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  1. #1
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    Help me convert my (road bike) Cannondale to SS

    I bought this bike in 96 and have done maybe 1000 kms on it. I sort of got tired of road training and started mtb-ing more instead, at that time.
    Two weeks ago I started riding my new Inbred, one gear only. It's my first SS and I totally love it. So I thought I'd give the Cannondale a new chance by making it a SS. It was a pretty expensive bike so it might be worth the effort. It has a Mavic crank, Mavic hubs, Mavic brakes, Mavic ceramic coated rims and a Cannondale carbon fork. I don't know what the frame model is called, but it was the 2nd gen 2.8 tubing. What that means is that a size 54 or 56 frame weighed only 2.8 lbs. At least thats how I remember it.

    Any thoughts on the conversion?
    Anyone done it?

    My thoughts:
    I want to change as few parts as possible. I will use the bike to work (30 kms a day) in the summer as well as for the occasional Sunday trip.

    I think I need a new chainring, sized somewhere in between the two mounted now. What is a good gear for someone in good shape but who is no racer?

    Where can I buy a set of spacers and a cog that fits the Mavic hub? It's Shimano compatible so it should be easy, but who has these parts and what are they called?

    I'd like to avoid a chain tensioner, simply because it will look better without one. What are my options there? excentric BB the only way to go?

    I cant tell what type BB the bike has. Is it possible judging from my pics?

    The gear mechs are easy to just take off. Same with gear cables. Brake handles will have to be changed, I guess. They are made for gear changing as well and I want simpler stuff.

    Thanks
    Onkel
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  2. #2
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    A few more pics

    By the way, does anyone know how to get posted pictures to appear IN the post instead of after the post. You know, mix words and pics. I don't get it.
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  3. #3
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    Just accept that you'll have to use a tensioner. You could attempt a magic gear, but meh. Someone will chime in on a good one. I've never used one and none of my frames have vertical dropouts.

    That said, pickup a Surly cog and some spacers for the rear. You could use the big ring you already have and a bigger cog in the rear to achieve the desired ratio. It would be slightly heavier but less wear (thus even less maintenance), and you'd have more chain wrap on the rear, making it less likely to drop the chain when using your tensioner. Since you're in shape I would say go for ~75 gear inches if it is a bit flatter, ~70 if it is hilly. Or just someone in between.
    Use this to figure out:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    You'll probably want new brake levers. The Tektro R200A is an inexpensive set that works just great. You have STI shifters so it'll look funky having shifters and no gears.

    Honestly though... just leave it as is. As an avid single speeder/fixed gear rider I still very much enjoy getting on a fast geared road bike. What you may find is that you really like commuting, but some days it rains and you still want to ride. So you'll look into fenders and realize your frame doesn't have clearance or eyelets. You can build a nice SS with track ends, eyelets, wider tire clearance, and put a rack and fenders on it for really not much money. Even the bikesdirect.com Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno is a good deal if you just want a beater. Some faster tires and a bigger chainring might be in order, but you may like 39x16 and the pinch flat and flat protection the wider tires offer.

  4. #4
    HTFU and Ride
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    if you want to get rid of the tensioner get one of these. A White Industries ENO eccentric hub and lace it to your rim. Get an ENO freewheel and you will be rocking out!

    that is way too pretty a bike to clutter it up with a tensioner!

    +1 on the gearing and brake levers info from Schmucker
    Winter is coming.

  5. #5
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    If you're wanting to keep the Starfish cranks you'll only have two options, Surly Singleator or a White Eno hub.

    Of you're open to changing to a Shimano crank you could purchase an eccentric bottom bracket like the Forward Components.

    In the end you me decide to leave your C'dale alone and buy a new frame. With all those sweet parts, and I've got Mavic in my garage too, a frame like a Surly Steam Roller or Cross Check or an On-One Il Pompino.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  6. #6
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    You mean buy a frame with sliding dropouts?

    I Really like the Mavic crank and I wanna keep it.
    What type BB is that, since it can't be used with an eccentric BB?

    Thanks.

    onkel

  7. #7
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    use the magic gear calculator, im sure some one will provide a link in a bit.what i did was bought some cheap dimension cogs in various teeth sizes to find the magic gear ratio. i also really like your crank and the way your bike was welded together.the eno hub probably wont work seeing that you don't have the clearance for it,ive tried fitting a smaller hub where a 8 speed free hub has been and trust me it doesn't turn out good. a good spacer kit would be the wheels manufacturing one which come with a 16 tooth cog and then get some dimension cogs in the sizes 15,17,18, these parts are fairly cheap here:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/1...omponents.aspx
    at jenson they also have the surly singulator just in case.
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  8. #8
    Jabberwocky Jockey
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    You don't need a tensioner. Like has been mentioned, use a ENO hub. They work beautifully and enabled me to "save" this poor Cannondale Synapse from ebay.





    I ended up with a 14.5lb bike that I love to ride!
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  9. #9
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    Man, that is a nice looking bike. Are you sure you want to mess with it? I have a 99 Klein Quantum Race and have thought about converting it, but can't bear to start taking it apart. I've decided to get another bike to build as a SS.

    Also, get an account with Photobucket.com to post pics in the thread.

