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Singlespeed Steed

03 May 2012

Riding a singlespeed can help bring back the unfettered joy you experienced riding your bike as a child. You don’t realize how much mental energy you devote to shifting until you relinquish your derailers, and discover that a whole corner of your brain that was formerly wondering when to shift is now free to enjoy your surroundings and sensations.

Sheldon Brown

After buying a new road bike last summer, I was pondering what to do with the now-redundant Peugeot. I really fancied a retro/modern project bike to work on, and after seeing pictures of a Charge Plug (below – a bike with exactly the aesthetics I was after) I set about converting the Peugeot to a Plug-style singlespeed to use on the commute to the office.


The Charge Plug

The first stage was quite cathartic – remove all the surplus components from the bike, stripping it back to just what it needed. Off came the front and rear derailleur, cogs, large chainring, bottle cage and brake levers/shifters. Once the relevant cables were cut, this was all very straightforward.

I loved the process of sourcing parts and learning how to put them together myself. From the original Peugeot, I kept the frame, cranks, calipers and seatpost along with pedals I’d bought for my Globe Daily (now sold to a new owner). Then off ebay I got the following:

And then the parts I had to buy new:

And here’s the end result:

The hardest parts of the process were getting the chainline dead straight (a lot of fiddling but got there in the end!), and setting up the chain tensioner correctly. I tried all sorts of fettling with it, but it was always too noisy once engaged with the chain. The chainline was definitely straight, and ran smoothly without it (just a bit loosely) so in the end I got a Charge Masher ‘half-link’ chain which did away with the need for a tensioner altogether. No noise, the right tension, and no extra gubbins needed!

I’m really pleased with how it turned out! Its fun to ride and ideal for commuting, keeping my proper road bike (currently a Canyon Ultimate AL self-build) setup for my jaunts around the countryside.


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  • 16 Oct 2018

    Inktober day 16 “The Pilot” - a response to @hicksmade’s barber shop poster. Experimenting with a different style on this one #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober #pilot

  • 15 Oct 2018

    Inktober Day 15. @hicksmade’s staircase led me to this. There must be a hairdressers somewhere called this? #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober #hairwaytosteven

  • 14 Oct 2018

    Inktober day 14 - from @hicksmade’s theme of escape, and tonight’s Dr Who, with a return to classic theme: running!. #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober #drwho #pictogram #signage

  • 14 Oct 2018

    Inktober day 13 is more of a doodle as time was very short! There was a bird in @hicksmade’s day 13 so I ran with that. . #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober

  • 12 Oct 2018

    Inktober Day 12. Thinking about @hicksmade’s lumos led me to this “please don’t turn me off…”. #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober #sadlightswitch

  • 11 Oct 2018

    Inktober Day 11. The shape of @hicksmade’s spoons made me think of the Mandrake - a root that looks like a tiny human. There are lots of legends around it, but this one is based on the Harry Potter interpretation. . #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober #mandrake #harrypotter

  • 10 Oct 2018

    Inktober day 10. @hicksmade led with a lovely bee, which made me think of the Jesus and Mary Chain song “Just like honey”. Fancied trying something different so went for a 60s typographical thingy . #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober #honey

  • 10 Oct 2018

    Beautiful morning at North Leigh Common!

  • 09 Oct 2018

    Inktober day 9, as the crow flies. An obvious link from @hicksmade’s scarecrow, but I’m much happier with this one compared to yesterday’s. #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober #crow

  • 09 Oct 2018

    Inktober day 8 and boy am I cross with how this one turned out. It’s utter pants. Supposed to be Bill Murray and Scarlet Johannsen in Lost in Translation, not that you could tell from this. Bill looks like a zombie, and goodness knows what that is on the right. It put me in such a bad mood last night, but I need to let it go and move on. (I even cheated a bit and touched up some bits in Photoshop!). The one bit I’m happy with is his neck, and that’s it. Rant over #inktober #inktober2018 #leighandjondoinktober

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