Cheap SS

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  • Cheap SS
  • Premier Icon takisawa2

    Why faff about with old square taper…?
    As nice as White Industries etc, kit is the low end sq taper stuff you can buy is just that…low end.
    Just buy a Deore crankset & some narrow chainring bolts.

    These &

    The steel middle ring will work just fine for a singlespeed, it includes everything you need, no peeing about worrying if you need 68mm / 73mm or this axle length or that axle length etc.

    But won’t the middle ring be ‘ramped’ for shifting? And isn’t that a bad thing? Someone told me I want to avoid using the ring off a triple/double and get a SS (or 1×10) ring?
    I’m all for anything cheap (I’m running out of money and want to get the f***ing thing built and ridden).
    As for square taper, like I said, loads recommended for SS.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    The middle ring will be fine, & they last ages. The ramps won’t make any difference. I ran Deore steel rings as SS & 1×9 for god knows how long.
    I’ve run HT2 singlespeed for years, no way I’d go back to sq taper.
    Ok, so the top end sq taper stuff is nice but its not cheap.
    If you want to do it cheaply those HT2 sets are about as cheap as you can do it. If you buy sq taper you’ve got to add on the BB remember…


    HT2 works.
    My findings however were that a point of SS is simplicity and economy. HT2 BB’s don’t last very long. The stiffness might be worthwhile but only if you feel it. I can’t on my SS.

    So you say go square taper then Matt?

    And Takisawa says HT2.
    Right, I’m tossing a coin! 😉
    Cheers for the responses folks, greatly appreciated.

    Asked about options before but I’m nearly done and desperate to get finished.
    Most SSers last time I asked suggested square taper. So, assume I buy a square taper BB (cheap as chips), help me with this. Cheap crank arms? Obviously they need to be ST, any I should look for? And a ring, I’m looking at 36t. Suggestions to match?
    I know these are pretty basic questions but I’ve never tried building anything before.
    Ideas folks?

    Premier Icon YoKaiser

    If its for cheap and reliable I’d go square taper all the way. A UN-72 bottom bracket will outlast external cups by a factor of a gazillion. Not expensive either.


    Square taper all the way 🙂

    So, if I go HT2 I can buy Deore cranks, a cheap BB and some bolts and I’m cooking on gas (albeit with a cheap setup, but to be honest I won’t be thrashing the 29er as it will take a couple of years for my legs to get used to SS). And can change the ring if need be.

    If I go ST, I can buy a ST BB but what cranks (cheap) should I look at?


    I think if you buy a new HT2 deore chainset it should come with a BB… might be worth checking with the place you order from.

    that one does for instance….

    You can get away without buying short chain ring bolts by using spacers from an old crank set.

    Not sure what make but I’ve stripped apart old cranks and found they have spacers in-between the middle ring, these take up the slack of the longer bolts when only using one ring.

    OR buy a nice bash guard instead? this will stop you worrying about the chain falling off one side, although I’ve successfully ran ramped cogs and as long as you get the chain line spot on there’s no problems.

    Premier Icon amedias

    look for old second hand STX-RC / LX /XT square taper cranks, preferably the last gen XT (M75X series) before they went hollowtech circa~97-98

    they last forever, plenty good enough, (XT can be found with 5 bolt spiders instead of the integrated one, STX-RC are 4bolt so use modern chainrings) and can normally be picked up for ~£10

    will certainly be a cheap way of getting you going.

    Premier Icon mattbee

    You know whaat axle/shell sizes you need for your preferred square taper crank? Sure that the tapers won’t be stretched/rounded if they are 2nd hand?
    Just buy a Deore HT2 setup, so much easier to be up and running than faffing with the older setup.
    That’s from someone who runs square taper on a couple of bikes with CBR, RS7 or early RF Turbines.


    What you building?

    SS is fun in a weird way….

    Oh and Deore HT2, if its a 2nd bike dont trash the middle ring, (though they are fine) buy a SS ring & then you have a nice shiny set of new rings for your other bike when it need them. More initial cost maybe but cheaper in the long run.

    Premier Icon nixie

    I’ve a cheap set of ST cranks that would work for SS. Think I even have a ring that would be suitable too. Email in profile if you might be interested.

    I used an old st of ST Race Face Turbines, with a Salsa (iirc) stainless single ring. No ramps or gubbins so when it wears, you can turn it over. No issues with spacers or bolts either.

    Inbred 29 SS
    Cheers for the advice folks


    do you want shiny cranks or black ones?

    this is way more important than BB type

    i vote HTII, replace the ring with an SS one when it wears out, replace the BB as you see fit depending how long you get out of it – i get a year out of a Deore one


    Im just building my first SS now Ive gone octablade, HT1? for the crack option, Bb and crank set in mint condition cheap, and whipped off the 2 other sprockets. Ive grinded down te back of the existing crank nuts to make them fit. I was gona get spacers, but this was cheaper 😀


    My square-taper Phil Wood Mag/Ti BB was so beautiful I nearly didn’t put it on the bike, but considered hanging it on the wall instead…

    HT2 = stiffer
    Square Taper = MUCH longer lasting bottom brackets


    OP, if you’re interested I’ve got a complete SS drivetrain I intend to sell soon.
    LX HT2 Cranks, BB, bash guard, 32t Blackspire SS ring, chain, 16t sprocket, tensioner

    I’ve not totted up a price yet but it won’t be expensive. 🙂
    Email in profile.

    bent udder

    As above – buy a Deore crankset, put the rings on another bike. Unramped chainrings last twice as long, as you can flip them.

    I bought a Deore trekking chainset – the only difference is the rings are bigger (26, 36, 48), so I could go 2×9 on the other bike. The deore rings are looking pretty hammered now (I ride the singlespeed more) – the Homebrew Components ring I bought is showing pretty much no signs of wear at all.


    My Kona Unit isn’t ST and I’m missing the reliability of a UN72. If choosing, I’d go ST, personally. Fit and forget. That’s the SS ethos. And don’t worry about the rings.

    As always, a wealth of info, all useful stuff.
    Cheers folks.

    PP, I’ll drop you a line.

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