A little help with sliding drop out, vertical drop outs and EBB pluses and minus?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    A little help with sliding drop out, vertical drop outs and EBB pluses and minus?

    I am trying to wrap my brain around the several different ways a guy can set up his drivetrain. Just when I think the EBB is the way to go another guy says Vertical drop out. After that I hear the slider drop out is a great way to go. I know its preverance but could some of you experts give me a 1,2,3 on each system and why they are good or not so good? yes I have been reading and doing searches, just want fresh info from today right now riders.
    Right now I lean toward the Jabber. Great reviews and I have never had a steel frame. I can go gears later if I want and the BB seems simple and I hate creaks that many EBBers talk about.

  2. #2
    Beware the Blackbuck!
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    Track ends (aka horizontal dropouts):
    Pros - simplest, proven design
    Cons - must realign rear wheel every time it's inserted, wheel can slip forward, typically advised against using a quick release unless other methods of keeping the wheel where it should be are used, requires less than optimal solutions for using with a disc brake, usually some kind of slotted attachment.

    Eccentric bottom bracket:
    Pros - vertical dropouts (easy wheel changes, and wheel is always centered, secure, and aligned with a disc brake)
    pro/con - EBB movement allows fine tuning of BB height AND chainstay length.
    Cons - Many more users with recurring problems they're unable to fix (usually a creak), more prone to creaking from contamination than other systems, EBB movement changes saddle to bb measurement, and knee over pedal spindle measurement, requiring, at the extreme, a change of stem length to maintain the exact same cockpit measurements (though most just move their seat up or down a bit...). Several different systems of varying levels of quality exist.

    Sliding dropouts:
    Pros - the best of both worlds, track end style adjustment with vertical dropouts and an always aligned disc brake.
    Cons - the "newest" system, so the least proven, longevity-wise, complicated adjustment, with up to 6 bolts to mess with, same wheel centering issues as with track ends, but only when changing chain tension, instead of every time the wheel comes out, some say they're ugly.

    Personally I've got a bike with track ends and a bike with an EBB. I hate having to mess with the wheel every single time I loosen that quick release on the track ends. It has V brakes, so I don't have to deal with a disc brake, but I do usually have to adjust the V brakes every time I put the wheel back in. That said I use it with a shimano quick release, and I've had zero slippage issues, and it's a relatively easy system. Part of my angst comes from the fact I change the gear ratio to ride it on the road to and from the trail head, so I change the tension a lot, and it's a pain.

    My EBB (split shell design) bike has been quiet, and trouble free. Vert dropouts means I don't dread taking the rear wheel out. I was very worried about the creaking issues, but I've had no problems.

  3. #3
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    Shadows covered it. For the record, I've had two bikes with horizontal drops and have really had no complaints. Chain tugs can prevent a lot of problems.

  4. #4
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    Shadowcast
    Thanks for the concise info.
    For taking off your rear wheel and changing a flat, it would seem that the EBB is the easiest set up because you could just drop your wheel out no problem? the horizontal sliders would have to be loosened each time you need to get the Wheel off?
    Do I got that right?
    To me it comes down to convieninece and noise. I want a lot of the first and none of the second.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Dogdude222
    Thanks for the article. Helps much.

  7. #7
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    that summary above is pretty good. I want to add that in my direct experience, the ability of EBB to adjust bottom bracket height from the ground is crucial if you expect to try rigid vs 80 vs 100 mm travel forks during the life of the frame, or if you start experimenting with long cranks for single speeding.

    also on Ti frames in particular, rear sliders can be very creaky in wet conditions. I've had a lot of EBB riding experiences, and ironically enough it is my EBB's that are 'set and forget' -- no maintenance, no creaking, no problems at all, whereas the slider dropout frames are the ones where i need to occasionally smear on grease or antisieze to remove creaking but only in the wetter times of the year.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
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  8. #8
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    EBBs can alter your riding position...

    Sliders change the chainstay length (as do EBBs), which alters handling...

    Both negatives can be controlled via half-links and careful sprocket/cog choice.

    There is no perfect way to tension a chain, unfortunately. Luckily, most people can handle these changes.

  9. #9
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    I have experience with horizontal (pugsley) and sliders (dambala) Sliders are easier for wheel changes but can slip unless you really crank on them . Horizontal is easier for chain tension adjustment. Probably horizontal gives a stiffer rear end than sliders. EBB is intriguing but I am not that interested in screwing up my pedal position or the potential for creaking.
    My brain went from "you probably shouldn't say that" to WTF!

