Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
Reload this Page >

9 speed to single conversion help needed.

Notices
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)

9 speed to single conversion help needed.

Old 08-20-21, 07:26 AM
  #1  
RH Clark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 237 Post(s)
Liked 225 Times in 116 Posts
9 speed to single conversion help needed.

I just bought a 1987 Trek 560 Pro series and want to turn it into a single speed. I have a nice set of racing wheels with 9 speed Shimano cassette. I started looking at conversion kits with spacers on Amazon but every one I looked at has quite a few horrible reviews. I was hoping you guys would recommend a kit with spacers to get me going. I have already put a few miles on it using just my small front ring and my 18 tooth cog on the rear, so I think the gearing will work for me. I actually don't even need a single cog freewheel if I could get enough good spacers to just pull a single from a cassette and get it lined up. Whichever way you guys recommend.

I'm trying to get into it cheap. I only have $100 in it at the moment. It's a nice frame and will make a bike barely over 20 lbs after I drop a few parts. I'm not doing a fixie.
RH Clark is offline  
Old 08-20-21, 07:57 AM
  #2  
base2 
Doesn't brain good.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,929

Bikes: 5 good ones, and the occasional project.

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 384 Posts
Be careful of the Amazo reviews. Most of the time it is operator error or ignorance. Sort of like the reviews of the latest non-stick pans blaming the pan as the reason the posters eggs got burnt.

All you really need is a random cog & a bunch of spacers. Maybe a locknut tool & a chainwhip. Maybe a bit of math for chainline & a gear calculator for a sensible ratio selection.

An Origin8 conversion is probably the easiest shortcut to success.

I suggest riding your cassette for a while to see which cogs you find yourself in the most. You might even disconnect the cable & make the gear selection by way of adjusting the lower limit screw to drive the derraileur to the cog you are experimenting with. Then use that knowledge to buy a proper single speed cog.
__________________
My lights are obscenly bright because drivers are dim.

I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.
base2 is offline  
Old 08-20-21, 08:18 AM
  #3  
RH Clark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 237 Post(s)
Liked 225 Times in 116 Posts
Thanks. Yes, I can remove the cassette. I don't think I will need a tensioner. The bike has horizontal dropouts. I know what you mean about reviews. I was just thinking you guys could recommend a quality set of spacers or some of the better quality conversion kits. The Origin8 looks fine but I was hoping to get out for closer to $20 than $90. I know I'm cheap but for me that's sort of the point for this single.
RH Clark is offline  
Old 08-20-21, 08:31 AM
  #4  
TugaDude
Senior Member
 
TugaDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,868
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 364 Times in 264 Posts
Surly's SS conversion kit is only $40.00 and is solid.
TugaDude is offline  
Likes For TugaDude:
Old 08-20-21, 09:13 AM
  #5  
Oakman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 129

Bikes: Paramount PDG7, GT Outpost, Soma Smoothie

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Liked 67 Times in 25 Posts
I recently converted to a SS using this $20 package on Amz:

CyclingDeal Conversion Kit

Also bought a set of single chainring bolts for $7.


The 63cm Paramount dropped over 4 lbs by stripping everything not needed. What fun it is to ride here in FL. Oh yeah, got some new platform pedals for $22 also. Total conversion cost - $50.

I've since replaced the Brooks with a lite racing saddle I had and swapped the wheels for a much lighter pair. It really is a "new" bike now.
Oakman is offline  
Old 08-20-21, 09:44 AM
  #6  
RH Clark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 237 Post(s)
Liked 225 Times in 116 Posts
Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
I recently converted to a SS using this $20 package on Amz:

CyclingDeal Conversion Kit

Also bought a set of single chainring bolts for $7.


The 63cm Paramount dropped over 4 lbs by stripping everything not needed. What fun it is to ride here in FL. Oh yeah, got some new platform pedals for $22 also. Total conversion cost - $50.

I've since replaced the Brooks with a lite racing saddle I had and swapped the wheels for a much lighter pair. It really is a "new" bike now.
Thanks. I'll need some shorter bolts as well. Thought about using washers but won't for $7.

