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  1. #1
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    convertion or SS specific?

    This is a follow-up on my previous question...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=611880

    Should i just get an aluminum frame designed for gears & convert it to SS using a tensioner or go straight to an SS specific frame?

    Im thinking i could save a lot since getting a cheap aluminum frame would be cheaper than getting a 1x1 or KM & if ever i don't like the SS experience, i wouldn't lose a lot of money. Downside is if ever i do end up loving SS, i'm sure i'll be upgrading to an SS specific frame so i still end up losing money from the depreciation of the alum frame when i sell it.

    Advice please? Which road to take?

  2. #2
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    If you don't like SS, you can convert a KM to geared.
    Ride more!

  3. #3
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    I converted my old xc bike to ss last year. I ran the cheap Performance conversion and I can tell you that it is exactly that! CHEAP! Granted, while I have all XTR parts on the bike w/ old vbrakes, my frame is an older Supergo Access (before they sold out to Perf). My frame flexes and even with the conversion crap on the bike, I could throw the chain off the front ring pretty easily while climbing. I knew right then that ss was where I wanted to go so I ende dup just picking up a cheap GT Peace the other day and started swaping out parts.

    To me, the greatest part about a ss is its simplicity. So haveing all sorts of spring loaded chain alignment devices on it sort of defeats the purpose for me.

  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    I could be happy with a tensioner. Actually, my older HT has a Rennen bolt-on (not spring-loaded) tensioner. A BB mounted tensioner would make wheel removal easier.

  5. #5
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    Get a versitile frame, like the KM, Kona Unit, Monocog Flight, XXIX, so if you end up not liking SS, you can go geared.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, i thought of that...getting a KM & converting it to geared if ever i dont like the SS experience, but my problem with that is what if i like 29'rs. I also might have a difficult time switching from 29" to 26". Sorry, lots of "ifs" & "buts". Im just being careful with the purchase because im avoiding unnecessary expenses.

  7. #7
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    what's wrong with test riding a bike at a local shop?
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    what's wrong with test riding a bike at a local shop?
    Nothing wrong with that...if we have that from where im from. We dont have bikes for testing here. The closest thing to test riding here is a quick spin around the parking lot & that would be for the entry level stuff. I doubt if the shop owner would let their top-of-the-line stuff get scuffed by customers. Oh, by the way, i've already tried a 29'r, a Voodoo Aizan. Liked it...

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    Test riding a bike is a great idea. My local shops encourage short pavement rides to try fit and function but "real" trail rides are not usually possible.

    Sometimes the things we want are not available locally.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nordstern1
    Yeah, i thought of that...getting a KM & converting it to geared if ever i dont like the SS experience, but my problem with that is what if i like 29'rs. I also might have a difficult time switching from 29" to 26". Sorry, lots of "ifs" & "buts". Im just being careful with the purchase because im avoiding unnecessary expenses.
    At some point, you just have to hike up your skirt and show some sack.

  11. #11
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    my experience with chain tensioners was a bad one. i had a Surly Singleator and the spring broke after just a few rides. i had a really nice custom converted bike and i ended up selling it to buy a Monocog because the conversion stuff was just too sloppy.

  12. #12
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle
    my experience with chain tensioners was a bad one. i had a Surly Singleator and the spring broke after just a few rides.
    If you have a gearie bike, you don't expect an Acera derailer to be quite as good as an XT either.

  13. #13
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    Thanks guys! Most of what i've read is that conversions are not as good as an SS specific frame. So back to my previous dilemma...26" or 29"? 1x1 or KM?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle
    my experience with chain tensioners was a bad one.
    It's because you had a crap tensioner.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of SS specific frame tensioning systems; they just have too many drawbacks. I'd go with a standard frame and convert it with a FC EBB if possible, or a White Eno Ecc hub if not.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    It's because you had a crap tensioner.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of SS specific frame tensioning systems; they just have too many drawbacks. I'd go with a standard frame and convert it with a FC EBB if possible, or a White Eno Ecc hub if not.
    So you're saying find track ends &/or sliders unreliable?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nordstern1
    So you're saying find track ends &/or sliders unreliable?
    I find sliders unreliable, and track ends annoying.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    I find sliders unreliable, and track ends annoying.
    Are you saying that FC EBB/WI Eno don't have any problems? I'm hoping to be able to buy a steel frame this fall and was looking at the Salsa El Mariachi (with those swing dropouts). Haven't thought about the Eno hub. Could open up a lot of new options.

  18. #18
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    Fixed vertical dropouts are pretty foolproof: they stay put and wheel removal is easy. But ... they need something to take care of tensioning. Some do fine with "magic gear" but it has its limitations. With EBB, you introduce a different thing that can move/slip. I have never even seen an Eno hub, live, so cannot comment on them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    Are you saying that FC EBB/WI Eno don't have any problems? I'm hoping to be able to buy a steel frame this fall and was looking at the Salsa El Mariachi (with those swing dropouts). Haven't thought about the Eno hub. Could open up a lot of new options.
    It's not that the FC EBB and WI Eno don't have their issues, they do, it's just I feel they're the best compromise going.

    The WI Eno won't slip, won't creak, you can use it on any frame (except Ti), and is easy to adjust. On the downside, you need to reset chain tension whenever you remove your wheel, and you need to adjust your brakes with any big change in tension.

    The FC EBB has some frame and crankset incompatibilities, but if you're able to use it, it's about the best thing going.

  20. #20
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    I converted an old bike and was lucky enough to have a semi horizontal drop out so SS was rather easy. And going from the cheap the most important part is the cog, chainring, and chainline. I would then look for a perfect ratio calculator and go from there, it may not be an ideal gearing for your area but you will get a lot stronger very fast. I am cruising up a lot of hills I could not before SS (you'd be suprised how lazy you are on a geared bike).

    Chainring:
    Get a SS specific one, I got a Deore LX 175mm cranks from amazon for $40
    Cog:
    I have a freewheel but if you have a cog it will be much easier to to get the next part
    Chainline:
    Had to use some spacers on the inside of my freewheel and on my chainring, I also had to flip the chainring to the inside. I went from a 15mm shift to a 5mm which is acceptable.

    After these changes I have not had the chain drop once and I do take a few drops (haven't fallen yet oddly) but the chain still stays. Right now the tension is loose and it stayed on for a whole ride yesterday.

    In the very near future I am going to order a new El Mariachi frame to replace my Alum Cannondale on my 29er. This way I can easily go to a SS if I like and steel is real. You could also get a SE Stout from bikesdirect I believe the bike is SS and Multi ready and not very expensive.

    Good luck.
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