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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: josephfox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    new to single speeding

    I am considering building my first ss mountain bike. Probably a Surly 1x1. I am new to this and I have a few questions. Besides running single speed hubs, and a freewheel, what else do you do different on a ss. How do you decide what kind of cranks to use...and which ones are best.
    Every time I see a man on a bicycle, I fear less for the human race.

  2. #2
    Out spokin'
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Lots of singlespeeders just use 'regular' cranks and remove the granny and big rings. Of course you have to buy some BMX chainring bolts (which are shorter than triple-ring bolts) but then again if you use a guard ring then you don't even have to use shorter chainring bolts, either. Options abound.

    Since SSing requires that all your pedaling be done in one gear only, some guys like to increase their torque by going to longer cranks, like 180mm's or more. This is a personal preference thing. As for brands, unless you want an SS-specific crank, choosing a crank for your singlespeed is no different than choosing one for your gearie.

    I think it's safe to say that most SSers prefer wide handlebars; if you took a poll my guess would be that average handlebar width would be slightly greater for SS than for gearies. Wide bars seem to afford more cranking leverage whenever you're honking up a wicked steep slope out of the saddle.

    You can use a BMX chain but I think that at least as many of us use standard 8/9-speed chains as SS-specific chains. I've used both; now I use an 8-speed chain. It's lighter and I've never broken one.

    Good luck and have fun.


    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

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