A few SS conversion questions.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    A few SS conversion questions.

    I've read all the FAQs and a lot of threads on the subject at one time or another, but most were dated, plus my memory sucks, so pardon me if I ask something that's been answered a hundred times. Very rarely do I see specifics, or anything beyond "I like/have XXX" without much reason given for using it vs. a different product.

    1) Cog size. Being a conversion, is this still going to be noticeably easier to pedal in the same gear as my current 1x10(like I read about dedicated SS) or not?
    ^^^That's the question, but I'll throw in that I've been experimenting with SS, and am probably a good candidate for it, preferring to walk rather than spin a lower gear on the few longer climbs I can't handle in my chosen gear.
    Right now, I'm fairly comfortable using just the 19T of my 11-36 cassette on most of my local trails, but the 17T is too much. I'm leaning toward using the 19T from my cassette for a bit, then buying an 18T and probably replacing the chain at that time, as well.

    2) Cog material. Any reason not to go with a Surly or CK steel cog vs a quality aluminum one like the Niner Cogalicious or Absolute Black?
    I'm assuming steel is going to wear a lot better, and am leaning toward the CK in spite of its greater cost because it's stainless. Not sure why anyone would use aluminum, but they wouldn't sell them if no one bought them, so I'm asking.

    3) Tensioner. The Surly Singleator is what I've been looking at, since the Soulcraft Convert I've read some very positive comments about doesn't appear to be available. Is there an advantage or downside to the Singleator's spring-loaded and toothed pulley vs. something like the less expensive and lighter Gusset Bachelor or DMR STS's rubber ones?
    Does it matter if my tensioner pushes up or down, or is that just something that depends on fit due to cog/chainring sizes?

    4) Hub POE/engagement. I know this is kind of an off the wall question, but have been thinking about upgrading my DT350 rear hub with the 36T ratchet kit at some point. Higher POE seems popular around here, but what I have heard from several people who use Industry Nine hubs is that it helps them most noticeably in higher gears while negotiating rock gardens. Well...I'm not gonna have any higher gears, so am interested in your opinions on whether this is a worthwhile upgrade for a SS.

    If I think of more, they'll get edited in.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    SS Pusher Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    I've read all the FAQs and a lot of threads on the subject at one time or another, but most were dated, plus my memory sucks, so pardon me if I ask something that's been answered a hundred times. Very rarely do I see specifics, or anything beyond "I like/have XXX" without much reason given for using it vs. a different product.

    1) Cog size. Being a conversion, is this still going to be noticeably easier to pedal in the same gear as my current 1x10(like I read about dedicated SS) or not?
    ^^^That's the question, but I'll throw in that I've been experimenting with SS, and am probably a good candidate for it, preferring to walk rather than spin a lower gear on the few longer climbs I can't handle in my chosen gear.
    Right now, I'm fairly comfortable using just the 19T of my 11-36 cassette on most of my local trails, but the 17T is too much. I'm leaning toward using the 19T from my cassette for a bit, then buying an 18T and probably replacing the chain at that time, as well.

    I don't recomend using the cog off of your cassette....the tooth profile is not great for SS. Remember that you don't have the other easier gears to recover with during your ride...so if you are comfortable with the 19....get a 19. It is going to be the only gear you have. If you find it too easy, then get a 18.

    2) Cog material. Any reason not to go with a Surly or CK steel cog vs a quality aluminum one like the Niner Cogalicious or Absolute Black?
    I'm assuming steel is going to wear a lot better, and am leaning toward the CK in spite of its greater cost because it's stainless. Not sure why anyone would use aluminum, but they wouldn't sell them if no one bought them, so I'm asking.

    The steel surly/kings do last a long time....hard to beat the Surly for cost( under $30). Granted they are a bit heavier, but worth it in the end.

    3) Tensioner. The Surly Singleator is what I've been looking at, since the Soulcraft Convert I've read some very positive comments about doesn't appear to be available. Is there an advantage or downside to the Singleator's spring-loaded and toothed pulley vs. something like the less expensive and lighter Gusset Bachelor or DMR STS's rubber ones?
    Does it matter if my tensioner pushes up or down, or is that just something that depends on fit due to cog/chainring sizes?

    4) Hub POE/engagement. I know this is kind of an off the wall question, but have been thinking about upgrading my DT350 rear hub with the 36T ratchet kit at some point. Higher POE seems popular around here, but what I have heard from several people who use Industry Nine hubs is that it helps them most noticeably in higher gears while negotiating rock gardens. Well...I'm not gonna have any higher gears, so am interested in your opinions on whether this is a worthwhile upgrade for a SS.

    POE are no different for SS use...if you are happy with the POE you have now, there is no need to change it. If you need an excuse to change your 350 hub to 36 points...just do it.

    If I think of more, they'll get edited in.
    Thanks!
    See my responses above
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  3. #3
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    Thanks, j.
    I've been riding in just the 19T a lot. Why does the tooth profile make a difference vs. how I'm already using it?

  4. #4
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    Hello OwenM

    I just converted my 1x9 to a single speed. I used a Surly 14T cog to go with my 38T chainring. I am using the bike as a commuter.

    Don't scrimp on the cog. Buy something that will last.

    Instead of the Surly Singulator tensioner (which has a lot of mixed reviews) I went with using my old derailleur as a tensioner. I've attached a pic to (hopefully) show how it was set-up.

    Using it this way gives me a fair amount of adjustment/alignment. It also provides me enough slack to easily remove the chain to fix a flat. Again, I am using it to commute with (1 hour commute) and don't want to have to remove a tensioner to get a wheel off.

