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Craven's Bike Site

One Gear, One Problem

So first of all, no I've not yet finished the GT and fully tested it... The starnut is still loose, the 5th gear still skips. I'll do it at some point, honest!

But I've got a new idea, see?! And it requires changing wheel sizes (like almost all my plans seem to)

We've had this old green bike in the house for ages. It was a project bike for my Dad, who repainted it and made it quite nice, but he could never make it work. The rear mech never quite stuck (no hanger, the holding piece doesn't stay put), and the gearing is old, massive, and crap. It was meant to be a pub bike for him, but if you can't ride it when sober it's gonna go badly...

It does however have skinny tubes, sliding dropouts, and a lot of chromed parts :3

The bike is technically complete, I just forgot to take a pic before I whipped the wheels out, as I was excited to check sizing and all that.

The brakes might just about reach, we'll see if they do, but if they don't I'll only need longer standard brakes, not the full on longreach which is quite nice. Roughly 65mm needed, by my calculations.

I've taken stock of what parts I need.

  • Bearings for the rear wheel (1/4th in)
  • Singlespeed kit
  • Pedals (beartrap cages?)
  • Chainring bolt spacers (for when I've removed one or the other chainring)
  • QR skewers, probably best to go bolt on so I can crank down the rear wheel, and also for style points

As for work things that I've noted:

  • Respace the rear wheel dropout (135mm I think)
  • Remove the granny brakes
  • Check the bottom bracket (Dad said it's jammed in improperly)

All of this seems like a good project that'll make a nice bike. I'm not sure quite what gearing I'll go for, but I know there's a 52t and 40t chainring to pick from.

The tyres will be 28mm that I have lying around, and the wheels are donated by the same guy who buggered this wheel. The rear has the same exact issue, and the front had a big ol' dent!

But we fixed that with some plyers. It's not perfect because the rag I was using to try to protect the sidewall tore through, but it should work fine. These rims have plenty of wear life left in them, and hell the rear one is nearly brand new somehow. Maybe he just used the drag from the locked up rear hub to do his braking!

Sheldon Brown of course held the answers here. His guide to roadside wheel repairs is pretty much the only place I could find that dared tell you this sort of thing is possible, other than a really old book which also stated the same sort of methods as Sheldon.

So, that's the next project! It's gonna take a bit of work to make nice, but I think it'll be a cool addition to have a true singlespeed to go around on, and having a "racer" is something I keep looking at, but know I'll never need because of the glory of wide tyres and low tread CX bikes!

Just gotta bite the bullet and start doing the work. Spreading the rear triangle will come first, and after that I'll pick up the parts I need.

As a bonus, I finally made the rear wheel on my MTB properly tight. The bearings are shit, I probably need to replace the whole axle unfortunately, but for now it can stay... I don't have the energy...