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  1. #1
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    Singleator sucks...

    So I purchased a used Singleator from a friend the other day. The Singleator was in excellent condition (he's running an eccentric hub now). Ran it Push Down for a ride, then decided to run it Push Up today. Worked fine when I rode it in the morning but when a friend of mine borrowed the bike this afternoon, the Singleator tension spring quit working on a rough, rocky and fast descent. Since I didn't have an 18mm cone with me, I had to resort to using a bunch of rubber bands to yank the pulley arm up to give some tension (worked pretty good actually). At least she was able to finish the ride without walking. Got home, put the thing on the stand and fiddled with the tension adjustment. Come to find that the friction on the der. hanger is not enough to hold the tension spring adjustment (and I didn't really want to strip the hanger threads by really cranking down on the der. bolt). Did a search on mtbr to make sure that I didn't screw anything up (I may have cranked on the spring too much or turned it the wrong direction) and I find that a lot of people have had similar problems. It also looks like some people came up with the same elegantly simple and cheap fix as I did...
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  2. #2
    And He was Not
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    There okay, but...

    I used one for a while but, about once every 50 miles or so I would find my chain on the BB. It usually happened on rough sections when I wasnt peddling. Keeping the chain as short as possible helps. The best tensioner I've seen so far is the Rennen.I put one on a friends bike and That thing is rock solid. It cost around $5-10 more sheckles but it is worth every penny. If they would have been out sooner I prolly would have never bought a S/S specific bike.

  3. #3
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    I started with an old derailleur as a chain tensioner, it worked perfectly but the looks of it kind of spoilt the bike so I bought a singleator. First thing that struck me was the noise from it, much worse than the old der. Then the spring jumped out of its place several times (not totally uncommon I understand) so after several removals of the miserable thing the last time i put it on the outer o-ring jumped out. Well I gave up and found a magic gear which works with a little filing off of the wheel axle.

    Shold I need a tensioner again I will take back the old der.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch
    The best tensioner I've seen so far is the Rennen.
    true dat.

  5. #5
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    No problems with Singulators here, but they are a compromise. I still prefer a frame that doesn't need complex devices to tension the chain.
    "The man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest" Henry David Thoreau (obviously a single speeder)

    "...everytime you throw something away your load gets lighter..."

  6. #6
    My post is that way --->
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    Singleators don't suck. I've used one in multiple configurations for over 3 years. If set up properly they are fine.

    If your friend is a friend, I'm assuming he wouldn't have sold it to you if it was a dud, so it sounds like he got on fine with it.

    I've never heard of anyone having a problem tightening the bolt enough to hold the spring in place. Doesn't sound feasible to me, unless the derailleur hanger is completely buggered.
    Wibble

  7. #7
    One gear to rule them all
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    So I purchased a used Singleator from a friend the other day. The Singleator was in excellent condition (he's running an eccentric hub now). Ran it Push Down for a ride, then decided to run it Push Up today. Worked fine when I rode it in the morning but when a friend of mine borrowed the bike this afternoon, the Singleator tension spring quit working on a rough, rocky and fast descent. Since I didn't have an 18mm cone with me, I had to resort to using a bunch of rubber bands to yank the pulley arm up to give some tension (worked pretty good actually). At least she was able to finish the ride without walking. Got home, put the thing on the stand and fiddled with the tension adjustment. Come to find that the friction on the der. hanger is not enough to hold the tension spring adjustment (and I didn't really want to strip the hanger threads by really cranking down on the der. bolt). Did a search on mtbr to make sure that I didn't screw anything up (I may have cranked on the spring too much or turned it the wrong direction) and I find that a lot of people have had similar problems. It also looks like some people came up with the same elegantly simple and cheap fix as I did...
    When you switched it from push down to push up mode, did you change the spring? There are two springs that come with the singulator. If it is set up properly you should not have any issues. I ran one for a year and never touched it.
    Todd............. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

  8. #8
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    sure did 32X17...

    I followed the instructions to the letter...
    remove c-clip, pop push down spring and replace with push up spring, dab of lithium in the internals, make sure O rings are seated properly, put back together, thread on bike, adjust tension, tighten, test ride. it worked for 1 ride but once it got rough, it loosened up quite a bit... i'm thinking of converting my pseudo-cross bike to a SS in which case, the Singleator (in modified fashion) will go on that bike. I'm ordering a Rennen Rollenlager this morning to try it out... Live and learn I guess.

