Converting a road bike to SS... good idea?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Converting a road bike to SS... good idea?

    I couldn't find a thread on converting a road bike... I must suck at searching 'cause surely this has been beaten...

    First off (okay, I guess second now), I LOVE my SS mountain bike... I rode that bike for 14 years as a multispeed. Then, got a new mountain bike and rebuilt the old GT as a SS - a perfect second life for a tired old bike.

    Well, it's time to replace the 1996 Klein road bike. The frame is immaculate - it looks like the bike has never been ridden. I just can't bring myself to part with it... or just hang it up. But 13 year old 105 components aren't doing me much good these days.

    So. Would this bike be a good candidate for a SS upgrade? If yes, suggest a gearing. I run a 32/16 on my mountain bike and it's great. I live in very hilly part of Atlanta.

    Thanks for any advice!


  2. #2
    enjoys skidding
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    Hell yeah.

    I converted my mum's Colnago to SS a few years back. Was a great bike for her until a car decided to bend it and her.

    Go magic ratio though, they look terrible with a tensioner.

    Road bikes are easy to accelerate on so gearing isn't as important at a MTB.. IMO.

  3. #3
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    I ride a Shogun Single speed, and it is great except up hill. I would not suggest gearing it like your mountain bike, but using much larger ring in the front. I am not sure what mine is exactly, but I would not mind checking it out tomorrow for you.

  4. #4
    808+909 = Party Good Time
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    Go for it... SS on road is great. I live in a very hilly area and run 42:15 fixed or 42:17 freewheel and it seems to work pretty good if you have ridden SS before.

    Otherwise like the previous said find magic gear so it looks nicer, but whatever, unless it has older style horizontal drop-outs in which case no tensioner required. That is what I have.

  5. #5
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    Check the dropouts

    Hey you've got the Klein rear entry dropouts that make singlespeed conversions really easy. Pick your gear and get the chain really close, maybe use a half link, and you'll have up to 1/2 an inch or so to get the tension just right. Those work just like a very short set of track ends! Great choice for a SS or fixie.

    Also look here:
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/forumdisplay.php?f=50

  6. #6
    Lets RIDE!
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    The non-sanded grout is a good choice....much smoother than the sanded version

    JZ

    sorry, it's late.
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  7. #7
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    I had a converted Cannondale...it got sorta boring after awhile. Only way I would do it again would be an eno hub with a fixed gear. Oh, and if it helps I ran a 49/18 in Birmingham and its fairly hilly here.

  8. #8
    local trails rider
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    I would not part with that frame either...
    It should work great. A couple of useful links, in case you don't have them already:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
    http://eehouse.org/fixin/fixmeup.php

  9. #9
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    Damn man, you're running a similar SS GT and you're from Atlanta too? Thats a nice Klein but I'm not sold on SS for a road bike, fixed gear is one thing, but SS on a roadie is kind of limiting. I ran my older Raleigh as an SS for 8 months and I'm tired of coasting down hills so it's getting a 16spd conversion over the weekend. I dont try to ride fast on my mountain bike so 2:1 is a fine ratio, I think I was running a 2.7:1 on my road bike and that was good for the uphill and flatland but downhill is boring.

    If you're free tomorrow night you should come out to critical mass. Meet at Woodruff Park, near Underground Atlanta at 6:30.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob
    Damn man, you're running a similar SS GT and you're from Atlanta too? Thats a nice Klein but I'm not sold on SS for a road bike, fixed gear is one thing, but SS on a roadie is kind of limiting. I ran my older Raleigh as an SS for 8 months and I'm tired of coasting down hills so it's getting a 16spd conversion over the weekend. I dont try to ride fast on my mountain bike so 2:1 is a fine ratio, I think I was running a 2.7:1 on my road bike and that was good for the uphill and flatland but downhill is boring.

    If you're free tomorrow night you should come out to critical mass. Meet at Woodruff Park, near Underground Atlanta at 6:30.

    I've never understood the concept that fixed is more interesting than SS on hills. Why would you rather spin like crazy to go down hill when you can fast coast? I rode fixed for years on and off road, the bouncing on the steep downhill gets old fast too. I love my road singlespeed, I just built one for my gal too. My geared road bike just gathers dust now. For long country rides, the geared bike is the way to go, but for urban or flatter 1 - 2 hour cruises, you'll love the quietness and smoothness of the SS. I'm in Chattanooga, where it's either pretty flat or extremely steep. I'm running our bikes with 70 gear inches and that's ideal (47 x 18 and 42 x 15). Cruises great at 15-17 mph on the flats, and I can climb most hills no problem. Use Sheldon Brown's gear calculator to come up with the gears you need.
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  11. #11
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    I dont get fixed gear bikes either. My friends seem to think that it will make them stronger bikers, which is probably will because there is no coasting. I find them slightly not safe, and more work than they are worth going down hill. My Shogun has a free hub with cog, so I can coast all I like

  12. #12
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    I'm 41... My knees are in great shape. I'd really like to keep'em that way... and I keep hearing things like "Oh, man. A fixie is going to be hell on your knees"

  13. #13
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox
    Go for it... SS on road is great. I live in a very hilly area and run 42:15 fixed or 42:17 freewheel and it seems to work pretty good if you have ridden SS before.

