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Author Topic: Cheap SS Conversion??  (Read 1803 times)

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Offline RKL

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Cheap SS Conversion??
« on: December 09, 2009, 07:26:45 PM »
I've got a 15-year old cromoly Trek 830 sitting in the garage.  I'm thinking about converting to a single-speed as an excuse to get some much needed bike mechanic practice - of which I have very little.  Some quick searching on the web tells me I can buy a conversion kit w/ spacers or could go really cheap-ars and use PVC pipe as a spacer.  I am not adverse to cannibalizing the existing cassettes as part of this project.  I'm assuming I may have to buy a chain tensioner.
 
I don't want to put a bunch of money into a bike that isn't worth anything now.  But I want a conversion I can ride reliably with the missus, on errands around town, and up the hill at the local landfill turned park.  If the conversion kits aren't much, I'd probably do that as I assume they'd be more reliable long term.
 
Short of putting the bike in the gears of choice and cutting the cables - what's my best bet for a cheap, reliable conversion?

Offline gotwalp

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2009, 07:59:03 PM »
Hi RKL,One of my friends bought one of these and it is a great starter kit!http://www.performancebike.com/bikes//Product_10052_10551_1031512_-1___ Cheers,Walt
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Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2009, 08:13:09 PM »
I did this to my commuter bike. I used a 20t cog in the back with the 42 up front, and a singulator type deal for chain tension. Works great on my old '94 M300 C-dale, I can cruise along at 15mph but the gear isn't too much for the low speed stuff and if I want to push harder I can run 20+.
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Offline Alan

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2009, 09:35:25 AM »
Nashbar has a nice kit for $30. Includes spring tensioner, three cogs, and a bunch of spacers. I am using this kit to convert my brother's 90's Specialized mtb into a ss for xmas. Will let you know if the kit is any good.

Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 11:01:10 AM »
The spring tensioners don't work very good, especially off-road. The only one I've found that works ok is one with a lock bolt that locks the tensioner in place.
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Offline Alan

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2009, 08:17:53 PM »
I've never heard of any issues with the spring tensioners.  Eventually I want him to get one of those eccentric retrofit bottom brackets, but that was beyond my budget. 

Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 09:04:37 PM »
I had a spring tensioner, it didn't work. Just trying to save you the pain I experienced everytime the darn thing decided to slip.
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Offline Alan

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 08:28:05 AM »
I see your point with the spring tensioner. I did not realize it would take so much tinkering to get it to work properly. I think it will be fine for now, but maybe I will upgrade him to a fixed tensioner. Know if any good ones that are not super expensive and mount to the hanger as opposed to the chain stay?

Offline Triple T

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 08:44:29 AM »
There's always the option of making your own tensioner.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=226049&highlight=DIY+chain+tensioners
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Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 10:01:06 AM »
I see your point with the spring tensioner. I did not realize it would take so much tinkering to get it to work properly. I think it will be fine for now, but maybe I will upgrade him to a fixed tensioner. Know if any good ones that are not super expensive and mount to the hanger as opposed to the chain stay?

 
I've got one on my commuter bike, but I don't remember the name. I'll see if it is still on there when I get home tonight. But it uses the skewer to pivot off, and the hanger spot as the set bolt. Works pretty well.
 
Edit: I actually found it on-line. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CS307Z00-Dmr+Sts+And+Cassette+Spacer+Combo+Kit.aspx
 
I was able to get just the tensioner part from Dave at the Winter Haven Bike Shop.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 10:06:49 AM by slowfatguy »
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Offline mellowme17

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 07:55:58 AM »
i have never had a problem with my spring tensioner off road.
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Offline RKL

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 02:43:49 PM »
I appreciate the feedback & advice.  I'm going to give this a try after Santa brings me my new repair stand.

Offline Alan

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 06:55:11 PM »
Well I got the spring tensioner working on the bike.  Just needed to take another link out.  Bike works flawlessly.  Seems like that Nashbar kit is the way to go for a cheap SS. 

Offline Alan

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Re: Cheap SS Conversion??
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2009, 09:01:14 PM »
Photo of the finished project.  It is actually a '99 or '00 Hardrock Comp.  Came out looking nice and my brother loves the new ride.  The gift bow on the handlebar is temporary:
 

 

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