Manual 1 x 2 ?...SS purists don't flame me!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Manual 1 x 2 ?...SS purists don't flame me!

    I know, I know, its not a SINGLE speed if it has multiple gears, but this is closer to a SS than a 24S....

    First off, I know very little about SS conversions. I have an old MTB which I turned into a 1 x 8 (standard triple front with only 1 ring and 8 spd cassette) just by taking parts off. I use it only for neighborhood riding with the kids (pavement/dirt roads, etc. -- no trail use) and sometimes pulling a trailer. I only use the smallest 3 cogs in the back. I didn't want to go full SS since there are times I might like a higher gear ratio -- solo rides (vacation, etc).

    Is it possible to drop the rear derailluer but have a set-up where I can manually put the chain on a smaller/larger cog? I still have the original 44t ring if its possible to create a 2 speed set up with a similar chain length. I'm sure someone has tried this but can't find it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmd miler
    I know, I know, its not a SINGLE speed if it has multiple gears, but this is closer to a SS than a 24S....

    First off, I know very little about SS conversions. I have an old MTB which I turned into a 1 x 8 (standard triple front with only 1 ring and 8 spd cassette) just by taking parts off. I use it only for neighborhood riding with the kids (pavement/dirt roads, etc. -- no trail use) and sometimes pulling a trailer. I only use the smallest 3 cogs in the back. I didn't want to go full SS since there are times I might like a higher gear ratio -- solo rides (vacation, etc).

    Is it possible to drop the rear derailluer but have a set-up where I can manually put the chain on a smaller/larger cog? I still have the original 44t ring if its possible to create a 2 speed set up with a similar chain length. I'm sure someone has tried this but can't find it.

    Thanks
    My Opinion is that you will have headaches tensioning ANY ratio, let alone two using the current setup.
    Some can ghetto up their setup, but the consensus is that it usually turns out badly (your equipment or yourself that is)

    If I wanted the criteria that you had in mind, I would either keep the deraileur, or find a horz drop/track end frame and just manually swap the cog and spacers.

    I have a cross setup (Il Pompino) that I have an cassette XT hub, spacers and two cogs, and a Surly Chain tug which allows me an 'on the trail' cog change with minimal headache.
    If this does not make sense, let me know and I will try to clarify better.

    HTH

    C.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsalty
    If this does not make sense, let me know and I will try to clarify better.
    Like I said, I'm new to the SS conversion. But it sounds like its a no go.

    I was wondering with a tensioner and tighter chain whether the chain would stay one gear or flop all over the place. I didn't know if I'd be able to get a few gears on the back side or swap out the 44t with a 38t and have something like a 38x14 / 34x18 high/low combo... seems like the latter MIGHT work, but again, would the chain stay on?

    I have a 01 Cannondale CAAD2 frame, for what its worth.

  4. #4
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    Go for a double in front

    I have a 1x2 set up for my 'round town bike that has a 44 and a 32 front ring mated to a surly single speed rear hub with an 18t freewheel. I have an old road rear der. on it to keep the tension. I built it because I lived up a steep hill and wanted 44x18 for keeping up with traffic on the flats but needed 32x18 to make it uphill back home. If you get good enough, you can press with your right heel and ease the chain down on to the smaller front ring while moving. You will have to manually move the chain up to the bigger ring, though.
    I learned this set up from a friend who hated the idea of driving a car to ride singletrack. He would use a really tall gear to ride out to the trailhead, and then go down to 2:1 or so for the trails.
    If you try to go more that one ratio without some form of chain tensioner, the chain will fall off on the first bump you hit. Tensioners are not a terrible thing, and if you have any old rear der. laying around they are the cheapest way to go.
    Got Beer?

  5. #5
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    I use a 2x2... makes changing ratios more pleasant with the roughly same length chain. There are two places I typically ride, where one calls for a 32x18 and the other a 34x16. Having a 2x2 with the same chain length makes it a snap to change it the day before (or of) the ride.

    I know some purists might cringe, but I'm not changing gears on the fly... on the trail is one speed all the way.

    For races, obviously, I need to run 1x1, but that's no problem. 2x2 just makes everyday rides easier from a wrenching standpoint.

