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Old 09-19-2011, 09:31 AM   #1
KyleER
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First time single speed builder - need advice!

So, I can't sleep so I figured I'd get the ball rolling now on my next project. Here's the deal: I currently have 2 old road bikes in my possession and I would like to turn at least one into a homebrew single speed (possibly with a flip flop hub to go fixie on occasion). I want to save money and I like to work on my bikes myself so I'm pretty dedicated to building over buying.

The first bike I have is an old Raleigh road bike (will check the model) that I had my girlfriend drag back from NH when she found it on the side of the road for free. The thing has to be from the mid 60s at the newest and has no useable components plus bad rust on the top tube. I will take a pic and post it ASAP.

The second bike I picked up just the other day for $35 from a random old guy who lives near my girlfriend. It's a nice drab brown Juventus road bike. It's actually rideable now but would need serious adjustment if not totally new shifters, etc. to be worth using. I am interested in the look and benefit of a single speed, however so being that this one has only very minor rust it is my first choice to use now. My plan is to get it in single speed condition ASAP and then over the winter possibly strip it down/upgrade it/paint it/have it painted. Again, I will post a picture ASAP.

BTW, the Juventus seems to be from circa 1970 and I've never heard of the company before - not sure how negative that might be...

For now, what should my course of action be assuming I want to make it a single speed? I don't want to tear it down then find out that it is for some reason impossible or useless to convert.



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Old 09-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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If they are older bikes, there's a good chance that they have horizontal drop outs. If that's the case, conversion will be fairly easy and you will not need to buy a chain tensioner. You may just need a cog & spacers or a ss freewheel.

Here's a very good article about ss conversion:
Singlespeed Bicycle Conversions



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Old 09-19-2011, 06:07 PM   #3
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Here's a few pics of the Juventus. It's not exactly pretty but it's in quite good condition except for a tiny bit of rust near the top of the seat stays.

I'm fairly certain it's sort of a cheap knockoff of a nicer Italian or French bike from what I understand based on what little info there is about the bike on the internet. Nevertheless I think it will be fine for my purposes. I really like the old school frame construction it's got going on.

If anyone has any more information about Juventus or this bike in particular please let me know.

Right now I guess I'm just trying to come up with a plan of action. I suppose the first order of business is to figure out how to gear it. How can I figure out what the right gear ratio is/how to properly space the rear sprocket? Are there flip flop hubs that may be produced to fit the distance between the rear dropouts?

BTW, it does have like semi-horizontal drop outs. From what I gather this can pose somewhat of a problem but can be adjusted for by getting a slightly smaller or larger chainring (by a tooth or two).

What do you think?

img_0421.jpg   img_0422.jpg   img_0423.jpg  
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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Tire size is a consideration on older bikes. Steer clear of 27".

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Old 09-22-2011, 03:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Industry_Hack View Post
Tire size is a consideration on older bikes. Steer clear of 27".
Why is that? I actually haven't looked at the size...
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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Harder to find, limited selection, higher prices.

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:32 PM   #7
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You can always throw a set of 700c wheels on a 27 incher. That's what I did with my Frankenschwinn singlespeed.

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #8
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Then you have to buy sketchy brakes.

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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Then you have to buy sketchy brakes.
I didn't have a problem. Ya just gotta use the ones with a lot of pad adjustment. My brakes are a little sketchy cuz I'm running v-brake levers. They were free and pink, so I had to use them.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:15 AM   #10
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The longer arms are too mushy.



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