Looking to do Single Speed conversion
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  1. #1
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    Looking to do Single Speed conversion

    Hey guys, I'm new on here. I've started getting into riding a lot recently. I've been going on 25-30 mile bike rides with my uncle and I've been riding his older road bike. I really only use the top two gears anyways so I was thinking about finding a cheap road bike and doing a single speed conversion. The highest gear on the bike I've been riding is 52:14. We typically cruise at ~20mph and average ~15mph. For the most part it's flat, only one decent hill on one of the rides we've done. So what do you guys think? Especially about the gearing I should do. Any help and advice is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Google "Sheldon Brown."

    Saved me a lot of grief!
    Anyone who believes there are no stupid questions never worked in a bike shop.

  3. #3
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    As Richard said go to Sheldon Brown and use the gear calculator here

    Just for reference a 52 x 14 at 90rpm cadence on a 23c tire, you would average 26.1 miles per hour. So you can see that would not be a good gear for you. Most advice on this board says to use about 70 gear inches and just for reference that would be a 52 x 19 which would put you at about 19.3 mile an hour.

    Play around with the gear calculator and look at expected speed and gear inches and you will find something you like. Plus keep riding your Uncle's bike and find a gear you like, keep it there and then use the equivalent in your conversion.

  4. #4
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    ^^ I'll check that website out. I can cruise at about 26 in that gear but usually keep it at about 20 or under. Yesterday I only used a lower gear to climb a hill and to cross a road. But really I'd say 95% of the ride is spent in 52:14 and I really wish I had like a 52:12 or something. You guys don't think a 52:14 is practical for a single speed bike?

  5. #5
    eRacer
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    Check out Sheldon Brown for guidance.
    Most will tell you a 52 x 14 gear is way too high for S/Speed.
    52 x 14 = 100 Inch Gear.
    Most recommend you start out around 70 Inch Gear.

    john
    John Lapoint / San Diego
    God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy!

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I guess it's not practical to have a bike geared only for cruising.

  7. #7
    pedalpedalpedal
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    I ride 50x16 on 25c, and it's absolutely perfect on the flats.

  8. #8
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    ^^ Do you have any pics? How fast can you go comfortably?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thestratomaster
    ^^ Do you have any pics? How fast can you go comfortably?
    Comfort is relative, of course, and depends in part on your condition and style. but I can do some math for you. That's an 82 inch gear, and at 90 rpm you'd be going 22 mph; at 100 rpm, well over 24 mph. If you can "cruise" that fast for more than a mile or two without drafting behind a group, you need to think about turning pro ;-)

    On the other hand, it's possible that you normally turn a much slower cadence than that, so those bigger gears feel right to you. You might want to work on spinning faster, which might make you a stronger and more efficient rider.

  10. #10
    pedalpedalpedal
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    Quote Originally Posted by thestratomaster
    ^^ Do you have any pics? How fast can you go comfortably?
    My city is extremely hilly, everything from soft rolling hills to short, steep climbs. I basically have few times I can sit and spin 90-100rpm for very long at all. However, because of constant cadence changes, and switching from standing to seated positions, my legs stay feeling fresh longer than when I used to just stay seated, shift, and keep a constant 95rpm.

    JCavilia, it's 82.4GI, but who's counting. ;)


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia
    Comfort is relative, of course, and depends in part on your condition and style. but I can do some math for you. That's an 82 inch gear, and at 90 rpm you'd be going 22 mph; at 100 rpm, well over 24 mph. If you can "cruise" that fast for more than a mile or two without drafting behind a group, you need to think about turning pro ;-)

    On the other hand, it's possible that you normally turn a much slower cadence than that, so those bigger gears feel right to you. You might want to work on spinning faster, which might make you a stronger and more efficient rider.
    Well while in my 52-14 gear now, I can cruise at 25 for a bit over a mile while out in front but I would not call myself anything near a professional haha. Supposedly a single speed of the same gearing takes less energy to turn than a regular geared bike right? I can do pretty much every hill I do in one of my top two gears

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    JCavilia, it's 82.4GI, but who's counting. ;)
    ]
    forgot those 25's. rounds down to 82,anyway ;-)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    My city is extremely hilly, everything from soft rolling hills to short, steep climbs. I basically have few times I can sit and spin 90-100rpm for very long at all. However, because of constant cadence changes, and switching from standing to seated positions, my legs stay feeling fresh longer than when I used to just stay seated, shift, and keep a constant 95rpm.

    JCavilia, it's 82.4GI, but who's counting. ;)


    What kind of frame is that? Also can I ask how much that bike cost you? It looks nice. I did find a really nice road bike for $500 so I'm trying to figure out if I can do the single speed for cheaper

  14. #14
    pedalpedalpedal
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    Quote Originally Posted by thestratomaster
    What kind of frame is that? Also can I ask how much that bike cost you? It looks nice. I did find a really nice road bike for $500 so I'm trying to figure out if I can do the single speed for cheaper
    It's an EighthInch Scrambler V2, about $600. The wheels are some I built myself, worth around $350, maybe.

  15. #15
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    very nice bike!
    Waxahachie, Texas
    Biciclette Gios

    "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    It's an EighthInch Scrambler V2, about $600. The wheels are some I built myself, worth around $350, maybe.

    It seems like if I pieced their parts together it would end up being a tad cheaper than their complete bike

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