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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 12-08-05, 08:15 AM   #1
One speed: FAST !
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I am interested in converting my 2004 huffy broadmoor into a single speed.

I have a few issues:

#1. I can't afford to buy a new bike like a Bianchi that I would rather have instead..

#2. I need to re-position my seat further back(?) because I am having some slight pains in my knees because I am too far forward over the pedals... I've tried shifting my butt farther back on the seat while pedaling and I feel the load come off of my knees... Any suggestions to help with this issue?

#3. I want to get rid of the gear shift system since it only really works at all the way down, or all the way up ... anywhere in between, it just clicks and slips down to the next gear... I Figure that the easiest way to do this, is to just remove the rear shift mechanism and install a shorter chain on the smallest sprocket(?)...

#4. 1 out of 10 times that I jump over a sidewalk edge, the chain comes off of the front sprocket.. (I think that converting to a single speed will fix this because it will make the chain more rigid by eliminating the shifter thing on the back(?)).

#5. I want to make the bike lighter. Perhaps swapping out the entire back sprocket pack for a single sprocket (?) perhaps the local LBS can do this for me for a reasonable price but I don't want to spend that much $$ either !

#6. My butt gets a little sore after 10+ miles of non-stop riding.. I think it has something to do with the shape of the seat ... I have one of those spring-loaded seats that is kind of wide... I find myself standing up to pedal just to relieve the pain for a little while then I can sit back down... I've never really ridden a bike with one of those skinny racing seats and I'm kind of scared of using one... but if that will somehow alleviate the soreness, then I'm willing to try it... anyone have a good seat suggestion for a commuter / weekend pirate biker ?

#7. I want to go faster. I find myself pedaling as hard as I can, but I can't seem to make this thing go any quicker.. I think maybe 15 mph is my top speed (if that)... I think this can be fixed by getting a bigger front sprocket(?)... again... I may have to turn to the LBS for this one... What is a good suggested gear ratio for going faster ??

... Ok, besides suggesting for me to buy another bike, what do you all suggest that I do ?
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Old 12-08-05, 08:35 AM   #2
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Are you serious???

Well assuming you are. Change out that seat for sure. Almost anything narrower you find in the bargain bin at your local bike store will be better, and position it as far back on the post as you can. You can either get a single speed freewheel for about $12, or just keep using the freewheel you have with whichever gear on it is most comfortable.

Don't bother trying to save weight. there is little you can do short of tossing the derailures, and you probably won't notice the difference. the frame, and all the other compnents on the bike are heavy, and replacing any would be throwing good money after bad. Other than a new seat, and a single speed freewheel, I don't recommend you send any money on this bike.

Save up for something lighter, and be on the lookout for 80s vintage 10 speeds. You can often find them at yardsales for free or very near free, and if you know what you are looking for you can get a very nice bike. Last summer I picked up a Ross with all Shimano 600 components, and a Raleigh Competition both for free, as well as an old sprint that wasn't a very good bike, but had a few very nice parts I stole for other bikes. These old bikes often make decent commuters with little more than a new set of tires and a bit of lube.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:11 AM   #3
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I'll address a few things here:

#2. You can get a seat that has longer rails and will allow you to adjust it further back, or a Thompson Layback post. It may be that the frame is actually too smal for you to start with.

#3. You can strip the derailers and shorten the chain, saves a few bucks using the same one. You may be limited to certain sprockets by chainline, which is how well the chain aligns with the front chainring and rear sprocket. You will want this to be fairly stright.

#4. Your chain will be less likely to fall off with proper tension on the single speed. It sounds like you derailer is not providing enought tension right now.

#5. As far as putting on a single sprocket, I don't know if Huffys use a freehub or a freewheel. Either way it will mean more $$$. It really won't save any weight to be noticeable.

#7. As for a new chainring up front, It is likely not possible due to the fact that I am pretty sure the Huffy's rings are riveted in place. You would need a new crankset that could take bolt-on chainrings.

My $0.02, if you have a bike co-op, they will have used bikes that are of better quality and weight, with more sericeable components that are easier to work with. I would start looking for one of those. Check Craigs List too.
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Old 12-08-05, 10:22 AM   #4
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Baited and caught.
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Old 12-08-05, 11:09 AM   #5
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this cant be for real. 10+ miles on a huffy that can only be in two different gears? i didnt know people who bought huffys actually rode them.
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Old 12-08-05, 11:15 AM   #6
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Put a small 20" tire on front so you'll always be riding down hill.
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Old 12-08-05, 11:41 AM   #7
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i'd save for something new and start working on a decent bike...just...i mean, those are A LOT of issues you have with that bike. some require probably more money than the bike's worth in itself. like getting the seat with longer rails, as the bike's probably too small...i would just look for a new bike. this one might have to last you a little while, but in the meantime...yep. look for a bike co-op, craig's list, garage sales, etc. you may be able to find something good for cheap. some people don't know what the bikes they have are worth.

god, i'm so overly verbose this morning.
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