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  1. #1
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    Conversion cost

    I'm currently on a Giant XTC 650b running 2/10...what kinda cost (ballpark) would I be looking at to convert to SS ?, can I use same rear rim ?

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    depends on how much you spend on:

    single-speed cog
    cassette spacers
    singlespeed chainring
    chain tensioner.

    that could cost less than $100 or over 300 depending on how you do it.

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    Not familiar with that particular frame, but I'm guessing it's not a singlespeed specific one so you'll need a tensioner as mentioned above. But really if you're just wanting to try singlespeed it can be done pretty cheap. When I first converted I used a conversion kit from performance bicycle that cost $25 and had everything I needed, including 3 different size cogs. And really depending what your current chainrings are you could potentially use one of them.
    But yeah if/when you get into it you'll probably want something better which as stated above can still be had for a fairly reasonable price depending what you go for.
    Yes your current rear wheel will work, the spacers that come with most kits are used just to fill in the empty space on your geared hub and help get your chain line straight by allowing you to move the cog in or out on the hub body as needed.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    I'm currently on a Giant XTC 650b running 2/10...what kinda cost (ballpark) would I be looking at to convert to SS ?, can I use same rear rim ?
    What mack said.

    The super cheap version is to never shift, at least until you have to replace parts. Then the money you would use to replace worn out parts you can spend on a conversion kit.

    The other option is to sell off the bits you won't use: shifters, derailleurs, chain rings and cassette and use that money to buy a kit.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  5. #5
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    mack_turtle's list is spot on if your frame requires a chain tensioner. I actually did this conversion to an old 26'' bike I have and did the uber cheap route. A couple comments:

    1. I used a cheap PricePoint tensioner. No problems with it but it might take a couple adjustments to dial it in. If it's not perfectly adjusted, the chain can slip under heavy load.

    2. I also used cheap $3 cogs. Keep in mind these cheap cogs are narrow and can damage aluminum freehubs.

    3. Cassette spacers are often oddly expensive for what they are, especially if you get the SS-specific lockring. You can find super cheap versions on Amazon or eBay without a lockring for <$10 then use an old lockring and the smallest cog from an old cassette.

    One more thing to note is if you replace the chainring, you might need different chainring bolts. Of course this depends on your setup but you can get around it with some washers in a pinch.

    I think I did the entire conversion for <$50. The most expensive component was a chainring and you might be able to get away without buying a new one, depending on your setup.

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    Thanks all, does the tensioner take away from the feel of being a SS ?,

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    No not really. It's not as quiet, but other than that I don't notice a difference between my EBB on my nicer 29er and the old beater 26er with a tensioner.

    You can find conversion kits on ebay pretty cheap. I like the DMS tensioners the best out of the several I have tried.

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    Is the reason for a tensioner because the chain can't be tightened because the rear frame isn't built like an old bmx bike ? (Slide out frame bracket).

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    Yep, that's it.

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    you might read some stuff about "magic gear," which is where you find a SS gear combo that fits in your frame without a tensioner. This can work temporarily, but it often starts with the chain too tight, which can tear up cogs, then gets looser as the chain wears and causes the chain to pop off while riding. it is probably useful for a short while if you can make it work, but a tensioner of some sort will eventually be needed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    Thanks all, does the tensioner take away from the feel of being a SS ?,
    I occasionally get a bit of chain slap with the tensioner when the trail gets rough. Not even close to as much with a derailleur but it happens at most a couple times a ride (say 20 miles or so).

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    Eco, out of curiosity (I have horizontal drops on my MUSS) does this happen regardless of whether the tensioner is pushing down on the chain or up? I'm wondering because I will most likely run my Blizzard as an SS at some point, because single speed. I've considered the eccentric Eno but obviously a tensioner is the cheaper way to go. I also feel that a magic gear is... limiting.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  13. #13
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    I have mine set up pushing the chain down. I haven't tried it with pushing the chain up...in fact, I don't know even know if I can set up my cheap PP chain tensioner that way. The chain slap isn't a big deal so I don't know if I'll ever get around to testing it the other way. I bet if I put on one of those neoprene chainstay protectors I wouldn't even notice it.

