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  1. #1
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    Want to switch to singlespeed? Here's what you need to know.

    Here’s a thread about anything and everything you need to know about making your urban/dj/park ride singlespeed.

    Why go singlespeed? The sheer simplicity of it is why. You bike will be lighter, look cleaner, will be easier to maintain, you'll never drop a chain, and your bike will be quieter too! I hear it also helps for power transfer to the wheel as the chain has to pass through less pulleys which means less resistance. So the question should actually be, why NOT?

    Ways to convert

    There are many ways to convert your bicycle to a singlespeed machine.

    Spacer kits

    Spacer kits are available in a variety of brand, prices, and qualities, from a huge amount of distributors. They take the place your cassette does on your current hub, so you do not have a to rebuild a wheel. They fit any shimano compatible freehub body, which means you can convert pretty much any hub you like with such a kit.

    Most kits should set you back $10 to $30 USD. Some come with many spacers to allow chainline alignement, while others only provide two spacers for only two possible chainlines. Most if not all singlespeed spacer kits come with their own cog, but you can switch to any size cog you want. Some come with a tensionner, and some do not. stay away from spring loaded tensionners, especially for dj/urban/park use as they tend to get sloppy and do not have the strength solid tensionners do.

    Here is what a spacer kit looks like:


    A similar way of converting would be to use aluminum cassette spacers(which can be found for very cheap at any LBS) and use them just like you would use the kit, this allows for a much easier chainline alignment. Just buy the correct size cog and you'll all set!

    Singlespeed hubs


    A more expensive option, but it does come with advantages. Singlespeed hubs allow you to build a dishless wheel, which means that on both side the spoke length is the same, allowing a more even tension which in turn makes for a stronger wheel. Singlespeed hubs come in a variety of prices and qualities, but right now, the deal of the century is the nashbar singlespeed hub which is available here: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%2FRear%20Hubs

    Halo, formula, atomlab are other companies that offer singlespeed hubs just to name a few.


    What about tensionners, do I need them?

    On a frame with vertical dropouts, yes, you do, there is no way around that, even with a half-link chain. On most horizontal drop-outs frames, you can get away without running one by running the correct chain length. If you do need a tensionner, look into a DMR STS or a Rennen, those are by far your best options.



    Some people find that their rear axle has a tendency to slip in the dropouts under torque, whether from braking or from pedaling. This can be remedied by using a chain-tug, which keeps the wheel in place and attaches to the drop-outs like so.


    What's a half-link chain? Do I need one?

    It's a chain completely made out of half-links. Here is an example.


    Although not necessary at all, it is nice to have one as they allow you to dial your chain length by half-link increments. This is an advantage on a DJ bike as it helps getting the wheel as far in the dropout as possible, which helps general flickability of the bike.

    When I convert should I get a singlespeed specific chain?

    I would highly advise to cough up the extra money for a singlespeed chain, as they are generally wider and stronger and less prone to chain strech and flex. KMC has some solid offerings for $15 or less that are very reliable.

    What are drop-outs? Which do I want, horizontal or vertical?

    Drop out are the part of the bike that you slide your wheel into, you have two on your fork, and two on your frame.

    For singlespeeding use, only the rear drop-outs important. There are two types of drop-outs on modern bikes these days, the vertical drop-out:


    and the horizontal drop-out:


    Preferably, you should have a frame that has horizontal drop-outs as they allow you to slide the wheel back to achieve proper tensionning of the chain, but vertical drop-outs are just fine, you'll most likely need a tensionner for them though.

    What ratio to use?
    This is a question with no definite answer, it all depends on where and what you ride, what wheelsize you're running and so many other variables. A good rule of thumb though would be the gear inch formula.

    (Number of teeth on the chainring / number of teeth on the cog) * wheel size(in inches)

    This will give you a great estimate of your gear inch ratio. 55 seems to be great for almost anyone, but you may need to go a bit smaller(lower) in very hilly areas, or a bit taller(higher) for more flat areas or DJ's where you need a lot of speed. Again, this is a work of trial and error and personal preference, but I recommend starting with 55 and moving up or down according to your riding style.

    You can also calculate everything you might need with Sheldon Brown's gear calculator.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/ but I personally prefer the gear inch formula method.

    Many ratios end up with the same gear inch, so it is possible to achieve proper gearing with many chainring and cog combos.

    For street, most people prefer a "micro-drive" setup where the chainring and the rear cog are very small. For example my personal ratio is 26/12, which IMO could be consired micro-drive. Some people also run 25/12 or even 25/9(seen in BMX mostly, as it is too tall a ratio for their bigger wheel cousins). The advantage to a micro drive setup is less weight and better clearance under the bike(useful mostly for park riding or hopping over obstacles). There is one con though: since the force of your pedaling is spread over less teeth, it tends to wear out a drivetrain quicker. But for the weight saved I think this is a non-issue.
    Last edited by snaky69; 04-15-2007 at 12:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great job Snaky!!
    Last edited by sittingduck; 04-08-2007 at 02:34 PM.

