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  1. #1
    Nompton, OK
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    Single Speed Specific Frame vs Chain Tensioner

    I was curious if anyone had any input as to if/what the real downsides are to turning a multi-speed bike into a single-speed using a chain tensioner, or other method. As opposed to just buying a single-speed specific frame...

    Reason I ask is I am part of the Jet9 recall, and am trying to decide between a AIR9, and ONE9, and cant decide whether to commit to one speed or not, as I have never tried it. It would be nice to have the option to go geared if I didnt mix with one speed.

    Obviously the SIR would solve the problem, but Scandium is really peaking my interest, buuuut...

    This may only be a temporary situation till I get my JET9 back, but hopefully I will fall madly in love with the new bike and have two glorious steeds in the stable, right!?

    Sooooo, while I realize this is completely subjective, what are you opinions as to which is the lesser evil: having to use a chain tensioner on an AIR9, or never having the option to go back to gears on the ONE9?

  2. #2
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
    Reputation: CHUM's Avatar
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    you don't have any tattoos do you?


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  3. #3
    bike rider
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    I've done it both ways just because I used to have some pretty sweet frames lying around with vertical dropouts so I used a Singleator. If you've got the frame already then go for it but if you're buying new go for SS specific.
    I got some pretty decent Niners!

  4. #4
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Of course *I* think SS is so fun I sold my geared bike, but you might hate it and get stuck with an SS you have to sell and worry about buying something else. Get the geared bike, get the tensioner and see if you like it.

  5. #5
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    i wonder what percentage of people transfer to singlespeed and after 5-10 rides are like "blah, this stinks....i'm going back to gears"

    i bet its pretty low.

  6. #6
    Nompton, OK
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomit
    i wonder what percentage of people transfer to singlespeed and after 5-10 rides are like "blah, this stinks....i'm going back to gears"

    i bet its pretty low.

    Yeah thats what I am thinking... I am sure I would like it, if not end up forcing myself to like it. But yeah I have never really heard of many if any people on any of these boards say that they went back to a geared bike or got rid of it, or were just unhappy with it. Soooo

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    I am in the same boat. I say commit; pull the trigger and go all in for SS.

    Caveat Emperor: No experience (yet) to base this advise on however.

  8. #8
    artistic...
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomit
    i wonder what percentage of people transfer to singlespeed and after 5-10 rides are like "blah, this stinks....i'm going back to gears"

    i bet its pretty low.
    i rode a single speed for 5 months and then geared it back.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  9. #9
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    The latest tensioners work so well...

    if you are even on the fence, I'd say get the geared frame and use a tensioner.

    I have an ebb frame and a geared 29er frame that I run ss. No real difference and in fact, I prefer the 29er geared frame ( no seat adjustments)....also i never had any drop chain issues etc....and last year I jacked my back up and it was nice to have the option to throw the gears on the bike to still do a race I had committed cash, time, and the desire to still do.

    And PS, I'm in the process of picking up an Orbea Alma 29er that will be run SS with a tensioner.
    Happy new year..Stuff $: Eno 29wheel (non disc), Yakima, 2 steelheads, with towers for Volvo luggage rails.

  10. #10
    Full of hot air
    Reputation: Zepinator's Avatar
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    Would an eccentric rear hub with a half link chain work in an Air9 frame ? Not sure if there is a disc compatible version or if it would cause disc brake height problems ?

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/white-hubs.html

    Last edited by Zepinator; 09-20-2009 at 07:07 PM.
    Tastes like carbon

  11. #11
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    I've been using a ghost gear for many miles and it's worked without fail. It also allows me to change the rear cog very easily.

  12. #12
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    that always seemed sketchy to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Blind Dog
    I've been using a ghost gear for many miles and it's worked without fail. It also allows me to change the rear cog very easily.
    I demand a picture...
    no chain no gain.

  13. #13
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    that always seemed sketchy to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Blind Dog
    I've been using a ghost gear for many miles and it's worked without fail. It also allows me to change the rear cog very easily.
    I demand a picture...
    no chain no gain.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger___
    if you are even on the fence, I'd say get the geared frame and use a tensioner.

    I have an ebb frame and a geared 29er frame that I run ss. No real difference and in fact, I prefer the 29er geared frame ( no seat adjustments)....also i never had any drop chain issues etc....and last year I jacked my back up and it was nice to have the option to throw the gears on the bike to still do a race I had committed cash, time, and the desire to still do.

    And PS, I'm in the process of picking up an Orbea Alma 29er that will be run SS with a tensioner.
    i am in somewhat of a similar situation (a) have geared bike, very interested in going to SS (b) would like to have the ability to go back to geared if needed or for endurance rides. another option suggested was to go with an EBB from Forward Components... here is a link to their blog.... http://forwardcomponents.blogspot.com/ i haven't pulled the trigger yet. still waiting to hear back from FC to confirm that my bottom bracket shell will work with their product. i am pretty sure it will, but want to double check before dropping the $150.

  15. #15
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    this is really good info... I was part of the Jet 9 recall and was on the fence between a Sir and MCR, mainly for "just in case" I want to run SS.. However, they did not have my size, so I am going with the MCR, and will use a tensioner if I decide to go ss.. Seems better since I will run it geared most of the time and wont have to worry about the EBB creaking or whatnot while I am running it geared....

  16. #16
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    I chose Air9

    My Air9 developed a weld crack and so will be replaced under warranty. I had the option of getting a One9 to easily run an IGH. However, I was leery of giving up derailleurs FOREVER, so went for the Air9 replacement. You just have to decide how sure you are of SS commitment.

  17. #17
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    tensioners work fine if they're set up right. I think i've had the least amount of issues with a tensioner over any type of SS setup.

  18. #18
    SS or Die
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    Quote Originally Posted by russ3706
    I was curious if anyone had any input as to if/what the real downsides are to turning a multi-speed bike into a single-speed using a chain tensioner, or other method. As opposed to just buying a single-speed specific frame...

    I recently ran a geared frame SS with a tensioner and here are my thoughts...

    I used a tensioner from Yess products that fits to the BB shell for a cleaner look, it worked a treat but was a little noisy and added 100grams. Ive ran geared bikes for 15 years and was surprised at how much I enjoyed Single Speeding, so much so that I have now ordered a SS specific frame. Fortunately I already own a geared HT and geared FS, so the decision to commit 100% to SS was an easy one.

    Two things drove this commitment, a SS specific frame will be cleaner and ultimately quiter and smoother with no cable lugs/hanger etc, but this is simply a personal thing Im sure.

    If you really arent sure I would buy the Air9 and run a tensioner.
    "Be the Gear..."

  19. #19
    Nompton, OK
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    Well I went ahead and ordered an AIR9, and plan on running 32x20 magic gear SS for now to see how that goes. I'll report and have pics for once I get it built up. Looks like I'm going to recieve the frame the day before a local race, so I will kind of get thrown in to getting aqainted during the race ha. And thanks so much to everyone for the help and insight!

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