Behold! Project K.I.S.S- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Behold! Project K.I.S.S

    Keep It Simple Stupid or...Keep It Single Speed

    Some of you may have read a number of posts in which I mentioned I was given a free '96 Raleigh bike from a coworker and was gonna convert it to an SS. Well, it's coming together!

    Here's a pic of it shortly after I got the bike home.



    Today I installed the front V-brakes. The only thing I need is to get the Forte SS conversion it. Waiting for my pedals (guess what color?) and rear brake pads that is coming with that order. In a recent post I mentioned that I was using a 36t ring wth no bashguard and was having some problems with the ring bolts being a tad long. I decided to go with 34t and a bash. All is well. Will use 34t/16t combo. Thanks to this board, I learned aboyt the stem adapter that lets you convert from 1" to 1 1/8 stem! On my bike is a Nashbar stem adapter with a Syncros 70mm/12-deg stem. Beautiful.


  2. #2
    Is dang happy!
    Reputation: Mr. Doom's Avatar
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    100% better than new, good job.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  3. #3
    one chain loop
    Reputation: fishcreek's Avatar
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    i'm quite surprised that the bike didn't came with threaded cassette. lucky you. stem conversion turned out good.

    you can have a cleaner look if you remove and replace your front cable stop with a 1" headset spacer. i believe its like 3mm spacer.

    p.s.

    i always hate removing those kickstands, usually they are fused together being stored outside. steel+alu is always a problem and usually have to cut the bolt head or snap it off.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  4. #4
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    With each bike build I learn something new and try to do more myself. This is my first threaded headset bike in my stable. Didn't know anything about the threaded system, but now I know how they work. I think I may need to adjust the headset, as I hear a rattling sort of sound when I bounce the front. Steerer turns smoothly otherwise.

    I was thinking about keeping the kickstand, haha, I know, makes me look like a total amateur, but think I'll remove it. I need to lose as much weight as possible. This bike is inherently heavy! I probably lost about 2lbs just replacing the steel handlebar and quill stem.

    I originally want to do this on the cheap, but as with all my pbuild projects, I got carried away. I'm glad I replaced the crankset, even though I could go ghetto SS by just decommisioning two of the rings and using only one. I'm keeping the stock AceraX and Altus/Vuelta Strong wheelset because they're really in good condition. But they are heavy at 6lbs each! Probably the best update I did was the V-brakes complimentary of my parts bin. Way easier to adjust and aesthetically more pleasing.

    A number of times I questioned the build and wondered if it was a good idea upgrading this bike. It's an entry-level bike but it's not dept. store quality. It's a decent bike, and I learned that Raleigh bikes are normally sold at LBS and offer good value. I figure I'd be spending at least $300 on a new SS rig with low-end components, but building this bike up with quality parts for half that price was probably worth it.

  5. #5
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    Bike's coming together! This is my first bike with a threaded headset, and today I learned how to adjust it! Woohoos! Is it really this simple? Maybe tomorrow I will install the chain! A first too! I was gonna install the Forte SS conversion kit from Performance Bikes, but when I opened it I discovered that the 3 3mm spacers were missing! So back to the store and got new spacers--free, of course. The guy just opened a new packet and took the spacers from it. Minor annoyance, but all is well.

    While I was there, I saw this on sale: Forte Union saddle. I know it looks hipster-ish, but I'm thinking the brown will add some character to the "vintage" bike. But then I sorta like the black because it matches. Which color?

  6. #6
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    Project KISS is done!









    A coworker gave me the bike that belonged to one of her sons a couple of months ago. It had been sitting unused in the garage. Itís a 1996 Raleigh M50, a decent bike in fairly good shape but which would require either a major tune-up or a major overhaul. I chose the latter and decided with converting this bike to a single speed.

    Everything about this bike was heavy and mediocre. I replaced just about everything on it both out of necessity and desire. I threw out the shifters, derailleurs, and geared drive components and lost substantial weight in doing so. The biggest improvement (in fact, everything done was an improvement!) was replacing the crappy hard-to-adjust cantilever brakes with functional V-brakes, which required new brake levers, as the old ones came as a single unit with the shifters and were useless with linear-pull brakes anyway. I kept the wheels, seat post, and headset that came on the bike.

  7. #7
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    I like that forte ss kit better than the surly kit, mainly the "derailleur" and the nice big spring design. The surly internal springs are so easy to break, that one looks more reliable.

  8. #8
    nothing to see here
    Reputation: Stevob's Avatar
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    Looks fast, now get some dirt on it.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  9. #9
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    great job! I love it!
    2013 Moots MootoX YBB

  10. #10
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    Looks fantastic! Well done!

  11. #11
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    Thanks, guys! I haven't made a spreadsheet of the cost, as I usually do when building a bike. The bike was free and I was able to sell the seat and steel handlebar (I was surprised it sold!) for a $17 profit. Still have the drivetrain stuff to sell, but don't really care much if I can't. Bike rides awesome, but cheap aluminum Dimension bar with a wide sweep feels a tad narrow. But I like it so far. Need to weigh the bike, as it feels way lighter than before.

    Masterofnone: The Forte chain tensioner's spring seems a bit stiff and puts too much tension on the chain. I had to use a zip tie to ease the tension a bit, as you can see in one of the pics. Yeah, it's a great bang-for-the-buck SS kit. I got mine in-house for $25 when I asked if there was any discount codes.

