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2 x 8 road bike to 1 x 8 conversion

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2 x 8 road bike to 1 x 8 conversion

Old 08-31-18, 08:33 AM
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2 x 8 road bike to 1 x 8 conversion

Hi ,

We have a giant avail road bike that I would like to covert from 2 rings up front to just 1 . My partner who uses it never needs the big ring and the front derailleur just gets in the way of the chain when she tries to use the full range of the cassette with the smaller ring .Also she is a novice cyclist and I think simplifying gearing will make riding the bike a lot more appealing to her.

So if I get single speed chain ring bolts and remove the FD and the large chain ring and some of the now unnecessary chain will that work out ? or will the chain fall off the front ring a lot ?

Will I need a special chain ring like a Narrow wide / single speed ring or some kind of chain device ? Would something like a deda chain fang on the seat post be enough ?

I have installed narrow wide chainrings before on mountain bikes but this road bike is an 8 speed setup and as far as I know narrow wides are designed for 9 speed chains and up . The wider 8 speed chain would negate the function of the Narrow Wide Teeth profile ?

I have done 1 x setups before on bikes by using the front derailleur as a chain device but this Fd rubs in the extremes of the cassette no matter how I position it so Id like to do this Front derailleur free if possible .Maybe a wider FD would work as a chain device ?

Thanks

J
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Old 08-31-18, 09:18 AM
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You won't Need a special chainring, as smaller ones don't shorten the teeth up much , But..
a single ring chain line on a crank is the space between the 2 chainrings on a double..

... lining up with center of gear cluster on the rear, the space between 4th and 5th of 8..
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Old 08-31-18, 09:25 AM
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I use a USAMade 48T narrow-wide chainring with a 11-28 cassette and KMC X8.93 chain, works great.
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Old 08-31-18, 10:32 AM
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I have a 1x11 setup and rode for a year without dropping the chain. I ride mostly road/paved trails. One day I felt the the chain coming off the ring and back-pedaled to see if that would set things right. What happened was that the chain was now wrapped around the crank in a way that I was not willing to fix on the road, so I made the call of shame. I decided then that I never wanted this to happen again so I looked at Paul Chain Keeper, clutch RDs, and narrow-wide chainrings. I had been planning to replace my 39t ring with a 42t anyway, so it made sense to buy a Drop-Stop ring from Wolf Tooth. Have a few hundred miles on it and it's working great.

I am glad that I bought the new ring, but since I had almost a thousand trouble-free miles on the original ring, I can't say that you really need it. My suggestion is to just try it for a while to get some experience. Also, avoid back-pedaling if you feel the chain dropping. Chainline needs considering as well.

Good luck
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Old 08-31-18, 11:03 AM
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I often feel like an analogue man whose been caught in a digital world.

My philosophy is to try for myself the cheapest solution and see how that works. My bet is it's going to work fine. If you hang on to the old parts, the worst that can happen is you'll have to put it back the way that it was.
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Old 08-31-18, 11:33 AM
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I would just loose the big ring and deraileur and see how it goes. Be sure to shorten the chain, as the small ring is now essentially the "big" ring. Look up "big-big plus one" method of determining chain length (google it). This will help a lot in terms of keeping the chain in the chainring.

If you need more chain retention help try a BBG Bashguard (google it) on the outside and an Ngear Jumpstop (google it) on the inside. Should run you about $30-$35 all together, including shipping.
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Old 08-31-18, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
I often feel like an analogue man whose been caught in a digital world.

My philosophy is to try for myself the cheapest solution and see how that works. My bet is it's going to work fine. If you hang on to the old parts, the worst that can happen is you'll have to put it back the way that it was.
I agree! The other part of this is that I find so often what others say doesn’t work actually works just fine.
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Old 09-02-18, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jambon
So if I get single speed chain ring bolts and remove the FD and the large chain ring and some of the now unnecessary chain will that work out ? or will the chain fall off the front ring a lot ?
A simple conversion is to lock the derailleur in place over the inner ring using the limit screws. Then remove the front shifter, its cable and housing, and the big ring. Leave the derailleur locked in place over the remaining ring to serve as a chain guide.
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Old 09-03-18, 07:17 AM
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I would do that except for some reason this deraileur rubs the chain at the extremes no matter how I position it
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Old 09-03-18, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jambon
I would do that except for some reason this deraileur rubs the chain at the extremes no matter how I position it
Last year a friend crashed badly when his 1x9 chain dropped while he was standing and sprinting on a downhill. He had recently removed his locked-in derailleur for a cleaner look. OTOH, I also run 1x9 with a narrow/wide ring and some rotor bolt spacers to dial in the chainline. I do get chain drops on rough singletrack segments, but rarely. The classic "your mileage may vary" probably applies here, and you just have to try and see what works.

Last edited by JonathanGennick; 09-03-18 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 09-03-18, 08:42 AM
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I will also recommend at least picking up a dedicated 1X chainring. A USAMade 1X chainring is about $25. It's worth it. Chainline is quieter, you won't drop a chain, and it doesn't care what position it's mounted in on the cranks. I've been running my narrow-wide in the outer position on a 2X crankset for 10,000 miles.
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Old 09-03-18, 09:09 AM
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The one concern I would have is if your partner has a habit of riding the small-small combo very much, especially if also at low revs. That will lead to very quick chain/cog wear.
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Old 09-03-18, 01:08 PM
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It really depends on how much the person shifts and how hard they ride. They're probably not gonna get in any terrible crashes from the chain dropping if they don't go much faster than 8mph and never stand on the pedals.
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Old 09-03-18, 03:42 PM
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I think a 1x conversion on an average road bike would do well with an in-between ring and a bigger cassette.
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Old 09-06-18, 09:58 PM
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I converted a late 90’s cannondale to a 1 x 8 fitness bike that I refer to as Frankenbike. It is an absolute blast to ride.

I removed the FD and replaced the BB with a width that put the chain ring centered to the 11-32t rear. I bought new crank arms. My LBS helped get the BB dimension correct. I installed a 40t narrow wide, and used an Origin8 guide just for added insurance that the chain wouldn’t come off the chain ring.

It has road tires and Ritchie sort-of flat bar with trigger shift (1 side only!). It climbs, it rolls, it accelerates like crazy and I will NEVER get rid of it. It’s that fun.

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