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Discussion Starter #1
So I started this project less than a week ago. This is during disassembly:



Sorry I do not have a pic of the bike while it is together. After having to break the chain because it was rusty and would NOT come apart, I found that the hardest part BY FAR would be getting the factory pedal off. The right pedal had been removed once and replaced but it was not that one that needed to come off to remove the crank assembly. So after a bottle of WD-40 and a couple hours of prying, I decided the best thing that could be done was take it to LBS who was able to remove the pedal that had been on there since 1999 when the bike was bought. Here is how she sits now:



Sanding and a coat of paint to come. I have decided on truck bed liner for its durability and since I work at on an auto parts store I can get a can for fairly cheap. As for plans for the reassembly, does anyone know if a mountain bike frame would be okay to use as a fixed gear road bike with the 700c tires and all? I plan to do a thread-less fork and bent road bike style handlebars.
 

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Do you realise that the left hand pedal has a left hand thread? Been there, done that.

700c wheels and tyres won't fit, the diameter is similar but hub spacing is different, you can run slick tyres on 26" wheels though which will give you a similar feel and there's plenty of single speed 26" wheels available these days. The only issue I can think of is the rear dropouts...Single speed bikes use horizontal dropouts so that you can adjust chain tension. If you have vertical dropouts there are various ways of adapting it to single speed, no biggy.

You have to remember with fixed gear bikes that you can't stop pedalling during a corner so you need to make sure that your pedals don't clip the road when you're cornering and they probably will because your bottom bracket is going to be lower than ideal. Two ways around it, use short shorter pedal arms and pedals with good ground clearance or go freewheel...I'd go with freewheel personally.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got past the reverse thread issue fairly quickly. Everything is apart and the frame is ready for some sand and spray. As shown in the second pic the dropouts are vertical. How would I go about adapting those for the single speed crank? Also I'm not too familiar with the freewheel option on avoiding pedal scraping. What exactly is that? I am fairly new to bike building as I have never completely torn down/built up one though I have done some "maintenance" type work in the past.
 

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Stripping and building bikes isn't cheap but it's the only way to learn.

There's two ways of approaching the dropout issue, you can use an eccentric bottom bracket, you can then move the crank arms forwards and backwards so that you can take up any slack in the chain. Personally I'd go for a chain tensioner...It fits where your derraileur is at the moment, in fact it's very similar to a derraileur, just Google single speed chain tensioner.

A freewheel just means that you can stop pedalling and coast which you can't do with a fixed gear...Far more suitable for road riding than a fixed gear which was designed for the velodrome (banked curves). You can get what's called a 'flip-flop hub' which has a fixed gear cog on one side of the wheel and a freewheel on the other, they're easily available these days.

Also, with single speeds it's important to get the alignment between the front and rear cogs right, you don't want the chain operating at an angle. You can adjust the alignment by fitting the right size bottom bracket and single speed wheels sometimes have some adjustment in the cog, probably best to get the bike shop to deal with that if you're not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE:

With a few coats of truck bed liner:



I am very impressed with how easily this stuff is going on, and very pleased with how it is turning out.

Hogdog: Thank you very much for your knowledge! the "flip-flop hub" is definitely the route I will be taking.
 

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Do you have any hills where you live? If so you may want to rethink the single speed/fixed gear thing.

I understand why some people do it but I'd never give up my gears.

-Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Do you have any hills where you live? If so you may want to rethink the single speed/fixed gear thing.

I understand why some people do it but I'd never give up my gears.
I do. However this bike has no rear suspension and I plan to buy a mountain bike with suspension. Also, once it is finished, this bike would be strictly for easy rides around a neighborhood or something of the sort. I personally do not want to get into setting up a gear system as the old one that came off the bike is shot. I am on a slightly limited budget so purchasing a new gear system (shifters, deraileur, cables, etc.) is one of the things I am trying to avoid to cut down on cost. Right now all I need is wheels, handlebars, a new front fork (preferably threadless), a stem, and a single gear crank. Sounds like a lot right now but I think I can handle it
 

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No problem Josh. I can see the dropouts better in that photo and it looks like you have a semi horizontal type dropout so you should have enough adjustment in it to allow a single speed without a tensioner, good news!
 

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Look around and see if there's a bike co-op in your area or watch Craigslist as used parts can be had pretty reasonably.

Nothing wrong with having your own preferences, mine are road bikes with gears, high pressure tires, no suspension (road bikes typically don't have suspension) and drop bars.

My main bike is an old, fairly heavy, steel frame Raleigh and it's super comfortable on long rides even without any fancy suspension and do keep in mind that on long rides the skinny high pressure tires of a road bike make for an easier ride with a lot less effort than on something with fat, cushy tires.
 

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Oh, not sure if it's been mentioned but don't cheap out on tires.

Even if they're listed as high pressure tires a cheap tire will suck.

You don't have to spend a lot to get a nice tire but you do need to step up from the super low end stuff, I run Panaracer Pasela Tourgaurds on most everything. Nice midrange price and they ride great and are very durable.



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