Advice SS MTB conversion- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Advice SS MTB conversion

    Hi, I'm looking at converting my 2013 Trek Super Fly AL into a single speed.
    Can I get some advice, as I want to do it right the first time and not have to fix or upgrade it for a long time.

    I plan to keep on riding the trails.

    If you could give me some advice and explain the reasons that would be great.

    1) What tooth ratio would be best front and back woud be ideal?

    2) Which chain tensioner/conversion kit in your opinion is best?

    3) Is there a specific SS MTB crankset out there, how much $$ are they?

    4) Do I just use a standard chain, or do I need a different one?

    5) Are there any other things I need to be aware of / need that I haven't asked about?




    The specs of the bike are as follows:


    Frame
    Alpha Platinum Aluminum, butted & hydroformed tubing, E2 tapered head tube, press-fit bottom bracket, G2 Geometry
    Sizes
    15.5, 17.5, 19, 21, 23"
    Wheels

    Wheels
    Bontrager sealed cartridge bearing, 15mm alloy axle front hub; Bontrager sealed cartridge bearing, alloy axle rear hub w/Bontrager Mustang 28-hole Tubeless Ready disc rims
    Tyres
    Bontrager 29-1 Expert, 29x2.20"
    Drivetrain

    Shifters
    Shimano Deore, 10 speed
    Front derailleur
    Shimano Deore
    Rear derailleur
    Shimano Deore XT Shadow
    Crank
    Shimano M552, 42/32/24
    Cassette
    Shimano HG62 11-36, 10 speed
    Components

    Saddle
    Bontrager Evoke 2, chromoly rails
    Seatpost
    Bontrager Rhythm Elite, 27.2mm, zero offset
    Handlebar
    Bontrager Race Lite Low Riser, 31.8mm, 5mm rise, 9 degree sweep
    Stem
    Bontrager Race Lite, 31.8mm, 7 degree
    Headset
    FSA NO.57, E2, sealed bearings
    Brakeset
    Shimano M596 hydraulic disc brakes






    Thank you in advance.


    Cheers,

    Fred

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Woods View Post
    Hi, I'm looking at converting my 2013 Trek Super Fly AL into a single speed.
    Can I get some advice, as I want to do it right the first time and not have to fix or upgrade it for a long time.

    I plan to keep on riding the trails.

    If you could give me some advice and explain the reasons that would be great.

    1) What tooth ratio would be best front and back woud be ideal?

    2) Which chain tensioner/conversion kit in your opinion is best?

    3) Is there a specific SS MTB crankset out there, how much $$ are they?

    4) Do I just use a standard chain, or do I need a different one?

    5) Are there any other things I need to be aware of / need that I haven't asked about?

    1) 32-18 is probably a good start point. See what ration you can run in with your gears and work from that. What's your terrain like?

    2) no idea, sorry, don't use one.....

    3) probably, but just losing the granny and big ring from your existing set should do the trick to start with. Assuming it's a freehub cassette rear you should be able to use one of those cogs and a spacer kit.

    4) If you do 3 you standard chain will be fine.

    5) Loads, but don't worry about it, you can over analyse stuff

    As someone said in a recent similar thread, read this MTBR.com Single Speed Forum - Single Speed FAQ

  3. #3
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    If you want to do it right from the get go I would recommend a SS specific hub. The best chain tensioner is no chain tensioner. 10-speed chains work but a wider chain and chainring are often preferable in SS applications. Most important thing is to keep it simple.

  4. #4
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    1) Find a comfortable gear ratio using your current setup, don't shift and make a final decision. That said, 32*18 is good place to start.

    2)Many are sold, I don't know of any that have horrible reviews. Surly, DMR, origin8, etc. I would look at what is available and possibly put your own together unless you find everything you need in a kit for a pricepoint. I would be sure to get a wide base cog though. My SS has track ends and I don't use a conversion kit.

    3)My SS crank is a Truvativ Firex that is clearly a 9spd set that doesn't have the granny ring inserts drilled out or threaded. My wife's RF Evolve cranks I bought as a SS set, but put chain rings on it for her since I took the bash and the NW ring. I don't know that there really is a SS specific crankset.

    4) WI states with their ENO freewheels that one should use an 8spd chain. There are 9,10, or 11 spd cogs out there too. So I would use your current chain and shorten it and just purchase 10spd cog (I'm assuming you have a 10spd setup), unless you want a separate chain for SS vs geared.

    5)Maybe other things you want, but probably could do without.

    I think the trick is to spend as little as is needed and then decide if you want anything else if you love SS.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  5. #5
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    1) 32 front, 18-20 rear works for most people on a 29er. you could go as high as 22t in the rear if you have a ton of climbing to do, or 16t if the trails are flat and smooth. get a good cog like the Surly cog, which has a thick base to avoid chunking up your freehub. you LBS might have a nice generic cog from Eleven81 or Origin8.

    2) I did not like the Surly one I had, the spring broke. DMR tension seeker seems to work well. i have not tried it, but I like the look of the Yess ETR-B. is that thing still made? [edit- don't think that tensioner would work on a press-fit BB, nevermind.] otherwise, you need something eccentric- the bottom bracket, if that is possible on your frame, or an eccentric hub.

    3) yes, but you don't need it. just get a SS-specific 32t chainring for your current crankset and take off the other rings.

    4) any 8-11 speed chain should be fine. no reason to buy a ss-specific chain.

    5) don't worry about ss-specific hubs. just put a cog and spacers on your current hub and replace your chainrings with a SS-specific ring. then find a way to keep the chain tight.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 11-11-2015 at 02:26 PM.

  6. #6
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    If your BB is PF 30 you can do an eccentric BB, done.
    Pedal through it!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteitz View Post
    If your BB is PF 30 you can do an eccentric BB, done.
    I was wondering about that, but don't have experience with PF BBs or EBBs. Good advice, if possible forgo the chain tensioner. One question, is there a limitation on the gear ratio for the EBB? That is, can a singleator or similar take up more slack than the EBB?
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  8. #8
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    EBB will be fine. Take the old Fisher Rig, it had vertical dropouts (like a geared bike) with an eccentric. The adjustment range needed is less than a half link of chain, which is not that much.
    Vassago Cycles, Shadetree Bikes, Flat Tire Bikes, Galfer Brakes USA

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