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Going derailleur-less

Old 05-29-14, 02:51 AM
  #1  
rubez
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Going derailleur-less

So, I want to go derailleur-less... and just use my middle ring.

I can't get it to stop rubbing off the chain in most gears, despite having fine tuned the cable tension at the clamp and barrell adjuster, and tuning the H & L screws also, also it rubs off my rear wheel when in the small ring anyway - so I may as well get rid of it/only use it in the middle ring.

I'm guessing that the chain would fall off without it?

What are my options?

I have 8 speeds at the back, will I have a good range? I think since some gears overlap, I am not actually losing 66.6% of my gears?

Is there something to replace the derailleur? What do people without front derailleurs use?

Could I convert to one chainring? How would that work, is it a hard job? Guessing I would need to replace the full thing, since all 3 rings are one piece.

Thanks.

Last edited by rubez; 05-29-14 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 05-29-14, 04:55 AM
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Your front derailleur is not adjusted properly, so you want to remove it ?
Everything else should work fine. The chain should not fall off, unless you are doing rough mountain biking causing the chain to jump around.

Or keep it and go to the ParkTool website and follow their setup instructions.

Originally Posted by rubez View Post
...I have 8 speeds at the back, will I have a good range?...
You already know the answer based on your riding experience.

ps, what's that about rubbing the rear wheel ?
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Old 05-29-14, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by rubez View Post
So, I want to go derailleur-less... and just use my middle ring.

I can't get it to stop rubbing off the chain in most gears, despite having fine tuned the cable tension at the clamp and barrell adjuster, and tuning the H & L screws also, also it rubs off my rear wheel when in the small ring anyway - so I may as well get rid of it/only use it in the middle ring.

I'm guessing that the chain would fall off without it?

What are my options?

I have 8 speeds at the back, will I have a good range? I think since some gears overlap, I am not actually losing 66.6% of my gears?

Is there something to replace the derailleur? What do people without front derailleurs use?

Could I convert to one chainring? How would that work, is it a hard job? Guessing I would need to replace the full thing, since all 3 rings are one piece.

Thanks.
Your derailleur is rubbing the tire when you're in the granny ring? Has it always done that? Have you adjusted the height or angle of the derailleur recently?

Taking it off completely is a bit extreme, especially since if this is the original derailleur it's far more likely to be a case of having made so many adjustments that it would be better to just start over from step 1 and get it adjusted correctly.

I see in one of your other threads that you were learning how to install the chain and adjust the RD. Did you happen to remove the FD at some point in that process?
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Old 05-29-14, 06:14 AM
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rubez, It sure reads like the FD is out of alignment with the tail end angled inwards.

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Old 05-29-14, 07:27 AM
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Without debating the wisdom of actually doing this ...

Yes you can run without a FD. There is a risk of dropping the chain on bumps or when backpedaling. To prevent that you could replace the granny ring with a "bash guard" so the chain remains sandwiched between the guard and big ring and has nowhere to go. Alternatively, you can discard the granny ring entirely and replace the FD with something like an N-Gear chain guard. Last, but not least, you can ditch all your chainrings and switch to a single "wide-narrow" profile chainring like the Wolftooth with a Type 2 RD and be highly resistant to chain drops.

I'm actually quite fond of the 1x10 Wolftooth setup on my CX bike.
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Old 05-29-14, 07:51 AM
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For middle rings, you can usually find an outer chainguard -- glorified chainring without teeth.

In the past, I've used a front derailleur with the outside cage hacksawed off as a chainguide for the inside, or you could go Fred with a Shark tooth chainkeeper on the inside, or SoPro(tm) with a chain keeper like many companies sell. Or the new narrow-wide chainring solution like someone mentioned previously.

Also, no reason you couldn't use your current FD as a chain-keeper via judicious adjustment of the inner limit screw or rigging up a cable somehow.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:06 AM
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If your front derailleur is hitting the rear tire, it is either bent, or poorly adjusted. I would assume a derailleur angled that way would rub no matter what you do.