  3. #3
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    (# of chainring teeth divided by # of cog teeth) * (wheel diameter) =55. 55 is basically the "ideal" gearing or something like that.
    AZONIC

  4. #4
    destructionismyobjective
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    Not tryin to be a dick but you can run vert dropouts without a tensioner. Ive been doin it a little while now.

  5. #5
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    good work snaky. we reeaally needed a thread like this.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterrider
    Not tryin to be a dick but you can run vert dropouts without a tensioner. Ive been doin it a little while now.
    You can, I found the "magic ratio" on my bike but it took a lot of different combos to find and eventually the chain stretch caused me to put a tensioner back on it.

    Not to say it is impossible on all applications.

    Snaky, good post, I think this question gets repeated once a week.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterrider
    Not tryin to be a dick but you can run vert dropouts without a tensioner. Ive been doin it a little while now.
    Your chain will stretch and it'll start getting thrown off, the "magic ratio" doesn't work forever.
    Last edited by snaky69; 04-08-2007 at 01:22 PM.

  8. #8
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    This Da Bomb chain tensioner looks pretty similar to the Rennen or DMR. Do you think it'll be a good choice?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by K4m1k4z3


    This Da Bomb chain tensioner looks pretty similar to the Rennen or DMR. Do you think it'll be a good choice?
    I don't see why not.

  10. #10
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    Thank you. This ontop of your bunnyhop thread is making this forum a better place. I dont know about you, but I was getting a little aggravated when I log on to MTBR and all I see is a huge list of threads with every-other one being "I cant bunnyhop" Singlespeed?" "24 or 26?". There's a new one like it everyday. I know we were all (including me) asking those questions at one point but now its all you see, with so many new users.
    Snaky, you should talk to the mod and see if you can get this thread and the bunnyhop one put somewhere. I'm not sure if they should be stickys, because I think you're planning on more, and that would be a big list of stickys at the top. I dunno though. But these threads are too good to be lost.

    And BTW, I'm working on a "Want a New Bike/ Frame? Here's what you need to Know" With it, Im not trying to eliminate all "Bike vs Bike" threads, maybe just help out and inform the buyer first.
    You should see it up in a while.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cummings
    Thank you. This ontop of your bunnyhop thread is making this forum a better place. I dont know about you, but I was getting a little aggravated when I log on to MTBR and all I see is a huge list of threads with every-other one being "I cant bunnyhop" Singlespeed?" "24 or 26?". There's a new one like it everyday. I know we were all (including me) asking those questions at one point but now its all you see, with so many new users.
    Snaky, you should talk to the mod and see if you can get this thread and the bunnyhop one put somewhere. I'm not sure if they should be stickys, because I think you're planning on more, and that would be a big list of stickys at the top. I dunno though. But these threads are too good to be lost.

    And BTW, I'm working on a "Want a New Bike/ Frame? Here's what you need to Know" With it, Im not trying to eliminate all "Bike vs Bike" threads, maybe just help out and inform the buyer first.
    You should see it up in a while.
    I thank YOU for appreciating the effort I make to help people out in every way possible. I'm by no means the greatest rider(most of your can probably straight up own me on street rides or dirt jumps), nor am I the most knowledgable person on this board(I think this one should go out to XSL_Will, way to go dude, you rock!)

    But when I was a newb, that is information I would've loved to have, and I figure I could help people get interested in the best sport in the universe by trying to help them out better understanding it.

    If anyone at all wants to start making tutorials, FAQ's or whatever, consider taking a bit of time out of your day to do a small write-up or a bit of video editing, it's fun, and it can be very useful to others.

    I guess I give some steez points to NemPro owners as well.


    Edit: This one could be a sticky, and we could make another thread called something like "video how to's for common tricks". And embed a video or two per trick, we should get contributions from every member who has some footage of a particular trick that they really have dialed. *pages Cru Jones, WCH, j-dogg etc.*

  12. #12
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    I need more threads like this!

    Nice work, but seriously, HOW BORED ARE YOU?
    I'm out of things to say . . .

  13. #13
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    Thank you so much. It really sucks when half the board is asking how to run SS on an STP.

  14. #14
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    awwwww yeeah! Snaky's on point! get up on it like that!
    Nice work man, very helpful, and with the pictures as well to keep people reading... sticktify it!


    maybe you could throw in something about running a ghost ring on vert. drops as well, as long as it clears your chainstays....
    Schralp it Heavy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeSATORI
    awwwww yeeah! Snaky's on point! get up on it like that!
    Nice work man, very helpful, and with the pictures as well to keep people reading... sticktify it!


    maybe you could throw in something about running a ghost ring on vert. drops as well, as long as it clears your chainstays....
    If you could provide me with a picture I'll do just that.


    And dirtyharry, between that and chemistry homework, the choice was not hard to make. It took me all of 10 minutes to type this all up anyway.

