My First Custom Single-Speed Bike Build
Dj Cat Nap Blogs
August 15, 2008
This bike started out as a rusty old Royce Union 10-speed, a steel frame Japanese bike from the early 1970′s. I picked it up on Craigslist as a project to learn how to work on bikes.
I joined Time’s Up, an environmental action bike co-op in NYC, who offer free lessons and a workspace with tools and instructors. Over the course of 2 months, I put a lot of sweat and even some blood into this build. I learned a lot (thank you Mark, Luke, and Izumi) and now the finished product rides like a dream! The steel frame is pretty forgiving of the rough NYC streets, and the mountain-bike style handlebars give it great handling in traffic.
Full story and pics after the jump…
I stripped most of the old parts off the bike, keeping only the frame, fork, stem, pedals, and Shimano brake calipers. Then I removed the stickers from the frame, stripped and sanded it, and repainted it. I used Dupli-Color spray primer, paint, and clear coat from Napa auto parts. The lugs were painted by hand with enamel paint and a fine brush.
Then I installed:
– Sugino 75 track cranks, chainring, and bottom bracket
– SRAM single-speed chain
– 18 tooth rear cog with a Wheels Mfg. single-speed spacer kit
– 700c Mavic MA-2 rims, Shimano freehub
– Ritchey Tom Slick city / touring tires
– Race Face MTB flat bar w/ Specialized grips
– BMX 2-finger brake levers, new cables and housings
– CCM Pro retro vintage seat
Most of the parts were bought new, except the Sugino track set and the wheelset. Izumi at Time’s Up generously hooked me up with the Sugino’s for cheap, and the wheelset came from a Bianchi Volpe touring bike I’m currently rebuilding.