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Road-to-Fixed conversion dilemma

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Road-to-Fixed conversion dilemma

Old 06-15-19, 03:41 PM
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icecarver
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Road-to-Fixed conversion dilemma

Hi guys, searched around so if you know of a thread that addresses this by all means point me in the right direction.

I am converting a free-to-me oldschool road bike to fixed. BB shell is 73mm, Rear dropout spacing is 120mm and dropouts are horizonal so I'm in good shape there. I was gifted an old but still usable rear wheel with a 40mm deep V Velocity rim mated to a Suzue flip-flop hub. I then picked up a set of Fyxation Eastside cranks. The documentation on the cranks recommended a 68x107 BB. Being that my shell was 73 I got a 73x107 BB(this makes sense right?) With the cranks mounted and the rear wheel mounted the chainline was way off. I removed the cranks, moved the chainring to the opposite side of the spider and remounted. Still way out of alignment. Eyeballing would suggest 5mm+ out. Any thoughts on why things are so out of whack? based on measurements I figured this would be a little more straight forward (famous last words). Any insight greatly appreciated.

If people need pics or more measurements I have camera and calipers in hand. Nearest bike shop is over an hour away but I may need to make the trip
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Old 06-15-19, 04:06 PM
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Ah yes, the good old chainline dilemma.

Im sure others here will be able to help you out better than I can but since I came upon this first Ill ask for some clarification:

When you say the chainline is out of whack, which is further out, the chainring or the cog? I would assume, given your description that its the chainring but I just want to make sure.

Im sure others will be able to get into more specifics but I had a similar question myself a few months back Here so Ill get the ball rolling with what I do know.

For correcting chainline you have the following options:
1. BB with different spindle length to move cranks closer or further from bike. Watch out for clearance issues with chainstays.
2. Move chainring to other side of spider. Sounds like you tried that already.
3. Get cranks with different chainline measurement. I doubt this would solve your problem but its technically true
4. Using hub axle spacers to correct position of cog and then redishing rear wheel. Disadvantage is that you only get to use one side of flip flop hubs after that because the wheel wont be symmetrical. This may be a good option for you.
5. Use a spacer behind your cog. People dont recommend this typically I've found. Also the correction isnt that much. (This is what I ended up doing but my hubs are unusual).
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Old 06-15-19, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PeopleAreIdiots View Post
For correcting chainline you have the following options:
1. BB with different spindle length to move cranks closer or further from bike. Watch out for clearance issues with chainstays.
2. Move chainring to other side of spider. Sounds like you tried that already.
3. Get cranks with different chainline measurement. I doubt this would solve your problem but its technically true
4. Using hub axle spacers to correct position of cog and then redishing rear wheel. Disadvantage is that you only get to use one side of flip flop hubs after that because the wheel wont be symmetrical. This may be a good option for you.
5. Use a spacer behind your cog. People dont recommend this typically I've found. Also the correction isnt that much. (This is what I ended up doing but my hubs are unusual).
You are right. The Chain ring is further out than the cog.
1. All for trying this but I can't find a 73x103 BB. Anyone?
2. Done.
3. Thought of this but on a tight budget
4. *shudder* If I have to...
5. I have read much condemnation of this method

I can't post pics yet because I need to have 10 posts. I'll see if I get some shareable links going so people can take a gander at the issue. Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-15-19, 10:28 PM
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I think maybe some MTB stuff is made for 73mm bottom brackets?
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Old 06-15-19, 10:45 PM
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I know nothing about MTB bottom brackets or 73 mm BB shells but - does the taper of the spindle match the taper of the crank? You know that (at least for the road, again I know nothing of MTB stuff) there are two taper standards, JIS and ISO. JIS is the Japanese standard and is used for nearly all Japanese road cranksets and BBs. ISO is the international standard used by Campagnolo and is the European racing standard. You can put a crank made for one taper on teh other, but the crank will sit in an entirely different place and chainline. (See Sheldon Brwon for more discussion and numbers.)

There is one Japanese crank/bottom bracket that is made to the ISO standard (and probably others I don't know about). Sugino 75s, made so they are interchangeable with Campgnolo and other European makes so the track racer at the velodrome has parts that interchange with other competitors and he can receive parts that work from the infield mechanic.

