Please help me convert with an old bike!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Please help me convert with an old bike!

    Hi,

    I'm new to the forums here, but have been reading up here and all over the web...

    I have an old bike that I just pulled from my garage that I haven't ridden in quite some time. It is a Schwinn Woodlands - it has Shimano 200gs parts. At first, I was thinking about throwing it out, but it is still in decent condition, and it does bring back memories. Only recently, I've been reading up on people converting to single speed bikes, and I think this would be perfect for me.

    I would really like to get into it, but without spending much money or any money at all. I'm thinking that since the bike is so old, it's actually good in this case, because it has horizontal dropouts. From what I read, it looks like I won't need a chain tensioner (please let me know if I am wrong).

    So can I do this - just to get started... Just remove the front and rear derailleurs, and shorten the chain so that it uses the middle chainring on the crankset (i hope that's what its called) and maybe the smallest ring on the 7 speed freewheel/cassette? Will this be all I need to do? Do I need a chain tensioner in this case?

    Please let me know what you think would be best, especially for a beginner like me. Again, for now, saving money would definitely be great, but if I do have to spend some money, please let me know what I would need to get.

    Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
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    Yeah, just remove the derailleurs and shorten the chain. Use a ratio that you think is right. start off with 2:1 (twice the amount of teeth on the front ring). If your frame has the option to move the rear wheel in the front/aft direction you do not need a tensioner.
    Do that and try it out. But the wheels are very old so maybe you need to buy a new wheelset in case the bearings are worn. Servicing your wheels is necessary though cause they are likely seized up if the bike has not been ridden for some time.

    Start off cheap and try if you like it. After that buy a decent wheelset and start upgrading.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the quick response!

    Can you please explain "If your frame has the option to move the rear wheel in the front/aft direction you do not need a tensioner."

    And in terms of the bearings, can I just replace those? Also, is it a good idea to have quick release on the rear wheel for single speed?

    You've definitely given me hope with this old friend, I can wait to get to work on it!

    Thanks!!

  4. #4
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    you say that youyr frame has horizontal dropouts. That means you can move your wheel relative to the bottom bracket. That is necessary to tension the chain properly. You do that by moving the rear wheel to the front or the back of the frame. Just the same a with old BMX bikes.

    Quick releases work but with horizontal dropouts bolt on is better.

    You can replace the bearings. Therefore you need to buy new bearingballs and possibly new conusnuts on the axle. Check www.sheldonbrown.com or www.parktool.com for more info on servicing wheels cause it's too much work to explain it here. And to be quite frank, if you have never done hubs before, get an expert to work with you and explain everything. Bearings are way too important to screw up.

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