It also sounds like you are taking a shotgun approach to diagnosis (since you are adjusting H & L screws for rubbing, which should only be done if you are shifting too far and dropping off the chain rings. The shotgun approach can be useful at times when you can't easily determine a root cause, but a front derailleur is so simple that I think if you look at a video or web site dealing with installing and adjusting the FD, you should be able to get it working properly.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:22 AM
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i removed my FD in 1995 and haven't used one since. i now ride singlespeed, but have ridden ten's of thousands of miles with a seven speed rear cassette. IME, there was no problem associated with inadvertently derailing the chain. didn't happen.

you could simply remove the RD and associated paraphernalia associated with it. then removed both the smallest and largest chainrings and reattach with singlespeed chainring bolts. (they need to be narrower when only one chainring is used).

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 05-29-14 at 11:10 AM. Reason: fixed a few misspellings
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Old 05-29-14, 08:46 AM
  #9  
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build an IGH in the rear wheel and you can remove the back D too.
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Old 05-29-14, 09:32 AM
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I rode 1x9 for a year, and the chain will fall off in certain circumstances. In my case, it always fell off to the outside, and only when I was quickly shifting the rear from extremes of large to small (think cresting a hill and starting down the backside). Mine was solved by an aluminum bash guard in the outside ring spot, needed nothing on the inside.

As to gearing, I rode 46T coupled to 12-25 cassette, and was never unhappy with the gear range. Granted, I run 47x16 SS now, and am never unhappy with the gear range, so I might not be especially discerning.
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Old 05-29-14, 12:18 PM
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Is there something to replace the derailleur?

You can get one of these ? Chain Keeper from Paul Component Engineering..

people say the wolf tooth chainrings are better the teeth are thicker and thinner alternating so the thicker one fits more snugly
between the outer link part of the chain.

Chainrings ? wolftoothcomponents.com


on my R'off Bike Friday I wrapped a Chainminder around the seat tube and have their disc chainguard on the outside ..

I made my own chain keeping thing for the rear cog. so it cant come off , either ..
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Old 05-29-14, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rubez View Post
I can't get it to stop rubbing off the chain in most gears, despite having fine tuned the cable tension at the clamp and barrell adjuster, and tuning the H & L screws
I could teach a chimpanzee to adjust a rear derailleur but fronts are a little more difficult. Part of the problem is there are several potential adjustments and each one can affect the others. If you start fooling around with a front derailleur haphazardly, you'll almost never get it right.

Try this:
1. Completely disconnect your front shift cable.
2. Go to parktool.com find the section about installing a front derailleur.
3 (IMPORTANT) Start at the very beginning with the position of the derailleur on the seatpost. Do all of the steps in order.
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Old 05-29-14, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I could teach a chimpanzee to adjust a rear derailleur but fronts are a little more difficult. ...
i agree.

i think something along the lines of my brother-in-law would be as low as you'd want to go.
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Old 05-30-14, 02:41 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

Apart from the hassle, the FD actually rubs on the tyre in the granny ring (due to smaller frame and chunky tyres)

I have no desire to keep the FD, I now know that I want to convert it to a single (middle) ring up front.

I will need a new crankset and middle ring.

Is it an easy job?

How do I ensure the new single ring sits out at the same distance where the middle (on the triple) ring sits now (called the chain line?)

That gives the chain and chain guide that I will need good clearance from the rear tyre.

Last edited by rubez; 05-30-14 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 05-30-14, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rubez View Post
Thanks for the replies.

Apart from the hassle, the FD actually rubs on the tyre in the granny ring (due to smaller frame and chunky tyres)

I have no desire to keep the FD, I now know that I want to convert it to a single (middle) ring up front.

I will need a new crankset and middle ring.

Is it an easy job?

How do I ensure the new single ring sits out at the same distance where the middle (on the triple) ring sits now (called the chain line?)