  16. #16
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    We need to sticky this. Also good idea about the movie where everyone can send in footage of a trick...
    I wish I had...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by iron1
    We need to sticky this. Also good idea about the movie where everyone can send in footage of a trick...
    More like a thread, with embedded video a bit like the cool video thread that is stickied, but with tutorials in it instead.

    Say one member is really good at 180's, then he can get a camera, tape it from a few different angles, edit it, and voila! One more video to add to the bunch. The same trick coming from different people can be good too as not everyone does things the same way.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaky69
    If you could provide me with a picture I'll do just that.


    And dirtyharry, between that and chemistry homework, the choice was not hard to make. It took me all of 10 minutes to type this all up anyway.

    this isn't the greatest one, but here's a quick example of a ghost ring on Phil Sundbaum's bike... (interesting because his mob has horizontal dropouts, but he must just be doing it to still get the shortest chainstay position with a normal chain and the gear ratio he prefers...)

    (there are more and better/detailed pictures of this if you search the SS forum here...)

    and here's a funky homemade chain tensioner made out of an old derailleur, tensioned by the hex bolt on the hanger stop (pretty crafty):
    Schralp it Heavy.

  19. #19
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    There's probably a reason not many people do the ghost ring thing.... It doesn't look all that safe to me. That thing comes out, and you are fooked.

  20. #20
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    thanks for this thread dude keep it up!

  21. #21
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    heh heh, I had to ask . . .
    I'm out of things to say . . .

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyP1
    (# of chainring teeth divided by # of cog teeth) * (wheel diameter) =55. 55 is basically the "ideal" gearing or something like that.

    now you tell me...
    Out at the jumps today (I'm running gears), I found that 32/16 (52 GI) is a little too low, but my next gear 32/14 (59.4) is a little too high. I was thinking "if I only had a 15..." 32/15 turns out to be 55.5.

    I happened to have a road cassette 12/23 with some life left in it, so I threw that on. I guess I'll see next time I'm out.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXneedmountain
    thanks for this thread dude keep it up!
    Thanks for the props!

  24. #24
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    WHHAAATTT? I can run SS on my bike?








    JK, good job snaky.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cru Jones
    Yikes. We need to add about 10 years onto that age. Unless she's a smokin hottie, then maybe 5...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavement_hurts
    WHHAAATTT? I can run SS on my bike?








    JK, good job snaky.
    Thanks!!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyP1
    (# of chainring teeth divided by # of cog teeth) * (wheel diameter) =55. 55 is basically the "ideal" gearing or something like that.
    The formula is a bit more complicated than that if you want to get technical. The crank length can be factored too.

  27. #27
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    Single Speed Kit preferences?

    Snaky,

    Thanks for the great post. I am a noob and looking to go single on my Chameleon. Do you have a short list of the best kits to look at?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingduck
    There's probably a reason not many people do the ghost ring thing.... It doesn't look all that safe to me. That thing comes out, and you are fooked.
    it can be dangerous and it can be perfectly fine. if your chain gets tight enough with the ring in then it works like a charm. usually if you can slide the ring back far and get it snug then its going to be great. i used a ghost ring for a long period of time on two frames. the problem is when your chain still isn't tight enough the ring can pop out and the chain may fall off...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterrider
    Not tryin to be a dick but you can run vert dropouts without a tensioner. Ive been doin it a little while now.

    BITTERRIDER! BITTERRIDER! BITTERRIDER! You have come to my rescue!

    How did you do it? ie, gear combo, chainstay length, chain, pics? Anything I MUST KNOW!

    Phew calm down now.

    Nice post snaky.
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  30. #30
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    cranks would be a cool thing to have all explained out (euro/mid bb, mtb/bmx cranks, bmx sprocket n such)

    another thing i havnt been able to find good information on is rims. i know alot of ppl ask about 32/36/48 spoke shiz, but like a good list with pro/con from rider input for rim quality would be cool. i need to get some new pimpin rims for my bike now and i need to figure out what rims to get to go with that nifty nashbar ss hub.

    another cool thread would be just a strait 24/26in. with specifics on frames that work well with the 24/24 or 24/26. having all that info all stuck in one spot would be sweet.

    maybe there should just be alot of stickies that could be updated and whatnot for each specific "hot topic" question. that could be pretty nifty.
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by colourclassic
    BITTERRIDER! BITTERRIDER! BITTERRIDER! You have come to my rescue!

    How did you do it? ie, gear combo, chainstay length, chain, pics? Anything I MUST KNOW!

    Phew calm down now.

    Nice post snaky.
    there a couple of options / chances:

    1. The magic gear ratio - some chainstays are just long enough that you can run a certain gear ratio without a tensioner. the two tough parts here are 1) finding the magic ratio (there is a excel spreadsheet on the 'net somewhere that does this for you) and 2) not falling victim to 'chain stretch.'

    1.5. If you find a ratio that is close but the chain is a little too tight, you still have a chance. you can actually file a a bit of steel off either your dropout or your *eek* axle to gain you the mm or two of chain lenght. (This modification is not for the hamfisted or the un-smooth.)

