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  1. #1
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    SS questions and suggestions needed

    Hello all,

    I have been reading this forum for the past week as well as any info on SS i can get a hold of. I have read all the stickies here and the FAQ as well as many threads i could find so I tried to do my research before asking your questions and opinions.

    Alittle background on myself. Been riding mountain bikes since the late 80's off and on. I go in spurts when I have time where I ride hard for a couple of years then taper off and always seem to come back to it. Its mostly due to when I have the time because of my working schedule and etc etc. Well I am trying to get back into it and came across the single speed stuff. I have seen a few guys ride in our group before on single speeds and I always just thought they were to shave weight off thier bike and thought it was crazy to loose 24 gears to shave a pound off the bike. But after reading into it now its a whole different riding style that intriges me.

    So I have a few questions and concerns. I am just coming off a shattered femar (motocross accident) so I am in the worst shape of my life right now, just releaned how to walk about 6 months ago but I am able to get on the bike now. Would it be too hard to go from not riding at all to a single speed on the trails? I am not afraid of technical skill but more afraid of leg power and it being maybe way too hard and discourging me.

    And this is my current bike right now. 1992 GT Xizang Le (Titanium Frame). It has full XTR and I just updated the front end in 2002 and put a RS psylo and XTR V-brakes on it. The rear brake is the old horseshoe brake though.



    Is this bike worth converting to SS? I want to keep the forks as I love them although they are alittle heavy. But its due for new cranks and bottom bracket as they creek pretty bad and are the orginal ones from 1992. But the brakes and shifter pods are intergrated, so if I were to ditch the shifter pods i would like to go to disc brakes. But that would entail all new wheels too. So after new wheels, disc brakes, cranks and bottom bracket would it be wroth the money to sink into this bike to make it a SS?

    Here are the kits that i found that i was thinking of starting with:

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=23062 $18 for spacers, chain tensier and rear spockets.

    http://www.therapycomponents.com/BRAKETHERAPY.htm A rear disc brake kit for my frame. Has anyone tried this or found a better way to convert a non disc brake frame to a disc brake frame?

    cranks? I have no idea where to start with these as I don't know if my old frame will allow new style cranks.

    And do you SS guys only ride with SS guys? All the people i know and ride with all just bought new high dollar FS bikes and want me to do the same but I want to go in another direction. They all think i am stupid but I don't feel like dropping $2000+ on a new bike when I have no problems passing them on my hardtail on the downhills. But its the flats and uphills that I worry about with me on a SS. I would be most likely the only SS guy and right now the weakest.

    I am open to all comments and suggestions. Be as helpful or as harsh as you want to be as i am here to learn. And if you tell me to hit the seach button please let me know what to search for or give me links and I have been reading as much as I can find on this.

    Thanks in advance,
    Brent

  2. #2
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    I would buy a good tensioner (the nashbar one maybe good, dunno really) and 5 BMX chainring bolts. That is it.

    Remove the large and small chain rings. Keep the middle one and fasten it with the chainring bolts. Remove all the derailers and cables associated.

    You can remove the shift pods from the levers but keep the levers.

    Space the cassette so that you get a clean chainline from the front to the rear cog. Use a BMX cog or one of the ones you removed if the cassette was separate cogs to get a 2:1 ratio to start with.

    Then ride the bike. You don't really need discs or the expense of shifting over. V brakes are fine for most conditions. Remember to get discs you will need new wheels ($300) plus discs ($200 min) plus adapter. You could get a new redline monocog for that much.

    If you like the SS thing get some dedicated V-brake levers and some extra cogs and a bash guard(see surly cogs, reasonable and in many sizes).

    As far as riding SS with others, I regularly spank some fit dudes on 24lbs FS bikes all over the trail on my old rigid SS bike with no discs just really old components and fat tires.

    Riding an SS will make you the slowest no more. You will be faster on climbs and in the twisties and if you can hold your own on the flats and DH's then you will be good.

    It is liberating to pass a guy on $5k of bike when you are riding one gear and on a bike you bought when Clinton was president.
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  3. #3
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    thats is a cool frame, I would stick with it!

    lever's are fairly cheap I would grab some levers and follow the advice above with the tensioner and cogs, a new fork is always fun, you could throw a pace carbon fork and have a pretty unique and light ss....

    have fun!

  4. #4
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    Well i ordered the parts for my conversion. Well atleast some of them. I decided not to go with the disc brakes just because of cost, atleast for now, hehe.

    Here is my list:

    New bars (wider and lighter)
    new brake levers (because the XTR shifter pods and levers now are one piece)
    new brake cables (the old ones won't reach the new wider bars)
    surly chain tensionser
    sram pc1 chain and half link
    spacer kit
    2 shimano bmx rear sprockets (16t and 18t)
    bmx crank bolts to elimanate big front sprocket
    new grips


    I rode around the other night not shifting just using 34/18 gearing and it felt pretty good. I am waiting for all the parts to come in so i can start working on the bikes. Still haven't addressed the crank/bottom bracket issuse but my crank arm came loose ending my ride early. I already know they are worn out so i need to see if i can just put them back together till i figure out what cranks i want or if i have to go out and buy some now.

    Any crank and bottom bracket suggetions would be helpful. Do they still make bottom brackets for a bike that is as old as mine? All i see are those hollow tech ones now, or would that work on my bike?

