Surly SS cassete rings slipping- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Surly SS cassete rings slipping

    Don't know if i should have shoved this in "Drivetrain" but it's a Surly issue so here goes...

    The good old Surly SS ring is a prize piece of kit, provided that you're on an SS frame or one with a rigidly fixed tensioner.

    The other day I decided to rig up a ghetto 3 speed using an XO long cage derailleur as my tensioner, a surly 14 tooth ring and a Renner spacer on the rear wheel freehub and a Middleburn /Blackspire Super Pro triple ring setup on the front of my Yeti ARC. (very "ghetto" I know)

    Now Surly advertise their SS rings as being made with a wide enough base that you can slot them together and select between them with a 9 speed derailleur. Problem was when I tried using the single ring tensioned with the derailleur (to allow for chain growth switching from 22 through to 32 and 44 up front) the chain kept skipping on the surly ring. Looks like the sides of the valleys on the tooth profile are too sloped to give proper engagement unless you're using extreme tension or a full SS setup (in which case you couldn't use them as advertised and select between with a derailleur, the chain would keep slipping on the rings.

    SRAM and Shimano cassette rings work fine in this application but the plush Surly ring is unworkable.

    The X0 rear mech has the Ti spring so it's probably better tensioned than most other derailleurs you might use for the purpose.

    I'm left to feel that Surly should have just stuck with the "wide base so it won't chew out your freehub body" and not added in the "selectable with 9 speed derailleur" bit on the advertising blurb becasue as far as I can see, you might be able to select it but you can't ride a bike (even a light bike on the flat) with a derailleur used as a tensioner.

    Thoughts anyone?
    (Aside from that I'm an idiot for making a 22/32/44:14 three speed)

  2. #2
    Obi
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    Hope My thoughts/experience...

    They (Surly) mean (I believe) that you can stack the cogs up in the back.

    It sounds like you're trying to run a 3 front and 1 rear, versus a 1 front, and 3 rear. I realize what you're referring to with the front ring, but remember, you're using a non-ramped/pinned ringset, where the Shimano, (insert other manuf's here) are a ramp/pin deal. One can usually get away with what you're doing, but it is with a front shifter that is either SIS-Friction Switchable to be ran in Friction Mode, or just a antique friction shifter.

    The older drivetrains that didn't rely on this "New-Fangled Ramp/Pin Deal" were great for this, and is why so many companies world-wide still buy these rings. Only the US, Canada, and parts of Europe use the index drivetrains, 90% of most other countries that use bikes as transport rely on the old tried and true friction method.

    That or all you're needing to do is re-read what Surly's saying. Rear Cogs can be stacked. I've ran a 16-17-19-21 in back, and because of the width, no spacers are needed as they work out to the 9 speed spacing. I've ran a mid-cage X-9, with shifter, and those with no problems. I just also ran a SingleSpeed Front Chainring, 32 tooth, with a MRP guide, and it worked great.

    Why not just put some more cogs, as in a cassette, not a single speed cog, and just single the front ring, use the derailleur as a failsafe chain guide, Downhill/Slalom Ghetto Stylee?

    Hope this helps out a bit.

    Obi..

  3. #3
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    Correct, I'm using 3 up front and 1 behind. Front rings are ramped and pinned and shift fine.

    The problem I found wasn't with the front rings, it's with using the surly ring at the back and the derailleur used a a tensioner. Obviously from what Surly say about being able to stack the rings without the need for spacers, they consider that a derailleur as tensioner is viable (otherwise you couldn't shift between them once they were stacked and so therefore there'd be no point is having it as a feature.

    Even with just the single ring at the back and a straight chainline off the middle ring, the chain under load would ride up the teeth on the surly ring and skip around. Using single cassette rings borrowed from both SRAM and Shimano cassettes of 13,14,15 and 18 tooth count I've been able to make the system work fine, it's only ever been a problem with using the Surly SS ring.

    I've used the Surly ring with a Rennen Rollenlager tensioner and a Single 32 tooth up front as a proper singlespeed and when there's a tight chain wrap of correct tension, then the "ride up and slip" thing cannot happen as theres insufficient chain growth in the system to allow it. But in the derailleur tensioned setup where the chain growth is allowed for by the sprung cage of the mech, the slip happens.