    2. White Industries ENO eccentric SS hub: with some modification (longer inner axle bolts) I used this hub for DJ and lift access FR for quite a few seasons. This hub allows you to adjust the chain length by rotatiting the hub on an eccentric axle. (You should also be a pretty smooth rider if you plan on running this setup.)
    To air is human, to dig is divine.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullit21
    Snaky,

    Thanks for the great post. I am a noob and looking to go single on my Chameleon. Do you have a short list of the best kits to look at?
    I had good luck with the DMR kit, I know Gusset and Rennen make one as well. According to a member here(XSL_Will) you're better off with cassette spacers as they allow you to fine tune your chainline pretty damn well. They're very cheap too.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaky69
    I had good luck with the DMR kit, I know Gusset and Rennen make one as well. According to a member here(XSL_Will) you're better off with cassette spacers as they allow you to fine tune your chainline pretty damn well. They're very cheap too.
    True, dialling in you chainline is alot easier with a bunch of cassette spacers. Just get a SS or BMX cog, or if you are poor, use a cog off an old cassette.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cummings
    True, dialling in you chainline is alot easier with a bunch of cassette spacers. Just get a SS or BMX cog, or if you are poor, use a cog off an old cassette.
    Agreed.

  35. #35
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    Or you could make your own, low-profile spacers out of aluminum on the lathe in your shop.
    --
    luckyducky

  36. #36
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    Did a little edit about drop-outs.

  37. #37
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    Thanks a bunch Snaky! I was just about to throw up a thread asking about how to convert SS. Im a noob to DJ and Urban too and am just trying to hook up a new rig. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Internal14
    Ever slip a pedal and slam into the seat? That little thing would disappear until I later got to the ER.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heals120
    Thanks a bunch Snaky! I was just about to throw up a thread asking about how to convert SS. Im a noob to DJ and Urban too and am just trying to hook up a new rig. Thanks!
    No problem, glad I helped!

  39. #39
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    Thanks for the info. I am going to do this on my Kona. I might just be blind but did I miss the part where you tell me what to do up front. I have 2 chain rings, a bash, and a front deraileur? Not sure what needs to happen there. Do I just remove the deraileur and leave the chain on the big ring? Should I get rid of the little ring?

  40. #40
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    Yes, do get rid of the small ring, it's just useless weight doing nothing if you leave it on.

  41. #41
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    I've got a tripple ring up front. This info was great for taking care of the rear of the bike, am i able to run the same cranks up front? (raceface turbines) or will I need something new?
    "What would happen to the Weather Channel's ratings if people werent scared anymore?"

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonk0u
    I've got a tripple ring up front. This info was great for taking care of the rear of the bike, am i able to run the same cranks up front? (raceface turbines) or will I need something new?
    You'll be fine, remove big and granny gear and that's it.

  43. #43
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    i shall ride SS with in a year's time.

    i havent been a member long enough to see this thread ... totally awesome


  44. #44
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    Wow. This thread is so helpful, i should of read this when i have my specialized and wanted to run it singlespeed.

    Edit: This should be stickied or something like that.
    Dirt Jumping / Street / Park since June 21st, 2007

  45. #45
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    Bump very worthy thread...

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingduck
    Bump very worthy thread...
    Thanks for the props sittingduck, I appreciate it.

  47. #47
    dirt rules
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    bump

  48. #48
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    Bump

    Picture of using cassette spacers... sort of... Actually there are two different widths in there to get my chainline as straight as possible.


  49. #49
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    I have a dirtjump bike with two rings up front and a 8speed cassette. I'd love to get some spacers and and a singlespeed chain and a tensioner - what about the front rings? Can I just take off the granny gear and use the 22t cog? I mean, is there a rear cog that will match with the 22t and work? or could I just get another size cog up front? (I have raceface evolve DH cranks, isis bb). I ride this bike on trails, skateparks, djs and urban so I don't want a micro set - up.

  50. #50
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    22t is just too small, you'll spin out all the time. Only 1-piece drivers would be small enough to run a decent ratio.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpspac3
    I have a dirtjump bike with two rings up front and a 8speed cassette. I'd love to get some spacers and and a singlespeed chain and a tensioner - what about the front rings? Can I just take off the granny gear and use the 22t cog? I mean, is there a rear cog that will match with the 22t and work? or could I just get another size cog up front? (I have raceface evolve DH cranks, isis bb). I ride this bike on trails, skateparks, djs and urban so I don't want a micro set - up.

    22t is the granny ring. 22t is also a (super) micro set-up, but like snaky said, you won't really be able to get a proper gear ratio by converting a 9spd cassette hub. Not sure why you say you don't want a micro-drive set-up. For all of the riding you just mentioned, it's the primetime set-up to run, more clearance, less chain and weight, looks smoother too... but hard to do with an mtb triple crankset. You really need a bmx style crank that uses a sprocket/chainwheel...
    Just using the granny ring may also give you an odd chainline. Most people who convert a triple mtb crankset take off the big ring and the granny, then use the middle ring, or replace it with something around 32-36t. You don't want to use a ring that has shift ramps and pins in it as it may make the chain ride rough or even throw it in some cases. You want a straight cut SS ring up front if you can get one.
    Schralp it Heavy.

