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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I originally started out to do a pure SS build with an SS specific frame, but decided to convert a hardtail frame that I have. I'm trying to do this on the "cheap" until I'm sure that I like SSing. Better to drop $150 on a conversion than to drop $1000 on a new build just to find out that I don't like single speed. Anyway the question is, I have an XT splined 3 ring crank set w/bottom bracket. Is it possible to drop the small ring, replace the middle ring with a SS specific 32T ring (I understand that it's better to not have the ramps and pins) and then add a bash ring to replace the big ring. I know that the bash guard and middle ring is possible no problme. The concern that I have is leaving the small (22T) ring off. Any problems with that? Any problems with the idea at all? Would I need to get shorter chain ring bolts? Seems like the bash ring/middle ring combo would negate the need for that. Also would a chain guide be necessary for a single speed? Doesn't seem like it, but I really don't know. Or would it be better to drop another $150 to $200 on an SS specific or DH crank set. I did a search and checked the FAQ, but no real specific answers on this one. The benefit of your knowledge is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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I'm using an old LX crank with just a non-ramped 32 tooth chainring in the middle position with no problems what so ever. No bash guard though, and I am using shorter BMX chainring bolts.
 

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Squash said:
The concern that I have is leaving the small (22T) ring off. Any problems with that? Any problems with the idea at all? Would I need to get shorter chain ring bolts? Seems like the bash ring/middle ring combo would negate the need for that. Also would a chain guide be necessary for a single speed? Doesn't seem like it, but I really don't know. Or would it be better to drop another $150 to $200 on an SS specific or DH crank set.
Squash:
I'm running a similar setup, on the cheap as well. The only problem I've seen with removing the 22T ring is that if the chain does drop off it can easily get bound in between the old 22T bolts and the frame. It can be a pain to get out as well.

If you run a bashguard you probably will not need shorter bolts.

Be sure to buy a SS specific cog as well.

If you really want a SS specific crank set, on the cheap, you can get some Truvativ 5D's for $45 here: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=13354&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=

This might also be helpful if you want to avoid a tensioner: http://www.teambigtime.com/software/ssConvert.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Guys, I was pretty sure that it could be....

Captain Crash said:
Squash:
I'm running a similar setup, on the cheap as well. The only problem I've seen with removing the 22T ring is that if the chain does drop off it can easily get bound in between the old 22T bolts and the frame. It can be a pain to get out as well.

If you run a bashguard you probably will not need shorter bolts.

Be sure to buy a SS specific cog as well.

If you really want a SS specific crank set, on the cheap, you can get some Truvativ 5D's for $45 here: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...and=&sku=13354&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=

This might also be helpful if you want to avoid a tensioner: http://www.teambigtime.com/software/ssConvert.htm
done. I'm just not a drive train expert so thought I would ask to be sure. Captain Crash, that is the cheapest SS crank set I've ever come accross and I appreciate the link. Only one problem, it's designed for a square taper bottom bracket. I don't even have a square tapper in my spare parts box anymore! :) That's oaky though it is an option, just have to buy a square tapper BB to go with it. But I really am trying to stay cheap on this one. I've got it dow to between $83 and $100 for the total cost of this conversion. That's converting the crank set, single rear cog and spacers, and a chain tensioner. Anyway thanks for the advise. Looks like I'm on my way!

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Use the XT, no problem. With a bash ring and a middle ring you can use the regular bolts. Get an unramped ring. A ramped ring designed for shifting will result in the chain coming off sometimes no matter how good your setup is - my experience anyway. If you use a ramped ring then leave the 22 tooth on to catch the chain, or you can buy a guard that bolts to your downtube to prevent the chain from coming off.

Are the XT cranks aluminum? Some people think you should leave the small ring on aluminum cranks to reinforce the crank. If you take the ring off, the bolt holes may act as stress risers and focus stess in that area, resulting in the crank cracking or failling.

Squash said:
I originally started out to do a pure SS build with an SS specific frame, but decided to convert a hardtail frame that I have. I'm trying to do this on the "cheap" until I'm sure that I like SSing. Better to drop $150 on a conversion than to drop $1000 on a new build just to find out that I don't like single speed. Anyway the question is, I have an XT splined 3 ring crank set w/bottom bracket. Is it possible to drop the small ring, replace the middle ring with a SS specific 32T ring (I understand that it's better to not have the ramps and pins) and then add a bash ring to replace the big ring. I know that the bash guard and middle ring is possible no problme. The concern that I have is leaving the small (22T) ring off. Any problems with that? Any problems with the idea at all? Would I need to get shorter chain ring bolts? Seems like the bash ring/middle ring combo would negate the need for that. Also would a chain guide be necessary for a single speed? Doesn't seem like it, but I really don't know. Or would it be better to drop another $150 to $200 on an SS specific or DH crank set. I did a search and checked the FAQ, but no real specific answers on this one. The benefit of your knowledge is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Good Dirt
 

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hu-man said:
Are the XT cranks aluminum? Some people think you should leave the small ring on aluminum cranks to reinforce the crank. If you take the ring off, the bolt holes may act as stress risers and focus stess in that area, resulting in the crank cracking or failling.
I think the belief is to leave the bolts in. There were postings last year showing cracks whose path included (empty) bolt holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now that's interesting and....

pacman said:
I think the belief is to leave the bolts in. There were postings last year showing cracks whose path included (empty) bolt holes.
I suppose could very well be true. Thanks for the info, better safe than sorry as the saying goes. I'll be sure to leave the bolts. After all what will it cost me, 4 grams! Big deal, if it helps avoid cracks I can live with it, if not what have I lost?, nothing!

Thanks again.

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Save more bucks

If you chose to, you can use a big ring with the the teeth ground off as a bash ring, it's not as clean or sturdy as a real bash ring, but it will be lighter and cheaper.

This picture is of a cheapy SS townie conversion I did a year or so ago. I used the steel outer ring as a bash gaurd.
 

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