- SInglespeed curious, advice much appreciated.
Hmmmm, I have a steel hardtail build project all lined up and waiting. I’m now, however, pondering the option of making it into a SS.
Original intent was to go 3 x 9 ( okay, flame away, I’m so not wid da kidz 😉 ), so having not done any SS since my very first bike circa 45years ago, what would I need to make this ‘let’s relive my early years’ desire happen?
My brief googling has thrown up various kits from the likes of DMR, On-One, Sheldon Brown and some other how to’s. From reading these pages I’m of the understanding that it’s better for the existing free hub if I fit a thicker specific rear cog and a ‘push-up’ tensioner better than a ‘push-down’ as more teeth on the rear are engaged. Both suggestions making sense to me. What are your collective and possibly disparate thoughts and advice on this please?
Next is would I be able to use/modify the triple chainset I’ve got in mind? It’s a 9sp LX. Or shall I just get a specific SS chainring with the 104BCD? Or do I go for a SS crankset? If so, which one?
This brings me onto chains, clearly I can’t use the 9sp chain, but what’s with the two differing sizes seemingly available for SS? What determines which size I go for?
I’ve been laid off regular riding for quite a few months, due to quite a few reasons, so I’m not feeling particularly fit and or strong, so I’m thinking a ratio of 32:18 could be a good starting point. My riding is predominantly XC in, but mainly out, of QECP and trails off the SDW in that area.
Your help and advice would be much appreciated 😀
TIAPosted 4 years agonotmyrealnameSubscriber
As above, call Charlie and he’ll sort you out with what you need.
Personally I’d stick with the triple chainset but fit a singlespeed chainring and see how you get in with it before you spend a load of cash on a singlespeed specific chainset.
As for the trails at QECP, I’ve done a couple of laps on a Cotic Soul singlespeed there running 32:16 without any issues and that was when I was fairly unfit so 32:18 should be ok.Posted 4 years agoDufferMember
As kryton says, you can use your existing middle ring, but you’ll need to fit some shorter bolts to account for the missing big ring.
Also, there’s no reason you can’t use your existing 9sp chain. Google “Surly Singlespeed 101”. There’s a load of great stuff on the website.
Welcome to the brethren.Posted 4 years ago
Although the standing and grunting bit in the context of SS riding is taking the gloss and romance away a bit
I actually find it quite satisfying using on a SS, even more so than on a road bike. And probably so will you, at which point you start thinking about wishing the front wasn’t bobbing so much and will convert to the wonders of a rigid carbon fork and then be truly in the niche!Posted 4 years ago
I’m most certainly feeling the love and enthusiasm! 😀
All very encouraging, thank you all.
Decision made methinks, I’ll be calling Charlie on Monday, by the looks of things he does a handy kit which will get me going to start with.
I like details! They won’t bore me! More info the better 🙂
Did there used to be a SS site/forum at one time?Posted 4 years agomartymacSubscriber
orange P7, with rigid F8 forks, using a standard slx chainring, a surly wide base sprocket, velosolo chain tensioner, (modified to pull up, simply because it looks neater) with a kmc 1/8th chain.Posted 4 years ago
i use putoline chain wax, its a hassle to do but lasts absolutely ages.
i can thoroughly recommend charlie the bikemonger and velosolo for good service.mattjgSubscriber
I happily ride SS with boingy forks, I think it works well on nadgery climbs because they adsorb the bumps and keep me rolling, and it’s a trail bike so they’re good on the descents too.
I don’t really regard an SS as a class of bike now. My bike’s just a trail HT that carries all the gears I need for where I ride. Which is 1.Posted 4 years ago
Good, glad the boingy forks can stay 😉
80mm SID’s with lockout, so at least I’ll be able to gurn steadily ( lucky me got lots of practice doing that back in the 90’s)
Think I’ll need to pass for the time being on the niche bars, just been looking at some pics on the SSUK 14 site and they look way too niche for me. Talking of which, that ‘event’ looks like great fun, we’re due to be moving house around that time, so may not be able to make it, but it does look like my kinda riding 8)
I have to say, I’m feeling rather excited about all this!Posted 4 years ago
How well do SRAM 9sp chains fare with all this standing and grunting and gurning?
It just so happens I’ve got a brand new one that was destined for the original 3×9 set up and I do like the power link.
Or are there stronger 9sp chains out there? My preference is to use a 9sp chain rather than introduce another ‘standard’ into the Slack household stock, it’s enough fun with brake pads, I could do without another 🙂
Especially as the mantra for this started with a ‘let’s keep it simple’ – which duffer has now completely blown out of the window 😉Posted 4 years agoMidlandTrailquestsGrahamMember
It’s only the wide based sprocket & spacers and tensioner that are essential.Posted 4 years ago
A normal 9 speed chainring and chain will work fine most of the time, but if the chain does keep dropping off, you’ll need to get a SS specific ring with it’s taller teeth.
Thin steel sprockets will wreck your freehub in no time.