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    Yep, listen to satori, prime advice right there.

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    excuse me, I did mean 32t up front - so could I use the 32t cog w/ my rear hub that fits a regular MTB 8-9spd cassette, with spacers, the DMR 13t cog in the back w/ the ss chain tensioner and a new singlespeed chain? oR else I could just get a new cog for up front w/104mm? my crankset is the Truvativ RUcktion w. a howitzer bb. Man I'm jonesing to get rid of those shifter, the cassette and the derailleurs...I've seen some set up's like that, that is the cranks that will take two cogs, with the granny spot empty. Doesn't look too sloppy.

  54. #54
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    Wait... didn't you just say that you have RaceFace cranks?

    32-13 will be a bit on the steep side.

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    Good eye; i did, but I was thinking of a crankset on one of my other bikes, either of which could end up on my trail/dj set up. The truvativ are actually on the hardtail. Because that bike has backwoods trail leanings, I don't think I want bmx cranks on it; but i'd like to go singlespeed even if that meant pedalling xc style ascents, just to hit some berms before going jumping. um, anyway, think that set up could work: either crank set, 13t and 32t and is it critical to get a new front ring (the ones that are on are just ring with no extra reinforcers, just the 4 bolt, 104mm?

  56. #56
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    As I said... 32-13 will be kind of a steep gear ratio for 26s. And as was said earlier... it's best to get a chainring with no shifting ramps or pins (single speed specific).

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    32-13 is a pretty hard gear, it's 1T from being the hardest gear in middle ring, are you sure you want to have that hard of a gear? I'd probably go 14 or 15 in the back.

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    This is one of my favorite threads, because I've learned so much from it... with all the 'spin off threads' and what not from this one alone!

    Good stuff!

    So here's my question. I went to my local bike shop and I was just talking bikes with them and mainly about my new urban build. The guy behind the counter tried very hard to convince me to go cassette rear hub instead of single speed rear hub. His reasoning was because with a cassette and spacers you can actually line up your single speed drive much better versus a true single speed hub.

    Is this true? Or is it more of extreme case where a single speed hub doesn't quite match up with the chainwheel up front?

    I really want to build true SS on my urban ride because I like what I learned from snaky69. Could I potentially run into an alignment issue if I go singlespeed hub on the rear?

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrClarke
    This is one of my favorite threads, because I've learned so much from it... with all the 'spin off threads' and what not from this one alone!

    Good stuff!

    So here's my question. I went to my local bike shop and I was just talking bikes with them and mainly about my new urban build. The guy behind the counter tried very hard to convince me to go cassette rear hub instead of single speed rear hub. His reasoning was because with a cassette and spacers you can actually line up your single speed drive much better versus a true single speed hub.

    Is this true? Or is it more of extreme case where a single speed hub doesn't quite match up with the chainwheel up front?

    I really want to build true SS on my urban ride because I like what I learned from snaky69. Could I potentially run into an alignment issue if I go singlespeed hub on the rear?
    Okay, first off the guy is full of it.

    Chainline can be adjusted easily by properly spacing out the BB. He should've known that. At worst you'll have to buy a longer spindle, but I strongly doubt it. Some hubs can also have their chainline adjusted, I can't remember which ones off the top of my head though.

    SS hub will be lighter, build a stronger wheel, and let's face it, it looks hot too! You can use a 1 piece driver on a lot of them too, which means you could also go micro-drive if you wish.

    Don't go with a hub with a thread-on freewheel though, go for an actual cassette mechanism, they work better.

  60. #60
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    Chainline can only be adjusted at the BB if he has "BMX cranks"... or ISIS, octalink or square taper... which would then require a whole new bottom bracket.

    There are singlespeed cassette hubs... a couple spacers and a Shimano freehub compatible cog... so you still have some adjustment. Like I've seen 3 speed setups on Hadley SS hubs. You can run 3 cogs on a King cassette SS hub. He probably meant to go with a hub like that over a thread-on freewheel hub.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrClarke
    This is one of my favorite threads, because I've learned so much from it... with all the 'spin off threads' and what not from this one alone!

    Good stuff!

    So here's my question. I went to my local bike shop and I was just talking bikes with them and mainly about my new urban build. The guy behind the counter tried very hard to convince me to go cassette rear hub instead of single speed rear hub. His reasoning was because with a cassette and spacers you can actually line up your single speed drive much better versus a true single speed hub.

    Is this true? Or is it more of extreme case where a single speed hub doesn't quite match up with the chainwheel up front?

