29er SS to IXIII Conversion! Great Idea! Bad Idea!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Virtus pre nummis
    Reputation: Blazerwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    29er SS to IXIII Conversion! Great Idea! Bad Idea!

    My goal was to expand the fun and excitement I was having just being back on a bicycle again after almost 50 years. I bought a Monocog 29er last May for the sole purpose to get back into good physical condition. At my age it seemed like the easiest way of getting more aerobically back into shape but also provided the fastest weight lose!

    I began at 280 lbs in poor health and not having been on any kind of bicycle since 1963! Back then I rode 26" Cruiser to carry newspapers in my neighborhood. Big heavy balloon tires, single speed with coaster brakes! You pushed you, the bike and a load of newspapers that would break my back even today!

    I started riding one mile a day for the first week, then 2 miles a day for the second week, then 3 miles, etc. Now I ride 10 miles a day, weather permitting, and can't wait to get started the next day! By Christmas I had lost 60 lbs. and am now in the best physical condition I have been in for the last 20 years!

    When I bought the Monocog I did so because that was what my last bike was a single speed! Before buying the Monocog I had bought several bikes off Craigslist to try and fine the right bike for my purpose. At 280 lbs. you need to be concerned if the bike can take you weight or can you handle the bicycle properly after all these years?

    I started off with a small Raleigh, 21Speed, medium frame, small tires, poor bicycle! I couldn't figure out how to change gears, chain ring's, cogs, ratio's, mm's, bb's, fs, ss! All Greek to me!

    Now here I am just barely 9 months back in the saddle after almost fifty years and I want to expand my horizons! Change my trusty steed into a "Three Speed" I said. Maybe a little lower gear to get up the inclines a little easier or a slightly higher gear to get you down the road a little faster.

    Hey why not try it? I had read that it could be done and so I wrote to the manufacturer to see if it was possible without much trouble and be inexpensive as well. They suggested that the hub would hold 3 cogs with spacers and all I would need would be a derailleur, a shifter, cable and a new chain and I would indeed have a IXIII - Three Speed.

    Bad idea! It was designed to be a single speed bike! Leave it alone! Try various cogs until you find the best cog to meet yours cycling needs. I started off with the 20t cog that came with the bike. The gearing was fine however with the knobby tires the bike didn't really didn't move along like I expected. Changed the tires from knobbies to balloon tires and changed the 20t to a 16t! And the bike rode great just a little tough on inclines!

    The 20t after the conversion just was not the same gearing ratio as it was as a single speed. You could spin your ass off and not maintain 5 MPH. In the 16t cog gear the bike rode very hard, not as free wheeling as that of the single speed gear. The 13t was great once you got the bike to a speed where you could use it! With all the time lost shifting and changing gears, all the fun had been lost from it being a single speed! Needless to say I settled on a 17t cog which gave me a 32t Chain ring, with 29" wheels and a 17t cog for a gear ratio of 54.59 on the Penny Farther scale with 55 being the ideal ratio.

    Penny Farther Formula: 30t sprocket X 26" 15t freewheel = 52

  2. #2
    Jacob 34:19
    Reputation: JAKEtheDOG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Wow. Didn't follow much of your conversion woes but sounds like you got it worked out.

    Congrats on getting back on the bike and back in shape. Sounds like you're having fun and that's what it's all about.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: masterofnone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I started to read in detail, then started.. to... fade..... Must be developing ADD. Seriously though, glad you're back and bitten by the bug. Once you've found that perfect gear just ride your ass off and turn off your brain. Have fun

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