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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 01-23-11, 01:56 PM   #1
ericg2000
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Diamondback Outlook Conversion

i have an old (1999) diamondback outlook mtn bike that i am about to swap out the knobbies with street tires. i know this will greatly decrease ride resistance created by the knobbies. how will a single speed conversion factor into this? will the single speed switch help or hurt the energy needed to keep the pedals spinning? basically, i want a fun bike to ride around my neighborhood.
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Old 01-23-11, 01:57 PM   #2
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The difference would be negligible.

I wouldn't sink a whole lot of money into an Outlook. You could get a similar vintage CrMo framed bike of similar vintage for the price of a nice pair of tires if you look around.

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Old 01-23-11, 04:04 PM   #3
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I wouldn't singlespeed a mountain bike. They are heavier than road bikes and you will need to put more effort to accelerate and keep it moving especially on one gear. A good compromise is to ditch the front derailleur and run a 1 x N drivetrain. You'll still have a wide variety to gears and you don't have to deal with the slow and often imprecise indexing of the front derailleur plus if you run the chain on the middle chainring, you don't have to worry about cross chaining your gears.

Singlespeed mountain bikes like mountain bikes in general is more suitable for mountains. Who'd have guess it?

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Old 01-23-11, 05:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
The difference would be negligible.

I wouldn't sink a whole lot of money into an Outlook.
Pretty much. I've converted a couple old/broken MTBs into FG/SS and I like them. You save a little weight vs. geared but on a bike like that I don't think it would make too much of a difference.

The trick is to pick a somewhat low gear which will allow you to spin up to speed quickly. It will limit your top speed, but how fast can you go on a MTB to begin with?
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Old 01-24-11, 11:53 AM   #5
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One reason I thought about going to SS is because I use the same gear for all my riding. I never change it out of the gear it's in. So I figured since I like it why not switch to to a SS in that gear and loose the shifters and other hardware.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:34 PM   #6
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wow, I did this exact same thing for a friends last summer, i didn't recommend it then, and i don't recommend it now.

If your not familiar with bike mechanics though, it will be a fun learning experience.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:49 PM   #7
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Couple things I forgot. Does your Outlook have horizontal or vertical dropouts? If they're vertical I probably wouldn't bother, as you'd have to run a chain tensioner or find the magic ratio.

Also, do you have a freewheel or cassette on your wheel? If it's a cassette you can just replace it with a single cog and some spacers. But if it's a freewheel you'll need to remove it and replace it with a single speed freewheel. And probably have the rear wheel re-dished.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:52 PM   #8
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I have a old mtb that I made into a SS, I kept the knobbies on it because its my foul weather bike. I wouldn't say its fun to ride around though. If I were in your situation I would put your time and energy into converting an old road bike, it would be a lot more fun to ride around your neighborhood.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:53 PM   #9
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I wouldn't singlespeed a mountain bike.
don't tell my SS MTB that!
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Old 01-24-11, 08:32 PM   #10
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they are vertical drop outs. i just want to make it fun to ride.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:00 PM   #11
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You should do it. It sounds like a fun around town beater. Who cares about the weight. Seriously, there are alot of people around here with steel fixed gears in the 20lbs weight, which is 2-3lbs heavier than my fully equipped road bike.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:13 PM   #12
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Outlook will be closer to 30 lbs. Hi-Ten for the win! 31.5 lbs stocker.
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Old 01-28-11, 04:48 PM   #13
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to all the non believers out there i went ahead and SS my outlook. i still have the cassette on the rear hub, i'm trying to decide which gears i like best. the one have right now (forgot the teeth count) is ok. i've only gone a short distance though, either this evening or tomorrow will be the real road test. so far i like what it turned out to be. i just need some comfortable grips now, and my new tires should be in next week. i'm sticking to 26" so maybe eventually i'll pick up some light wheels. those seem to be the bulk of the weight, yes the frame is steel but the steel wheels and knobby tires probably out weigh the frame. once i settle on a gear ratio, i'm going to get a spacer kit and do it right.

what kind of handlebars do yall prefer? right not i have flat bars. i thought about looking into some drop down bars, but i'm 50/50. i need to go ride my friends bike who has drop downs. the reason i ask is there is some for sale pretty cheap on my local CL right now.
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Old 01-28-11, 04:54 PM   #14
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I like drops the best for street riding. Drops will work great if the flat bars are way too close in right now. If the flat bars are about in the right place, you might want a shorter stem to go with the drops.

While on the local CL, keep your eyes peeled for an Apex or Ascent (if you wanna stay DB). You could probably find one for about the price of a wheelset or even less. The frame upgrade will make a world of difference.

Your bike has steel rims????? Surely not stock on a 1999 Outlook.

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Old 01-28-11, 08:21 PM   #15
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Honestly I'm not sure what year it is. It's either a 1998 or 1999. It's an electric blue color which came out 1998 but it has pro max brakes which is on a 1999 model. The 2 years both had different wheels, one steel set the other aluminum. So I really don't know what I have until I go out to the garage and see is the wheels say anything.

I have had a question ever since I got this bike; occasionally my knees hurt while riding. They did when I had gears as well as after the SS. Does it have to do with seat height?
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Old 01-28-11, 08:23 PM   #16
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Could be saddle height, saddle fore/aft adjustment or simply pushing to tall a gear for a given speed.

Bikepedia says aluminum 36 hole for the 98, and Kin Lin RT-6n (which are aluminum also) for the 1999.

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Old 01-28-11, 08:54 PM   #17
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I wasn't sure what the kin Lin wheels were, now I know I have aluminum wheels.

Right now I know my saddle is lower than it was before I tore the bike down to clean it. But even before my knees occasionally hurt. I was always changing it to see what was best. I guess I will do that again.
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