THinking about converting a bike to SS - questions!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    THinking about converting a bike to SS - questions!

    A total newb to the SS world. Doing some research on doability and options.

    I recently got a free bike from a coworker. It's a cro-mo '90s Raleigh M50 (Made in USA) in fairly good condition and with decent parts. It had been stored inside a garage for a number of years. Based on some Googling and looking at Bikepedia, I believe it's a '96 or '97 model, but I can't be sure. It has 21 speeds and cantilver brakes. This will be bike #5 All my bikes are geared, one with a 1x9 set-up. I already have a "beater" commuter/grocery-getter/city cruiser/errand runner/do-everything bike. This will be sort of a back-up for the beater, but I want it to be different to tell myself that I need this bike because I don't have [fill in the blank]. That's when I got the idea that this bike will be an SS. I'm also itching for a new project.

    I want the conversion to be as cheap as possible (as in not having to buy too many new parts). So here's my main question. The bike comes with a Shimano Parallax rear hub that has a 7-spd cassette. I want to put in an SS conversion kit in the back. PricePoint has the Sette SS kit for $12 (cheapest by far). The thing that concerns me is that it says the kit is for 8/9-spd hubs. Most SS kits say that too. Since my hub has a 7-spd cassette, does this mean it won't work? I guess I could get spacers, but the Sette kit is the cheapest kit but only comes with two big spacers. Would I need an extra smaller spacer?

    Now about the front ring. I plan to go cheap and keep the crankset and simply remove two of the rings. Do I keep the middle ring? I hope the granny gear can be removed, because I really want a clean look.

    Bonus question! I want to swap the cantilever brakes for V-brakes. I have spare V-brake levers and all that stuff. Doable? I think the rear may pose a challenge though.

  2. #2
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    If my memory serves right, v-brakes and canti's use different pivot points relative to the braking surface. So you couldn't use cantilevers without a conversion kit. They're out there, but more trouble than it's worth, IMHO.

    Go to your LBS and get a conversion kit with a bunch of small spacers. If you're set on the Sette kit (no pun intended -- it's 1:50 AM), you'll have to grind down one of the spacers so that you can fit it on the narrower 7speed hub. Small spacers means better chainline adjustment.

    The middle chainring will work fine. I had a triple and ground down the big ring, the middle ring is plenty ramped. I don't know that I've dropped the chain.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  3. #3
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    Yes, you can put the SS conversion kit on your 7 spd/8spd/9spd hub. The difference is in the cassette used not the hub.

    Folks normally drop the small and big rings when converting. Better chainline with the middle. YMMV

    Yes you can convert the canti brakes to V-brakes. What's the challenge in the rear? cable routing.
    Amolan

  4. #4
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    Does your hub have a cassette or a freewheel?

    The 8/9 speed kits may have too much spacer for a 7 speed freehub, or they might not. Kits with lots of narrow spacers will definitely work.

    Does the kit include a tensioner?

    If you have V levers and brakes, the swap should not have any major issues.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info, guys! The more I think about it the more I want to go SS on this bike. I'm really liking the clean, simple, elegant look of an SS set-up. My bike is a deep metallic blue...what color parts will go with that? Wait...must resist getting blingy ano parts!

    I may get the Sette kit. It looks like I have a 4.5mm cassette spacer that I recently ordered by mistake. It's a spacer to fit a 7-spd cassette onto an 8/9-spd hub. Maybe I can use that if need be. What are cone spacers I see in some kits? Why do rear cogs have 15-18 teeth? Btw, my wheel is a freehub (thaink that's the proper name). It's on most mt. bikes and you can back pedal without engaging the brake.

    About the canti-to-V brake conversion. I read that changing the rear to V-brake can be difficult because there's no cable routing to set in place the V arms. I'm trying to visualize in my head how the rear cable will be routed and positioned.

    It's really a good thing I have a parts bin and that I didn't sell some of my parts. If all goes well and I don't get tempted to pimp my ride, the only real thing I have to buy is the SS rear conversion kit. Do I need a tensioner?

  6. #6
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    To switch from canti to v-brake you just need to run full length housing in order for the proper "pull" resistance from your levers to the brakes themselves. They also sell a front cable hanger for your threadless too for $5-6 if you want to go that route for the front.

    It is an easy switch.

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    Wanted: 102bcd 4 bolt (M960) SS chainring in 32t or 34t variety

  7. #7
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    Most cantilever bikes have a rear cable stop right near the seat post. I just run my V brake housing from there.

    My only regret is not using the nice brazed on noodle and/or brake bridges that are on older bikes.....

    Speaking of which, yeah, if it's got a seatpost noodle V brakes will be tough.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by old'skool View Post
    Most cantilever bikes have a rear cable stop right near the seat post. I just run my V brake housing from there.

    My only regret is not using the nice brazed on noodle and/or brake bridges that are on older bikes.....

    Speaking of which, yeah, if it's got a seatpost noodle V brakes will be tough.
    I was looking at the canti cable routing on the bike and comparing it with one of my bikes that have a rear V-brake, and I think putting in Vs won't be a problem. Good thing I have spare noodles.

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