Trying singlespeed

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  • Trying singlespeed
  • scotroutes
    Member

    Now I have a spare bike again, I’m thinking about setting it up as SS for the winter (at least). Trying to do it as cheaply as possible.

    I’m looking at a generic SS spacer/sprocket kit (probably 18T), a 32T chainring to go on some Truvativ 2x cranks (thanks weeksy) and either a tensioner or a half-link.

    Should I go for a SS ring and chain?

    Is the half-link a good idea or should I buy a tensioner?

    TIA

    joshvegas
    Member

    Tensioner actually I have one will be driving past Aviemore next week want me to drop it off? Gratis

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    Tensioner. Even if you get a 1/2 link the right length initially, it’ll wear and be quite loose surprisingly quickly.

    I’d go 1/8th if I was buying new and it wasn’t more expensive, but no great reason.

    scotroutes
    Member

    Tensioner it is then. @joshvegas that would be simply ideal.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Subscriber

    On one or velo solo for as kit.

    scotroutes
    Member

    On one… for as kit.

    Yeah, that’s never gonna happen.

    I’ll take a look at Velo Solo though, thanks.

    tjagain
    Member

    I have an SS kit here you can have – for 9sp freehub.

    ~for road or offroad? I would go a little lower on gearing than is often suggested. Worked for me

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    scotroutes

    Should I go for a SS ring and chain?

    Yes.

    Much better than using stuff that is designed around making it easy for the chain to derail.

    You get the benefit that you can run your chain with some or heaps of slack without worrying about derailment.

    That allows you to use Magic Ratio with a bit of leeway for wear, and no need for a tensioner (bodgy things).

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    Tensioner I’d say. Though I have half links, I find that that wear eventually (soon) leads to needing to re-adjust again. Don’t bother with SS chains (e.g. PC-1) – get a bog standard KMC 8 speed instead.

    Might have a spare SS ring, much better things. You’ll need short chain ring bolts too.

    Was out on my SS today – just quick trip. Few more spins on that and I’ll be lot fitter (you’d think).

    [Edit: sounds like your contacts have sorted you out. I have bits of a VeloSolo kit from when the Peregrine went SS. Would always keep my Kona SS I reckon (the one I had fro BJ’s rideout); it’s stayed built up beyond the M2 which I’d never have expected ]

    scud
    Member

    I’d only add, use a decent quality rear cog, cheaper thin ones tend to eat the freehub, and don’t worry too much about SS chains, i use 9 speed cheap chains, £8 at Planet X or similar, change as when needed.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Tensioner yes. SS ring yes. Chain doesn’t matter as long as it’s wide enough to run on whatever ring and sprocket you use.

    kerley
    Member

    Yep, 7mm base cogs are the widest I have found and I use Gusset Double Six as good range of tooth sizes, fairly cheap and come in 3/32.

    I also use 8 or 9 speed chains as you can get better quality chains than single speed chains which are typically made for cheap applications.

    scotroutes
    Member

    All being taken on board, thanks.

    Thinking 32/18.

    And what beard oil?

    scud
    Member

    32/18 is a good start definitely, no beard oil needed, just wear shorts at all times, even depths of Scottish winter as you are now officially “AWSUM”….

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    Is it a 26″ Colin –
    – 32:17 is what I have on the race-weight Kona.
    32:16 is when I’m feeling bold.

    You might find it a bit spinny until you get to some spicy climbs.
    You’ve had a SS before yes?

    scotroutes
    Member

    26″ The Onion.

    Never had SS before.

    Will likely have spiked tyres fitted at some point when it starts getting icy. I’m not expecting speed.

    Still wearing shorts.

    joshvegas
    Member

    Actually what you need is a singlspeex frame and a set of hope trials wheels…

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez
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    Shorts!? String vest, tats, nothing else required

    I like the sturmey archer s3x sprockets for singlespeeding, paired with a 1/8 chain. Also spreads the load on the freehub a bit better without the expense of a wide foot sprocket.

    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sprockets/sturmey-archer-16t-sprocket-18-for-s3x-cp-hsl890/

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    String vest, tats, nothing else required

    I know single speeders have a reputation for being a bit odd, but your really going to get yourself a reputation…. 😉

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
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    If buying a new ring, consider an Oval to reduce the gnnnnnnnggggg! bit when you try and heave the pedals over the dead spot on steep climbs 🙂 32×18 is a good gear on a 26er for hilly riding, might still be a bit high if you are on a 29er.

    I’d go for a tensioner, ideally one that has the extra spring so it can push up and increase chain wrap on the rear sprocket.

    I’ve always run 1/32 or whatever 9 speed is, partly as it means I can reuse bits from my geared bikes, and also as I read somewhere that its no weaker than 1/8th.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    spooky_b329

    I’ve always run 1/32 or whatever 9 speed is, partly as it means I can reuse bits from my geared bikes, and also as I read somewhere that its no weaker than 1/8th.

    It’s not a question of being weaker or stronger, it’s more a question of lateral flexibility.

    A 9 speed derailleur chain will bend nicely sideways whereas a proper singlespeed chain will hardly bend that way at all.

    That feature of the 9 speed is designed to allow it slip sideways off the sprockets smoothly, not a feature you want on a singlespeed if you’re planning to reproduce.

    The bonus is singlespeed chains are ridiculously cheap and longwearing.

    For best results: singlespeed chain, and singlespeed (or hub gear) sprockets and chainring with fully formed teeth.

    whitestone
    Member

    @n0b0dy0ftheg0at – did you miss this from the OP?

    On one… for ss kit.

    Yeah, that’s never gonna happen.

