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General advice on bike repair?

Old 10-03-22, 02:07 PM
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polocamacho
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General advice on bike repair?

Hello, everyone! I just purchased an 86 Bianchi Special in purple and want to convert it to single-speed/fixed-gear. Eventually, I'd like to update all, if not most, of the components. First question, is there anything I should know (as far as general maintenance goes) prior to repairing this bike by myself?

Second, do you all recommend any websites for purchasing good parts? Right now, I'm considering purchasing a wheelset, but am unsure where to buy it from.

Anyway, super stoked to be a part of this forum!
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Old 10-03-22, 02:16 PM
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If sheldon brown’s website is still around, it has almost everything you need to know.
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Old 10-03-22, 02:21 PM
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If the bike has vertical rear dropouts conversion to single speed will be a big challenge
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Old 10-03-22, 02:47 PM
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First be sure the seat post and handle bar stem move. If they do, grease them up now.

If it has 27" wheels now and you want to change it to 700C, verify the brake shoes have at least 4 mm of free movement in the caliper toward the axle.
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Old 10-03-22, 03:03 PM
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That's not a bike I'd choose to convert, but good luck to you. If it's the same frame as the photo, be prepared to experiment with gear ratios, as the dropouts give you very little room to tension the chain. You'll likely need compromise your desired gear combo to make it work.


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Old 10-03-22, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
If the bike has vertical rear dropouts conversion to single speed will be a big challenge
Not necessarily. If it has vertical dropouts it has a derailleur tab and the OP can source a single pulley idler arm for the lower loop.

That will solve the problem if he's riding single speed free wheel. But if he's planning to use fixed gear there will be issues with the backlash when he tries to brake. The degree of problem really depends on the amount of slack in the lower loop.

FWIW the OP doesn't even have to spend money for that idler arm he can simply keep the derailleur locked in directly under his one sprocket.
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Old 10-04-22, 06:12 PM
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Thinking of purchasing a wheelset. Given this, should I be looking for a certain rear wheel width?
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Old 10-05-22, 07:09 AM
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If you don't match the existing dropout spacing, you should change the spacing. See this article: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html

I've cold set several older frames for updated hubs, but I've had access to shop tools and help. If there's a bike co-op in your area, that'll be a great resource.
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Old 10-05-22, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by polocamacho View Post
Thinking of purchasing a wheelset. Given this, should I be looking for a certain rear wheel width?
The hub width should match the dropout spacing as closely as possible.
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Old 10-05-22, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
If the bike has vertical rear dropouts conversion to single speed will be a big challenge
Converting to single-speed would only require a chain tensioner. Converting to fixed gear is trickier with vertical dropouts, with a "magic gear" combination, chain half-link, eccentric bottom bracket, or eccentric hub among the options to pursue in making it work.
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Old 10-05-22, 08:34 PM
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You should browse here... https://www.bikeforums.net/singlespeed-fixed-gear/

Whatever you do, don't start hacking off parts. That would get you branded as a 'drew.
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Old 10-06-22, 06:51 AM
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Though their selection can be limited and kind of off-the-wall, a good site to check for random bike parts is....well....um.....Random Bike Parts !
Ive snagged a couple good parts and a nice frame from them. And, they do free shipping.
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