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New Single Speed(10 posts)

New Single SpeedB2
May 8, 2003 7:14 PM
I took my 1996 Bontrager Race frame that was hanging in the garage and stripped & painted it and built it up as a single speed. I already had most of the parts so the total cost was pretty reasonable.

Remove headset cups $11.97
Paint stripper, primer, paint and clear coat $26.94
Chase BB threads & reinstall headset cups $18.50
New chainring bolts $5.98
PVC spacer $3.02
New brake cables $4.33
New bar ends $10.87
Total $81.71

I set it up with 42/15 gearing for now since that gearing combined with my chainstay length is supposed to work out to an even chain length precluding the use of a chain tensioner. It's not too bad, but it would be nice if I could get the chain just a tad tighter. Would it be a bad thing to file 1/4" out of my drop outs to achieve a tighter chain?

Very niceDave Hickey
May 9, 2003 4:06 AM
I've had problems filing dropouts. I broke a Vitus frame after I filed about an 1/8". If you go with a 16t cog, You'll gain another 1/8". I'd try that first. 42/16 is what I run on all my SS's.
May have been a fragile part of the Vitus.dzrider
May 9, 2003 5:47 AM
I broke the derailleur hanger on mine trying to shift back onto the large chain ring after throwing the chain. That being said, I like your 42x16 plan better than filing.
Looks like I need about a 1/16thB2
May 9, 2003 6:31 AM
Dave -

Thanks for the suggestion. I just tried the 16T cog and I can get it in the drop, but man is it TIGHT!

After hearing your experience with filing, I'm not sure I want to go there, but I only need a LITTLE BIT. I'll have to comtemplate that one for a while before I take the plunge.... and I really think the 42/16 would be closer to what I'm looking for.

re: New Single Speededdie m
May 9, 2003 6:55 AM
Don't file the dropout. File a flat spot on the axle. You should be able to safely get 1/16". Sheldon Brown has a description of that on the Harris website. He even describes filing the entire axle flat with the lockwasher to allow some adjustment.
re: New Single Speedukiahb
May 9, 2003 7:55 AM
Also check out the White Industries hub at, might be worth the $$ in a few months if you get hooked on SS/FG riding....
Half link?markkar
May 9, 2003 3:26 PM
I recall that this came up before and that there was somewhere that you could get a half chain link to fine tune your chain length. Anybody remember?
Half link?eddie m
May 10, 2003 4:23 AM
I've seen half links for industrtial chains, but I don't know if I've ever seen one for any 1/2 pitch chain. You might try the McMaster's catalogue or other industrial supply catalogues. If you use a half link and a little filing as above, there should be lots of conbinations that would work.
Messed my hub up?B2
May 11, 2003 4:20 PM
Well I filed the axles and ended up the perfect chain tension. However in the process, when I inserted the wheel into the drops prior to filing the axles I think I may have "tweeked" the hub. The freewheel (coasting) noise sounds normal, but when I pedal, it just doesn't sound right. Hard to describe, but I can tell you that it makes a pretty good racket.

If I applied too much pressure on the hub by forcing it into the drop outs with too tight a chain, will an overhaul remedy the situation? What components will I likely have to replace? I have to admit, I don't know much about hubs. I'ved dinked around with just about everything else and feel pretty comfortable with repairs and adjustments on everything except hubs.

It might be your chain creakingTrevo
May 11, 2003 8:25 PM
Unless you have a perfect chainline and your gear is perfectly true, then your chain might be very tight in only one little spot and not in the rest.

As for half-links go I use them, they DO make 1/8 half link and ive heard of a 3/32 half link for tandems, but dont know anything about them.

Get yourself a 1/8 KMC chain and a half link should solve any problems and its safer then altering dropouts or axles.

I ran into too many problems when I filed my axles and dropouts....I dont wanna talk about it thought it was a bad experience.

you should put some drop bars on that thing...or some moustach bars would be a good compromise.