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When does it make sense to convert an 8-speed from a triple ring to a single ring?

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When does it make sense to convert an 8-speed from a triple ring to a single ring?

Old 10-13-15, 02:33 PM
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When does it make sense to convert an 8-speed from a triple ring to a single ring?

Please pardon my ignorance in advance. (Always a safe opening line....)

I am currently riding the first triple-ring bike (24-spd) I've ever owned. (Learned to ride on an old 10speed, then got back into riding as an adult using single-ring 7-speeds.) Back in my 10-speed days I rode on totally flat ground, and I don't think I ever left 5th gear; looking back on it, I could've been equally happy on a SS. These days I'm so used to riding 1x7 that I never seem to move out of the middle ring on my triple. Nor has the local terrain required me to do so, though I guess it's nice to have the extra range Just In Case. But I've heard that the triple-ring front derailleur thing increases the number of maintenance hassles and stuff that can go wrong. Would it make any sense, then, to convert this bike to a 1x8 to sidestep those worries, or am I just as well off simply using the middle ring all the time? (If, say, the FD shifter does develop a problem, if I never use the thing anyway does it even really matter?)

Another fringe benefit of keeping all 3 rings, in addition to having the emergency range in reserve, is that I can pretend I own a 3-speed simply by switching between front rings while staying in a neutral gear.
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Old 10-13-15, 02:43 PM
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Do the math, what gear ratios do you use ? if you leave it as is you don't have to spend Money..

Run the H and L stroke limit screws in, to keep the FD over the Middle one, and ignore the front shifter.
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Old 10-13-15, 02:47 PM
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I'd say this is a perfect time to lean on the old phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Sure, you could convert your drivetrain to a single ring up front, but it won't gain you anything. You can remove the inner and outer chainrings and replace them with bash guards, or switch to a single-ring crankset. You can remove the front derailleur, but you'd want to consider installing a chain guide in its place to make sure you don't drop the chain. Or you could leave the derailleur in place as a chain guide, locking it into position using its limit screws. And you could remove the front shifter and cabling, assuming it's not integrated with your brake levers.

Or you could skip all this hassle, leave well enough alone, and simply not shift.
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Old 10-13-15, 03:35 PM
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If you never shift the front derailleur, it won't ever need maintenance.
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Old 10-13-15, 05:50 PM
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Everyone pretty much covered it. No reason to change if what you've got is working for you.

But rather than use the middle ring of the triple, I suggest trying the big ring with a corresponding bigger gear in the back to get you the same ratio. Bigger gears = your chain/cassette will last longer. The only reason not to do this is if it results in excessive cross-chaining which sounds nasty and isn't good for anything.
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Old 10-13-15, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
If you never shift the front derailleur, it won't ever need maintenance.
They tend to seize up if you don't move them every once in awhile...
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Old 10-13-15, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
They tend to seize up if you don't move them every once in awhile...
But if you never use it, how would you know it's seized up?
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Old 10-14-15, 08:22 AM
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Don't ditch the 2 rings, and other unnecessary parts of the system because of maintenance issues, do it because it's cool and different. (and lighter)

Not everyone needs 20+ gears. Actually, most likely don't.
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Old 10-14-15, 08:58 AM
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If you're only using the rear gears, there would be no mechanical reason to keep the front derailleur, assuming the ratio spread is wide enough to do most of your riding. A thirty speed setup is not really thirty speeds, due to redundancies in the pairings. In fact, for a 21 speed configuration, you're probably only adding 1-3 usable ratios to your 8 at the rear, if you pick a good rear gear stack. I live in the mountains, and I usually ride a cruiser with a Nexus 7 rear hub. It covers my needs maybe 95% of the time--- I have to coast on some steep downhills, and almost never need to drop into 1st. Buddha said, "Simplify."
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