Ghost Rings for SS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ghost Rings for SS

    Anyone have any personal experience or knowledge? They 'look' cool; but also look like they could get knocked out from the chain under certain conditions. Elevated chain stays have an advantage for that application?

    Find myself toying with the idea of SS; but think I would like at least 3 and ideally 4 gear inch options from 20>55 +/-.

    Outside of the crappy looks, I understand if set up properly, chain slack is not a big deal, as under load, tension is applied to the top travel of the chain...but still.

    A ghost ring could solve the crappy looks; but just how much chain slack take-up might one expect from using a mix of ghost rings and a sliding dropout?

    I understand that the smaller fore and aft rings/cog one runs, increases the odds.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADDLE TRAMP View Post
    Anyone have any personal experience or knowledge? They 'look' cool; but also look like they could get knocked out from the chain under certain conditions. Elevated chain stays have an advantage for that application?

    Find myself toying with the idea of SS; but think I would like at least 3 and ideally 4 gear inch options from 20>55 +/-.

    Outside of the crappy looks, I understand if set up properly, chain slack is not a big deal, as under load, tension is applied to the top travel of the chain...but still.

    A ghost ring could solve the crappy looks; but just how much chain slack take-up might one expect from using a mix of ghost rings and a sliding dropout?

    I understand that the smaller fore and aft rings/cog one runs, increases the odds.
    If you have sliding dropouts there's no reason to run a ghost ring.

    Try searching, this has been covered. http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/g...e-1032780.html
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  3. #3
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    Ghost rings are neat on a street bike; wouldn't do it on a mountain bike.
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  4. #4
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    Tend to agree that off road, would show the disadvantage quickly, depending...

    That they produce some noise...how would you rate it? Were they S Steel or Alloy?

    On paper, a 3X crank (24-32-36) with 22 & 17 cogs left to 'float' gives 5 gears at a deceant spread on my 26er. Something to keep in mind when the cassette needs replaced.

    Thanks for your help!

    BTW...White Industries gives the radius of chainrings from 24T > 38T.
    "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway" John Wayne

  5. #5
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    If I am understanding, you want to have your chain accommodate 3 or 4 different cog sizes? Have you been single speeding or is this new? I could see wanting to accommodate a couple of cogs but I think you're worrying too much about selecting the "correct" gear for the trail, just not really how single speed works. You don't want a lot of chain slack, that would allow the chain to bounce off. Look into how wide of a gear inch variable the sliding dropouts would allow. If it won't accommodate what you need, I'd have a couple of chains with quick links so that they can easily be changed.
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  6. #6
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    Yes; new to the idea of SS. Started out that way, but that was over 60 years ago, when I out grew the bike, that ended my bike riding for many years.

    I prefer full ridged bikes, I have a slow, take in the view approach. The simplicty of SS appeals to me but having only one gear available does not. Using a 3X crank and cogs may give me a more appealing gear range.

    Packing extra chains to keep things under proper tension, adds weight, not to mention possibe grime. Ghost rings, if workable, dimminish both.

    From what I gather, ghost rings work ok on the street? Add in my riding style, road, bike paths, paved and non paved, gravel roads, and moderate off road; worth a shot?

    Trying to get some idea as to the sucess of using ghost rings for me, under my conditions, from people who might be able to relate the pros and cons for a sucessfull application, then take my educated guess. Its just that I have the feeling that others are substuting themselves into me, and then interjecting their opinion, missing the question.
    "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway" John Wayne

  7. #7
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    Maybe I am being dense while reading your responses, but it sounds like you just want to create the worlds most complicated geared bike... you want to pedal one gear at a time, but change that gear based on the terrain and instead of hitting a simple shift lever, you are going to get off the bike, swap the chain, and insert a different ghost ring?

    Ghost rings are a terrible idea and can potentially be pretty dangerous... If I were you, I would do 1 of 2 things:

    1. Set my bike up SS, ride it, adjust gears until you find something that works ok for all situations

    or

    2. Buy a cheap 9 or 10 speed setup

  8. #8
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    Yeah, ^^ what I was thinking. Part of the joy of singlespeeding is being in the wrong gear 90% of the time. Just gear low, especially if you have a "go slow and enjoy the view" mentality.

    For the last couple of years, I've run mostly singlespeed, but I don't enjoy riding less or go noticeably slower or faster when I throw my 1X10 stuff on there. Fitness, caffeine, and rage (in that order) all have more impact on my speed. I like gears when my ride will have long/steep climbs or long, flat, spinny sections.

    What you're describing isn't really a singlespeed set up. It's a dubious 3X1 system. I'd 100% rather have a dependable 1Xanything set up (1X7, 1X8, 1X9...) than triple chainring. Just think of the awful chainlines, sketchy chain retention... 10sp. XT stuff is cheap right now and works really well.
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  9. #9
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    Ah, so you're not really wanting a single speed. Sounds like you want 3 or 4 cogs on the bike that you can change to. I didn't realize you meant changing gear inches on the ride, I would not recommend carrying extra cogs and chains on the trail!

    I think a simple 1x system would work better for you. Losing the front derailleur and shifter makes it a lot simpler while still maintaining a selection of gears. If you already have the bike, you could do a simple conversion. Or I suppose you could use a tensioner to take up slack (might be a problem with changing chainllne) and manually change to different cogs but I think you'll get tired up doing that pretty quick.

    I have never used a ghost ring on any bike. My fear would be that hitting a good jolt would knock it loose; I'm not sure how likely that is. Since you'd be changing to different cogs, you're chainline would not always be 100% straight and this might make it more likely to pop out. I guess your plan is to carry different size ghost rings to use depending on the cog size?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SADDLE TRAMP View Post
    Yes; new to the idea of SS. Started out that way, but that was over 60 years ago, when I out grew the bike, that ended my bike riding for many years.

    I prefer full ridged bikes, I have a slow, take in the view approach. The simplicty of SS appeals to me but having only one gear available does not. Using a 3X crank and cogs may give me a more appealing gear range.

    Packing extra chains to keep things under proper tension, adds weight, not to mention possibe grime. Ghost rings, if workable, dimminish both.

    From what I gather, ghost rings work ok on the street? Add in my riding style, road, bike paths, paved and non paved, gravel roads, and moderate off road; worth a shot?

    Trying to get some idea as to the sucess of using ghost rings for me, under my conditions, from people who might be able to relate the pros and cons for a sucessfull application, then take my educated guess. Its just that I have the feeling that others are substuting themselves into me, and then interjecting their opinion, missing the question.
    Have you thought about using a 'dinglespeed' setup? For example, I use 34 and 36 tooth chainrings in the middle and outer positions of a triple crankset, with 18 and 16 tooth cogs spaced correctly on the freehub. This gives me a 34/18 gear for trails and a 36/16 gear for roads. Since the total number of teeth are the same, I don't need to adjust chain tension when "shifting". I just loosen the QR, drop the wheel a few inches to slacken the chain, then manually shift the chain to the other gear. This setup makes it a lot more fun to ride to the trails. No ghost rings required.

    I'm not sure if this is a good solution for your use, but it does have the simplicity of a single speed with much more versatility. There are a number of threads about how to setup a dinglespeed. Some have even built tringlespeeds.

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