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  1. #1
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    I'm going to drink the kool-aid

    That's it I'm ripping all the gears off my bike.....

    Well I'll leave two of them, one in the front and one in the back.

    I'm sick of listening to my rear dérailleur bounce around in bumpy sections. I'm sick of having to mess with the shifter only to have the front dérailleur miss the middle ring. Mostly I'm sick of adjusting all that stuff.

    So I'll be converting my Spesh Rockhopper Comp to a SS


    That is all.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  2. #2
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    Just add sugar. It's delicious.

  3. #3
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    I was thinking of just adding the packet to a beer. Hmm sugar too would be good.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  4. #4
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    Welcome.

    Who's next?

  5. #5
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    picsorban Robb.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    picsorban Robb.

    Ooohhh tough room. LOL

    I'm doin' it this coming week. I'm about 300 miles from home right now. I have to order a conversion kit for the back wheel too.

    I'm also contemplating a mary bar as well. Definitely a wider bar but I have a penchant for the odd setups. Any pros/cons on the marys?

    I can't wait to get to it. This is going to be badass!!

    Pics to follow.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    good idea.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyracer
    I'm also contemplating a mary bar as well. Definitely a wider bar but I have a penchant for the odd setups. Any pros/cons on the marys?



    Pics to follow.
    some people say that mary's tend to break though i have never used them personally. i use misfit psycles fu2bars flipped upside down and absolutely love them. they are very similar to the mary's and i have never heard of them breaking.

  10. #10
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    Welcome to the world of SS riding. I dare say there's a considerable chance you will absolutely, utterly, irrevocably love it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwcart10
    some people say that mary's tend to break though i have never used them personally. i use misfit psycles fu2bars flipped upside down and absolutely love them. they are very similar to the mary's and i have never heard of them breaking.
    Check out the Soma Clarance too. $45 bar that feels as good as the excellent Jones H-bar.

  12. #12
    Back on the wagon
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    Welcome to the fold! Trust me, being stuck in this fold is WAY better than being stuck in one of Kirsty Allie's.

    If I might suggest: build (or get built) an ENO eccentric rear wheel instead of using a tensioner. It'll cost you more, but if you run a tensioner you'll still hear it and you'll feel it in the chain. And before I run you completely out of money, just get an ACS freewheel and KMC K810 chain - bombproof and far cheaper than many other alternatives.
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  13. #13
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    Hey thanks for all the suggestions guys. I love options and things to geek out over.

    I'm going to hit CBO tomorrow and see what they have for the SS conversion. I dig the Soma Clarance bars, might go that route.

    It's raining here, suppose to for a couple days so I'll have a chance to do the disassembly.

    Can't wait!! I'm really looking forward to this.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  14. #14
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    I couldn't live with Mary

    Tried it, and for climbing it was great, but for riding on the flat or descending technical it simply felt wrong and I swapped it out for a Truvativ Stylo World Cup riser bar. Bike feels good now.

    Wanted to like it, but it just didn't suit me.

  15. #15
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    ^^^
    Hmm I can see that. Maybe I'll just try a wider bar for starters.
    LOL who am I kidding... I'll probably end up with both.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  16. #16
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    First, I love my singlespeed. Go for it.

    Unfortuntely for me, the "problems" with gears were just replaced by problems with Niner's EBB. First it didn't hold and the chain would fall off a lot. Then they upped the torque specs; the EBB held but it creaked like mad. They have instructions for drilling the bolt hole sightly so it seats better. Helped a lot but the whole thought of having to use a drill on bike parts is, er, well... The thing still creaks a bit but I haven't tried their teflon tape trick yet. I don't want to admit how much time researching and figuring out solutions. They even have instructions to file down the edge of the bottom bracket which I haven't done. All this on a brand new and otherwise great bike I bought from Niner last year! Just saying.

  17. #17
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    Just ordered all my conversion parts from PricePoint.

    No bars just yet though.

    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  18. #18
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    So after checking UPS tracking this morning and seeing that all my conversion parts will be here today I did what any obsessive MTB nut would do.... Make coffee and work on my bike.

    Step one, remove shifters.


    More pics tonight.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  19. #19
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    Step two, receive box o' parts from UPS driver.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  20. #20
    Teen Wolf
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    get 'er done!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyracer
    Definitely a wider bar but I have a penchant for the odd setups.
    With a penchant for odd setups, perhaps in the MTB world today, bar ends have gone from the norm of yesteryear to the "odd setups" of today.

    I recommend bar ends. It makes it easier to pull on the handlebars more effectively, IMO. If you don't know what I'm talking about yet, you will soon know once you get your conversion on the hills.

    Welcome to the rabbit hole...

  22. #22
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    Hmm, I just may have a set of bar ends in my box o' random bike parts.

    Came home and headed straight for the garage.

