Converting to Single speed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Chim Chim's Avatar
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    Converting to Single speed

    I have a GF Cake, full-suspension that I am thinking about converting to a single-speed for riding at the bike park with my son. I have a Bontraeger rear hub. Do I need anything more than a Surely spacer kit and a single speed cog to convert this over?

    What else should I know before making the conversion?

    I appreciate your help so that I don't have to learn (completely) through my mistakes.
    Sometimes, with a very strenuous effort, I will fatigue.

  2. #2
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    My conversion became semi complete tonight, so I am far from an expert but... Even you keep your middle ring you will need to purchase a set of narrow chain ring bolts, use chain ring spacers, or grind the existing ones down to fit. I tried grinding them but ended up getting a set from pricepoint for $11, your LBS can order them. I also went with a single speed specific chain ring (Blackspire Veloce) for $25 because I read here that the ramps/pins on a normal chain ring can cause chain jump issues. Don't forget a chain tensioner. You can use an old derailleur, fabricate one or buy one. I bought a Sette fixed tensioner for about $20. Some guys say you can convert a bike for under $20, if you don't have a bunch of old stuff laying around it may cost more. I just wanted something reliable even if it's my first SS. Good luck.
    Last edited by robc in wi; 11-01-2009 at 01:01 AM.

  3. #3
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    i can easily convert a bike into SS for under $10 including my labor charge(hahaha $6)

    take the existing cassete apart, find the cog you want, make spacers out of PVC, install spacers and cog, tighten it down, re-install chain, fit ghost ring, DONE!!!

    i sometimes do this for people

  4. #4
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    Yep and then you could spray paint the pvc silver so it doesn't look so ghetto. Come on I'm all for doing things on the cheap too but for a few more $$$ it can look decent and durable. Just sayin....Ghost ring on a full suspension rig? It would be unique on the trail that's for sure.

  5. #5
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    Ghetto.

    BTW most cassettes dont just come apart and the majority of the chain rings are attached. I believe the smallest 3 are usually not attached to the cassette body. Buy a cheap spacer kit, with cog and a fixed pensioner. Yeah it will cost you possibly 30 dollars but in the long run it will be a lot better than some ghetto hacked up cassette with PVC pipe spacers and a modified derailleur.
    Last edited by Dremer03; 11-01-2009 at 05:32 AM.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  6. #6
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    lol hell yes a proper kit will work and look a hell of alot better, and i've never done it on an FS rig... i forgot

    and most the bikes i do it to have a hyperglide casette (on the lower end bikes)

  7. #7
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    You won't be able to employ a ghost ring on a FS frame due to chain growth through the suspension cycle. The old derailleur will work fine.

    Personally I recommend a ring and cog that are SS-specific because these are not designed to move the chain laterally like multi-speed rings/cogs. A bit of an investment but worth it, IMO.

    BMX chainring bolts are the same as SS chainring bolts and might even be found at Walmart or such if your LBS doesn't stock them.

    You can leave your front derailleur on as a chain guide if you use a sprung tensioner (ie rear der).

    Welcome aboard.

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  8. #8
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    tensioner vs guide

    A friend bought me a chain guide, will that work in place of a tensioner? Again, I am converting a single-pivot, full suspension Cake over to single speed.

    Thanks,
    Sometimes, with a very strenuous effort, I will fatigue.

  9. #9
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    no, it would work on a hardtail (but even then, you would have to use like a half link chain to get it REEEALLY close, and even then it's limited)

    use a spring loaded tensioner that pushes up on the chain

  10. #10
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    Seriously? Some of you guys worry about what a PVC spacer is gonna look like? Who cares what it looks like as long as you use a miter box and cut it straight. Do a nut-check. Chim Chim, check out a full-suspension chain tensioner from Yess. It's the one I use on my Jamis full suspension complete with KickAssCog from Endless Bike Co. and PVC spacer from Home Depot.





  11. #11
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    You should run a guide/bash ring on the outside in place of the big ring. I would buy a rear cog with a wide base to keep it from cutting into the free hub. You will want to get a singulator and make sure the chain is long enough to not bind when the suspension is compressed. I would pop the shock off and cycle it through the travel to be sure.

    The other cool option is to just go 1x9. Many FS bikes don't work well when standing and SS requires plenty of that.

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