    Full disclosure: I'm using a heavy (and cheap!) SS chain on 32/16 and 32/14 so that might make it worse than other setups.
    Last edited by economatic; 12-16-2015 at 04:17 PM. Reason: More info

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the answer. I am also currently using a BMX chain for the SS but will change to an 8spd (3/32) chain when I swap over to my WI eno and Oval chain ring. I think it's all about tension, since I've never had chain move enough to hit the chainstay with the my dropouts. I don't even have a chain stay protector on the MUSS, partly because I want everyone to see my obnoxious " Your Bike Sucks" chain stay sticker.

    My 2cents on the chain stay protector. I use a piece of old innertube sliced the long way that I wrap around the chain stay and secure with a zip tie. That's what I use on my geared RMB Blizzard and Hammer. I'll never buy one since I have a few holey tubes laying around.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

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    Thanks for the chainstay protector idea--perfect use for the pile of old 26'' tubes I have.

    I agree about the getting enough tension. I also have an old Gary Fisher Rig with an EBB and the chain has never hit the chainstay. No protector with running a ratio between 32/17 and 32/20 and not a ding in it from a chain.

  16. #16
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    For non SS frames (frames with vert dropouts) you can use a round diamond carbide file to carefully file the back of the dropout. This creates a small indentation in the dropout and allows the wheel to move back very slightly. Usually just enough to get proper chain tension. Especially in the case of stretched chains.

    I successfully used this method on a old gary fisher tassajara (26er). I also converted the rear hub to a solid axle. It was easy to do because it had an XT hub. I just needed a 142mm x 10mm solid axle (readily available anywhere) and some track nuts. It made a solid SS platform.

    I eventually upgraded to a SS specific frame, but that old frame worked just fine.

  17. #17
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    you will probably need a front chainring and either a bash guard to take up space where big ring was or you will need shorter chainring bolts or if your handy you could cut yours. You can use same rear wheel. If your riding is flat start with 32/16 or 34/17, hilly 32/18 34/20
    Forté Single-Speed Conversion Kit
    Chromag Clocker Chainring, 104 BCD > Components > Drivetrain > Chainrings | Jenson USA
    so less than fifty bucks, you wll get hooked and be looking for a SS specific frame/bike, good luck have fun
    I've been inside too long.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    Thanks all, does the tensioner take away from the feel of being a SS ?,
    I think the tensioner takes away aesthetically from a SS but they work fine, the majic gear is a way to do it as well as putting a half link in chain
    I've been inside too long.

  19. #19
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    Hey guys I saw it on a different thread, but is an SS frame just a frame that allows for adjustment in the vertical drop outs (like a BMX bike) ?, and if so who makes these and is it worth me getting a different frame instead of just doing a conversion ? (as far as does a SS frame feel different than a conversion kit)

  20. #20
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    SS only frames can have an eccentric bottom bracket with vertical dropouts, sliders (Paragon),swinging (Black cat?) or horizontal dropouts. Some of the sliders have an option (Paragon) for multi or ss dropouts. There are a lot of choices these days. My experience has been with horizontal dropouts (aka track ends) and they work great with solid axles but may not so much with QR. Surly makes several frames that have a horizontal drops with a derailleur hanger. Salsa has some with swinging drops I believe. Soma I think has paragon sliders. Anyway, lots of options.

    As far as whether or not it's worth it, that's a personal choice and I think I would try it out with what you have before making the big wallet thinning decision. For me, I like having another bike to ride around on and the aesthetic (no derailleur hanger or tensioner) is pretty sweet lookin'. I would at some point like to build an eccentric hub (WI Eric's eccentric disc, I already have freewheels) for my Blizzard, but I know I don't need it.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpranger467 View Post
    Hey guys I saw it on a different thread, but is an SS frame just a frame that allows for adjustment in the vertical drop outs (like a BMX bike) ?, and if so who makes these and is it worth me getting a different frame instead of just doing a conversion ? (as far as does a SS frame feel different than a conversion kit)
    A singlespeed specific frame and a singlespeed specific rear wheel is definitely a good way to go, there are a lot of options out there.however converting your bike is always the best starting point. Frame material and geometry are the most important factors for ride quality/enjoyment.My first bike was a conversion, my second singlespeed was a geared bike that I bought brand new and converted to singlespeed,my third, fifth and sixth SS and the one I am currently on is a geared conversion.
    So to me the benefit of getting a SS specific frame was not the most important piece of the puzzles.
    Conversions do work well
    I've been inside too long.

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