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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 04-13-14, 01:05 PM   #1
jmatsc
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Novice needs advice on Conversion to single speed

Hello All~ I have aquired a Mongoose paver 700c 28inch wheels, 7 speed, aluminum body with verticle dropouts that was abandoned by my brother 3-4 years ago. It had been damaged (ran over a car i think) which left the rear rim ruined but the frame appears to my eye to be undamaged. I want to order a new rear wheel and convert to a single speed. It has a 36 tooth sprocket. The chain is very rusty as the bike has been exposed to weather during this time. I need advice on what type wheel/axle and/or conversion kit to purchase to safely and economically get this bike going (target budget around $75 if possible). Any other related advice on what I might need to check, lube,ect before riding would be appreciated . Thanks. Jeff
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Old 04-13-14, 02:06 PM   #2
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Check the frame thoroughly for structural damage. Given that the bike has apparently been run over, you're not unlikely to find problems. If it's all sound, then you can start thinking about whether this is actually worth it.
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Old 04-13-14, 07:43 PM   #3
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The nice thing about a project like this is, until you start fixing it, you can't lose any money on the deal.

Two questions:
1. Is the frame the right size for you?
2. Is the frame straight? Run a straight edge from the head tube to the rear dropouts on both sides and measure to the seat tube. If it's not the same on both sides, it's recycle bin fodder.

Honestly, vertical dropouts would make it a no go for me. There's ways around that but they're not elegant.
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Old 04-14-14, 01:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
The nice thing about a project like this is, until you start fixing it, you can't lose any money on the deal.

Two questions:
1. Is the frame the right size for you?
2. Is the frame straight? Run a straight edge from the head tube to the rear dropouts on both sides and measure to the seat tube. If it's not the same on both sides, it's recycle bin fodder.

Honestly, vertical dropouts would make it a no go for me. There's ways around that but they're not elegant.
SS is fine because he can just clean up the existing rear derailleur to use as a chain tensioner. Fixed gear is a different issue.

The other points are critical though.
If the frame doesn't fit, don't even bother starting.
If the frame isn't straight, don't even bother starting - Sheldon Brown has some info on checking it all.
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Old 04-14-14, 12:48 PM   #5
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I'm not sure of the frame size. I am 5'6" and 185 lbs. I am going to check the alignment with a straight edge as Retro Grouch suggested. Can a rusty chain be renewed with a few days in a oil bath or is it trashed if it is covered in rust?
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Old 04-14-14, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatsc View Post
I'm not sure of the frame size. I am 5'6" and 185 lbs. I am going to check the alignment with a straight edge as Retro Grouch suggested.
String method...check Sheldon's site.


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Can a rusty chain be renewed with a few days in a oil bath or is it trashed if it is covered in rust?
Why? Get a new chain, as you'll likely be buying a chainring as well as rear freewheel and tensioner. $75? I'd like to see how you'd allocate that budget.

Wheel
Freewheel
Chain
Tensioner
Chainring
Brake Pads
Brake Cables
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Old 04-14-14, 02:37 PM   #7
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Sorry to be harsh but that was a $100+ commuterish bike when new:

Customer Reviews for Mongoose Paver 700C Men's Bike - Walmart.com

Even if the frame is straight, why would you consider wasting
Quote:
target budget around $75 if possible
to rebuild/convert it? Which BTW is impossibly low.

Save your money a bit longer - good luck...

Last edited by IAmSam; 04-14-14 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 04-14-14, 02:45 PM   #8
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I know exactly what OP is thinking. He's thinking "Here is a hunk of metal that is destined to be landfill but if I just knew what I was doing I could make something cool out of it for almost know money and I'd be totally saving the earth." I wish it worked that way. I hate seeing trashed up box-store bikes that are completely wasteful. Unfortunately, the only real way to contribute in this respect is by not buying a box store bike. It will be better if it ends up as scrap. Sad.
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Old 04-15-14, 07:38 AM   #9
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I guess you guys are right, which is what i was afraid of from the beginning. My Trex was stolen a while back and this freebie turned up as a option to have something to ride. My budget is extremely tight right now and i was hoping that someone could point me in the right direction as I have no real maintainence/repair experience. It appears that any money will be ill spent on this bike and I should just try to save up for a new inexpensive ride. I thank all for their input.
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Old 04-15-14, 11:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatsc View Post
I guess you guys are right, which is what i was afraid of from the beginning. My Trex was stolen a while back and this freebie turned up as a option to have something to ride. My budget is extremely tight right now and i was hoping that someone could point me in the right direction as I have no real maintainence/repair experience. It appears that any money will be ill spent on this bike and I should just try to save up for a new inexpensive ride. I thank all for their input.
If you can find some one who knows enough to help you cobble it together, you could probably get it ridable at a bike co-op/bike kitchen sort of place using other old used parts. It will still be a crappy bike, but should move you from place to place as needed. Don't put any real money into it. It much cheaper in the long run to get a complete bike that works from the start (either new or used).

This is assuming the frame is not damaged.
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