Sliders or horizontal dropouts? Pros and cons.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    AKA Pat McGroin
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    Sliders or horizontal dropouts? Pros and cons.

    Okay, I imagine this has been done before, but I am getting close to having a frame built to order and am curious as to whether a slider type dropout like Paragon, or horizontal dropout aka track ends would provide the best power transfer and wheel security? I'm 5' 11" and 210 lbs and like shorter steep climbs and descents as we have in the Midwest.
    Of course, sliders can be switched to multi speed and also any wheel can be used with some spacers and a cog. However, there are times when I swear the rear wheel is flexing since it's hanging down below the frame on the sliders... anybody else feel that?

  2. #2
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    The best is an EBB IMO.

    I've had and have them all.

    Track ends - are simplest and lightest. But there's faff involved every time you replace a wheel because you need to get your wheel properly aligned and you also need to check your disk (not a problem once you are used to it). It's the perfect set up for a fixed wheel bike though and is the lightest.

    Sliders - in theory set and forget, but have been known to move. What you have to watch for is the lefthand slider moving forward under braking. It was a major problem with the early On-One Inbreds of over 10 years ago. Ideally there should be a backward tensioner on that side. Design, ie position of the brake calliper helps. Removing any paint between the slider and the frame also helps if you get a problem with movement. It needs care in initial setup to ensure the wheel is properly aligned. Sliders have the benefit of being future proof - you can swap out your dropouts. I've had problems with On-One and Voodoo (solved by paint removal and rigging up reverse tensioners on the lhs) but none with Kona and Ragley TD-1.

    Eccentric Bottom Brackets (EBBs) are best IMO. A clean simple backend and the wheels are always parallel, and it is set and forget. It helps if the manufacturer has experience with these, some use too thin a shell so gorilla mechanics can over tighten the EBB and slightly ovalise the shell. Then you have a permanent problem of creaking and slippage which can only be fixed by more over tightening. I've found the EBBS on Singulars to be very good, and I've never had a problem with my Avanti (a NZ design) which looks like it comes from the same factory as the Raleigh version.
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  3. #3
    Armature speller
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    I prefer my Unit's sliders to my Chameleon's EBB. Maybe a higher quality EBB would be more robust...

  4. #4
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Track ends are a pain for pretty much everything. Even worse than getting the wheel straight, is aligning the disc brakes. So if this is between (good) sliders and track ends, it's no contest, sliders.

    EBB vs Slider is pretty much the same argument against both. Crappy examples of each one are pretty horrible. Good examples of each one are pretty good. As mentioned with EBB you don't have to worry about aligning the wheel. You don't have to worry about CS length effectively changing if you have to re-tension the chain. But with a slider you can add a link or take a link out and intentionally run your CS longer or shorter to affect handling how you'd like it.

    I guess the bottom line is, no matter which you get, if you buy a quality example, you'll have a good time.

  5. #5
    Downcountry AF
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    My top pick is Paragon rockers/swingers. I just had a custom frame built and wanted sliders. After talking to the builder and explaining that I broke a few frames last year, he recommended swingers as their the most stout. I'm happy he steered me in that direction. I'm just over 200 lbs, if your bigger or just want the most stout setup, I'd look into these.

    I wouldn't want an EBB for anything. Or a PF anything for that matter. Threaded BB's are simple and effective, and quiet. SS's are supposed to be simple, why complicate it unnecessarily? Not to mention your moving your BB and thus your relationship from the pedal to your saddle, and the pedal to the ground.
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  6. #6
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    After about 6 months of use sliders have been utterly set and forget for me. My only complaint is the sliding surfaces have developed a patina of rust and I don't know what to do about it. I tried cotton swabs of grease and wd40 but it's just an exposed surface, and right by the brakes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blue Sky View Post
    Okay, I imagine this has been done before, but I am getting close to having a frame built to order and am curious as to whether a slider type dropout like Paragon, or horizontal dropout aka track ends would provide the best power transfer and wheel security? I'm 5' 11" and 210 lbs and like shorter steep climbs and descents as we have in the Midwest.
    Of course, sliders can be switched to multi speed and also any wheel can be used with some spacers and a cog. However, there are times when I swear the rear wheel is flexing since it's hanging down below the frame on the sliders... anybody else feel that?
    I have used both "track ends" and paragon sliders. Paragon sliders work perfect and easy to deal with rear wheel removal and not mess with chain tension. my sliders also have hanger for a derailleur if I want to run one. The bike with track ends was always a pain to get lined up right keep chain tension. Never tried EBB, but always heard mixed results from them. Creaks and getting loose.
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  8. #8
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    Sliders all day, everyday. I'll stop riding single speed before I ever do EBB again.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    The best is an EBB IMO.