  10. #10
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    More opinions...

    Another few cents to consider...

    I've dealt with all 3 (track ends/horizontal dropouts, sliders and an EBB)

    Track ends are my least favorite mostly due to the challenge of aligning disc brakes when the wheel comes off. That companies (Specialized... ) are making high dollar SS carbon hardtails with track ends is pretty irksome to me. I find them to be a PITA... perhaps because I take my back wheel off enough so that I don't want to deal with re-aligning the disc caliper.

    It's a not quite a toss-up with the other two:
    The sliders - at least the ones on my Monocog Flight - have been trouble free. I replaced all the screws with beefy cap screws and they have never slipped or creaked. Changing flats is simple and the disc brakes are a non issue - they always end up aligned where they were before. If I want to change the cog size they're relatively easy to adjust and to align. These are my favorites

    I have a Phil Wood Ebb on my Singular Swift and I was a bit worries about it. That being said - it has silently gone about it's job without a single issue. No slipping, no creaking, nuthin'! I guess for me the EBB is a mediocre solution to the chain-tensioning problem. Most can work, but it is not the most effective design as many have said regarding the creaking and slipping.

    S
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterdun
    I am trying to wrap my brain around the several different ways a guy can set up his drivetrain. Just when I think the EBB is the way to go another guy says Vertical drop out. After that I hear the slider drop out is a great way to go. I know its preverance but could some of you experts give me a 1,2,3 on each system and why they are good or not so good? yes I have been reading and doing searches, just want fresh info from today right now riders.
    Right now I lean toward the Jabber. Great reviews and I have never had a steel frame. I can go gears later if I want and the BB seems simple and I hate creaks that many EBBers talk about.
    The EBB setup and sliders both use vertical dropouts.

    In reality, few riders change the gearing on their singlespeed very often, if at all. The change is geometry is very minor for the amount of adjustment needed for normal chain wear, whether track ends, EBB or sliders are used.

    IME the sliders can be the most troublesome. Most likely to move/loosen, can creak and have the highest number of fixing bolts (plus I do not like the way most cantilever the axle behind the stays).

    EBB has been very secure and easy to use for me. NEVER had a creak or had it slip.

    Wheel removal and brake setup is a snap with either of the above.

    Track ends also work but the wheel removal and brake alignment can be an issue. I have had the wheel slip, creaks and slow wheel changes.

    I like the EBB best though my next SS may have swing dropouts of my own design.
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  12. #12
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    I have never used an EBB, but I have ridden behind them and it seems to be a hit-or-miss thing whether you're going to have furstrating-to-no-end creaks or not.
    I have owned horizontal-dropout and slider ss frames and a good set of sliders are a HUGE improvement, IMO. I can't figure why companies still make horizontal-dropout frames for disc brakes.
    One thing that hasn't been touched on is that when running disc brakes with a track end frame, the brakes tend to push the non-drive-side of the axle rearward, toward the open end of the dropout. Chain tugs can't help with that and I haven't seen a good solution yet (cranking the hell out of your axle fixing device I don't consider to be a good solution). It's a non-issue for EBB and sliders because the braking forces push the axle against the solid backstop of the vertical dropout.
    OP- sliders do not have to be loosened to remove the wheel. because they have vertical dropouts, the wheel comes out just like an EBB set-up.

  13. #13
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    Oh No!

    If this is being called a horizontal dropout:


    Then what do you call this?



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyonrat
    If this is being called a horizontal dropout:


    Then what do you call this?


    You know the answer. BOTH are commonly called horizontal dropouts even though neither are truly "dropouts."

    The real confusion happens when the newbies call the former "sliders."
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    You know the answer. BOTH are commonly called horizontal dropouts even though neither are truly "dropouts."

    The real confusion happens when the newbies call the former "sliders."
    I am all about sliders!


  16. #16
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    What about the obvious, and in my mind, the most practical solution? A simple chain tensioner? Of all the chain-tensioning design compromises being discussed, IMHO it's by far the least problematic, and is the only one which is completely removable.

    I'd rather invest in the standard geared frame format that can be converted to SS use with a removable tensioner, than a SS frame which will force me to continue using its EBB or sliders if I go geared, which makes no sense to me at all.

