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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built up my boost 27.5 wheelset for single speed use with my beautiful Boone Ti 18t cog and some spacers I stripped from old cassettes for my eventual single speed build. But that got me itching for a single speed now not in December when I expect my frame to be finished. I looked at all the loose cogs and looked at my old 25 year old frankenbike which was currently set up for hauling chairs and coolers to tailgates and cracked open a cold one and started some more frakenbiking. The old X-9 drivetrain set up for 1x9 with 11-40 cassette were ripped out and tossed back into the junk bin box. I Dug around and found a mixture of various things that looked like they would work as cassette spacers with a 17t cog I found in my pile of loose cogs. I pulled the high limit screw out and found a longer bolt which allowed me to adjust the limits on the rear derailleur beyond the factory limits and made an old school ******* engineered single speed setup. Works perfectly fine on pavement, but I've been itching to try it on some single track. It's been a while since I've slammed my fruits on the top tube because of a dropped chain, and I'm not sure how much I want to trust the ******* setup outside of smooth tarmac. Will spending a few extra bucks on a real long toothed single speed cog and purpose built tensioner make an appreciable difference in chain retention or should I just roll the dice and try the ******* setup. Frankenbike never gets new parts and has lived the last 20 years with various take off parts so I hate to break tradition unless I absolutely have to.

Bicycle Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle wheel Crankset
 

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How often are you dropping your chain on a geared bike? In my experience, it's usually when shifting, which obviously isn't happening with a SS. As long as your chain line is pretty good, I would expect your derailleur setup to work just fine. The dual-cog insurance policy looks pretty slick, however. You might also want to play around with some different ring-cog combinations to see if you can find the magic gearing that doesn't need a tensioner. For my old Trek 9900, a 32x19 combo is the magic.
 

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Candlestick Maker
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I like the old school DX derailleur. Takes me back.

Slick idea with the cog sandwich. There used to be products like that made outta lexan without teeth. But why spend $$ for the frankenbike when you can do the free solution...

Magic gear calculator (I forgot this existed 'til I read Eric's post). I used this several times back in my SS craze days.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nuts survived the shakedown test. Old worn out bottom bracket did not. Developed play in the crank arms and thought I had loose pinch bolts, but turns out one of my BB bearings is going bad so I cut the ride short. Only 5 miles but I noticed a few things after this short ride:

1. Cornering traction was TERRIBLE. I'm used to the dialed in suspension and big 2.6" tires on the trail bike helps keep the wheels on the ground but the skinny 2" tires at 35psi felt like I was skiiing instead of riding at times. I wasn't sure what PSI to run these wheels at to prevent pinch flats so I might be able to run them lower especially the front.

2. Felt like more of a core and leg workout than cardio workout. On my trail bike with 120/130mm travel and 2.6" tires at 20psi I can take some time off to sit and spin in places that would beat my ass if I tried that on this hard tail with 63mm of front suspension. So way more standing up and absorbing terrain and not as much high cadence spinning so my pace was quite a bit slower than my normal pace on my trail bike.

3.4 piston Maguras with 203mm rotors v. Magura HS22's. Even on a tame XC trail with a fairly tame downhill section I could feel it in my hands. From gentle 1 finger braking to feeling like you are trying to strangle an anaconda to get the bike to stop is a huge change. Definitely a good hand workout.

Bicycle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Wheel Tire Crankset
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Regular disclaimers, terrain/weight/personal preference dependent, but 35 psi is, imho, ridiculous...definitely try lower. I don't think I ever rode that high, even on skinny tubed tires.
 

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Nuts survived the shakedown test. Old worn out bottom bracket did not. Developed play in the crank arms and thought I had loose pinch bolts, but turns out one of my BB bearings is going bad so I cut the ride short. Only 5 miles but I noticed a few things after this short ride:

1. Cornering traction was TERRIBLE. I'm used to the dialed in suspension and big 2.6" tires on the trail bike helps keep the wheels on the ground but the skinny 2" tires at 35psi felt like I was skiiing instead of riding at times. I wasn't sure what PSI to run these wheels at to prevent pinch flats so I might be able to run them lower especially the front.

2. Felt like more of a core and leg workout than cardio workout. On my trail bike with 120/130mm travel and 2.6" tires at 20psi I can take some time off to sit and spin in places that would beat my ass if I tried that on this hard tail with 63mm of front suspension. So way more standing up and absorbing terrain and not as much high cadence spinning so my pace was quite a bit slower than my normal pace on my trail bike.

3.4 piston Maguras with 203mm rotors v. Magura HS22's. Even on a tame XC trail with a fairly tame downhill section I could feel it in my hands. From gentle 1 finger braking to feeling like you are trying to strangle an anaconda to get the bike to stop is a huge change. Definitely a good hand workout.

View attachment 1949564
In my experience with SS (also an old hardtail 26er) over the past few months, you hit the nail on the head about the type of effort. It's a different kind of fitness - more of a brute-strength exercise. It can feel absolutely brutal at first, but as your body adapts and builds, it will get better. I don't have any experience with squishy big-wheel bikes, so I can't comment on the differences in braking. Standing while descending and squeezing levers hard is standard operating procedure for me. I'm using Panaracer Fire XC Pro 2.1 tubeless on my bike, and running them at 40psi, which is what I used to run when it was my XC race bike 20+ years ago. It works for me, but again, I don't have a basis of comparison. I'm also not trying to be the fastest jackass on the hill. That said, I've ridden some pretty decent technical terrain, and don't have a dropper post. My balls are still intact. This might be mostly because I know how to get my body behind the seat and my ass over the rear tire.
 

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aka "SirLurkAlot"
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@Eric F

I like your style brother. I moved to SS in '03. I moved to 29ers in '06 when all the magazines said that they were pieces of poo. I don't have a dropper post and run geometry that by today's standards is archaic and likely to put you in the hospital if you listen to the noise. It's all a bunch of BS. I don't have a dropper and have ridden some gnarly stuff that put my chest on the seat. That's just the way we did it before they were invented. I'm not a luddite. I love disc brakes, suspension etc. But, don't buy into all the crap they feed you these days.

Rock what you got and enjoy the ride!
 

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Ride what you like!
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This bike is killing me in every way. I am just getting into the single thing, and this is pulling me in HARD!! Was pondering the switch to disk brakes too, but my vees were strong enough to throw me over the bars yesterday, even when wet. That still sucks as bad as I remembered. Can't imagine how those Mags clamp a rim!
 

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So what you're saying is, that modern bikes with their massive tyres, tons of plush tuneable travel, massive brakes and modern conveniences are easier to ride than older technologies! Whether this is a good or bad thing is a matter of taste of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One advantage to my double chainring setup is I have an extra lower gear if I ever need it. I use my bike as a pack mule to haul a cooler and some folding chairs to ride into campus to tailgate for football games. Having The big long bolt I used as the limit screw is easy to turn by hand. Couple of turns and I swap to a larger cog and lower gearing to haul 40lbs of chairs and coolers.
 
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