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AKA jefftron3000
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
............If it has 3 speeds?

TriCog? Tringlespeed? 3X1?....I fondly refer to this particular drivetrain configuration as a "Simpleton"

Here's a pic:

Bicycle tire Tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel Wheel


06 Monocog 29er 17"
*42/32/22 Race Face rings
*Surly 20T cog
*Paul's thumbie w/ Dura Ace bar end shifter - mounted under the bars on the right side
*Revell Bikes chain tensioner/ derailleur hanger
*Paul's Melvin 2 pulley chain tensioner
*Problem Solvers Backstop cable hanger
*XTR front derailleur

other mods:
*Avid Speed Dial Levers
*Kool Stop multi component brake pads
*Titec 75mm X 25D 4 bolt stem
*28" wide 2" riser bars
*ESI chunkie grips (2 sets) w/Redline plugs
*WTB Momentum C headset
*QBP seat QR
*old skool Terry Liberator Ti seat
*Oddessy Cilenki platform pedals
*custom frame bag

This bike ain't light, but it feels right!

I'm diggin the 29" wheels.

Love the way the bike handles with the wide bars and short stem controlling the rigid fork.

The upright riding position is nice on the back during long rides. I'm lovin the extra hand position on the bars. It lets me climb seated like a roadie and changes up my wrist angles.

The 3 speed gives me all the gearing range I need and hardly requires any maintainence, although I have had to work out a couple bugs. Namely, the cheap pulleys in the Paul's tensioner dragging heavily when the bolts are tight and a bent 9 speed chain. Installed an 8 speed chain and no problems since.

I like the under the bar shifter mounting a lot.

I'm hooked on the simplicity/versatility of the frame bag.

ESI grips rock! Replaced Ourys as my new favorite.

The Avid levers and Kool Stop pads make a huge difference in the braking performance.

This bike is a lot of fun and it was cheap. I would like to do a similar build in the future out of all Ti and see how low I could go on the weight, without sacrificing durability.
 

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260 Posts
Nice photo, MC should have that on their site as a promo pic!
Where is it? Its beautiful, lucky you (from a sub sea level Dutch man). I love the profile of the mountains in the background, very 'raw' looking.
Its a nice looking bike at for 'fun and cheap' I think you probably can't do better.

I guess the frame bag is for tools, food and stuff? A sort of on frame camelbak?
I'd wait before going Ti, plenty of milage to be had from that bike first!

Have a good christmas, those mountains need some snow. :)
 

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AKA jefftron3000
Joined
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
High in the Sierras

Those mountains are the Minarets near Mammoth Lakes, California. Probably getting covered with lots of snow right about now.

I use the frame bag to carry all kinds of different stuff. A standard cargo for a day ride is tools, pump, tube, windshell, hand saw, snacks, and a drink. I also use the bag for ultralight, multi-day, off road tours.

This bike definitely packs a lot of bang for the buck and I will beat the snot out of it before I get another.......or possibly add another 29er to the stable.

Here's a ride pic from yesterday:
Stairs Winter Snow Outdoor recreation Downhill mountain biking
 

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ballbuster
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12,718 Posts
I've seen that bike before!

I even have a sweet pic of you cleaning a log barrier at Pinecrest.

I'm inches from getting one myself. I just have to sell a bike (or two).

I was just pricing out rear gearie wheels for it to make a 1x9 to mix it up, so I can take it more places. Looks like I can do an XT disc hub and Salsa rim with DT spokes and alloy nipples for about a buck fitty. Add to that $10 for a BMX type axle and nuts so it will stay put in the sliding dropouts.

BTW, what did you use for a derailleur hangar? I figured there are ones that hook in behind the axle, but I have never actually seen on in a shop.
 

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Registered
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11,785 Posts
peter @ on-one

pimpbot said:
I love it! A tugger with a derailleur hangar built in!



But will it fit an MC29er?
told me that there might be some manipulaton required to get appliable to some frames. Nothing a deremel couldnt handle...

PS: thought about doing the coyote hills ride on Xmas? @ 8
 

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AKA jefftron3000
Joined
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
gearing up

Yo pimpbot-

I used a Revell Bikes chain tug/mechanism hanger to run gears on my Monocog

Got mine from Greasy Comb Distribution. Similar products are available from DMR, Atomlab, and others.

I had to modify mine by enlarging the axle hole with a round file (it was close, but the threads on the stock hubs wouldn't clear), and removing some material from the back (where the derailleur/tensioner threads in), so that the tug would slide forward enough into the dropout. I also cut down the adjustment bolt.

