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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 03-20-05, 04:48 PM   #1
B1105
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I'm building up a cheap SS from an old SuperGo Access frame, with vert dropouts. I know most people use like a Singleator, Rennen or some sort of tensining system, but i have seen in pictures, people just running a chain all around without anything(on vert dropout bikes). Is it possible to just cut the chain to the exact length and run the bike without problems?

My reason for asking is that I jsut dont like the look of a tensioner there, and I'm going to buy a frame with an EBB right now.

Anyone use the Shadow Conspiracy Interloc chain? It uses half links which apparantly allows you to get the perfect chain lenght, without a tensioner.

Thanks
Byron
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Old 03-20-05, 05:38 PM   #2
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Try this chain length calculator: http://www.peak.org/~fixin/personal/fmu/php/formfmu.php
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Old 03-20-05, 05:38 PM   #3
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Normally one plays with the gearing to get the chain tension just right. You can get a little play by, maybe, filing a flat groove in the axle. Keep in mind that finding a gearing that works to get tension might not work well in practice. If you can file, or do something else to get yourself 1/4" of play, any combination should be possible. Personally, I like the look of the lines without a tensioner, but it does give you a lot of possibilities and still remains a rather elegant solution to that problem.
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Old 03-20-05, 05:45 PM   #4
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The Shadow Conspiracy chain does give you a little bit more adjustment, but you could also just buy one half-link and put that in your existing chain to get the same amount of adjustment. If you don't want to buy a new frame, but don't mind dropping a large amount on a new rear wheel, pick up a White Industries ENO eccentric hub. It has just enough adjustment in it to work with any vertical dropout frame and it's fixed/free. Super high quality too.
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Old 03-20-05, 07:21 PM   #5
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I can vouch for the quality of the White Ind hub - about the best component I've ever had.
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Old 03-20-05, 07:33 PM   #6
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Well I am building my first SS with what I believe is an old Nashbar frame. 32-18 got me darn near a perfect gear as far as chain but I threw the tensioner on there anyway just to make sure as it is my first SS (well since childhood) I didn't know how much play in the chain was ok. Here is what mine currently looks like. I am still waiting on brakes, levers, grips and a seat binder to get me on the road...err...off the road. Those items should be here tomorrow. The gear selection was totally random and dumb luck that it was close BTW. My buddy at the shop talked me out of 32-16 saying that with the mountains in our area a couple more teeth on the back was a good plan.

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Old 03-20-05, 07:37 PM   #7
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Chopper- Clear coat or paint that Alu, or it will oxidize into a nasty chalky mess.
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Old 03-21-05, 06:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Chopper- Clear coat or paint that Alu, or it will oxidize into a nasty chalky mess.
I would do that but I don't want to take the time. If I like SS MTB I am going to buy either a Surly 1X1 or an IRO Highlander frame and move the other parts over. Only paid $20 for this frame so I am not too worried.
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Old 03-21-05, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs
If you can file, or do something else to get yourself 1/4" of play, any combination should be possible.
On most vertical drops, I've found that there's plenty of room for this much filing. It's a little bit of a drag to sit there sawing away with the file, but the reward is the stylish look of no tensioner, which is well worth it. Plus, then you have the option of running fixed gear if you want.
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