Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Single Speed Wheels

j_mcdj_mcd Posts: 473
edited May 2019 in Commuting chat
Question for those in the know...

I want to move an old frame over to a single speed set up, I have a spare rear wheel but it's set up for a cassette. To set up for single speed usage, can I just use spacers or do I need to re-dish the wheel (which scares me)?
Giant Defy Advanced 0 - Best
Planet X London Road - Wet
Montague Fit - Foldy thing that rarely gets used these days


  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,042
    just use spacers, you will need a chain tensioner too
    left the forum March 2023
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Think you can buy a singlespeed kit to convert a cassette / freehub wheel. Includes the spacers, the sprocket, and a chain tensioner. Just fit / swap the spacers to put the sprocket in the right place for a perfect chainline.
  • Cheeseface22Cheeseface22 Posts: 133
    Questions on your rear wheel and the drop out:

    Is it "freewheel" or "freehub" wheel?
    If freehub (I'm assuming as you specifically said "cassette"), then as above, just get few spacers, the cog and adjust the chain line.
    If freewheel thread, then it's much more complicated; probably less hassle and much easier to get a flip flop wheel.

    Is the drop out horizontal or vertical?

    If horizontal, then you could get away without a tensioner (as you can pull back the wheel to create tension).
    If vertical, then you'll need tensioner, unless you're very lucky to have the chain tension spot on (which does happen).

    Is the wheel nutted axle or quick release?

    Nutted axle has much better hold to keep the wheel in place (if the frame has horizontal dropout) than quick release skewer.
    If it's a quick release skewer, expect the wheel to slip and cause nightmare. Although some have sworn the QR work absolutely fine with single speed (didn't in my case, even with old solid Shimano skewers).

    SS conversion is somehow not as simple as people expect. Unless you have freehub, horizontal dropout and nutted axle. Much simpler, easier, and actually rideable if the frame accepts flip flop wheel.

    Good luck!
Sign In or Register to comment.