    I really want to build true SS on my urban ride because I like what I learned from snaky69. Could I potentially run into an alignment issue if I go singlespeed hub on the rear?

    that's some jive talk from a lax desk man...
    Schralp it Heavy.

  62. #62
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    SS hub will be lighter, build a stronger wheel, and let's face it, it looks hot too! You can use a 1 piece driver on a lot of them too, which means you could also go micro-drive if you wish.

    Don't go with a hub with a thread-on freewheel though, go for an actual cassette mechanism, they work better.
    Well, I'm still really new to this type of ride, but I'm already set. I purchased an NS Suburban frame (which I already have.) And I'm now I'm researching forks & wheelsets.

    For the wheelset, I was honestly thinking I would just go with a full Atom Lab Pimplite setup. Running the Pimplite Rim w/ General Issue 20mm hub on the front wheel (32h) and on the back wheel, I thought I would run a Pimplight Rim on a General Issue Single Speed rear hub.

    But, I just figured out my rear horizontal is 12mm and the General Issue Single Speed rear hub seems to be 10mm, so I'm stuck again. I was also thinking 32h on rear to shave a few ounces. I'm 130 pounds at best and I don't do five foot drops, so I'm thinking I won't crush a 32h rear.

    Any suggestions here to guide me? I'm not opposed to the Mavic EX721 rims, but I just don't know what hubs/spokes to marry up to them because the more I read, the more I get confused when you start putting together different manufacturers pieces to build a wheelset. Combine that with the fact that I don't know anyone in SoCal that can lace a wheelset, although I think at least one of my LBS will do it for a price.

    Obviously my goal is light and strong on the wheel set.

  63. #63
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    Usually they charge about 40-60 to lace a wheel. They can figure out all the spoke lengths you need. There are some very handy spoke calculators.

    I'm pretty sure that the NS is a 10mm bolt-on... not a 12mm...

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrClarke
    Well, I'm still really new to this type of ride, but I'm already set. I purchased an NS Suburban frame (which I already have.) And I'm now I'm researching forks & wheelsets.

    For the wheelset, I was honestly thinking I would just go with a full Atom Lab Pimplite setup. Running the Pimplite Rim w/ General Issue 20mm hub on the front wheel (32h) and on the back wheel, I thought I would run a Pimplight Rim on a General Issue Single Speed rear hub.

    But, I just figured out my rear horizontal is 12mm and the General Issue Single Speed rear hub seems to be 10mm, so I'm stuck again. I was also thinking 32h on rear to shave a few ounces. I'm 130 pounds at best and I don't do five foot drops, so I'm thinking I won't crush a 32h rear.

    Any suggestions here to guide me? I'm not opposed to the Mavic EX721 rims, but I just don't know what hubs/spokes to marry up to them because the more I read, the more I get confused when you start putting together different manufacturers pieces to build a wheelset. Combine that with the fact that I don't know anyone in SoCal that can lace a wheelset, although I think at least one of my LBS will do it for a price.

    Obviously my goal is light and strong on the wheel set.
    I'd look for a cassette hub honestly rather than a screw-on freewheel hub. Check out offerings by Halo and atomlab, as well as eastern.

  65. #65
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    The Nashbar SS hub is cheap and it'll fit a Odyssey driver.

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    I'd look for a cassette hub honestly rather than a screw-on freewheel hub. Check out offerings by Halo and atomlab, as well as eastern.
    So I'm looking at the http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%2FRear%20Hubs

    Nashbar Single Speed Cassette Hub – Disc

    and the http://www.atomlab.com/hubs2.html

    General Issue Single Speed Rear Hub

    I'm not understanding the difference between cassette hub and screw-on freewheel hub. Or when you say cassette, you're referring to a traditional hub I'm familiar with, like a rear hub that can handle a 8-9 speed cassette on my XC ride?

    I'm guessing the Atom Lab hub is a 'screw on'? What is wrong with that?

  67. #67
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    Thread-on freewheels are limited in size. You can only go so small, and once you get to the smaller sizes, they have bearing issues.

    Cassette hub takes the same type of splined cogs as your 8 speed or 9 speed, however, a single speed cassette hub has a much shorter freehub body than a 8 or 9 speed cassette hub.

  68. #68
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    Ghost rings were mentioned way back on the first page... I'm running one now, and it's tensioning the chain perfectly, haven't dropped the chain yet, but I did once drop the ghost ring at a rather critical moment at the skatepark. I was, as someone on the first page put it, "fooked." I found out later that it had just been the axle slipping, but still, that wouldn't affect a chain tensioner.
    BTW I'm only using it until my backordered tensioner comes.
    Quote Originally Posted by aggiebiker
    loteks, 20 inch wheels, ghetto setup, and a road bike.

    this thread couldnt be better

  69. #69
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    I'm wondering about those plates that go where the 22t ring would be, to keep the chain from slipping off. Blackspire's is out of production; anyone know of anything else available for that application. is that what a ghost ring is?