I'd guess you could use most any 70 mm sealed bearing bottom bracket that does not use a lockring of correct standard for your crank. That would put your driveside crank 1.5 mm too far out, not perfect but entirely within reason. This works as long as you have 3 mm clearance to spare with your non-drive-side crank to the left chainstay.

Ben
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Old 06-16-19, 04:13 AM
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While staring at this with after a game of poker and a good night's sleep and a fresh cup of coffee (which usually fixes everything) I thought of another option. I have quite a bit of frame clearance from the chainring. I'm talking 10mm plus easily. Is there a method of adding spacers with longer chainring bolts to move the chainring inwards? Has anyone here ever done that?


Edit: I just found chainring spacers and longer chainring bolts intended for double and triple road bike chainrings. Gonna give that a whirl. Will post back results. Time to order some more parts.

Last edited by icecarver; 06-16-19 at 04:16 AM. Reason: new info
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Old 06-16-19, 08:45 AM
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Is the BB symmetrical? I've seen spindles that were longer on one end than the other. If so, maybe you could flip the spindle around and use the shorter end on the drive side.
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Old 06-16-19, 10:00 AM
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I'm sorry but a lot of this problem does not quite make sense to me so I do look forward to pics...

FWIW unless you don't know a mountain bike from a road bike, if your frame is indeed a roadie (that wasn't respaced)...120mm rear tells me it is/was originally 5-speed. Are you able to tell us what brand/model frame you have?
And I am pretty sure that there were old UK bikes like Raleigh among others, that used wider bottom bracket shells than standard British/Italian sizes - like even up to 75-76mm wide.
But that should mean that as a result you need a longer-than-normal spindle to accommodate for the wider BB shell - not end up with your chainring too far out.

Maybe it's just me, but I won't use any kind of spacer-rigging on my drive train. My first thought is that if you are sure that your description of the situation is accurate you should carefully measure it all up and invest in a different bottom bracket with a shorter spindle and the right taper to solve your problem. But on 2nd thought...that crank

I once got talked into trying to help a buddy build his conversion from an unknown frame and we constantly ran into this kind of crap. Cured me of ever touching one of the damned things again...

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Old 06-16-19, 11:01 AM
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Are you sure the frame is correctly aligned? Assuming you're measuring the chainline properly, it's more off than I would expect.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
I'm sorry but a lot of this problem does not quite make sense to me so I do look forward to pics...

FWIW unless you don't know a mountain bike from a road bike if your frame is indeed a roadie (that wasn't respaced)...120mm rear tells me it is/was originally 5-speed. Are you able to tell us what brand/model frame you have?
And I am pretty sure that there were old UK bikes like Raleigh among others, that used wider bottom bracket shells than standard British/Italian sizes - like even up to 75-76mm wide.
But that should mean that as a result, you need a longer-than-normal spindle to accommodate for the wider BB shell - not end up with your chainring too far out.

Maybe it's just me, but I won't use any kind of spacer-rigging on my drive train. My first thought is that if you are sure that your description of the situation is accurate you should carefully measure it all up and invest in a different bottom bracket with a shorter spindle and the right taper to solve your problem. But on 2nd thought...that crank

I once got talked into trying to help a buddy build his conversion from an unknown frame and we constantly ran into this kind of crap. Cured me of ever touching one of the damned things again...
You may be on to something here. The frame is a Western Flyer Fleetwood 10 speed 27". It was my Dad's when he was in college then I used if off and on as a kid. Dug it out of the barn and noticed it had horizontal dropouts. I must say that I was expecting that a fixed gear crank on the right spindle would land somewhere near the same plane as a, what seems to be fairly normal, flipflop hub. Granted Fyxation may not be top shelf but I haven't seen any horrid reviews of this crankset. Their customer service is supposed to email me back

Fairly certain the frame is aligned just fine as I rode it for years and it always seemed to ride fine to me. Granted, I'm not the most discerning cyclist.
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Old 06-17-19, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by icecarver View Post
Granted Fyxation may not be top shelf but I haven't seen any horrid reviews of this crankset. Their customer service is supposed to email me back
I apologize but I couldn't resist going smart-ass when I saw they closed it out for $25 - I mean how much more can one be willing to spend on a new BB to get a better chainline with a $25 crank?

