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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-01-05, 11:57 AM   #1
islenska
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what would happen?

i have a hardtail mtb that deperately needs a new drivetrain, but i *think* i might want to convert it to a singlespeed, so its on hold for the moment. what would happen if for now i just picked a gear with a decent chainline and left it there and then removed the shifters and the front derailieur? right now the bike has standard mtb gearing, so if i left the chain on the middle ring, would i be ok? or am i going to run into all kinds of problems with the chain coming off?

the reason i want to take all that crap off is so the temptation to shift isnt there, and because most of the time i'm riding it in one or two gears anyway, so its just a bunch or extra cables and stuff to get in the way.

any advice would be helpful, thanks.
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Old 07-01-05, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'm no expert but I belive that you need the tension from the cables to keep your deraileurs at the right position. I'm I totally off base here or can someone back me up on this.
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Old 07-01-05, 12:13 PM   #3
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It's pretty easy to lock a rear derailieur in posistion, just use a length of the old cable.
You probably want to leave the front derailieur on as well, rear derailieurs don't usually provide enough tension to stop the chain jumping off the front cogs when riding on bumpy terrain.
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Old 07-01-05, 12:17 PM   #4
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Or replace the derailleurs with a chain tensioner. They aren't too expensive & are a cinch to install.
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Old 07-01-05, 01:27 PM   #5
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i have seen a similar set up on a couple bikes parked on the street. I would think it would work, but without riding it i also worry about the chain skipping off the gear.

I briefly had a ss that was a converted road bike with the rear cassette replaced with just one cog and a LOT of spacers. On this particular bike it was a getto a** setup. It was converted when i bought it used. Anyhow the first day i was riding it the chain came off, and i also noticed the cog has some teeth that were starting to break off... so personally i prefer a hub that was meant to be ss with a ss cog/freewheel.
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Old 07-01-05, 11:18 PM   #6
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Dump the cassette, dump the front and rear deraileurs and dump the shifters....and for that matter dump the rear brake too. Just use a single cog on the back with lots of spacers and single chainring up front and throw on a chain tensioner.

You can get the chainline pretty much dead on with some fooling around with the cog and spacers. Your bike will be much lighter and little cleaner in appearance.
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Old 07-01-05, 11:28 PM   #7
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this is so silly.... if you don't want to do the job correctly, just leave everything the way it is, and don't use the shifters if you don't want to......
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Old 07-01-05, 11:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islenska
i have a hardtail mtb that deperately needs a new drivetrain, but i *think* i might want to convert it to a singlespeed, so its on hold for the moment. what would happen if for now i just picked a gear with a decent chainline and left it there and then removed the shifters and the front derailieur? right now the bike has standard mtb gearing, so if i left the chain on the middle ring, would i be ok? or am i going to run into all kinds of problems with the chain coming off?

the reason i want to take all that crap off is so the temptation to shift isnt there, and because most of the time i'm riding it in one or two gears anyway, so its just a bunch or extra cables and stuff to get in the way.

any advice would be helpful, thanks.
I don't think this is a bad idea at all. There's no reason why it wouldn't work ok, and if you like it, then you can do all of the rest. The only bad thing I can think of is that riding around with a worn-out drive train would suck. That said, if you are ok with what you've got, have fun.
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Old 07-02-05, 01:34 AM   #9
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Seconded. If your dropouts allow you to move the axle around a little bit, you should be able to get the chain reasonably tight on at least one of two adjacent cogs. Middle chainring front, 14 to 18 cog on rear shoul be reasonably straight chainline and decent offrad gear as well. Shorten the chain, rip off the RD and cables, and see if you like it. I have done this and it worked reasonably well, but I did lose the chain once. The cogs are just not tall enough. Anyway, it should be ok for a test, especially if you don't do bumpy off-road with it. Leave the rear brake on. I don't think it's clever to rely on just one brake.
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Old 07-02-05, 07:32 PM   #10
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ok, thank all for your advice...
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Old 07-03-05, 11:41 AM   #11
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the gusset single speed conversion kit works great and will give you a pretty decent chainline with the middle ring up front. plus the gusset kit only runs about 20 bucks. I am using the gusset kit and I love it! running a 32-16
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