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  1. #1
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    wheelset question

    I figured I'd ask here instead of clogging the wheels forum with a 700c issue.
    I have a freewheel setup and want get a freehub or maybe a flip flop hub. Other than the rear hub (cassette/spacers) what else do I need to consider.
    I intend to just buy an upgrade but economy wheelset. Would it work to just swap out to a freehub?

  2. #2
    Which way? Uphill.
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    You'll have to consider rear spacing. With a freewheel you are probably somewhere in the 120-130mm rear spacing range, depending on year, # of gears, road or MTB, etc.

    If you fill in the blanks as to what you currently have and what you want to get to then we can give better advice, but most options will fall into these categories.

    -Swap to a freehub wheelset of the same spacing (7 speed rear and above only).

    -Re-set the rear end spacing to accomodate the new wheel. Frame needs to be steel, will likely need to change the shifters to match the number of gears in the back now unless you're running friction shifters.

    -Flip-flop hubs come in 120mm (track) or 130mm (current road spacing) so to go that route you need that spacing on your current bike or need to have a steel frame that can be cold set to one of those spacings.

    Also, make sure you don't have 27" wheels when you think you have 700c wheels. If you're currently running 27" wheels then you can convert to 700c no prob, but you have to make sure that your brakes will still reach the braking surface of the rims.
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  3. #3
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    Any thoughts on tire... I'm looking for an all around road tire. Does anyone know anything about Freedom tires?

  4. #4
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    The bike in question is a Panasonic DX4000. It came in as a 10 speed with down tube friction shifters. I moved the 52t chainring to the inside. replaced the original freewheel with a 20t. I redished the wheel to align the chainline and went with a bmx style chain to accommodate the replaced freewheel. It has diagonal dropouts and the DH is part of the frame.
    So, it sounds like I could go for a track wheelset in the proper width. and swap to a more reasonable chainring... maybe get down to a 42:15 or so. With a flip flop hub, would the cog mount to either side to determine SS or fixed? I know it is easier to just have a cog on both sides, just a question.

  5. #5
    One Colorful Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheoDog
    The bike in question is a Panasonic DX4000. It came in as a 10 speed with down tube friction shifters. I moved the 52t chainring to the inside. replaced the original freewheel with a 20t. I redished the wheel to align the chainline and went with a bmx style chain to accommodate the replaced freewheel. It has diagonal dropouts and the DH is part of the frame.
    So, it sounds like I could go for a track wheelset in the proper width. and swap to a more reasonable chainring... maybe get down to a 42:15 or so. With a flip flop hub, would the cog mount to either side to determine SS or fixed? I know it is easier to just have a cog on both sides, just a question.
    You might have like a 126 spacing in back Surly,and All City all make 130 spacing Singlespeed hubs that could work.

    I run a Paul on my Non-Studed wheelset and a Surly on my studded tire Wheelset

    I run a 44-15 in Summer and 44-17 in winter with a 44-18 on my Studded wheelset

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    10-speeds were all 120mm between the dropouts. Which actually makes your project easier, since most hubs intended for track are available in that spacing. Finding 126mm hubs is getting hard. I'd be a little surprised if their are any freehubs available in 120mm.

    The fixed/free configuration is typically plain threading on one side, for a freewheel, and stepped threading on the other side. The diameter of the part the lock ring threads onto is slightly smaller. I think it's also reversed or something, but I ride gears. The diameter of the part the track cog goes on is the same as the old standard road threading, but I'm not sure if the threaded section would be wide enough for a freewheel. Are you planning on a fixed/free configuration, or thinking about having two freewheel sizes?

    It's mostly likely a 27" wheel. That's really not that big a deal, though - the difference in wheel radius is 4mm, so unless you already have really long-reach brake calipers and the brake shoes are all the way out at the ends, you can either adjust the pad position or replace the caliper with a longer-reach model to be compatible with a 700C wheel.