But seriously folks - since I was already there, and am actually looking for wheels, and was always Six Fyx conversion-curious, I noodled around there a little and bumped into their Fixed Gear/Single Speed Conversion Kit that includes your crank and noticed that for 120mm rear spacing they also include a 103mm spindle bottom bracket
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Old 06-17-19, 12:19 PM
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I use a 103mm bottom bracket on my FG conversion. The cranks have only about 1mm of clearance to the BB shell when mounted, so I wouldn't get my hopes up about making this work on a 73mm shell.
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Old 06-18-19, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
I apologize but I couldn't resist going smart-ass when I saw they closed it out for $25 - I mean how much more can one be willing to spend on a new BB to get a better chainline with a $25 crank?

But seriously folks - since I was already there, and am actually looking for wheels, and was always Six Fyx conversion-curious, I noodled around there a little and bumped into their Fixed Gear/Single Speed Conversion Kit that includes your crank and noticed that for 120mm rear spacing they also include a 103mm spindle bottom bracket
In all fairness, it was a $60 crank on sale.

But if you go to the listing for the crank on Fyxation's site they "recommend" a 68x107. Typo? Still, I'm out way more than 2.5mm and I can't for the life of me find a sealed 73x103 JIS Square Taper BB. Where this is my first foray into fixed gear cycling and I had a bunch of parts in hand I figured it would be worth $50-$60 bucks to "try it out". Not going to give up yet though. Where there's a will... there's a screwed up looking drivetrain with a potential for disaster!
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Old 06-18-19, 08:26 AM
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Alright fellas, I can post pics now. Here goes. Hope these help. If people need different angles/measurements, etc... just ask.


Crank from above


Chainline


shot of the hub
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Old 06-18-19, 08:47 AM
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More pics w/ruler.



BB width


Front Chainline-ish


Rear chainline-ish
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Old 06-18-19, 09:05 AM
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Ehh, it's an old department store bike. Not to be snobby but I wouldn't be inclined to put any time, effort, or money into it honestly.
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Old 06-18-19, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
Ehh, it's an old department store bike. Not to be snobby but I wouldn't be inclined to put any time, effort, or money into it honestly.
I am reluctantly coming to a similar conclusion. I might have to start cruising the FS section for a 56ish fixed/track frameset. Ebay seems a tad pricey and being in Northern Maine there's not a huge market for urban bikes up here.

Side Note: Fyxation support just got back to me via email. They're saying the issue is that the crank is designed for a 68mm BB shell. Is there a spindle difference between a 68x107 and a 73x107? I double checked the BB box. It's a Shimano BB-UN54 73x107. Unless, the BB is not what the box says. May need to pull the cranks and measure spindle length.

Here's a closeup of how the crank is sitting mounted.

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Old 06-18-19, 10:10 AM
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Man, those are some thick dropouts!

Since this bike is a special case, one thing to consider is just to move some axle spacers from the right side to the left and re-dish the wheel. That would put the cog in better alignment with the chainring. You would lose the ability to run the wheel as a flip-flop, but I don't know what else there is to do besides having the bottom bracket shell faced down to 68mm.

P.S. The spindle length will be the same between a 73x107 and 68x107, and I believe the spindle is symmetrical for both. So if you mounted a 68x107 on your bike, I would expect the crank to move 2.5mm further out!
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Old 06-18-19, 11:36 AM
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Just ordered some tools Crank puller, BB socket, and spanner wrench (had to give back my bro-in-law's tool kit) I'm gonna pull the cranks and double-check that the spindle is indeed 107. There is a possibility that it's not. I bought when I was in the city at a local bike shop and they hauled out a tray of 73mm bottom brackets, all of which look like they had been opened at one time or another. So that's my next trick. Will post back with results.

Just to check that I'm clear in my thinking: If the crankset says it's designed for a 107 spindle on a bike with a 120mm rear spacing and my bike does indeed have a 120mm rear spacing, the shell width shouldn't make a spit's lick of difference on the chain line should it?

Starting to feel like I'm beating a dead horse and I just don't want to admit defeat

On that note, how hard is re-dishing a wheel w/out a wheel stand? I think that's my last option. I just need to gauge if it is worth the time.
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Old 06-18-19, 02:21 PM
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This is the kind of project I love, though: goofy specs on the frame and limited parts availability mean you need to use your noodle to solve problems. It’ll be more satisfying in the end than just buying a complete bike at the store.