  9. #9
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorcher seb
    Singleators don't suck. I've used one in multiple configurations for over 3 years. If set up properly they are fine.

    If your friend is a friend, I'm assuming he wouldn't have sold it to you if it was a dud, so it sounds like he got on fine with it.

    I've never heard of anyone having a problem tightening the bolt enough to hold the spring in place. Doesn't sound feasible to me, unless the derailleur hanger is completely buggered.
    I sold it to him.

    I only ever ran it in push down mode, but I gave him the push up spring and the out-of-the-bag instructions. Never had a problem with it and I'm a set it and forget it kinda guy. Surly recommends push up mode, flip was running a 34 chainring (I was running 32) so I suggested he'd get better chain wrap with push up.

    Live and learn I guess.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  10. #10
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    I followed the instructions to the letter...
    remove c-clip, pop push down spring and replace with push up spring, dab of lithium in the internals, make sure O rings are seated properly, put back together, thread on bike, adjust tension, tighten, test ride. it worked for 1 ride but once it got rough, it loosened up quite a bit... i'm thinking of converting my pseudo-cross bike to a SS in which case, the Singleator (in modified fashion) will go on that bike. I'm ordering a Rennen Rollenlager this morning to try it out... Live and learn I guess.
    That's the last time I ever sell you a slightly used Singulator. Sheesh.

    Of course you realize what this is doing to you. Your fixating on SS. Pretty soon you be going on half your rides in the SS. After that your gears will start seeing neglect after which you'll start selling them off. Pretty soon after that you'll start waking in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking about building up a fixie. I can see it coming bro.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  11. #11
    markybrue
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    Two Words

    Paul Melvin

  12. #12
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    I rode it a couple of times...

    In push down mode and it was fine. Push up was another story however... I don't think it was a problem with the condition of the tensioner when Twisted Crank sold it to me... Maybe more of a combination of design issue in push up mode and my hanger (I even tried roughing the face of the hanger up for more "grab"). As you can see by the fix, I basically converted the thing to replicate what a Rennen does. I'm converting a couple of more bikes in the next few weeks and if I don't get an Eno hub, I'm going Rennen for sure...

  13. #13
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    True dat... Twisted Crank...

    Yesterday I let Becky ride it and now she's jonesing for a SS, heck she wanted to buy it on the spot after riding it. Even Barb wants to take it for a spin and has tasked me to keep an eye for a frame that can be converted. It's an evil sickness and I'm helping spread it (mostly to hot chicks)...
    Personally, I'm looking at my xbike... thinking, hmmm.. that would make a good townie-fixie-part-time cross bike... And yes, I have the long travel Mantra that would make a good SS full suspension... how many 5" travel SS bikes do you see out there... the possibilities are endless...

  14. #14
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    the possibilities are endless...
    So is the singletrack, brutha

    Barb on a SS? - uh oh.

    Hey could you do me a solid? Could your remind Lawrence (Sunday ride) about the Surly he know's for sale. We didn't exchange emails so I don't know how to contact him.
    THX
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  15. #15
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    Hey could you do me a solid? Could your remind Lawrence (Sunday ride) about the Surly he know's for sale. We didn't exchange emails so I don't know how to contact him.
    THX
    Not THE Lawrence "Haze", eh? I've been trying to convert him to SS from 2000 miles away for the last couple of years
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  16. #16
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Check your e-mail. I'll hit you up with notes and experiences from the last four years of SSing.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  17. #17
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    Drevil... The one and only...

    We took him on a little climb Sunday... He did pretty well! He wants me to build him a SS in Ti... He'd be a good Clyde test for the frame don't you think?
    I'll post pics of the little spin we took tonight...

  18. #18
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    We took him on a little climb Sunday... He did pretty well! He wants me to build him a SS in Ti... He'd be a good Clyde test for the frame don't you think?
    I'll post pics of the little spin we took tonight...
    Don't let him get too fit; he might lose his clyde status!
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  19. #19
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    Got the email...

