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Creating a single speed hack bike

frankspencer1979frankspencer1979 Posts: 525
edited November 2013 in MTB workshop & tech
I've got a new project for the winter months.

I have an unused frame which I'd like to make into a single speed bike for knocking about on round the local paths and parks. I just want it to be light weight and simple so that it doesn't take much (if any) maintenance so I can save my real bike for proper rides!

Things I have are the frame, a GXP external BB, a set of Superstar XC430 wheels with Trizoid ten speed rear freehub.

If I get this http://www.aspirevelotech.com/Merchant2 ... tAodyl8AbA single speed conversion kit, a narrow-wide chain ring and some sort of crank set, am I more or less good to go? (Apart from all the other bits like brakes, bars, saddle etc' etc'!!?)

Maybe this crankset http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/truv ... -prod52150 (it's cheap,) remove the bash and chainring and replace with a narrow-wide chainring?

I'm not certain what components are compatible with each other, so if anyone can recommend what individual components I should be looking at (chain ring, chain, conversion kit etc')it would be great! All advice much appreciated, I'm kinda winging this at the moment!

Posts

  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    Winging it's half the fun isn't it?

    If you go for that ss conversion kit you'll probably get away with any old chain and any old crankset, the danger being that chains designed for geared bikes have lateral flex and chain rings (and cassettes) have ramps to make shifting smoother, so you might find your single speed drivetrain has the tendency to throw the chain. Get the chainline right and use that cog and you're probably OK though.

    Assuming your frame has vertical dropouts you need some way of tensioning your chain (ie a chain tension device, like a mech. with one jockey wheel).

    Use any bits you've got to get you going - you don't really need ss specific cranks. If I was buying new I'd be tempted to get a single speed chain instead of a (cheaper) 7 speed chain. I've not had any problems running my mish mash of stuff but thick links and no flexibility should pay for themselves in time.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    What is the hub body made from?

    If alloy don't bother with that SS kit get a surly or gusset kit with a 7mm cog base.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklouse wrote:
    What is the hub bony made from?

    If alloy don't bother with that SS kit get a surly or gusset kit with a 7mm cog base.

    I think alloy, would my choice of kit destroy the hub body then?
    craker wrote:

    Assuming your frame has vertical dropouts you need some way of tensioning your chain (ie a chain tension device, like a mech. with one jockey wheel).

    I don't fully understand this. I know the devices you mean, but i don't get the need for tensioning the chain and how this relates to the dropouts. If i use a narrow-wide chainring (i appreciate these are primarily aimed at 1x10/11 type set ups) and get the chain to the correct length, why the tensioner?
  • I got a rusty old vintage French racing bike, ripped the rusty gears / calipers / brake levers / saddle & chain, stuck a new front wheel (I had a decent spare laying about in the garage), some new brake levers, new calipers, an old MTB saddle, new grip tape and a new chain.

    Running singlespeed using the middle cog of a 7speed cassette and the big ring of the double chainset....

    Total cost to me:

    Tektro Brake levers - £12.50
    Tektro Calipers - £20
    Bar tape - £7
    Chain £7

    More than enough clearance to run 32mm tyres and frame has handy mudguard mounts ;)
  • craker wrote:
    Assuming your frame has vertical dropouts you need some way of tensioning your chain (ie a chain tension device, like a mech. with one jockey wheel).

    I don't fully understand this. I know the devices you mean, but i don't get the need for tensioning the chain and how this relates to the dropouts. If i use a narrow-wide chainring (i appreciate these are primarily aimed at 1x10/11 type set ups) and get the chain to the correct length, why the tensioner?

    You only really need a chain tensioner if your running a fixed gear rear,

    for running a freewheel single speed rear, so long as you can get the chain tight you'll be fine with vertical dropouts.....
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    No need for the cost of a narrow/wide chainring with SS at all.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Even with the correct chain length you'll still need a bit of slack to get it on, which may mean it's slightly loose once fitted. You can always put it on the cogs first and then join it... but that's a pain for trail/road-side repairs unless you have a chain breaker on you.
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • The Rookie wrote:
    No need for the cost of a narrow/wide chainring with SS at all.

    So any old chainring (with the right bolt diameter) will be fine, so long as I'm happy with the size?
    CitizenLee wrote:
    Even with the correct chain length you'll still need a bit of slack to get it on, which may mean it's slightly loose once fitted. You can always put it on the cogs first and then join it... but that's a pain for trail/road-side repairs unless you have a chain breaker on you.

