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3166 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  bantam700
I want to build my Paramount MTB frame as a single-speed but I have a few questions:

Do you guys think this is a reasonable thing to do? Why or why not?

Who makes good SS rear hubs at a good price?

Are their SS specific wheels available?
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Absolutely it's a good idea! I'm a big fan of singlespeeds. I have three including an old lugged Schwinn 4130 chromoly road bike that was rescued from the dump. It has horizontal dropouts which made it a prime candidate for ss conversion. Without horizontal dropouts or track ends, to do an ss conversion you will either need a chain tensioner like the Surly singulator, or an eccentric rear hub. I'm pretty sure that your bike has vertical drop outs, so it will require one of the latter solutions.

There are many good singlespeed hubs out there--Paul, White, King, Surly, etc. If you want to go the eccentric hub route, White industries makes a nice hub. It is a bit pricey though. It's the only eccentric type hub that I'm aware of. If you want to go economy, get a singulator. It works kind like a derailleur that doesn't shift. It's just a spring loaded tensioner. As for hubs & wheels, Surly hubs are inexpensive and well made. I'd give them a best bang for the buck rating. The bearings are kinda small. I was only getting a season or two out of them, but that was on a mtn bike. You should get better life on a road bike. They are cheap and easy to replace.

There are plenty of ss specific wheels out there too or if you're using a tensioner, you can convert a regular cassette type wheel which is what I did on my Schwinn. There are some advantages to singlespeed specific wheels over converted wheels. Singlespeed wheels have no dish which makes them stronger. That's not such a big issue on a road bike though.

For some really great info on singlespeed conversion, check out Sheldon Brown's website (RIP).

Hope this helped.

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Single speeds are fantastic. I absolutely love mine for running around town. It is tempting to build up a mtb in a single speed too. Sometimes you may luck out with the right gear ratios and not need a tensioner. My gear ratio and half-link chain worked ut perfect to run single speed or fixed with no tensioner. I do run Surly hubs and love them. I killed a bearing in the rear after 2 rides, but the lock-nut had spun in and put too much pressure on the bearing. For riding offroad on anything hilly, you'll likely want to go to a easier gear and coast down the hills. You're gonna be limited on speed, but you'll be able to climb the hills. If you're just running around town, you can probably go with a fairly tuff gear to get your higher speeds. You may need to play around with gear ratios to see what you like. I used my multi-speeder for a couple days without shifting to see what worked best for me, then ordered the same rings for my SS.
If you are trying to do it on the cheap to see if you like it you can probably do it without much investment. For the rear just use a standard wheel and get spacers from your LBS and a cheap SS gear. You can use an old der. as the chain tensioner as long as you adjust the limit screws it will work perfect. If you are gonna go SS specific products most of what was said above is good. Surly, Spot, Whites, etc all make good stuff. Depends on how much you wanna invest. Chris King makes really good stuff if you really wanna spend the dough.
Would like to see it when you get it all done with, post pics!
I just converted a MTB to single speed myself, and the short ride I got in before I broke the front chainring was great. I just bought a rear cog and spacer kit for my rear wheel and removed all but the middle ring on my crankset, no need to buy a single speed type hub unless you really want to.

I have no idea why but riding single speed seemed quite a bit easier on the technical sections, and it was great to not have to be constantly thinking about shifting
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