One thing I just thought about is that I don't know how well my original Biopace oval front ring will work. Will it cause uneven chain tension? If so, I may need a tensioner or another ring.

Glad to hear you dropped 4 lbs. That would put me well under 20lbs. Not bad for $100 considering the price of a new steel single under 20lbs.
RH Clark is offline  
Old 08-20-21, 10:41 AM
  #7  
base2 
Doesn't brain good.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,929

Bikes: 5 good ones, and the occasional project.

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 384 Posts
Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
Thanks. I'll need some shorter bolts as well. Thought about using washers but won't for $7.

One thing I just thought about is that I don't know how well my original Biopace oval front ring will work. Will it cause uneven chain tension? If so, I may need a tensioner or another ring..
Chain line is predominantly what causes dropped chains.

I run a 50 tooth AbsoluteBlack oval on my Rohloff. Never dropped a chain once since I dialed the chain line; And it's not even a "narrow/wide" Biopace are even rounder than AB.

You may find it helpful to clock the ring one increment about the spider to better mimic the AbsoluteBlack ring. Shimano got it the theory backwards & as such clocked the lobes 90 degrees out of phase. This mistake bungled the adoption of the technology for many years to come.

Setting the proper tension can be a bit finnicky, but you'll be fine.

Last edited by base2; 08-20-21 at 03:16 PM.
base2 is offline  
Old 08-20-21, 11:34 AM
  #8  
Eric F
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 2,412

Bikes: 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1409 Post(s)
Liked 2,207 Times in 1,083 Posts
I did a singlespeed conversion of my old Trek MTB recently.


I'm using this spacer kit... www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037UD4T4
And this cog... www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J0BQCT2

Both work great. However, there are cheaper options available. My first setup was with spacers pulled from old cassettes that I have in my box o' parts.

For a SS setup, it is generally recommended to use non-ramped cogs and rings. The cogs and rings of geared bikes are designed for the chain to shift. That's the last thing you want those parts to be trying to do on a SS. As has been mentioned, dialing in your chain line is also important.

Last edited by Eric F; 08-20-21 at 04:33 PM.
Eric F is offline  
Old 08-20-21, 02:42 PM
  #9  
TugaDude
Senior Member
 
TugaDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,868
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 364 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
Thanks. I'll need some shorter bolts as well. Thought about using washers but won't for $7.

One thing I just thought about is that I don't know how well my original Biopace oval front ring will work. Will it cause uneven chain tension? If so, I may need a tensioner or another ring.

Glad to hear you dropped 4 lbs. That would put me well under 20lbs. Not bad for $100 considering the price of a new steel single under 20lbs.
I ran a Biopace on a fixed gear/SS bike and never had problems. It is hard to wrap your head around but the tension really doesn't change much if at all.
TugaDude is offline  
Likes For TugaDude:
Old 08-20-21, 04:24 PM
  #10  
TejanoTrackie 
Veteran Racer
 
TejanoTrackie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ciudad de Vacas, Tejas
Posts: 11,595

Bikes: 29 frames + 74 wheels

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1076 Post(s)
Liked 427 Times in 249 Posts
Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
I ran a Biopace on a fixed gear/SS bike and never had problems. It is hard to wrap your head around but the tension really doesn't change much if at all.
Actually, it makes a lot of sense. Although the shape of the chainring changes, the circumference remains the same, so the distance remains constant. Per Sheldon Brown "There is a slight variation in tension resulting from the varying angle between the two straight runs of chain as the axis of the chainring rotates, but this has not generally been of a sufficient magnitude to cause any problem in practice for me."
__________________
What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel keeps getting longer - me
TejanoTrackie is offline  
Likes For TejanoTrackie:
Old 08-21-21, 02:22 AM
  #11  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minas Ithil
Posts: 9,330
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2423 Post(s)
Liked 609 Times in 379 Posts
Don't mean to troll your thread but this got me thinking. I have an '86 yellow/white 560 frameset myself collecting dust. The main thing I don't like about conversions is the empty derailleur hanger hole and all the braze ons hanging off unused, it's never looked right to me. But looking at my frame I see that the only thing that would go unused are the downtube shifter mounts and derailleur hanger. It's a perfect candidate for a conversion.

