Making a Singlespeed

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Gags, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. Gags

    Gags Guest

    I have an old CrMo mountain bike frame that I am considering converting into
    a single speed, mainly for use as a commuter during the winter months to
    reduce my maintenance requirements (46km round trip commute along the Yarra
    Trail in Melbourne).

    The bike has old (bout 1996) STX-RC 21 speed drive train and my initial
    thought was to get a hold of some sort of spacers for the rear hub and then
    set it up with a single cog (this means I won't have to fork out for a
    single speed hub and then get a wheel built up on it). I was also hoping to
    source a crank with only a single chainwheel (don't think I can convert the
    triple) at a reasonable price. I think I also need to get some sort of
    tensioning device as the frame has vertical dropouts.

    Has anyone done this before??

    Any tips/advice??

    Possible sources of parts in Melbourne??

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Gags
     
    Tags:


  2. gescom

    gescom Guest

    Use a "Surly Singlelator" tensioning device for vertical dropouts: http://www.surlybikes.com/parts/singleator_pop.html

    The distributor for Surly stuff in oz is http://www.dirtworks.com.a
    (but they don't import all the nice Surly frames, damn!!

    Heres some pics of the singlelator in use: http://home.earthlink.net/~ianandandrea/ss
    sideon.jpg http://home.earthlink.net/~ianandandrea/ss-drivetrain.jpg http://home.earthlink.net/~ianandandrea/ss
    chainline.jp

    the pics were taken from this bikeforums thread
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=30639&page=2&pp=2

    I don't have a ss myself though, maybe oneday.... :


    -
     
  3. stu

    stu Guest


    > The bike has old (bout 1996) STX-RC 21 speed drive train and my initial
    > thought was to get a hold of some sort of spacers for the rear hub and

    then
    > set it up with a single cog (this means I won't have to fork out for a
    > single speed hub and then get a wheel built up on it). I was also hoping

    to
    > source a crank with only a single chainwheel (don't think I can convert

    the
    > triple) at a reasonable price. I think I also need to get some sort of
    > tensioning device as the frame has vertical dropouts.

    just some ideas
    couldn't you just leave your freewheel/freehub on the wheel
    leave your triple on the front
    take off the front derailure~, cable and shifters
    take of the shifters and cables for the rear derailure~
    shorten your chain to be a little longer than the gear you want to use
    then lock the rear derailure~ on that gear
    sounds like a cheap single speed to me
    chain line may not be great and you wont have the "right" chain
    but its cheap, even if you just use it to find out what gears you want when
    you set up a "proper" SS

    but then again, maybe l am missing something


    > Has anyone done this before??

    not me


    stu
     
  4. wassupdawg

    wassupdawg Guest

    Im halfway there. run a single chainring (44T) on the front. Was a
    triple LX at front so toof off all but biggest, put it on the INSIDE of
    the arm (where the 32 used to sit), got some BMX or short bolt-units (as
    they were previously meant for going thru both the 32 and 44 so too long
    with only one).

    This gave me a more centred chainline to the rear cassette (11-30 i
    think).

    It may, as Stu suggests, be able to 'lock' the RearD into position on
    your cog of choice and stay with the exiting RearD

    Hippy is the man who would have more info on this. I think he mentioned
    somewhere recently he has a DIY tensioner using a RearD.



    --
     
  5. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

    Gags wrote:
    > I have an old CrMo mountain bike frame that I am considering converting into
    > a single speed, mainly for use as a commuter during the winter months to
    > reduce my maintenance requirements (46km round trip commute along the Yarra
    > Trail in Melbourne).
    >
    > The bike has old (bout 1996) STX-RC 21 speed drive train and my initial
    > thought was to get a hold of some sort of spacers for the rear hub and then
    > set it up with a single cog (this means I won't have to fork out for a
    > single speed hub and then get a wheel built up on it). I was also hoping to
    > source a crank with only a single chainwheel (don't think I can convert the
    > triple) at a reasonable price. I think I also need to get some sort of
    > tensioning device as the frame has vertical dropouts.
    >
    > Has anyone done this before??
    >
    > Any tips/advice??
    >
    > Possible sources of parts in Melbourne??
    >
    > Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Gags
    >
    >

    There's lots of good articles and advice on this at
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

    As it says there, be careful about taking your FD off, as it can cause
    the chain to unship (usually at the least save/convenient moment, just
    ask David Millar in the last TdF prologue when he was ahead of the
    eventual winner, our own Brad McGee).

