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Author Topic: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?  (Read 5671 times)

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Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« on: October 03, 2006, 10:40:23 PM »
From Garry:

Who's riding single speeds and what cog/crank are ya' using?  Flip-flop setups?  I see some folks only have a front brake.  Why is that?  Also I have read that you shouldn't have a disc brake on the rear, but on the front is fine.

Garry
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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2006, 10:41:35 PM »
Hey Gary, (also replying to all in case other SS freaks like us are interested)
 
I ride almost exclusively single speed, and think it's perfect for this area.
 
Right now I have a Niner Bikes S.I.R. 9 (Steel Is Real) frame, and I'm running Bontrager Race SS cranks, made by Truvativ and are basically a Truvativ Stylo SS crankset, with a 32t Salsa chainring. In back I'm running an 18t Surly single speed cog. Since I have 29" wheels, 32:18 provides a gear ratio similar to what 32:16 would be on 26" wheels. Rear hub is an American Classic SS.
 
A few notes about this setup, and your questions below:
 
- Cranks need to be stiff due to all the mashing you do on climbs - XT cranks are great, as well as the newer Truvativ GXP cranksets.
- Surly SS cogs, and American Classic SS cogs are great because they have a very wide base. BMX cogs are normally very narrow and can chew up your freehub body over time.
- My Niner has an eccentric bottom bracket to handle chain tension, so I have vertical dropouts and discs are no problem. Some other frames go with track style (horizontal) dropouts and BMX-style chain tensioners, which can make running discs difficult because of changing caliper alignment, and difficulty removing the rear wheel trailside because the caliper is often in the way. One answer to this is the "mullet" setup that you mention below, with a disc out front and V in the rear. Vs are much easier to work with when aligning the wheel in a track style dropout.
- Flip flop hubs let you run SS on one side and Fixed Gear on the other. Fixed gear is a blast to ride, but can be pretty dicey until you're more experienced with it, especially off-road. No coasting equals scary downhills unless you have some skills (I don't). This may be why you see front brake only setups, because countering pressure on the cranks serves as the brake in the rear.
 
I work at Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium and about half of the mtn riders in the shop have converted to SS only or at least have one SS bike in the quiver. We're very well versed on the ins and outs and can always help anyone who's interested in either setting up a new SS ride, or converting an old hardtail just to give it a try.
 
Have fun with it!
 
Brian
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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2006, 10:42:16 PM »
I've been doing some research on this. An SS conversion is in my immediate future.
 
Gearing: The starting place is typically 2-1, but go lower if you're going to be on a lot of technical trails. I'm going to go 34-18 and I'll buy some bigger and smaller rear cogs to experiment with.
 
Brakes: You're probably reading about fixed-gear bikes that don't have rear brakes. Why? The rear wheel doesn't freewheel. If the bike is moving, the cranks are spinning. If you want to stop, stop pedaling. I'd recommend front and rear brakes for a freewheeling singlespeed. But if you want to tackle Moonscape with only a front brake, go for it.  ;)
 
Disc brakes: Conventional singlespeeds have track (horizontal) dropouts to take up chain slack. This setup isn't disc friendly because the rotor can't move relative to the caliper. To fix this problem, disc-ready SS frames have either an eccentric bottom bracket that allows you to pivot the BB to take up the chain slack, or sliding dropouts that incorporate the caliper mount into the dropout. White Industries makes an eccentric rear hub that is a good, though pricey, option. If you're converting a geared bike, use a chain tensioner that mounts to your derailleur hanger. This is the route I'm going.
 
MTBR has an excellent FAQ section in the singlespeed forum. Go here: http://www.mtbr.com/faq/ssfaq.shtml
 
Most geared bikes can easily and cheaply be converted to singlespeeds. I have a hardtail with disc brakes. I have to buy brake levers, a chainring, BMX chainring bolts (that are designed to hold 1 chainring - not 2), a tensioner, a few cogs, a chain and a spacer kit which replaces the rear cassette. I'm going to buy dedicated SS drivetrain parts. Geared parts are designed to easily let the chain drop off for shifting. Dedicated SS parts have bigger, deeper teeth designed to keep the chain on the rings. Anyway, it should cost me less than $150, buying XT hydraulic levers.
 
Harvey
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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2006, 10:42:46 PM »
Do you need a special frame to handle the eccentric for the bottom bracket? Or are there bottom brackets specifically designed for the eccentric set up?

Garry
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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2006, 10:43:18 PM »
From Brian:

YUP. Frame is EBB specific, in that the BB shell is larger than normal. There are several styles, from a set screw (which I have) to pinch-bolt style from Bushnell found on the Gary Fisher Rig.
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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2006, 10:44:45 PM »
From Todd:

Hey Garry!

