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  1. #1
    Junior Member tjocesq's Avatar
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    converting mtn to singlespeed mtn bike

    Hey all,

    was wondering how many of you converted your mtn bike to a singlespeed for off road, technical riding and what people's experience has been.

    I have an old kona cindercone, still go off road--mostly technical (but not as much as i used to--I go 1-2x per month, mostly do road riding nowadays).

    I am not afraid of hills as I am in decent shape.

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    I love my singlespeeds. I think they are great for technical terrain especially if you go rigid. You get bounced around a bit but the bike is lighter and easy to flick around. You may not be as fast over obstacles as if you had a suspension, but that is not the point.

    Is your cindercone frame steel? Old steel hardtails make the best singlespeed conversions in my opinion. Not only is the steel ride smoother, the smaller diameter tubing gives you that nice retro look.

    Super clean conversion tip, depending on your budget. Get a rear wheel built ( or build it yourself) with a white industries Eccentric hub. No need for crappy chain tensioners. With that wheel, you can transform any old hardtail with vertical dropouts into a singlespeed or fixedgear.

    I know you said you were in shape, but riding a singlespeed takes some getting used to. It is not that you need to be in better shape, you just need to get rid of bad riding habits and be more aggressive. Riding it only 1-2 times a month will be difficult in my opinion. It just takes time to get comfortable riding it. It always suprises me how much I get my ass kicked on one if I haven't ridden singlespeed recently.

  3. #3
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsuspended
    Super clean conversion tip, depending on your budget. Get a rear wheel built ( or build it yourself) with a white industries Eccentric hub. No need for crappy chain tensioners. With that wheel, you can transform any old hardtail with vertical dropouts into a singlespeed or fixedgear.

    I agree. I recently built up a Kona Hahanna into a rigid SS machine. I went the chain tensioner route. Rigid and SS Kona- done
    Love the bike, but soooo hate the CHAIN SKIP!!!!! Once I finish building the Surly, I will be getting the eccentric rear hub.

    For me at least the following never gets old
    1. Wow that is a rigid!
    2. That is single speed?
    3. How can you survive the trails on that thing?

    I don't mean to brag. I by no means take the trails as fast as the others, but it is a good feeling to take on trails that others wouldn't take if they didn't have their Full Suspension geared bike.

  4. #4
    Junior Member tjocesq's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help--I think I will do it. Just the thought of going singlespeed on the kona has me itching to get back on the trails again.

    Oh yeah, my cindercone is a steel frame, only upgrade so far has been to xt brakes.

    btw--do you know where the white industries eccentric hub can be ordered from on-line?

  5. #5
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjocesq
    btw--do you know where the white industries eccentric hub can be ordered from on-line?
    http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp...=260&brand=347

  6. #6
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    SS is great if your in decent shape. It'll give ya' a good workout fer sure.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  7. #7
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    What are you ss'ers running for gearing? What sort of terrain do you ride? Big grinders? Rolling hills? Pisgah NF?

    I already run a single ring on the front, but I'm afraid if I had a singlespeed with gearing low enough for effective climbing, I'd spin it out on the flats quite easily, and I know I wouldn't like it.

    Having said that, can anyone give a quick rundown of the equipment required for a SS, given I currently have a standard cassette hub and an adjustable dropout steel frame?

  8. #8
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    I run a 34 x 16 gear combo and I ride up a lot of hills at Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz.

    At first I had to push it up some hills, but after 700+ miles I finally made it up some steep ones without having to get off and hoof-it.

    If you can split up your cassette, all you'll need are some spacers to take the place of all the gears you don't want. I have a set if you want it, PM me if anyone is interested.

  9. #9
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    What are you ss'ers running for gearing? What sort of terrain do you ride? Big grinders? Rolling hills? Pisgah NF?

    I already run a single ring on the front, but I'm afraid if I had a singlespeed with gearing low enough for effective climbing, I'd spin it out on the flats quite easily, and I know I wouldn't like it.

    Having said that, can anyone give a quick rundown of the equipment required for a SS, given I currently have a standard cassette hub and an adjustable dropout steel frame?
    I run 32x16. I ride my SS at Dupont and leave it at home when I ride Pisgah. By the way, are you ever coming back up?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  10. #10
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    ...leave it at home when I ride Pisgah. By the way, are you ever coming back up?
    Aha, I suspected as much about the SS. I recently got a new frame that would be appropriate for SS, but I think I'll stick with 8 or 9 speeds for now.

    I am dying to get back up there to your turf but my schedule is so busy (pee wee's tomorrow, snowshoe next weekend, Fontana DH the weekend after that, etc, etc). Looks like late July or it may even be as bad as late August. I am dying to hit Dupont on my "XC" bike (only to get dropped by girlscout12, probably).

    I've still got your number - I will hit you up one of these days.

  11. #11
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    Aha, I suspected as much about the SS. I recently got a new frame that would be appropriate for SS, but I think I'll stick with 8 or 9 speeds for now.

    I am dying to get back up there to your turf but my schedule is so busy (pee wee's tomorrow, snowshoe next weekend, Fontana DH the weekend after that, etc, etc). Looks like late July or it may even be as bad as late August. I am dying to hit Dupont on my "XC" bike (only to get dropped by girlscout12, probably).

    I've still got your number - I will hit you up one of these days.
    Girlscout12 smacked a tree head on today at Dupont. The bikes ok but he's on the couch with a heating pad on his back. The funny thing is he was talking smack to me about going faster then wham.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  12. #12
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    The bikes ok
    Well that's good news, lol.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BoBo's Avatar
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    sorry for the newbie question.

    When riding a singlespeed bike are you still able to back pedal? or does it brake like my old kiddy bike?

    and what does fixed mean compared to SS?

    and where could you find a ridgid fork?

  14. #14
    old school hollywood irishmcmorgan's Avatar
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    ok, I have a question I am looking at buying a a xc/kinda freeride bike(ss maybe)
    would this fit my range of ability, ow what ever its called,
    http://www.bianchiusa.com/582.html

  15. #15
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoBo
    sorry for the newbie question.

    When riding a singlespeed bike are you still able to back pedal? or does it brake like my old kiddy bike?

    and what does fixed mean compared to SS?

    and where could you find a ridgid fork?
    SS is just like any other mtnbike as far as the brakes go. Fixed gear bikes always drive ( no freewheel) so your cranks are always turning.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  16. #16
    Junior Member tjocesq's Avatar
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    I did it! I dropped off the kona to the lbs (I know this mechanic from the local mtn bike trails--he knows my riding and the trails). I'm going with 32, 17 for the chainrings, a bmx chain (beefier, will put up the thrashing from the technical trails I love). I decided to use my old derailleur to create the tension needed.

    My bike will be ready by Thursday afternoon. I cannot wait to ride! I have not ridden a singlespeed off road in 20 years (yep, I am an old lady, hitting 40 soon. I've been mtn biking since the mid-70's).

    As a side note--my 9 year old daughter wants to try mtn biking now. I picked out an old horse trail that will be challenging for her without being frustrating.

    I want to thank you all again for your help.

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