All I would need to make it look right to me is a cable tensioner in the derailleur hanger and these shifter boss covers. Isn't there something you can buy to keep the q/r hub from slipping out of the dropout? I have a spare tubular wheelset with Ultegra 6700 hubs.





Lazyass is offline  
Old 08-21-21, 03:16 AM
  #12  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3,109
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1119 Post(s)
Liked 987 Times in 576 Posts
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
You may find it helpful to clock the ring one increment about the spider to better mimic the AbsoluteBlack ring. Shimano got it the theory backwards & as such clocked the lobes 90 degrees out of phase. This mistake bungled the adoption of the technology for many years to come.
Oval chainrings have been around since at least the 1930s. Shimano's widely misunderstood design was the first to be optimized for low-cadence riders---i.e., the majority of casual riders. If you tend to maintain a cadence of more than about 80 or 85 strokes per minute, you might prefer round rings or one of the oval designs better suited for high cadences.
Trakhak is offline  
Old 08-21-21, 06:23 AM
  #13  
RH Clark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 451
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 237 Post(s)
Liked 225 Times in 116 Posts
Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Don't mean to troll your thread but this got me thinking. I have an '86 yellow/white 560 frameset myself collecting dust. The main thing I don't like about conversions is the empty derailleur hanger hole and all the braze ons hanging off unused, it's never looked right to me. But looking at my frame I see that the only thing that would go unused are the downtube shifter mounts and derailleur hanger. It's a perfect candidate for a conversion.

All I would need to make it look right to me is a cable tensioner in the derailleur hanger and these shifter boss covers. Isn't there something you can buy to keep the q/r hub from slipping out of the dropout? I have a spare tubular wheelset with Ultegra 6700 hubs.





No worries. These guys have pretty well answered my question already.

My thanks to everyone.
RH Clark is offline  
Old 08-21-21, 11:35 AM
  #14  
TejanoTrackie 
Veteran Racer
 
TejanoTrackie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ciudad de Vacas, Tejas
Posts: 11,595

Bikes: 29 frames + 74 wheels

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1076 Post(s)
Liked 427 Times in 249 Posts
Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Don't mean to troll your thread but this got me thinking..... Isn't there something you can buy to keep the q/r hub from slipping out of the dropout?
First of all, what you are doing is called "hijacking", not "trolling".

Anyway, what you need is a good internal cam all steel quick release, preferably with serrations, that is capable of applying sufficient clamping force to prevent the wheel from slipping in the dropout. This is what was used for decades before road frames switched from horizontal to vertical rear dropouts. Look for vintage Campy or Shimano quick releases from the 1970s or 1980s. Newer quick releases are external cam with alloy nuts that can strip, and are intended for vertical dropouts only, where much less clamping force is required.

Also, looking at that frame, those dropouts are extremely short offering very little chain slack adjustability. For sure you will need to lose the adjuster screws to get any adjustability at all.
__________________
What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.
I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel keeps getting longer - me

Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 08-21-21 at 11:39 AM.
TejanoTrackie is offline  
Old 08-24-21, 09:04 AM
  #15  
c_m_shooter
Senior Member
 
c_m_shooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 2,025

Bikes: Soma Pescadero, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker, Gravity SS 27.5, Monocog 29er

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 155 Post(s)
Liked 204 Times in 146 Posts
Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Don't mean to troll your thread but this got me thinking. I have an '86 yellow/white 560 frameset myself collecting dust. The main thing I don't like about conversions is the empty derailleur hanger hole and all the braze ons hanging off unused, it's never looked right to me. But looking at my frame I see that the only thing that would go unused are the downtube shifter mounts and derailleur hanger. It's a perfect candidate for a conversion.

