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Thinking about building a SS from a multi-gear bike.

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Thinking about building a SS from a multi-gear bike.

Old 07-25-14, 09:13 AM
  #1  
corwin1968
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Thinking about building a SS from a multi-gear bike.

I've got an old bike that I really like and I'm seriously considering converting it into a decent single-speed. My plan is to remove the cassette and go the cog + spacers route for the rear. For the front, I have two options:

1) Buy an inexpensive SS cranket

or

2) Convert a triple crankset to a single-ring.


I'm not sure the 2nd option is even possible. I've got a good quality MTB triple with a 38t middle ring and 110/64 spacing. Can I just remove the inner and outer rings and either install a bashguard or just use shorter bolts?

My biggest question is dropping my chain. The bike will be a neighborhood cruiser with no rough riding. If I use standard geared chainrings and cogs, how likely am I to drop the chain. Should I invest in dedicated SS components with the larger teeth and chain?

I'm trying to do this on the inexpensive side so any recommendations on a decent but inexpensive crankset would be appreciated. Also recommendations for a good tensioner, which I'm very likely to need.
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Old 07-25-14, 11:30 AM
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What type of drop outs are on your frame?
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Old 07-25-14, 03:27 PM
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just leave the triple ring and cassette. find a gearing you like, break chain to fit, ride like JESUS!
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Old 07-26-14, 07:05 AM
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If using a single cog and spacers, you can easily adjust your chain line to match your crankset, so there is no reason to buy a new crankset. There is no need to change change gears to SS specific. If you are trying to do it on the cheap, use your existing chain ring, take apart your cassette to the cog you want, add spacers to get the appropriate chain line (you can even do this with pvc pipe if you want to go ultra cheap) and you're done.

This assumes you have semi horizontal dropouts, steel hub shell, and a cassette that is take apart-able.

You will not drop a chain on a properly tensioned SS.
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Old 07-26-14, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Flatulentfox View Post
If using a single cog and spacers, you can easily adjust your chain line to match your crankset, so there is no reason to buy a new crankset. There is no need to change change gears to SS specific. If you are trying to do it on the cheap, use your existing chain ring, take apart your cassette to the cog you want, add spacers to get the appropriate chain line (you can even do this with pvc pipe if you want to go ultra cheap) and you're done.

This assumes you have semi horizontal dropouts, steel hub shell, and a cassette that is take apart-able.

You will not drop a chain on a properly tensioned SS.
I've been on the look-out for a frame with suitable dropouts but for now, I've got vertical so a tensioner will be necessary. I want a sport MTB for this project, like a 90's Bridgestone MB or Specialized Stumpjumper/Rockhopper. I have an 83-84 MTB with forward-facing dropouts but that early MTB geometry just doesn't work for me.
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Old 07-27-14, 09:51 PM
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I'm holding out for a frame with appropriate dropouts now. I think the only thing I'll need to buy is a spacer kit (rather buy than make) and some shorter chainring bolts to convert my triple to a single. If I like the final result I'll start upgrading to some nicer stuff.
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Old 07-31-14, 01:57 PM
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I did this with my first SS: took off the shifters/FD/derailleur cables, adjusted rear derailleur to be used as a tensioner. No other changes necessary, even with vertical drops. I think I was using the middle 42T of a low end Shimano road triple.

Over time I got a spacer kit, an eccentric ENO rear wheel so I didn't need a tensioner/could ride fixed, and an Sugino unramped chainring/single chainring bolts. Kept the original crankset as it was fine.
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Old 08-01-14, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by idc View Post
I did this with my first SS: took off the shifters/FD/derailleur cables, adjusted rear derailleur to be used as a tensioner. No other changes necessary, even with vertical drops. I think I was using the middle 42T of a low end Shimano road triple.

Over time I got a spacer kit, an eccentric ENO rear wheel so I didn't need a tensioner/could ride fixed, and an Sugino unramped chainring/single chainring bolts. Kept the original crankset as it was fine.
From geared, the Europa was converted to fg in an afternoon with the sole puchase of a cog (I went suicide hub) with the full conversion (wheels, cranks, new brakes, saddle, etc) taking over two years as I found the money/inspiration. Conversions are only as expensive as you want to make them.
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Old 08-08-14, 07:10 AM
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this is what I started with...


And this is what I ended with after a bit of work

I had to re-curve the fork, I removed the cheap claw derailleur and the freewheel which I replaced with a single freewheel, I removed the FD, the trashed triple chain ring and the bottom bracket and replaced it with an old single front chainring, some used Wellgo metal pedals and new bottom bracket, I replaced the cheap V brakes with some Deore LX Canti's with some new Tektro levers. Prior to the repaint, I had the gear housing stops removed for use on another bike. I also had a newer set of grips and handlebars with a recovered seat. The wheel set I respoked to redish/center the rim on the hub after I removed an old freewheel 7 speed and also re-spoked the front wheel to match, the original front wheel was a trashed SS rim and the rear was a lightly tacoed 7 speed that really needed help. The seat post and stem is original.
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Old 08-08-14, 07:22 AM
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Two bob says you'll want that front carrier back on again

Well done mate. It looks good


For those that don't understand the terminology: one bob is slang for one shilling, used in Australia, and presumably Britain, before we went decimal currency with them dollars and cents things in the sixties. "Two bob says..." equates to "I'm betting you two shillings that...". Used as vernacular, it essentially means "I guarantee that..."
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Old 08-08-14, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
For those that don't understand the terminology...
I like it. Thanks for the explanation.
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Old 08-08-14, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
For those that don't understand the terminology: one bob is slang for one shilling, used in Australia, and presumably Britain, before we went decimal currency with them dollars and cents things in the sixties. "Two bob says..." equates to "I'm betting you two shillings that...". Used as vernacular, it essentially means "I guarantee that..."
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Old 08-09-14, 05:08 AM
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You can give me 2 bob but that basket had too many holes....
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