Friday, August 31, 2007
If you have spent much time on many of the basic singlespeed tensioners out there, the Surly Singlator and the ones like it, you have become aware that they leave something to be desired. I've heard the Soulcraft one is nice, but I decided to hork up $50 for this Rennen Rollenlager. I haven't installed it yet, but I will and when I've put it to some abuse, I'll report back. My "Piramid" LBS generic brand tensioner got beat nearly to death last night taking my Redline Skookum down Tiger Mountain. Tiger is pretty chundry, and I broke a spoke as well trying to stay with my full susser friends. Anyway the Rollenlager came just in time. I bought it at Black Diamond Backcountry, which is my favorite bike shop, those guys rule in a very serious way.
Oh, yeah, this thing from Rennen is burly, I mean burly, yet surprisingly light. It comes with a half link, which I've never seen come with a tensioner and is a really thoughtful thing to include. You won't use it every time, but sometimes it will save your bacon, and a trip to the bike shop. Nice job Rennen for the half-link.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
It seems that there is rarely a singlespeed conversion that goes without a hitch...for me anyway. I am not a bike mechanic, or a person that knows everything about bikes, however I have picked up a few tricks along the way that may or may not be helpful to you out there in the blogesphere. I just turned my cross bike into a singlespeed. It is a Kona Jake the Snake, and was previously run as a nine speed. So, the conversion went like this: cheapo spacer kit and tensioner from LBS, nice Surly 18t cog, Sram P1 chain, half-link (my spacing was too long for even the tensioner to fix, so I had to resort to this little gizmo), 10mm lock washers. The two glitches on this conversion were (1) my spacing with 42/18 was either too short to fit the chain on, or too long for the tensioner to work correctly. (!) The half link comes in here and saved the day. The second (2) glitch was that the singlespeed chain was too wide to fit between my front ring and the bash guard that was on it from my 9 speed setup. When I took the bash off there was a gap in the chain ring bolts. The bike shop guys were out of the shorter bolt sets, and sent me home with washers that ended up being too small. I picked up some 10mm lock washers from Home Depot that did the trick though. It's done and on my first spin the drive train was working well and very snappy, nothing accelerates like a light weight singlespeed with a nice hub in back! Anyway, the first spin also produced bad news...the headset is toast...King?...$130...ouch...we'll see if I cough up the dough for King-Bling or cut a corner to save the check book.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I just got my paws on a 18t Surly cog for my cross bike. I picked this one because it's real wide and steel. It's going on a DT Swiss 240 hub with shimano freehub body. I was concerned about a thinner cog damaging my super sweet 240. I haven't had problems in that area before but some people do warn about it and again I'm being careful because it's a nice hub. I'll report back with a no holds barred review after I've put some sweat and mud to it.