Trek Stache as a SS or general thoughts on stranglehold- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trek Stache as a SS or general thoughts on stranglehold

    As usual I am thinking about a new SS build. I am thinking about buying a Trek Stache carbon frame and building it as a non-plus 29er. I am thinking only 2.35" tries on a 30mm rim.

    Has anyone tried the frame as a dedicated single speed? If so what is the good, bad, and ugly? How does it ride? Build weights with specs and pics?

    Also what is the general consensus on the strangle hold dropout system? Does it hold well, or slip? Is it easy to keep the wheel aligned? How does it handle being ridden hard in very rough terrain? Any other thoughts...

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I've heard of significant issues with frame flex dropping the chain when the stache is used as SS. Not that stranglehold is an issue, just flex on both alu and carb models. No first hand experience but that is what I have heard.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    I've heard of significant issues with frame flex dropping the chain when the stache is used as SS. Not that stranglehold is an issue, just flex on both alu and carb models. No first hand experience but that is what I have heard.
    This.

    There was a thread around here about this issue. I believe someone even called Trek and were told they don't recommend running it SS. Even though the Trek website and literature says otherwise.


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  4. #4
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    ^ agreed. I've read a lot of people had issues with SS setup. Last I heard Trek changed their tune after people were having problems with frame flex from the elevated chainstay, and said the Stache is not a SS frame and if you use it as such your using it outside of what it was designed to do. So if you have issues with frame flex your screwed.

    Bottom line, don't buy a Trek. ever.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  5. #5
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    I've got one.. I had no choice after I cracked my superfly SS. They don't make superfly SS anymore so I got a stache.

    I haven't ridden it all that much, but haven't noticed the flex problems. I don't ride all that hard a gear though. Usually just 32x20 for me is enough.

    I find the super wide chain and seat stays can be a problem. I have to consciencely point my heels out and occasionally hit my ankle..

    I mean overall it's ok, but if I was buying a new bike it wouldn't be a stache.

    After I cracked mine, and my brother cracked his crave ss, I'll be getting steel next time I need a single speed...


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  6. #6
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    Also to add, after the 3 month warranty drama I too will never be buying a trek again.


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  7. #7
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    I ride with a few guys who have the 9.8 and run SS. They've all taken to running a tensioner to stop the drivetrain from popping due to frame flex. Seems it flexes enough to let the chain climb up on the cog under power then snap back into place causing a horribly irritating sound. The tensioner keeps the chain engaged properly. There's threads about it in the Trek forum. They all love the bike except for that issue. No issues with dropouts themselves.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    As usual I am thinking about a new SS build. I am thinking about buying a Trek Stache carbon frame and building it as a non-plus 29er. I am thinking only 2.35" tries on a 30mm rim.

    Has anyone tried the frame as a dedicated single speed? If so what is the good, bad, and ugly? How does it ride? Build weights with specs and pics?

    Also what is the general consensus on the strangle hold dropout system? Does it hold well, or slip? Is it easy to keep the wheel aligned? How does it handle being ridden hard in very rough terrain? Any other thoughts...

    Thanks in advance!
    Like others have said, I have read of a lot of people with chainstay flex and dropped chain issues. Perhaps there are a bunch who are happy, but they don't seem to flock to the forums.

    But I'm curious, why go with that frame if you plan on running a very normal 2.35 in tire? Seems like a non-plus compatible frame would make for a better setup. Or is there something else the Stache offers that would make for a sweet build with regular sized tires?

  9. #9
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    I've had a Stache 7 for several months now, and have only run it SS. I've also read about the flex issues while running SS, but I have personally only gotten mine to "pop" once or twice, and have never had a chain derail. I'm no lightweight either, pushing 200lbs all kitted up. I do run a somewhat climb-friendly 32-21 gear, and keep the chain tension higher than past SS's. I also have a buddy who's been riding his Stache SS even longer, with a bigger gear, and he hasn't had any issues either. We have both had issues with seatpost slippage though...

  10. #10
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    First off I would like to say thank you very much to everyone who replied! I am definitely not going with the Stache now! I ride hard and can not deal with flexing frames and chain issues!

    I am just thinking about building another SS and was looking to see what is out there. I came across the Stache and thought it may be worth a look...

