Single-Speed Conversion


This ad disappears when logged in

twinflight

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 13, 2017
125
70
Minnesota, United States
#1
There is a slew of vintage road bikes in my area for sale. Does a single speed conversion increase the value? Many are on sale for many weeks. I live in a college town and wonder if the extra cost is worth it. I’ve seen some guys that made a killing just doing the conversions; however, this was many years ago.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Talewinds

I live for the CABE
Sep 13, 2010
1,897
173
Newton, WI, United States
#2
Hmm, tough question. I would say that in a college town, a single speed bike is more desirable. More valuable, maybe modestly...
Let's say you could get those vintage road bikes for $50, then add $50 total for the singlespeed conversion kit and new chain. Could the bike then be sold for $150-$200, man, I don't know.
I know this though, we did a bunch of SS conversions in a bike shop when I worked there. Some of the conglomeration of parts made for rock solid performance. Some, however, were not so much, and caused some really unnerving chain skip when even a moderate amount of torque was applied.
Having experienced a thorough cross section of SS and fixies, were I to build my own I would ALWAYS start with a frame that had rear-facing dropouts. Just my professional opinion.
 

morton

I live for the CABE
Nov 9, 2007
1,374
1,484
York, United States
#4
A lot depends upon the bike. Converting a Varsity might increase the value as they were made in the millions and plenty of originals are easily found. Hack off the cable guides and toss the drs of a high dollar ride with Reynolds frame and Campy components and you just shot yourself in the foot!

I'm about to modify (due to my physical condition) a pretty decent bike . Nothing will be cut off and the components will go in a bag so that the bike can be returned to original condition if in the future I can't ride anymore or decide to sell it. No harm, no foul.

Also, as stated previously above, the quality of the workmanship and replacement parts are critical. I've seen more than 1 butchered up ride the seller couldn't get back even close to the amount spent on the parts for the conversion.
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,444
4,484
downtown Bulverde, Texas
#5
There is a slew of vintage road bikes in my area for sale. Does a single speed conversion increase the value? Many are on sale for many weeks. I live in a college town and wonder if the extra cost is worth it. I’ve seen some guys that made a killing just doing the conversions; however, this was many years ago.
If you live in flatland, a good single-speed is lighter, and depending on what went into the conversion, could be worth more. Should be worth more for the value of the new wheelset.
As a rule, if you're buying bikes, a nice-original-condition, ignored/not ridden, and well-stored Craigslist buy is better, because if you want to make the conversion yourself, have nice parts to sell.
picked this photo because my friend John has his pee-yellow fixie here
FWIW, any time you do a nice job building a bike, don't expect to get your money back if you sell it - and if you've done it right, shouldn't be able to replace it in kind for what you have into it.
ha5GHOG.jpg


of course, a vintage fixie is a whole lot cooler, while a well-functioning vintage road bike is much more useful.
FIrUGq9.jpg
 
Last edited:

Duchess

Finally riding a big boys bike
Feb 14, 2014
436
692
Beverly, MA
#6
If it's a question of profit, couldn't you just remove the derailleurs and cables, pick a decent gear ratio that maintains a decent chain line, and shorten the chain (providing it's useable)? I haven't done this, but I suppose cheap spacers could be used in the case of free hubs—take apart the cassette to get the gear you want, cut a couple pieces of pipe with an i.d. that can fit snug on the freehub and sandwich the sprocket you want between them to allow a straight chain line. With a single length of pipe, you could probably get a bunch of conversions done.
 
Likes: twinflight

kunzog

I live for the CABE
May 22, 2006
1,311
600
Low Country South Carolina
oldbike.homestead.com
#7
Here is one I built for myself to ride. A late 1970's Czech made Favorit, originally a 10 speed racer. I removed the derailleurs, shifters, brakes. Installed 700cc allow wheels with a coaster brake, short alloy handlebars. Did I increase the value? I say no, if anything I destroyed an original vintage bike but it is what I wanted to ride and I kept all the original parts.

Favorit-2.JPG
 

Talewinds

I live for the CABE
Sep 13, 2010
1,897
173
Newton, WI, United States
#8
If it's a question of profit, couldn't you just remove the derailleurs and cables, pick a decent gear ratio that maintains a decent chain line, and shorten the chain (providing it's useable)? I haven't done this, but I suppose cheap spacers could be used in the case of free hubs—take apart the cassette to get the gear you want, cut a couple pieces of pipe with an i.d. that can fit snug on the freehub and sandwich the sprocket you want between them to allow a straight chain line. With a single length of pipe, you could probably get a bunch of conversions done.
Yes to all the above. That would be a "quick and dirty" solution, EXCEPT, much of the time, actually most of the time the old 6-7-8-9 speed cassettes were one unitized piece. trying to remove one cog from the cassette would prove fruitless, even worse with the "freehub" designs. But I like where you're going.
 

Talewinds

I live for the CABE
Sep 13, 2010
1,897
173
Newton, WI, United States
#9
Here is one I built for myself to ride. A late 1970's Czech made Favorit, originally a 10 speed racer. I removed the derailleurs, shifters, brakes. Installed 700cc allow wheels with a coaster brake, short alloy handlebars. Did I increase the value? I say no, if anything I destroyed an original vintage bike but it is what I wanted to ride and I kept all the original parts.

View attachment 729855
That's a very nice one!
 

twinflight

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 13, 2017
125
70
Minnesota, United States
#10
Hmm, tough question. I would say that in a college town, a single speed bike is more desirable. More valuable, maybe modestly...
Let's say you could get those vintage road bikes for $50, then add $50 total for the singlespeed conversion kit and new chain. Could the bike then be sold for $150-$200, man, I don't know.
I know this though, we did a bunch of SS conversions in a bike shop when I worked there. Some of the conglomeration of parts made for rock solid performance. Some, however, were not so much, and caused some really unnerving chain skip when even a moderate amount of torque was applied.
Having experienced a thorough cross section of SS and fixies, were I to build my own I would ALWAYS start with a frame that had rear-facing dropouts. Just my professional opinion.
Was the problem with the tensioner? I picked up three lightweight Schwinns from the lbs for $20 each. They all have horizontal dropouts so I shouldn’t need a tensioner. The only problem is it’s -10 outside so there’s no way of road testing until Spring. Or could you? Has anyone used a trainer as a testing tool?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

This ad disappears when logged in
Most Recent BUY IT NOW Items Listed on eBay
$28.00
eBay Auction Picture
$45.00
eBay Auction Picture
$15.00
eBay Auction Picture
$4.00
eBay Auction Picture
$13.10
eBay Auction Picture
$23.58
eBay Auction Picture
$9.99
eBay Auction Picture
$35.00
eBay Auction Picture
$30.46
eBay Auction Picture
$22.84
eBay Auction Picture
$22.84
eBay Auction Picture
$15.23
eBay Auction Picture
$11.42
eBay Auction Picture
$19.04
eBay Auction Picture
$19.04
eBay Auction Picture
$6.54
eBay Auction Picture
$49.99
eBay Auction Picture
$10.00
eBay Auction Picture