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I am looking to upgrade the stock wheels on my canondale caad10 rival. It came with a Fulcrum racing set. I was interested in converting this set of wheels for use on my single speed - a surly steamroller with an eno freewheel.

I have seen several options including rebuilding the rear wheel to thread on a single speed hub or just adapting the current hub through spacers to achieve a proper chainline.

I'm searching for a safe, but reliable and cheap conversion. Would anyone have any tips or suggestions for going forward?

[UPADATE] Just to bring some closure, and thanks, I used the front wheel as-is and ended up having a rear wheel built at my LBS. Went in to discuss options and found out they were running a $5 (yes, that's right) labor special. Parts + $5 and I was off and running, or pedaling. Thanks for the assistance, everyone!

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The Steamroller has 120mm spacing (i.e. track hub spacing) in the back (based on the 2011 Surly complete catalog). A modern road hub is 130 mm spacing.

My recommendation is to buy a wheel with a 120 mm track hub on it and thread the cog on it -- you could spread (i.e. cold set) the frame in principle (spreading can be done if and only if the frame is steel) to take the 130 mm hub, but I would not recommend it (esp. on a nice Surly frame). Since it is more than a 1 size jump (120->126->130), you pretty much have to do the cold setting if you want to go through with this plan (you may want to get a bike shop to do it, esp. for the fork).

But, if you do choose to take the plunge and spread the frame, the option you should probably take is get a bunch of spacers and a single speed cog and put the spacers on to get the right chain line. Many companies sell "single speed conversion kits", which sell the spacers as well as the cog together for a n-speed cassette hub, which you can get for a fairly low price. Less ideal options include things like just sticking the wheel in as-is (with a multi-speed cassette) and aligning the chain as best as possible, but if you're willing to buy an Eno freewheel, this is silly.

  • Thanks @Batman for the information. I have decided to see if a local mechanic will re-lace the rear wheel with a track hub. I think this will be the most cost effective way to go forward (and I'm definitely not altering the frame). – Matthew Dec 22 '14 at 21:56
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    Chances are you'll pay more for the rear wheel to be rebuilt with a track hub (and possibly end up with a worse wheel) than if you just bought a new wheel. – Batman Dec 23 '14 at 4:51
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I have come across a web site called Velosolo which offers conversion kits (cogs, spacers, chain tensioners if necessary), especially when going from a geared wheel. Perhaps something on there will suit?

That site also has a decent FAQ which might help you identify some of the issues, although by the sounds of things you're already quite clued up.

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    The Surly Steamroller is a single speed frame (well, a fixie frame is what they intend it for), with track hub spacing (120 mm), so chain tensioning is not necessary. A lot of sites do sell conversion kits (including big bike retailers). – Batman Dec 20 '14 at 13:22

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