So I wanna be in the SWISS Army....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Hi!!!
    Reputation: BelaySlave's Avatar
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    So I wanna be in the SWISS Army....

    Lately I've been thinking about taking my Specialized Stumpjumper (circa ''94 or '95) and converting it from it's current use as a wannbe road bike to a SS.

    It runs perfectly fine now. The only changes I would have to make are to buy a set of MTB tires and the obvious changes to the drivetrain which brings me to the following questions....

    So exactly what do I need in terms of drivetrain parts? Is there a SS conversion kit that is commercially available? Does Shimano make SS stuff? How much are these parts gonna cost? Can any Joe Blow in any ol' regular shop slap this thing together or do they need experience working on SS's?

    And this is all dependent on a number of factors first so probably doing this in '05 is a pipe dream and probably a bigger reality in '06. At the earliest this could happen would be this fall or winter.

    Thanks!

    Nick

  2. #2
    ride your bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Lately I've been thinking about taking my Specialized Stumpjumper (circa ''94 or '95) and converting it from it's current use as a wannbe road bike to a SS.

    It runs perfectly fine now. The only changes I would have to make are to buy a set of MTB tires and the obvious changes to the drivetrain which brings me to the following questions....

    So exactly what do I need in terms of drivetrain parts? Is there a SS conversion kit that is commercially available? Does Shimano make SS stuff? How much are these parts gonna cost? Can any Joe Blow in any ol' regular shop slap this thing together or do they need experience working on SS's?

    And this is all dependent on a number of factors first so probably doing this in '05 is a pipe dream and probably a bigger reality in '06. At the earliest this could happen would be this fall or winter.

    Thanks!

    Nick
    You'll need:
    Casette spacers
    rear cog
    front ring/cranks
    chain tensioner

    Most peeps have all this laying around in some form or another. If you really wanna go on the cheap, use an old rear derailleur for a tensioner. Check the FAQ in the SS forum for more detailed info. SS rules. Be prepared to neglect your other bikes...
    Taking it easy for all you sinners.

  3. #3
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    There really is no reason to delay- certainly not financially! My 96 Homegrown has been SS'ed and I love it. Check the singlespeed forum for FAQs. In general- remove all derailleurs, small and large chainrings, extra rear cogs. Pick your rear cog size. Not sure what the best is for you- I'm at 32/18 for McCall trails. You can use cassette spacers in the rear, or get a length of PVC pipe and cut it into spacers for the perfect chain alignment. Use your old rear derailleur as a tensioner by leaving a small length of cable in it and aligning with the adjuster. I think mine cost about $1 to convert (for the pipe) and took an afternoon. Of course, since then I've spent money on a "real" chain tensioner, wider bars, etc. Have fun!

  4. #4
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
    Reputation: TwistedCrank's Avatar
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    If you want to take the LBS route I recommend Pete at IMT. He set me up with my first conversion and with subsequent upgrades - all at reasonable prices and quality work.

    Also, if your interested, I have a slightly user Surly Singulator (SS-specific chain tensioner) I'd sell at a good price. PM me if you're interested.

    Once you get on your SS you'll never look at mountain biking the same.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  5. #5
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    Second the Pete recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Lately I've been thinking about taking my Specialized Stumpjumper (circa ''94 or '95) and converting it from it's current use as a wannbe road bike to a SS.

    It runs perfectly fine now. The only changes I would have to make are to buy a set of MTB tires and the obvious changes to the drivetrain which brings me to the following questions....

    So exactly what do I need in terms of drivetrain parts? Is there a SS conversion kit that is commercially available? Does Shimano make SS stuff? How much are these parts gonna cost? Can any Joe Blow in any ol' regular shop slap this thing together or do they need experience working on SS's?

    And this is all dependent on a number of factors first so probably doing this in '05 is a pipe dream and probably a bigger reality in '06. At the earliest this could happen would be this fall or winter.

    Thanks!

    Nick
    Nick - No commercially-available conversion "kit" is available, but all you really need to purchase right now is a Surly singleator, a single rear cog, and some spacers. My advice - buy Twist's Singleator and take your ol' bike over to Pete Taylor at IMT. He built my first SS conversion 4 years ago. Wish I still had that bike. He knows singlespeeds and is one heck of a mechanic. We'll get a SWISS army ride arranged Ssometime SSoon.

  6. #6
    Hoops - Big and Small
    Reputation: Crash_Burn's Avatar
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    Commercial Conversion Kit

    Looks like WebCyclery carries a bunch of SS stuff, here's a link to their build your own conversion kit.

    http://webcyclery.com/product.php?pr...cat=399&page=1

    I think these guys bring swag to Barbie Camp.
    Last edited by Crash_Burn; 02-04-2005 at 10:19 AM.

  7. #7
    Politically Incorrect
    Reputation: IbikeID's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave

    So exactly what do I need in terms of drivetrain parts? Is there a SS conversion kit that is commercially available? Does Shimano make SS stuff? How much are these parts gonna cost? Can any Joe Blow in any ol' regular shop slap this thing together or do they need experience working on SS's?

    Nick

    A little late replying, but I would say yes, any Joe Blow can do a SS conversion. I just
    converted an old bike, and prior to that, I had never replaced a chain or removed a cassette. I wanted to do the conversion myself as a learning experince, and it turned out to be easier than I thought. I would say if you are confident at all in working on your bike, don't be afraid to give it a shot. The SS forum and FAQ is a great resource, I found everything I needed to know there.

