Converting an old Ritchey to single-speed

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Morgan Fletcher

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I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork, u-brake
posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad respray.

I want to make it into a single-speed mountain bike.

Should I go with the White Industries ENO (ONE) hub with the eccentric axle, or have a local
framebuilder (Ed Litton, Otis Guy, or?) convert it to rear horizontal drop-outs? If I'm gonna go
single-speed I want a no-dish singlespeed rear hub. I'm not into putting spacers on a freehub.
(Interestingly, it's theoretically possible to build an all-Ritchey single-speed: except for the
hubs and spokes.)

The headset is 1", threaded. I can put a JP Morgen suspension stem on it, or hunt for a suspension
fork. Any of you know of a modern suspension fork that will fit a 1" threaded headset? Or I could be
a macho man and ride without suspension.

I doubt I'd convert it to disc brakes, will probably go with V brakes. Do have a set of ancient
Magura rim brakes in the garage, but they're not so great.

I'm a big guy, 6'2", 235lbs, frame is 20.5". I ride a lot. Never ridden a single-speed mtn bike but
I've been riding "normal" mtn bikes for 20 years, also track, road.

Advice?

Morgan
 
M

Mattb

Guest
"Morgan Fletcher" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork,
> u-brake posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad
> respray.
>
> I want to make it into a single-speed mountain bike.
>
> Should I go with the White Industries ENO (ONE) hub with the eccentric axle, or have a local
> framebuilder (Ed Litton, Otis Guy, or?) convert it
to
> rear horizontal drop-outs? If I'm gonna go single-speed I want a no-dish singlespeed rear hub. I'm
> not into putting spacers on a freehub. (Interestingly, it's theoretically possible to build an
> all-Ritchey single-speed: except for the hubs and spokes.)
>
> The headset is 1", threaded. I can put a JP Morgen suspension stem on it, or hunt for a suspension
> fork. Any of you know of a modern suspension fork that will fit a 1" threaded headset? Or I could
> be a macho man and ride without suspension.
>
> I doubt I'd convert it to disc brakes, will probably go with V brakes. Do have a set of ancient
> Magura rim brakes in the garage, but they're not so great.
>
> I'm a big guy, 6'2", 235lbs, frame is 20.5". I ride a lot. Never ridden a single-speed mtn bike
> but I've been riding "normal" mtn bikes for 20
years,
> also track, road.
>
> Advice?
>
> Morgan

If it were me and I could get the thing welded locally, I'd put some of those nice Paul dropouts on
it. You can order them direct from Paul (http://www.paulcomp.com/frmbk.html - click on the dropout
pic). Those are what Independent Fabrications uses on their SS frames and they come highly
recommended.

Matt
 
B

Benjamin Weiner

Guest
Morgan Fletcher <[email protected]> wrote:

> Should I go with the White Industries ENO (ONE) hub with the eccentric axle, or have a local
> framebuilder (Ed Litton, Otis Guy, or?) convert it to rear horizontal drop-outs? If I'm gonna go
> single-speed I want a no-dish singlespeed rear hub. I'm not into putting spacers on a freehub.
> (Interestingly, it's theoretically possible to build an all-Ritchey single-speed: except for the
> hubs and spokes.)

> The headset is 1", threaded. I can put a JP Morgen suspension stem on it, or hunt for a suspension
> fork. Any of you know of a modern suspension fork that will fit a 1" threaded headset? Or I could
> be a macho man and ride without suspension.

> I'm a big guy, 6'2", 235lbs, frame is 20.5". I ride a lot. Never ridden a single-speed mtn bike
> but I've been riding "normal" mtn bikes for 20 years, also track, road.

This is something you can do in stages. I would build it up as is and use a rear derailleur as a
chain tensioner, or buy a "real" tensioner. Play with this: http://www.peak.org/~fixin/ and maybe
you can find a gear combo that works without the tensioner. If you have an extra cassette rear
wheel, use spacers (I know you said you didn't want to, but it's a start). If you have an extra
freewheel rear, even better, redish to make it less-dished and use a singlespeed freewheel.

Then ride it around and see how you like it and what if anything should be changed. Go rigid for the
time being: 1" forks are too expensive and if it's old enough to have once had chainstay mounted
brakes, it probably isn't designed for a tall sus fork, so putting one on will slacken the head tube
angle quite a bit. I like the simplicity of no suspension anyway. A Softride stem can take some load
off your wrists, another thing that can be retrofitted.

