Single Speed Conversion

Mare45

Well-Known Member
So I need some help. I converted my hardtail to a SS and this is what I ran into:

I have really old stuff on this bike, so I have to get new cranks (the old ones don't allow me to take off individual chainrings). I am using a singulator for now, but I can't imagine using that long term.

I am thinking XT cranks, but does anyone know much about the new SLX cranks? How about FSA afterburners? I was thinking about going this route instead of SS specific cranks in case I want to throw them on another bike or go back to gears one day (I can see the abuse coming my way after that statement).

I don't have horizontal dropouts, so Besides White Industrie's Eno hub, what are ways to make this better? Or is that the best way to go?

Thanks for any advise!
 

Mare45

Well-Known Member
Jdog

Jdog, if you check this, what are rotor q-rings all about?

Do a lot of you run them on your SS?
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
mare-
unless you're going to race the SS i'd just get a set of truative cranks. not really expensive and they'll work out just fine. ben runs 'em so they can't be awful.

as for the Q-rings...i haven't tried them yet but i can see them in my future for sure. just about everyone who runs them raves about 'em. 'bout time i join that club.

the ENO hub is the best way, period (at least from what i've heard and read). however, if you don't want to lay out that cash, get the rennen chain tensioner. it is far more reliable than the surly which i hate.
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
...I am using a singulator for now, but I can't imagine using that long term.

I don't have horizontal dropouts, so Besides White Industries Eno hub, what are ways to make this better? Or is that the best way to go?

The Singlator is the popular cheap option for those that wish to experiment. As you discovered, you get what you pay for. There are other types of tensioners that are more reliable/durable. The ENO hub is a good alternative but it requires you to rebuild the wheel.

Any MTB crank will do the job. As long as you can remove the chainrings. :rolleyes: I'd start looking at the classifieds, eBay, etc. As Jake points out, I do use a budget Truvativ crank on my SS. I originally had a Haro Mary and swapped them over.

...what are rotor q-rings all about? Do a lot of you run them on your SS?

Q-Rings are the latest variation of an old trend; Oval Chainrings. http://www.rotorcranks.com/s1-q-rings.shtml

The intent is to eliminate the dead spots in power as the pedals are at the 6 and 12 o'clock position. I used them and noticed a difference immediately. For me, I noticed that it was easier to get the pedal over the top of the rotation when I was at extremely low cadence.

I specifically noticed it was easier to get through rock gardens or slow techy climbs when my cadence was so low I was struggling just to get the pedals over the top. The radius of the chainring is smaller when the pedals are in that position. It feels like I'm using a smaller gear at that moment when I'm struggling the most.

I have a 33t Q-Rotor. The varying radius feels like a 31t at the 6 and 12 position. Then it feels like a 35t at the 3 and 9 position. I found that I am able to use a gear slightly higher than normal because the chainring size (radius) is smaller when the crank is in the position that is hardest to pedal. I do not notice any bobbing or surging of the bike as I pedal. That sensation is what doomed earlier versions of oval rings (Shimano Bio-Pace).

Yes you can use the rings on a SS. The chain tension will go from tight to slack twice per crank revolution. It looks weird but it does not get slack enough to have the chain fall off.
 
Last edited:

CycleBoy

Sussex Bike and Sport
Shop Keep
I gotta say that my hacked up 1994 shimano stx "singulator" is working beautifully. Thanks Mergs;)
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
For me, I noticed that it was easier to get the pedal over the top of the rotation when I was at extremely low cadence.

Same here. I found it was much, much easier to get into a rhythm when climbing. I have them as the middle ring of my geared bike and the only ring on my SS. I'm considering them for the road bike next year.

I have found that using an old derailleur that you hack works much, much better than the Singulator. Much, much, much better. And you can use the adjustment on the derailleur to line things up just so. If you're not going to go whole hog SS then do it this way.
 

Mare45

Well-Known Member
I am looking at the truvativ cranks and I see some nice ones. I have to think about this before I make a decision.

This may be my final question, but don't hold me to that...I have 175 cranks on my now SS. My FS and my road have 170. I am not sure which to go with for new SS cranks. They feel the same to me, but I do see the point in having longer ones for more torque.

Do you guys run longer on SS?
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
I am looking at the truvativ cranks and I see some nice ones. I have to think about this before I make a decision.

This may be my final question, but don't hold me to that...I have 175 cranks on my now SS. My FS and my road have 170. I am not sure which to go with for new SS cranks. They feel the same to me, but I do see the point in having longer ones for more torque.

Do you guys run longer on SS?

I run 175 on my SS and 170 on all my other bikes. I'm not sure if it makes a difference. Hopefully the guys who ride SS more often will speak up on that. It was just easier to find the 175 cranks in closeout, as I had the same issue as you do with the conversion. I went with LX.
 

Mare45

Well-Known Member
Thanks everyone for all your input! I think I have my facts straight and just need to decide how much money I want to put into this. For now the singulator is fine, but again, I don't like the idea of that long term. Cranks are my priority now as it looks awful riding a SS with multiple chainrings :)

I was just saying how I like my bikes and I hope nothing goes wrong with them because I don't feel like spending any money on them. Then I decide to convert and spend money anyway. No Christmas presents for anyone this year except me.
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
Do you guys run longer on SS?

All my cranks are different but I don't notice.

Road=172.5 & 175 (multiple bikes)
MTB geared=175 (I don't do that shifty-shifty stuff any more though)
MTB SS=180 (That's what came stock on the Haro Mary)

In theory, the longer crank arm should create greater force to the drivetrain. There are also concerns of bike fit and ground clearance to consider. You would need a true fit specialist to explain all this. I just ride what comes on the bike cause I've never noticed any difference.
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
For now the singulator is fine, but again, I don't like the idea of that long term.

Are you use a true SS cog in the rear? The teeth of a SS cog are higher than those of a cassette cog. The longer teeth of the SS cog will help to keep the chain on. A casstte cog may has ramps that are intended to help the chain shift from one cog to another. If used in a SS configuration, they help the chain fall off. :hmmm:

I point this out because many people try to convert to SS on the cheap and complain of crappy performance. It's often cause they are using the wrong stuff.
 

CycleBoy

Sussex Bike and Sport
Shop Keep
as far as cogs go, Sinz makes a good inexpensive kit that comes with cogs ranging from 13 to 18. Its around 20 bucks and allows you to play with combos a little bit. A 32-18 is a good every day gear for longer rides, but real easy to max out down the hills(on a 26 that is). Surly also make strong cogs, but a little more expensive.
 

Mare45

Well-Known Member
Yes, SS specific ones - I got a cheap 16 and 20 tooth cogs, then I got a surly 18 because I figured 18 might be a good all around for me...hence getting a better quality one.
 
Top Bottom