While I typically mock those on fixed gear or single speed bikes here in Houston, I was recently inspired by a fellow randonneur in Austin who did his entire SR series on a single speed bike. Then my chain broke on the Stampede and I did some hills north of Lake Travis in a single gear. I kind of liked it and would like to dip my toes in a Houston area 200k on a single speed once PBP is over. And things kind of snowballed from there.
I ordered everything from Harris Cyclery (save the rim, which I had bought a long time ago). I remembered the dropouts on the Holdsworth being 126mm spacing (Campy 5 speed freewheel), but the Origin 8/formula hub sent by Harris fit it perfectly and I could have swore the hub was suppose to be 120mm spacing. Oh well!
I then laced the wheel up cross 3. I was nervous about Harris calculating the spoke lengths, but it was spot on!
I went with a fixed/free set up. I made some educated guesses about what gear ratios to run. I took off the small chain ring on the front and moved the big chain ring to where the small chain ring was to give a decent chainline. That left me with a 50 tooth chain ring up front. I guessed at my average RPM’s and I tried to equate that with a normal speed using this calculator. I ended up with a 17T fixed cog and 18T freewheel gear (giving 79 & 75 gear inches respectively). I have yet to test out the freewheel side…
The rest of the installation was a breeze! I am with holding a final picture until all the final touches are put on the Holdsworth.
Since I had the rim already, the entire conversion was around $200. I did buy the spacers and different BCD bolts that weren’t needed (but that is only $10). Not too bad, considering rebuilding the rear wheel with the original hub would have run about $100.
I have enjoyed riding the Holdsworth Record with a fixed gear. It is a great workout and back pedaling really works the legs. I can’t track stand and can’t skid, and don’t have plans to learn either.