Singlespeed!

Remember back in August how I was all, “I’m totally going to build up this bike frame that John nabbed on craigslist (instead of letting him have the cranks like he planned) so the hubby and I have matching his ‘n’ hers bikes”?  (If not, you can read all about it here.)

Anyhow, we finally got around to getting around to that (I say “we” because John did a lot of the building on this one, I’ve never built up a singlespeed before, and there are some…unique…considerations involved).

We built both wheels, which wasn’t bad, we’ve built wheels before!  (If you’re looking for a how-to, check out this site…I don’t know of many other wheel building resources out there, but this guy covers it well!)

Assembling the drivetrain was a bit trickier.  Singlespeeds don’t have the luxury of being able to shift into an easier gear when starting from a stop, which means all the force of starting from dead still (or, say, stomping the pedals up a hill) has to be borne by the drivetrain without pulling the rear axle forward in the dropouts.  So it’s really crucial that the rear wheel stays put exactly where you need it even when you’re exerting a ton more force on it (if it doesn’t, the axle slips forward in the dropouts and you end up throwing the chain off the cogs and probably scratching your pretty paint job, to boot…booo.)  Enter the chain tensioner…it puts solid steel between the rear axle and the front of the dropouts, but still lets you fine-tune the exact fit (you know, to account for varying chain lengths/dropout depths or chain stretch over time).  No space to wiggle equals no thrown chains!

Then it was just threading the cables through their bright red housing, popping the brake levers and grips onto the handlebars, and grabbing a saddle off one of the other bikes!

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Doesn’t this bike just beg to go exploring?  And!  The best part is that we have a coordinating pair of his ‘n’ hers 1x1s!!

bike 1

Do you pedal around?  What’s your bike like?

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