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Old 10-11-12, 08:23 AM   #1
EboniLM
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MTB > SS Conversion

Hi all! I haven't signed on here in a while, but i own a 1997-98 Gary Fisher Marlin mtb and am planning on converting it to SS very soon/ I'm trying to get all the parts, most likely a conversion kit, as i'm going to attempt to do it myself.

I have a couple of questions though...

will this particular kit work for my bike? http://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Single.../dp/B002UZFU7G

and will any SS chain do?

thanks in advance...
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Old 10-11-12, 11:02 AM   #2
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What are you trying to accomplish?

I suspect that kit will work. The main trick is to get the rear cog to line up perfectly with your front chainring. You'll have to experiment with the cassette spacers to make that work. You'll need the chain tensioner because the vertical dropouts won't allow you to adjust the chain tension otherwise. The chain that you have will work fine unless you switch to a thicker chainring and rear cogs. You will, of course, have to shorten it.

Functionally, I don't see what you will have gained over just not shifting and, to me at least, the chain tensioner ruins the conversion stylistically.
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Old 10-11-12, 04:04 PM   #3
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i never use the gears. i never need to, and don't want to. i'd rather use my legs, instead of making it easier for myself. plus, i hate how clunky it looks. it looks awful. i just want to rip it all off.

i'll be taking my bike apart, and then slowly piecing it back together. i'm also getting my frame powdercoated, so i'll wait until after that to do the conversion.

thanks for the input on the kit, i've been doingr esearch all day, and pretty much know exactly what i have to do and it definitely seems doable. i'll be ordering that kit, but i may use a bmx bmx cassette sprocket though.

also, the tensioner bothers me too, but i'd rather just have to look at that than the cables, derailleurs, and 7speed cassette.
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Old 10-11-12, 04:20 PM   #4
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Are you attached to this frame? If so, have a local framebuilder replace your dropouts with horizontal dropouts before powdercoating -- it'll make everything easier to use, and the end product so much more elegant. If not, consider picking up another frame so you don't have to deal with magic gears or chain tensioners. Bleh!
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Old 10-11-12, 09:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EboniLM View Post
i never use the gears. i never need to, and don't want to. i'd rather use my legs, instead of making it easier for myself. plus, i hate how clunky it looks. it looks awful. i just want to rip it all off.

i'll be taking my bike apart, and then slowly piecing it back together. i'm also getting my frame powdercoated, so i'll wait until after that to do the conversion.

thanks for the input on the kit, i've been doingr esearch all day, and pretty much know exactly what i have to do and it definitely seems doable. i'll be ordering that kit, but i may use a bmx bmx cassette sprocket though.

also, the tensioner bothers me too, but i'd rather just have to look at that than the cables, derailleurs, and 7speed cassette.
I used a similar kit to single-speed-ize an older mtb. As was mentioned above, it's critical to get good chainline. If it's off, your chain will pop off the chainring or cog when you are pedaling hard. Have to agree with Therminonic Scott, chain tensioners kinda suck. You might find a "magic gear", where you don't need to use a tensioner, but that takes some luck and/or skill. I might suggest you go with a different frame that has horizontal dropouts. You will love them oh so much more.

Also, that kit looks a bit chintzy. It's probably a good idea to spend a little more and get a better quality product.
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Old 10-12-12, 02:57 AM   #6
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I seriously feel like a complete idiot now. Thank you guys so much. I've already found some frame builders here in Houston who I'll be contacting for quotes. I'll also keep an eye out for used frame CL sales.

I knew the vertical dropouts made tings more difficult, but i didn't even think I could get them changed.

This project is gna take a few weeks, and now I'm even more excited.

Thanks again!

Last edited by EboniLM; 10-12-12 at 02:58 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-12-12, 08:52 AM   #7
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Why not just do a purpose-built or stock SS? Seems like it would be easier.
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Old 10-12-12, 11:30 AM   #8
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I've been doing research for my conversion, and I've come to some conclusions:

1. Chain tensioners are an ugly kludge that doesn't work the greatest.

2. Chain tensioners are far cheaper than getting new dropouts, a new frame, or one of those fancy eccentric hubs.

You might look at Performance Bike's house brand kit (forte) - it's the same tensioner, but it comes with a 20T cog as well, and is cheaper. Doesn't come with "conical spacers for improved cog stiffness", whatever that means.

One technical note that I've come across repeatedly is to make the chain as short as possible before adding the tensioner. That seems to be the trick for skipping/chain wrap issues - a tensioner won't take up as much slack as a derailleur will, but it will give you a little play.

But then again, tensioners are an ugly kludge.
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Old 10-12-12, 11:41 AM   #9
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Why not just do a purpose-built or stock SS? Seems like it would be easier.
Yeah, but what fun is that?
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Old 10-16-12, 07:21 PM   #10
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Here is mine minus the back wheel
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File Type: jpg 2012-10-16 22.16.06.jpg (93.8 KB, 9 views)
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