    One more point: a tensioner will never creak, slip, change your cockpit dimensions or cause rear wheel/brake alignment issues. Its only fault is it isn't as "clean" in appearance.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoastieTX
    What about the obvious, and in my mind, the most practical solution? A simple chain tensioner? Of all the chain-tensioning design compromises being discussed, IMHO it's by far the least problematic, and is the only one which is completely removable.

    I'd rather invest in the standard geared frame format that can be converted to SS use with a removable tensioner, than a SS frame which will force me to continue using its EBB or sliders if I go geared, which makes no sense to me at all.

    One more point: a tensioner will never creak, slip, change your cockpit dimensions or cause rear wheel/brake alignment issues. Its only fault is it isn't as "clean" in appearance.
    The OP didn't ask about conversions.
    Conversions are either not acceptable or mildly annoying to many people who want dedicated ss rigs that are clean, purpose-built machines (i.e., no derailleur cable routing, no hanger, etc.).
    Chain tensioners can allow chainslap and dropped chains (two more faults to add to your one, which was a dealbreaker for me on its own). Um, and they also have al least two fixing bolts, a spring, and at least one set of bearings, so to say they will 'never' creak or slip just ain't true.
    "If I go geared" does not apply to very many single speeders' bikes.
    Do you ride SS?

  18. #18
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    I have to agree with CoastieTexas here. I've had just about every type of SS frame there is, and I think a cheap tensioner (I use the Pyramid/Forte push down cheapie) works at least as well as anything. Thing is, my priority is running a dinglespeed, with a road gear and a mountain gear, and that makes easy changing a priority for me. My order of preference:

    1. Traditional horizontal dropouts (like the Surly Crosscheck)
    + adjusting the wheel keeps the rim aligned with the rim brake
    + light, cheap
    + works fine with a QR
    - not available in a mountain bike
    - not sure how it would work with disc brakes

    2. Tensioner:
    + easy to use, easy wheel removal
    + easy to adjust (I replaced the bolt that holds the pulley in place with a thumbscrew, so I can adjust it sideways to my alternate gear without using any tools)
    - not the "clean" single speed look that the fashionistas demand.

    3. EBB
    All the positives and negatives noted above, but I have to say I've had both a set screw and an Bushnell EBB, and neither has ever creaked.

    4. Track ends
    I just don't like using the chaintug, and aligning the wheel is a hassle. Somehow, this seems much easier with the #1 forward facing horizontals

    5. Sliding dropouts
    I pretty much hate these. Six bolts to adjust the wheel, and then you still have to try to get the dam thing straight. Never again. Unless I find a great deal on one...

    And yes, I do ride single speed.



    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather
    The OP didn't ask about conversions.
    Conversions are either not acceptable or mildly annoying to many people who want dedicated ss rigs that are clean, purpose-built machines (i.e., no derailleur cable routing, no hanger, etc.).
    Chain tensioners can allow chainslap and dropped chains (two more faults to add to your one, which was a dealbreaker for me on its own). Um, and they also have al least two fixing bolts, a spring, and at least one set of bearings, so to say they will 'never' creak or slip just ain't true.
    "If I go geared" does not apply to very many single speeders' bikes.
    Do you ride SS?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoastieTX
    What about the obvious, and in my mind, the most practical solution? A simple chain tensioner? Of all the chain-tensioning design compromises being discussed, IMHO it's by far the least problematic, and is the only one which is completely removable.

    I'd rather invest in the standard geared frame format that can be converted to SS use with a removable tensioner, than a SS frame which will force me to continue using its EBB or sliders if I go geared, which makes no sense to me at all.

    One more point: a tensioner will never creak, slip, change your cockpit dimensions or cause rear wheel/brake alignment issues. Its only fault is it isn't as "clean" in appearance.
    Sorry, no. IME add-on tensioners are the least effective solution, for many, MANY reasons. More easily damaged. poor mud performance, added friction...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoastieTX
    What about the obvious, and in my mind, the most practical solution? A simple chain tensioner? Of all the chain-tensioning design compromises being discussed, IMHO it's by far the least problematic, and is the only one which is completely removable.

    I'd rather invest in the standard geared frame format that can be converted to SS use with a removable tensioner, than a SS frame which will force me to continue using its EBB or sliders if I go geared, which makes no sense to me at all.

