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Singlespeed Randonneur build advice

Old 04-30-21, 11:59 AM
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Singlespeed Randonneur build advice

Hi.I want to build a unique machine for randonneuring/long distance light touring.Right now I use my specialized awol for that purpose, but i want to build something more road specific, single speed and randonneur style bike. I also want to build it on a budget, try to find used good parts.That's where any help is appreciated. I want it to be something like this: old skinny road bike frame (old ktm or peugeot or italian frame beacuse I live in europe and that's what's available), good new wheels, spd pedals, dynamo hub, modern road bike brakes , mudguards so in general a reliable road build but I don't know anything about singlespeed parts, or which crankset is good for that kind of riding, what ratio etc.I've seen this picture somewhere, that's where I got the idea.
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Old 04-30-21, 01:53 PM
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Interesting Prospect. You might try posting on the single speed / fixed gear forum and referencing them here. I recall reading some articles about P-B-P single speed riders which might help you.

You can find gear calculators online and plenty of information on which gear ratios to start with. I would think something in the 65 - 70 gear inches would allow you to go long distance and also keep it reasonable for hills. If you get a flip/flop hub you could run a freewheel on each side with the second one being a lower "bailout gear". I used to run a 39/16 fixed (65 gi) with an 18t freewheel (59 gi) as my bailout. Didn't do long distances but it worked well enough.

I now run a 44/17 for 70 gi with lighter wheels and it is good. I still have an 18t freewheel if needed. seems to be the go to place for reasonably priced SS wheelsets. They had some touring wheelsets with generator front hubs, but I don't recall any SS wheelsets with them.

Good luck.
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Old 04-30-21, 03:18 PM
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The only difference between a FG randonneuring bike and any other randonneuring bike is rear hub and the chain-set. Budget way to go would be to get an old road bike with horizontal dropouts that's as close as possible to what you are looking for and put an old single-ring crank on there with a fixed rear and front dynamo hub. I doubt it will be easy to source an inexpensive wheelset like that so you may consider getting the parts and building it yourself. I run right around 70" most of the time, but gearing is pretty personal. You'll have to figure out what works best for you.
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Old 05-04-21, 04:13 PM
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My single speed experience is limited to a mountain bike with slicks, but I concider it to have 2 speeds, sit and spin or stand and mash. It seems like the light tubeing low trail bikes are set up more for the sit and spin crowd. I'm not a small person, and when I get out of the saddle on my road bike, the limitations of tire and fender clearences make them selves known. Again not knowing, I wonder how a low trail bike handles differently out of the saddle?
I've got a bunch of sport touring frames in the attic, so I've thought about building a low budget version just to see.
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Old 05-10-21, 06:49 PM
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Single-speed or fixed gear? There is a difference is setting up the rear axle and comfort/challenge factors. My randonneuring experience includes fixed gear.
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Old 05-10-21, 07:04 PM
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You likely will want a 70s era "racing" bike as they typically were fitted with long reach brakes and so should work with 28c and fenders and quite possibly 32c as well. The French bikes of that era that were fitted out with Mafac racer center pull brakes as original equipment would work well for example but so would a great many other bikes. By the 80s by and large, clearances became tighter on racing bikes.

Insofar as gearing is concerned, are you thinking of running a flip flop hub? A SA 3 speed would be interesting as well but likely not what you are looking for.

I have a 70s era Peugeot PR 10 that I keep thinking I need to turn into a single speed bike. It can take a 32c tire and fenders easily. The picture you posted looks to be a later version of a PR 10 as it has 531 double butted main tubes. The European model names though are often different.

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Old 05-18-21, 11:39 AM
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You will need to define the target budget, as your drivetrain alone could (rear hub/wheel setup and chain alignment) could be places you spend money after finding a good starting point from a geared bike find perspective. To minimize cost and/or complication, make sure you look for horizontal dropouts on the rear wheel. Otherwise you may be finagling with eccentric hubs and/or chain tensioners. That is not a bad thing, but just more $$ or maintenance, respectively. Getting an eccentric hub wheel build is the $$ part, however, i think it would be well spent if a vertical dropout is all you can find at a reasonable cost for a starting point.

I ride a single speed fully loaded touring rig (front/rear panniers). Touring geometry with a 42x16 ratio on 700cc rims. Can ride that thing all day long and super comfy.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:56 AM
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Any bike can be a singlespeed. Just don't shift, real simple, easy to source, easy to find your perfect g.i. Fixed is another story. Need horizontal dropouts and etc. Personally I enjoy coasting on pass descents. I've done many single speed rides on a geared bike in hilly terrain.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:22 PM
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Did you ever build this?
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