How to Convert a Road Bike to a Fixed Gear Bike

How to Convert a Road Bike to a Fixed Gear Bike
It is not compulsory for a bicycle to have gears. In fact, the simplest kind of bicycle is the fixed-gear bike, which dates back to the first bicycles ever manufactured. A fixed-gear bike is a single-speed bike that does not have a freewheel. In other words, the bike can only remain in motion if the pedals are spinning. Because of this, it is impossible to coast on a fixed-gear bike. Cyclists can convert a road bike to a fixed-gear bike to build greater leg strength and improve their cycling abilities.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Single chain ring bolts
  • Cog
  • Lockring
Step 1
Remove the derailleurs, derailleur cables and shifters. Loosen the cable anchor bolt, which clamps the inner wire at the bicycle derailleur body. Remove the cable inner wire from the derailleur and cable casing. Remove the inner wire from the bicycle's shifter. The removal process is easy and can be done by pulling out each part.
Step 2
Shorten the chain and then thread it back onto the chainwheel and rear sprocket. To shorten a chain you must locate the "key" link in the chain, which separates to open the chain. Separate the top and bottom parts of the key link. Use a flathead screwdriver to dislodge the seam of the link and gain entry into the securing grip used to lock the link. (Use a hammer to help you gain entry by hitting it against the handle of the screwdriver.) Remove links from the chain to shorten and then reattach the key line to close the chain.
Step 3
Convert your cranks. Alter the changeline. Remove the large chainring and replace it with a small one. Bolt the chain ring on with single-chainring bolts.
Step 4
Remove the freewheel and thread on a cog. Hold the cog in place with a lockring. You can also purchase a track hub or a flip-flop hub and build up a new wheel.
Step 5
Increase tension in the chain by rotating the wheel. Use the pedal to move the wheel back and forth in the dropouts. The top teeth of the chainring should not come off at any angle. Look at the front chainring to confirm that it aligns with the cog in the rear of the bicycle. Adjust the chain as necessary, so it lines up.

Tips & Warnings

A 1/8-inch chain is standard for a single-speed setup.
A loose chain can fall off.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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