    Got the shifters and derailleurs taken off along with the rear cassette. Installed the spacers and new 18t cog on the rear wheel, installed the chain and chain tensioner then realized I don't have a crank puller for the Octalink cranks. D'oh! Oh well... I got everything buttoned up as far as I could and took her for a spin up the street. Damn! It's pretty quiet and the chain doesn't slap around going over bumps. I think this is going to be pretty cool.

    I thought I had some pics of the process but my phone didn't save them. Here's a couple showing the almost final product and the chain line.

    Almost there. Need to get a crank puller so I can take off the big and small chain rings.


    Pretty darn straight chain line. I got the tension set so there's 5mm of play up and down.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyracer
    ...No bars just yet though.

    Bars shmars. Just ride it without them.

    oh, and well done on the pics.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  24. #24
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    coulda just wrapped the chainstay with an old inner tube and silenced the noise, but what do I know?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    Bars shmars. Just ride it without them.

    oh, and well done on the pics.
    Tried it but it's a beeotch going downhill......
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  26. #26
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    If you can, try to set up your chain tensioner so that its pushing UP on the chain, rather than pulling DOWN on it, like you have it now. You'll have more teeth on your rear cog engaging the chain, therefore less chance of your chain skipping off when you really don't want it to!

    And damn it, 3 cups of coffee and I still can't type properly this morning. I had to proof-read this 3 times to get it right. What is wrong with me?

  27. #27
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    Good work! Here's to SS Rockhoppers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I'm going to drink the kool-aid-photo4.jpg  


  28. #28
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    Love the love

    Another SS Rock.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I'm going to drink the kool-aid-hopper.jpg  

    Last edited by dac89; 04-14-2010 at 12:24 PM.

  29. #29
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    Sweet pix guys

    On the chain tensioner, I'll try running the chain over the pulley but the tensioner it's self doesn't have enough range of adjustment to actually push up on the chain. I hammered up my street pretty hard and didn't have any issues but I know what you're saying about not wanting the chain to pop off. Ouch!!!
    Robb
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  30. #30
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    So is a chain tensioner absolutely necessary?

    I took it off and I have chain wrapped around 1/2 of the rear cog and 1/2 the chainring in front? Same good tension on the chain and it seems pretty solid.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  31. #31
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    Its not absolutely necessary all the time, but most of the time it is! If the chain tension is good (+5mm play up and down) without a tensioner you can get away with it. I have more play than that, without skipping or throwing, but i havent been off road since going SS.

    Maybe theres something with the rockhopper geometory that works well with the chain tension!? I have a half link, which helps too, i could remove that if the chain gets any slacker.

  32. #32
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    Couple options for ya:

    - Half links are great, like robmcgeown just mentioned. You may not be able to get exact tension, but it will help with fine tuning. I was able to use one on an On-One 456 once w/o a tensioner.

    - Personally, when I ran a tensioner I always used great_big_abyss' suggestion of having the tensioner push UP on the chain. You probably won't have enough tension the way it is set up, but try zip-tying it to your frame - like THIS

    - More expensive option, pick up a White Industries ENO hub/wheel. Allows you to adjust the tension with the turn of a wrench. My buddy uses one and it seems to work amazing. The hub alone, however, will set you back $150 or so - which may be a lot for someone just breaking into the SS scene.

  33. #33
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    Yikes I don't think I'll be getting that hub anytime soon. It's a nice piece though,

    I'll have to re-measure the tension in the chain but I think it's right around 5mm up and down so maybe I don't need the tensioner. The one I got is the Sette one and it only pushes down on the chain. I may be able to re-engineer it though.

    First shakedown ride is tonight so I'll post the results. Thanks again for all the great input.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  34. #34
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    I got a chance to take my single speed conversion project out to the trail for a little shakedown. Wow how frickin' cool is this SS thing

    No problems with the drivetrain except for one little ping noise on a rolling section, have no idea what it was. No de-chaining or broken parts. I put the tensioner back on and it's pushing up on the chain just a little, with out it I'm running about 5mm play up and down. I think new bars will be coming soon.

    I can see how momentum really effects the ride and how timing bursts of power really helps with obstacles. I'm pretty stoked. If you have the legs you can really flash up climbs quickly. My fitness is really lacking right now so I just took it easy and walked a couple times but oh man what a blast!!!! Now I have a bunch of "new" trails to conquer.


    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  35. #35
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    Great! Im really looking forward to taking mine out on the trails this weekend! Have just been on the commute to work (up hill all the way!) so far. But getting used to the gearing etc.

    I will need to use a tensioner, there is too much slack. Its not jumped or dumped the chain yet so its probably OK(ish) buts its not worth the risk!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOwens14
    - More expensive option, pick up a White Industries ENO hub/wheel.
    The Eno is very good, I have two myself, but I feel the Forward Components EBB is better.
    Last edited by bad mechanic; 04-29-2010 at 07:29 AM.

