
    Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 08-30-10 at 01:33 PM.
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  3. #3
    . xavier853's Avatar
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    Because you are making a SS and not a fixed gear, using a chain tensioner is not a problem.



    EDIT: TejanoTrackie beat me to it, and he's info is more helpful!

  4. #4
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    Great thanks. I know this has been discussed a lot here but unfortunately when something is discussed so much in a strange way it's difficult to find actual information because people tend to go on riffs etc...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    As far as I remember/ know about you five different options.

    1.(most expensive, little work, best looking) Get yourself some sort of single speed chain tensioner, such as this one from surly: http://www.bikebling.com/ProductDeta...rly-Singleator

    2.(little bit more work, less clean looking, free) remove the limit screws from your derailer, and shorten your chain to where the derailer is pulled as tight(horizontal) as you can get it, making your two pulley derailer work like the chain tentioner

    3.(most work, more clean looking than 2, very cheap) get longer limit screws for your derailer, play with it till you get a traditional looking derailer set up that holds your chain tight.

    4.(most expensive, super clean looking, a bit of work) Buy a white industries Eccentric hub.

    5.(cheap, lots of work, doesnt really work that great) Eric House's magic ration may work, I have had very mixed results http://eehouse.org/fixin/fixmeup.php


    As for the road type skewer, it will work just fine if you use it right. You may want to invest in a higher end aftermarket skewer but for a single speed I dont know if it would be worth it.

  6. #6
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    Why don't you just sell the 520 and buy a new single speed. Touring bikes are in high demand right now. You should be able to get a really nice single speed and have money left over. If you want to build one for the fun of it, same solution. You should be able to find a decent frame with horizontal dropouts for around $100.
    I just sold my 1988 Trek 520 within 24 hours of posting it on CL. I guess I wasn't asking enough.

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