    One more point: a tensioner will never creak, slip, change your cockpit dimensions or cause rear wheel/brake alignment issues. Its only fault is it isn't as "clean" in appearance.
    If only that were universally true then I would not have spent the money on an horizontal dropout SS frame after riding with tensioners on 2 different bikes. I'm not saying tensioners are all bad, just wanting to point out problems I have encountered that led me to a much more enjoyable, dedicated SS frame. The right tensioner set up could possibly work acceptably well, but I won't be going back given how simple and maintenance free my SS bike has been for me

    My fixed bolt-on tensioner did slip occasionally no matter how tight I torqued it. My slot dropout setup (using a QR skewer too) has not done this.

    One of my frames had an area in front of the dropout that was ~1/32" thicker than the hanger and prevented use of the full range of adjustment on the tensioner. No push-up mode possible on that bike. Really just a problem with that particular setup, but it illustrates the potential conflicts with tensioners and frames.

    My tensioner was noisy at times too. Sometimes the hanger would get a bit bent and then the roller wouldn't sit perfectly level so the chain would walk to the outside and make a racket as it ground against the side of the roller. Having to deal with bent hanger problems on an SS seemed silly to me.

    Chain length had to be within a narrow window to work well. One full link could be the difference between too short to work and not enough chain wrap with the tensioner which lead to skipping problems. The better push-up mode generally only worked properly for me with a half link. Then I had to buy another new chain because the half link didn't fit on that type of 8spd Shimano chain. Then the half link snapped on a climb and nearly impaled me on the stem. Very frustrating

    Wheel removal/reinstallation took longer with the fixed tensioner than my SS setup

  21. #21
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    Thanks to all for your input.
    Would someone care to analyze the Jabberwockey drive train set setup and what that set up is called exactly? Seems there is slight variation in naming these dropouts ect..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterdun
    Thanks to all for your input.
    Would someone care to analyze the Jabberwockey drive train set setup and what that set up is called exactly? Seems there is slight variation in naming these dropouts ect..
    Nothing special. Track tips/horizontal drops. Just adds a adjustment screw to help prevent the wheel from sliding forward. Downside is you need to loosen it on the driveside to get the wheel out.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Nothing special. Track tips/horizontal drops. Just adds a adjustment screw to help prevent the wheel from sliding forward.
    yup, though the NDS wants to slide back w/disc brakes
    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Downside is you need to loosen it on the driveside to get the wheel out.
    not if you have hope bolt-ons.

  24. #24
    Beware the Blackbuck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyonrat
    If this is being called a horizontal dropout:
    Then what do you call this?
    I actually debated on making this distinction in my original post, considering I've got a Crosscheck. Then I realized it's really not an important distinction to make on a mountain bike forum, considering I've never seen a mountain bike with those style dropouts. Now if this was roadbikereview.com it might be a different story...

    Quote Originally Posted by CoastieTX
    is the only one which is completely removable.
    I fail to understand how being forced to use a gimped derailleur while single speeding is somehow a better option than not moving your EBB or sliders at all while riding geared... Or why you would ever want to remove your dropouts...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather

    not if you have hope bolt-ons.
    Though you would need to totally remove the driveside axle bolt.
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  26. #26
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    What are these called?

    I've heard those referred to as "forward facing dropouts"...
    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  27. #27
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    If in doubt, go to the expert:

    https://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

    horizontal dropout:


    track end:



    Quote Originally Posted by stevereeneo
    I've heard those referred to as "forward facing dropouts"...
    S
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  28. #28
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    I've never used an EBB, but I have used all the other setups listed plus an ENO hub and a magic gear. For mountain biking with a disc brake, I am loving the sliding dropouts. No muss, no fuss, no creaks. Rear wheel comes out, rear wheel goes in, no further adjustments necessary.

    Magic Gear is pretty sweet if you can get it to work on your frame, but once the chain "stretches" it becomes crappy in a hurry. The ENO rear hub is cool, but I found it a bit fiddly to get just right. In fact, I'd use a tensioner before picking up another ENO. Track ends worked pretty well for me with a v-brake, but I wasn't changing my gearing ever. I don't think I'd want to use them in concert with a rear disc. Horizontal dropouts are fine too, and might work better with a disc brake.

  29. #29
    offroader
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    Paragon sliding droppouts. There I said it. Your welcome.




  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CupOfJava
    Paragon sliding droppouts. There I said it. Your welcome.



    That is a sliding dropout, but not a paragon sliding dropout.
    "RIDE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT"

  31. #31
    offroader
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1strongone1
    That is a sliding dropout, but not a paragon sliding dropout.
    I always assumed that's what they were called. I never knew there was a difference.

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