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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 03-20-03, 08:44 AM   #1
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Single Speed?

I have an old Marin Eldridge that gets no use these days and am wanting a project. From what I can tell all I would need is toset up a single cog rear wheel, new crank, and chain tensioner. Do you guys think this bike is worth fooling around with?
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Old 03-20-03, 09:49 AM   #2
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Actually you can keep the crank.

If you go to your LBS, you can get some spacers for the cassette. With many cassette's you can break them apart and use the single one you need in combination with the spacers. Find out what gear ratio you prefer. Most people start at 2:1. IOW, if you've got a 34 T Chainring, use a 17 cog.

You can also remove your outer and granny chainrings. Move the spacers around to get the staightest chainline.

There is also a website out there that calculates all the combinations you can make with Chainring/Cog given the length of your chainstay, so you can eliminate the chain tensioner, but it usually easier and cheaper to just use your derailleur and lock down the set screws so it's fixed. If you set screws don't reach, you can use a small piece of cable and fix the derailleur in place.

The whole beauty of switching to a SS is using what you have, doing some dumpster diving or begging at the LBS for access to their junk box and keeping it cheap!

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Old 03-24-03, 10:49 PM   #3
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sometimes you get carried away though, and end up spending quite a bit on the SS project, especially if you don't have ties with your LBS. so much for going back to "simplicity" =P.
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Old 12-29-04, 07:49 PM   #4
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Hey, MattC. You just gave me a brilliant idea! (I think ;-)

When I first looked at your post, my knee-jerk response was, why Eldridge Grade?

A superb, tough steel bike! Why not?

Well, Eldridge Grade does not have horizontal drop outs. So out goes the simplicity of the project.

But that's part of the fun of SS/fixie culture - making silk purses out of sow's ears or something like that.

But then I looked in my bike room. Hanging on the wall is a 2001 Marin Eldridge Grade that like your Eldridge Grade doesn't get around much any more and wishes it were back on Mt.Tam It needs to get back on the snowy trails in Concord and Lincoln. Now I think it will as a fixie! I'll keep the rear brake (front braking in snow and ice causes loss of control) and go for 38:20 (like my SS 1984 Raleigh Technium). I'll pass on to this Forum any project advice from Sheldon.

I'll take off the WTB 2.1 MotoRaptors and experiment with a non-studded Nokia 26 x 2.3 Boazobeanna on the rear and a studded Nokia Hakkapeliitta W240 26 X 1.9 on the front. I just got this idea from a recent post by Bikkhu in Helsinki, Funland ;-)

12-21-04, 07:04 AM #29
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Location: Hellsinki, Funland. I Run a ice studded tire (Nokian a 10) in the front, cyclocrosser in the rear (Schwalbe CX Lite)

Fixie + Snow = FUN

Last edited by Leo C. Driscoll; 12-29-04 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 12-30-04, 02:56 PM   #5
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Singlespeed conversions of this type are relatively cheap. I converted an old Bridgestone MB-5 to a single speed by taking off the rear cog cluster, and replacing it with a bmx cog that fits on a Shimano cassette ($6 @ LBS) along with a stack of cassette spacers (free from LBS). I don't recommend using an old cog from your cassette cluster, because they have bevelled teeth that are designed to ease shifting -- not desirable with a single speed. The next step was to remove the derailleurs, shifters and cables; remove the inner and middle chainring, and replace the chainring bolts with shorter ones ($6 @ LBS). I shortened the chain as much as possible to reduce the risk of derailment, adjusted the chainline, and adjusted the derailleur set screws. I ended up with a 42:18 gearing, which is quite pleasant for tooling around town. It's not the prettiest looking single speed, but with a total investment of $12, I can't really complain.
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Old 12-30-04, 04:47 PM   #6
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leo, why in the hell would you put a rear brake on a fixie?
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