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The most fun you can have with your clothes on......(12 posts)

The most fun you can have with your clothes on......Dave Hickey
Jun 14, 2002 6:07 AM
Here are some pics of my latest project. It's a 1976 Gitane single speed. I rescued this bike from someones garbage.
The frame was stripped down to bare metal. I cut off the derailleur hanger and then repainted the frame with a couple of cans of Krylon. The wheels are 8/9speed no name hubs with Araya rims. I used a lot of cassette spacers and a Shimano BMX 16t cog. The nice thing about using an 8/9 speed hub is it's real easy to get a perfect chainline. My total out of pocket cost for this project was about $75.00.
I usually ride this bike in sandels and regular shorts. It's so much fun just to hop on the bike and go. If anyone wants to do a single speed conversion, I'd like to offer the following tips.
1. Use a 70's era frame. They don't have downtube shift bosses or a lot of brazeons. They also have horizontal dropouts.
2. If your going to use an 8/9 speed hub, buy a Shimano BMX cog. They have very large teeth and are not ramped. Regular cogs are ramped to make shifting easier. You don't want the chain coming off. I paid $7 at Excel for the cog.
I'm riding this bike almost as much as my "serious bike". I have to go to Los Angeles for a week in July and this bike should make an ideal Strand/Beach cruiser.
one more pic.......Dave Hickey
Jun 14, 2002 6:08 AM
I tought I taw a master link ...Humma Hah
Jun 15, 2002 10:43 AM
I DID, I DID tee a master link!

I thought I was the only guy left to use chains with master links. My LBS always looks at me funny when I ask for one, then tries to sell me a 98-pair chain for a dinky little BMX bike, and I say, "Nope, 112 link."
Nice Crankboneman
Jun 14, 2002 6:39 AM
Looks like a Stronglight from here.
It is.Dave Hickey
Jun 14, 2002 6:55 AM
It is a Stronglight. It came with the Gitane. I'd like to get rid of the red alloy bolts but they were the only ones short enough to fit with one chainring.
The red alloy bolts...rwbadley
Jun 16, 2002 7:13 PM
Look cool in the pic. I built mine up with blue bolts (the bike is white with blue accents) More color never hurt anything.
You know the Stronglight cranks are going for some big bucks now. I sold some off a while back to Japan, and was really surprised at what they went for!
Mine's almost the same--it's WAY fun!cory
Jun 14, 2002 7:34 AM
I built a singlespeed last year out of an old Trek tourer--used the middle ring and a BMX freewheel and lucked into a nearly perfect chainline. Also got lucky with the tension--the frame has semi-vert dropouts that allowed enough adjustment to get it right. Mustache bars, Power Grips on some old pedals...about 16 bucks in "new" money, plus stuff that was hanging on the wall. Never a problem from the first day, and it's hard to explain how much fun it is. Great use of that old frame cluttering up the garage.
Semi-vert dropoutsDave Hickey
Jun 14, 2002 7:43 AM
I think it was Sheldon Brown that had an article on Semi-Vert drop outs and single speeds. He said the easiest way to dial in the proper tension is by adjusting the size of the rear cog. He said one chain link is about 1/2" but 1 tooth differernce in cogs is approx 1/8".
Is it a single or a fixie?Ray Sachs
Jun 14, 2002 7:42 AM
No rear brake makes me think fixie, but how do you "freeze" a Shimano freehub so it won't freewheel?

It's a single speed..........Dave Hickey
Jun 14, 2002 7:47 AM
I should probably have a rear brake but I've had no problems with just the front. I live in Dallas and it's very flat. I'm considered building a fixie, but I like to coast too much.
"Coasting is BAD for you"Humma Hah
Jun 15, 2002 10:47 AM
... or so Sheldon Brown tells us.

I enjoy coasting, too. The 74 Paramount will be fixed/singlespeed flip/flop. I'm following MB1's lead and going fixed for flatter runs and commuting, singlespeed for long rides with lots of hills. The one place my cruiser can blast by MB1 and Miss M is when they're riding their fixies downhill.
you sayin' i cant ride bikes naked....on second thoughts NmSpirito
Jun 14, 2002 12:09 PM