Single Speed Conversion

Jason080176 Posts: 2
edited May 2014 in Workshop
I've got an old Carrera Valour like this gathering rust and dust in the garage and thought I'd convert into a single speed next time we have a wet weekend as it get me out of going shopping with the other half. I don't want to spend too much money as I'll only be using it to get to work and as a cheap run around.

I've found the following the workshop guides and plan to follow from step 5 onwards.

The bike has a 48 tooth front chain ring so I'm planning on just removing the inner ring. I presume i don't have to do anything else to replace what I've removed??

As the bike has a vertical drop out I know I need to use a tensioner so was going to use the following kit Is the best option or is there a better/cheaper way??

The current chain is a bit of a mess and need replacing, will any standard 1/8 inch chain work??

The bike has drop bars which I want to replace with a flat bars so will need new brake levers , the current brake are tektro, will using these brake levers work with the brakes if not what kind of brake levers should I be looking for or should I replace both the lever and the brakes??

I want to replace the drop bars for flat or bullhorn ones, I want quite narrow ones, about 380mm-400mm and probably a new stem as I think the 100mm stem I have now is a bit long. Does anyone have any suggestions where I can get a cheap set from??

Is there anything I've missed out that I'll need or something that won't work, as I say, I want to do this as cheap as possible.

Final two questions for now, is there an easy way to remove the decal stickers from the frame??

If I took some brave pills and bought a new wheel could I ride the set up as a fixie??

Thanks for any advice/guidance as once it's complete I'll post pictures in the your bike section.


  • Salsa
    Salsa Posts: 753
    Well you'll need shorter bolts for the front ring to start, like these > ... s-ec006126
    The DMR kit comes with a 16t sprocket and 48/16 is a pretty high gear imo, I use 42/16 on my everyday ss bike.
    An 8 speed chain is needed for that DMR kit, no point running 1 1/8th as it's just heavier anyway.
    Those levers will work.
    Velosolo is a good place to buy ss parts from >
    No, you can't run fixie with a tensioner.
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    I'll try and help out infra seriatim:

    1. 48 tooth ring: just take the other ring off and space out the bolts using washers - you could get new bolts but washers are cheaper. 1 thickish washer per bolt, job jobbed.

    2. Just try it with the chain set up and see how it goes - dependant on how many miles you intend to do you may not need one.

    3. If sticking with the existing sprockets, just get the cheapest chain you can get and use that cut down to length. Or clean up your current chain with Jizer and elbow grease and see how that goes.

    4. Yeah, give it a bash. Keep the packaging and if they don't work just send them back and get a refund.

    5. Go down the dump/recycling place and get some off a mountain bike (you'll be able to get the stem as well). This will cost you nothing save for a karma donation to Help For Heroes. Cut to length, clean up, job jobbed. To get all the old paint off really easily just get a wire brush attachment to your drill, take all the paint off and so long as you don't mash it up it'll look like brushed alloy. Polish/paint/lacquer on it as floats your boat.

    6. Decals: 30 mins with a hairdryer, 10 mins with a hot air gun - heat up until really hot, peel off, nail varnish remover/Jizer to get rid of any left over adhesive (cheaper than fancy dan adhesive remover).

    7. Yes so long as you get the right spaced wheel for the frame. I presume its a modern frame so go and steal a wheel from a local Hoxton yooth's Charge Plug and use that. He'll be too busy trying to be intello ironic arty to notice anyhow. I dumped the bull horn ones from my fixie as I couldn't get on with them and use old late 90's mountainbike bars now. I actually did see a fixie with some wooden bars that looked really funky if that floats your boat. You could probably make some from a broom handle.

    Don't bother fitting a back brake - brakes are for cowards anyhow.


    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.