There are two different opinions regarding adding a single speed kit mtb on your bike or not. It can make your biking experience more fun, but it also make you need to give more power to your cycling. That’s why, let’s talk about this feature first before you use it on your bike! Perhaps you can choose your decision after reading this article.
- Part 1 : Beginning
- Part 2 : Components and Recommendation Product
- Part 3: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Part 4: Why Does It Make It More Fun
- Part 5: Guide to Choose Single Speed Kit
- Part 6: How to add Single Speed Kit and Conduct a Test
- Part 7: Conclusion
Part 1 : Beginning
Converting your bike to a single speed bike means your bicycle will have only one gear ratio. No shifters or derailleur hangers. Of course, there are bikes that are already available in single speed without needing to convert it. But if you don’t have that feature on your bike, you can install it too. So it’s pretty practical. You can find many types of single speed bikes in BMX bikes, track bikes, fixed road bikes, jump bikes, mountain bikes, and most young children’s bikes.
Single speed feature can be added to your bike by having a single speed kit MTB. Well, let’s talk about how people want it first before we talk about the components. Single speed basically means you remove the drive-train and set up a wheel for single speed. It makes you only able to use one gear for your bike. No need to think much about the gear numbers, maintenance, and ease of use. Simple is a good word to describe it. By using single speed, it can reduce cost and weight on the frame.
Even though most people enjoy the simplicity of single speed bikes, there are some consequences from this kind of bikes. Sure if you If you want to go faster, just pedal faster. But if you’re someone who depends on bikes’ features and tools when biking, then this simplicity won’t help you, or worse it would be trouble for you.
Part 2 : Components and Recommendation Product
There are some components that need to make a bike become a single speed bike. Those are chain tensioner, 9 mm spacer, 4 mm spacer, 11 mm spacer, cog, end ring, lock ring, and chain ring. Many brands and shops offer MTB singlespeed kit separately. And of course, each of them has their advantages and disadvantages, but actually it’s all almost the same. What distinguishes them is, “ Will it suit your bike?” or “what gear ratio do you actually need?”. So, here are some of the recommendation products from various brands :
- The Reverse Components single-speed conversion kit
- CyclingDeal Bike Single Speed Kit
- Rapidé Tension-R Single Speed Kit
- Problem Solvers Zinger XD SingleSpeed Adapter Kit
As it stated before, those products have their own pluses and minuses, even though it’s not really a major thing. So, let this article explain the details, advantages, and disadvantages of each of the products in the next part.
Part 3: Advantages and Disadvantages
We already got some names for recommendation products, but maybe it doesn’t explain much about the products for some people. So, here are more details of the products!
3.1 The Reverse Components Single-speed Conversion Kit
The Reverse Components offers you a single-speed conversion kit that allows you to convert your conventional hub with a Shimano freewheel body so it can drive single-speed. Because of the seven different spacers that this kit got, the cog can be optimally positioned on the freewheel body to guarantee a straight chain line.
The cog from this MTB singlespeed kit comes with an extra wide flange of 7 mm. This improves the power transmission gently to the freewheel body. While the width of the flange is only 2.8 mm, which can cut into the softer aluminum freewheels easily, and can lead to permanent damage to the freewheel body. It’s the disadvantage of this kit, but this possibility can be reduced by the 7 mm width Reverse Cog. The good point of this kit is there are some color options and size options that are available for the cog which are 13-18 and 20 teeth.
3.2 CyclingDeal Bike Single Speed Kit
Cyclingdeal offers you a single speed tensioner which is a product allowing single speed set up to be run on geared bikes without the expensive modification. Like we had to do in the past. This chain tensioner, which it’s the part of the kit, goes right onto your derailleur hanger to provide a simple, but effective and adjustable way to tension a single speed system from the bike.
Many components are available in this single speed kit. They have fits single (chain width 3/32″ only), multi-speed chains, 11T plastic pulley, and adjustment tensioner. While the materials, mostly from aluminum alloy. To avoid chain drop, we recommend using round and oval shape chains only. This might be the minus of this kit. You can’t use any-shaped chains freely.
Here are more details about the CyclingDeal Bike Single Speed kit :
Cr-Mo Steel 16 teeth Sprocket. Spacers: 2x 10mm, 1x 5mm, 4x 3mm. Hub Ring Nut (lock ring): Alloy 6061. Weight: 140g=0.3lbs Package: 1 x Chain Tensioner, 1 x Single Speed Spacer Kit.
3.3 Rapidé Tension-R SingleSpeed Kit
Rapidé Tension-R single speed kit might be a good option for you too, who want to convert your geared bike to run as a single speed bike. The jockey wheel is adjustable side-to-side for chain position. It will make it easier to get the correct chain line and the compact internal tension spring makes for stiffer, flex-free chain alignment and control. This kit is also pretty versatile because it can be used in road bike or single speed kit for mountain bike.
