Long Termers: Team Singletrack’s Ibis Tranny

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Ed's taking it all 1x9 maan.

Ed Oxley reports…

The Tranny worked very well as a singlespeed and even though I had it built up as a jumpy / 4X type build, it made a pretty nifty xc bike. In fact due to the blanket of snow that we suffered for so long, most of my rides were of the long xc variety. The ‘slot machine’ system for adjusting chain tension worked flawlessly and did not need adjustment after settting up over a five minute ride. It is essential to use plenty of carbon assembly paste on the inside of the ‘slot machine’ to prevent slipping and creaks. A future ‘transformer’ build of this frame will be as a pure xc race bike, so there will be more details then of the ride.

Have a look here for an animated gif of said ‘slot machine’.

I’ve now changed the Tranny from singlespeed to a 1×9 geared set up. Gone are the Shimano Deore cranks, replaced by this new Race Face Respond set. Designed to be an affordable, but not too heavy choice for All Mountain / DH riding. They look nice, go on easily and have 6mm of chainline adjustment. The granny ring spider is removable, which is handy if you want to fit a full chain guide and also gives a cleaner look as well as saving some grams. No steel pedal inserts though, which I would like to see. I’ve stripped a few threads in my time. Claimed weight is 1086g with both rings and bash guard.

I’ve also fitted an MRP 1.X Guide. This is a neat device designed to keep the chain from coming off when you run a single ring up front with gears at the back. It’s bottom bracket mounted, taking the place of a bb spacer. So far the chain has stayed on except for once when back pedalling by hand to try to clear an extreme amount of clay mud from the drivetrain. I’m using an MRP 34 tooth chainring. So far so good then. A full review of this device will be going in the Grinder in the magazine.

SRAM XO shifter and rear mech have been fitted which are my personal favorites. So positive and with a lovely lickety split click. An excellent Gore Ride On, fully sealed gear cable system completes the drivetrain.

Gears give more flexibility, especially in steep sided Calderdale. If you buy a Tranny it would be a shame not to at least try it singlespeed, as so much of it has been cleverly designed to do so. One drawback of the slot machine and the pivoting seat stay bridge is that both these areas make a large area for potentially trapping mud. This is especially the case if you run a large volume tyre. It was only a problem for me when I rode through an evil area of clay and had to find a poking stick to clear the stays. To be fair it also overwhelmed the chain guide.

At the moment the bike is in bits as I prepare for the next stage of the ‘trail 1×9’ build to come together. The Fox F32 831 fork (reviewed in issue 56 of Singletrack Magazine) is being internally adjusted to 120mm of travel from 100mm. I’m hoping this will give a bit more plushness and will slacken the head angle from it’s rather steep (for me) 70 degrees. 120mm is the maximum travel advised for a good ride, as well as in terms of warranty.

Formula Oro brakes are standing by and I just need to find a longer 31.6 seatpost to go with the svelte looking Ibis QR seat clamp that has replaced the original bolt up clamp. Finally I have a pair of WTB Weirwolf tyres to fit.

What’s next? Let’s hope it doesn’t snow again before I get it all together.

Ed Oxley
www.great-rock.co.uk

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Long Termers