    &roo
     
  6. hippy

    hippy Guest

    "Gags" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I have an old CrMo mountain bike frame that I am considering converting

    into
    > a single speed


    Do it! I love my SS.

    > The bike has old (bout 1996) STX-RC 21 speed drive train


    This is almost exactly the same as what I started with. Mine
    is a '96 GT Talera which had AceraX groupset (worse than
    yours I think). I just cheked mine - I actually UPGRADED
    to STX-RC cranks :)

    > thought was to get a hold of some sort of spacers for the
    > rear hub and then set it up with a single cog (this means I
    > won't have to fork out for a single speed hub and then get
    > a wheel built up on it).


    This is a perfect idea and is what I did. For your first SS,
    you want to spend $0. Explain your project plans to your
    nice Mr. LBS and see if they are keen to help you.

    > I was also hoping to source a crank with only a single
    > chainwheel (don't think I can convert the triple) at a
    > reasonable price. I think I also need to get some sort
    > of tensioning device as the frame has vertical dropouts.


    Well, I'm using an STX-RC crank with only a single
    32T chainring on it now so it should be possible for you
    to do the same. The AceraX cranks were no good
    because the 3 chainrings were pressed together as one
    unit. So, out of the LBS bin came the STX-RC cranks.
    Rip off the small ring and the big ring and fiddle around
    with chainring bolts (be nice to your LBS and they
    might let you go for it in their workshop) until you get a
    set that fit properly. (Some are too long, as they are
    designed for 3 chainring setups).

    One you've sorted the cranks/chainrings, then fit a
    suitable rear sprocket (most people use 32:16 as
    a starting point for gearing), making sure the chainline
    is correct. For spacers to get a good chainline, I
    got grotty again in the LBS bin and grabbed a stack
    of old cassettes.
    Some of these (Ultegra and up, I think) have screws
    holding the cassette together whereas the cheaper
    ones have punched rods through the cassette. Either
    unscrew or drill out the rods depending on what you
    find in the bin. You will notice that spacers in
    between the actual cogs - use these to align the rear
    cog with the front chainring. I also used an old
    sprocket for my rear SS sprocket. Where all my gear
    wears out, then I will probably buy new SS specific
    stuff.. until then, I've got a big box of old cassettes to
    pull down when I need new sprockets or different
    gear ratios.
    Initially, I ran without a tensioner, but after crushing
    my nuts multiple times when the chain slipped, I figured
    a tensioner was a better option.
    So, I used the original AceraX rear derailer. Fit it as
    normal and run the chain through it as normal. Pull
    the ends of the chain together until it looks to be at
    the right amount of tension. Don't do it too tight or
    you will wear chainrings/cogs out. Too loose and you
    will reduce your likelihood of reproducing.
    Break the chain and remove the excess links from
    where you liked the look of the tension. Rejoin the
    chain.
    A front derailer is not needed because your chainline
    and chain tension will be spot on.. right? :p
    I've got wide bars on mine - they are a standard SS
    fitment, but mine were on because it was a trials
    bike prior to the SS conversion.
    I run 32:15 on the road and 32:17 for mtb'ing. I'd
    prefer to go higher than 32:15 on the road as I spin
    it out all the time but it was the original setup and I'm
    too lazy to change it.
    I just recently fitted a front vee brake.. not because
    vee brakes are better than canti's but simply because
    I bought them cheap and I really wanted to get rid of
    the shifter-pod/brake units.. not much use with only
    one gear unless you like to pretend changing gears!

    > Has anyone done this before??


