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converting an old Japanese hub to SS

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converting an old Japanese hub to SS

Old 02-27-08, 12:21 PM
  #1  
BesidesDaniel
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converting an old Japanese hub to SS

Would this new "bmx" freewheel ( DICTA BRAND LIDA CO ) fit on my hub?
are the threads different.


https://site-images.ws/images/cust/181361/P1020901.JPG

thanks for any help!
-danny
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Old 02-27-08, 12:53 PM
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Most likely it will work. Most Japanese hubs are standard British thread, as are most SS freewheels. But lots of BMX freewheels have 1/8" teeth like track cogs, in which case you'd have to use a 1/8" chain (just buy a BMX chain if that's the case). If you're in doubt about the chain part, just hold the freewheel up to your current chain. If the chain goes onto the teeth, then the SS freewheel is 3/32" like your current freewheel. If it doesn't, it's 1/8". It's OK to use a 1/8" chain even if you don't change your chainring if you're trying to do this on the cheap. In any case, though, it's probably $ well-spent to put a new chain on when you make the switch.

Make sure you get the chainline right - that's the most important thing with SS or fixed.
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Old 02-27-08, 01:14 PM
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Also, be advised that that looks like a freewheel without notches for a removal tool and once it goes on, you may not be able to get it off without destroying it. It might just be your photo, but it is worth looking into.
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Old 02-27-08, 01:20 PM
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The notches should be on the back side, but what that means is to be sure and install with the notched side facing out for when you want to remove it!

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Old 02-27-08, 01:30 PM
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ok cool! thanks for the info... how would I check to see what sort of chain I have? I just bought the freewheel off ebay for $5. (new) so it's not too big of a loss if it doesn't pan out. THe chainring on my cranks are sugino Japan from around 1980.

I'm hoping the chain lines up... I guess I can space the wheel on the frame differently... I'm going to take the smaller chainring off & use the 52 with the 20 tooth freewheel.

is this a pain in the arse to do?

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Old 02-27-08, 02:24 PM
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you are asking for trouble with your desired set-up. the outer ring on your cranks is also the spider. usually to slap together a ss from a regular geared bike you need to run the chainring on the inner position which won't work with your current set-up. I run the 42 or whatever front chainring and a 16t freewheel and it works well. the other trick you can try is to turn your BB spindle around to the cranks are closer to the frame on the drive side and further from the frame on the non-drive side. To use your current rear wheel you will need to space your freewheel over on the hub. I use 1 BB spacer, you might be able to use two but you want to make sure that the freewheel has enough thread contact on the hub. Your other option would be to move some spacers from the drive side of the rear axle to the non-drive side and re-dish the wheel, this is hit or miss whether you have enough spoke to do this. I really like converting old bikes into singlespeeds, but your donor bike's components leave some things to be desired. later in this thread a bunch of guys will tell you that you are crazy for wanting to do this, that you are ruining a perfectly good bike and if you want a single speed to just shift into 1 gear and don't shift, but that's not what this conversion is about is it?
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Old 02-27-08, 03:24 PM
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WARNING: Some freewheels labeled "bmx" use the older bmx standard 30mm threading, not 1.375". You better ask before buying.

edit: I see you already bought it. It'll either thread on or be much too small.

and there are SS freewheels out there that are not [easily] removeable (no notches). Not sure why they make 'em like that, but I've passed on buying some.

edit2: and good 20t freewheels are scarce as hen's teeth. I looked for a while and bid&missed on a couple used that went too high. My LBS tried to order one, but could never get a delivery from any of their suppliers. I finally found one at place that sells motorized bicycles and snatched it up. (To run a 52*20)
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Old 02-27-08, 03:32 PM
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I'm with the g-funk here in that the crank you're running will make it tricky to get a decent chainline with the 52t ring. Almost all of the single-speed conversions I've done have required that I use the smaller ring placed in the inside of the spider, something you can't do with that crankset. Even with that inside ring, I still have to respace the rear axle and redish the rear wheel. Lots of good info here:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

Neal
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Old 02-27-08, 04:41 PM
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Here's how I'd start: pull the crank arms off, reverse the spindle (clean and regrease, of course) and reassemble. Remove the freewheel and (assuming your SS freewheel is the notched variety) thread on the SS freewheel. Include a spacer as G-funk suggested if you have one. Put the wheel back on the bike with no chain, stand behind the bike so you can carefully sight down your chainline, and see how far you have to go to get it right. (I find this lots easier than trying to measure it out, and the human eye is pretty good at discerning this sort of thing.) Then you'll probably have to monkey with your rear axle spacers to move the fw in line with the chainring, then re-dish the wheel. While you're at it you might as well clean and re-pack the rear hub.