I have been running 34-17 or 34-18 here in FLA, out west this summer I ran 32-18 & it worked for most everything my lungs/legs could handle in Fruita & Gunnison/Crested butte.

One guy I rode with recently @ Boyette was running 36-16, something to shoot for I guess.

My SS frame has horizontal track-style drop outs & it works fine with disk brakes - once I got it set up. I just use some extra washers (2-3) to move the caliper where needed. Change rear cogs, simply add or remove washers -it works great now that I have a tug-nut style chain tensioner on both sides of the axle (when using one tensioner the brake torque seemed to move the wheel & mis-align the rotor). I tried v-brakes but ended up fiddling with them more than the disk setup.

I am looking at the MisFit Psclyes Dissent 29'r for more the next project - it uses the sliding vertical dropouts w/disk mount attached - it looks like a sweet setup. The owner (Peter) built my current ss wheels:
http://www.misfitpsycles.com/

To go with an eccentric bb you need a frame with that design, JensenUSA has a couple for $249
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/1358-Singlespeed.aspx

Pensacola Todd uses only a front brake on his SS - I guess the theory would be that you use less brake on an SS, momentum is your friend. I had some warranty issues with my rear brake & ran front only for a a few rides in Fruita with no problems - riding Alafia with front only would be doable for sure.

I have tried a fixed gear bike on trails, it wasn't for me - coasting is nice!!

Todd
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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2006, 10:45:39 PM »
From Rick:

Garry, this site and its links just about answers any SS question you might have.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

Rick
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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2006, 07:44:41 AM »
I bought an entry level single speed last year and have upgraded it with a Chris king headset, Avid juicy sevens and mid level handle bars fork...I haven't had any problems with the hydraulic brakes. I don't have any other cogs that I switch around but was thinking about getting some to try the different set-ups. I ride a 34-16 and love it. Most of my single speed riding is at the easier trails where there isn't alot of climbs. The34-16 allows me to get into a comfortable spin on the xc trails where I can really fly. The bike is so fast. My geometry is set up like the older hardtail bikes where you are in the race position leaned out over the handle bars. It is so fast people don't believe it until they try it for themselves. It takes a few rides to get dialed in to the bike ( translated - it takes awhile to get used to not having the luxury of full suspension) but once you get comfortable on the bike it is awesome. It is so responsive and accelerates so fast it makes you want to keep going faster and not give up the momentum. I also like the fact that it is a super quiet ride. You only need one.(that is whats painted on my chain stays)
" Not this time, Lance"

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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2006, 08:13:22 AM »
So you run fully rigid frame as well - no suspension fork?  It seems that most, if not all, are cro-moly frames.  Do you use a chain tensioner or does your rear brakes adjust with wheel tension on the dropouts?

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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2006, 07:20:54 AM »
I rode my cro moly single speed rigid the first month when I got it. It was a body numbing experience. It wasn't fun at all. I was immediately searching for a front fork. I have some 3.5 -4 lb fork on there now. I don't even remember what it is because I stripped all the decals off to keep with the all black and white color scheme.  I also had  two chain tensioners installed  at the rear horizontal drop outs. One on each side because I felt that would be easier to keep the wheel balanced in the frame. I was having rear wheel slide issues at first after hard stops with the brakes (which only happened when absolutely necessary). I remember  that I had to start keeping a wrench in my camelback to loosen the rear and re-position the rear axle. I still carry the wrench with me. It came in handy for another riders trailside repair. I love it when someone has major breakdown on the trail and everyone strats pulling crap out of their camel backs to see what types of parts and tools everyone has to fix the problem. I haven't had a problem since and the bike has been completely maintenance free. I think my geometry is a 71 degree head tube angle  with a 73 degree seat tube and I ride old school non riser handle bars on this bike. I'm not up on all the technical  geometry stuff but for me the bike  lays me out very comfortably over the frame. I would guess i have about 1200 into this bike, the original price was about 700. I have a white  seat ( bought it on line for like $10) that is the signature piece on the  bike. It makes it a one of a kind. Style guy would give the bike major props for being different.
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline kinematic11

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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2007, 10:16:08 PM »
stock redline monocog 29

19" frame

rides like the bike i had when i was a kid!

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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2012, 02:22:06 PM »
SS is a fad.  It won't last more than a couple years.

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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2012, 03:04:06 PM »
SS sux
 

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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 08:15:23 AM »
Use gears.. Lance uses gears.... go Lance GO!

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Re: Single Speeds, how is yours setup?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 11:04:20 AM »
singlespeed might be ok for easy trails, but no way anyone is riding one on gatorback or ridgeline...

 

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