This one featured in the post ‘Apollo Capri Part 1′ a while back, and in the end I decided to make it a simple flatland city run-around with nice wide bars for easy low speed steering. I’m coming to the view that any basic bike with pressed rear drop-outs and no proper built-in derailleur hanger is probably better off as a single speed or hub geared conversion anyway.
The single 46T chainset was borrowed from another salvaged Apollo ladies’, and the 27″ wheelset swapped from “Grandfather’s Axe” ( another story ! ). The Hi-Stop coaster hub and alloy Weinmann branded rims were bought new a few years back.
One of the problems often encountered doing this sort of conversion is the 95mm fork width and 5/16th” axle sizing on the Apollo front drop-outs. The newer front wheel had 100mm spacing and a thicker axle.
While some might not consider these ‘sports-roadster’ style bikes to have much value, they happen to be what I mostly find as local throwaways and if I only accepted 100mm wide forks I’d be missing out on a lot of good rebuilding opportunities !
The favoured method I used here was to de-lace the front rim from its original Quando 100mm hub and re-lace it to a restored salvaged 95mm hub – more wheel therapy for me !
To deal with the 110mm rear coaster hub I merely put spacers between the cones and locknuts to widen it out to the approx. 126mm of the previous thread-on 5 speed hub, taking care to maintain chain line and centring. Luckily the axles were easily wide enough to cope with the extra spacers. This negated having to bend the frame and thus kept the drop-out alignment as it was.
I’ve used a 22T sprocket for easy pedalling around town and the offset of these larger cogs gives a little adjustability for chain line by flipping it either way as required.
That’s about it for such a relatively simple conversion, and the fact that modern ‘retro’ versions look remarkably similar to this step-through is an indication of the practicality of such a straight forward design.
Perhaps the only disadvantage with this conversion was that derailleur bikes don’t usually come with chain-guards, as one of those would have been perfect for this single speed .
Now, I did have an ideal rear rack for this somewhere … or perhaps a basket ?
P.S. — Don’t forget ‘Wheels on Wheeler’ 4th March 2016 — see previous post for details.
See Ya There !