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1990-ish Raleigh 12 Speed to SS/Fixie?

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1990-ish Raleigh 12 Speed to SS/Fixie?

Old 07-18-20, 05:11 PM
  #1  
coopman
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1990-ish Raleigh 12 Speed to SS/Fixie?

I have this old bike out in the garage. I have been thinking about converting it into a single speed or a fixie. I have watched videos of people doing sim. work on youtube. I would need to buy the following: new tires and probably new rims, new 46T chainring, rear hub conversion kit, caliper brake for front tire, lock ring tightening/chain whip tool, etc. I have a basic set of wrenches & allen keys, but none of the bike-specific tools that may are required. I guess that I could get the local bike shop to help with some of the things that I don't have the proper tools for. It seems like it would be better to just buy a whole new bike from bikesdirect.com or similar online place. What do you think? Thanks.
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Old 07-18-20, 05:39 PM
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What type of rear dropouts does it have, horizontal or vertical ?
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Old 07-18-20, 07:37 PM
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Horizontal. The rims seem pretty true, so I may be able to re-use them. I was hoping that I could put some wider tires on it. It has the really narrow "English Racer" tires currently.
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Old 07-18-20, 11:07 PM
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Are you mechanically inclined? If you are an avid rider and excited about working on bikes then start getting the tools as you need them and go for it. It will pay off in the long run and it's fun!
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Old 07-19-20, 06:17 AM
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coopman.....it depends on what kind of $$ and time you want to invest on the "old" Raleigh.

Like AlmostTrick "said".....if you enjoy wrenching on bikes then go for it and buy some tools. Otherwise, I'd get the LBS to do the specialty work but if it's too costly I'd be looking at the used market for one.

Either way everyone should have a SS in their bike stable.......
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Old 07-20-20, 01:21 PM
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can you post a pic of the bike so we can see the components and what it all looks like?

I converted a mid-80's Raleigh 10 speed into a single speed a number of years ago and it's still my daily commuter. It has horizontal dropouts so it was easy. It was my first ever "rebuild" and I did it with minimal bike related tools. I did have to take it to a shop to get the original crank & bottom bracket pulled - then a new BB put in. I also had the headset serviced but not replaced since it was still good (I have a new one now though). The rest I did myself.

Ordered new single/fixed wheels, and tires. Stem, bars, levers, freewheels, cables & housing, bar tape. Replaced the seatpost after a few years. Minor tweaks, etc.
It's doable if you get a shop to do some of the more intensive things that require really specific tools. But as far as putting new stuff on - that's mostly just hex wrenches.

Mine went from this:



to this



to this



to this



over the last 6 years.
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Old 07-20-20, 02:53 PM
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Thanks Sci Guy. That is a beautiful bike. My LBS is closed today. I will take it over to them tomorrow and discuss the road ahead.
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Old 07-21-20, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by coopman View Post
Thanks Sci Guy. That is a beautiful bike. My LBS is closed today. I will take it over to them tomorrow and discuss the road ahead.
I think it is a great idea to take the bike in for discussion. While you are at it, I know you've seen videos, but you might also want to check out Sheldon Brown's website. He discusses the challenges of conversions, which in your case, I think will be minimal. I have a Miyata conversion that is fixed and it is among my favorite bikes in the stable. The Raleigh Sportif example above is another success story.

Also, time to think about your gearing. I'm guessing you might have a 52/48 on your bike. You can go with the 48 up front or buy a smaller chain ring with the same BCD. Then you simply need to calculate the size you'll need for the rear cog. If you stay with the 3/8" chain, you won't need a perfect chain line. Just make sure that if you buy a new chain ring that it is 3/32" and not 1/8". Same for the cog or sprocket in the rear.
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Old 07-21-20, 07:06 AM
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For what itís worth on my Sportif above the Sugino crank is 48t and Iíve got a 17t freewheel. Both are 3/32Ē.
(Iíve also ran 46t/18t and 46t/17t)

Youíll find a lot of SS cranks are 1/8Ē but if you can Iíd try to find one thatís 3/32Ē. Be careful though because Iíve ordered stuff before and the package is mislabeled - twice I received a 1/8Ē when the package and listing said 3/32Ē - I had to measure with calipers.

in my experience 3/32 is smoother and more quiet. You can run 1/8 chain on 3/32 stuff so you have the option to mix and match components if needed (for the longest time I had a 1/8 crank and ran a 1/8 chain when the freewheel was 3/32), but you canít put a 3/32 chain on 1/8. So just be mindful.

biggest thing is to make sure your bottom bracket spindle length is correct for a straight chainline. Currently mine is 107mm. The bike shop chose that though so I assume they based it on my rear spacing and whatnot. This far its been perfect but youíll need to check yours.
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Old 07-21-20, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
For what itís worth on my Sportif above the Sugino crank is 48t and Iíve got a 17t freewheel. Both are 3/32Ē.
(Iíve also ran 46t/18t and 46t/17t)

Youíll find a lot of SS cranks are 1/8Ē but if you can Iíd try to find one thatís 3/32Ē. Be careful though because Iíve ordered stuff before and the package is mislabeled - twice I received a 1/8Ē when the package and listing said 3/32Ē - I had to measure with calipers.

in my experience 3/32 is smoother and more quiet. You can run 1/8 chain on 3/32 stuff so you have the option to mix and match components if needed (for the longest time I had a 1/8 crank and ran a 1/8 chain when the freewheel was 3/32), but you canít put a 3/32 chain on 1/8. So just be mindful.
This. I find 3/32 chain to be smoother and quiter, and just as durable. I'm a Clyde and pretty strong, and never have snapped a chain of any size.
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Old 07-21-20, 11:47 AM
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You could also try out basics with a chain break tool and simply shorten the chain assuming your middle ring and somewhere in the middle back cassette is a good ratio. This can be done for super cheap and give you the flavour before investing a pile of money on tools. This way if you don't like it, easy to flip back with longer chain.

That is what I did here...same wheels, same dish, just shorter chain. Just sayin...
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Old 07-23-20, 05:03 PM
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I have ordered a few bike tools that, once received, will allow me to get started. The guy at my LBS was not too receptive to the SS conversion idea. I really wanted to get wider tires for it, but the existing rims will not allow that. I am proceeding with this as a learning experience. At best, I'll end up with another bike to ride - at worst, it'll end up on the trash heap anyways.
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Old 07-23-20, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by coopman View Post
I have ordered a few bike tools that, once received, will allow me to get started. The guy at my LBS was not too receptive to the SS conversion idea. I really wanted to get wider tires for it, but the existing rims will not allow that. I am proceeding with this as a learning experience. At best, I'll end up with another bike to ride - at worst, it'll end up on the trash heap anyways.
I'd still like to see this bike! What's the max tire size the wheels can accommodate? I was able to comfortably put some 700x32 tires on a a wheelset that originally had 700x23 tires on another bike build I did.

Also why wasn't he receptive? Post more details and maybe we can help more.
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