    What about a powerlink? Actuall, this isn't too much of an issue as I'm never going to ride it that far from home really. Far enough to be a ball-ache admittedly, but not a bloomin nightmare.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    The Rookie wrote:
    No need for the cost of a narrow/wide chainring with SS at all.

    So any old chainring (with the right bolt diameter) will be fine, so long as I'm happy with the size?
    You can use a ramped one, but a normal single chainring (not fat thin) is what is normally used.
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    You only really need a chain tensioner if you're running a fixed gear rear

    I thought the advice was NEVER run fixed and a chain tensioner? You're switching chain tension to the chain run underneath the stay, which includes the tensioner. It can't handle the tension and collapses against the stay... no idea what happens next.

    TBH I've no idea what this narrow / wide chainring thing is anyway.. :oops:
  • craker wrote:

    TBH I've no idea what this narrow / wide chainring thing is anyway.. :oops:

    I think we can forget this now, it was just me having daft ideas!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    craker wrote:
    You only really need a chain tensioner if you're running a fixed gear rear

    I thought the advice was NEVER run fixed and a chain tensioner? You're switching chain tension to the chain run underneath the stay, which includes the tensioner. It can't handle the tension and collapses against the stay... no idea what happens next.

    TBH I've no idea what this narrow / wide chainring thing is anyway.. :oops:
    correct NEVER NEVER with a fixed.

    chain tugs yes but not a tensioner.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklouse wrote:
    What is the hub bony made from?

    If alloy don't bother with that SS kit get a surly or gusset kit with a 7mm cog base.

    I think alloy, would my choice of kit destroy the hub body then?
    craker wrote:

    Assuming your frame has vertical dropouts you need some way of tensioning your chain (ie a chain tension device, like a mech. with one jockey wheel).

    I don't fully understand this. I know the devices you mean, but i don't get the need for tensioning the chain and how this relates to the dropouts. If i use a narrow-wide chainring (i appreciate these are primarily aimed at 1x10/11 type set ups) and get the chain to the correct length, why the tensioner?

    If you use a vertical drop out frame, then your chain will be loose. The best way to stop this is with the mentioned chain device.

    If you dont have a tensioner your chain will really really slack, probably slack enough to make it unrideable. Or it will just bounce off all the time. Even being slack by half a chain link will make a big amount of slack.
  • nicklouse wrote:
    What is the hub bony made from?

    If alloy don't bother with that SS kit get a surly or gusset kit with a 7mm cog base.

    I think alloy, would my choice of kit destroy the hub body then?
    craker wrote:

    Assuming your frame has vertical dropouts you need some way of tensioning your chain (ie a chain tension device, like a mech. with one jockey wheel).

    I don't fully understand this. I know the devices you mean, but i don't get the need for tensioning the chain and how this relates to the dropouts. If i use a narrow-wide chainring (i appreciate these are primarily aimed at 1x10/11 type set ups) and get the chain to the correct length, why the tensioner?

    If you use a vertical drop out frame, then your chain will be loose. The best way to stop this is with the mentioned chain device.

    If you dont have a tensioner your chain will really really slack, probably slack enough to make it unrideable. Or it will just bounce off all the time. Even being slack by half a chain link will make a big amount of slack.

    I'm totally showing my ignorance here, but does the tensioner have to be at that end!? Would any chain device do? I have a black spire stinger lying around
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    cyd190468 wrote:

    Two jocky wheels huh? The one in my parts box has got just the one; shorter chain run and less complicated? I don't use it so I don't know the pitfalls.

    To the OP - Just build the thing and use whatever works. Sounds a bit different to try a chain device up front (never had one, don't know how it works, is it spring loaded?)
  • craker wrote:
    cyd190468 wrote:

    Two jocky wheels huh? The one in my parts box has got just the one; shorter chain run and less complicated? I don't use it so I don't know the pitfalls.

    To the OP - Just build the thing and use whatever works. Sounds a bit different to try a chain device up front (never had one, don't know how it works, is it spring loaded?)

    It's just a jockey wheel that pushes the chain close to the chain ring to stop it dropping off that end. I wonder if the added tension at that end will stop the chain slapping about at the other.

    My problem is I don't have much stuff lying around, I need to buy it all. I don't want to get the wrong stuff or waste money on stuff I don't need.
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