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road bike>>>>singlespeed???

JC.152JC.152 Posts: 645
edited October 2008 in Workshop
I was thinking after going to the matlock national hillcimb at the weekend whether a normal road bike could be turned into a singlespeed bike?

i don't know anything about them and I don't know whether this is the right place to ask either or if it should be where the commutering people live? but is it a job that can be done so a dying bike in the garage can enjoy the hills again?

Posts

  • Slow DowncpSlow Downcp Posts: 3,041
    Horizontal drop outs make it easy (although I think you can do with vertical with a tensioner?). My winter fixed is a Raleigh Triathlon 531c that was originally 12 speed.
    Carlsberg don't make cycle clothing, but if they did it would probably still not be as good as Assos
  • Big Red SBig Red S Posts: 26,890
    yeah, it's entirely possible.
    You replace the cassette with an adaptor to let you run a singlespeed cog, remove excess chainrings, fit a singlespeed chain, and find some way of tensioning the chain (either an old rear mech or a dedicated tensioner if you have vertical dropouts).

    The adaptors are only available for Shimano freehubs, to the best of my knowledge.
  • JC.152JC.152 Posts: 645
    the bike is a 531 Brian Rourke from a loong time ago with 14 gears and they are Shimano 600-which is old ultegra i think but I don't know because its probably from before I was born
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Most older steel frames use 'horizonal' drop-out which give enough back-and-forth adjustment to allow chain tension adjustment for SS/Fixed, so sounds as though your Rourkie will be OK. Modern road hubs are 130mm wide inside the drop-outs, or your frame may be 126mm whereas many SS/Fixed hubs are 120mm - you can 'cold set' (bend!) the frame to accept the narrower hub, or alternatively, get/adjust a hub to fit. Suggest you search/post on the Special Interest borad for more info.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    JC.152 wrote:
    I was thinking after going to the matlock national hillcimb at the weekend whether a normal road bike could be turned into a singlespeed bike... is it a job that can be done so a dying bike in the garage can enjoy the hills again?
    Yes - here's 'one I made earlier'...

    ss2.jpg

    ss3.jpg

    ss4.jpg

    (I've sorted out the positions of the brake levers and bars since the photos were taken, and changed the pedals to SPDs)

    It cost £25 + my junk box parts + frame/forks/wheels on semi-permanent loan from a mate who emigrated and couldn't take all his bikes with him.

    It makes a nice change from riding with gears. I chose a 39/15 gear and that is fine on the flat to about 23-25 mph (I spin out beyond that). Downhill, I just get my chin on the handlebars and freewheel. Uphill is hard work on anything steeper than about 10%.

    I keep it at the 'ancestral home' in the midlands and riding it in the north Warwickshire lanes reminds me of the fun I had riding my childhood single-speed bike there over 40 years ago. The thing is - this one weighs about 12 pounds less than my original bike 8) !
  • meagainmeagain Posts: 2,331
    Single speed free is easy - any frame/any hub will do. If vertical d'outs need a chain tensioner.
    Fixed a different matter simply because cannot use a tensioner (and I shall ignore the tech niceties of magic chainlengths!), so therefore need horizontal d'outs (rear or forward facing). Or an Eno eccentric hub. Or a retro-fit eccentric bottom bracket (but I know little about the "new" one from I think Germany). Neither of these a cheap solution - in fact much the same as either buying a "new" frame or having different drop outs welded in! Using existing hubs also more problematic for fixed: a screw on will work, but if a cassette, then the Surly Fixxer to allow a fixed starts bumping up the cost.
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
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