Surly 1x1 Singleator Derailleur

Available At:
1x1 Singleator

Heads up, singlespeeders! If youreTryingTo convert any recent model bike into a singlespeed, youve probably realized by nowThat sinceThe dropouts are vertical,There isnt any wayTo properlyTensionThe chain. Surly comesToThe rescue withThe Singleator.This handy device mountsToThe derailleur hanger and provides proper chainTension in a simple, lightweight package. Tensioner allows use of 1-speed drivetrain on vertical drop frame MountsTo derailleur hanger, self aligning floating pulley

User Reviews (40)

Showing 1-10 of 40  
SpotTab   Weekend Warrior [Oct 22, 2011]
Strength:

It looks like it should work well

Weakness:

It doesn't

I rode my SS hard for 4 years, and it was time to replace the wheelset and the drivetrain components. I said what the H, the Nashbar tensioner was always a bit wimpy in terms of lateral stiffness, and the Surly's tension can be adjusted. So I popped the $37 for the Surly. Mistake. There are several problems here. First, there is no registration pin to fit against the flat spot on the derailleur hanger (the Nashbar does). So, only wrench tension prevents the thing from rotating. Second, the spring is just too wimpy to provide much in the way of tension.

Surly's instructions say to adjust the chain and take out all of the slack, then install the tensioner. But if I was going to do that, I might as well use a half-link. The advantage of a tensioner is that you can monkey around with different combinations of chainrings and cogs, without adjusting the chain length. Much like a derailleur, the tensioner also can minimize chain slap against the chainstay. The Surly approach seems to be to press down, or up, against the chain with the tensioner MOL parallel to the chainstay. But with my (an probably many) frame, there is no room to run it that way -- the chainstay is in the way, and the tensioner needs to be at a 20-30 degree angle to the chainstay.

In the end, the only useful thing on the Surly was the plastic pulley, a $3 part at most. The Nasbar version (http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_175492_-1) is surprisingly good, and can be had for as little as $25. I put the original back on the bike, and this has cured all of the chain-skip problems I was having with the Surly.

Similar Products Used: Bike Nashbar Single-Speed Kit
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Available At:
BrandonNorCal   Weekend Warrior [Feb 10, 2010]
Strength:

If you can get it set up without breaking it it works well and is pretty quiet

Weakness:

So easy to break.
It's essentially a weakness in the fact that it exists. If you go singlespeed, do it without a tensioner. Getting rid of this crap is the reason you're riding singlespeed.

It works well if you can get it set up right. The problem is that it's gonna be hard not to break it while setting it up. I'm no gorilla but I easily snapped the spring setting it up the third time. I follow directions for a living so I know I was doing it right. I just needed a leeeeeetle bit more tension and pop damn spring broke. Now I can't ride until I build myself a new rear wheel with an eccentric hub. This thing is crap. I'm giving it low ratings because it shouldn't really exist. It probably is one of the better tensioners though. Tensioners just suck.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
analoguekid   Cross Country Rider [Aug 20, 2008]
Strength:

simple design, lots of users out there that have opinions, good documentation on surly website

Weakness:

cone wrench does not ship with the product...

I sought out a little advice, read the directions and got my chain as short and straight as possible...this thing works great...smooth and quiet...I'm even using it in push down mode which gives less chain wrap on the cog. I haven't had any problems with this thing and I've got about 1000 miles on it...I would use this again! High value for the low cost, rates great because it's trouble free...You must follow their directions to make it work!

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
silkybeaver   Weekend Warrior [Jul 28, 2008]
Strength:

Quiet Preformance
Good Design Idea

Weakness:

Weak Tension
Weak Components

I had bought a SS conversion kit for my bike, it worked out fine except for the chain wizz when I pedaled. So I decided to use the Surly Singulator. Big mistake. I put it on in the puch down set-up. No chain Wizz, but whenever I tried to climb up a hill the chain would jump teeth. So I tightened the tension in hope that this would work. It didn't help it still jumped. So I tried the push up set-up with the tension at its max, it was a little better, but when I was really cranking to get up a hill the chain would jump teeth. Now I was pissed so I really tightened the spring and it seemed to work for a couple of minutes, then as I was climbing up a hill the chain jumped completly off the cog, and I wailed my nuts on my frame, I screwed around with the Singulator and discovered that the spring had stripped out and messed up the housing it was in and the Singuilator was broke. Long story short The Singulator broke, I went back and put on the no-name tensioner, and have had no problems since. Do not buy this product.