This single speed kit MTB contains chain tensioner, 2x10mm, 1x5mm, 4x3mm spacers and a lock ring so you have the flexibility to set the ideal chain line. It also has Rapidé SingleMinded® WB Cogs that have a 7mm wide base. This can spread the load on the cassette body and prevent gouging. Available in 16, 17, 18 and 20 tooth profiles.
Some reviewers stated that they had good experiences with this single speed kit. Mostly said that Rapidé Tension-R SingleSpeed Kit is easy to install and set up. It meets their expectations. Some said that the chain is so strong to the point where it’s okay for a 75kg rider to use the conversion bike regularly. For the minus of this kit, there are not many reviews about it because everyone seems satisfied with it.
3.4 Problem Solvers Zinger XD Single Speed Adapter Kit
It might be said that Problem Solvers Zinger brought out the first ever kit that can convert SRAM XD driver-equipped wheels for single speed use. Problem Solvers has a large percentage of single speed enthusiasts in their own hands, so it is only natural that when SRAM introduced a new freehub body in order to accommodate a larger number of gears, the brand started thinking about how they could convert it.
The Zinger single speed kit provides chainline adjustability for many types of cog sizes for whatever type of bike you are looking to simplify. The included cogs have a thickness that is optimized for 3/32″.1/8″ chains can be fit, but there may be some side-to-side slop. So better suit it with your bike first before getting it. Other components that are included in the kit are 2 cog (18 and 20 teeth), XD adapter/cog carrier, 6 spacers, hardware. While the material that they used is heat treated chromoly steel.
Most buyers of this product are quite satisfied with what Zinger offers from this single speed kit. Easy to set up and worked smoothly. The way it is setup it spreads the stress over more of the hub body than most conversions. But, some people stated that the price might be too expensive, it’s about $40. This is kind of a ‘monopoly’ because SRAM to single speed system conversion is only offered by Zinger, so buyers don’t have many options to buy to get this feature.
Part 4: Why Does It Make It More Fun
As the time goes by, technologies become more advanced. Bikes with various sophisticated features are always released each year. For example, technology which allows a cyclist to select the gear ratio that will make the most efficient use of their energy. But you know what? Sometimes, there’s a thing that comes to our mind, asking “How if we go back to simplicity again? Will it be more fun?”
For some cases, people choose to do biking because they just want to have fun and get the sheer pleasure. Don’t need to place a big target to ride on any terrain. Just having fun and a good experience. If you’re feeling like that, then a single speed bike might be a good option for you. But, if you’re the type who wants the satisfaction from climbing, then this feature isn’t for you.
Mountain or road biking with a single speed bike can help bring back the unforgettable happiness you experienced riding your bike as a child. When you think about it, you brought out so much passion and energy when riding as a child. Energy you devote to shifting until you relinquish your derailers. No worry about changing gear or thinking how to push through the terrains in front of you. Just go for it and pass all the challenges that you would meet. That’s what it feels like to ride a single speed bike. You’ll get that joyous moment once again. Fewer gears, less chain, less worry, good mentality.
Part 5: Guide to Choose Single Speed Kit
Before buying and installing single speed to your bike, it’s better to know some aspects about it. So it will work properly just like you wanted to be. Here are the guide to choose single speed kit :
- Gear ratio : The gear ratio means the ratio of the number of rotations of a driver gear to the number of rotations of a driven gear. This can be counted by comparing the number of the chainring’s teeth and the cog’s teeth. The recommended ratio is based on what the bike will be oftenly used for. It’s 2,5 : 1 for road bikes, 2 : 1 for mountain bikes, and 1,75 : 1 for free rides.
- Suits with your bike purpose : Almost like what it’s explained before. The kit or gear you choose depends on the purpose of your bike. Where do you mostly ride? What kind of terrain is it? How narrow is it? The higher the ratio that you choose, the easier the top speed you get. But it will be hard to use for climbing.
- The bike capability : Most bikes have the same drive system, so maybe it will work the same. But if your bike is SRAM XD driver-equipped, then it will be hard for you to get a single speed kit because it’s so limited. So better if you know about your bike more before installing the feature.
Part 6: How to add Single Speed Kit and Conduct a Test
To be honest, a tutorial for setting up a single speed kit on your bike is a must that needs to be provided by the brands that offer it. You’ll definitely get it when you buy it, so don’t worry about it. But if you want to know more about it, it’s better to watch the tutorial video on the internet because it’s easier to understand.
As for conducting tests, sure it’s one of the most important things because It will give you an idea how it feels when you really ride the single speed bike. Make it clear if it suits you or not. Some brands or shops are available for trial. And mostly you need to pay to do it. That’s why there are some things that you need to prepare before doing a test bike, so the money that will pay for it won’t be a waste.
Part 7: Conclusion
The simplicity of a single speed kit MTB is what makes some people attracted to it. It’s giving us fun memories and free biking experience without worrying about the gear to use for challenging the areas. But if you’re the type who’s easily worried and depends on the gear-shifter since you start biking, single speed bikes might not be the best for you. Well, you still can get it (if you want to challenge yourself) but remember the consequences from it and choose the best setting for your own selves.