  37. #37
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    robmc -- you're going to love it!!!

    bad mechanic -- The Forward Components EBB looks pretty cool.
    If I understand the EBB concept you install one, take the tensioner off, put the chain on and tension it by rotating the EBB then locking it in place? The EBB moves the BB spindle inside the BB shell lto tension the chain, right?
    Robb
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  38. #38
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    [/QUOTE]
    San Luis Obispo County?

    This is a Craigslist Hardrock / spare parts build. With a 32X16 no tension-er needed (yet).

  39. #39
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    Yep, SLO county. Right across South Bay Blvd from Morro Bay Estuary. =)

    I may go with out the tensioner on the next ride. It's really not doing much in the 'push up' position and the chain seems to be fine.
    Robb
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyracer
    bad mechanic -- The Forward Components EBB looks pretty cool.
    If I understand the EBB concept you install one, take the tensioner off, put the chain on and tension it by rotating the EBB then locking it in place? The EBB moves the BB spindle inside the BB shell lto tension the chain, right?
    Correct. The FC EBB has the same throw as the Eno Eccentric, so you might need to use a half link with it, which I honestly don't mind. What's really nice is you can use a QR on the rear, the brakes never need to be readjusted when tension is changed, and the tension doesn't need to be adjusted whenever you remove the rear wheel. I would also take the FC EBB over a standard EBB because it has 12 set screws holding it in place, which means it'll hold better than any standard EBB and won't slip or creak on you.

  41. #41
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    Welcome to the Dark side.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I'm going to drink the kool-aid-vader.jpg  


  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldsbar
    First, I love my singlespeed. Go for it.

    Unfortuntely for me, the "problems" with gears were just replaced by problems with Niner's EBB. First it didn't hold and the chain would fall off a lot. Then they upped the torque specs; the EBB held but it creaked like mad. They have instructions for drilling the bolt hole sightly so it seats better. Helped a lot but the whole thought of having to use a drill on bike parts is, er, well... The thing still creaks a bit but I haven't tried their teflon tape trick yet. I don't want to admit how much time researching and figuring out solutions. They even have instructions to file down the edge of the bottom bracket which I haven't done. All this on a brand new and otherwise great bike I bought from Niner last year! Just saying.
    I was frustrated with the Niner EBB too but the teflon tape, drilling and higher torque have kept mine quiet and slip free.
    2 wheels

  43. #43
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    Heheh. Thanks for the Darth Vader pic. It's fitting

    I must have got lucky (or Specialized did when they made my frame) because I'm pretty sure I'm not going to need the chain tensioner or an EBB. Ok I might but for now it's all looking pretty good. I check my chain pretty religiously, especially on rides, to make sure it hasn't loosened up. So far it's spot on.

    So today was my second outing on the trails. Whew I got worked, big time. There are four main climbs on my usual loop. Three short and steep and one is a longer grinder. I made it a little further up the grinder this time and took a quick break. Made it up the second one, another quick break. Then did the "rolling" section to a downhill and two more climbs. I decided to try to take on the last two climbs without stopping and... Well let's just say I didn't puke but it was probably close. LOL

    I'm really enjoying the extra effort needed to get around on a SS bike. I'm probably hooked for sure now. I'm thinking of building up a SS specific wheelset now.
    Robb
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  44. #44
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    So....can I have your tensioner? Man, I'm really excited now too! As soon as I get the parts the transformation will begin MWUAHAHAHA!!! What tools did you have to use? Im a bit confused on the lockring tool. There is a chainwhip/lockring tool?

  45. #45
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    Hey J3sseb
    You will need a lockring tool and a chain whip to take the cassette off the rear wheel. The chain whip stops the cassette from turning while you're loosening the lockring. Once you have the cassette off just slide on the spacers and the cog then more spacers and thread the lockring back on and tighten it up. Ta-da! Singlespeed!
    Robb
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyracer
    Hey J3sseb
    You will need a lockring tool and a chain whip to take the cassette off the rear wheel. The chain whip stops the cassette from turning while you're loosening the lockring. Once you have the cassette off just slide on the spacers and the cog then more spacers and thread the lockring back on and tighten it up. Ta-da! Singlespeed!
    Do I really need the chainwhip though? Can't I just use vice grips or some channel locks? I don't have that tool and the less stuff I have to buy the better Thanks!

  47. #47
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    Yep. If you want to be able to change gears you will. You could take it to a shop but it's worth it to have the tools.


    Check out the Spin Doctor tools from Performance, decent budget conscious tools.
    Robb
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  48. #48
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    yea i'd buy a whip. I've had the same one for like 12 years now, and it was a cheap chineese one. Still works like a charm, and i use it all the time. You dont need to go expensive.

