first single speed conversion help

Discussion in 'Singlespeed' started by nirvana456, May 27, 2010.

  1. nirvana456

    nirvana456 New Member

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    Im in the process of converting this old road bike to single speed and have it running fine just with the 5 speed still on however i would like to swap the hub for a flip flop one;

    Evans Cycles | System EX Fixed/Fixed Track Hub | Online Bike Shop

    would this work?

    the only thing that has really confused me is the spockets i would need. I have a 52 on the front and would like to run a 16t freewheel and a 14t fixed. can anybody suggest anything that would suit this hub? oh and finally does anyone know a good place to get spokes to fit?
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the SYSTEM EX FIXED/FIXED hub will work -- just as you can put a Freewheel on the Fixed side of a Flip-Flop hub, you can put a Freewheel on the either side of a Fixed/Fixed hub.

    It appears similar to a FORMULA hub ... and, as with the Formula hub, it appears to be a hub with cartridge bearings instead of loose bearings. Cartridge bearings mean that it isn't a "real" (as in, "traditional") Track hub -- some would say/think that cartridge bearings are a good thing. The version of the Formula hub which has loose bearings has a solid flange, BTW.

    While some Flip-Flop hubs have wider spacing, the System EX hub has the 120mm wide spacing found on most 5-speed frames.

    Any BMX Freewheel will do ... they come in two tooth widths -- Track & narrower Road size ... a Road chain will not fit on a Track cog with the wider tooth size.

    Similarly, the Track cogs are available in both tooth widths -- Track & Road widths. You'll need a lock ring, too.

    I recommend 'ACS' Freewheels, first, and Shimano Freewheels, second. There are other brands -- some less expensive & some more expensive.

    ACS Freewheels are available in both cog widths ... I think that Shimano Freewheels may only be available with Road width cogs.

    The spoke length depends on the rim you choose. I don't know where you can/should buy your spokes ...

    If you are on a tight budget, you may be able to reuse the rim & spokes on your current wheel ... reusing spokes is an imperfect option, but it can be done ... new nipples are recommended (but, may not be necessary) if this is your momentary option.

    BTW. If you don't need a Fixie side right away, then you could remove the 5-speed Freewheel from your current wheel, center the hub, redish the wheel, install a BMX Freewheel with a Road width cogs, shorten your chain, remove the derailleurs/shifters, remove the extra chainring if the crank is a Double (you'll probably need shorter chainring bolts if the crank currently has two chainrings) ... done!

    While you still have the 5-speed Freewheel on your bike, you may want to set the chain on the 16t cog and ride around without any subsequent shifting to ensure that it is the cog size you want. Do the same with the 14t.
     
  3. nirvana456

    nirvana456 New Member

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    thanks for the quick reply

    i sent the wrong link tho they sell a specific fixed/freewheel flip flop but yeah thanks ive got a better idea of what I need now. The spokes are the only things im still unsure about. The only thing i know is that my wheels fit 27 1 1/4 tires. How would i go about finding out what size spokes i would need?
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    In the very distant past, you generally needed access to a copy of SUTHERLANDS to (quickly) find out the spoke length for a given hub & rim combination ...

    Now, there are numerous on-line spoke calculators into which you input the ERD (effective rim diamter -- 610mm? for a 27" rim), the flange height (68mm?), and the flange offset (64mm/2?) ... also, you need to input the number of spokes per wheel & the 'crossing' pattern (e.g., x3).

    So, for a 36x3 lacing of a 27" rim with the fore mentioned dimensions (which may not be correct), presuming an ERD of 610mm, it appears that you would want 290mm spokes for a symmetrical lacing.

    FWIW. I prefer to use straight 14g spokes. A lot of people (meaning: "almost everyone else") will suggest that you use double-butted spokes -- apparently, this is the kind of stuff which so-called religious wars are eventually the consequence of.

    BTW. I round-down on the calculated spoke length ... you can have a spoke that is a couple of millimeters too long ... longer than that and the excess should be filed/ground off.

    N.B. When you lace the wheel you want to ensure that the valve stem is BETWEEN two clusters of 4-spokes and not embedded within a 4-spoke cluster.
     
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