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Thread: SS and FS

  1. #1
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    SS and FS

    Posted a SS thread in the AM sub-thread, then it went to hell due to 1 or 2 idiots. Anyways. I have a FS bike I am going to convert to a SS. Been riding, 32x11 ( Is that difficult for a lot? Some don't believe I stand and mash up hills ) Anyways, been Googling a decent chain tensioner and came across a tread discussing that a normal chain tensioner wouldn't work properly and could snap when compressed on a full suspension frame. Something of that nature. Is this true? Any way to get around this issue?
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  2. #2
    bt
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    there is some discussion in this thread...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=703002

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bt
    there is some discussion in this thread...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=703002
    Not about chain tensioners Mr. Instigator. That tread was only for rear cog ss kit and a few suggestions on what type of cog to run for certain terrain which then got off topic because some skinny weenies can't mash up hills. Now, if we can keep this topic on topic.

    Oh how I love the internet.
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  4. #4
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    I have seen many FS SS with chain tensioners on the trails and have never heard of this issue. A lot of bikes i have seen were carbon cross country bikes too.

    Gearing is relative where you live so 32x11 might be doable for where your from. Come to colorado and try it and you better bring your running shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    Posted a SS thread in the AM sub-thread, then it went to hell due to 1 or 2 idiots. Anyways. I have a FS bike I am going to convert to a SS. Been riding, 32x11 ( Is that difficult for a lot? Some don't believe I stand and mash up hills ) Anyways, been Googling a decent chain tensioner and came across a tread discussing that a normal chain tensioner wouldn't work properly and could snap when compressed on a full suspension frame. Something of that nature. Is this true? Any way to get around this issue?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450
    I have seen many FS SS with chain tensioners on the trails and have never heard of this issue. A lot of bikes i have seen were carbon cross country bikes too.

    Gearing is relative where you live so 32x11 might be doable for where your from. Come to colorado and try it and you better bring your running shoes
    So, really, I can use just about any type of chain tensioner I want? Also, where I live 32x11 IS doable. At least for me from what I know since I ride alone, lol. I only will use it going up not-so-steep hills anyways.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    So, really, I can use just about any type of chain tensioner I want? Also, where I live 32x11 IS doable. At least for me from what I know since I ride alone, lol. I only will use it going up not-so-steep hills anyways.
    You need a spring-loaded tensioner so that it can tension according to the action of the rear suspension. I ride a hardtail, but I'm cheap so I just rigged up my old derailleur as a tensioner. It's simple. Doesn't look the best (forgive me, but nothing on a FS SS will), but it works.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  7. #7
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    FWIW I used a Paul Melvin on a Voodoo Canzo 29er. It worked well.

    There are more economical alternatives. Another good solution is the one designed for FS by YESS. I can't remember the exact model but it's on their site.

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    What bike frame are you converting to SS?

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    The YESS tensioner for the full suspension works great. I have put about 1,000 miles on it and no problems. And 32x11 would be great for a bmx track but you would need some good hiking boots up here with that ratio.

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    I've been trying to get a 2011 HiFi to work as a SS but I am getting lots of chain skip. I have a 34 front and 17 rear, good chain line, and a Melvin for tension, but still getting the skip even on pavement test rides. Any feedback? I was thinking a larger rear cog for better chain wrap, but then I will have to go with a bigger front (not a huge issue- those are cheap).

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    I ran a 32x12 around my flat surface town. Overpasses weren't that tough either.

  12. #12
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    Guys, sorry I have not been on as of much. I fixed my situation by using the Sturmey Single Speed Chain Tensioner. It's really nice and strong. Doesn't weigh too much, either. I can't use any cog under 16, though or I can't fully compress the rear 7" of travel without the chain slipping up front or have the chain bust, which has happened when I used my old beater chain.
    Last edited by Blksocks; 04-30-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel
    I've been trying to get a 2011 HiFi to work as a SS but I am getting lots of chain skip. I have a 34 front and 17 rear, good chain line, and a Melvin for tension, but still getting the skip even on pavement test rides. Any feedback? I was thinking a larger rear cog for better chain wrap, but then I will have to go with a bigger front (not a huge issue- those are cheap).
    Remove a chain link?
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    Remove a chain link?
    +1

    Wonder if there should be a FS SS photo thread. Something different than a regular hardtail ss for a change.
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  15. #15
    nothing to see here
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    there's a few photos in this thread
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

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    I removed as many links as I could- any more and the chain growth under rear compression wold have ripped off the Melvin or something worse, and still no dice. As an experiment out of frustration, I threw a cassette on and used an XT rear deraillier (medium cage) with the limit screw adjusted to keep it on the 17T cog, and there was zero slippage, even with normal (slightly loose) chain tension. Grrr.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    there's a few photos in this thread
    I might have to bump it!
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  18. #18
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    Come to think of it, the rear cog is a Surly, but I was using a 9 speed chain. I've used that combo on a hardtail SS before, but the FS/SS thing is new to me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel
    Come to think of it, the rear cog is a Surly, but I was using a 9 speed chain. I've used that combo on a hardtail SS before, but the FS/SS thing is new to me.
    You will need more chain for a FS so when the rear shock compresses it has enough slack to pull but not so much that the chain doesn't let you compress fully. It's a trial and error from what I went through days ago. You'll get it!

