Built a SS. Do I have to drink beer now?


Well-Known Member
More of a wine drinker but I digress.

My buddy loaned me a singulator so I could build a "free" SS out of my old '94 Merlin Mountain frame. "Free" eventually worked out to about $300 (seat, seatpost, bars, levers, chain, pedals, etc).

First ride sucked. I threw the chain climbing and smashed the hell out of a knee. I was able to ride out but i sure don't want to do that again.

Chainline is right on so I'm hoping I just didn't have enough tension (I thought I had too much and eased it off before the ride...) or the shimano front ring with the ez shifting teeth caused a problem. The chain was actually off the back cog but who knows what happens in the instant everything lets go. Did I mention it hurt like hell?



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Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
you're running it in the push up position? when i ran mine like that i didn't have any issues with it...but the push down...forget it. threw the chain ALL THE TIME. if you're going to keep that as an SS i'd consider a rennen tensioner.


Active Member
get a cheap blackspire monocog front chainring and singlespeed cog. the ramps will move the chain off when you get slack from hitting bumps.


Well-Known Member
Put a zip-tie around the singlator and the chainstay. That will keep the tensioner from flexing down when you hit a bump and adding slack to the chain. You don't have to make the zip-tie tight...Just tight enough to keep everything from moving.


JORBA: Ringwood
Nonsense, SS 24hr World Champion, DeeJay Birch drinks wine also. SS is do and drink what you want and be creative.

p.s. I run a heavy rubber-band on my tensioner, the kind you get on produce. I eat alot of vegies, so I have an assortment of pretty colors. Pink with syrah, blue with chianti, purple with cab, yellow with pinot gris and so on ;)


JORBA: Ringwood
Also when mr pixy didi my conversion, he replaced the old middle ring with a surly 32t ring with-out ramps. I have run the 22t small ring once that was part of the crank set and that was fine.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the tips! I'll go with the zip-tie/rubberband method for now but the fixed Rennen tensioner looks like the best plan. Also ordering up a proper front ring.


Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
It's about time you got around to this...:hmmm:

The Rennen is certainly a step up from the Singulator, but if you decide you love it, and don't want to build a SS 29er to match your Asylum:rolleyes:, I'd really recommend an ENO Eccentric rear wheel, which will make that gorgeous old frame into a true SS. No extra chain length, no zip ties, no hassles. That's the setup I ran on my Bontrager for years and it was flawless the entire time.

Good to see that bike will be back on the trails again. You'll have to join us at Hartshorne when the rides start up again in December.:getsome:


Well-Known Member
Good to see that bike will be back on the trails again.
Yep. I had forgotten what a sweet ride it is. Lots of good memories in that frame.

You'll have to join us at Hartshorne when the rides start up again in December.:getsome:
We'll see. My fitness might charitably be described as "post peak" right now. :D


Well-Known Member
I have a 32t 4x104. If that'll work for you, let me know.
Thanks John but I just ordered a surly ring last night and a bash guard. Also an 8 speed chain. Resisted the ENO hub. Barely.

I'll stick to taking your used furniture. :)


Well-Known Member
ordered a surly ring last night and a bash guard. Also an 8 speed chain.
Follow-up: thanks for the tips. I've survived a couple rides with the singulator zip-tied up, an 8 speed chain, and a new Surly front ring.

Jeebus, it's hard. :D There are a couple spots in Hartshorne I can't imagine doing - especially with the recent extra erosion - that I tractor up on my Asylum 29er. Point, pedal, arrive. Not so much on the SS.

I guess that's the fun bit.


You're obviously in better shape than me, and there's nothing at Hartshorne I cant get up on my Singlespeed Monkey. I actually do better on that bike than my geared bikes. Ride singlespeed there once a week and you'll have that place mastered in a month or two.


New Member
That bitchin' frame deserves a true SS specific rear hub. No hassles and worth every penny. BTW I had a Merlin XLM that I STILL regret selling :(. I bought a Chris King SS Hub and I highly recommend it. Also, if you want a 16t back cog for nuthin I have an extra one with 20 miles on it.
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