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Single Speed Conversion

Discussion in 'Cycling' started by MrTimms, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. MrTimms Ken Catchpole (46)

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    I have put a challenge to some of the guys I work with to push myself to learn a little more about how bikes hold together, we are having a fixie challenge.

    It's a little watered down in that single speed is OK, it doesn't have to be fixed, but you have to build and trim it yourself and we are going to have a ride and stuff before awarding prizes.

    Anyway, I picked up an old bike to convert on the weekend and I'm pretty sure I've got some work to do. I've opted for more of a Beach Cruiser/Big BMX style to the traditional fixie so I've got an old hybrid/MTB to work on.
    [IMG]

    I've since stripped it of the chain, derailleurs, brakes, Wheels and begun pulling the cluster apart.

    I need some kit, so hoping I can find it and make this on the cheap.

    Any tips and advice or parts you guys have will be welcomed.
  2. MrTimms Ken Catchpole (46)

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    My current things to work through are around the drive chain.

    It has a freewheel 6 speed cluster on it at the moment, I am waiting for a tool to remove it properly, but I took it apart just to see if I could and lost plenty of ball bearings!

    My question to those more knowledgeable is can I just buy a BMX or similar freewheel and unscrew this cluster and screw the new one on?

    [IMG]

    Also, the crank set isn't as easy to convert as I'd hoped. I have ordered a tool to remove the crank set, but any advice of how to best arrange a new crank set that fits would be appreciated.

    [IMG]
  3. Pfitzy Tim Horan (67)

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    Advice: just go punch yourself in the head a few times.

    Bike gearing is witchcraft and sorcery wrapped in voodoo, whose creation was overseen by Beelzebub in the ninth ring of hell. Only experienced practitioners should mess with it or they will unleash the powers of darkness.

    Seriously, I once had the rear derailer (i can't be bothered trying the French spelling - the fact that it is spelled in French should be warning enough Timmsy) failing to jump to top gear so I turned a screw one quarter clockwise. That didn't fix it so I turned it back. After that eighth gear didn't work so I turned it further and then eighth gear worked but ninth still didn't.

    Thirty minutes later I took it to the bike shop and threw my money at them.

    Don't think that having a home built single speed will solve your issues. Bike gears are evil and will find a way.

    -----------------------
    I hate autocorrect .
    armatt and Rob42 like this.
  4. cyclopath Phil Waugh (73)

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    [USER=1676]MrTimms[/USER] No, they are not all interchangeable. For example, Campagnolo and Shimano cassettes are not interchangeable, but SRAM and Shimano are. They need a different hub.
    Of course, you could just get a single speed, non-fixed rear wheel, rather than convert a free-wheeling hub.
    But Nick is right, farking fiddly, even to the experienced!
    Life not busy enough for you? :)
  5. MrTimms Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Haha, I have punched myself in the head a few times, maybe not hard enough, I'm plugging on.

    It's not solving problems, it's just a fun way to get to know how the bike works better.

    Yeah, I'm basically sticking with Shimano kit, and the freewheel versions specifically. I've ordered a couple of new tools that will help with removing the freewheel, until I get in there I won't know for sure but I suspect I will be able to buy/acquire a BMX or single speed gear set to just screw on there.

    Yeah, that will be a last resort really, hoping to not spend much cash. These things seem to be much more available in the states than they are here and the shipping is terrible.

    You'd think that wouldn't you.
  6. Baldric Jim Clark (26)

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    I doubt you will be able to just get a fixed cog and replace the existing cog. I think you will need a whole new hub. The fixed cog is only on cog where the existing is several and there will be a big bloody space that needs filling up.That might mean new spokes too and a wheel that needs to be built.
    Then you have to sort out the front gears...
    Maybe just punching yourself in the head will be easier, or get a friend to do it for you
  7. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Geez Timmsy, after doing the fixie conversion are you also going to get some tattoos and ironic facial hair? :)
    MrTimms likes this.
  8. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    He's only got as far as putting all his pants in the clothes drier to try and shrink them.
    MrTimms likes this.
  9. Sully John Eales (66)

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    Needs one of these I reckon!

    MrTimms likes this.
  10. Sully John Eales (66)

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    Like the guy on the single in this clip!
  11. Cutter Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Good luck Timmsy. A big job. I have a lovely steel frame from 1980 that I've been intending to convert into a fixie for over 3 years.

    The best resource, if you haven't already found it, is Sheldon Brown http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html. I'm not sure if his could be regarded as "ironic facial hair", but he is an amazing resource for cyclists.
    MrTimms likes this.
  12. MrTimms Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Haha, classics [USER=1515]Sully[/USER]. I've ordered a Turbo spoke, that shits going on for sure.

    I fucking hate hipsters. Mines going to be a big BMX style, with freewheel, I'm not interested at this stage in fixed gear.

    [USER=1536]Cutter[/USER], I've been looking at Sheldon's stuff, he knows what's going on.

    I know that I can remove the freewheel and put a BMX cog on, which will give me the single gear and the ability to coast. I'll just have to re-dish the wheel to make it centred again (didn't even know what that meant a week ago!!!)

    I'm just waiting for tools that I've ordered to arrive, but with the kit i've assembled I think I might be right for most parts.

    I'm learning shitloads about the different types of gear out there and getting a much better understanding of what to look for and how it works, which was the point in the first place.

    But seriously, has anyone in Brisbane got a BMX in their garage they don't want anymore? I could use the gear and handlebars.
  13. Gagger Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Great thread. Just make sure you don't stop posting when it all goes to shit. This could rival The Big V
  14. cyclopath Phil Waugh (73)

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    Look for council pick-ups. Bikes galore when they're on. You may need to build a shed to put all the busted-arse shit in that you collect at these things though! ;) I can't wait to see the finished product.
    Then you'll just need some proper lycra.
    You know you want to.
  15. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Sheldon Brown's site is the best cycling resource I've yet seen on da Intarnetz. I second the recommendation.
  16. MrTimms Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Just an update and a couple of shots.

    Completely stripped the bike, cleaned everything up and I've undercoated it. Even whacked a little paint on the forks to see how the colour looks.

    having some trouble finding cranks and chainset as well as parts to convert the rear but otherwise, coming along nicely.

    2013-08-31 10.01.03.jpg 2013-08-31 10.09.14.jpg 2013-08-31 10.09.42.jpg
    cyclopath likes this.

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