    Tires... It depends what you want to spend. I like Conti GP4000s on my nicer bike. My commuter just gets tires from a pile of random 27" and 700C tires (one wheel in each size) that I have kicking around until I run out of those. Then... dunno. I'll figure it out when it comes up. Something on sale.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info all. Looks like I am in for either about $200 to make a cool fixie/SS out of this steel relic or bumping the budget up and getting a entry level geared road bike (like the scatante or GT that has carbon forks for under $700)

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    What's the goal here?

    I'm actually quite fond of downtube shifter bikes for commute/utility/everything but racing purposes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    the goal is a light steel commuter with a ss/fixie setup. If you are interested in the frame (with downtube shift braze ons, I'd be happy to sell it cheap (under $100) It is a large frame. (not measures, but maybe 61cm)
    I have a geared aluminum commuter and I am trying to fit a geared trainer (road bike) in my budget. the project here is kinda for fun.

  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by TheoDog
    ...I intend to just buy an upgrade but economy wheelset...
    fyi...you can find any number of servicable 700c ss/fixed wheelsets with flip-flop rear hubs for under $200 all over the interweb
    check for weinmann or velocity rims, formula hubs...decent stuff
    and there's lots of others if you search a bit

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'm not interested in buying another frame, especially one that's even more too big than my current one. I was asking, because I was confused by the comment about getting an entry-level geared road bike. IMO, that would be a somewhat backwards way to approach a fixie project, although I guess a lot of people do it.

    I guess I'm actually even more confused now...

    Anyway, if your DX-4000 is similar to the one I just read about, it's got decent-quality steel tubing. It's not the fanciest in the world, even then, but it's probably a step above a Surly or most SE Racing frames. Any further improvement there will definitely be in the territory of diminishing returns. You could also get a purpose-built singlespeed frame and maintain the Panasonic as a geared bike, although I have to say that for training purposes, I really like having a whole lot of ratios. A five-speed freewheel means either wide ratios or close ratios, so if you live someplace hilly it's not ideal. You could also cold-set it to 130mm spacing and go to a contemporary drivetrain. It might be hard to do that for less than the cost of a whole new bike, though.

    A quick note about hubs... With most brands, if it's a loose-ball bearing, it's a garbage hub. Formula makes everything from really crappy loose-ball hubs to really nice cartridge bearing hubs, many of which end up with someone else's name on them. I like Shimano's loose-ball hubs, though, and maintenance parts like cones are available for them, so you can keep them running for decades. At least, as long as the parts are still available. (I replaced a cone on a decades-old Shimano hub recently; it was no biggie.)

    If there's nothing wrong with the front wheel, you might save a little by replacing only the rear.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    I intend to ride a geared road bike for training and a ss for a commuter, grocery go getter, fun. Right now, I have a Giant Seek commuter specific geared flatbar 700c bike. I just returned a borrowed Giant TCR comp and yearn to have a proper road bike for group rides and spin training.
    I see how I confused you. I already converted the steel frame to a 52:20 SS with some leftover parts, but a new set of wheels would make it lighter and faster rolling, and allow me the chance to use better components for the freewheel instead of a cheap bmx 20t freewheel. honestly, the 105 brakes outclasses the rest of the setup, but you are right, the frame is pretty nice except for a few rust spots. If the kids weren't so active, I'd post some pic.

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    So... three bikes.

    The Seek that you currently own
    The Panasonic that you're tinkering with
    A geared road bike that you're considering

    Are the wheels on the Panasonic in decent shape? Steel or aluminum rims? If they're already aluminum rims and the hubs aren't trashed, strip them and throw them on a scale before you spend any money.

    Or don't. Sometimes it's better not to know the dollars/gram ratio of an upgrade.

    I'd also be looking at the crank, especially if it's on an old-fashioned adjustable bottom bracket. You can usually mount those on cartridge bottom brackets - I have a bike like that - but sometimes the spindles on the old ones were asymmetrical, and it's an excuse to get a shiny new single-ring crank.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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