Sunday, November 11, 2012

Modifications to Flamingo London NX7: Crankset, Chainguard, Pedals & 1 Roller Wheel

Some upgrades to my humble Flamingo! Most of the time, an upgrade to the Flamingo is done not because I want to go faster, but just because it can be done!

I have recently upgraded the crankset for the Flamingo, from the stock Driveline 48T crankset to a new Shimano Sora 50T crankset. The inner 34T chainring was removed as it is not needed.

New Shimano Sora 50/34T crankset!

The stock chainguard cannot be used as the BCD of the crankset is different. The stock Driveline crankset has a 130mm BCD, but the Sora crankset has a compact BCD of 110mm. This is why I could not just install the same chainguard.

Without the chainguard, there isn't actually much of a problem. The chain does not drop off as it does not need to shift across a cassette at the back, because this bike uses an internal hub. The only issue is that because of the exposed chain,my leg sometimes touches the chain or chainring, leaving a mark on my leg.

Thus I sourced for a suitable 50T chainguard with a 110mm BCD. Ironically it is a Driveline branded chainguard.

The chainguard that comes with longer chainring bolts

Less common specifications, 50T with 110 BCD. Found only on compact cranksets.

At the same time, I also got new pedals for the Flamingo. The stock plastic pedals are starting to develop quite a bit of play, and the bearings are becoming less smooth. Thus I got another pair of folding pedals. The best folding pedals that I know of are the MKS folding pedals, which I had used since my very first folding bike in 2008.

MKS FD-6 folding pedals

Chainguard and pedals installed!

The black and white artwork on the crankset and chainguard matches well with the Flamingo logo on the frame

Installing the chainguard was not so straightforward as there is very little clearance between the chainstay and the back of the chainring, when the bike is folded. This causes the rear of the chainring bolt to scrape against the chainstay when I tried folding the bike. I had to try a few different combinations of chainring bolts and spacers before I could get a good setup that allowed the bike to be folded.

Damage caused by the chainring bolts, before I figured out how to solve the issue.

The eventual arrangement of spacers, chainring and chainguard that solved the problem.

Another thing that I changed on the Flamingo is one of the roller wheels. I had previously changed the whole set of roller wheels to enable better rolling. As one of the roller wheel fixing points was bent, I had to use a bent bolt to realign the roller wheel. You can read all about it here.

As a side effect of that, one of the roller wheels is at a different level from the other 3. That causes the bike to lean to one side, and only 3 wheels touches the ground at any one time, which makes it a little unstable.

To solve that, I bought wheels that are slightly larger, about 10mm larger in diameter. By changing one wheel, it allows all four of the wheels to rest on the ground when folded.

Larger wheel shown on the right, larger by 10mm in diameter.

One big one small! Looks funny but it works well. 

With the larger roller wheel, all four wheels can rest on the ground at the same time, making the folded bike much more stable.

Flamingo with the modifications. Crankset, chainguard, pedals and roller wheels.


  1. Hi steve can check where did u gt ur driveline bashguard? Also can check does all driveline bashguard comes wif spacer in their packging? Thx

  2. Hi Steve,
    How did you install the Driveline Chain Guard on Shimano Crank Arm? I mean, did you install the chain guard replacing first chainring or over the first chainring with spacer? Thanks.

    1. As you can see from one of the pictures above, I installed the chainring on the outside of the crankarm. On top of that, I added a spacer before installing the chain guard.