Considering the plunge, have some questions.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Klein sits on shelf now..
    Reputation: AdroitBreaker's Avatar
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    Considering the plunge, have some questions.

    I have a backup MTB that I am thinking of converting to a single (on the CHEAP). I think I have most of it worked out but I have a couple of questions. If I have to use a tensioner, I am just going to use a rear der.

    The bike is a 96 schwinn MTB (similar to Moab frame). I have heard rumors that there is a gear combo for this bike that doesn't require a tensioner. Is there anywhere I can find out for sure?

    If I use my current (ramped) middle chainring and a SS cog, can I use the SRAM 9spd chain that I have, or should I use a SS chain?

    Where can I find spacers cheap? I am going to use the same wheel and hub so I need to space the cog to get the right chainline. Can I just use PVC from Lowes? If so, what size? or can I get shorter chainring bolts...

    Where can I get spacers for the crank bolts? Do I head to Lowes for this also? Does anyone know what size offhand? (If I get serios about this SS thing, I may just get a bash ring, so it won't be a problem.)

    How big of a handle bar do you SS'rs usually use. I have a pretty standard flat XC bar. I was looking at this http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...re&estoreid=81

    would this work?

    Any other suggestions along these lines would be appreciated.

    -AB

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdroitBreaker
    I have a backup MTB that I am thinking of converting to a single (on the CHEAP). I think I have most of it worked out but I have a couple of questions. If I have to use a tensioner, I am just going to use a rear der.

    The bike is a 96 schwinn MTB (similar to Moab frame). I have heard rumors that there is a gear combo for this bike that doesn't require a tensioner. Is there anywhere I can find out for sure?

    If I use my current (ramped) middle chainring and a SS cog, can I use the SRAM 9spd chain that I have, or should I use a SS chain?

    Where can I find spacers cheap? I am going to use the same wheel and hub so I need to space the cog to get the right chainline. Can I just use PVC from Lowes? If so, what size? or can I get shorter chainring bolts...

    Where can I get spacers for the crank bolts? Do I head to Lowes for this also? Does anyone know what size offhand? (If I get serios about this SS thing, I may just get a bash ring, so it won't be a problem.)

    How big of a handle bar do you SS'rs usually use. I have a pretty standard flat XC bar. I was looking at this http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...re&estoreid=81

    would this work?

    Any other suggestions along these lines would be appreciated.

    -AB
    Start with the SS FAQ link in the upper right corner. Most of your questions are answered there.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    I had one of those frames...

    I ran 36X18 without a tensioner.

    Good Luck with the build,

    G

  4. #4
    Klein sits on shelf now..
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy©®™
    Start with the SS FAQ link in the upper right corner. Most of your questions are answered there.
    Shiggy, I have read the FAQ but I don't think it answers some of the specific questions...

    Like can I use PVC, or if the handlebar on Nashbar is a good choice, and I didn't see anything about SRAM chains with a ramped chainring/unramped cog setup. Also, the spacers seem a bit expensive. I was trying to gather info from the huge pool of riders we have visiting MTBR...

    By the way Shiggy, I am waiting to see what you think of the Panaracer Fire XC Pro's...

    -AB

  5. #5
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    I think you can use PVC, but I'm not 100% about the size. Keep in mind if you are using a loose cog, it's good to have different spacer widths so you can fine tune the chainline. I know you can get a spacer kit in the Classified here (I think under the SS Frames category), WebCyclery and/or Excel Sports for like $10.

    Also, I want to make sure I (and maybe you) am clear, but are you talking about a Freewheel SS cog? If that case, I think you also have to have a SS hub. I could be wrong here, since I'm a relative SS newbie and I just broke down my cheap Shimano cassette so I can swap cogs as I see fit.

    Also, for the crank bolts, you can just pick up a set of BMX bolts from an LBS.

  6. #6
    Klein sits on shelf now..
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    [QUOTE=skinny-tire]Also, I want to make sure I (and maybe you) am clear, but are you talking about a Freewheel SS cog? If that case, I think you also have to have a SS hub. I could be wrong here, since I'm a relative SS newbie and I just broke down my cheap Shimano cassette so I can swap cogs as I see fit.
    [QUOTE]

    I am not sure what I am talking about for the cog. A friend of mine literally has a sack of SS cogs, some used, some new. That's what inspired this whole revolution. Is it possible that the cogs in his sack will not fit on my standard 8/9 speed hub?

    By the way, BMX crank bolts, excellent idea. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    I don't know either. I made the mistake of purchasing a Shimano FW cog, and it basically screwed onto a hub. Do his cogs have the notches that fit nicely on the hub? If so, that's what you need I think.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdroitBreaker
    I have a backup MTB that I am thinking of converting to a single (on the CHEAP). I think I have most of it worked out but I have a couple of questions. If I have to use a tensioner, I am just going to use a rear der.

    The bike is a 96 schwinn MTB (similar to Moab frame). I have heard rumors that there is a gear combo for this bike that doesn't require a tensioner. Is there anywhere I can find out for sure?

    If I use my current (ramped) middle chainring and a SS cog, can I use the SRAM 9spd chain that I have, or should I use a SS chain?