All I would need to make it look right to me is a cable tensioner in the derailleur hanger and these shifter boss covers. Isn't there something you can buy to keep the q/r hub from slipping out of the dropout? I have a spare tubular wheelset with Ultegra 6700 hubs.





A Surly Tugnut will keep the wheel from slipping.
c_m_shooter is offline  
Old 08-24-21, 09:17 AM
  #16  
ClydeClydeson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 430 Post(s)
Liked 639 Times in 373 Posts
You honestly don't 'need' anything to do the conversion - all you need to do is select the cog and chainring you wish to use based on what ratio you prefer, then disassemble the cassette, set the desired 'drive cog' aside, and use the remaining spacers and cogs as spacers to get the drive cog in the right location to have perfect chainline with the inside ring on the crankset. You can put either the big or the small ring on the inside of the crank, and use the other ring as a spacer so you can use the long chainring bolts.
The only step left is to shorten the chain.
This is likely the ugliest way to do it.

Improvements can be made as you go - for instance, get a set of short 'single speed' chainring bolts so you can ditch the chainring you aren't using.
Also, if you can find a handful of cassette spacers (from a friend who works in a shop or from your own collection of used cassettes) you can assemble a stack that will take the place of the parts of the disassembled cassette.
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Old 02-16-22, 05:59 AM
  #17  
jdogg111
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
You honestly don't 'need' anything to do the conversion - all you need to do is select the cog and chainring you wish to use based on what ratio you prefer, then disassemble the cassette, set the desired 'drive cog' aside, and use the remaining spacers and cogs as spacers to get the drive cog in the right location to have perfect chainline with the inside ring on the crankset. You can put either the big or the small ring on the inside of the crank, and use the other ring as a spacer so you can use the long chainring bolts.
The only step left is to shorten the chain.
This is likely the ugliest way to do it.

Improvements can be made as you go - for instance, get a set of short 'single speed' chainring bolts so you can ditch the chainring you aren't using.
Also, if you can find a handful of cassette spacers (from a friend who works in a shop or from your own collection of used cassettes) you can assemble a stack that will take the place of the parts of the disassembled cassette.
i'm new to all of this so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but i have an old trek 800 frame sitting around and a single speed rear rim. is this frame a good candiate for single speed? thanks
jdogg111 is online now  
Old 02-16-22, 08:19 AM
  #18  
ClydeClydeson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,234
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 430 Post(s)
Liked 639 Times in 373 Posts
Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
i'm new to all of this so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but i have an old trek 800 frame sitting around and a single speed rear rim. is this frame a good candiate for single speed? thanks
Not a stupid question at all, but I don't have a definitive answer. The main thing you need for a simple single speed conversion is a frame with horizontal dropouts so the rear axle can be positioned to affect chain tension. Most modern bikes have vertical dropouts so it is impossible to slide the rear wheel fore and aft to adjust chain tension. I think the Trek 800 has vertical dropouts so you need some other method to tension the chain. The easiest chain tensioner is to just use a rear derailleur. You can use the limit screws, or use a very short segment of derailleur cable to hold the derailleur in position so it is perfectly lined up with the cog, which should also be perfectly lined up with the chainring you are using in the front.
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Old 02-16-22, 08:43 AM
  #19  
TugaDude
Senior Member
 
TugaDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,868
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 405 Post(s)
Liked 364 Times in 264 Posts
Originally Posted by jdogg111 View Post
i'm new to all of this so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but i have an old trek 800 frame sitting around and a single speed rear rim. is this frame a good candiate for single speed? thanks
The Trek 800 changed over the years quite a bit. Some of the more recent ones had vertical dropouts and I would say are not very good candidates. Best bet is to post a picture of your bike which shows the rear dropouts. I've done several conversions and have been satisfied with them, but not every bike is well suited. There are always "work-arounds" like eccentric bottom brackets, tensioners, etc., but those are best avoided if possible.
TugaDude is offline  
Likes For TugaDude:
Old 02-16-22, 10:56 AM
  #20  
jdogg111
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 11 Posts
thanks folks. very helpful. i'll check the dropouts today
jdogg111 is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.