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single speed conversion(8 posts)

single speed conversionzorak
Nov 22, 2002 8:21 AM
i have a 1980 bianchi that i want to convert to single speed. i'm looking for any advice on doing this that anyone might have, such as compadible parts or anywhere trustworthy to find out. i'm in the philadelphia area.
Here is what the master says........Dave Hickey
Nov 22, 2002 8:53 AM

Sheldon Brown is the guru of Single speed/fixed gear conversions
I second that ...Humma Hah
Nov 22, 2002 9:34 AM
Sheldon Brown covers all the bases in his website. Bottom line, there's always a way to do it, probably many ways in the case of your bike.
short answerSteve_0
Nov 22, 2002 9:47 AM
a singlespeed frame merely requires one of two things, either horizontal drops (which your 80's bianchi should have), or a chain tensioner (singleator or deraileur). Being as you have horizontal drops:

1. Remove the freehwheel from the hub.
2. Replace with a bmx freewheel.
3. Use cassette spacers to ensure the bmx freewheel creates a straight chainline to the chainring. If spacers dont cut it, redish the wheel.
4. slide the wheel as far back in the drops as necessary to create proper chain tension.
5. Go enjoy your new ride.
thank youzorak
Nov 22, 2002 1:14 PM
i actually came across sheldon brown's site just after i posted this, and i can certainly see what you guys are saying. one of the things i'm learning is that most of making an ss is just having the balls to do it. i see that there are some tricky parts, but for the most part it is a straight forward process. hearing how short the process is from everyone is a good confidence booster. much apreciated. any recommendations as to whether to use the existing hub, or getting a flip flop hub?
Yes ...Humma Hah
Nov 23, 2002 7:53 AM
... I've seen it done all conceivable ways. They're all good.

My Paramount is going together with a flip-flop track hub. Why? Well, because I scored one at a bicycle flea market and its PERFECT!

My cruiser is presently sporting an old 6-speed MTB wheel that I screwed the corncob off of and replaced with a singlespeed freewheel. Didn't require any mods but changing a couple of spacers around. Why this way? Because I stumbled on this New Old Stock surplus wheelset really cheap.

I had a rear wheel built up for the Paramount with a flip-flop wheel, but made the shop take it back? Why? Because they bought the wrong hub (they changed the order after I'd ordered the right one), and it wouldn't fit the bike. Otherwise I'd be running a custom wheel.

In your case, I would not hesitate to screw off the existing corncob (at that vintage, that's how it should be equipped), and trying it out with the cog of your choice. You might want to try both a singlespeed freewheel (for longer, hilly rides and to get used to one gear) and a fixed-gear cog. Those cogs will fit the flip-flop, too, so you're bound to buy them either way.

Then, if you decide to put the extra money into a special hub, you can just use the cogs you've already got.

One tip: there turn out to be a lot of different freewheel pullers on the market. Either use a chainwhip, or pick one type of freewheel puller and always buy cogs for that type. That will save on a proliferation of tools.
good callzorak
Nov 28, 2002 2:05 PM
i got the sucker working. i bought a freewheel and spaced it out so the chain line was straight and it works great. only took one morning of tinkering and some goofing with the chain tension to get it perfect. i've been riding it all the time, having a blast. for anyone reading who is considering doing the same thing, i have one piece of advice. when deciding on how many teeth you want to use for your freewheel, etc. guess lower rather than high (as in a lower gearing overall) if you are new to one-speeding. Mine's a bit low, but i much prefer it to the alternative.
Welcome to the revolution!Humma Hah
Nov 29, 2002 1:39 PM
'Tis definitely a blast, comrade!