Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Transformer Bicycle

The transformation is complete. My Gary Fisher Paragon (circa 1995) has been a great bike. Aside from new rims and a SID Race fork in 2001 it was pretty much all original. I did some off-road racing on it and began cyclocross racing with this bike.

Its parts were a bit weary so I decided it would make a GREAT fixed/single speed bike.

I had raced fixed gear on the velodrome and wanted to go that route first but cost and time were prohibitive.

Fixed gear chain tensioning is normally accomplished with horizontal dropouts on a bike, but derailleur based frames like mine have vertical dropouts...

The only reasonable option to have this frame be a true fixie is to use a neat hub from White Industries called the ENO. It has an elliptical axle offset that allows the variable chain tensioning required for fixed gears.

The next option was to use my existing freehub and a chain tensioner - similar to a single-cog rear derailleur but with no motion. I ended up going to the nearby Performance Bicycle Shop for their Single Speed Conversion Kit. (Sorry LBS friends, it is the best bike shop around - see an older post below about that.)

Well, I tore off the derailleurs, shifters and cables. I removed the cassette and made a guess at alignment (more on that later.) I removed the front granny and inner chainrings and moved the outer 42 tooth chainring to the inner position to help with alignment.

The single speed kit came with three cogs: 16, 18 and 20 tooth. I made the chain length compatible with the 20 tooth cog so that it can be used. The tensioner seems to take up the slack when using the 18 or 16 tooth cog just fine.

Enough talk - we want pictures!

Sweet ferrules - rear brake cable running down the middle (no front or rear derailleur cables needed!)

Chain tensioner will allow 16-20 tooth cog on the back. The 42-16 is being ridden day to day but with the Burley attached or with an XtraCycle conversion the 18 or 20 will be handy:

Starting to get a little Fred (definition #2) with these repurposed blue anodized aluminum chainring bolts! (Note the chainring mounted inside, where the middle ring would normally go...)

Fender mount #1 (actually a disk brake mount...)

Fender mount #2 (zip ties == duct tape for bicycles...)

And a bell - even more Fred! (Note the lack of shifters on that clean bar...)

The complete SS machine with 20+ year old Blackburn Mountain rack, Forte 1.5" city tires and Freddy Fenders installed:

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