    Otherwise like the previous said find magic gear so it looks nicer, but whatever, unless it has older style horizontal drop-outs in which case no tensioner required. That is what I have.
    +1.....that's exactly what i run for fixed/free on my 1966 Legnano

    and I'm in Norcal....there's a few hills around here too
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  14. #14
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vtolds
    I dont get fixed gear bikes either. My friends seem to think that it will make them stronger bikers, which is probably will because there is no coasting. I find them slightly not safe, and more work than they are worth going down hill. My Shogun has a free hub with cog, so I can coast all I like
    fixed gear bikes do not have a 'dead-spot' in the crank rotation....making them very efficient climbing macheens.....

    also.....you use different muscles to slow down while descending.....a 'better' all around workout....it will make you a stronger rider...

    and yes....looooong downhills are kinda scary after a while
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  15. #15
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    Why not just do a flip-flop hub? Especially since it sounds like you are getting a new geared road bike. Then you will have three options to fit any type of riding you feel like doing that day. That's what I would do anyway. I'm all about having options.

  16. #16
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    Maybe I'm standing alone here, but I'd much rather get a $200 fixed frame and build that up rather than mess with that classic. I have a love for older Kleins (I have a 99 Quantum Race) and would not want to mess with it. I will beg you, if I have to, to just do some maintenance on it and keep riding it just as-is. You can buy an older steel frame with a better drop-out for a SS conversion.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar
    I'm 41... My knees are in great shape. I'd really like to keep'em that way... and I keep hearing things like "Oh, man. A fixie is going to be hell on your knees"
    I read somewhere(Sheldon Brown, maybe) that fixies are good for your knees because you work your hams as well as your quads, so the force on your knees from your muscles is better balanced. I have bad knees and just converted a fixie, so I'll let you know in a couple months if it's true.

    I'm running 52x18, probably no good for hilly terrain but it's a blast on long flat stretches!

  18. #18
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    As for the SS being boring for the road- I like no gears whenever possible, but I did a loaded road ride that was around 130 miles with a headwind and it sucked. Sucked, sucked, sucked. I did the same ride with a fixed gear about six months before and it was fine.

    Fixed gear is a ton of fun, though if you live in a hilly place I think a strong argument can be made for a SS, though I guess you could just run two brakes and use that to keep your pace in check. This will be a bit of a repeat- but somewhere around 70 gear inches will treat you right. I am running 39x15 and I probably average 20 on a mostly flat, 7 mile commute and the gear inches lets me have a nice and invigorating spin at around 100 rpms. This is the strongest argument for doing SS/fixed- if you are a masher you are going to learn and if you like to spin out, you are going to have to learn to power things out at times. Since you are already SS on the mountain bike, you are just going to get a little stronger for your mountain rides. Probably a good thing.

  19. #19
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    Don't under any circumstances convert that road bike to an SS.

    Send that bike to me so I can.... ;-)
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  20. #20
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    OldZaskar, go for it. I think that frame will make a sweet ride.

    Last year I converted a Waterford that was had been sitting around.

    Love riding both single speed and fixed on the road but the frame never fit properly (thus the reason it had been retired from active duty) so I had Sean at Soulcraft do a SS/Fix version of a Royale. Love it!

    48 chain ring with a flip flop hub. 17 fixed, 18 free.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufudufus
    I read somewhere(Sheldon Brown, maybe) that fixies are good for your knees because you work your hams as well as your quads, so the force on your knees from your muscles is better balanced. I have bad knees and just converted a fixie, so I'll let you know in a couple months if it's true.

    I'm running 52x18, probably no good for hilly terrain but it's a blast on long flat stretches!
    How are your knees? I haven't ridden fixie but down the road and I felt it on my knees. I only ride SS (52x16) and haven't had any issues, and I'd love to ride fixed.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by duotone
    How are your knees? I haven't ridden fixie but down the road and I felt it on my knees. I only ride SS (52x16) and haven't had any issues, and I'd love to ride fixed.
    Too soon to tell, I only converted it a couple weeks ago. So far I really like it. takes a bit of getting used to, but I can tell my legs are getting stronger already. I used to rely on the brake to stop most of the time, now it's mostly legs doing the braking. Hasn't bothered my knees so far.

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