It's cooler, or at least quieter, to make an SS without the tensioner; most of the Bay Area
framebuilders probably have experience replacing dropouts (I can think of some more names also:
Hunter, Rock Lobster, Sycip, Steelman, Soulcraft, etc). Being cheap, I converted a frame that
actually had road-style short horizontal dropouts, but it was luck finding one, an old Reflex, and
it isn't the lightest thing out there (but who cares).
 
P

Paladin

Guest
Morgan Fletcher wrote:

> I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork,
> u-brake posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad
> respray.
>
> I want to make it into a single-speed mountain bike.

An ideal candidate. My conversion was similar. Just kept it fully rigid, got horiz dropouts welded
on, and used a converter to go from 1" to 1-1/8" to add a good Azonic stem and riser. Scrapped the
U-brakes for good avids, got some great wheels built up, and it's simple and fun:

http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/GrayLady002.jpg

Have fun. Paladin

>
> Should I go with the White Industries ENO (ONE) hub with the eccentric axle, or have a local
> framebuilder (Ed Litton, Otis Guy, or?) convert it to rear horizontal drop-outs? If I'm gonna go
> single-speed I want a no-dish singlespeed rear hub. I'm not into putting spacers on a freehub.
> (Interestingly, it's theoretically possible to build an all-Ritchey single-speed: except for the
> hubs and spokes.)
>
> The headset is 1", threaded. I can put a JP Morgen suspension stem on it, or hunt for a suspension
> fork. Any of you know of a modern suspension fork that will fit a 1" threaded headset? Or I could
> be a macho man and ride without suspension.
>
> I doubt I'd convert it to disc brakes, will probably go with V brakes. Do have a set of ancient
> Magura rim brakes in the garage, but they're not so great.
>
> I'm a big guy, 6'2", 235lbs, frame is 20.5". I ride a lot. Never ridden a single-speed mtn bike
> but I've been riding "normal" mtn bikes for 20 years, also track, road.
>
> Advice?
>
> Morgan
 
M

Morgan Fletcher

Guest
No votes in favor of the ENO eccentric hub?

Morgan
 
M

Mattb

Guest
"Morgan Fletcher" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> No votes in favor of the ENO eccentric hub?
>
> Morgan

If you were converting an aluminum frame I'd say go for it since it's harder (way harder and
generally not recommended) to replace the dropouts on most alu frames. I was considering it for my
old M4 hardtail but decided on a different route (Surly). I believe someone here (Bloodcow?) got one
a while back and liked it. I just think it's an expensive solution and is relatively new and
therefore relatively untested. It's also a flip-flop hub with a fixed gear on one side. I would
never use that on a mountain bike, so I'd be buying stuff I'd never use. I don't like to do that.

In the end I wanted to get something I knew would work well, Horizontal dropouts do just that and
have for years.

Let us know which way you go. I'd be interested in hearing about how the ENO performs if you do go
that route.

Matt
 
G

Gman

Guest
On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 19:05:36 GMT, Morgan Fletcher <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Should I go with the White Industries ENO (ONE) hub with the eccentric axle, or have a local
> framebuilder (Ed Litton, Otis Guy, or?) convert it to rear horizontal drop-outs? If I'm gonna go
> single-speed I want a no-dish singlespeed rear hub. I'm not into putting spacers on a freehub.
> (Interestingly, it's theoretically possible to build an all-Ritchey single-speed: except for the
> hubs and spokes.)
>
> The headset is 1", threaded. I can put a JP Morgen suspension stem on it, or hunt for a suspension
> fork. Any of you know of a modern suspension fork that will fit a 1" threaded headset? Or I could
> be a macho man and ride without suspension.

IMO, if you've got an old beater that you are converting, the cost of welding new drops,
painting, the White Industries Hub, pieces/parts or whatever starts to get pretty close to just
buying a new SS.

Plus with the new SS you get modern geometry that'll run fine rigid or with a fork.

