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Chain line on new flip-flop wheel
Hi everyone, I'm new to posting on the forum but have visited frequently in the last few days and found a lot of helpful tips for my first bike building project.

The question I have is whether a new fixed/free flip/flop wheel would require re-dishing, or any other work, in order to get an acceptable chain line? I suppose this may depend on the bike? I don't think the chain line has to be 100% perfect for my weekend dawdles.

I'm weighing up whether to get the existing rear wheel re-dished, buy a single freewheel and clean off all the surface rust, or to just buy a new ready made single speed wheel and (hopefully) be done with it.

Thanks in advance,
The answer, of course, is "it depends". But you can make some educated guesses. Chain line doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to be pretty good on a single. The new wheel is more likely to give you proper chain line out of the box.

On the existing wheel, the first question is whether it is a freewheel wheel or cassette. If cassette, you would need a cassette>single conversion kit which isn't too expensive. But you'll be able to get good chainline by adjusting the spaces that come with the kit. If it's a freewheel, you can guess that the single will end up roughly where your second innermost cog sits now. So you can estimate the chainline from that and see what you've got. If you'll be running to the middle or inner chainring in the front, sometimes that's just about right. Sometimes you need to respace the axle and redish a little.

There's a lot of little variables to deal with, but none of the individual things is too hard. Redishing is no harder than truing a wheel.

I'd say go with the old wheel if it's not in too bad shape. But, a new wheel would give you the option to go fixed as well. And if you think you would end up paying a shop to do some of the refitting on the old wheel, a new wheel may not really be much more expensive than the labor cost you'll save anyway.
Well, DaveM understated one thing: redishing is actually much easier than truing a wheel, assuming the wheel starts out true and with well adjusted spoke tension. You just have to tighten the spokes on one side an equal amount. I'd try going with that first.

He is also right: having a workshop do the work will be expensive probably almost as expensive as getting a new rear wheel. They start at about 100€, quite a decent deal, the parts alone are (almost) as expensive (16€ spokes, 20€ rim, 30€-50€ hub).
(03-07-2010, 09:02 AM)Joe_W Wrote:  redishing is actually much easier than truing a wheel

True on a good wheel, but since this one has "rust" on it, there might be seized spokes, uneven tension, etc, etc. Not that it would be that hard, but I wouldn't recommend anyone redish a wheel if they don't feel comfortable doing or learning to do basic truing.

You can get "flip-flop" wheels starting at about US$50 and up. I'm a big proponent of doing the work yourself and using existing parts. But if the decision is to pay a shop to do a lot of labor on a rusty wheel or just buy a new one, I think you've got to take that into consideration.
Thanks DaveM, just the advice I was looking for. It's a freewheel, so I'll check out what the chainline might be with my existing set-up, and go from there.

The initial aim of the project was to use the original parts, so in keeping with that I may have a crack at redishing the wheel myself, I've seen a few good threads about it here, and see how it goes. It is an old wheel, perhaps 70's? So I'm a bit concerned about the integrity of the spokes, but I'll give it close look and make a decision. If it turns out to be problematic, I can always buy a new wheel anyway.

Thanks a lot for the tips DaveM and Joe_W
Hm, such an old wheel... OK, be prepared to break some spokes. The nipples might be corroded in place and the torsion you apply on the spoke might cause it to shear off (right word?). I fixed my old Maillard equipped rear wheel and this happened to me. I don't say it will happen, just be prepared that it could happen. It also helps to put the wheel in some kind of truing stand, turning the bike upside down and using some contraption attached to the seat stays works too.

Edit: I think I need to set up some sort of macro that posts: "Yeah, Dave is again right"... Wink When you are in the Frankfurt area I'll buy you a beer.
Thanks Joe, yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Corrosion appears to be the biggest issue with the wheels (and the bike in general) so I'll definitely pick up a few extra spokes if I decide to do it myself. Hadn't really thought of a stand, I'm sure I could Macgyver something up, thanks for the tip.
(03-09-2010, 07:49 AM)Joe_W Wrote:  I think I need to set up some sort of macro that posts: "Yeah, Dave is again right"... Wink When you are in the Frankfurt area I'll buy you a beer.

Smile Too kind...For better or worse, I'm pretty expert at "crappy old bikes". My knowledge drops off considerably with the new fangled stuff that you kids ride around on these days... Don't know about Frankfurt, but might be in Berlin over the summer. Maybe we'll cross paths. Bis bald.
I now realize that Jord wrote something about the wheel being old in the beginning, I didn't read (or remember) that when posting. Oh, and I started with bike maintenance three years ago when I bought an old Peugeot road bike (older than I). Lots of reading and working on that bike (and my old Giant trekking bike) has taught me a lot.

@Dave: Armer alter Mann... I'm currently applying for a new job, one position is in Berlin, so might end up there anyway. Drop me a line!
Just picked up on this post from march, late I know.

Redishing the wheel will not affect the chain line, this is determined by the hub and chainset and bb axle length, if you just want to run single speed but with a freewheel, the easy answer is to remove your changers and shifters, leave your existing freewheel and chainset on and run your shortened chain to the gears which best line up and give you the ratios you are looking for.

If you want to go fixie, you will find that most fixed wheels have a OLD (over locknut dimension) of 120 mm against 130/135 mm for geared wheels, so more problems arise.

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