    I've had and have them all.

    Track ends - are simplest and lightest. But there's faff involved every time you replace a wheel because you need to get your wheel properly aligned and you also need to check your disk (not a problem once you are used to it). It's the perfect set up for a fixed wheel bike though and is the lightest.

    Sliders - in theory set and forget, but have been known to move. What you have to watch for is the lefthand slider moving forward under braking. It was a major problem with the early On-One Inbreds of over 10 years ago. Ideally there should be a backward tensioner on that side. Design, ie position of the brake calliper helps. Removing any paint between the slider and the frame also helps if you get a problem with movement. It needs care in initial setup to ensure the wheel is properly aligned. Sliders have the benefit of being future proof - you can swap out your dropouts. I've had problems with On-One and Voodoo (solved by paint removal and rigging up reverse tensioners on the lhs) but none with Kona and Ragley TD-1.

    Eccentric Bottom Brackets (EBBs) are best IMO. A clean simple backend and the wheels are always parallel, and it is set and forget. It helps if the manufacturer has experience with these, some use too thin a shell so gorilla mechanics can over tighten the EBB and slightly ovalise the shell. Then you have a permanent problem of creaking and slippage which can only be fixed by more over tightening. I've found the EBBS on Singulars to be very good, and I've never had a problem with my Avanti (a NZ design) which looks like it comes from the same factory as the Raleigh version.
    Four bikes with sliders never a problem. One with an EBB and nothing but issues. Anything but set and forget. Unless by that you mean set and forget for 20 miles until is starts to creak and moan and loosen. Then set and forget again. And again. And again. I haven't had to do anything to the sliders on my SSCX bike in probably 500 miles. As with anything....YMMV.
    Kona Big Unit SS
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  10. #10
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    I'm with *OneSpeed*, Paragon rockers or the Pivot tensioner mechanism. Order of preference for me:

    Paragon rockers (or the one Pivot uses which is very similar)
    Sliders
    EBB
    Track Ends

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    ...One with an EBB and nothing but issues. Anything but set and forget. Unless by that you mean set and forget for 20 miles until is starts to creak and moan and loosen. Then set and forget again. And again. And again...
    Two questions.

    What brand of bike and EBB? (so we know what to avoid)

    And did you ever check the shell for ovality?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Two questions.

    What brand of bike and EBB? (so we know what to avoid)

    And did you ever check the shell for ovality?
    Cannondale F29 carbon and Wheels Manufacturing EBB. I didn't check for oval but it wasn't a problem that developed over time. It was there from the beginning. I used a torque wrench so it wasn't/shouldn't have been over tightened. Sucked too because that bike just begged to be single speed. Should have just got a tensioner after I returned the EBB but ended up selling it.
    Kona Big Unit SS
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  13. #13
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    I have very little experience with an eccentric BB, as I just bought a used Raleigh xxix frame a month ago. So far it was easy to adjust and has made no noise whatsoever. I much prefer it to the horizontal dropouts on the previous frame because it's so much easier to drop the wheel out and reinstall it without brake alignment issues. A bit off topic, but is there any maintenance I should do with the EBB or should I just be happy as long as it's quiet?

  14. #14
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    I've had 3 Kona's with sliders now, haven't had a problem with any of them. It's basically set and forget. Unless you are changing your chain tension, there's no need to fiddle with them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottg View Post
    should I just be happy as long as it's quiet?
    Continue being happy and making whatever sacrificial offers you're currently making to the EBB gods because you are lucky so far.
    Kona Big Unit SS
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  16. #16
    AKA Pat McGroin
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    Lots of great input here, guys - thanks! I've had 4 bikes with horizontal track ends, so, used to their quirks, 2 or 3 with sliders and the Paragon versions were the best of that style....just always felt that bolting the end of the frame to the frame was weaker and more prone to slippage, and flex. On super steep high torque terrain I would get the wheel to slip forward on the drive side on rare occasions with sliders. And I felt like the bike didn't have 100% take off of a good solid track end frame?
    Maybe Pargon swingers would be the answer.... I'm having a Rock Lobster built for me in a couple more months and the advice here is great! Keep the opinions and discussion going!

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