    Me me me!!! :)
    http://www.thehippy.net/Cycling/MyBikes/gtss/index.htm

    Oh, I've just realised that these pics were taking after the
    initial build, prior to having the derr. as a tensioner and
    when I was using old cogs as spacers because I hadn't
    scored the old cassettes yet.. I should post some new
    pics of it... I'll let you know if I do...
    Note second picture - that chain is too loose!

    > Any tips/advice??


    MTBR SS FAQ:
    http://www.mtbr.com/faq/ssfaq.shtml

    MTBR SS Forum:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=46

    > Possible sources of parts in Melbourne??


    I got all my gear from Croydon Cycleworks
    (thanks Mick!) and BikeLife (thanks Dean!)

    > Any help will be greatly appreciated.


    Coming your way... just ask...

    hippy
     
  7. hippy

    hippy Guest

  8. NickZX6R

    NickZX6R Guest

    hippy <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Took some photos this arvo of my GT SS
    > in its current form as a commuter/fish'n'chip
    > shop bike:
    > http://www.thehippy.net/Cycling/MyBikes/gtss_mar04/index.html


    > hippy
    > "no lights, coz they just attract cars.."



    So Hippy, as an experienced SS converter, what do you think of this idea?

    I'm in the process of building a new road bike which will leave me with
    my current one. I was planning on just selling it but I doubt whether
    it will be worth much money, so now I'm thinking it might be a candidate
    for a SS conversion with a flipflop hub.

    It's a 55cm Bianchi steel frame about 5 years old. It's currently an 8sp
    Daytona/Record mix but it's got 9sp derailleurs.

    Do you reckon this would be a reasonable candidate? I'd like to leave
    the drops on it and have the flipflop hub with a SS cog and a fixed cog
    on the other side.

    It wouldn't have to cost $0, but it shouldn't cost much more than
    that. I could use the existing lever(s) for brakes but some old aero
    levers probably wouldn't cost much either.

    It seems that most ppl tend to go for converting old MTBs into SS so
    I don't know if SSing a roadie is worthwhile.

    Opinions anyone?


    BTW, hip, I got my UCI WC ticket the other day. THere are still plenty
    left. I got one for the Sunday afternoon finals.

    --
    Nick
     
  9. Gags

    Gags Guest

    Thanks for the tips guys.......when I get a chance I am gonna hit up a
    couple of my local bike stores for a look through the trash heap. Also
    gonna see if I can find a rigid fork that will accept my old STX-RC centre
    pulls too as my old Marzochi Zokes with 2" of elastomer travel (about 1.25"
    taken up when I sit on the bike) are pretty crap.

    Gags
     
  10. hippy

    hippy Guest

    >Originally posted by Nickzx6r It's a 55cm Bianchi steel frame about 5
    >years old. It's currently an 8sp Daytona/Record mix but it's got 9sp
    >derailleurs.


    Sounds like a good bike - you sure you wont regret the conversion? If
    not, go for it! I want to do a road machine using the White Industries
    "ENO" rear hub. It's an eccentric hub with SS one side and fixed on the
    other - perfect for this application. Mine would replace the GTSS for
    commuting duties and the GT would go back to mtb mode. These hubs aren't
    cheap at around $250, but they are very cool.

    Here's an ENO in action: http://sheldonbrown.org/rambouillet/index.html

    >Do you reckon this would be a reasonable candidate?


    Reasonable? I'd say exceptional! :) Like I said.. are you sure you wanna
    convert it? I like mine to be real hack bikes - maintenance becomes
    secondary to (typically free) replacement.

    >I'd like to leave the drops on it and have the flipflop hub with a SS
    >cog and a fixed cog on the other side.


    ENO. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/white-hubs.html

    >It wouldn't have to cost $0, but it shouldn't cost much more than that.
    >I could use the existing lever(s) for brakes but some old aero levers
    >probably wouldn't cost much either.


    You shouldn't run a derrailer or chain tensioner like the Surly with
    fixed gear so the ENO is still the option I would choose. You'll have to
    rebuild the rear wheel though - factor that cost in.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html http://www.altelco.net/~emenaker/bikingSS-
    FixedReference.htm

    >It seems that most ppl tend to go for converting old MTBs into SS so I
    >don't know if SSing a roadie is worthwhile.