  49. #49
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    Small update on my ride. I put some old bar ends on this morning and went for a spin around the neighborhood. Wow what a difference when climbing!! I can't wait to try them on the trail.
    Robb
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  50. #50
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    I just ordered one from CRC after reading the review .

    Check it out .

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=408510

  51. #51
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    My chain has more slack after the weekends riding, so ill have to do something. I think if i were to go to 18t rear cog it may take up the slack, so ill try that first.

    I havent got a chain whip, i just used an old chain and some mole grips. Wrap the chain around a cog on the casset and grip it hard with the mole grips. Worked for me.

  52. #52
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    So I got all my tools and took all that crap off. I should be getting parts tonight and will post when the transformation is complete. Sorry about the thread take over robbyracer.

  53. #53
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    No worries man I can share.

    Stoked you got all your tools and you're starting the conversion. Post pics when you're done
    Robb
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  54. #54
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    I hope you can see the pic, but this is my newly converted Scott Aspect 45.

    I'm going to drink the kool-aid-after3.jpg

  55. #55
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    Yeah buddy!
    Nice lookin' ride. How are ya liking it??
    Robb
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyracer
    Yeah buddy!
    Nice lookin' ride. How are ya liking it??
    Well its been raining like crazy here in N. Texas so I haven't been able to ride it much. But I took it around the block a couple of times and its a lot smoother and easier than I expected. I like that fact that I can do some bunny hops and take it off curbs and not hear a sound. I'm running a 32/16 right now but need to experiment on the trails with it. I think im gonna like this single speed thing.

  57. #57
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    Changed my gearing to 20-32 and now my chain tension is jacked. No problem tho. Just ordered a half-link and a Surly Singleator from CBO. It's damn convenient that they're just on the other side of town from me.
    Robb
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  58. #58
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    32-20 would be way to low for me, i out run myseld of 32-18 most rides, but there are not major climbs. Im going for a bottom bracket mounted tensioner because i think they look cleaner and help wrap the chain more fully around both chain ring and cog.

    Post some pics with the singleator on...

  59. #59
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    I went to the dark side for a stint last year and was hooked then sort of fell out of it all together. But bought a new bike (GT Peace 26r) last Sunday and swaped out a bunch of parts. First ride on the trails with a 32/18 was good but my cardio condition sucks right now. I can tell you that having a design specific frame for SS is awesome (even it if is a cheap GT). No chain tensioners other than the dropouts! No chain slip, no chain throwing...It just rocked! Can't wait to get out today, tomorrow and maybe on Sunday! I think that with all this riding, I should be in pretty good shape my next weekend!!! Just lovn' this crap! Feel like I have a new passion for riding again!

  60. #60
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    @rob - 32-20 is pretty low for just riding around town but there is some steep stuff here that I couldn't make with the 32-18, there's not a lot of flat stuff here. I'll probably change it back to the 18 once my fitness comes back.

    @1SPD - at some point I'm going to build a SS specific 29r then I won't have to mess with the chain tensioner BS. Just set it and forget it. I'm glad your stoke is coming back. Get out and ride How do you like the GT? I'll post more pics soon.
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    Canondale Synapse w/DuraAce goodness

  61. #61
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    Only got one real ride in on it but I am pretty happy. The frame handled well and did not flex as much as I thought it would since it is steel. The brakes are fairly cheesy Tektro mechanical discs that really kicked my a$$ trying to get it dialed in (was dealing with some rubbing). The wheels aren't that great either (WTB's). But I swaped out my shock, bars, stem, seat/post, headset, and pedals and it is much nicer than stock now. Eventually I will do some more upgrades to those areas. For the money spent ($478) I really can't complain.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyracer
    at some point I'm going to build a SS specific 29r then I won't have to mess with the chain tensioner BS. Just set it and forget it.
    Even on a SS specific frame you have tensioner BS to deal with.

  63. #63
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    Bad Mechanic, I would agree with that. But at least I have horizontal dropouts now and different options for tensioners. I mean I can get away with nuttuggers now if I can find the right size should the problem arrise. Much easier than when I was dealing with my conversion trial for sure.

  64. #64
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    Yup, it's really about finding the system which makes the compromises you are comfortable with.

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    The best news is that I get out of the office here in 2 hours and am going home to go for a ride!!! No running the kids to soccer practice tonight...just a ride, some dinner, a beer and the tv! Oh and I'm off tomorrow and plan on doing the same! Can't wait!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Even on a SS specific frame you have tensioner BS to deal with.
    Ideally I'd get a SS specific one but even then I'd still need an EBB or some tugnuts in the back. If I do end up with one I'll just be happy with what I get. With a baby on the way the bike budget has gotten smaller. It's a good trade off though
    Robb
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    Canondale Synapse w/DuraAce goodness

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