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I'm interested in replacing my double chain ring set up with a single (fewer hassles with FD, easier on my brain not to have to think about shifting in front, and heck, the pros are doing this).


Here's my question: how exactly do you do this? Is there special single chain ring crankset for CX, or do you use a track/fixie crankset (I'm thinking problems with compatibility of bigger track chainring and smaller 9 or 10 speed cogset). Or do you just remove the smaller ring, FD and shifter cable, and let it go at that?


From a previous post you may know that I changed my 36/46 set up to a 36/42. Now I'm thinking just 42, period.... Advice?

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You can use a standard road crank. You have two options from there, largely determined by your bike. One is two run a guard/ring/guard or keeper/ring/guard. The double guard is better but many chainstays won't accommodate it. If you get a keeper get either an N-Gear Jump Stop or a K-Edge 'cross specific keeper. I have both keepers and like them equally.


Generally people also get a brake lever only hood (or remove the internals from a SRAM shifter) to get some weight savings too.

You can remove the 36, get single speed chain bolts, and trim your FD out to act as a chain keeper.

Or just stay in the 42, but that seems too easy :)
Yes, way too easy. Prefer to have the fun changing everything out! Plus the super cool "I am so good I only need one ring" look to intimidate my (middle-pack, middle-aged) rivals.

In that case, follow Chris's advice.   


You will need a 'keeper' for the chain! You can do it a few ways, but the most elegant is the Paul keeper


not cheap, but worth it. 


OR just go 1x1 :-)


single 42 is GREAT!! I ride a campy 42 x 10 speed with two levels of cassette...13-29 or 12-32(IRD) cage so I can get into the 32...climb hills most try and run! Less issue in the mud  NO FD to curse! Super cool look for a OLD GUY...Add carbon wheels for the bling factor...less is more in cross so have fun..
Two websites 1. and 2. Inexpensive but not cheap!  Go to your local shop get a 42 AND a 39 try the 42 and the 39 see which you like better.  As far as cassette I like a 12-26, but I'm not in that great of shape so I run a 39 up front.  Play with set ups till you find that happy medium.


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