  70. #70
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    Straitline makes an inner plate, so does MRP, I think Envy does too. You can stamp one out of sheet metal. I've got one of those sitting at home. If your stays will clear it, you can also just mount another bashguard to the inside.

    A ghost ring is a ring stuck between the chain to tension it. Some people do this on vertical dropout frames so they don't need a tensioner hanging off. Some people do it on horizontal dropout frames so they can run the wheel slammed forward.


  71. #71
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    why isnt this a sticky yet?
    '05 p.2
    tryin to have fun on a college budget, and doin a pretty good job of it

  72. #72
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    I'd look for a cassette hub honestly rather than a screw-on freewheel hub. Check out offerings by Halo and atomlab, as well as eastern.
    Alright, so more research and reading and I think I'm understanding this better.

    The Atom Lab SS hubs I was looking at appear to be threaded. (I can't confirm that, but pictures seem to show threaded.)

    But a cassette style SS Hub provides a more 'fluid' spin. When I look into this and I pursue this route, then it appears that hubs such as the Chris King Single Speed Disc Rear Hub is a cassette hub and the Hadley Single Speed Bolt On Disc Hub are cassette ss hubs.

  73. #73
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    The GI hub uses a thread on freewheel(basically, the part that threads in contains bearings, the ratchet system and the cog) whereas the aircorp is a cassette hub, the bearings and the ratchet are in the hub, all you thread on is a cog. That is the difference.

    Thread on freewheels aren't as reliable and offer less engagement points(except of course if you get into the high quality ones like the White Industries ENO freewheel, at 90 bucks a pop).

  74. #74
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  75. #75
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    thats an STP... right?
    Quote Originally Posted by joelalamo45
    Roadies suck man tang.

  76. #76
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    I think this guide should of included the tools necessary for the conversion like the Lockring tool, chain tool, chain whip, BB tool for those trying to figure it out on their own. Otherwise great guide because it got me to switch.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by CripTiK
    I think this guide should of included the tools necessary for the conversion like the Lockring tool, chain tool, chain whip, BB tool for those trying to figure it out on their own. Otherwise great guide because it got me to switch.
    I would've done it ages ago,but you can't edit a post when it gets past a certain age.

    Stupid mtbr.

  78. #78
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    Well that sucks...I still can't figure out why this isn't a sticky either.

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    I just converted my bike to a SS so I thought I would add all the tools I used for the conversion process.

    Crank wrench/puller
    BB tool
    I needed to pull off the BB to remove the bracket that was used to hold the front chain tensioner and chain guide.

    Chain whip
    Cassette remover
    To remove the cassette off the hub. There is another tool similar to the chain whip that doesn't use a chain but I wouldn't recommend getting it. It works great on the cassette but becomes useless for a single cog.

    Chain tool
    To shorten the chain to the proper length

    Crescent wrench
    Allen wrench set


    The parts I used:

    Rennen spacer kit
    3 piece kit for $30 but it doesn't come with a cog like some other kits do, its a little pricey but I think its well worth it. The kit uses threaded couplers which allows you to adjust the chainline by threading down one side and expanding the other. Very easy to use and you get the perfect chainline. Make sure you put the skinny part of the threaded side facing the inside otherwise as your wheel spins it will unthread itself.

    Rennen tensioner
    This company knows how to make parts. This thing is built like a Sherman tank and the bracket holding the tensioner will break way before this thing ever will. What I liked most about this company was the added parts they include with their tensioner, 1 half-link and an adapter for quick release hubs.

    BB spacer
    Since I was removing the bracket that was holding my front tensioner I needed a spacer for its place. I was able to pick one up at my LBS for free.

    KMC Superlite Chain
    Cheap $3 cog

  80. #80
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    damn havent posted on here in a while, i was looking for a guide on singlespeed how to, and came upon good old MTBR. This thread inspired me to go singlespeed, but since im broke, heres my super ghetto singlespeed rig using stock gearing and the chain guide.
    sorry for crappy cell phone pic

  81. #81
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    Hey, so long as it works!

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    I saw the new 08 Cannondale Chase as a SS and even though it had vertical dropouts it didn't have a tensioner. Whats with that?

  83. #83
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    A bike doesn't necessarily need a tensioner. If you have the proper chain length and gearing you can run without a tensioner on either a vertical or horizontal dropout bike. You definitely don't have to run a tensioner on a horizontal dropout bike because you can move the wheel forward or back to maintain proper chain tension

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by carfreak35041
    I saw the new 08 Cannondale Chase as a SS and even though it had vertical dropouts it didn't have a tensioner. Whats with that?
    It may be the model with an eccentric BB.



    As you rotate the BB in the shell, it changes the distance from the dropout. This eliminates the need for a tensioner with vertical dropouts.

  85. #85
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    Bumpity bump bump.

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    how hard would it be to run, say, a four speed setup? i dont really need all eight of my gears, but dont yet want to go full ss. is this possible?

