At Kiwibikes, owner and frame builder Jeff Anderson routinely builds single speed mountain bikes from scratch, and also converts existing frames (we source or you supply) for single speed riding.
Steel Frame Single Speed Conversions
If you’re looking to convert a steel framed bike to single speed the best method is to completely replace the bottom bracket with an eccentric bottom bracket. This enables you to maintain chain tension without a special chain tensioner being used, and is aesthetically the ‘cleaner’ approach to take.
If you’re really riding retro and are using V-brakes, then rear track tips can be installed.
Carbon / Aluminium Single Speed Conversions
With carbon or aluminium frames (that we can’t weld) then the conversion is a simple case of installing the following:
- a rear cog with the appropriate number of teeth (we’ll discuss this with you to work out what’s best);
- a new front chainring (using rings from existing chainsets is not recommended as they are usually too weak);
- a special single speed chain (wider and stronger);
- a chain tensioner.
We can usually do this on the same day!
What’s also eye-opening is when we give our customers their removed derailleurs, shifters and chain back to them – the weight saving can be considerable!