Sunday, May 19, 2013

CCM folder bike conversion to multi-speed

Sorry for skipping a week. The weather was bad (I'm outdoors you know.) and life was pretty busy. Didn't want to make a half ass post.
Beer can light Aluminium cranks or boat anchor heavy steel one piece crank? I think the choice is pretty obvious!

Step one in the build is to convert this once single speed bike to a multi-speed set-up. The first thing I wanted to do was to change the one piece crank to a 3 piece crank using a conversion kit. I got the kit from Pork Chop BMX some time ago for another project that never saw the light of day. The idea is to have a better selection of cranks and to shave off some weight.

Conversion axle and bearings with the dirty original CCM bearing cups.
The kit is pretty straight forward with an axle, bearings, cones and bearing cups. Simply install and put on your favourite crank arms. In my case I did hit a small snag where the bearing cups are a specific size to the CCM. I had to forgo the ones that came with the kit that are sized for conventional American BMXs.

Clean up must also involve the bottom bracket shell, loose dirt will get in the bearings. Here it also reveals the original mid 70's purple color of the bike.
The new bearings did fit in the older cups with no problem. Of course a clean up was in order and they were still in decent shape. I would suggest inspecting them has there is usually one side that is more used up than the other. depending on the rider being left handed or right handed, one side will see more usage than the other. Always put the better cup on the side that suits you, that way they will last a bit longer. In my case as a right handed guy, the better one went on the right side.
Cup and bearings packed with fresh grease. Don't forget to add a dab on the bearing cones as well on the axle. More is always better than not enough.
Completed conversion.
After the bottom bracket was installed, I put on the crank arms and lucky for me, they cleared, barely. I've faced such a situation before and let's just say that the solution wasn't pretty for the frame!

Check for clearance between the crank arm and frame. Also, check your picture for proper focus before publishing!  Aaaaaaargh :X   Notice also that tire clearance is not an issue.
Next I had to install the rear wheel and check for clearance in regards to the tire and frame. That's where I hit another little snag. The axle was a lot wider than what the frame would allow. I remedied the situation by spreading the frame a bit using a car jack.

Small discrepancy here!
Take note that you should never do what I did. Bending a frame is a last resort because you will ruin it or make it dangerously weak. I'm rolling the dice here doing this and only sharing it with you for information purposes. Yes, I'm an idiot, haters don't need to post it in the comments.

Do not ever do this, ever!

Final result.
I finished up by installing the derailleur and the chain. Everything works fine and nothing is rubbing the wrong way. I'm not planning for a front derailleur since the frame design won't allow it. No biggie, I have hands.  :)

This is how it sits for now.
In case you have any questions about the different steps taken in this post, here's a list of links to post I've done in the past that relates to the work done here today:

One piece crank
3 piece crank
Installing a chain

And of course the links to all the how-to articles here.

Until next week, ride safe and free.

Gerry  :)


David P P said...

couldn't you have ditch the spacer on the non-drive side on the wheel and tweak the dishing of the wheel? Just asking.

Gerry Lauzon said...

You're absolutely right but I'm real lazy.

Gerry :)

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