If it turns out that you can't work out the chainline using the 52, your options are to either find a different crankset or use the inner ring and shop for a smaller freewheel. On that crank the inner is attached directly to the outer ring so you can't just ditch the outer. What some people do in this case is break off and file down the teeth on the outer to convert it to a chainguard. It's not as hard or as ugly as it sounds.

Good luck.
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Old 02-27-08, 04:54 PM
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And of course, there is the real shady way to handle this: just use the current freewheel for your single speed. See which cog on it lines up approximately well with the ring you want to use up front. Then remove all that pesky derailleur stuff, and then shorten the chain. And bam, you have yourself a MadMax singlespeed.

jim
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Old 02-27-08, 05:15 PM
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I can't add much to this conversation as far as SS goes since I'm still learning for my own project, but I think this will be important- You've got your strap on backwards and that extra "tail" is extremely dangerous they way you have it facing now. Just a heads up.
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Old 02-27-08, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by g-funk View Post
later in this thread a bunch of guys will tell you that you are crazy for wanting to do this, that you are ruining a perfectly good bike
That's on a different thread; so far we've been good on this one. Then again, posting this on C&V instead of on the Mechanics forum - it's almost like we're being baited!
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Old 02-27-08, 06:10 PM
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yea, I bought the same freewheel only in a 16T for my conversion that hopefully I'll be getting to this week, I'll let you know when i pull my freewheel if that bmx freewheel threads on to my hub. I have a feeling that I'm going to learn a lot on this project.
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Old 02-27-08, 07:25 PM
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When I am looking for a bike to conver to ss/fg, in addition to having horizontal dropouts, I want to find a bike that has a decent set of cranks with standard chainring bolts so that I move the rings around in a few ways. It is a whole lot easier to mess with rings than it is to reformat a rear wheel. I usually have to do something (flip the spindle and relocate a ring on the spider) to bring the front end of the chainline in as tight as possible, and try to eliminate or reduce the amount I have to bring the chainline out in the rear (don't forget you can flip the cog to get a few mm's, and sometimes you can mount up BB lockring to push it out even farther).

Respacing and redishing a fresh new wheel is easy and satisfying. Doing the same to 30 year old wheel is risky and an imperfect art. Avoid doing it, when possible. Minimize what you have to do when you do have to do it.

In light of this, I might recommend getting a cheap, used crankset for about $15 to avoid the possibility of replacing a rear wheel and/or paying a LBS to adjust it for you. Seems like money well spent if wheel work is not your forte.

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Old 02-27-08, 07:37 PM
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yeah I'm learning a lot on this project. like where to bring my next thread. ( sorry jbonamici )
thanks for all the info guys... as it turns out the chain is specific to the chainring on the cranks & doesn't fit the freewheel anyways! ha!

I guess I'm in the market for a new crankset... & a frame to put all these old parts on... does this defeat the purpose? oh well, I'm learning...

I'll look about for a new crankset. so are there any votes as to wether or not I should convert this at all?
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Old 02-27-08, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BesidesDaniel View Post
yeah I'm learning a lot on this project. like where to bring my next thread. ( sorry jbonamici )
thanks for all the info guys... as it turns out the chain is specific to the chainring on the cranks & doesn't fit the freewheel anyways! ha!

I guess I'm in the market for a new crankset... & a frame to put all these old parts on... does this defeat the purpose? oh well, I'm learning...

I'll look about for a new crankset. so are there any votes as to wether or not I should convert this at all?
All it means is you have a 1/8" wide freewheel. They make 3/32" wide ones also, and they're not all that expensive.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:35 PM
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Or just use a 1/8" chain, which will work with that freewheel and with that crank.

Neal
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Old 02-27-08, 08:49 PM
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I've never resorted to putting a ring on the inside of the spider because I don't like the way it looks. I use a short BB spindle, a single 52 ring mounted normally, a respaced and redished wheel and a small spacer behind the freewheel to get perfect chainline. The chainring misses the chainstay by a hair.