    I reckon it's a great idea and I'm just waiting on a nice bike at the
    right price to come my way for the conversion myself. The On One Il
    Pompino is a good example of a commercial, road-going, SS.

    >BTW, hip, I got my UCI WC ticket the other day. THere are still plenty
    >left. I got one for the Sunday afternoon finals.


    Wonder if there'll be any left when I come back in May? Trying to save
    cash for the holiday.. "3 days and counting..."

    hth hippy



    --
     
  11. NickZX6R

    NickZX6R Guest

    hippy <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>Originally posted by Nickzx6r It's a 55cm Bianchi steel frame about 5
    >>years old. It's currently an 8sp Daytona/Record mix but it's got 9sp
    >>derailleurs.


    > Sounds like a good bike - you sure you wont regret the conversion? If
    > not, go for it! I want to do a road machine using the White Industries
    > "ENO" rear hub. It's an eccentric hub with SS one side and fixed on the
    > other - perfect for this application. Mine would replace the GTSS for
    > commuting duties and the GT would go back to mtb mode. These hubs aren't
    > cheap at around $250, but they are very cool.


    > Here's an ENO in action: http://sheldonbrown.org/rambouillet/index.html


    >>Do you reckon this would be a reasonable candidate?


    > Reasonable? I'd say exceptional! :) Like I said.. are you sure you wanna
    > convert it? I like mine to be real hack bikes - maintenance becomes
    > secondary to (typically free) replacement.


    >>I'd like to leave the drops on it and have the flipflop hub with a SS
    >>cog and a fixed cog on the other side.


    > ENO. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/white-hubs.html


    >>It wouldn't have to cost $0, but it shouldn't cost much more than that.
    >>I could use the existing lever(s) for brakes but some old aero levers
    >>probably wouldn't cost much either.


    > You shouldn't run a derrailer or chain tensioner like the Surly with
    > fixed gear so the ENO is still the option I would choose. You'll have to
    > rebuild the rear wheel though - factor that cost in.


    > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html
    > http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html http://www.altelco.net/~emenaker/bikingSS-
    > FixedReference.htm


    >>It seems that most ppl tend to go for converting old MTBs into SS so I
    >>don't know if SSing a roadie is worthwhile.


    > I reckon it's a great idea and I'm just waiting on a nice bike at the
    > right price to come my way for the conversion myself. The On One Il
    > Pompino is a good example of a commercial, road-going, SS.


    >>BTW, hip, I got my UCI WC ticket the other day. THere are still plenty
    >>left. I got one for the Sunday afternoon finals.


    > Wonder if there'll be any left when I come back in May? Trying to save
    > cash for the holiday.. "3 days and counting..."


    > hth hippy




    > --



    Well I've finally saved enough money to pay for the new dream bike, which
    is a Columbus Ultra Foco frame with Centaur/maybe CHorus so I won't have
    use for a second road bike. But I don't think the Bianchi is worth too
    much 2nd hand.

    It's done at least 20000kms (and almost all the bits have been upgraded
    along the way). So the frame has plenty of battle scars so I'm thinking
    maybe it's better off as a SS commuter instead of selling it for not
    much money.

    I take ages to think about, research and actually do anything so there's
    plenty of time :) The new bike will be 'born' in about 6 weeks or so.

    Cheers.

    --
    Nick
     
  12. Parbs

    Parbs Guest

    "Gags" wrote in message ...
    > I have an old CrMo mountain bike frame that I am considering converting into
    > a single speed, mainly for use as a commuter during the winter months to
    > reduce my maintenance requirements (46km round trip commute along the Yarra
    > Trail in Melbourne).
    >
    > The bike has old (bout 1996) STX-RC 21 speed drive train and my initial
    > thought was to get a hold of some sort of spacers for the rear hub and then
    > set it up with a single cog (this means I won't have to fork out for a
    > single speed hub and then get a wheel built up on it). I was also hoping to
    > source a crank with only a single chainwheel (don't think I can convert the
    > triple) at a reasonable price. I think I also need to get some sort of
    > tensioning device as the frame has vertical dropouts.
    >
    > Has anyone done this before??
    >
    > Any tips/advice??
    >
    > Possible sources of parts in Melbourne??
    >
    > Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Gags
    >
    >

    I have an old Malvern star MTB frame (1993, maybe earlier) sitting down in the garage that was supposed to be my single speed
    project.

