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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so this is the first post. I did some searching and didn't find what i was looking for.

What I did find are some awesome single speed bikes.

Here is where I need help. I have a mountain bike. Its a mid 90s 26" Schwinn (frontier I believe)
the gears are garbage at this point.
I was wondering how difficult it would be to convert to a single speed.

A little history I have never built a bicycle before. :madman:

so be gentle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wouldn't have to change anything on the crank? just remover the gear changing mechanism? and set the chain one the gear that i would want?
It sounds almost too easy this might be done before all the snow is gone.
 

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You got options here... Converting to a single speed (SS) can be very easy indeed. The only thing to be aware of is chain tension. The moment you take the rear derailleur off you lose the chain tension device.

True SS bikes achieve chain tension through specific bottom brackets or through sliding drop outs. Well, your bike hasn't any of this, so you need a chain tensioner.

The next question is if you want to have your bike look like a SS or simply deactivate the shifting. Based on that you can go from simply not shifting (duh) to actually taking derailleurs and chain rings off as well as replacing the cassette with a single ring (as 0600... suggests).

Here is an intermediate solution:

Take off front derailleur and shifter. Take off rear shifter, cut the cable to the rear derailleur in a way that you do have a few inches left (at the derailleur). Use a clamp to tension that cable and keep the rear derailleur in your preferred gear.

When you start going full SS you also need to be aware of different chain standards. SS chains are typically wider than 8/9 speed chains. So you not only need a conversion kit and chain tensioner - but also likely a new chain.

Kits/tensioners are available at many bike stores. Example for a tensioner: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/17...n-Guides/Tensioners/Sette-Chain-Tensioner.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I want to do this right the first time. So I am looking at
a single speed adapter
a tensioner
a new chain (should I go with half links? or does it make a big difference)
and what should I look at for the crank gear?

I will prob be doing some moderate off road nothing too crazy(yet)

and I appreciate you guys taking the time to help me with this
 

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Yes, you'd need:

- to replace the cassette... a conversion kit/adapter. Make sure to get a selection of rings. You will want to experiment. E.g. I am riding 32/14 to commute. But I need at least 32/16 to hit any of my local trails.

- tensioner as described.

- chain depends... on the conversion kit etc yo buy. A 9 speed chain is 3/32". If the kit you buy is specked at 3/32" you can keep the chain. Many SS components come in 1/8". In that case you need a new chain. - No, half links don't make a difference. It is just easier to cut them to exact length. But you don't need that as you'll have a tensioner. Get a SRAM chain. They come with a link that allows to break the chain without a tool. Buy an extra one and you can very easily adjust your chain length if necessary.

You should not need new cranks. Just take off the big and the small ring. You may need washers or shorter bolts for the middle ring after you removed the large ring. Alternatively you can also replace the large ring with a bash guard. Looks rad and protects your pants (if you ride in long slacks).

Your middle ring should be a 32. Pretty common for SS to run 32 in the front. Some run a 36. But that is something you can do later if you find you need a larger front ring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Again... thank you for the info Kaba. I will start this next week once the few things I need get ordered and come in.

One last question
Would a local bicycle shop have any of these parts.
I know i will prob have to call around but just curious if you guys have had luck with your local shops

I would rather instant gratification as opposed to waiting on internet orders.
 

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I got all the stuff I needed for a SS conversion (tensioner, rings/adapter, bolts) at my local Performance Bicycle shop (www.performancebike.com). Bought a complete conversion kit (http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1031512_-1_1534003_20000_400178). Rings even work with a standard chain, but they are a bit sticky initially.

This forte kit is certainly not the best quality. But at that price you can upgrade the tensioner later, if that is necessary.

And I am sure you get all parts locally. Just be aware that even the SS community has adopted bling parts. Yes, you can pay a lot for the privilege to shed gears.
 
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