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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, i bought an early 80's centurion le mans a few months back and have since upgraded to a Specialized allez elite. what i would like to do now is convert the centurion to a single speed or even a fixed gear to have something to ride to school and around town.
How exactly do i go about doing this?? About how much does it cost? Any general advice that could be given to me i would also appreciate.
 

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Some options

But first, you will need some specialized tools and access to some parts.

Quick and easy, you need to purchase a new set of wheels. The right person could convert your current wheels to SS, but for what you would spend in labor, you should buy some specific wheels for the job.

$150 will get you some good wheels from a number of online shops. The wheels I bought for that amount came with a track cog, tires and tubes. You can pick up a BMX style freewheel if you want to switch from fixed to SS for an additional $20.00. This SS freewheel should be the same number of teeth or perhaps 1-2 fewer, depends on your drop out length.

If you think you will ever run SS, keep both brakes. If you only run fixed, you could run only a front brake. I'd recommend keeping both for a while.

Be sure the track cog is installed correctly, locked into place with a lock ring as your life may depend on it.

Other than that, the rest is just looks only.

On a fixed, be ready to forget from time to time you are on a fixed and get launched forward when you try to coast. It will scare you to death the first few times.

Most importantly, post before and after pics.
 

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Several misleading things in that reply.

First, you cerrtainly don't need a "new set of wheels." Only the back wheel will change in any way. No need to touch the front wheel.

Second, you don't necessarily need a new back wheel. If that bike has a thread-on freewheel (likely), you can take off the freewheel and replace it with a single-speed freewheel. The threading is the same. You'll likely need to re-space the axle to get a good chainline, and then re-dish the wheel, but that's not really hard.

You can even use a freewheel hub for a fixed-gear setup, but you should be aware of the limitations; i.e., to avoid the possibility of unthreading, you have to use a brake for major slowing efforts. Some people refer to this setup as a "suicide hub," and I don't recommend it without caution for a new fixed rider, but I've ridden thousands of miles on such a hub with not one incident.

For a quick and dirty SS conversion you can just use one of the existing cogs.

Go here for much useful information:
http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks.

Hey, thank you guys for your responses. I just went ahead and bought a new wheelset. Since the spacing was the same i didnt really have any issues with.... anything. not really any issues with chain tension or anything else since it has almost horizontal dropouts.
I like the character that my conversion has, but i think i am going to be upgrading here soon. Probably to a trek t1.

See you guys on the road!
 
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