    I'm assuming that with a stack of rings at the back you'd still have the same problem. My hassle isn't the shifting (only ever tried the single rear ring) it's in the slip.

    Yeah, I've used the 32 tooth Middleburn Uno up front with a Rohloff Chain guide and a cassette at the rear and it worked fine, it just seems like if I was to try and run 1x3 instead of 3x1 and take a stack of 3 surly cogs at the back, I may well be able to index them but I'd still have the slip issues that I have with the 14 tooth

    Chain and x0 rear mech are both in pretty good condition and not worn, so I can't explain it unless it's down to the shape of the Surly tooth profile.

  4. #4
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    Similar set-up, but not Surly rear sprocket

    Hey Drew,
    I have been riding my MB-6 "Tringle-Speed" (as I call it) for over a year now with no chain skip/jump problems at all. It is set-up like yours; 3 in front with a front Der. and a front shifter, and only a 21 tooth Shimano sprocket from a cluster that I disassembled. The sprocket is spaced onto a Deore cassette hub, and I have only a rear der. (older short cage Suntour model) as a chain tensioner/slack adjuster. I have a Nashbar no name 28/38/48 triple crank up front. I spaced the rear sprocket to line up with the middle (38T) front ring.
    If you had tried the Surly and 2 other brands of sprockets and only had the trouble with the Surly, then yeah, maybe it is the Surly. But take a look at the length of the rear der. cage that you are using and try the shortest one that is made. For a set-up like yours and mine, I don't think that the chain wrap capacity of the rear der. needs to be adhered to. Also, I adjusted the "B tension" screw on my rear der. so that it brings the top pulley of the rear der. as close as possible to the bottom of the rear 21T sprocket. I also adjusted BOTH of the limit screws on the rear der. so that there was no room for the rear der. to be pulled away from the center line of the rear sprocket.
    If these suggestions do not help, try a sprocket from another manuf. like Endless, etc. You might want to try Paul's Melvin(?) chain tensioner, but I'm not sure how much chain that can wrap. Let me know how you make out.
    Ace

  5. #5
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    Picture of my MB-6 "Tringle Speed" set-up

    Here is a photo of my set-up that I explained above. Let me know if you need any close-ups.
    Ace
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  6. #6
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    Paul Components "Melvin" tensioner

    Here is the Melvin info from Paul Components website.

    "MELVIN chain tensioner-do not use with a fixed gear

    available in anodized
    silver and black:
    Melvin $80.00


    Want to try the one speed thing, but don't want to buy a new frame?
    Try the Melvin.

    The Melvin bolts to the frame where the derailleur would normally be and allows the use of a one speed rear wheel on bikes with vertical dropouts. A vertical dropout has the slot for the hub axle going up and down. It keeps the wheel in a fixed spot, and 99 times out of 100 it does not put the wheel in the right spot for perfect chain tension. (With a horizontal dropout the wheel can be moved fore or aft to remove slack from the chain.) The Melvin takes care of all that.

    Our Melvin works best, of course, with our hubs. But, it does work with most other hubs too. Spacers on the mount can be rearranged to place the pulley wheels under the cog. The top pulley has some side to side float to fine tune the chain line also. There are other chain tensioners out there but only the Melvin uses two pulleys which provides the most chain wrap.

    One of the coolest things about the Melvin is that it allows two front chain rings to be used (of course this is no longer a single speed, sob, but can be very handy for loaded commuting) Because we use two pulleys, two chain rings with a maximum difference of twenty teeth can be used up front. With a little practice, a deft finger and a delicate heel make a fine front derailleur".
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  7. #7
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    We are aware of this issue.

    If you have a cog which seems to be slipping when used with a chain tensioning device like the Singleator, Paul Melvin, or a derailleur and you've exhaused your efforts to fix it, you may take the cog back to the shop where it was purchased and talk with them about a possible return. Have them contact us.

    We have made a running change to the tooth profile of Surly splined cogs. Newer ones will have a squared off tooth, older cog teeth will be rounded.

    The first generation (rounded tooth) cogs work just dandy when used with a regular single speed setup (read: with horizontal drops), so don't return those.

    I will now slip back into the night.

    Skip Bernet
    Surly Bikes

  8. #8
    uh, or something!
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    Good job! Hey Ace

    Nice Bridgestone. How do you avoid those strange people that hang around lincoln woods?

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