  12. #12
    Out spokin'
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
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    Nicely done. Looks great. One thing, tho... it looks like your driveside dropout is bent (inward). Sorry, hate to nitpick such a sweet looking bike. Sure looks like fun to ride and that's a sweet color of blue paint (not to mention in great shape for its age).

    --sParty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  13. #13
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    Thanks, Sparticus! About the drive-side dropout, I didn't notice nor was aware that it may be bent. You're not referring to the derailleur hanger, are you? I'm looking at the pic showing a close-up of the rear cog and chain tensioner. I wonder if it is bent inward?

    Btw, the blue is "doppler blue" according to Bikepedia. It changes to a sea green color when eyed from a different angle.

    And what, no one has oooh-ed and ahhhh-ed about my innovative use of bike stickers as a chain guard? Hehe

  14. #14
    nothing to see here
    Reputation: Stevob's Avatar
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    I noticed that too just now. It most likely is the derailleur hanger bent.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  15. #15
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    Suh-weet!!!
    Salsa Timberjack SS
    -Gears give me headaches

  16. #16
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    I'm not seeing it? What are you guys loking at--or better yet, what are the indications that it is bent? Will this affect anything? :|

    Sort of a bummer to know.

  17. #17
    NedwannaB
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    You saw it

    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    I'm not seeing it? What are you guys loking at--or better yet, what are the indications that it is bent? Will this affect anything? :|

    Sort of a bummer to know.
    You just didn't know. Look at the slight difference in the gap at the top and bottom between the last cog spacer and the inside of your hanger bracket on frame. The face of it should be plumb (vertical) in same plane with the cog, if you will. You can see how it skewes even farther out of plane when it is at the end of the lower roller wheel of tensioner. Should be an easy fix by pulling the wheel and use a large crescent wrench clamped firmly to the hanger and bend out towards you checking it for plumb as you go.

    It's most likely doesn't have anything to do with the "tight" tensioner (is there an adjustment on it?), but may start to give you drive line issues as the chain may be binding abit (which you can observe by how freely the back spin is) and will wear out sooner.
    Last edited by JMac47; 11-13-2011 at 10:53 PM. Reason: typo
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  18. #18
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    Ah, I see now! Come to think of it, the tensioner sprocket does seem to shift the chain ever so slightly toward the wheel. (I wonder if this is giving the illusion of a bent hanger.) I think this can be corrected by sliding the axle of the tensioner a tad out. I thought I had aligned the tensioner sprocket with the cog. I'm hoping that will center everything.

    According to the instruction that came with the Forte kit, the tensioner spring can be adjusted, but not very well, and by that I mean the spring tension doesn't hold once you let go of the tensioner arm upon tightening the hanger bolt. Hence the use of the zip tie to give some slack on the chain. If I recall, the cranks do make at least one complete revolution when I give it a back spin.

    I'll have to tweak the axle on the tensioner to align the sproket with the cog.

  19. #19
    nothing to see here
    Reputation: Stevob's Avatar
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    Don't tweak the tensioner axle, tweak the derailleur hanger with a pair of shifters. It may help to temporarily remove the tensioner, and also put some tape on the hanger so it doesn't scratch the paint off when you bend it.

    As long as the tensioner axle is parallel to the wheel axle, you're good to go.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  20. #20
    NedwannaB
    Reputation: JMac47's Avatar
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    Old saying

    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    Ah, I see now! Come to think of it, the tensioner sprocket does seem to shift the chain ever so slightly toward the wheel. (I wonder if this is giving the illusion of a bent hanger.) I think this can be corrected by sliding the axle of the tensioner a tad out. I thought I had aligned the tensioner sprocket with the cog. I'm hoping that will center everything.

    According to the instruction that came with the Forte kit, the tensioner spring can be adjusted, but not very well, and by that I mean the spring tension doesn't hold once you let go of the tensioner arm upon tightening the hanger bolt. Hence the use of the zip tie to give some slack on the chain. If I recall, the cranks do make at least one complete revolution when I give it a back spin.

    I'll have to tweak the axle on the tensioner to align the sproket with the cog.
    "Don't go tryin to fix something that ain't broke!" As steveob said leave the tensioner alone. Fix the dropout angle and go from there. No big deal doing it as we've mentioned.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  21. #21
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    I don't think too much tension is as bad as not enough. It's a p.i.t.a. when they keep dropping off in ruff stuff.

  22. #22
    The need for singlespeed
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    Along the, "don't fix with what ain't broke" lines, I vote don't do anything unless the setup gives you static. Only then should you start yanking on your hanger.

  23. #23
    NedwannaB
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    There is a thing called "preventive maintanence" you know.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  24. #24
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    double post

    (ignore)

  25. #25
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    Just an update:

    Love my SS! Took a few rides before I got used to riding with no shifters. Funny how the first few rides to work I was mentally shifting at this uphill slope. The gearing I have, 39x18 seems about right for my commute. On flats the bike feels fast. I'm really surprised at how light the bike is after the major overhaul.

    This will be my new commuter and light-duty grocery-runner and errand runner. Recently installed a rear rack and a rack bag. Today I installed ano green (matches the chain ring :P) bolt-on skewers because I was paranoid about someone jacking my rare and possibly worth a pretty penny (at least to me) Kore skewers.



    I still like my geared bikes though :P

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