How to Convert a Bike to Fixed Gear

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  • 1). Understand that you will need a bike with horizontal dropouts. Many road bikes from the 1980s and earlier have these dropouts, so they are excellent candidates for fixed gear bikes.

  • 2). Remove your derailleurs, derailleur cables, shifters, etc. Hey, your bike just lost about two pounds!

  • 3). Convert your cranks. Remove your big chainring and bolt the small chainring back on with single or 'shorty' chainring bolts.

  • 4). Convert your rear wheel. If you have a freewheel hub, you can remove the freewheel and thread on a cog. You may want to consider using a lockring to hold the cog in place, and you may want to switch to a solid axle. Otherwise, it is best to buy a track hub or a flip flop hub and build up a new wheel.

  • 5). Adjust the chain tension by moving the wheel back and forth in the dropouts. You want the chain fairly tight, but it shouldn't bind in any position.

  • 6). Check your chainline. Your front chainring must line up with the cog in back.

  • 7). Keep your brakes. Some people remove both brakes or the rear brake to get a cleaner look. But in the real world, it's nice to have the stopping power of two brakes.

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