Sunday, August 26, 2007

10mm Lock-Washers and a Half Link

It seems that there is rarely a singlespeed conversion that goes without a hitch...for me anyway. I am not a bike mechanic, or a person that knows everything about bikes, however I have picked up a few tricks along the way that may or may not be helpful to you out there in the blogesphere. I just turned my cross bike into a singlespeed. It is a Kona Jake the Snake, and was previously run as a nine speed. So, the conversion went like this: cheapo spacer kit and tensioner from LBS, nice Surly 18t cog, Sram P1 chain, half-link (my spacing was too long for even the tensioner to fix, so I had to resort to this little gizmo), 10mm lock washers. The two glitches on this conversion were (1) my spacing with 42/18 was either too short to fit the chain on, or too long for the tensioner to work correctly. (!) The half link comes in here and saved the day. The second (2) glitch was that the singlespeed chain was too wide to fit between my front ring and the bash guard that was on it from my 9 speed setup. When I took the bash off there was a gap in the chain ring bolts. The bike shop guys were out of the shorter bolt sets, and sent me home with washers that ended up being too small. I picked up some 10mm lock washers from Home Depot that did the trick though. It's done and on my first spin the drive train was working well and very snappy, nothing accelerates like a light weight singlespeed with a nice hub in back! Anyway, the first spin also produced bad news...the headset is toast...King?...$130...ouch...we'll see if I cough up the dough for King-Bling or cut a corner to save the check book.

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