  6. #6
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    Sure it's been done=look at the Quickbeam by Rivendell. But their frame's got a diagonal dropout to help accomplish this. You're not going to be able to accomplish this big a gearing change with vertical dropouts, and a tensioner. With horizontal dropouts and two chainrings up front, this is doable.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmd miler
    Like I said, I'm new to the SS conversion. But it sounds like its a no go.

    I was wondering with a tensioner and tighter chain whether the chain would stay one gear or flop all over the place. I didn't know if I'd be able to get a few gears on the back side or swap out the 44t with a 38t and have something like a 38x14 / 34x18 high/low combo... seems like the latter MIGHT work, but again, would the chain stay on?

    I have a 01 Cannondale CAAD2 frame, for what its worth.
    my personal experience is that.......................using a regular 9 spd deraileur,
    unless you put something on the crank/chainrings, on rocky/rooted terrain will burp the chain off until you are ready to throw your bike off a cliff................
    of course I am a retard, but suffice to say it is really frustrating.
    you could simply leave the front deraileur on, and just set it with the screws (ie: take off the cable and shifter for it)

    You can buy tensioners (Rennen, DMR, Surly) that attatch @ the deraileur hole and either push up/down the chain to maintain tension.
    Those 'seem' to work the best, by those who are actually using them.

    if you think it might work, go ahead and give it a shot.
    truth is, that it may work for YOUR application.
    make sure the chain is long/short enough to accomodate both sizes of the gear ratio.

    whatever you do, make sure CHAINLINE is as straight as possible.
    also, make sure you use a quality chain (single speed, 8 or 9 speed).

    you are entering the realm of McGuyver cycling, which can really suck, or be really cool.
    try some different things, as you may surprise yourself on how innovative you can get.
    worst case, you just do something different, or spend some more $$.

    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/151...-Tensioner.htm
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Tensioner.aspx

    personally, I would just get a dedicated SS, and run a cassette style hub in the rear.
    you can carry an extra cog in your pack, and change @ the trailhead (of course you will be limited to how much chain will accomodate the dropout), but it gets you two gears, on a single speed for relatively little money, and not too much hassle.
    that make sense?

  8. #8
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blowout
    ...
    I learned this set up from a friend who hated the idea of driving a car to ride singletrack. He would use a really tall gear to ride out to the trailhead, and then go down to 2:1 or so for the trails.
    ...
    I'm starting to feel the same way. I am contemplating a Schlumpf crank
    ===============

    Mark

  9. #9
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    Check out White Industries Doudle Eno mountain version. 34,31 front and 18,21 in back. As long as the gears are the same number of teeth apart you should be able to run any combo wothout having to mess with tensioning the chain.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by racerdave
    I use a 2x2... makes changing ratios more pleasant with the roughly same length chain.
    Known as a dingle-speed, do a search on this site and you'll find more folks who are doing it. I'm going to try it as soon as I have some time to put everything together.

  11. #11
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    The dinglespeed setup works nicely. I've also used a Paul Melvin double-jockey tensioner to build up double-speed and triple-speed setups that work well. Standard 2 or 3 ring cranksets complete with a front derailer (Sheldon spelling), but a zero dish, purpose-built singlespeed rear wheel. The Melvin accommodates up to a 20t difference. Sure, it is not SS pure, but I've got other bikes for that.

  12. #12
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    Double speed is interesting. If I'm riding with the kids I'll be lucky to go over 10 mph, but don't mind spinning at a super slow cadence (think "riding like a beach cruiser"). Riding solo I want a gear low enough to take off from a stop, but high enough to cruise at at 16-18 without spinning too fast.
    Last edited by cmd miler; 08-01-2008 at 05:51 AM.

  13. #13
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    re: racerdave:

    Ditto.. on my "SS" CX bike I have a compact road crank with 42/38 rings and on the back a WTB "ss" hub (that still has room for several cogs+spacers somehow) with 16/20 cogs. So I can run it both 42x16 on the street or 38x20 offroad. The total # of teeth is the same, so the chain-length/tension is also the same.

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