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeeeeeee
    how hard would it be to run, say, a four speed setup? i dont really need all eight of my gears, but dont yet want to go full ss. is this possible?
    Yes, remove the gears you don't want. Replace them with spacers. Set the limits on the derailleur accordingly. Adjust.

  88. #88
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    This may sound stupid, but I dont see the point of running a ghost ring if you have horiz. dropouts. I mean what purpose does it serve. I converted my dk from a 8 speed in the back to a single speed, now I didnt replace my chain till recently just because i purchased a new crank, but besides that, i was running a stock shifter chain and i didnt have alot of problems with stretch, nor did I ever throw a chain. So can you please explain what the ghost ring does, cause Im extremely lost on why you would need extra tension in your chain, when you can just put some ass behind it when you are tightening the wheel to make it tight.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncossey
    This may sound stupid, but I dont see the point of running a ghost ring if you have horiz. dropouts. I mean what purpose does it serve. I converted my dk from a 8 speed in the back to a single speed, now I didnt replace my chain till recently just because i purchased a new crank, but besides that, i was running a stock shifter chain and i didnt have alot of problems with stretch, nor did I ever throw a chain. So can you please explain what the ghost ring does, cause Im extremely lost on why you would need extra tension in your chain, when you can just put some ass behind it when you are tightening the wheel to make it tight.

    Ghost ring isn't specific for use on horiz. dropouts, but, if you see it used in that application it is probably just to get the rear wheel slammed into the dropouts as far as possible for the shortest effective chainstay length possible. Which in some cases leads to easier manuals/more weight over rear wheel.
    Ghost rings aren't very common, just more of a band-aid fix.
    Schralp it Heavy.

  90. #90
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    2 speed

    im purchasing a cannondale chase, and im thinking about this conversion. Im jumping straight onto this bike from a mirraco bmx bike. the think i like about the bmx bike is the direct feel of a single speed.

    im kinda silly in my uses for bikes. this is gonna be a daily driver, in which every day i throw a trailer on the back and take the kid to school.

    so is there anybody else out there running two front gears and one rear? also, with the option of using a tensioner, is there any way to have two gears to select from in the rear, maybe by just turning a wrench a few times???

    cheers,
    -newb.

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    does anyone have a link to where i can purchase a rennon tensioner?

  92. #92
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    Waitin on the weekend

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    i have an 08 stp with the tensioner. I'm trying to get rid of the tensioner. Should I just buy a half link chain and be done with it? What's the best way to do this?

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    You can always get a singlespeed chain and buy a single half-link. Adjust accordingly.

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    this forum gave me the motavation to finally go single. Picked up a rennon tensioner and spacer kit today as well as a bmx chain!

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx12rider
    this forum gave me the motavation to finally go single. Picked up a rennon tensioner and spacer kit today as well as a bmx chain!

    You're really going to dig that rennen spacer. It's a super high quality piece and gives you incredible range of chainline adjustability. I've got one on an old commuter I SS'ed, as well as the bolt on rollenlager and rennen 16t cog.
    Only other set-up I like better is the Quamen that bolts onto cassette body w/ grub screws, but with that you have to purchase multiple ones if you want a different number of teeth, and gets very pricey.

    With that rennen, just make sure you fine tune those threads so you don't get too much overlap with the end of the cassette body, nor the opposite, with too little overhanging when you tighten down the lock-ring... you'd notice some play in that case. I'd highly recommend taking apart the threaded spacers and greasing them lightly too, they tend to want to seize easily.
    Schralp it Heavy.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by pau1
    i have an 08 stp with the tensioner. I'm trying to get rid of the tensioner. Should I just buy a half link chain and be done with it? What's the best way to do this?
    The best way is with a tensioner. Chainring wear and chainstretch will always screw things up, even if you get lucky enough to hit the chainstay length just right.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeSATORI
    You're really going to dig that rennen spacer. It's a super high quality piece and gives you incredible range of chainline adjustability. I've got one on an old commuter I SS'ed, as well as the bolt on rollenlager and rennen 16t cog.
    Only other set-up I like better is the Quamen that bolts onto cassette body w/ grub screws, but with that you have to purchase multiple ones if you want a different number of teeth, and gets very pricey.

    With that rennen, just make sure you fine tune those threads so you don't get too much overlap with the end of the cassette body, nor the opposite, with too little overhanging when you tighten down the lock-ring... you'd notice some play in that case. I'd highly recommend taking apart the threaded spacers and greasing them lightly too, they tend to want to seize easily.

    The shop that installed everything actually took the spacer kit apart and applied some anti-sieze. Really digging the new setup, i've got the day off tomorrow so it will be put to the test. What would you recommend for a single speed front sprocket?

  99. #99
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    32 minimum with a 16T rear. (26" wheels) You probably want to be around 2:1 to 2.25:1.
    34/16 is good.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingduck
    32 minimum with a 16T rear. (26" wheels) You probably want to be around 2:1 to 2.25:1.
    34/16 is good.
    I have a 13t on the rear, i 'm wondering what's a good brand ss front sprocket

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