Octalink road cranks for fixed gear? Chainline feasibility.

Following on in the spirit of cheapo part alternatives I pose the following question.

Could Shimano octalink road cranks be used for single speed and maintain a decent chainline (42-43mm, while retaining the chainring on the outside)?

The reason I ask. Track specific cranks cost too much for me and I have a chance to get some dura ace octalink cranks for a reasonable amount. I was thinking if i get a 109mm bottom bracket (the shortest size available, and the same size used for the dura ace track specific model) would this work? From googling it seems that the 109mm bottom bracket is used for some road applications. This suggests that the outter chain ring wouldn’t give a good chainline for single speed use.

I still thought it might be worth asking as a few people seem to have used octalink cranks (although not necessarily road double cranks for single speed use).

109.5mm is the same spindle width used on the dura-ace 7700 cranks for road use, so you’ll get 46mm using that BB. Some Octalink BBs can be installed backwards, so you can use the shorter side of the spindle on the drive side…

If you can’t get those cranks to work, I’ll take them off your hands.

  • Joel

thanks Joel, that seems to make sense. I don’t think i will attempt the reversed BB thing. (I don’t actually have the cranks yet)

Back to searching ebay for suitable cranks then.