    Thanks and will probably fire off some questions for ya after I read it... I'm seriously considering turning the Mantra into a SS.
    LH less than a Clyde? hehe... not sure if that's going to happen soon specially with a baby coming in a month or so... He might become a double-Clyde...

  20. #20
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    Couple questions.......

    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    So I purchased a used Singleator from a friend the other day. The Singleator was in excellent condition (he's running an eccentric hub now). Ran it Push Down for a ride, then decided to run it Push Up today. Worked fine when I rode it in the morning but when a friend of mine borrowed the bike this afternoon, the Singleator tension spring quit working on a rough, rocky and fast descent. Since I didn't have an 18mm cone with me, I had to resort to using a bunch of rubber bands to yank the pulley arm up to give some tension (worked pretty good actually). At least she was able to finish the ride without walking. Got home, put the thing on the stand and fiddled with the tension adjustment. Come to find that the friction on the der. hanger is not enough to hold the tension spring adjustment (and I didn't really want to strip the hanger threads by really cranking down on the der. bolt). Did a search on mtbr to make sure that I didn't screw anything up (I may have cranked on the spring too much or turned it the wrong direction) and I find that a lot of people have had similar problems. It also looks like some people came up with the same elegantly simple and cheap fix as I did...
    Looking at the picture you attached, is the cage around the pulley hitting your chainstay?
    I ran a Singleater on my GT before I ENO'ed it and I could not run it in the push up position. Either the chain was too short or if I added a link (even tried a half-link), the chain was too long and the cage around the pulley would hit the chainstay before I could get suitable tension. Running the Singleater in the push down position, I was actually able to put too much tension on the chain the first time I set it up.

    Brian

  21. #21
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    It's clear of the chainstay

    that picture looks decieving... Here is another that shows where the Singleator pulley sits....
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  22. #22
    The name's Norm...
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    2 more...

    Quote Originally Posted by markybrue
    Paul Melvin
    Rennen Rollenlager!!!

  23. #23
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    Two more words...

    Quote Originally Posted by markybrue
    Paul Melvin
    I agree

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU
    Looking at the picture you attached, is the cage around the pulley hitting your chainstay?
    I ran a Singleater on my GT before I ENO'ed it and I could not run it in the push up position. Either the chain was too short or if I added a link (even tried a half-link), the chain was too long and the cage around the pulley would hit the chainstay before I could get suitable tension. Running the Singleater in the push down position, I was actually able to put too much tension on the chain the first time I set it up.

    Brian
    Sounds like you need a spacer or two on the chain stay side of your cog to move the chain line away from the chain stay. Maybe you've tried that already but wouldn't that allow enough clearance of the cage and chainstay?

    In one of these pictures you can see my spacer setup and how I needed to adjust mine at the time. I haven't had any issues with mine yet, knock on wood.
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    Last edited by TheBUNKY; 02-10-2005 at 10:45 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by markybrue
    Paul Melvin
    is that a Beatle?

  26. #26
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    I've run a Singleator in the push up mode for several years now with no problems. I replaced the stock pulley with a MRP roller and it runs smoother and quieter.

  27. #27
    markybrue
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    are you serious?

    Quote Originally Posted by the Inbred
    is that a Beatle?
    how about a chain tensioner!

  28. #28
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    Chain size?

    I used the tie wrap but changing a flat was a little difficult without a cutter and replacement wrap.

    Is that a 1/8" chain? I had problems with 1/8" chains until I switch back to 3/32". It seems the extra weight and latter slop added to the chain drops especially on bumpy roads. Once I switched to 3/32" chains the problems went away.
    If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room.

  29. #29
    meatier showers
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    Here's what I did

    Works pretty well.




    --Sparty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  30. #30
    Combat Wombat
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    I was running a Paul Word hub with a freewheel.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBUNKY
    Sounds like you need a spacer or two on the chain stay side of your cog to move the chain line away from the chain stay. Maybe you've tried that already but wouldn't that allow enough clearance of the cage and chainstay?

    In one of these pictures you can see my spacer setup and how I needed to adjust mine at the time. I haven't had any issues with mine yet, knock on wood.
    If there is a way to change the chainline on that, I do not know about it. As it was, it worked fine with the Singleater pushing down.

    Brian

  31. #31
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    That's a great idea Sparticus...