That gives the chain and chain guide that I will need good clearance from the rear tyre.
Replace the outer ring with a bash guard and remove the inner ring. Done.

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Old 05-30-14, 05:00 AM
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Unfortunately I have a crappy crankset that is all one piece - can't take rings off, so I am going to need to buy a new one. Looking at a Deore crankset and a Blackspire chainring. The guy at the bike place said I need a square taper BB...

Does that sound right? I think I need to measure my old BB and match it up?
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Old 05-30-14, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rubez View Post
Unfortunately I have a crappy crankset that is all one piece - can't take rings off, so I am going to need to buy a new one. Looking at a Deore crankset and a Blackspire chainring. The guy at the bike place said I need a square taper BB...

Does that sound right? I think I need to measure my old BB and match it up?
There are two types of square taper BB - JIS and ISO. Your LBS should be able to figure out what you need, order the correct thing, and install it for you. Getting the crank arms off usually requires a special tool that will generally cost more than the LBS will charge to do the work.
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Old 05-30-14, 06:24 AM
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Sounds right. There will be lots of measuring to get it right. The crankset you choose will determine the length of the new BB you will need. The new single chain ring needs be aligned so that the chain runs straight to the middle of your existing freewheel/cassette.

Buy the needed crank removal tool for yourself as you will most certainly need it more than once. And remember, Sheldon is your friend.
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Old 05-30-14, 07:08 AM
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You don't need to do anything. It will run in the middle ring fine without the derailleur. You will actually only loose probably 4 or 5 gears without the upper and lower because of ratio overlap. and worst case scenario if you leave it as a triple with no derailleur you could manually stop and move the chain if the upcoming terrain looked like it needed it. Your best bet is to invest the twenty or so bucks and have your LBS adjust it for you.
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Old 05-30-14, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
You don't need to do anything. It will run in the middle ring fine without the derailleur. You will actually only loose probably 4 or 5 gears without the upper and lower because of ratio overlap. and worst case scenario if you leave it as a triple with no derailleur you could manually stop and move the chain if the upcoming terrain looked like it needed it. Your best bet is to invest the twenty or so bucks and have your LBS adjust it for you.
Yes, some of us have been proposing this. The other options seem like a very complicated and expensive way of dealing with a misadjusted front derailleur.
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Old 06-02-14, 10:07 AM
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Be assured, the problem isn't FD misalignment. I am going ahead with single-ring conversion.

OK. I am looking at Shimano Acera square taper crankset, I have determined that I need a 68mm BB, what about the other dimension, if I am to have the single ring sit at the middle position, for a good chain line?

The options are:

68 x 110mm
68 x 113mm
68 x 118mm
68 x 115mm
68 x 127mm
68 x 122.5mm
68 x 107mm

What do you think?

Any input would be great, thanks.
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Old 06-02-14, 10:12 AM
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ideal chain line is that 1 chainring centered in line with the center cog in back,

if an odd number , or the space between the 2 central cogs if an even number of 'speeds'

your BB choice is a means to that end..
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Old 06-02-14, 10:28 AM
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OK i understand, but how do i know the correct BB length without trial and error? (so the single front chain aligns with middle of rear cassette, thanks.
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Old 06-02-14, 11:50 AM
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Bring it to a Bike Shop and they will do the trial and error for you . they may have done it before ..



other than that just use a triple crank and the BB that came specified to go with it , and call it good. ..
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Old 06-02-14, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rubez View Post
OK i understand, but how do i know the correct BB length without trial and error? (so the single front chain aligns with middle of rear cassette, thanks.
The "scientific" way is to measure the distance between the midpoint between your rear dropouts and the midpoint of your cassette. (That's NOT going to be easy to do.) That's the chainline you're shooting for. If you buy a brand new crank, you can usually get a recommended BB spindle length and the chainline that will yield.

The quick, dirty way is to buy the crank and BB, whether new or used, as a package deal. Chainlines don't really vary all that much so it'll probably be good enough for all practical purposes.
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