    If you still have problems I can try to do a picture step by step on how I did mine.
    Ragley Blue Pig

  20. #20
    nothing to see here
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    Undoing one end of the shock mount will make things easier.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  21. #21
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    You should really consider moving up a couple teeth in the back, and increasing your chainring size to compensate. A 11t has very little chain wrap, and at best will wear your chains out fast, and at worse you'll get skipping under heavy torque.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    You should really consider moving up a couple teeth in the back, and increasing your chainring size to compensate. A 11t has very little chain wrap, and at best will wear your chains out fast, and at worse you'll get skipping under heavy torque.
    Yea, I found out the hard way with the old chain, lol. I just can't run a 11t or 13t without having some issue with the chain tensioner and the amount of chain. I would just be afraid to ride up then down and have the tensioner smack off a rock. Damn things are pricey!

    What work for me so far is, 32x16 for flats, since it seems reasonable, 32x18 for climbs and 32x21 for steeper climbs.

    Enjoying it a lot. Now I have a a new sram cassette not in use, lol.
    Ragley Blue Pig

  23. #23
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    The 17T cog was running really close to the Melvin, so I don't know how much bigger I can go. It says it can take up to 20 T difference, but I don't think thats the same as a 20T cog.

  24. #24
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    Why not return it? I only paid $28 at the LBS for a, Sturmey Single Speed Chain Tensioner and it has enough clearance near the cog. I believe it can take a 25t. I'll have to check.
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    Unfortunately, it's now used so I can't return it- it's not defective or anything, it just does not work for my application. That SA tensioner looks suspiciously like the Alfine one- same thing?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel
    Unfortunately, it's now used so I can't return it- it's not defective or anything, it just does not work for my application. That SA tensioner looks suspiciously like the Alfine one- same thing?
    Pretty much the same. Just looks a bit, burlier, imo.
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  27. #27
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    So you know, the chain tensioner has a limit up to 28 it looks like.
    Ragley Blue Pig

  28. #28
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    Hey Blksocks, just found this thread. Sorry I wasn't keeping up. Seems pretty interesting. I am impressed, you are really taking a pioneering approach to this whole "mountain biking" thing. Looking forward to some more updates.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotu
    Hey Blksocks, just found this thread. Sorry I wasn't keeping up. Seems pretty interesting. I am impressed, you are really taking a pioneering approach to this whole "mountain biking" thing. Looking forward to some more updates.
    Thanks! I am glad you understand how to navigate the "Find all posts" function. Super proud of you, my internet forum buddy!! Unfortunately, there will be no updates as it's not hunting season and I can't get pictures of me leaping off my bike to wrestle down deer.
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  30. #30
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    I moved up in cog size to an 18T, tried an 8 speed chain, triple checked my chain line, and put as much tension on my Melvin as I could by using a short chain, and I still get slipping. Dammit. I'm thinking I will have to try an Alfine or Strumey tensioner now. The Strumey on eBay is gone, so I'll have to wait for another or go with the Yess version ($$$).

  31. #31
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    http://cgi.ebay.com/STURMEY-SINGLE-S...55559306330656

    There you go man! Gotta check the other strumey's. I know it will fix your issue at hand!
    Ragley Blue Pig

  32. #32
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    that sturmey thing looks a lot like a rear derailer. Blksocks, did you try just cutting the cable on your rear shifter and calling it good? No doubt your rear derailer could handle the 11 tooth cog, and you wouldn't need to use a new tensioner to do ostensibly the same thing your derailer does.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotu
    that sturmey thing looks a lot like a rear derailer. Blksocks, did you try just cutting the cable on your rear shifter and calling it good? No doubt your rear derailer could handle the 11 tooth cog, and you wouldn't need to use a new tensioner to do ostensibly the same thing your derailer does.
    Yea? So do a lot of chain tensioner that SS'ers use on this sub-forum. You might have to ask a veteran the difference in using a rear derailleur and a chain tensioner and not just me, as I am a beginner SS converter.