    Where can I find spacers cheap? I am going to use the same wheel and hub so I need to space the cog to get the right chainline. Can I just use PVC from Lowes? If so, what size? or can I get shorter chainring bolts...

    Where can I get spacers for the crank bolts? Do I head to Lowes for this also? Does anyone know what size offhand? (If I get serios about this SS thing, I may just get a bash ring, so it won't be a problem.)

    How big of a handle bar do you SS'rs usually use. I have a pretty standard flat XC bar. I was looking at this http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...re&estoreid=81

    would this work?

    Any other suggestions along these lines would be appreciated.

    -AB
    i think you mean that you are going to use your old cassette hub with one cog only? rather than use a screw on SS cog, like they use on bmx? if this is so, then using the existing chain with one cog from the old cluster will be fine. if you put a new bmx chain onto an old cog (esp. with a tensioner) there might be skipping issues.

    i put a new ss chain on an old cog and it was fine, but i did not have a tensioner, and it was a bit noisy as they didn't fit each other very well...

    the other option for crank bolts will be track crank bolts, also shorter.

    with the handlebar, wide is better, as you begin to need the leverage more than if you have gears. however, you can also achieve better leaverage with bar ends to a flat handlebar, which you poss already have.....

    with spacers, your lbs might be able to give you an old clapped out cassette that has been replaced, and you can take that apart and use the spacers

    hope this helps and good luck

  9. #9
    Steamroller
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    Some help maybe

    This should be easy and cheap. I just priced out a conversion for my buddy at about $60-80 including a singulator (if you need it), cassette spacers, track crank bolts, an unramped BMX cassette cog. This was all found online or in catalogs try Harris Cyclery, Excel sports, Jenson USA. I have had Panaracer fire XC Pro tire on two bikes and I like them a lot for my So Cal conditions. I have the new Kenda Karmas on my new SS and I like them, maybe even better( light and real grippy). A Nashbar Bar should be fine, just remember cheaper is often heavier and go wide for SS use. Another neat trick I have seen but not tried, is to use your existing larger ring as a bashgaurd, by grinding off the teeth, it may also eliminate the need for different bolts. Good luck, post a picture when its done!
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  10. #10
    Penis Goat!
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    I can help with a couple of your questions.

    About the PVC: yes, you can use it, I've done it on both of the rear wheels I'm using on my SS. I can't remember what size it is, and can't find the rest of the pipe...I actually had bought the PVC to try and make a crown race setter, and the other 4' was used as a digeridoo. So I've been cutting up the other piece to make the spacers. It was either 1-1/4" or 1-3/8", I'd take the wheel in and test them out to make sure.

    And concerning the chainring bolts: I just took the bolts into Lowe's and found some washers that worked, then cut part of them off so they'd fit onto the crank. It's cheaper than buying new, shorter bolts (just like the PVC spacers). The leftover washers came in handy later, when I used some for axel spacers on the aformentioned rear wheels (rear dropout spacing is 126mm, so I had to shorten some 135mm wheels)

    The total cost of my conversion was around $50...that included a new 38t chainring ($18), two new cogs (14t and 20t, $3 each), two chains (both SRAM PC-1's, one for each cog, $10 each), PVC and washers (~$5). I could have saved $20 or so by just having one cog/chain combo, but I wanted to be able to easily switch between on- and off-road...so I set up one wheel for each. And I figure I saved around $25 by using the PVC pipe and washers instead of the fancy stuff.

    Good luck, I hope you enjoy the finished project! And make sure you show us some pics.

  11. #11
    KgB
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    LBS is your friend

    They probably SS also.they should be able to give you some cassette spacers that will work.
    BMX short stack chainring bolts.
    If you use a regular chainring,just use a cog from a dismantled cassette(LBS)
    If you decide you like SS you will want to get a better setup later.
    Make sure you get a straight chainline(you can use a straight edge)
    use the same chain.
    Use the same handlebars too.
    If you are lucky you'll end up with a working SS without a tensioner but it takes a few different combinations to make it work and be a useable gear.
    I've been inside too long.

  12. #12
    Rollin' a fatty Moderator
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    Some answers here

    PVC can be used for spacers, check out the classifieds or ebay for the Flashpoint conversion kit. It includes the spacers and a BMX cog, you choose the size of the cog.

    If you're going to use a 9spd chain, contact Fast Freddy. He can hook you up with a Novatech 9spd cog set (16,18,20t) at a nice price, that's the one I'm using along with the flashpoint spacers.

    I'm using a 32 (9spd ramped ring) x 20 (cog) combination with no tensioner for now but a Salsa 34t ring it's on its way to be used with a 18t cog.

    I also inquired about bar width, most poeple use them 24" or wider, in my case I have a flat bar 23" long with bar ends.

  13. #13
    Klein sits on shelf now..
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    Thanks Guys (and gals?)

    Thanks for all of the help folks. I guess I'll get the PVC from Lowes, get the cogs from my friend, and go from there.

    Once I find out if I need a tensioner, if the chain skips, I'll get a real single speed chain, and probably a real SS chainring. Now that I think about it I have all kinds of extra parts I can use for this...I've got rear d's that don't quite work for a geared bike and I have a big ring that is already missing teeth so filing it down won't be a problem.

    I'm pumped! I'll post pictures as I go...

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