    Watching with interest as I have a singlespeeded P7 that for some reason recently began grumbling at me. The chainline is fine AFAIK. It’s a 9 spd (chain and ring) converted with an SS kit (sprocket and spacers). No need for tensioner as sliding dropouts. Thing is it’s now making graunch-ey clicky noises and weird feels when under power (ie when climbing)

    For best results: singlespeed chain, and singlespeed (or hub gear) sprockets and chainring with fully formed teeth.

    Is that like BMX chain, sprocket and chainring? Or Narrow-wide?

    @whitestone Yes, I did miss that post later in thread.

    kerley
    Member

    Is that like BMX chain, sprocket and chainring? Or Narrow-wide?

    BMX stuff is typically 1/8 inch so you end up with a wider and heavier chain that is also typically lower quality.
    For the ideal setup I would use a narrow wide chainring, a narrow wide cog and a 9 speed chain. But then I hate tensioners as they look crap and have always used frames with track ends or EBB so the chain coming off has never happened, ever.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    You want to get yourself a nice Philcentric BB. Neat, effective and very durable.

    They’re expensive, but I picked one up 2nd hand off here from a lovely chap from Scotland.

    kayla1
    Member

    We make (yes, actually make) stainless singlespeed stuff. 3/32″ or 1/8″ 😁 I don’t know if I can post a link or not? The teeth have a nice square peak so they really hang on to the chain. No wide base cogs (yet).

    37/19 (on 26″) here, 37/18 if I’m doing a bit of cycle lane/road stuff or for DH racing.

    KMC single speed ‘no drop’ chains are ace, the side plates are deeper than geary chains so they’re less likely to jump off when it gets bumpy and as @Epicyclo said, they’re (singlespeed chains, not KMC specifically) stiffer (pfft!) side-to-side than geary chains.

    Premier Icon IvanMTB
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    Chain for Life only 🙂

    https://krzywekolo.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/keta/

    Wippermann IG8.

    Mine is now in the 3rd bike.

    Cheers!
    I.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    That is a beefy looking chain!

    I think I might be losing a little of the original via the google translation?

    Dog eater in the erection is a soft block under the bush on a rainy morning xD

    Or not…?

    kayla1
    Member

    Aye, that chain’s a bit much. There’s a basic 1/8″ one on a 50s Hercules my OH’s brother’s running round on that’s still going strong.

    Premier Icon charliedontsurf
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    I would avoid half link chains. They are bent, each plat goes from ide to narrow, and they like to straighten out over time. the new Bikemongers have  agood selection online. KMC was my favourite.

    A tall toothed front ring will help keep your chain on. Surly make these in steel.

    Hold on, I made a video about this a million years ago…

    how to build a single speed

    and chain tension n stuff

    plus one
    Member

    Best take a shitty stick out with you to beat the women off 🙂

    binno
    Member

    Take the time to get your chain line straight, Makes the world of difference to efficiency and longevity of your drive train. Assuming you’re using a vertical dropout frame with a tensioner (there’s an old rear mech trick you can try achieve the same result). I’ve found horizontal dropout frames give a better single speed experience in case you get hooked.

    BTW the size of your rear tyre will effect your gear inch / how low or high the gearing is. Smaller tyres make a given gear lower and larger tyres will increase the gearing if you find yourself wanting to fine tune the ratio you start off with.

    Premier Icon krixmeister
    Subscriber

    @Scotroutes – if you want to go super cheap, just for a try-out, you can absolutely just an SS spacer kit, and rest of your drivetrain as-is. With a short piece of cable you can hack a rear derailleur into a tensioner, and just go for it.

    I did the US MTB SS champs last month with just that setup, using a 10 speed chain (’cause that’s what my MTB normally is) and lived:

    null

    Sure, it’s nice to have a full EB or track-dropouts equipped steed, but for testing out and seeing if you like SS go cheap and simple.

    kayla1
    Member

    ISCG doofer can be used as a tensioner on vertical dropouts too-

    and they make swapping wheels/gearing dead easy cos the disc stays in the same place all the time- no need to reposition your caliper.

    +1 on getting the chainline right too.

    2tyred
    Member

    Longtime SS-er here. Until v recently all my off road bikes were SS. Random observations:

    1 1/8 chains are for fixed and BMX, overkill for MTB & CX, 3/32 chains (8/9 speed) are what you want.

    If you just want to try it out for cheap, pick the approx ratio you want from the setup you have and ziptie your shifter, see how it goes.

    If you want to convert a standard frame (threaded BB, vertical dropout) then you need some means of taking the slack out of the chain. Magic ratio is a waste of time. Plenty good options above. I found a Surly tensioner a bit flimsy, like the look of the chain device solution above! Got a plan in mind with that for an idle frame.

    Track ends with disc brakes is a pain. I like my Inbred but rear wheel punctures are a drag.

    The Philcentric is lovely looking but I know you need a special tool and the range of adjustment can’t be very big.

    My favoured setup is the BEER components/Wheels Mfg press-fit eccentric cups. I’ve one frame with BB30, another with PF30 (both 24mm Shimano fitment) and they’re great. Bearing change maybe annually. Easy to adjust with a hex key and a lockring tool. Big range of adjustment and when you reach the limit, just take out a link and back to the start (although it’s probably new chain time by then). As long as everything’s greased and tightened there’s no slipping or noise. Chain tension’s how you want it and you use vertical dropouts, so easy wheel changes and no brake issues.

    I use these with micro-cassette body hubs (Stans 3.30SS or Hope trials) and Gusset DoubleSix sprocket, nice wide footprint so the freehub body isn’t chewed. Hub’s wider and stiffer (I guess) but has enough room for spacer adjustment to get the chainline right.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Track ends with disc brakes is a pain.

    Only if whoever made the frame was daft enough to put the brake mount on the seatstays. If it’s positioned between the seatstays and the chainstays then it’s as easy as pie. In fact significantly easier than with rim brakes.

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