    If only someone would build a quality carbon frame with a good method to tension the chain and a threaded BB, think a Pivot Les with a 73mm threaded bottom bracket. Why is that so damn hard! I suppose it is just settle or go back to a custom Ti frame.

    Thanks again guys!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    First off I would like to say thank you very much to everyone who replied! I am definitely not going with the Stache now! I ride hard and can not deal with flexing frames and chain issues!

    I am just thinking about building another SS and was looking to see what is out there. I came across the Stache and thought it may be worth a look...

    If only someone would build a quality carbon frame with a good method to tension the chain and a threaded BB, think a Pivot Les with a 73mm threaded bottom bracket. Why is that so damn hard! I suppose it is just settle or go back to a custom Ti frame.

    Thanks again guys!
    Although it doesn't have a threaded bottom bracket, have you thought about the Giant XTC+? Sliding drop outs, 27.5+ and 29er Compatible, and extremely stiff chain stays. I've had mine for about 7 months and I LOVE the thing. Handles great, and in 27.5+ mode, I'm actually faster than in 29er mode. Prices are really good too. I would recommend finding the cheapest one you can buy, sell all the parts you don't need and essentially just use the frame (although they do have a frame only option but not sure on cost or availability)

  12. #12
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    Over 1000 miles on my Stache set up SS and no issues at all.

    Lots of guys in this thread with no first hand experience telling you how bad the bike is as a SS. Gotta love that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JokerSC View Post
    Over 1000 miles on my Stache set up SS and no issues at all.

    Lots of guys in this thread with no first hand experience telling you how bad the bike is as a SS. Gotta love that.
    how much do you weigh? and how strong are you? and does your local terrain have steep hills?
    2003 Kona A
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  14. #14
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    Are you going to buy me dinner first? : )

    Okay, since you're kinda calling me out - I am 190 lbs. As far as being strong thats a subjective answer, so heres a little about me - I've been riding strictly SS for 5 years. In that time, I've done 4 60+ mile races on a SS like Fools Gold and Wilkes 100K, a few 6 hour solos like Warrior Creek, and few other 35-45 mile races. I live near Charlotte NC, so there are some decent hills here on some of the trails. Plus I've ridden the Stache 4 times in the NC mountains. 30 mile rides with 3000+ feet of climbing.

    I bought the bike in early November last year, so that 1000 miles is since that time.

    I haven't had any problems. So maybe, just maybe, I got the one bike that was built better than all the others and thats why it works for me. Or maybe the guys who had problems for whatever reason(bad chainline, running a slack chain, too heavy a gear choice for the bigger tires, a combo of some of these things) are loud, and then a bunch of other guys who never even threw a leg over the bike decided to keep saying it wasn't a good SS.
    From what I saw above, there were a lot of guys writing " i heard, I saw, some guy said". If you haven't ridden it as a SS, you shouldn't be making a judgement on it is all I'm saying.

    I dunno, but I can tell you from first hand experience that the bike works well as a SS. Its the best SS I've owned. I know I've seen a bunch of other guys on these forums that have said the same thing. Heck, on Facebook today (trek Stache Group), I saw a guy just finished a 24 hour race on a Stache SS, came in 5th over all.
    RideMFRide

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JokerSC View Post
    Lots of guys in this thread with no first hand experience telling you how bad the bike is as a SS. Gotta love that.
    Just sharing what I've heard all while admitting I have no personal experience. Is it so wrong to share my research? Is experience the only teacher?

  16. #16
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    It's a weird bunch on these forums and you have to weed thru a lot of bs. Most of the posts are complaints, with the rest being praise. The guys with 5000+ posts are the ones that think they know it all and are full of it. It's like a know it all or who has the last post contest. They are also the ones yelling at you because you didn't thoroughly use the search function. Spend a little more time riding instead of posting. Enough about that.
    The Stache is an excellent SS and I've found that you need a good chain line and tension. One situation for slippage may be an old chain ring, cog with a stretched chain at poor tension. On any SS the chain will ride up the tooth and feel like slippage. That will happen on any frame.