    I bought a cog at the LBS ($5), a Singulator, ($40) which IMO its performance does not match its price, and I made the spacers out of PVC pipe (2.50 for 5ft at Home Depot).
    I have yet to change the cranks, but am riding SS using the old 32t middle ring.

    For using PVC spacers, I think it worked out really well.
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  8. #8
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    Check to see whether your stumpy has semi-horizontal drops or vertical drops (basically whether the slots for the rear wheel are vertical or horizontal or in between (semi-horizontal). This makes a difference when doing a single-speed conversion, though I am not sure the details. I think it means you need to buy a chain tensioner rather than a singleator, and it will work better in general. I had a 95 Hardrock with semi-horizontal drops that my BF told me would be really easy to convert. But then it was stolen before we had a chance. Now I have a bike with vertical drops, and I have to buy a singleator.

    As for other parts, probably already covered, but you can probably use your existing crank arms with only the middle ring, at least for now. Eventually, you will probably want a ring without ramps. For the back, you can use a ring from an old cassette to start out with, but eventually will want one without ramps, as well.

  9. #9
    Hi!!!
    Reputation: BelaySlave's Avatar
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    Well just got done from talking with the infamous Pete at IMT about SS'ing my good ol' Stumpjumper. I'm pretty much sold on the idea. Now it's just a matter of time before I go through with it (have to wait for some other things to fall through).....


  10. #10
    Hi!!!
    Reputation: BelaySlave's Avatar
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    So today on my ride, I tried to replicate SS gearing (I think 32x16/20). I know I'm still in very early season form and am trying to get back into Foothills shape, but wow was going up Kestrel such a ***** that I eventually had to granny gear the thing. I did do alot of standing on the first half of the climb. Do you SS folks do alot of standing? I'm so use to doing a climb seated (with occasional out of the saddle jumps). Is standing while climbing on a SS considered normal???

    Thanks

    Nick

  11. #11
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Do you SS folks do alot of standing?
    Only when riding up stuff.


    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Is standing while climbing on a SS considered normal???
    They say there are three speeds on a singlespeed: sitting, standing and walking. Standing while climbing is refered to as "mashing" and it's how you get up stuff.

    Not shifting on a geared bike is nothing like singlespeeding because you loose so much power from the friction and lack of tension in the drivetrain - you won't have the snap that a SS has.

    If you're really worried about taking the plunge you might consider borrowing or renting a singlespeed. Once you get on it you'll know exactly what we're talking about and either you'll love it or you'll hate it.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  12. #12
    the cool nerd
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    I agree with TC that trying to simulate the feel of a SS on a geared bike is not realistic. Not only do you have the inefficiency of the deraillers, you also lose the mental edge. When you have gears, even if you don't want to use them, it is too easy to eventually shift to an easier gear. On a SS you either climb or you walk, and you'll be amazed at how much more stuff you climb!.

    I've converted a 94 Stumpjumper M2. My initial conversion was an old derailler, doesn't help much with the friction or the feel for SSing. I then learned that if I run a 32/18, I don't need a tensioner. When the chain was new, the rear skewer/axle did not fit all the way into the dropout, but using a nice steel skewer, I was able to torque it in enough that there was no slipping. The tendency would be to slip into the dropout, but the skewer and chain prevented that. Initially I checked it fairly often (especially after rocky descents) but as I used it I came to trust it well. I've since moved on to an Eno Eccentric Wheel which is awesome.

    On my cross bike I use a Rollenlager and it is also very nice, and feels very secure.

    my two cents, have fun with your stumpie

    scott

  13. #13
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    swim move

    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Do you SS folks do alot of standing? Is standing while climbing on a SS considered normal???
    Yes, and not only is it normal, it's pretty much required. Singlespeeding has changed the way I ride my gearies - I used to be all about throwing it in the granny and spinning, but now it's all about big gears and mashing. Once you learn the swim move, you'll never use the granny on your gearie ever again.

  14. #14
    Hi!!!
    Reputation: BelaySlave's Avatar
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    What exactly is the "swim move". I know this term is used in football when a lineman is able to avoid being blocked by another lineman, but never heard this applied to MTB'ing. Is it just the mashing and cranking of the bars?

  15. #15
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    What exactly is the "swim move". I know this term is used in football when a lineman is able to avoid being blocked by another lineman, but never heard this applied to MTB'ing. Is it just the mashing and cranking of the bars?
    think of axle rose..picture him mashing on pedals and pulling on the bars instead of just swaying there.. or just watch the Spaniards climbing the Vuelta..

    scott

  16. #16
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    I second EarthPig

    SS has made me a much better climber on my FS gears. You learn to feel how your mashing translates to power in the drivetrain. I my gears I can ride up things not that I used to walk and it's not because I'm stronger - it's cos I can feel how my pedaling translates to rubber on dirt.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    SS has made me a much better climber on my FS gears. You learn to feel how your mashing translates to power in the drivetrain. I my gears I can ride up things not that I used to walk and it's not because I'm stronger - it's cos I can feel how my pedaling translates to rubber on dirt.
    mashing is fun...
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