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I'm a noob to SS and cyclocross (but not mtn or road biking). I'm about to buy a CX frame with vertical dropouts and the shop has recommended an Eno Eccentric flip/flop rear hub. While this is certainly elegant, is it really practical? Wouldn't tire swaps, flat fixes, and running fixie be way more hassle then a tensioner setup? Also, I'd have to run bolted instead of a QR, correct? Lastly, I'm planning on racing next season, changing a flat would be a major bummer with the Eno hub, bolt, realignment, etc. wouldn't it?

Any comments then on running with a Soulcraft or Rennen tensioner and cheaper hubs (Paul Word) over Eno?

Thanks, Steve

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Replies to This Discussion

In my experience, the eccentric hub is no less of a hassle than horizontal drops with a regular bolt on hub. The chain tensioners (surly, soulcraft, etc.) work ok, but you can still loose a chain with those setups. The eccentric hub is the only solution that can be expected to work as reliably as a ss specific frame and hub. Lastly, all of those options are really retrofits for frames that were not designed to be used as single speeds. If you haven't got the frame yet, why not just get a dedicated ss frame in the first place? Good luck.

- Jake
Good to know that the Eno works well. I would prefer to get a dedicated SS frame, but I like the Slingshot DD-X frame and it seems a whole lot better than any of the SS frames at the same (discounted) price. Unless you know of one...?

I've never seen an Eno Eccentric in action & haven't heard any user reviews. A big issue is your brakes. If you're using calipers, the offset in the hub will effectively raise or lower the rear end of the bike. The rim will move down or up with respect to your rear brake so you'll have to deal with adjusting brake pads. If you're using discs, you'll throw off the alignment of your pads & rotor. If you have elliptical holes in your frame where the brakes bolt on, maybe you can adjust this out but that's a bit of work. I've heard that the Paul Melvin chain tensioner works well. Much simpler solution, a lot less expensive, more changeability with your gearing
That was my main question I suppose. It's one thing to adjust the tension, it's quite another to then mess with brake alignment. Of course, this would only be done when the chain stretches I suppose. Food for thought though...Thanks. WRT tensioners, the only two that seem logical are the Convert and Rennen - no springs, fixed application of tension, and pushes upwards to on the chain.

to quote my riding partner 'ENO Eccentric is the trophy wife of hubs - looks great and is a lot of fun for the first few months but then the pain and high maintenance sets in'.

I've got an ENO Eccentric on my mtb but didn't like using it for cross, I thought that wheel swaps took longer (harder to get tension right) and then you'd need another ENO wheel with which to swap it. I've got horiz dropouts now but would use a tensioner if stuck with with vertical drops. If nothing else, you have a much wider selection of wheels, including neutral support, from which to choose.

Even with rear track ends, I don't use bolt on hubs; they're unnecessary and much slower to change.

If you're not racing then ENO would be a fine solution and the only one for riding fixed - can't use a tensioner on a fixed gear.
Doh! I didn't know that. Can't ride fixed with a tensioner...but why not if the tensioner is in a fixed position? The Rennen, reinforces the derailleur hanger by mounting to the QR bolt AND the derailleur hanger. Just curious...
Because even a fixed position tensioner is not designed to take the backpedaling forces you would get riding/slowing a fixed gear.

To quote the late great Sheldon B "Even the chain tensioners used for downhill mountain bike racing are not strong enough to withstand the stress of resisting the pedals. These tensioners have to clamp on to the chain stay, which is more or less round. There is no way to make one that would be secure, short of installing some sort of brazed-on fitting."

more useful information on his site -

I'm sure you'll enjoy the ENO setup, even with the hassles. Fixed off road riding is a blast.
Thanks all. I'm going with the trophy wife of hubs and dispense with the tensioner. I figure that since I'm a total noob in racing, finishing dead last won't be compromised by a couple extra minutes changing the rear tire. And I would like to ride fixie for training.

Thanks for all your advice...



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