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Nhirvana

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I have a 1997 trek 800 Mountain Track. (22 1/2 inch frame) I have a chain skip problem. I took it to my lbs and they tuned up the derailiers but that didn't fix the skipping. I noticed the large chainring is all f'd up, (don't know why the bike mechanic missed that) I never shift out of the largest chain ring and I still feel like I could go faster so since I need to change it anyway, I want to change the three ring crankset to a new single ring crank. So I ordered a bigger (48t) single chainring crankset. I also want to change the bb to a sealed Shimano bb. My question is is there anyway besides trial and error that I can figure out what spindle length to get so the chain is basically centered on the middle of the cassette (7speed)..
Any other tips you have for this mod would be greatly appreciated.
I realize that just changing the outer ring would've been easier but I'm trying to lighten everything up.
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