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Thread: Single Speed Conversion Question
05-17-2005, 10:11 AM #1
Single Speed Conversion Question
I want to convert this early 1990s Cannondale to a single speed bike that will be a lighter option for getting around town than my mountainbike. I am assuming single speed would be better for a townie. I do not have a rear wheel that I can convert. What is the easiest and lowest cost option to get a single speed wheel on the rear? I did a search, but there seemed to be a wide variety of scenarios on single speed/fixed gear conversion.
Here are the rear dropouts:
05-17-2005, 12:12 PM #2
Pick a gear, put the bike in that gear and don't shift it seems pretty easy....
I don't really understand the facination with single speeds myself. I was going to do the same things to a fisher hardtail then I asked myself, why bother.
05-17-2005, 12:25 PM #3Originally Posted by Bunion
I am looking for ideas/recommendations, possibly offers on a used single speed wheel that would fit the bike.
05-17-2005, 12:32 PM #4Originally Posted by Artie Fufkin
The single speed fixed gear bikes that are all the rage do not coast, have no brakes, and you brake by resisting the pedals from turning.
That being said, to make such a conversion, you would need a new, non-freewheeling fixed gear hub, which can be bought.
The hard part will be getting the correct chain alignment, etc., since your rear chainstays are extra wide to fit a 5 to 7 gear cog.
On that point, I have no info.
Last edited by Core Shot; 05-17-2005 at 12:36 PM.
05-17-2005, 12:35 PM #5Originally Posted by Core Shot
Thanks for the info
05-17-2005, 12:36 PM #6
I did not think of the chain tension issues also. hmmm.
If your dropouts are vertical, you need more gizmos to tension your chain.
05-17-2005, 12:49 PM #7Originally Posted by Core Shot
05-17-2005, 12:55 PM #8Originally Posted by Artie Fufkin
this is what horizontal looks like:
Before they build you a regular fixed hub, make sure you do not need one of these special hubs for vertical dropouts:
of course, this thing is $160 just for the hub!
Maybe it would be cheaper to look for an old 1970's road bike with horizontal dropouts??
Man, am I bored today. But thanks to you, I learned more than I expected about fixed gear cycling.
Last edited by Core Shot; 05-17-2005 at 01:00 PM.
05-17-2005, 01:10 PM #9
Don't spend the money on a rear wheel. Try this, go to the sheldon brown site above. Look for the gear ratio calc. input your chain stay length. out will come the ratios you can use without any dewhicky things to spend money on. If you are close but not quite, try a half link on the chain. (google that one but it's on SB site) then go to the home depot and buy some pvc pipe in a dia that will slip over your freehub maybe 1.5". cut pvc into two pieces to achive proper chainline. put big piece on first then rear cog, then smaller pvc pipe then lock ring. now you have the pimpest towney in town. enjoy.Harvest the ride.
05-17-2005, 01:18 PM #10
I wouldn't call those semi-vertical drops. I'd call them vertical, because it doesn't seem like you've got any range of adjustment at all. They make things difficult because you can't adjust the chain tension easily once you go singlespeed, like people have said.
Harris Cyclery is great; if you don't want to DIY or enlist the help of the LBS, Sheldon Brown is the mang.
Three choices, from least expensive to most expensive:
1. Get your hands on a really cheap pair of road wheels. Take off the cassette (cogs in back), put on a freehub spacer kit and a single cog. You can get the chain tension close with a half link, if necessary. Getting the wheel on and off might be a bit of a pain in the ass due to vertical drops.
2. Build a cheep wheel with a cheep singlespeed hub. Surly\\\'s New Hub is inexpensive and bomber. Thread on a cheap singlespeed freewheel, like a BMX one. Again, you can get the chain tension close with a half link, if necessary. Same PITA factor as #1 when removing wheel.
3. For an 50 or 60 buck premium over option #2, have a wheel built with a White Industries ENO hub. It's got an eccentric axle, so you can adjust chain tension easily. This is the bestest solution.
Last edited by wintermittent; 05-17-2005 at 01:27 PM.Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever. -- John Muir
05-17-2005, 01:41 PM #11
I just converted a mtb frame to single speed and used this to convert the rear hub:
Find it here at Pricepoint or your LBS should be able to get it.
I didn't really worry too much about chain tension since I decided to use a chain tensioner:
Surly has a lot of options and parts for getting a single-speed built-up. If you're into making it a fixed gear they sell this:
Click on the Fixxer it converts a Shimano free-hub to a fixed-gear hub.[This Space For Rent]
05-17-2005, 01:55 PM #12
Thanks for all of the responses. I was wrong, I do have a spare rear wheel I can convert - Open Pro wheel w/Ultegra 9 freehub. I will try this:
Originally Posted by wintermittent
Originally Posted by SkiingBear
I know my employer appreciates me taking the time to address important issues such as this.
05-17-2005, 02:54 PM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
i ride with all the surly people and they all ride single speeds you are tough if you ride a single speed off trail or even all the time just pick a gear that is right for were you ride in the city. u can also do it the getto way and just take a normal rear wheel and find the sprocket that you like and just add a bunch of them to the cassete that works to
Last edited by roscoe; 05-17-2005 at 02:54 PM. Reason: mis spelling
05-17-2005, 03:14 PM #14Originally Posted by roscoe[This Space For Rent]
05-17-2005, 10:04 PM #15remooning, comencicon
- Join Date
- May 2002
Those Gusset conversion spacers are cool and slick looking, but the only caveat is that they force you to space the cog right in the middle of your freehub body. I think this usually works with the bb shell size and rear dropout spacing on mtb frames because generally you are going to put your single front chainring in the middle position on your crankarms which will put your chainline to line up pretty close to the center of the freehub body.
Since you'll probably be using a road crank meant for only double chainrings, your chainline may be a bit off. It's not really that big of a problem, you can pick up cassette spacers at an LBS (they usually have them lying around for cheap or free) or you can bust apart an old cassette you have lying around and get them out of there. That way you can adjust where the cog sits on the freehub body. It just doesn't look as cool
It could work though every frame/crank/bb/chainring combination will put the chain in a slightly different position, so yours could work out.
And whoever up there is questioning "why singlespeed" doesn't get it. It is different.As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
05-17-2005, 11:39 PM #16
Actually, that's one of the coolest features of the Gusset, the two spacers are different widths. It allows you 2 different set-ups to find a straight chainline (not that this will guarantee a straight chainline, but it gives you twice the chance). When I put mine on the first time my chainline looked funny...when I switched the spacers around it lined up perfectly. I also liked the fact that it came with a 16 and 18 tooth cog...with the option of ordering a 14 and a 20. Combined with a chain tensioner, it's rather versatile. All in all, I'm happy with mine.[This Space For Rent]
05-18-2005, 01:46 AM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
i just converted a 1984 trek road frame. i used a spare wheel i had laying around. i took off the cassette and ripped it apart. i picked the gear i wanted and used the leftover spacers from the cassette body. i put all the spacers back on the existing freewhwheel hub (i did use a small piece of pvc since i was a little short on spacers). all the individual spacers were nice because i was able to dial in the chain line perfectly. i have horizontal set up and did not need a tensioner for my set up.
it all worked really well. the bike is a lot of fun. i prefer the freewheel instead of fixed gear.
i looked at harris cyclery for info and webcyclery.com. have fun
05-18-2005, 07:23 AM #18
white inds hubs are great, just built one. Soooo smooooth and noise free riding