  17. #17
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    Late to the party but I also have success singlespeeding my carbon Trek Stache. The chain is tensioned using the StrangleHold dropouts... no problems with pops, slippage, chain drops, etc... all sorts of steep climbs and ratcheting and power moves over lots of rocks. I'll echo @JokerSC's comment about verifying the chainline (with calipers... not eyeballing).

  18. #18
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    Get a carbon framed Les. Great SS dropout / chain tension system and geometry. Can't go wrong with this bike as SS.


    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    First off I would like to say thank you very much to everyone who replied! I am definitely not going with the Stache now! I ride hard and can not deal with flexing frames and chain issues!

    I am just thinking about building another SS and was looking to see what is out there. I came across the Stache and thought it may be worth a look...

    If only someone would build a quality carbon frame with a good method to tension the chain and a threaded BB, think a Pivot Les with a 73mm threaded bottom bracket. Why is that so damn hard! I suppose it is just settle or go back to a custom Ti frame.

    Thanks again guys!

  19. #19
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    If you're worried about the non-threaded BB, just get a Wheels MFG threaded PF bottom bracket and call it good?

    Funny though, if the Carbon Honzo or Canfield EPO were SS-able, I would've bought two! haha

  20. #20
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    So I guess to bring this thread full circle...

    I ended up building a Kona Raijin and raced it until July 2018 and loved it. It was a great build with full carbon cockpit, P321 hubs and Velocity Blount SS (which I eventually changed to I9 Pillar Carbon Ultralight), and a Fox 32SC Factory, great bike all the way around. But my ADD and desire to try a Les got the better of me. I built a Les Gen II in late July early August of this year. Again I went all out on this build with a Fox 34SC Factory, XO Dub cranks, I9 Pillar Carbon wheels, and carbon cockpit. I can honestly say that this Les is the VERY best bike (not just single speed) I have EVER ridden. I have races some 100K, 100 milers, and 12 hours events and plenty of training on it. It has super quick acceleration, snappy handling, carves corners with authority, climbs as well or better than any other bike, and RIPS down hills!

    Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. I love the LES!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    ^ agreed. I've read a lot of people had issues with SS setup. Last I heard Trek changed their tune after people were having problems with frame flex from the elevated chainstay, and said the Stache is not a SS frame and if you use it as such your using it outside of what it was designed to do. So if you have issues with frame flex your screwed.

    Bottom line, don't buy a Trek. ever.

    ?!

    I have a Stache. I ride it as an SS. It's awesome. Never once dropped the chain, never once had the dropouts slip, or creak, or do anything other than the job they were designed to do.

    Glad I didn't see your fear mongering first.

  22. #22
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    ^^^

    I have a Stache built as a single speed and my experience with it and the dropouts have been fantastic! No issues whatsoever. I don't know how many miles I have on this bike, but it is way more than 1,500 by now.

  23. #23
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Hope to continue having success with my carbon 9.7 ss as well. King stainless cog in rear and Absolute Black oval up front. So far no issues. Bontrager Pro Line 40 wheels are a nice addition.

  24. #24
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    Over 2 years and 3000 miles on my Stache as a single speed and still no issues. Love it!
    RideMFRide

  25. #25
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    Just dropped by to say, I've been Stache curious for a long time. Last Thursday I noticed the sale prices and brought home a 9.7 the next day.

    I'm looking forward to setting it up SS. I guess I'll either be real happy, or may be grumpy and down on Trek. It remains to be seen...

    For those of you who actually have one, and SS it:
    - what's involved in changing the driver body on the stock wheelset (stock Bontrager hub) The guys in the shop where I bought mine could not answer this question.
    - how difficult is is to fish a cable housing back through the frame? I'd likely do an annual swap over, ride SS when it's wet and switch back to gears for the summer. Never dealt with internal routed cable housings before...

  26. #26
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    I will say i am still in my modfication process of my carbon stache as a singelspeed. But there is something about the elevated chainstays that makes it not as brainless to set up SS as a diamond frame. I have only had mine out a couple times so far (damn rain) but it popped at least once each time out so far. I did adjust the chainline last ride and got the several pops i experienced the first couple rides down to only one pop by the last ride. after the last ride i did notice the chain was a little loose when i got home so i am hoping with both perfect alignment and optimal tension it will be trouble free next ride????

    i am not a huge bike nerd guy (hence SS) but i do know i have ridden diamond frames with way worse chainline and looser tension that never popped like this... what may help make it worse is my big size at 6'3" and 225lbs???

    what i would say for now is; if your a big dude maybe think about a traditional diamond frame? not saying the stache won't work (i sure as hell hope it will for me eventually) BUT it is definitely "fiddlier" to get right than any other SS i have ever had.

