Converting a FS to a FS-SS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Converting a FS to a FS-SS

    I got my first SS last year (Bianchi SASS) and everything was great. Rode it a ton. I've had a Maverick ML7 since 1995, but I barely used it last year. I loved riding a SS so much, I built up my old GT Zaskar with a SS kit from MisfitPsycles.

    Here's my issue. In riding the SASS fully rigid all year and a couple of pretty big crashes, I seemed to have re-injured my shoulders, arms, elbows, and hands. I used to move furniture about eight years ago and I messed up my shoulders initially back then.

    I've scaled back my riding dramatically to the point that I recently purchased a muni (mountain unicycle) and I am now commuting on it most of the time. Just getting started in some trail riding. At this point, I may be riding the muni primarily this year. A bit hard to keep up with bikes, though...

    My question is, is it feasible to convert my Maverick to a SS? I really don't want the gears. When I do ride the Maverick now, about the only shifting I do is from the middle to the big ring. I just migrate to either the 16 or 18. I could throw a front shock on the Bianchi. I've got some pretty good tendinitis going on in both elbows, and I've found that the hydraulic disk brakes on my Maverick help ease that pain. I could swap the mechanicals I have on Bianchi for the Juicy Sevens that are on the Maverick. Unfortunately, the GT I built up can only accept v-brakes, and those things can get my tendinitis fired up really fast on rougher rides.

    Never felt like a cripple before, but this shoulder injury is bringing me down. Trying to come up with some alternatives so that I can keep riding, not hammer my shoulders/arms/hands so they can heal a bit, and not lower myself to a geared bike.

    Any suggestions on the Maverick conversion are appreciated.

  2. #2
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    hi boris

    converting FS to SS is not easy. The main problenm is the change in chain tension that will occur in al FS designs that are not either a Unified Rear Triangle design (see older Catamount frame) or a frame which piviot directly around the BB (see Kona's Cowen FS or a Cove). As the ML7 has a linkage the chain will loss tension when the suspension cycles. Iwould rcommend trying either an old shortcage derailer or the Paul Melvin to tension the chain as both have two pullies and alow for the most variance in chain tension.
    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Ride Responsibly
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    Fs Ss

    I use a PAUL, did change the pulleys though. Also with a spring tensioner I can run two rings up front. I have a KHS hardtail that just flies up hills, yet my back hurts for day later, so full supension it is for me. (seat post sus is just not the same)
    Make sure the frame is a good climber for you, I tried converting my sugar and could not climb on it.
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  4. #4
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    Fs Ss

    Converting a FS to SS is not to hard, what you need is to keep proper chain tension thru the suspension cycle. A standard rear derailleur or a pauls melvin should work. I currently don't use a tensioner but will put 1 on before my next ride.

    The Epic has the brain shock so It climbs very well as SS, if the Mavericks bobs w/ gears it will also bob as SS.

    I have a rigid SS which I haven't riden in months because I enjoy riding my FS SS.
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  5. #5
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    Now that i have seen it done i am going to switch over my Epic. I have been talking about it for a long time. (Way to long).

    Question: Are you seeing much difference in the chain length when the shock gives? It would be awesome if i didnt have to run a tensioner but i just wanted to make sure.

  6. #6
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    Epic SS

    I have not been using a tensioner on my Epic, but i am putting one on tomorrow. on my last ride I felt a little tension on someparts of the trail. When I first converted the bike I ran two, but took them off for a test and keep them off. I am going to try a Melvin from Pauls because its more like a deraillure in keeping proper tension.

    I know alot of people will cringe but the Epic is almost a perfect SS, the Brain shock locks out while pedaling, even out of the saddle climbs, but has 3.5" rear/ 4" front of fully active suspension on the downhills. What more can you ask out of a bike.

    Right now I am running a 32:20 with one half link, I spin out on the flats but am able to climb all but the steepest trails.

    Converting to SS was the best upgrade I did on the Epic.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakerfan
    I have not been using a tensioner on my Epic, but i am putting one on tomorrow. on my last ride I felt a little tension on someparts of the trail. When I first converted the bike I ran two, but took them off for a test and keep them off. I am going to try a Melvin from Pauls because its more like a deraillure in keeping proper tension.
    Too bad you couldn't keep the Epic tensionerless, but I can't say I'm surprised, any amount of chain growth, however small, is an issue with tensionerless SS setups.

    If you can fiddle with the chainring & cog ratio to find something with a close ratio to what you have, and come up with a slightly longer effective chain-stay length (at least slightly longer than the Epic at it's apogee), they you might be able to get away with a simple Surly-like tensioner.

    I've also found that inertial valved suspension (Stratos ID or Fox/Spec brains) makes great SS components - unfortunately the Fox Terra-logics sometimes stick shut in our cold winter rides... then you just have a heavy rigid fork.

  8. #8
    meh... whatever
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    the melvin is the way to go when building a fs ss. dynamic tensioners (i.e. spring tensioners) like the surly can and WILL drop the chain during violent/excessive rear wheel travel, and you cant use a static tensioner like the soulcraft because the chain will be too tight when the suspension is working.

    dynamic tensioners are designed to keep the chain tensioned tightly around the cog with a fixed length chainstay rather than to compensate for a varying chainstay length. if youre a more mellow rider though, a dynamic tensioner should work out ok. i prefer the security of a melvin, but thats just me.

    some dynamic tensioners have a "cage" on them as well, such as the pyramid, but i think the pyramids suck. maybe my friends and i have just never gotten a good one, who knows.

    alternatively if you have an old short cage der around (road or mtn) you can modify it to work just fine. usually just takes a longer set screw so you can adjust it in enough to align it with the chainline.

    also, using the paul will allow you to run up to a 20 tooth chainring spread if you want to run a dingle (two chainrings, one cog). although when taking the varying chainstay length into play i wouldnt go more than 15 or 16 on a fs dingle.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  9. #9
    more beers, lees gears.
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    32x20 gearing?!?!?! I have no idea how you ride that. I run a 32x16 and I spin out all the time, and it still does well up the long climbs.

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