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Can I convert what I have? or do I need to buy something else?

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)

Can I convert what I have? or do I need to buy something else?

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Old 08-02-08, 09:48 PM
  #1  
jhunt012
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Can I convert what I have? or do I need to buy something else?

Here is my dilemma. I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker about 3 years ago with all the intentions in the world of doing a long tour. For a number of reasons, this didn't work out. So basically I have a LHT that is set up for Touring. I haven't done any touring but have used it to commute, and ride for fitness with friends who have geared road bikes.

I am posting on this board because I am thinking about converting it to a SS (using a chain tensioner) to commute on and trying to find a old semi-beater with gears to do any long road rides, with other folks who have geard road bikes, if I get the urge.

What do you think about converting a touring bike with semi-vertical dropouts into a singlespeed? Any reason NOT to do this? I was trying to avoid having to sell my bike. I was also thinking that with the beefy wheels that are already on the bike (delgado cross 36h XT hubs), I could put some fairly wide tires, and some mt. bike style handlebars and have a cool SS commuter that I could potentially ride on trails as well. Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!
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Old 08-02-08, 10:43 PM
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geoffvsjeff
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Quick answer: yes, you can convert that bike to SS. It probably would be a fairly straightforward conversion. If you use the right gearing and/or half link, you might be able to get away with converting and not using a chain tensioner (I dislike chain tensioners and avoid them whenever possible, sort of a personal preference thing).

However, since this is a forum, I will also chime in with my opinion...

I don't like the overall plan. Your end result is to have a geared bike for road rides and group rides, and a SS bike to commute and be able to throw wider tires on it and use it as a trail bike. Some questions to help clear up the situation;
1. What is wrong with the LHT as a commuter? It sounds kind of like you really want a SS, which is fine, but I am curious if the LHT had any issues as a commuting bike, because it seems like it would be a good choice to me.
2. Which will you use more, the geared bike, or the SS commuter? Whichever you choose, that is what you want to use the LHT for... probably. It is a pretty nice frame, and probably will result in a more enjoyable ride. The only issue with this is that the LHT is not really intended for SS conversion. You can do it, and probably even come out pretty well, but...
3. (here is where I am going with this) Why not get a beater frame to convert ot SS, and keep the LHT as it is? The LHT is a great touring frame, but not a good SS frame. Most 80s road bikes (probably the vintage you are after for your "beater") have true horizontal dropouts, which help make the SS conversion a much easier process.
4. Are you sentimentally attached to the LHT frame? In other words, would you be opposed to trading the LHT for something else? I'll stick with Surly offerings, because I like them. For your intended purpose, a crosscheck frame would be better (good with gears, good SS), and if you are really into the idea of going off road, I would consider a karate monkey (OK gears, great SS) so you have the option of really big tires. All of these still allow gears, so that is still a possibility if you plan to go back.

Hope you find something that you like. As always, that is what is most important - significantly more so that finding something that people here think is good.

Last edited by geoffvsjeff; 08-02-08 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 08-03-08, 12:51 AM
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GregLast
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You could do it, but why? If you are looking at getting a sorta beater to do long rides, why not just get a sorta beater conversion and make it single speed?
No reason to disassemble the LHT if you don't have to.

Just my two cents
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Old 08-03-08, 05:22 AM
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you could make it into a 1x9 cross set up and that would cover most of your bases that you wanted too. Then just get an old beater and have that as a conversion.
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