Single Speed Convert
Today was my first ride on my newly completed single speed. Since I purchased a Santa Cruz Blur XC a few years back I hadn't ridden my hard tail (bike without rear suspension) aside from down to the pub and back.
So I took my old race bike, a '97 Specialized Stumpjumper (made in USA) and stripped off the now superfluous gear such as the shifters, derailleurs, and the extra gears. I purchased a Surly 17 tooth cog (rear gear) and a spacer kit as well as a new 32 tooth chain ring (front gear) and a new chain. Fortunately I did not need a chain tensioner, which pleases me only because I really dig the clean look of the single speed with out one.
Once the build up was complete I was stoked at how beautiful it was.
Then came time to ride it.
I searched all over for gearing options and was told that 32x16 or 32x18 were the most popular gears. Given the hills we climb here in Colorado I figured I should go with the 32x18. The larger the rear cog the easier the pedaling. I then was told only a "Shit House Sheila" rides 32x18 and real men ride 32x16. So I guess I settled on being a girly man and am happy with the 32x17.
I went for a quick but hilly spin this morning and was impressed with the beautiful simplicity of the ride and also impressed with how lung searing the ride was.
The temp was 18 degrees F when I set out and I was comfortable aside from the lungs. Some of the hills (up to 50% grade) were rough but short and do-able. I think in time and with much saddle time I will smoke through the single track with out an issue. However I did attempt to down shift a few times only to laugh at my foolish wishful thinking!
Unfortunately my wife stole the bike this morning and rode it to work!! AGHRRR now the battle begins!
Here are some of the links I used to research the build up:
Enjoy and good luck, also I will be posting up rides we will be taking this coming season on our FaceBook page.