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I'm looking to do some SS CX races next season and have a couple questions:

1) I want to use my standard cross wheels, instead of a dedicated single speed wheel. Can anyone recommend a good rear hub SS conversion kit? I know Surly and SSK make them. Anything else out there-- preferences, gripes, etc.

2) what gear set-up are you using? I did a little research and it sounds like people are all over the place on this? I suppose this may be one of those things that you won't know until you start riding.

3) Any other advice for a newbie?



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Replies to This Discussion

hi dario, depending on your chainline, the rennen design rear spacer system works really well and is quite adjustable but won't work if you need the cog far in or out on the freehub.  for some bikes, their tensioner works well too, if it fits.   we've also had good luck with paul's tensioner, if run pretty tight, and the soulcraft converter, as reviewed in our mag, is one of our favorites, although the "switch" can get a bit sticky. we reviewed a ton of singlespeed tensioners in issue 2 of our magazine.


you can always grab old cassette spacers, and try a magic gear and do it on the cheap.  this online calculator works pretty well to figure out where to start.


there's been a lot of discussions on gearing on this thread in our forums, and there are a few others. it depends a lot on riding style and fitness but 39x16-18 is a common range.


advice?  have tons of fun, get that chainline straight, and choose good tires with traction.





Hey Dario!


It's great to hear you're getting into SSCX!


As far as the conversion kit goes, will you be using a chain tensioner, or are you speaking only in terms of the spacers/cog? I've run a standard cassette wheel with Origin 8 spacers... they're cheap and work fine. If you're planning on using a tensioner, I'd recommend against it. Well, maybe it'll be fine to get a single speed up and running, but if you're wanting to get serious about SS, the tensioner will probably be temporary. If you don't want to get a SS specific frame, you can build up a rear wheel with a White Industries Eno Eccentric hub... then you can adjust your chain tension properly.


The gear ratio I've been using is 36x16 with 170mm cranks. I tried running 38x16 for a while but found I was fastest with a lower gear that could accelerate quicker... and CX is all about acceleration. I've noticed a lot of people running ratios that are in my opinion, too big. But it's not an exact science, of course, so what works for me might not work for the next guy.


Other advice? Pedal as hard as you can, feel the pain, and have fun! Oh yeah, don't be afraid to run a relatively tight chain... when you pedal hard, it'll slacken up, and if it's loose to start with, it's likely to come off. Trust me, I've learned the hard way.



Thanks for all the helpful information!


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