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single speed conversion possible with vertical drop-outs?

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)

single speed conversion possible with vertical drop-outs?

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Old 07-22-09, 03:47 PM
  #1  
nohandlebars
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single speed conversion possible with vertical drop-outs?

Hi,

first time posting on Bikeforums, but I have referenced these forums more than any other online source, looking for answers to all my bike-curious questions.

Anyway, I recently purchased a used Windsor Dover for $200. I had plans to convert this to my first fixed gear, and even sell off some of the parts I would strip off of the bike to help cover some of the cost. However, I made the mistake that everyone warned me about: vertical dropouts. I didn't notice this until I had completely stripped the bike and then took off the wheels.

So now, I don't really want to go down the route of rebuilding the 21 speed set up.

I read somewhere that it's different for single-speed set ups - that you don't necessarily need horizontal dropouts, although it's recommended.

Can anyone speak to this? Can I convert this bike to a single speed?

Here is a link with the specs of the Windsor Dover http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/dover.htm

Would appreciate the help - Thankss
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Old 07-22-09, 04:00 PM
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I find using Google to search will find the info I need better than searching the BF itself sometimes. The answer to your question is yes.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=179852

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=magic+gear
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Old 07-22-09, 04:02 PM
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you can use a chain tensioner for single speed. I believe there are some for fixed gear too, on a roller but have no clue how well they work.

real fixed gear will require more trial and error and perhaps an eccentric bottom bracket or hub.

good luck!
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Old 07-22-09, 04:07 PM
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You could use a White ENO hub to convert into fixed. Costs a few pennies but now you've bought the frame and if you REALLY wanna go fixed rather than SS you might wanna cough up the reddies

http://www.hubjub.co.uk/white/white.htm
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Old 07-22-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by time bandit View Post
you can use a chain tensioner for single speed. I believe there are some for fixed gear too, on a roller but have no clue how well they work.

real fixed gear will require more trial and error and perhaps an eccentric bottom bracket or hub.

good luck!

do not do this chain tensioner deal you will more than likely be seriously injured or die

use a quality half link to make up the chain length and you should be fine or you could use a half link chain however half link chains have a habit of failing

plus always run good brakes they will save your ass more often than you think
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Old 07-22-09, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Retem View Post

do not do this chain tensioner deal you will more than likely be seriously injured or die
Sorry Retem, could you expand a bit on this. Are you saying don't use a chain tensioner when converting to SS or dont use a tesion for fixed. I just converted my bike to SS today. I used a gusset bachelor tensioner, which is more of a roller than a jockey wheel, like some of the other tensioners i seen. Are they dangerous or something

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Old 07-22-09, 04:20 PM
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no go for fixed gear if you back pedal or the tensioner derails the chain which happens more often than you know you are looking at a very dangerous situation

on a fixed gear or single speed when your chain binds up in the rear wheel it usually ends in an abrupt ride over the bars I say use a quality half link and have a straight chain it is just a lot easier that way

also as stated above if you use an eno eccentric hub which I believe is the only proper way to do this conversion there is little worry of parts failure and the questioning a mickey mouse job
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Old 07-22-09, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nohandlebars View Post
However, I made the mistake that everyone warned me about: vertical dropouts.
Maybe it's because I'm just a poor scientist, but for me it seems silly that someone would spend $200 without even making the most basic of homeworks - especially after people have warned him/her about the dropout issue.

I now see people suggesting that you buy a White Industries Eccentric ENO hub. That's crazy talk: the hub + new spokes + new rim will cost you well over $200! Or did you guys think that the hub comes laced into a wheel all by itself? Oh yeah, and someone's gotta lace it - which means $30-$50 more for the job.

I suggest that you suck it up and get yourself a frame with horizontal or track dropouts. With any luck you can score something appropriate for $100-$150. And the $200 you just threw out the window will, hopefully, teach you a valuable lesson.

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Old 07-22-09, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Retem View Post
when your chain binds up in the rear wheel it usually ends in an abrupt ride over the bars
QFT. shattered a kneecap and fractured an arm in a bizarre fixed-gear-cartwheel at ~25mph. still dealing with problems from it 7 years later.

moral: be careful no matter which route you go. and read up on what you're using. just to be safe.

And to answer the original question, I have to agree with the above statements. An Eno Hub, while awesome and probably worth every penny, will probably end up being worth way more than the bike.

Aside from an Eno, your only options are to go single speed or try to work out a magic gear (which I'm not necessarily a big fan of)

Did you strip the paint? or just the parts? might be a better use of your time to put it back together and try to re-sell it, then buy a different frame.
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Old 07-22-09, 06:05 PM
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I did not strip the paint, just the brakes + derailleurs. I definitely can't afford the ENO Eccentric hub, and I've come to terms with the fact that I can't make the fixed gear project out of this frame.

I would still like to do the single-speed conversion - but it seems like people are implying that it's unsafe (due to the chain tension?) Is it legitimitely unsafe to do?

If I can't do the ss conversion, I will have to learn how to set up the derailleurs and brakes and get new cables, and then just sell the bike and get a track frame - as was suggested to me.

Thanks for the help
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Old 07-22-09, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nohandlebars View Post
I would still like to do the single-speed conversion - but it seems like people are implying that it's unsafe (due to the chain tension?) Is it legitimitely unsafe to do?

If I can't do the ss conversion, I will have to learn how to set up the derailleurs and brakes and get new cables, and then just sell the bike and get a track frame - as was suggested to me.

Thanks for the help
No, you're reading this thread wrongly. What people are trying to tell you (perhaps not very clearly), is that a fixed gear bike can't work with a chain tensioner mounted at the dropout. But a SS definitely does work with such a tensioner, and is your best solution. You can save a few bucks by using the dérailleur itself as a chain tensioner. It is, in fact, better than most ad-hoc chain tensioner out there.

That said, chain tensioners, even for SS, are not a very sturdy solution, and will cause a tiny drop in transmitted power, compared to a bike with horizontal or track dropouts. If I were you, I would sell the parts and the frame (you really don't need to re-build it), and get myself a proper frame for the job. Perhaps you would end up getting even more for selling the frame and the parts separately, who knows. I'd also suggest that you keep the brakes. It's wise to have one or two brakes even on a FG bike, especially if you are a novice.

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Old 07-22-09, 08:50 PM
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better yet sell the parts and the frame for a little profit and get a windsor for 299 shipped keep the front brake and lever from the bike you have now and spend 10 bucks on a dura ace lockring to replace the poor quality stock one and ride the baby into the ground
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