Cool, thanks guys. I reckon I’ve got my initial items to purchase from Charlie, being exactly as MTG has confirmed, cheers. I’ll get those this week and get the bike built and go for a head cold clearing ride and see how it feels with what I have. I’m feeling wary of possible front ring de-ailments, with using the Shimano HG ring ( although it is brand new ) and the associated head/ground, genitals/stem/top tube possibilities 😯 , so a specific chain ring might get added before tomorrow morning’s call to the man who has 🙂
One further question that comes to mind, although probably covered with the good advice of ‘just use what you’ve got until it breaks’, is regarding BB’s. Can I assume that HT2 and/or external BB’s are up to the job in terms of reasonable longevity? I can’t see why not and I’m hardly going to be putting prodigious torque through the cranks 😕 But seems the SS community are so forthcoming with various nuggets of wisdom and knowledge, I’ll test your patience and tolerance a bit more 😉
I’ve always yearned for a proper reason to get me some Middleburn’s and there are always some good one’s available 2nd hand and a sq taper BB is still my preferred choice. This could well become an epiphanal experience!Posted 4 years agoBigJohnSubscriber
I have a Cotic Soul which I alternate between geared and SS.
Fortunately I have a steel freehub so I don’t need the wide based sprocket, I use Shimano DX ones and pack the freehub with old spacers off old cassettes which also means it’s easy to get a straight chainline.
Unless you end up with a 1/8 in sprocket, don’t bother with a 1/8 in chain. 7,8,9 speed chains all work fine.
Do get a plain un-ramped chainring and shorter chainring bolts. If you haven’t got any short bolts, just put another ring on the outside spider until you can find some.
If you use old ramped rings, and sprockets from an old cassette they work fine. Until one day they don’t. Which is when you’re putting a lot of grunt in up a hill and they slip and you get a really painful knee/stem interface. If you’re lucky.
A nice simple tensioner (push up) is essential. I also add a zip tie to mine to keep it up as the old spring is a bit knackered..
Now and then, depending on how much the chain is stretched you might find that the chain is too long to fit without it grinding against the chainstay, and still too short with a link taken out. Nothing you can do about that unless you change the ratio. (e.g. use a 36:18 instead of a 32:16) Just find a less/more worn chain and give it a try. You can keep using really old and stretched chains.
Ignore “magic ratio” bollx. After 1 ride the chain will have stretched so you’ll need a tensioner.
I use a 130 fork and I don’t bother locking out. You’ll learn to put a lot of weight on the bars when you’re out of the saddle climbing. It keeps the weight off your legs as you’ll be out of the saddle much more than you expect. The fork bob is only noticeable on roads.
EDIT Any old chainset is fine. I have a sq taper XT one. It means I can use different sized rings (32, 34, 36) as terrain and fitness dictate. Sometimes I use 2 rings at the front and 2 at the back so I can dinglespeed. But that’s something you don’t need to know about yet.Posted 4 years agonotmyrealnameSubscriber
One further question that comes to mind, although probably covered with the good advice of ‘just use what you’ve got until it breaks’, is regarding BB’s. Can I assume that HT2 and/or external BB’s are up to the job in terms of reasonable longevity? I can’t see why not and I’m hardly going to be putting prodigious torque through the cranks But seems the SS community are so forthcoming with various nuggets of wisdom and knowledge, I’ll test your patience and tolerance a bit more
I’ve been running an SLX chainset and HT2 BB on my singlespeed for about 18 months or so and it’s not missed a beat. The BB is still running nice and smooth.
One thing I forgot to mention on my previous post is that you’ll be amazed at the deafening silence of the singlespeed drivetrain.Posted 4 years ago
I had mine out earlier this week for the first time in ages and I’d forgotten how quiet it it compared to geared bikes, no chain slap of clicking mech’s, just the sound of your freehub (and of course the grunting of the unfit rider in my case!)
@ bigjohn. Yep, my eyes glazed over when I caught a glimpse of numerical tables, fractions and ratio’s 😯 The only potential scar is reading about the half link thing, but I’m trying very hard to make that leave my conscious mind and rely on my sub conscious to deal with it with some subliminal audio help. I’ve always tended towards the stand up and pedal approach to going uphill, even when I’m riding the FS, a habit formed from the years of fully rigid HT riding, so I’m rather hoping that won’t be too much of a shock!
Dingleberries you say? I didn’t realise that some personal hygiene aspects are also simplified when one surrenders to the SS instinct. Hey ho, I’ll just not shave so far to the back from now on 😉 presumably rizla’s are still de facto post clean nail cleaners?
@ notmyrealname. Thanks for your confirmation re the BB suitability. Although my cheery excitement and eager anticipation for what appeared to be the inevitable epiphany and true enlightenment courtesy of Middleburn is now not quite so cheery and excited and after just checking my bike piggy bank, a resigned acceptance of reality and patience is moving in. 😉Posted 4 years ago
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