    The way I see it, the derailleur cost $70 while the Sturmey (or any other tensioner) is only $30, max. I rather have something cheap(er) keeping the chain tensioned than some $70 piece that has a hump and sticks out which has a higher chance of being smashed on rocks than the not-so-bulky/humpy chain tensioner. Also, you can't go wrong wanting to save the short/medium/long cage and use it on another build in the future. I see where you're coming from. When I tested SS at first I replaced the H/L screws with longer screws to use to fit it into position but then I run the risk of having a screw destroy the inside derailleur or having it slip out of place since there is not enough room for the screw to limit itself on. I don't know... I guess I would have to post pictures showing what I mean but probably you will need to conver to SS yourself to realize the need for a chain tensioner.
    Ragley Blue Pig

  34. #34
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    I have my 2010 Super Fly 100 FS setup in SS mode with a 32/18 and a Melvin and I have ZERO problems with it.
    Gary Fisher 2010 SuperFly 100 Single Speed
    Gary FIsher 2010 SuperFly 100 Geared

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    I finally got my HiFi to work SS, by using a rusty old Forte downward pull chain tensioner I had in the parts box. Zero skip and plenty of room for chain growth at least in my around the block test. So much for the Melvin, YESS and Alfine I spent over $100 on.

  36. #36
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    My haro sonix 650b. 120mm front and rear. single speed, so much fun!
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/somuchforsale/5704385491/" title="RO9K8419 by veloreality, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2375/5704385491_fdd01665a1_b.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="RO9K8419"></a>

  37. #37
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    Question for ya VR... any problems getting the rear wheel off? Clearance looks kind of tight there with your tensioner, eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    Posted a SS thread in the AM sub-thread, then it went to hell due to 1 or 2 idiots. Anyways. I have a FS bike I am going to convert to a SS. Been riding, 32x11 ( Is that difficult for a lot? Some don't believe I stand and mash up hills ) Anyways, been Googling a decent chain tensioner and came across a tread discussing that a normal chain tensioner wouldn't work properly and could snap when compressed on a full suspension frame. Something of that nature. Is this true? Any way to get around this issue?
    Get a yess


    /thread.

  39. #39
    The need for singlespeed
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    How often does

    /thread

    actually end a thread?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel
    I finally got my HiFi to work SS, by using a rusty old Forte downward pull chain tensioner I had in the parts box. Zero skip and plenty of room for chain growth at least in my around the block test. So much for the Melvin, YESS and Alfine I spent over $100 on.
    That's life man. Trying to find what works and realized how much **** you had to go through. I am glad you found something that works. As for the items you bought and don't need, now. I would just save them if you can't return them. Never know when you need them for another build or a friend needs one. **** happens for a reason!
    Ragley Blue Pig

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by h2otaco
    Get a yess


    /thread.
    If you have such wise words to write how come you're not wise enough to read the thread fully to realize I found a tensioner?

    /you
    Ragley Blue Pig

  42. #42
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    There are 2 varieties of Yess tensioner - the one that mounts on the D-hanger, and the one that mounts on the BB. Which are we talking about here? I would speculate that the latter might work well for FS.
    Mind your own religion.

  43. #43
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    I'm looking at this thing for when I get my FS frame: DMR STS tensioner.



    Wondering if a lack of spring is an advantage or disadvantage...

  44. #44
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    you have to have a spring so it can go through the travel of the shock.

    If it's fixed it will snap the chain.
    Gary Fisher 2010 SuperFly 100 Single Speed
    Gary FIsher 2010 SuperFly 100 Geared

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jellytronics
    Wondering if a lack of spring is an advantage or disadvantage...
    I would believe, it depends.... if the distance between the rear axle and the bottom bracket does not change throughout the travel of the rear wheel then a static tensioner (or no tensioner) would work.

    if you look at bikes like the Kona in this thread:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=143179&page=3
    you may notice that there is no tensioner at all.

    If you are not sure if the distance between the BB and there rear hub will change then pop off one of the links on the rear shock so you can freely move the rear triangle throughout its travel and measure with a measuring tape the distance at the top and bottom of travel.

    Joy of Squishy SS...
    Dan

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    If you have such wise words to write how come you're not wise enough to read the thread fully to realize I found a tensioner?

    /you
    Mkay.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by h2otaco
    Mkay.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by diabolicaldan
    if you look at bikes like the Kona in this thread:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=143179&page=3
    you may notice that there is no tensioner at all.
    That Kona was a SS/FS purpose built bike from the company. The main pivot was concentric to the BB, keeping the chain length consistent throughout the travel of the rear end. You'll also note the sliding dropouts on that bike, which is another reason there is no chain tensioner.

    Any FS bike with the "main" pivot anywhere other than concentric to the BB will have chain tension issues.

  49. #49
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    agreed, the Kona was an example... There are a few bikes throughout the thread that have no tensioner. But it would seem to be the exception with most modern FS Bikes. Cheers, Dan

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by diabolicaldan
    But it would seem to be the exception with most modern FS Bikes.
    Yep, you'll only see it on a small handful of FS bikes that were purpose designed to run SS. One big problem is that a concentric BB pivot will be prone to bob without a good platform, and modern suspension designs are trying pretty hard to eliminate that because people love to hate on bob.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by diabolicaldan
    Question for ya VR... any problems getting the rear wheel off? Clearance looks kind of tight there with your tensioner, eh?
    good eye, and yes. i need to add another link to the chain so i can scoot the tensioner down a bit. other then that the tensioner is a work of art!

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