Works good, but makes removing the back wheel a pain in the arse.

If I set up a bike with horizontal dropouts for gears again, I would use a derailleur hanger that attaches to the frame (like the one for my S.C. chameleon) instead of one that attches to the axle. Would still need to be modified a little though.

I set up the tug so the chainstay length is about 17.5. This allows the front derailleur proper clearance with the 2.3 Exiwolfs.

Don't forget.... you also have to zip tie the extra cable to the frame. The Flight model, with sliders and braze ons, avoids these problems.

Oh..... and that log barrier really ain't so bad......if you just slam into it hard enough!

Here's a couple more pics of the bike "fully dressed" with some of my ultralight bikepacking gear:

Bicycle tire Tire Bicycle wheel Wheel Bicycle frame

Bicycle tire Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel
 

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ballbuster
Joined
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12,718 Posts
Maybe...

jrm said:
told me that there might be some manipulaton required to get appliable to some frames. Nothing a deremel couldnt handle...

PS: thought about doing the coyote hills ride on Xmas? @ 8
I got a lot of work to do before for X-mas, so we'll see how much I get done, but maybe. I haven't turned crank in a couple weeks, and I would love to get out.

BTW, feel free to drop by and say hi late afternoon if you like on Christmas
 

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AKA jefftron3000
Joined
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
jollybeggar-

The 3X1 works great for me. It shifts pretty good with the thumbie friction shifter and a set of good multispeed rings....haven't tried it with anything else. This set-up is more like having a singlespeed with 3 gear ratios than other multi-speed drivetrains. I only shift occassionally, and just adjust my cadence/effort for minor terrain differences. The Paul's Melvin tensioner allows for up to a 22 tooth difference in gearing. Keep that in mind if you go this route.....no 22/32/46. I run a 22/32/42.....will probably pick up a compact crank soon and try a 20/30/40.

Clink-

All the bags are ultralight bikepacking gear from Carousel Design Works.......custom made by me.

here is a few more pics:

Bicycle accessory Iron Bicycle Bicycle handlebar Bicycle part

Tire Bicycle tire Automotive tire Bicycle accessory Bicycle wheel rim

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle frame Mode of transport Bicycle part
 

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ravingbikefiend
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2,322 Posts
That is just a nice all round bike and set up you have there... I have thought for a long time that a geared mountain bike really only needs about 3 speeds to be extremely functional and the 3 by 1 is an seemingly excellent option.
 

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AKA jefftron3000
Joined
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks y'all for the compliments!

Rider in Training-

The position of the Melvin is fixed. It is optimized to work with a Paul's singlespeed hub, but also worked great with my Surly hub....and probably would work good with other freewheel hubs with similar specifications. I used a cassette spacer to dial in the alignment with the Surly cassette cog mounted on the stock Redline hub. The chainline is essentially the same in the middle ring as it was when I got the bike set-up as a singlespeed.....just fine. Obviously, shifting into the other rings changes the chainline, but no worse than other multi-speed systems.

A couple thoughts on this build.......

I built up this bike with the desire to create a simple, low maintainence machine that allows me to ride a wide variety of terrain, with a minimum of mechanical complexity.

I think the 3X1 drivetrain, with a friction shifting Thumbie, accomplishes this goal well.

One of the cool things about this set-up, for extended backcountry riding, is that if I break the tensioner or hanger miles from nowhere, I can easily convert the bike back to a singlespeed with the horizontal dropouts and keep riding, without having to pack any spare parts.

I've ridden singlespeeds for quite a while and have done some backcountry touring on a couple. I've always appreciated the simplicity, low maintainence, and challenge of riding one gear, but felt like I was missing out on some of the joy and challenge of tackling extended technical climbs. That was always part of the game when riding a full drivetrain, and something I've missed when riding the singlespeed. I find that a wide range 3 speed brings back that challenge and, when I'm touring with extra weight, it means a lot less walking.

Also, the fully rigid build, with 29" wheels, allows me to roll over more terrain, in greater comfort, than I could with my old 26" Monocog. Suspension in nice, but for me, the piece of mind I get from knowing that I'm not going to blow a shock in the backcountry is more important than the improved effeciency and comfort suspension provides......and fully rigid is lighter. That means a lot to me when I'm doing a bunch of hike-a-bike.

Here's a riding shot with the bike fully loaded and me wearing my backcountry pack:
Clothing Tire Bicycle wheel Wheel Bicycle frame
 
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