So IF I were stuck on the oldie-but-goodie bike, I wouldn't be too worried about spacing out a
dished hub and/or running a rigid fork. As in: http://www.geocities.com/glaprade/SS/

...but it sounds like when all is said and done you are willing to put down enough cash for:
http://www.geocities.com/glaprade/Surly/

Regardless, you will love it, just ask Wheeler. (8^)

Gman out
 
S

Supabonbon

Guest
Morgan Fletcher <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork,
> u-brake posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad
> respray.
>
> I want to make it into a single-speed mountain bike.
>
> Should I go with the White Industries ENO (ONE) hub with the eccentric axle, or have a local
> framebuilder (Ed Litton, Otis Guy, or?) convert it to rear horizontal drop-outs? If I'm gonna go
> single-speed I want a no-dish singlespeed rear hub. I'm not into putting spacers on a freehub.
> (Interestingly, it's theoretically possible to build an all-Ritchey single-speed: except for the
> hubs and spokes.)
>
> The headset is 1", threaded. I can put a JP Morgen suspension stem on it, or hunt for a suspension
> fork. Any of you know of a modern suspension fork that will fit a 1" threaded headset? Or I could
> be a macho man and ride without suspension.
>
> I doubt I'd convert it to disc brakes, will probably go with V brakes. Do have a set of ancient
> Magura rim brakes in the garage, but they're not so great.
>
> I'm a big guy, 6'2", 235lbs, frame is 20.5". I ride a lot. Never ridden a single-speed mtn bike
> but I've been riding "normal" mtn bikes for 20 years, also track, road.
>
> Advice?
>
> Morgan

Mid 80's? And it doesn't have a horizontal dropout with enough room? /s
 
R

Reco Diver

Guest
Morgan Fletcher <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> No votes in favor of the ENO eccentric hub?
>
> Morgan

ENO is a bandage, horizontals are a fix. Of course if you believe in free will, then do as you want.

Oh come on, get Otis to braze it up ... he does beautiful work ... and he has a great
christmas party.

R "Sorry 'bout the mailbox Otis."
 
B

Benjamin Weiner

Guest
supabonbon <[email protected]> wrote:
> > I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork,
> > u-brake posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad
> > respray.

> Mid 80's? And it doesn't have a horizontal dropout with enough room?

Under chainstay brakes were around 1987-88. Then a big rock fell on bike designers and brought them
to their senses, or something like that. Anyway, I have two beaters, including a Bridgestone, with
under chainstay brakes and both have vertical dropouts. It is rare to find an mtb with both "modern"
angles (ie Bridgestone-inspired 71/73, as opposed to 68deg head angles and long chainstays) and
horizontal dropouts. IME, anyway.
 
S

Supabonbon

Guest
Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> supabonbon <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork,
> > > u-brake posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad
> > > respray.
>
> > Mid 80's? And it doesn't have a horizontal dropout with enough room?
>
> Under chainstay brakes were around 1987-88. Then a big rock fell on bike designers and brought
> them to their senses, or something like that. Anyway, I have two beaters, including a Bridgestone,
> with under chainstay brakes and both have vertical dropouts. It is rare to find an mtb with both
> "modern" angles (ie Bridgestone-inspired 71/73, as opposed to 68deg head angles and long
> chainstays) and horizontal dropouts. IME, anyway.

Did Ritchey have the U-Brake? I don't remember it on any bikes other than GT's. Regardless, I don't
remember seeing many bikes with vertical dropouts until around 1988+, when aluminum frames started
showing up en masse. /s
 
S

Supabonbon

Guest
"MattB" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]>...
> "Morgan Fletcher" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork,
> > u-brake posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad
> > respray.
> >
> > I want to make it into a single-speed mountain bike.
> >
> > Should I go with the White Industries ENO (ONE) hub with the eccentric axle, or have a local
> > framebuilder (Ed Litton, Otis Guy, or?) convert it
> to
> > rear horizontal drop-outs? If I'm gonna go single-speed I want a no-dish singlespeed rear hub.
> > I'm not into putting spacers on a freehub. (Interestingly, it's theoretically possible to build
> > an all-Ritchey single-speed: except for the hubs and spokes.)
> >
> > The headset is 1", threaded. I can put a JP Morgen suspension stem on it, or hunt for a
> > suspension fork. Any of you know of a modern suspension fork that will fit a 1" threaded
> > headset? Or I could be a macho man and ride without suspension.
> >
> > I doubt I'd convert it to disc brakes, will probably go with V brakes. Do have a set of ancient
> > Magura rim brakes in the garage, but they're not so great.
> >
> > I'm a big guy, 6'2", 235lbs, frame is 20.5". I ride a lot. Never ridden a single-speed mtn bike
> > but I've been riding "normal" mtn bikes for 20
> years,
> > also track, road.
> >
> > Advice?
> >
> > Morgan
>
> If it were me and I could get the thing welded locally, I'd put some of those nice Paul dropouts
> on it. You can order them direct from Paul (http://www.paulcomp.com/frmbk.html - click on the
> dropout pic). Those are what Independent Fabrications uses on their SS frames and they come highly
> recommended.
>
> Matt

