My words don’t taste too bad…

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!

Test fit of hub in the dropouts of the Holdworth Record. It fit perfectly out of the box.

Side view of test fit for the hub

I then laced the wheel up cross 3. I was nervous about Harris calculating the spoke lengths, but it was spot on!

Lacing up wheel

Wheel in truing stand having the finishing touches put on it

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.

Installed and rolling!

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.


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