Over the course of today and yesterday I’ve put about $130 and several hours into converting my old Miyata 1000 touring bike into a low maintenance single-speed commuter.

The whole process did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. The plan was to keep the original crank, replacing the chainrings with a single gear and spacers to keep the chainline.

My pride and joy, a reddish 1981 Miyata 1000 road bike

Not so much, turns out an 80s Miyata has a crank with a bolt pattern that doesn’t exist. I don’t mean it’s hard to find, I mean it wasn’t on Sheldon Brown’s list of bolt patterns, and it baffled the guys at the bike shop.

So I had to get a new crank, which was $50 right there. I also broke my chain rivet pusher working on Miss Grace, so I had to buy another to size the chain. Then I cut the wrong end off my new brake cables like a rookie and had to make a run to Wal Mart for more this morning.

You’ll notice that the back still has a 6 speed freewheel on it. That’s because my only option for a freewheel hub is a BMX sprocket, which will almost certainly be too far in and I’ll have to respace the hub and re-dish the wheel. I don’t want to do any of that, I wish I had a freehub. It’s about time I rebuilt my own wheels from scratch.

First I need to replace all the brakes though. I’ve got short-pull levers, one linear pull set of cantilevers that need new pads, and a V-Brake that is a lot of work to keep calibrated tight enough to work with the short-pull levers.

I’m going to swap it all out for some nice aero levers and matching linear pull cantilevers. I know linear pull is dated, but it’s really what this frame is meant to have on it. Side pull doesn’t fit at all, and V-Brakes stick way out because the forks are quite narrow.

Finally though, I have everything working, and not a moment too soon for classes to start on Tuesday. I’ll be damned if I’ll walk to class.

Useful resources if you want to do a single speed conversion: