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3 speed Hercules to single speed conversion

Hello everyone. I have a 3 speed 1958 Hercules that id like to convert into a single speed temporarily until I figure out how to tinker with a 3 speed hub. I know that frame spacing is different for these old bikes I want to know if anyone has any info on what wheelset and parts to buy to make this happen.

P.s I know I’m going to get flak from the traditionalist for doing this but I just want to get this thing on the road sometime soon.


  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,049
    If you have 120 mm dropouts, which is likely and if you have horizontal dropouts, which also is likely, then all you need is a single speed rear wheel and a new chain. You might or might not need a single speed chainset, depends how straight is your chain line and whether your ring is happy with single speed chains...
    left the forum March 2023
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 26,947 Lives Here
    Not what you're asking but do you have a Hercules hub and if so do you have a Hercules shifter? I bought an old bike for the Mrs to lock up at the station and it would always slip in either 2nd or 3rd depending on how I set the cable tension. This made me think the pull ratio may be different. I bought a cheap wheel with a Sturmey Archer to fix the problem. Still have the Hercules hub in case I find a shifter to match.
  • Hi Chris. I'm running a 3 speed Shimano coaster- brake hub as a single speed. The shifter broke so I just removed it, took off the cable, and literally pulled out the tensioner thingy from the hub. Now it's permanently in low gear. It still makes a pleasing clicky sound when free-wheeling and the brake works fine.
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