So you *think* the frame is straight, but it wouldn’t hurt to look up the “string test” on Sheldon Brown’s page and confirm it. A frame can be off and still ride okay.
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Old 06-18-19, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
This is the kind of project I love, though: goofy specs on the frame and limited parts availability mean you need to use your noodle to solve problems. It’ll be more satisfying in the end than just buying a complete bike at the store.

So you *think* the frame is straight, but it wouldn’t hurt to look up the “string test” on Sheldon Brown’s page and confirm it. A frame can be off and still ride okay.
Was just reading up on the string test. Thanks for the suggestion. Simple minds think alike i guess

Gonna try that as well. Logic suggests there's a skunk in the woodpile. I just need to figure out where it is.
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Old 06-19-19, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by icecarver View Post
Just to check that I'm clear in my thinking: If the crankset says it's designed for a 107 spindle on a bike with a 120mm rear spacing and my bike does indeed have a 120mm rear spacing, the shell width shouldn't make a spit's lick of difference on the chain line should it?

Starting to feel like I'm beating a dead horse and I just don't want to admit defeat

On that note, how hard is re-dishing a wheel w/out a wheel stand? I think that's my last option. I just need to gauge if it is worth the time.
Yes, the spindle length isn't affected by the shell besides what's the minimum length.

Redishing isn't difficult if you have some wheel truing experience. You will need a spoke wrench and some sort of dishing gauge. You can use the bike as a truing stand and the brake as the feeler gauge. I like the respace & redish job. Feels like bike surgery.


I too was thinking this thing really isn't worth the extra effort but those pictures changed my mind. That thing is a tank! Those lugs and dropouts are incredible and pretty damn cool.

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Old 06-19-19, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
I too was thinking this thing really isn't worth the extra effort but those pictures changed my mind. That thing is a tank! Those lugs and dropouts are incredible and pretty damn cool.
I know right? I like the look and geo of the frame and fork. What's I find interesting is that the front triangle, seat stays, and chain stays are aluminum and the seat tube and fork are steel. What's more, being a 27" frame/fork, I have clearance for up to a 35c tire if I decide to try my hand at tracklocross or decide to turn this thing into a SS gravel bike(more dirt roads than paved around here).
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Old 06-19-19, 09:41 AM
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I grew up beating the hell out of cheap...errr...budget oriented bikes like this and have a soft-spot for these beasts, so while I generally go along with the idea of not wasting much money refurbing one - I hate to see you just give up on yours, especially considering its long relationship with you and your family. I don't know if you care much about bike history in general, or yours in particular, but I'd almost be willing to bet that it was made for Western Auto by Murray.

I know I already trolled your crankset, but seriously folks - I think that it is your problem, not the BB or rear spacing:




Look at all the extra...garba...errr...metal - maybe it is just the pic, but I gotta think that is why your drive-side arm sticks so far out.

Good luck whatever you decide...
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Old 06-19-19, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
I grew up beating the hell out of cheap...errr...budget oriented bikes like this and have a soft-spot for these beasts, so while I generally go along with the idea of not wasting much money refurbing one - I hate to see you just give up on yours, especially considering its long relationship with you and your family. I don't know if you care much about bike history in general, or yours in particular, but I'd almost be willing to bet that it was made for Western Auto by Murray.

I know I already trolled your crankset, but seriously folks - I think that it is your problem, not the BB or rear spacing:

Look at all the extra...garba...errr...metal - maybe it is just the pic, but I gotta think that is why your drive-side arm sticks so far out.

Good luck whatever you decide...

Thanks for the encouragement. After searching frames and whatnot, and given the history, I'm determined to make it work. I think you're right. I think the Crank is bunk. It doesn't appear to seat fully on the spindle even cranked down. Crank and BB tools should be here tomorrow. Gonna pull the crank, check the spindle, String test frame and make sure all of that is up to snuff. If all is well I will be on the horn to Fyxation customer support to talk exchange or refund. Thus far they've been reasonable and have attempted to be helpful.

On that note, anyone out there have a set of 165mm square taper fixed cranks they're willing to part with? PM if so (Hope I'm not breaking forum rules throwing that out there. Mods: Let me know if I am and I'll remove comment.)

Last edited by icecarver; 06-19-19 at 10:00 AM. Reason: extra thought
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