    I know many here don't think the flex is an issue; but for those who do (i am guessing the larger folk) did you ever try alu vs carbon frame to see if one was stiffer in the right spots for SS? I happen to have both. Current plan was to set up the alu geared as i love the superlightness of the carbon as a SS. But if the aluminum has less flex maybe that is the better singlespeed?

    sorry to answer the OP's question the dropouts are the best. super adjustable. if i end up not using this frame as a singlespeed it won't be because of the dropouts.

  27. #27
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    I'm about your size here. I have an aluminum stache set up with gears and its really flexy with the back wheel out but I've never really noticed anything I can definitively call flex while riding. I never noticed anything with the stock chupacabras but do feel/hear some odd hiccups from the rear end since I started running xr4s - I think this is from the combination of insane grip, bad chainline and really high torque at the hub from the low gear. In one of these hiccups I did shear a set of DT swiss ratchets a month or two ago working my way up a steep ledgy climb on a really cold day, I think a tiny bit of frame flex may have played a role in the incident but not sure.

    I've been thinking about the carbon one a little because its supposed to be stiffer, and I like the longer reach on the carbon models. But they don't have last year's frame in my size anymore so I'll probably wait. If I did have 2 frames I think I would deploy them the same way you are.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    I'm about your size here. I have an aluminum stache set up with gears and its really flexy with the back wheel out but I've never really noticed anything I can definitively call flex while riding. I never noticed anything with the stock chupacabras but do feel/hear some odd hiccups from the rear end since I started running xr4s - I think this is from the combination of insane grip, bad chainline and really high torque at the hub from the low gear. In one of these hiccups I did shear a set of DT swiss ratchets a month or two ago working my way up a steep ledgy climb on a really cold day, I think a tiny bit of frame flex may have played a role in the incident but not sure.

    I've been thinking about the carbon one a little because its supposed to be stiffer, and I like the longer reach on the carbon models. But they don't have last year's frame in my size anymore so I'll probably wait. If I did have 2 frames I think I would deploy them the same way you are.
    Alex I also have experienced a few pops while geared and blew up the stock rear wheel's free hub twice (but life has been problem free on second wheel). Another weird one, which forced my move to SS, was i blew up two rear derailleurs... on both of them (2 zee derailleurs) snapped the inner guide plate between the jockey wheels? I never attributed any of these failures to flex but now i wonder... never broke a derailleur outside a crash before this in my whole life riding bikes.

    unfortunately between dad duties and sh!t weather i am hardly hitting dirt at all right now but i am gonna try to get a working SS and geared stache ASAP.

    I don't notice the carbon being stiffer but it is noticeably smoother. AND SO LIGHT! i did hit my cranks a bunch getting used to the lower bb coming off the aluminum but with 170 cranks i don't notice it anymore.

  29. #29
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    UPDATE after some definite initial frustration, last 2 rides; zero popping.... and the chain could even be a little tighter.

    my guess is? maybe as the parts were bedding together, chain was breaking in; maybe there was enough give in the stays/drivetrain to make the thing "pop" under intense sideloads on the crank. so; if you get some popping initially maybe don't give up. after 10 or so rides in mine has become as quiet as every singlepseed i have had previous to this. i will continue to flog it and post up if i notice anything unusual with the drivetrain going forward.

    i will be so happy if this thing ends up as reliable as my old diamond frames because i love the geometry/ride!

  30. #30
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    This is good to hear - I think every singlespeed I've had has done that to some extent when getting fresh drivetrain bits, especially with my preferred brand of cog (I've never had an uber stiff carbon or aluminum SS, though I guess). I'm not thinking of making my stache into another singlespeed just yet, but I'm not not thinking about it.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  31. #31
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    Thanks for the update! My Stache is wearing gears, but I plan to SS it at some point in the future.
    Stache 7 --- Rigid Surly 1x1 B+ --- Dirt Drop CrossCheck

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