Surly Singleator


Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Product: singleator
How Long Used: 2 Months
Similar Products Used: stock specialized tensioner
Overall Rating [1-10]: 5

Positive: built well, looks cool.

Negative: tension will slip, and when it does so will your chain. this will most likely happen when you are mashing on a hill in a techy, rocky section causing you to fall in said techy, rocky section.

Comments: maybe i'm just hard on my bikes, i dunno, but i seem to be having a lot of issues with this thing. the tension just won't keep the chain where it's supposed to be...which is on the bike. in all fairness, i haven't tried it with the tension pushing up vs. down, but i kinda doubt that will help (if it does, i'll be sure to edit this). to conclude, the singleator may work great for a lighter rider that can or wants to spin on an SS up hills, but if you mash and are a clyde, be weary. i'm guessing it won't be a matter of it it lets go, but a matter of when. if (when) this breaks, i'll try the rennen. or a frame with horizontal drops.
Check your chain line. Is the front and rear cogs parallel? if not it may help in removing yer chain.
I've read that some guys have bailed on the spring entirely and tied the singulator to their chainstay using wire ties to push up on the chain as a ghetto fix.
slingleators are tricky

the singleators biggest problem that I've noticed is that there is life span on the springs. The nice thing about the singleators is that they have two options. You can make them pull up on the chain or down, depending on what spring you use. The setup that works better seems to differ from bike to bike. I've noticed that they run a lot more free when pulling down on the chain. Also, Surly sells an upgrade kit that has a different pulley that seems to work real well. Single Speeds rock.
For the most part, I like the product but considering they suggest you use the push up spring, I find it odd that it comes pre-installed with the push down spring. Unfortunately, my push up spring was misplaced during install and I haven't gotten a response to two emails I sent surly either. :(
TownCycleBoy said:
Hey Jason, I have a spring here at the shop if you need one.

Thanks for the offer but I actually got a reply from them today and they are going to mail me one. I'll give an update on the push-up position as soon as I switch it over.
I found that it worked better in the push up postion on my road single. I rode it for years until I got a dedicated ss frame. It was so nice to get rid of the pulley and quite down the chain noise.

the chain line is a-ok. been over that bridge before. i'm going to try to run it up "ghetto style" :D to see if that helps. i was looking at it last night and, correct me if i'm wrong, but i'm going to have to shorten the chain by AT LEAST one link to avoid excessive slap on the chain stay and give me the proper tension. hopefully that will fix it until i get a dedicated SS season (or before i my brother in-law in convinced he can build it).
Yes, I run mine in the push up position too. It has been fine with a tight chain.

FWIW, my ss is ti, which is quite lively, and I had one time in the mud when the chain was slipping. At the time, I just thought it was time to get off the trails, but now that I think about it, I had a looser chain with a 20 cog instead of a 22, which is very tight.

All this may not mean much to you as I may be a bit smaller and not pushing so hard on the pedals, but my set up worked flawlessy at this past weekends race at Blue Mt. All this possible because I have such a great mechanic!:D

pixy, FWIW, i hope you're smaller than me. i'm in the 220 range! :eek:

i went to shorten the chain last night and realized that:
1) i have no chain tool. it vanished in my move.
2) i have no links, pins or other chain related items.

i want to ride it tomorrow (especially since i just upgraded my tires to a set from this decade!) so i'll have to make a trip to the bike shop. hopefully i'll be able to pull all this together w/o the help of the bike shop. i'm fairly mechanically inclined, but full-on NooB when it comes to working on bikes. this winter i'll remedy that.
After dropping my chain 5 times today, I'd like to point out that as of right now the singleator is kinda pointless in a push down position. I'm really hoping that it will perform better switched.
I originally tried the Singleator on my SS.
Hated it.
I finally bought a Rennen which is absolutely foolproof.
It's a true "set and forget" component.
So, being that I'll never use the Singleator again, and I'm a generous kinda guy, ;) the first email I get saying "I'll take it" with address gets it, free.
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