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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:01 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:03 am
Posts: 30
Help...I need some advice on converting to a singlespeed. I tried some other forums but people did not even know that 27" wheels and screw on freehubs ever even existed!

Basically, I rebuilt this Claud Butler a few months ago but I'm sorry to say that I just have not ridden it...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23284229@N ... 421784423/

...because I got all modern and bought this Giant...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23284229@N ... 421784423/

...which I hate to say is just so much better in every respect, as is to be expected with 20 years of development and the invention of carbon fibre.

But I feel very bad about not having used the Claud Butler, so in my mind one way to make it more appealing would be to do an SS conversion to it so it's different to the Giant. it would also look damned cool too.

The CB has horizontal forward facing Campag dropouts, wide flange Maillard hubs and a screw on freewheel, and an SR double chainset. What I'd really like to do is to try SS first, and then possibly fixed, but I don't want to go to the effort of having to change the hub, although if I could get a cheapish flip flop hub that will be OK with my rim I'd think about it.

What do I need to look for, will the dropouts give me enough adjustment or do I need something to really lock the wheel in place, and what sort of ratio should I be looking for? I have average fitness...

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:01 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
Posts: 5131
Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
The dropouts on the CB are quite long and should give plenty of adjustment. Just make sure you get the chain length right.

However, I'd prefer to see you keep it just as it is. It is a very nice bike and I think you will spoil it going SS. Why not look around for another frame and do it as an SS project?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:11 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:38 pm
Posts: 494
Location: Glasgow
It is a nice looking bike but to my mind at least not so nice that it's worth keeping as is. It looks like you've got plenty of adjustment with those drop outs and you can add something like this surly tug nut http://www.hubjub.co.uk/surly/surly.htm (scroll down to see it) for added security and piece of mind.

The main thing which'll need done is for the rear wheel to be redished and respaced, something which you may be able to do yourself but equally shouldn't cost too much at your LBS.

I run 40:16 on the road and find this gets me up most of the hills in my area and lets me clip along fairly well on the flat but is a bit under geared for the downs. Really this is something which you need to try for yourself as terrain and fitness level \ strength play a lot in choosing what'll work for you.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:25 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:31 pm
Posts: 740
I have done something similar with my old 531 Raleigh. I tried a normal single speed freewheel which I managed to line up almost exactly. With a touch of bodging with a washer I managed to move the chainline over to get it work perfectly. Agreed the rim was now off centre but backing the brakes of allowed me to ride it although as expected the brakes were crap. Actually this wasn't a problem as I really was experimenting before sticking a fixed sprocket on. This I did and rode it for a while with a slightlyoff center rim. Didn't notice it though. Eventually an old trcakwheel turned up and all was as it should be. All this meant that I was able to try things out for not a lot.

Just a thought. If you want cheap wheels ask around at traditional shops. My local always has pairs of old screw on type wheels about. I like tubular rims as they often come with tubs etc. Last pair of record hubs on GP4 rims with 4 tubs cost me 15 quid. Wheels are great and much nicer ride than modern open rims, well theone I can afford anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:10 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:43 pm
Posts: 32
the cb looks better as it is, it a beauty. I would buy it if you want to sell ;)

on the wheel front you dont need any tug nuts so long as you have a solid axle and get the nuts on nice n tight. If you have the money you could get a nice set of wheels from ribble, they do a miche primato large flange hub set a set of mavic rims in silver and the build all for about 130 squids.

I got a set for my old ribble frame and they are great.
check out this pic (bit blured sorry)
Image

the rear doesnt need a tug nut, i just tighten it very tight, even locking back wheel with back pedaling wont budge it.

Anyway, those hubs with a shiny set of open pros would look sweet


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:18 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:03 am
Posts: 30
Oh I dunno...all of a quandry now!

I don't know if the odd trip to London has turned me into some saddo fashion victim, I just really, really like the clean look of an SS bike. But some of you guys say it would be a shame to change it...and I guess I did scour eBay for cheap second hand index 105 kit to upgrade from the old golden arrow that was on it...so it could be a waste taking it all off again...

I think I need to twiddle around with it and get everything working perfectly and then make a conscious effort to take it on some of my local rides instead of the Giant. I wonder if part of the reason I'm not that keen on riding it is the length of the stem...it's Cinelli and a freebie but it's a bit long for me, both in terms of reach/comfort and dulling the steering down on what is very relaxed geometry...might try and find a shorter one.


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