I happened on the Single Speed bicycle craze by surfing the web this August. My son had an old set of parts from a Bridgestone MB-5 mountain bike ( c.1993 ), and I felt that for under $100, it would be a fun project to make one.

The frame had vertical dropouts, I was able to get a 46 x 15 drivetrain to work with the help of a half link. There is some chain looseness, but not enough to drop the chain as the rear cog is wrapped more than 180 degrees.

New 26 X 1.5 tires, inner tubes, headset, seat post and an old seat were added.

I did grind 5 - 3/8 washers to the shape of the letter "D" as spacers in order to position the old outer chain wheel inside the crank arm for proper alignment with the rear cog and also to use up the extra length of the stock sprocket bolts. The rear wheel was not redished as I used the old Shimano cassette free hub (splined) and a Bike Nashbar Single Speed Conversion kit (without the supplied chain tensioner), for the rear cog and the proper spacers.

The bike weighs in at around 20 pounds, rides well and allows me to go with my granddaughter to Starbucks for a Mocha Lattie.

All in all, the project was a success, except that my granddaughter feels the seat was rather high. (How else can I keep her off of it?)

The photos show that, while not the most beautiful outcome, a pile of junk can be made functional and a lot of fun!

Joel Forman



Bridgestone MB-5 - Before
Bridgestone MB-5 - side view
Bridgestone MB-5 - front end view
Bridgestone MB-5 - crankset detail
Bridgestone MB-5 - rear hub detail




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