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I needs me some single speed help

Does anyone have the secret on keeping chains in place on your 1 x 1's? I have a modified geared frame and am using the surly thing. It seems to keep the chain tight but i still lose the chain WAY to much on technical/bouncy single track. The chain falls off the rear cog as equally as it bounces off the front ring. For the rear, I saw Travis' one day and he had some make shift plastic discs thingies I think he hand made that basically trapped the chain on the cog. One went on either side of the cog. Does anyone know of an after market kit or should I just make it myself? For the front, I assume that the 3rd eye chain watcher or that thingy which looks sort of like a front dérailleur but is actually for keeping chains in place (name escapes me at the moment) will suffice.

So anyone have any leads/articles/advice? Comment back and share the goodness!

Kisses in advance.

Reader Comments (14)

Make sure you're running a single-speed specific front ring. Here's the link to the rear cog Discos kit:

July 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThe CD

get the chain wrap right without a tensioner. that and the discos and you can't go wrong, no ramps on the ring up front too!

July 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTim

GK- you runnin a BMX style (ie- non shifting) cog?
Can you run the singulator with a tighter chain?
Single speed chain?

Do it T-Brown style and use 2 burned up CD's (compact discs) with the certer cut to fit the hub body as "discos". Extra points for Prince's Purple Rain album.

-Anthony C

oh and the Duce Niner.....sick!

July 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

've never tried this myself, but I have heard that some people run their Singleators in the "push-up" position instead of the "pull=down" one. You just put the chain on the inner part of the guide wheel instead of the outside and then zip-tie the thing to the chainstay nice and tight so that it doesn't spring back. That should give you a little better wrap on the cog and chainring and can always be tightened little by little as the chain breaks in.

It may work, it may not, but It seems worth a shot.

July 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSanDiego81

i've got a singleator on mine and haven't had any trouble. yet (i'm sure you've cursed me now).

i've got mine in push-down mode like you, but it looks like i've got the chain a little tighter than yours without. can you take another link out?

i've got a BMX 18 cog on the back, a generic 36 up front, and an old SRAM 8-spd chain i found in the drawer. my singleator is the old one (pre big wheels around pulley), too.

July 2, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterhixson

Well LOOKIE here! My peeps have DIALED me in. OK, honestly I totally overlooked the ramps on the front ring and definitely will swap that out. I do have a fatty chain though. The Discos looks sick! I guess he's out of the Ti ones but the plastic jobbies look the part. I'll grab me some, mount and re-post my results.


July 2, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

First, Make sure the chainline is perfectly straight. Second, have the right gear...Beefy non-shifting chain, and a SS big ring thats in good shape. It'd be better if you could run without the tensioner, but that may not be an option.

Another thing that seems like a pretty obscure problem, but its out there... What type of frame are you running? Is it super flexy? I've had a really flexy steel frame and had major problems with dropping the chain. I swapped my frame out for a stiffer one, problem solved.

July 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBill

Ok nobody has stated the obvious, which is, get a single speed frame! I hate those damn singulators! Plus with all those pulleys and guides and everything you miss out on some of the beautiful simplicity. 2 cogs, a chain, no guides. I know it is more dollars more parts, but you're a bike geek you can handle it.

July 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Z Photography

white industries eno eccentric hub! works great. never had a problem.

July 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbrian g

Thanks Brian G! Indeed I considered this and is SO clean looking but....ka-CHING! That sheeit is bank!

July 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Or you could consider running a halflink chain. If you're lucky you can get the right gear ration without a tensioner that way. I run 32-17 on my old 94 Kona FireMountain with vertical dropout that way.

Anders, Denmark

July 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnders

Interesting an thanks Anders! When you say "halflink" chain, can you describe what yo mean? Thanks man! Go Parbo!

July 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Sure, the links are half length, which means you have a better chance of fitting it without the use of a tensioner. I guess a BMX shop will have them. KMC, TheShadowConspiracy, Reluctant are a few brand that make them.

July 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnders

You may have to fiddle around with a few different size cogs to make it work. Or you may not, people get lucky ;-) Another solution is to file or grind one side of the axel, to make a tight chain fit better. Have you seen Sheldon Browns page on the subject?

July 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnders

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