Surly's look good too. And you can get one with a derrailleur hanger in case you decide to switch
around. http://www.surlybikes.com/hotmetal/parts_Frameparts.html /s
 
B

bbense+alt moun

Guest
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article <[email protected]>, supabonbon
<[email protected]> wrote:
>Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
>> supabonbon <[email protected]> wrote:
>> > > I've got a mid-1980s Ritchey Ultra frame: tig-welded prestige tubing I think, unicrown fork,
>> > > u-brake posts under chainstay removed and cantilever posts added to the seat stay, and a bad
>> > > respray.
>>
>> > Mid 80's? And it doesn't have a horizontal dropout with enough room?
>>
>> Under chainstay brakes were around 1987-88. Then a big rock fell on bike designers and brought
>> them to their senses, or something like that. Anyway, I have two beaters, including a
>> Bridgestone, with under chainstay brakes and both have vertical dropouts. It is rare to find an
>> mtb with both "modern" angles (ie Bridgestone-inspired 71/73, as opposed to 68deg head angles and
>> long chainstays) and horizontal dropouts. IME, anyway.
>
>Did Ritchey have the U-Brake? I don't remember it on any bikes other than GT's. Regardless, I don't
>remember seeing many bikes with vertical dropouts until around 1988+, when aluminum frames started
>showing up en masse. /s

_ Gary Fisher's of that era had them. I have one semi-converted to SS in my garage. With the U-brake
you pretty much have to use a derailluer or Singulator.

_ Booker C. Bense

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B

Benjamin Weiner

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> supabonbon <[email protected]> wrote:

> >Did Ritchey have the U-Brake? I don't remember it on any bikes other than GT's. Regardless, I
> >don't remember seeing many bikes with vertical dropouts until around 1988+, when aluminum frames
> >started showing up en masse.

I have had or worked on a Bridgestone, GT and Specialized Rockhopper with under-chainstay U-brakes
(am I cursed or something?) If you like this sort of ancient history, First Flight Bikes' MTB
history pages are a cool resource: http://www.firstflightbikes.com/atb.htm

In fact, here's a 1987 Ritchey with U-brakes: http://www.firstflightbikes.com/1987_Ritchey_Ultra.htm
and a Stumpy: http://www.firstflightbikes.com/88Stumpjumper.htm and a Klein:
http://www.firstflightbikes.com/MountainKlein.htm

> _ Gary Fisher's of that era had them. I have one semi-converted to SS in my garage. With the
> U-brake you pretty much have to use a derailluer or Singulator.

Good point, even with horizontal dropouts, the chain length adjustment will require you to readjust
the brake pads, ugh. Also, depending on your chain ring size, the lower chain run can hit the
U-brake, if there's no derailleur to pull the chain down.
 
S

Supabonbon

Guest
Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> [email protected] wrote:
> > supabonbon <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > >Did Ritchey have the U-Brake? I don't remember it on any bikes other than GT's. Regardless, I
> > >don't remember seeing many bikes with vertical dropouts until around 1988+, when aluminum
> > >frames started showing up en masse.
>
> I have had or worked on a Bridgestone, GT and Specialized Rockhopper with under-chainstay U-brakes
> (am I cursed or something?) If you like this sort of ancient history, First Flight Bikes' MTB
> history pages are a cool resource: http://www.firstflightbikes.com/atb.htm
>
> In fact, here's a 1987 Ritchey with U-brakes:
> http://www.firstflightbikes.com/1987_Ritchey_Ultra.htm and a Stumpy:
> http://www.firstflightbikes.com/88Stumpjumper.htm and a Klein:
> http://www.firstflightbikes.com/MountainKlein.htm
>
Ouch! Sweet as candy: http://www.firstflightbikes.com/Excelsior.html /s
 
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