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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 12-21-04, 07:01 PM   #1
manboy
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Argh!!!

I'm getting tired of talking to bike mechanics and bike shop workers.

I'm building a single speed rear wheel for a 700c Raleigh Gran Prix. The wheel is a 700c road rim spaced for 135mm (the bike is closer to 125). It takes a thread-on freewheel. It's currently dished for a 6ish speed freewheel.

I've been all around Virginia Beach looking for an 18t freewheel to put on this wheel, since it looks like I'm going to have to use the 52t chainring up front (it's a 3 bolt cottered crank). Everywhere I go, not only does the shop not have any 18t freewheels, but the guys at the shop moan to me about how it just won't work. "Mehmehmeh, you'll have to redish the wheel, you won't get the spacing right, you have to bring the wheel in, it's not made for that, your chain won't fit, BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH..."

All I need are some smaller spacers and a freewheel so I can chop the axle, redish the wheel, hook up the chain, and ride the bike. Am I wrong to think that I can do this? I mean, come on, I ride a fixed gear with a suicide wheel that I respaced and redished myself. I can imagine no reason why I shouldn't just be able to move the hub over to get a proper chainline.

Am I being totally unreasonable? Should I just resign myself to mailorder?
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Old 12-21-04, 08:25 PM   #2
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You may want to try HDK Cycles in Kempsville.

There's a guy who used to work there (I think he still does - it's been over a year since I was in the area) named Josh. He's a bigtime fixie guy. He helped me a ton with my first. They would probably be able to help you.
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Old 12-21-04, 09:57 PM   #3
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I love hearing stories like this. Let's me know I'm not alone. When I was building my first SS 3 years ago all I heard was " why would you want that?" This is why I was so happy to find such a strong and helpful online community. Most shop don't spend time with you if you aren't dropping 2 grand on the lastest crap. Keep looking. You will find a shop or someone in a shop who will help or just get everything online. Hang in there.
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Old 12-21-04, 11:04 PM   #4
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if it's all stuff you already know how to do, just get the parts (freewheel and spacers), and just do it. don't tell 'em what you're doing with it...

my guess is, that if the axle is spaced for 135, there's gonna be one 15mm spacer, and one 5, or a 10mm, and a 5, in addition to the cones and locknuts, depending on how thick the locknuts are....you should just be able to get a bunch of 5mm spacers, and maybe some 2.5mm ones and set it up exactly how you need it. i can forsee some chainline issues with the hub though, since it's a 6-speed hub, on an axle spaced at 135, things might get a little funky, depending on how wide the actual hub body is, you may have to run a lot of spacers on the non-drive side and have a reverse dish to make the rim sit in the right spot and still get good chainline. but most 6 speed, threaded hubs are pretty wide.

as long as you respace the axle, properly, and redish the wheel, it'll work (something that you already know). just get the parts and stop being so chatty.

most shop mechanics just want to feel like they know more than you do. i'm pretty laid back with a customer, until they start trying to flex nuts, and i know they're not buying anything. then i shut 'em down...if someone's in there and they're trying to do something like what you are, i'm usually pretty helpful and very forthcoming with information. if they're all BLAH BLAH BLAH I KNOW MORE THAN YOU DO BECAUSE I HAVE DONE THIS ONCE BEFORE IN MY LIFE!! then i give them "the look," and tell them to come back when they screw it up beyond their capabilities.

...and nobody ever f*@#ing tips their bike mechanic.
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Old 12-22-04, 12:42 AM   #5
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...and nobody ever f*@#ing tips their bike mechanic.
You need to give 'em a hint by placing a tip jar at eye level.
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Old 12-22-04, 03:10 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. Sorry to be so chatty; it's good to hear that some people think the way I do. And yes, things may get funky, but that's what I'm all about.
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Old 12-22-04, 07:29 AM   #7
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Check second hand stores for a BMX bike with a single freewheel. 18t is a common size.
You may be able to buy a whole bike for what the LBS will charge you for the component.
That's where I got all mine, I have 3 or 4 laying around. The rest of the bike gets donated to the local bike co-op.
Enjoy
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Old 12-22-04, 07:50 AM   #8
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90% of bike shop customers who are about to embark on this project don't know what the **** they are doing and end up wrecking their wheel. Then they walk in and are like "can you fix this?" and the mechanic is like "it would have been cheaper if you just let me do it in the first place." That is why you are getting the response you describe. Unless you know exactly what you are doing and what parts you need, just pay the shop to do it and you will probably be happy with the result. They are doing the right thing when they tell you to bring the wheel in because it is their job to make sure you use the right equiptment. If you feel confident that you can do it on your own and have the proper tools, just walk in and ask for the parts you need. If they don't have 'em they can order them for you, or you can get them online.
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Old 12-23-04, 09:27 AM   #9
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90% seems high unless of course you are referring to the percentage of customers that screw the wheel up first and then come back to the shop for repair (the other 10% are probably too proud to admit their error).
90% of the customers I have delt with were sucessful after about 10 minutes of instruction on what needed to be done.
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Old 12-23-04, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powers2b
90% seems high unless of course you are referring to the percentage of customers that screw the wheel up first and then come back to the shop for repair (the other 10% are probably too proud to admit their error).
90% of the customers I have delt with were sucessful after about 10 minutes of instruction on what needed to be done.
Most customers can't redish a wheel, or don't own a truing stand. So unless they are very mechanicly inclined, most who try don't do it right. Also, it's very hard to respace a hub w/o cone wrenches. Call me a cynic, but most customers I've encountered who want to do a ss conversion on the cheap are vapid hipsters who just want something that looks cool. The majority who care about their bikes have a mechanic do the work, and then there's the ten percent who actually can do it on their own. No disrespect to the later two, just my observation.
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