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  1. #1
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    New to Singlespeeding. Have Questions.

    I'm ready to give SS a shot. I have a Trek 4500 that's just collecting dust. Would this bike make a good SSer or would I be better served buying a ready to ride SS bike. Also the place were I do 80 % of my riding is technical singletracks with many decent hill climbs. Any recommended gear ratios to try. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
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    My Trek SS

    Quote Originally Posted by jtrider
    I'm ready to give SS a shot. I have a Trek 4500 that's just collecting dust. Would this bike make a good SSer or would I be better served buying a ready to ride SS bike. Also the place were I do 80 % of my riding is technical singletracks with many decent hill climbs. Any recommended gear ratios to try. Thanks.
    I had an old Trek 8000 lying around that I used for an SS project that I completed in March. The frame is vintage 1997. It worked out well as an SS frame. Basically for $200 I was able to convert the Trek to a really good SS bike. A pic of it is attached.

    If you are unsure of SS'ing and have some mechanical skills, I say use the Trek 4500 frame and whatever parts you can salvage from it.

    My bike had some old school parts on it, so when the conversion to SS was made I had to replace a few things:

    1) Stem -- had an old-school Kore stem (1-bolt) that would not accommodate a riser bar. I found an Easton EC70 on sale for $15 and used it.
    2) Handlebars -- had the old-school narrow flat bars. Trust me -- you'll want some W I D E riser bars for leverage! You can find them cheap on-line or eBay. I got a set of Answer carbon bars for $40 at a swap meet. Supergo has wide riser bars on sale for $20.
    3) Chainring bolts -- I was able to use my crankset and middle chainring (32t). However you will need BMX-style chainring bolts to hold that single ring to the spider.
    4) Chain tensioner -- I originally tried to go cheap and use the derailleur as a chain tensioner. Big mistake. Get the Rennen for $50 and be done with it.
    5) 1/2 chain links -- my chain was just a tad too long or a tad too short. The Rennen does not have a wide range of adjustability, plus I didn't want too much chain slapping around. I bought a 1/2 link to make the chain "just right". You may not need this.
    6) Conversion kit -- I got mine on eBay for $10. Pricepoint sells one for $25 or so. Basically you get spacers and a non-ramped cog. After a few spins on the cheapo cogs I upgraded to King to get a 17t (not available on the cheapo cogs).

    If you do your homework, you can probably get away with the entire project for <$100. I think my total bills summed to around $150.

    I live in Phoenix and ride a 32x17. It's a very workeable gear. If you live in the flats you may want to consider a 2x1 ration (32x16, 34x17). If you are in the hills and do not have strong legs, go higher -- 32x18, 32x19, 32x20, etc.

    Good luck!

    Thx...Doug
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  3. #3
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    Thanks dgangi for the Info. Hey that's a good looking bike.

  4. #4
    brother on a mission
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrider
    I'm ready to give SS a shot. I have a Trek 4500 that's just collecting dust. Would this bike make a good SSer or would I be better served buying a ready to ride SS bike. Also the place were I do 80 % of my riding is technical singletracks with many decent hill climbs. Any recommended gear ratios to try. Thanks.
    I say do it. You might want a rigid fork, but you can always desicde after you have been riding for a while. I ride my SS on trails that I would describe as technical single track with decent climbs (north/central New England), and I run 33:19. If you are using you cassette wheelset with the conversion it will be easy to test different ratios. For my area, I like to be comfortable on the climbs, because the downhills are usually to technical to do much pedaling, and the few flat stretches we have are a nice recovery before the next climb.

    Enjoy your conversion.

    GF

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