    A few SS conversion questions.-bike-1.jpgA few SS conversion questions.-bike-2.jpg

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    I've read all the FAQs and a lot of threads on the subject at one time or another, but most were dated, plus my memory sucks, so pardon me if I ask something that's been answered a hundred times. Very rarely do I see specifics, or anything beyond "I like/have XXX" without much reason given for using it vs. a different product.

    1) Cog size. Being a conversion, is this still going to be noticeably easier to pedal in the same gear as my current 1x10(like I read about dedicated SS) or not?
    ^^^That's the question, but I'll throw in that I've been experimenting with SS, and am probably a good candidate for it, preferring to walk rather than spin a lower gear on the few longer climbs I can't handle in my chosen gear.
    Right now, I'm fairly comfortable using just the 19T of my 11-36 cassette on most of my local trails, but the 17T is too much. I'm leaning toward using the 19T from my cassette for a bit, then buying an 18T and probably replacing the chain at that time, as well.
    As mtnbikej said, get yourself a singlespeed cog right away. The tooth profile of cogs in a cassette is made to aid the chain shifting off and on to them, exactly what you don't want to happen on your singlespeed. It works fine for some people, but why take the risk?

    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    2) Cog material. Any reason not to go with a Surly or CK steel cog vs a quality aluminum one like the Niner Cogalicious or Absolute Black?
    I'm assuming steel is going to wear a lot better, and am leaning toward the CK in spite of its greater cost because it's stainless. Not sure why anyone would use aluminum, but they wouldn't sell them if no one bought them, so I'm asking.
    I prefer steel or titanium cogs as well. They last longer and just hold up better when all of the wear is on a single cog. Surly's are great for the money. CK is also a good option. Wolf Tooth Components also makes really nice stainless cogs at around the same price as CK.

    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    3) Tensioner. The Surly Singleator is what I've been looking at, since the Soulcraft Convert I've read some very positive comments about doesn't appear to be available. Is there an advantage or downside to the Singleator's spring-loaded and toothed pulley vs. something like the less expensive and lighter Gusset Bachelor or DMR STS's rubber ones?
    Does it matter if my tensioner pushes up or down, or is that just something that depends on fit due to cog/chainring sizes?
    Tensioners are a huge topic of discussion on these forums to say the least. I am not a big fan of the Surly one because it's spring loaded and is generally setup to push the chain down, away from the cog. Depending on the setup, it can be made to push the chain up, which is better, as it engages more teeth on the cog. I prefer something like the Rennen Rollenlager, which is fixed and pushes up on the chain.

    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    4) Hub POE/engagement. I know this is kind of an off the wall question, but have been thinking about upgrading my DT350 rear hub with the 36T ratchet kit at some point. Higher POE seems popular around here, but what I have heard from several people who use Industry Nine hubs is that it helps them most noticeably in higher gears while negotiating rock gardens. Well...I'm not gonna have any higher gears, so am interested in your opinions on whether this is a worthwhile upgrade for a SS.
    POE is also kind of personal. Some people swear by the higher POE hubs, others don't notice. It does come into play a bit more on a singlespeed as ratcheting the pedals is sometimes the only way to make it over or through some technical sections, and the quicker engagement helps there. I'd say try it as-is first, unless you have more $$$ burning a hole in your pocket after the conversion!

    Don't forget to come back here and post what you decided to go with and how it all works.

    Mark

  6. #6
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    I like the DMR STS and I have used a number of different tensioners. It's super smooth and quiet, and you can push up or pull down for chain tension.

  7. #7
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    If you're gonna replace your rear hub anyway, look at the White Industries Eno eccentric. That'll solve three of your problems right off the bat. We might have to talk about chainline depending on what cranks you're running.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, guys, I went with all Surly stuff from my LBS after visiting and talking to them about it. Came out cheaper than buying online, too.
    Don't know how different it'll be from staying in the same gear like I've been doing, but the conversion ditched a total of 566g/19.96oz in weight, and brought my Trek Cobia that began life at 30(+?)lbs. down from a little over 26 to 24.9lbs.
    Looking forward to checking it out tomorrow!
    A few SS conversion questions.-2016-01-14_19.42.39.jpg

  9. #9
    Armature speller
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    Chainline looks dodgy from that angle?

  10. #10
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    Yeah, it looks worse in the pic for some reason, but really is off a hair. I put a straight edge on it, and it needs to move out a little more than the thickness of an outer link.
    'Course the chain also looks rusty in the other closeup, even though it's not. Don't know what's up with the "effects" there...

    Edit: Was off worse than I thought, enough to fix it by flipping the cog instead of swapping spacers around.
    A few SS conversion questions.-chainline.jpg
    Now if this thing would stop flipping my pic
    Last edited by OwenM; 01-15-2016 at 10:15 AM.

  11. #11
    One Gear
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    Post back after your first ride. Have a blast!!


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  12. #12
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    Rode it Saturday. Not all that different from just using the 19T on my cassette, except now it's not optional. I was really tired to begin with, but since it's now my only gear, I forced myself to stick with it on some stuff where I'd normally get off the bike and push for a minute or two.
    After embracing the pain for a while my legs just seemed to go numb, but kept working. Great workout, if not a great ride(brake mysteriously started rubbing, experimenting with longer stem, muddy in places, lots of slippery roots and rocks-wipeout x3). I did miss my higher gears on the flats and rolling terrain. Exhausting as it was, I enjoyed the challenge when things turned uphill, though. Mountain biking around here already has a lot in common with a HIIT workout, and going SS definitely makes it one.
    I want that, plus hate climbing in low gear, and need to work on my endurance. This oughta do it!

  13. #13
    Armature speller
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    Use the flats and downhills for recovery.
    On my single speed rides, Strava says I'm pedaling about 58% of the time on average. With gears, it's 78% or more.

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