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)

Spacers and a cog or SS hub?

Old 04-01-06, 09:22 PM
  #1  
Caveman
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Spacers and a cog or SS hub?

I'm turning my Crosscheck into a SS but I can't decide whether to replace the cassette with spacers and a cog or whether to just buy a new SS hub wheelset. Obviously, the spacers and cog treatment is cheaper and easier but is it a strong enough setup for a clydesdale?

The spacer setup is also appealing because I know I'll be able to get the chainline just right. Anybody have any idea about the chainline for the other choice: Ritchey CX crankset using the 48T big gear and a 135mm Surly SS hub in back. Straight enough chainline? Thanks.
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Old 04-01-06, 09:24 PM
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jim-bob
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I don't see any reason not to just go the cog+spacers route. If your wheel was strong enough when it was geared, it's not like it's going to be any less strong with 8 fewer cogs on it.

If it wasn't strong enough, going to a nice dishless wheel couldn't hurt.
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Old 04-02-06, 09:29 AM
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I think the technical term for the spacer set-up is "bum-bike". The purists (and frankly, most knowledgeable folks) around here will advise against it, but it is a quick and easy and cheap way to get fixed. If you make sure you do it right (make that lock ring super tight), you should be reasonably safe.

edit: Well - crap. You're going SS - so I say do it. No need to spend the $ on a new hub until you are sure it's for you.
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Old 04-02-06, 09:57 AM
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cog with spacers on a cassette is not a bum-bike, that's fixed cog threaded on a freewheel hub. what he's talking about is much more legit than that.

OP- go for it man, i'm sure it will be fine structurally if done right and the chainline should be a snap with spacers.
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Old 04-02-06, 10:30 AM
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You may or may not get good results. The biggest problem you'll encounter is that freewheel/cassette sprockets are designed to help the chain jump off of the sprocket by having shorter teeth and ramps and pins and stuff. Go ahead and try this, but don't be surprised if you have some trouble getting the chain to stay on the sprocket reliably. A cheap SS freewheel will be the ideal solution for you. It will thread onto your hub in place of the multispeed freewheel without a hitch and you can get a cheap one for about $12 at a bike shop. The smallest common size is 16 teeth, and they go up from there in one tooth increments to about 20 teeth.
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Old 04-02-06, 11:11 AM
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i would get a sprocket specially designed to be ridden in a single speed setup... they have longer teeth and are not ramped so its easier keeping the chain on.

Harris has them, and they are cheap.
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Old 04-02-06, 12:31 PM
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The most redeeming aspect of a cog and spacer approach is the ability to adjust you chainline to match your existing crank.

That and the dirt cheap factor.
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Old 04-02-06, 03:33 PM
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BMX cogs are cheap and slide right on to a cassette. Their teeth are longer to keep the chain from coming off. BMX chains are cheap too. They work with half links, which come in real handy if you don't want to use a chain tensioner (who does?).

You can use the plastic spacers from two old cassettes or break down and buy some metal spacers. They work better.

One guy said to keep the original smallest cog in the first position so that it could engage the lockring. I opted not to do that after mashing my fingers several times while removing the wheel.

Then again, if it didn't come off when the bike was geared it probably won't come off with those same gears on a singlespeed. If you're going that route, I'm not sure the bike even knows you made it a single speed.
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Old 04-02-06, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for all the input. The cog in question is one of the new Surly cogs designed for the purpose. It has taller teeth and where it slides onto the hub it has grooves that match the hub like a cassette does. I think I'm gonna try the cog and spacer setup.

I've been riding my road bike lately using just one gear to see if I'm gonna like the SS thing. So far I've done a few decent rides with my riding partners. 25-30 miles over hilly routes and I really like it so far. Average speed is down a bit but that's because I've been riding a gear ratio that spins out at anything above 18-19 mph. I've been riding it 50/21. We have some decent hills on all our rides and anything bigger than that will be brutal on some of the climbs. I'm convinced that mixing in SS training rides with my normal group rides will help me improve. I'm prone to pushing too big a gear instead of cadence riding. I can already tell that SS riding will force me to up my cadence and improve my pedaling. Besides, it's just plain fun.
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Old 04-02-06, 04:12 PM
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I am doing the same thing on my cross, till I figure out if I want to go ss or fixed
I sent away and got this kit yesterday, I am going to put on my new carbon frame this week and try out........ 26 bucks with 10% off coupon...I thought a good deal to try ss until poster above said got to lbs and buy a used ss freehub....

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=
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Old 04-02-06, 04:53 PM
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i say cogs and spacers, especially until you know you love it. you can always upgrade later if you want...
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Old 04-02-06, 05:42 PM
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Oh, and if you want to rid yourself of the extra chainrings, you will need some BMX chainring bolts.
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Old 04-03-06, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jmgorman
... The purists (and frankly, most knowledgeable folks)...
heh
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Old 04-03-06, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Caveman
Thanks for all the input. The cog in question is one of the new Surly cogs designed for the purpose. It has taller teeth and where it slides onto the hub it has grooves that match the hub like a cassette does. I think I'm gonna try the cog and spacer setup.
I'm using a Surly cog and aluminum spacers on my ss mtb. I've been quite pleased with this (relatively) inexpensive setup so far. As others have mentioned, obtaining a perfect chainline is just a matter of moving spacers around. I also re-used the smallest (11t?) cog and lockring from the original cassette. It is an economical alternative to a new rear wheel.
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