    I'm assuming that bolt with the whole in the end can be had from Home Depot (or did you machine it yourself)?
    G

  32. #32
    meatier showers
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    I machined it. It's just a cheap bolt I had lying around... stuck it in the drill press and bingo. The spring came off a local hardware store's spring board -- they gots a zillion of 'em.

    --Sparty


    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    I'm assuming that bolt with the whole in the end can be had from Home Depot (or did you machine it yourself)?
    G
    disciplesofdirt.org

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    We get old because we quit riding.

  33. #33
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    My singulator fix....

    Here's how I 'enhanced' my Singulator in pull up mode.
    I used one of those little velcro straps that come with a mini pump's mount.
    It works pretty well also, and makes rear tire removal easier than a zip tie.

    I gotta say though, that spring that Sparticus rigged up is a great idea.
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  34. #34
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    The fix...

    The Singleator is now going on the Klein SS...
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  35. #35
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    crap

    i would have to say, buy a convert or that other one that is "locked" up against the chain at all times, the surly one must be floping around....


    scott
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  36. #36
    ballbuster
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    Look at the big brain on Sparty!

    I may have to try that one myself.

  37. #37
    Fat Is Where It's At Moderator
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    That Sparty guy is very resourceful, great idea and execution.

    I would recommend the complete removal of the tensioner. Try to find a "magic" gear ratio that will allow you to run without a tensioner. There are several posts about magic gears and half links here if you search.

    If you can't find the magic gearing get a Rennen, that's the best tensioner around.

  38. #38
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    Rennen installed

    It was a tight fit with the Dean dropout configuration but it worked... Testing today...
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by markybrue
    how about a chain tensioner!
    i was kidding.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    It was a tight fit with the Dean dropout configuration but it worked... Testing today...
    SWEEET!

    Glad to see it cleared the drop-out.... looking good man!
    RennenDesignGroup.com
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  41. #41
    Occidental Tourist
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    I just ditched my singulator cuz I couldn't get tension out of it. Upon close exam the spring had come out a bit and gotten tweaked. I tried fixing it and went for a ride and ithe 1st techy dh threw it outta wack. Back to my durailer...
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  42. #42
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    An alternative to the zip tie are hair bands. More durable than rubber bands and they come in pretty (oh so pretty) colors. You can also undo them easily if you need to take off your rear wheel, unlike the zip tie, which you have to destroy each time. Just grab some from your wife and double up if you need to.
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    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  43. #43
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    Good one Drevil..

    When the Singleator broke down the first time, I used rubber bands (actually the LA Livestrong bracelet would've been perfect). Then I used zip ties, then IBIKEID recommended velcro straps so I used straps that I normally use for computer cables. I was waiting until after I rode the Rennen a few times before I posted a review so here goes...

    The Rennen is elegantly simple. No springs to tension, just 1 bolt (plus the attachment to the axle/skewer washer) and you are done. Installation took a whole 3 minutes including reading the instructions. I was worried about removing the wheel but it was relatively pain free although you have to be really careful to not lose the skewer step washer). I've ridden the Jester with the Rennen over some pretty rough stuff (going uphill and down) and some tiny drops and the chain remained solidly on. There is a very little bit of chatter when the bike is on the work stand (primarily because I have the chainline a tad tight to allow for stretch) but none when you are actually riding. I definitely would have to give this product a 2 thumbs up.

    Here is a pic of it on the bike...
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  44. #44
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    Close up..

    I forgot to add that the supplied half link with the Rennen also did a great job picking up some slack from the chain. So much so that I'm thinking that if I ran a 20T in the back, I would have the ideal ratio and not require a tensioner.
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  45. #45
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    I've been running an old-style Singlelator on a Schwinn Highplains in the "push up" position and haven't had many problems. I didn't install it quite as instructed. I did have some issues with lack of tension on the chain so I pulled the silver rod and pulley off of the black arm and figured out what angle the arm needed to be tighten to the der. hanger at to over emphasize the tension. I think mine is nearly verticle if I allow the spring to return to "zero". The only other issue I had was the fixing bolt to the pulley coming loose. Some LocTite solved that! No problems for 2-3 years now!

  46. #46
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    I forgot to add that the supplied half link with the Rennen also did a great job picking up some slack from the chain...
    If one half link works so well, just imagine how much better things will be if you use two!

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

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

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