  5. #5
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    If your cranks are old XTR then I recall that they use a square taper bottom bracket. I just bought a UN73 BB from my local shop for like $20. Those things are bullet proof! The one I replaced was 10 years old and smooth as glass, I just replaced it because my new frame has a 68 mm shell and my old BB was 73 mm. The creaking could just be dirt/grime that has worked it's way into the crank bolts, bottom bracket threads etc.., pedals can cause the creaking too. If it were mine I would tear that sucker apart, clean everything, and re-assemble with a fresh application of quality grease on all threads. DO NOT grease the taper on the BB/crank arm interface as it becomes more possible to over tighten and deform the taper in the crank arm. The other thing is that if your crank arm came loose, it could have been a little loose for a long time and that could also produce a creaking sound, crank 'er down good and snug.
    I hold an associates degree in underachievement.

  6. #6
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel
    If your cranks are old XTR then I recall that they use a square taper bottom bracket. I just bought a UN73 BB from my local shop for like $20. Those things are bullet proof! The one I replaced was 10 years old and smooth as glass, I just replaced it because my new frame has a 68 mm shell and my old BB was 73 mm. The creaking could just be dirt/grime that has worked it's way into the crank bolts, bottom bracket threads etc.., pedals can cause the creaking too. If it were mine I would tear that sucker apart, clean everything, and re-assemble with a fresh application of quality grease on all threads. DO NOT grease the taper on the BB/crank arm interface as it becomes more possible to over tighten and deform the taper in the crank arm. The other thing is that if your crank arm came loose, it could have been a little loose for a long time and that could also produce a creaking sound, crank 'er down good and snug.
    grab all the un bb's while you can, shimano doesnt make them any more.

    you would have to seriously neglect and abuse the bb on old skool xtr cranks to cause it to creak. without seeing it my best guess would be loose crank arm or pedals. a pedal squeak will sound just like a bb creak.

    for starters snug down your arms as squirrel mentioned. if that doesnt remedy the prob then remove your pedals, thoroughly clean and lube them, then grease the threads, grease the washer seat and pedal facing and reinstall. keep in mind its possible that the pedals may still squeak after this. if so then pull the cage off the spindle and clean and lube.

    its best to only do one thing at a time so you know which remedy solved the prob.

    from what i gathered from your first post the bike has been sitting a while, so it really wouldnt hurt to give her some love in the form of a complete disassemble, clean, and lube.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  7. #7
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    I think those are both good idea's. The bike has been stored indoors but haven't broken it down and cleaned stuff in a long time. Espically the cranks and bottom bracket. Hopefully the parts will come in before this weekend but either way I will break down and service the bike and see what is going on with it. Thanks for the tips and advice. I'll check my local bike shop to see if they have any UN bb's and pick up one if they do so i don't have to worry about it in the future.

    And my cranks aren't XTR's they got swapped when I first got the bike and I think XT's where put on them for some reason. I don't remember the reason why but I got this as a magazine bike so someone wanted the XTR's before I got the bike.

  8. #8
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    There is a distinct possiblity that the tapers on the XT crank could be worn out. A life time of use can make the taper stretch. Fasten them on firmly then back out the bolt and see if the face of the spindle is at the same level as the face of the crank arm taper. If so the bolt is bottoming out on the BB face and that is all the tightness that the arms will get. They will get creakier and creakier over time.

    If this is not the case then do as those above mentioned.

    If it is the case: look for some SS cranks with either ISIS bb or the newer 2 piece variants. They will go in easy.

    I just re-read your post and noticed the part about the injury. You might want to gear a little lower for the time being to allow a higher spin and slower speeds but SS will build muscle really quick.
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  9. #9
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    Sweet Frame. that should make a very cool SS. If you are a good rider at all you will probably be passing your bros going uphill soon. I'm a noob and the only hills I don't excel on are the ones that I end up walking. But when I'm walking, my buddies are in their granny gear which I really don't care to do anyway.

    brandon
    There's always money in the banana stand.

  10. #10
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    Well i got my parts in last week and put them on. Went for a night ride thursday night just to test things out and make sure everything works. Just went down the hill real fast and back up. but even though i am in the worst shape of my life right now due to my broken leg i had I don't think i have ever went up the hill that fast before. Even when I was in pretty good shape I think I would only do middle chain ring and like 3rd biggest in the back. Granted the hill is always the very last part of the ride but it felt good to go up so fast.

    I did have to stand 99% of the time going up. Is this normal for you guys? I didn't walk but did rest like 4 or 5 times for a min or two to catch my breath. I am running 32/18 gearing right now. I also bought a 16t sprocket but thought i should go with the 18 to start with. Should I try and get a 20t to try it out?

    I also went for a ride saturday night with my friend. I did alot better this time, we went down the trails and around before going up the hill. And even though i was tired from doing the loop before i even started up the hill i went even faster than the first night only stopping 2 times instead of the 4 or 5 times. Again alot faster than ever before when I had the gears on it. But also standing up 99% of the time too.

    Well here is a list of new stuff I put on the bike.

    SS spacer kit
    16 and 18t rear sprocket
    SRAM 1/8" chain
    FSA 180mm single cranks + BB
    Surly Singulator chain tenioner
    answer carbon bars (2" wider than my old bars)
    new brake levers and cables
    new grips
    cycle computer

    I will try and snap some pics when i get a chance. According to my bathroom digital scale (i have no idea how accurate it is) my bike weighed in at 25 pounds. That is with my heavy 5.5 lb's psylo forks. I don't think that's too bad but i guess could be better.

    Thanks to this forum for getting me into SS'ing and all the info here.

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