  10. #10
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    Don't have anything new to add, but that Cannondale is a perfect candidate for a White Industries ENO hub. I did the same thing with a Lemond I have and couldn't be any happier with it.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuck_chorris
    the eno hub probably wont work seeing that you don't have the clearance for it,ive tried fitting a smaller hub where a 8 speed free hub has been and trust me it doesn't turn out good. a good spacer kit would be the wheels manufacturing one which come with a 16 tooth cog and then get some dimension cogs in the sizes 15,17,18, these parts are fairly cheap here:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/1...omponents.aspx
    at jenson they also have the surly singulator just in case.

    I don't understand what you are talking about? you can get an ENO hub in 130mm spacing, that frame is 130mm spacing, it will work great
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  12. #12
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916
    I don't understand what you are talking about? you can get an ENO hub in 130mm spacing, that frame is 130mm spacing, it will work great
    sorry, i didnt know if they fix the clearance or not
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  13. #13
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    Thanks all

    I guess all my wishes won't come true.

    I'd like to keep the crank AND the hub. Why? Simply because I dig them.
    Then there's the cost. A quick check for a White Eno tells me: 125. Then there's the lacing, which I can't do myself. Maybe new spokes. We are looking at minimum 175. A pompino frame with 135 mm spacing is 150. Ok, so there's no fork included, but anyway... A Singular frame may set me back a litte bit more. I don't want to know.

    I just bought the Inbred and fear I'm gonna get divorced if I start spending (much) on another bike project. Our washing mashine broke down last week. Ordered one yesterday. We also need a larger fridge since there's gonna be four of us in the house soon. A new baby is expected in June. So I ordered that too, yesterday.

    I want to, as Darkwing Duck put it: save this old Cannondale from eBay. Or as in my case, save it from rotting away by sitting still another 10-12 years.

    How about messing around with different sized cogs and a halflink? Is it even remotely possible that it will work?
    Next option would be a tensioner. Rather that than a divorce.

    Thanks everyone. Good advice and friendly spirits. I appreciate it.
    onkel

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    A tensioner is the foolproof way to get good chain tension, except I needed a half link anyway for my first SS conversion.

    Did anybody mention a "ghost ring" for tension?
    (a big cog or small chainring floating between the upper and lower parts of the chain)

  15. #15
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    That sure is a pretty bike. You could probably sell it and come up with enough money to buy a new singlespeed bike. If you were in the States, I would trade you a SS bike.
    If you want to quickly convert it to try out, ditch the big ring & front derailleur and buy a singlespeed spacer kit for a cassette freehub. Use your current rear derailleur as a tensioner. I would try a 39x16 (68 inches) first and if that's too easy go to a 15 (73 inches). If your freehub is aluminum, don't use those cheap Dimension cogs, they will scar or strip it. If it is steel, you'll be fine. If you ride it and like it, invest in an eccentric ENO.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Did anybody mention a "ghost ring" for tension?
    (a big cog or small chainring floating between the upper and lower parts of the chain)
    I don't think there's room for that. His frame has a reduced space for that to fit because of where the seat stays intersect the lower stays. I also think the lower stays are curved in toward the wheel as well. It's be worth a try, but it would depend on the gearing he'd try and the area to put the Ghost Ring.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  17. #17
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    If money is the problem, the simplist solution is to just not shift! Takes a lot of self-control, though.

  18. #18
    conjoinicorned
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    i wouldn't use a magic gear....IME cranking hard up a big hill on my SS roadie hurts more than on my SS MTB's when the chain derails. a little less knee / sack clearance on the roadie guarantees that....not to mention trying to run a light in traffic and suddenly having no power to the drivetrain!

    personally i would buy a cheap old school road bike off of cragslist or the local buy/sell...should be able to grab one for $100 and convert it. that cannondale would be too much fun with gears and speed...
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  19. #19
    CB2
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    I used to have that frame, but much smaller!
    I loved it, and probably would still be riding it if it wasn't so darn hard to keep clean (there's no clear-coat over that polished finish boys and girls).

    Here's a link to Roadbikereview where a guy got a magic gear to work on his C-dale. There is also a magic gear calculator on the thread.

  20. #20
    local trails rider
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    This is not mine. Just a CAAD-9 I spotted on another forum.


    The owner says he's been running it with 14/39, and sometimes 14/42 which is a bit tall for a hilly town. He mentions using half links but I am not sure which gear that referred to.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    If money is the problem, the simplist solution is to just not shift! Takes a lot of self-control, though.
    I did that for a while, on my Kona Fire Mountain - just to make sure I'd like SS - before I finally decided on the Inbred. The drivetrain was so worn out I couldn't stand up and pedal because then the chain would slip on the teeth.

    Here's the plan, for now. Get a new saddle for the Inbred, so the C'dale can get its Flite back. Loan the Inbreds Shimano spd's (just ordered - in the mail now) and then start riding to establish what gearing I want. I know the chain won't slip on this bike, so I'll hammer it.

    Then I'll buy a smaller chainring, a few cogs and a half link and start experimenting, using the Magic gear method. Small investment that can be a lot of fun.

    I'll call you guys again when its time. I'm pretty sure I'll need some more advice.

    Thank's a lot.

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