Can any mtb be turned into SS?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Can any mtb be turned into SS?

    I have a Specialized P1 AM hardtail & had gear issues today. While watching the LBS fix it, I was thinking SS would be nice just to have one less thing to mess up so IF I wanted to change it to SS, what would I need to do, parts I'd need to buy, etc.?

    What size of the SS rear cog do SS MTB's run? I'm assuming front is the smallest ring?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    ^ That's what I do
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks
    I have a Specialized P1 AM hardtail & had gear issues today. While watching the LBS fix it, I was thinking SS would be nice just to have one less thing to mess up so IF I wanted to change it to SS, what would I need to do, parts I'd need to buy, etc.?

    What size of the SS rear cog do SS MTB's run? I'm assuming front is the smallest ring?

    Thanks!
    I don't have a singlespeed, but this is my understanding of what you will need.

    You will need a crankset (you can use the one you have now probably), a front cog which will fit your crankset's bolt pattern, a rear cog to replace the cassette, spacers for the cassette and crankset (to position the cogs in line with each other), and possibly a chain tensioner.

    I'll let someone else add anything I missed.
    '08 Specialized Rockhopper 29er (modified)

  3. #3
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    Just about any mountain bike can be an SS. The front is usually the middle ring. The rear varies depending on your fitness and riding conditions. A good starting point is 32 front 18 rear, otherwise known as 32/18. If its too easy go 32/16, if its too hard 32/20.

    #1. The absolute cheapest way to go is leave the 3 rings up front and the rear cassette on the back. Remove the shifters, cables and derailleurs. Buy a chain tensioner (the only part needed with this setup) and choose your gearing. This is kinda ghetto, doesn't save much weight and you might not have the straightest chainline.

    #2. A better way to go is to remove the granny gear from the front, remove the big gear and replace it with a bash guard. (No spacers/new bolts needed) Remove the rear cassette and replace with a single cog and spacers so your chain matches up front/rear. You can buy the rear spacers/cogs as an SS conversion kit from pricepoint, jenson, etc.... You'll also still need a tensioner. This way is much cleaner than option #1, doesn't cost a whole lot more and saves more weight.

    There are other options as well such as longer bolts for the front gear, new SS specific front chainring, SS specific rear cog, eccentric rear hub (no tensioner needed!) and others. All are gonna be more expensive. I think #2 is the best and easiest option to get your feet wet with SS. You'll find out if you like it or not after a month or two. If you do then start thinking about a 'real' SS, meaning an SS specific frame/components.

  4. #4
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    how much are you willing to spend? you should do it right if you have the cash to spend, by this I mean check out white industries single speed parts.
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the info.

    I was just curious about how to do it. It could be something I may think more seriously about further down the line esp. if I damage more parrts, etc. I like less problems, less things to break, spend $ on, etc. Looks cool too.

  6. #6
    abc
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_slacker
    #2. A better way to go is to remove the granny gear from the front, remove the big gear and replace it with a bash guard. (No spacers/new bolts needed) Remove the rear cassette and replace with a single cog and spacers so your chain matches up front/rear. You can buy the rear spacers/cogs as an SS conversion kit from pricepoint, jenson, etc.... You'll also still need a tensioner. This way is much cleaner than option #1, doesn't cost a whole lot more and saves more weight.
    How does this option compares with a "real" single speed? What does it give up?

  7. #7
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    A little bit of efficiency and weight because of the tensioner. More moving parts to break. Not as clean a look.

    Quote Originally Posted by abc
    How does this option compares with a "real" single speed? What does it give up?

  8. #8
    abc
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    A real stupid question: how different is it than ... not shifting?

  9. #9
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    Oh, its a lot more fun! When you can shift down you tend to stay seated almost the entire ride, you slow WAY down on hills. Or if you're very fit you spin like a turbine and go medium speed up hills. On the SS you ATTACK a hill. Get momentum approaching it, then stand up and hammer up. Its more work but the hills generally go faster.

    Try a ride on your geared bike with no shifting. You probably won't resist the temptation but it'll sorta give you the idea.

  10. #10
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    "# 2" is a great way to go and you can do it on any hardtail.

    To test ride in advance, set your derailleurs to middle/middle on the ring/cogs and ride only that for a day. No matter what, don't shift. Use momentum and fun to get through it, then imagine the same bike, one pound lighter. That's about it.

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