    Unfortunately I walked into the BS near home and ended up buying this

    http://www.dirtworks.com.au/site/images/zoom/BRCCHB/Wild_Surly.jpg

    : D

    Parbs (did I say : D )
     
  13. phamcam

    phamcam Guest

    ...

    Has anyone done this before?

    Any tips/advice?

    Hey, I have just completed a similar project. For much the same reasons

    I turned a old MTB frame Specialized Rockhopper, into a single spee
    fixed wheel

    I had a similar plan of spending 0 $$$

    After some research, and some discussion with my LBS I ended u
    replacing the hub in my rear wheel with a track one

    I replaced the rear drop to track ones

    I also converted to 700c wheels and road brakes

    I have continued to use the triple crank on the middle chain ring

    It was easier to get the correct chain line with this approach. Thi
    is particularl
    important for a fixed wheel, as you do not want to drop a chain o
    such a beast

    I luv the new ride

    Abbotsford cycles in Bridge road Richmond, did a great job on my bike

    Peter is a great bloke, and is more than willing to discuss your needs
    budget and source 2nd hand parts

    Also: http://www.63xc.com/gregg/101_3.ht

    http://fixedgeargallery.com

    http://www.oldskooltrack.com/files/home.frame.htm

    http://lists.davintech.ca/mailman/listinfo/fixed-gea

    Good luck, but try a fixie

    If you see a red specialized fixie on the Yarra trail say hi

    NB if anyone has a track crank for sale....cheap...let me know

    hump

    Gag


    -
     
  14. hippy

    hippy Guest

    >Originally posted by Parbs

    >I have an old Malvern star MTB frame (1993, maybe earlier) sitting down
    >in the garage that was supposed to be my single speed project.


    <homer> mmm fresh conversion meat.. </homer>

    >Unfortunately I walked into the BS near home and ended up buying this
    >http://www.dirtworks.com.au/site/images/zoom/BRCCHB/Wild_Surly.jpg


    "unfortunately"? surely you jest? ;)

    Really though, what's your opinion of the Surly? It's a coincidence
    that I had the Surly page open as I read this post.. looking at their
    tasty, SuzyJ-preferred, steel frames. So many choices! The 1x1 would be
    a good alternative to the ever popular On-One "Inbred" (replacing my
    GT), and the Pacer or Cross-Check would fit nicely into the role of
    SS/fixed road commuter.

    So many bikes, so little money, only two legs...

    hippy



    --
     
  15. Spider1977

    Spider1977 Guest

    My LBS converted a cheap 10 speed steel framed roadie into a fixed wheel
    for $80. I left front and rear brakes on cause I'm a chicken. Hear me
    squawk as I ride the bike track!



    --
     
  16. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch Guest

    Spider1977 wrote:
    > My LBS converted a cheap 10 speed steel framed roadie into a fixed wheel
    > for $80. I left front and rear brakes on cause I'm a chicken. Hear me
    > squawk as I ride the bike track!



    dirtrag.com has a cool article/story on NY SS couriers who fly up an
    down the manhattan Aves WITHOUT BREAKS. Hardcore!!

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/articles/article.php?ID=475&category=feature


    -
     
  17. hippy

    hippy Guest

  18. Do it! It's like riding on air.

    I converted my road bike to a SS when my derailer got ripped to pieces in an
    accident. The only problem with a flip-flop hub and vertical dropouts is
    you have to find exactly the right chain length/gear combination. Check out
    this site to help you calculate gears for a fixie with vertical dropouts:
    http://www.peak.org/~fixin/personal/fmu/php/index.php
    You may actually have to buy a half-link and a 1/8" chain to get it to work.
    If you happen to have horizontal dropouts then it's easy - the hardest part
    is dishing the wheel, but that will be taken care of when you switch out the
    hub.

