single speed build


May 19, 2010
ive been riding trials for about 5 years and have become bored with my michican trials... there is no vetical climb so i had the idea of going single speed. i still want to keep my regular bike for when i go to places with more vetical climb. so what i want is some tips, pointers and help on parts and anything else i might need to keep in mind. i would like to build a single speed from ground up. could some of you please link me a good website that sells good parts. and any reconmandations onn frames, forks, cranks ect...

thanks for reading all this, sorry it was so long:)


Mar 30, 2009
The best way to do it on a budget is to not go looking for parts that people call "single speed" parts unless they are absolutely required for a singlespeed.

The only thing that a singlespeed uses different from a geared bike is the rear cog. You can use a regular rear wheel (cassette hub for a geared setup) and then use spacers plus a single cog.

You can use any crank you want. Any 3-ring crank can be used for singlespeed, you will just want to use a simple chainring without ramps/pins for shifting. Examples here:


Choose your favorite on-line retailer (PricePoint, JensonUSA, Universal Cycles, etc) and look for bargains.

If you use a gearie cassette hub, you'll need something like these sample cogs:


You will also need a chain tensioner if you are converting a geared bike frame. Here's a sample:


If you want to build a singlespeed specific rear wheel, use one of these kinds of hubs... this is just a sample:


For a singlespeed hub like that Surly example that uses a thread-on freewheel, you'll need a freewheel like this:


Everything else can be like a regular mountain bike. I suggest using a 7-speed or 8-speed chain.

Complete bikes can be bargains if you shop around. Here's an example:


Those links are all to JensonUSA, but you can find stuff at other places. When I buy online I buy from Jenson, Universal and PricePoint mostly. You can also find values on eBay if you know what you're buying.

I would try starting with a 2:1 ratio, example: 32 teeth chainring up front, 16 teeth freewheel or cog out back.
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