Similar Products Used: No-name tensioner that came with my SS conversion kit.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Kirk   Racer [Jun 27, 2007]
Strength:

If set up properly, it works. Yesterday was my first day singlespeeding ever since my boyhood BMX days and I loved it.

Weakness:

LBS installed it for me, because I'm clueless. It took the LBS two attempts to set it up properly. After the first attempt, I had a lot of skipping. It felt like the gear teeth in either the ring or the cog would slip from one chain link to another during climbing. That really sucked. See "The Bottom Line" for the happy ending.

After the skipping or slipping (are these problems synonymous?) I took it back to LBS and they adjusted the tensioner. They said only turn it clock-wise, never counter clockwise, or else you break the spring. They also realigned the singleator to get the chain on a better line. After the adjustment, I cranked that beast up some steeps and it was flawless.

For entry level singlespeeders, this seems like the right way to go.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Jamie   Cross Country Rider [Mar 05, 2006]
Strength:

Not much

Weakness:

The bolt holding the pulley etc fell apart. The spring broke.

The item has failed on me twice on two good rides. Now it is broken and it will remained that way. I hate unreliable equipment, especially the drive train. The component is known to fail and yet they still sell it. I should have read more about it. I am nervous to buy another tensioner but I will, as I love single speeding.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Mark Kobayashi   Cross Country Rider [Mar 14, 2002]
Strength:

Inexpensive, light and looks weird

Weakness:

Won't stay in adjustment, tension spring needs to be stronger and looks weird

I never really got this thing to work for me. I tried it on the two hardtails that I own. Several races and many rides were the testing ground for this component. Lots of adjustments and many telephone calls didn't help. The chain never stayed put no matter what I did to it. Later I change a B'stone MB-1 frame to horizontal dropouts. I haven't lost the chain (knock on wood) yet. That's the way to go. Expensive, but cheaper then buying a new frame. Besides, the garage is getting pretty crowded with bikes and bike stuff, y'know...

Similar Products Used: fixed derailleur, and later, modified horizontal dropouts
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
Ray Smith   [Jan 13, 2004]
Strength:

Works exactly as designed.

Weakness:

None so far.

If you have a good chain line, take the time to tweak the singleator into position, and set the tension correctly (not to tight, not too loose) it works perfectly. It took a couple tries (and rides) to get everything right, but once set up, there is no skip. Even climbing out of the saddle and riding on rough trails has not been a problem. I assume most of the negative reviews of this product are not the Singleators fault.
Gargage in, garbage out.
I am running it in the 'push down' position and still have no trouble at all. I think it is important to use a non-ramped cog that is designed to run as a single speed. It is also important to give your drive train a few miles to break in.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jason   Cross Country Rider [Feb 25, 2002]
Strength:

easy to install, lightweight, and works!

I bought the singleator used - very simple to install. It didn't come with the 'push up' spring - I would have thought that this would be more effective, but I have had no chain skip with the singleator in the 'push down' position. The bottom line is that it is a well designed product and a great way to convert to a single speed.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Wzl   Cross Country Rider [Jan 15, 2004]
Strength:

Simple, clean, light

Weakness:

Not enough spring tension.
Super soft aluminum body makes it easy to strip out the hole where the spring is suposed to seat - I drilled a new one 180 degrees out.

After trying both positions and various tensions I still have problems dropping my chain in rough conditions. I have come to the conclusion that this is due to the flexy nature of the Ti frame as even with a traditional drive train I did experience chain suckage with this frame. I intend to transfer all components to my Kona Hot (steel hard tail) to see if the problem goes away. And if that doesn't work then I guess I will just have to get me a Kona Unit (Kona's SS frame) and be done with this blasted chain tensioning business cuz single speeding is a blast and it is really fun to pass people riding duallies!

Similar Products Used: Paul Melvin - can't adjust chain line except with spacers.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 40  
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