    -Collin

    "NickZX6R" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > hippy <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > Took some photos this arvo of my GT SS
    > > in its current form as a commuter/fish'n'chip
    > > shop bike:
    > > http://www.thehippy.net/Cycling/MyBikes/gtss_mar04/index.html

    >
    > > hippy
    > > "no lights, coz they just attract cars.."

    >
    >
    > So Hippy, as an experienced SS converter, what do you think of this idea?
    >
    > I'm in the process of building a new road bike which will leave me with
    > my current one. I was planning on just selling it but I doubt whether
    > it will be worth much money, so now I'm thinking it might be a candidate
    > for a SS conversion with a flipflop hub.
    >
    > It's a 55cm Bianchi steel frame about 5 years old. It's currently an 8sp
    > Daytona/Record mix but it's got 9sp derailleurs.
    >
    > Do you reckon this would be a reasonable candidate? I'd like to leave
    > the drops on it and have the flipflop hub with a SS cog and a fixed cog
    > on the other side.
    >
    > It wouldn't have to cost $0, but it shouldn't cost much more than
    > that. I could use the existing lever(s) for brakes but some old aero
    > levers probably wouldn't cost much either.
    >
    > It seems that most ppl tend to go for converting old MTBs into SS so
    > I don't know if SSing a roadie is worthwhile.
    >
    > Opinions anyone?
    >
    >
    > BTW, hip, I got my UCI WC ticket the other day. THere are still plenty
    > left. I got one for the Sunday afternoon finals.
    >
    > --
    > Nick
     
  19. Parbs

    Parbs Guest

    "hippy" wrote in message ...
    > >Originally posted by Parbs

    >
    > >I have an old Malvern star MTB frame (1993, maybe earlier) sitting down
    > >in the garage that was supposed to be my single speed project.

    >
    > <homer> mmm fresh conversion meat.. </homer>
    >
    > >Unfortunately I walked into the BS near home and ended up buying this
    > >http://www.dirtworks.com.au/site/images/zoom/BRCCHB/Wild_Surly.jpg

    >
    > "unfortunately"? surely you jest? ;)


    Unfortunate to my bank balance, but so far enjoying every minute (OK there were a few hills which I was pining for granny).

    >
    > Really though, what's your opinion of the Surly? It's a coincidence
    > that I had the Surly page open as I read this post.. looking at their
    > tasty, SuzyJ-preferred, steel frames. So many choices! The 1x1 would be
    > a good alternative to the ever popular On-One "Inbred" (replacing my
    > GT), and the Pacer or Cross-Check would fit nicely into the role of
    > SS/fixed road commuter.


    So far she's been great, frame is great and the bike fits well. With rigid forks its very responsive on tight twisty single track.
    Suprisingly light too.

    The devious plan was to get the rigid SS and still be able to kick my friends collective arses on at least the technical bits
    without them being able to use the excuse "but you've got full suspension...". So far its working.

    The Surly hubs aren't nice though - far too noisy.

    > So many bikes, so little money, only two legs...
    >
    > hippy
    >

    I did sort of plan to get rid of one bike when I got the Surly (and not get a roadie) but the old bike is still here and the
    roadie - well Christmas is coming.

    Parbs (Mmm Yulefest is closer)
     
  20. hippy

    hippy Guest

    "Collin O'Neill" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > The only problem with a flip-flop hub and vertical dropouts is yo
    > have to find exactly the right chain length/gear combination


    Not if you use the ENO hub I suggested earlier. It is eccentric and ca
    be rotated to tension the chain. I'm not sure what the max tooth limi
    is between the two gears but there should be enough and it negates th
    need for half-links

    http://www.whiteind.com/eno.ht

    hippy no, i don't sell ENO hubs :-


    -
     
Loading...
Loading...