Noob: Cheap and simple singlespeed conversion- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Noob: Cheap and simple singlespeed conversion

    What is the bare minimum that I have to do to convert my 2004 Giant Yukon to SS?

    I know that you have to tension the chain somehow b/c it doesn't have horizontal dropouts. Do I also need a new hub? How does the crankset issue work, will I have to buy a new one?

    Recently I've gone from wanting a full out 5" trail bike, to just upgrading my current bike, to now wanting to convert it to singlespeed. Reading the "Why Singlespeed" sticky made me change my mind about what is really important: skill, strength and simplicity.

  2. #2
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    easy

    bare minimum? put the chain on the middle ring in the front, middle of the cassette in the rear. Go ride and don't shift, ever. From there, if you're still interested, shorten the chain to fit the middle ring and cassette gear of your choice, remove the derailleur (and rear shifter / cable) and replace with a surly singulator to tension the chain, and ride.
    GET Bret Weir, I said.

  3. #3
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    If you can take your crankset's chainrings off, you won't need to buy a new set. You will probably need to get some washers to fill the gap that the large chainring will leave (that is if you want to use just the middle ring). I used the DMR singlespeed kit for the rear on my first convert (there are others out there). It works great, and was only $50. If you feel you are pretty handy with tools, ask your bike shop what you'll need and go for it. If not, I'm sure they'll do it for you. My suggestion though, figure out how to do it and get the tools. Much cheaper that way.

    For the chain, you'll need a chain tool to shorten the length - or get the shop to do all of this for you.

    Check out the SS FAQ page for other possibilities.

  4. #4
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    I did this...

    So far I'm in at under $100. I do have a crankset already to put on it which helped with the budget but I've heard of some cranks available for well under $100 if you aren't worried about weight/blingness.

    I got a new fork, headset, brakes, saddle, chain, stem/bars/grips, tires, and SS kit. All came in under $100. Just takes a little bit of searching for deals and parts laying around. I'm going to attempt to run it without the tensioner using one of the 4 cogs I have but the kit with 3 cogs, spacers, and tensioner was only $25.
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  5. #5
    Ebo
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    Will that tensioner also work in the pull up mode like the Surley? I just got the very similar Nashbar kit for $20 and the tensioner it came with only works in push down mode (no opposite/reverse spring, yet a decent tensioner). It did come with a very good aluminum spacer set and 14,15,16t steel cogs. I already have some 18 and 20t's so that was Ok. Hard to complain at 20 bucks. Turns out the somewhat magic gear on this bike is the 16t. I'd rather run the 18t here in the mtns but will wait until I get a half link to get a better fit since the tensioner is pushing down, therefore prone to possible chain skipping. Not good.....Michigan Clydesdale is on the money for experimenting the SS game....One more thing to add. Bare minumum for a tensioner would be using your existing derailleur as one and adjust the set screws to the cog you desire.

  6. #6
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    I've heard of some jerry-rig set ups with these involving some zip-ties but I'm not sure if the direction is actually reversable or if it's just possible to rig it in a way that pushes up. I haven't seen pics but it may be do-able.

  7. #7
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    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganClydesdale
    bare minimum? put the chain on the middle ring in the front, middle of the cassette in the rear. Go ride and don't shift, ever. From there, if you're still interested, shorten the chain to fit the middle ring and cassette gear of your choice, remove the derailleur (and rear shifter / cable) and replace with a surly singulator to tension the chain, and ride.
    Okay, I'm willing to do a little more than that. But that would work.

  9. #9
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    the forte is great but you have to have a really narrow chain because the safety guide rubs really bad, but it was 30 bucks with shipping

  10. #10
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    Use the $25ish Forte conversion kit to see if singlespeeding is for you. If you don't enjoy it, you haven't invested much.
    "I don't suffer from insanity!I rather enjoy it."

  11. #11
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    i had to resurrect a dead bike, but if i had all the parts, i spent 30 on a singleator, 20 on a 16T cog, 35 on a surly spacer kit.

    if you break down an existing crank and chain, that's it. you can tear off all but the 32T ring up front to save weight.

  12. #12
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    For $25 the Forte conversion kit comes with everything you need and a range of cogs. It's definitely not the nicest stuff, but it's a pretty cheap way to give it a shot.

  13. #13
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    I just converted my old Merida MTB and didnt a chain tensioner ! Before you go out and buy a tensioner, wrap the chain around your cogs and see if it works

  14. #14
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeJay88
    the forte is great but you have to have a really narrow chain because the safety guide rubs really bad, but it was 30 bucks with shipping
    My 9 speed chain would bind to the cogs, so I bought a SRAM PC-1 which would then rub on the guard. So I took the guard off and it works fine.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6thElement
    My 9 speed chain would bind to the cogs, so I bought a SRAM PC-1 which would then rub on the guard. So I took the guard off and it works fine.
    It'll clear, you've just got to tweak it a bit. I've used it with a PC1 and a KMC SS chain without issue.

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