Here's a shot of the freewheel with the spacer on a respaced Campy hub:



Here's the Carlton before it became a three speed. I used a 115mm Miche track bottom bracket. The Miche works exactly the same way as a Phil Wood, so the chainline is adjustable.



I run a 22T cog because I live in the hills and I'm old.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:51 PM
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Every big box store sells 1/8" chains. $5 solves that problem.

Is it worth it to convert this frame? One factor in its favor is that you already own it. I would perhaps advise against blindly spending a lot of money on a frame that may not be worth it. But, on the other hand, with some luck and some work, you can probably get a workable ss for a modest amount of money. In fact, if you take my advice above (use the crank and multispeed freewheel as is, and just shorten the chain around the combination you want), then you spend exactly nothing.

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Old 02-27-08, 08:57 PM
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[QUOTE=Dirtdrop;6245091]I've never resorted to putting a ring on the inside of the spider because I don't like the way it looks."



-yeah, no one likes the way it looks. Just ugly. But, there are some applications where the only way to avoid it is to go big coin. E.g.,



"I used a 115mm Miche track bottom bracket. The Miche works exactly the same way as a Phil Wood, so the chainline is adjustable. QUOTE]



-that is a kick ass way to handle the problem. But maybe not the right one for our OP who is bolting together a first ss.

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Old 02-27-08, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BesidesDaniel View Post
... I'm hoping the chain lines up... I guess I can space the wheel on the frame differently... I'm going to take the smaller chainring off & use the 52 with the 20 tooth freewheel.
...
Since you are going for freewheeling single speed, as opposed to fixed gear, why not simply shift into your desired gear combination and tighten the tension on the shift levers? If you are that committed to single speed, simply leave the gear levers alone from then on. The 52-20 chainline (outer front / middle back) should be pretty good as-is.

If you are genuinely offended by the derailleurs and shifters, remove them, shorten the chain, and adjust the chain tension by moving the wheel fore or aft. Your 14-17-20-24-28 freewheel's 20T cog will do everything a single speed freewheel will, but with proper chainline. You will soon discover one of the blessings of rear derailleurs -- no worries about maintaining proper chain tension.
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Old 02-27-08, 10:54 PM
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...

so you're saying the larger chains are backwards compatible with the (smaller) crank chainring? is it only the width of the teeth that varies? not the space between the each tooth?
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Old 02-28-08, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BesidesDaniel View Post
so you're saying the larger chains are backwards compatible with the (smaller) crank chainring? is it only the width of the teeth that varies? not the space between the each tooth?
Yes and yes. Lots of fixed gear people run 1/8" chain on either or both 3/32" cogs and rings. I do it myself on a couple of bikes. The narrower chains are lighter and more flexible, so I suppose it is somewaht better to use them if possible. But these disadvantages are trivial at most.

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Old 02-28-08, 10:46 AM
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[quote=John E;6245190]Since you are going for freewheeling single speed, as opposed to fixed gear, why not simply shift into your desired gear combination and tighten the tension on the shift levers? If you are that committed to single speed, simply leave the gear levers alone from then on. The 52-20 chainline (outer front / middle back) should be pretty good as-is.[QUOTE]

right on que.........


Do not, I repeat, do not leave that horrid freewheel on that bike and just run a chain to a selected gear. that's ********(no offense to any real *******, I'm sure they would take the aesthetic value into account) you already have the freewheel. Leave that pie plate on though.......as said a million times on this thread, flip that bb splindle and go for some hit and miss. just don't go grinding up steep hills until you have it dialed. I think the fat bmx chain would help you with the chainline. 7.00 at your LBS, well worth it. and keep your old parts.

14 and 15t freewheels use the smaller diameter hub threading, you are cool with the one you have. Although in my BMX racing gays Dicta freewheels were famous for blowing out on the gate start and leaving you impailed on thetop tube.....
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Old 02-28-08, 11:28 AM
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There's definitely a kind of aesthetic among some parts of the SS crowd in the Boston area that features the basic SS conversion as John E. described. It's a variant of the poor-student look, I'd say. The chains are usually pretty rusty, too.

Neal
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