If you happen to’ve been paying consideration or no less than managing to remain awake, you understand I’ve been conducting type of a half-assed Dated Singlespeed 29er Shootout. (Although as I sort that I notice I don’t must specify “dated” as a result of singlespeed 29ers are inherently dated.) After becoming a budget bike with a cowhide saddle and bamboo bars, I felt I’d narrowed the hole between them significantly, which I confirmed after I received again on the costly bike and located I wasn’t blown away by how significantly better it was:
I imply it was nonetheless higher, however not by lots.
However there’s extra to a motorbike than the way it rides. If you happen to trip one-speed mountain-style bicycles, you’re aware of the Singlespeeder’s Conundrum: how do you gear the factor in order that it’s enjoyable to trip on the paths however not ponderous to trip to the paths? To be completely sincere, for a few years I used to be not vexed by the Singlespeeder’s Conundrum, since I lived in the course of Brooklyn and the closest place to trip mountain bikes was Cunningham Park, which was like 15 miles away:
Gears or no gears, that’s a sucky trip, until you want automobiles and site visitors lights, so I at all times simply drove locations to go mountain biking as a substitute. So for me there was no conundrum: I simply geared the bike for the paths, and that was that.
However now, not solely do I stay a lot nearer to mountain bike trails, however the trip to them is kind of nice, and I may even get there many of the approach on dust. The truth is, since transferring to the place I stay now I virtually by no means drive to go mountain biking, and I’ve come to seek out the very thought distasteful–not for smugness causes, however as a result of if I’ve received time to trip I’d desire to spend all of it on a motorbike versus spending a few of it in a automotive. Nonetheless, this does imply I trip my singlespeed mountain bike lower than I as soon as did, since when you’re going to trip to and from trails it’s good to have gears, and when you’re the busy father of seventeen (17) youngsters who’s received schoolbuses to satisfy, bogs to scrub, and many others., spinning your legs off on the flats simply to take care of a velocity of like 8mph tends to eat up lots of driving time.
This after all raises the second-most requested query in all-cycling after “What stress you working?,” that being…
…say it with me now:
WHAT GEAR YOU RUNNING?
Most not too long ago that’s been a 34 up entrance:
And a 20 within the again:
The paths north of town are fairly hilly, so this gear a bit larger than I’d desire, but it surely makes getting there just a bit extra bearable.
After all, within the everlasting quest to unravel the Singlespeeder’s Conundrum, some riders have turned to the so-called “dinglespeed,” that being a singlespeed with two units of chainrings and two units of rear cogs, thereby yielding each a transit gear and a path gear. Now, you might be pondering that the concept of a “dinglespeed” is antithetical to the complete singlespeeding ethos:
You may additionally be pondering, “‘Singlespeeder’s’ Conundrum?’ Being within the mistaken gear 99.9% of the time is what you signed up for. Suck it up, or get a motorbike with gears.”
Nonetheless, I’d argue that devising workarounds is what orthodoxy is all about. Simply because the observant Jew would possibly make use of a “Shabbos goy” to conduct his enterprise on the Sabbath, so does the singlespeeder devise sneaky strategies to reap the advantages of a number of gear ratios with out resorting to a derailleur. All of that is to say I’d been contemplating dingling the Engin for awhile now, and as we speak I lastly determined to do it. So I fished out a bunch of cogs and chainrings and set to work:
Now, I ought to make clear that, when performed correctly, the dinglespeed mustn’t solely provide the rider two gear ratios, but it surely also needs to permit the rider the flexibility to make the change between them with out altering the place of the rear wheel. Sure, you’ve received to take away the wheel to get sufficient chain slack to make the change, however when you use the proper mixture of chainrings and cogs they need to each take up the identical quantity of chain and never require you to reposition the axle. As such, the rocker dropouts of the Engin make it a very good candidate for this, since when you’ve set the chain pressure, eradicating and changing the rear wheel is a straightforward matter of opening and shutting the skewer:
In the meantime a budget singlespeed makes use of good old school horizontal dropouts, or I suppose technically “observe ends,” that are clearly easy and efficient, however which additionally require you to make use of a wrench, after which transfer the wheel ahead, after which re-tension the chain once more when you’ve modified gears, and so forth and so forth, none of which is a very massive deal, however nonetheless, you need the dingle change to be as shut as doable to a turnkey operation.
So arguably, by advantage of the sophistication dropouts alone, the Engin is a superior bike…although after all whether or not or not that sophistication is well worth the time and expense of getting a customized bike is an entire different dialogue.
The opposite factor that makes the Engin simply dingle-able is the rear hub:
Sure, it’s a singlespeed hub, but it surely’s a freehub that takes a splined cog versus a threaded hub that takes a freewheel, and there’s sufficient room on there for a couple of cog:
Sure, you may get a dinglespeed freewheel to your threaded hub, however you’re taking a look at massive cash:
[Via White Industries]
That’s to not say the standard of the White Industries isn’t value it, however when you’re not sure what gearing you need it’s far simpler and cheaper to fiddle with the spare cogs in your components bin.
So far as sustaining the place of the rear axle, the best answer gave the impression to be to make use of the identical complete variety of enamel for every gear mixture. Sure, as smarter folks than me will level out, it doesn’t work precisely. However I hoped if the cogs and chainrings weren’t too far aside in dimension it might work properly sufficient.
As I discussed, I’d been utilizing a 34×20, which was only a bit tall for the hillier trails. So for the interior/path gear I went for a 32×20, and for the outer/transit gear I went for a 34×18. Right here’s what a 34×20 appears to be like like in gear inches:
And right here’s what my dingle would give me:
Clearly I wouldn’t be utilizing them “crossed over” so solely the excessive and low numbers apply. Anyway, as you possibly can see, it’s a fairly small distinction, however hopefully it’d be sufficient to noticeably enhance each the trip and the trip to the trip.
For the cogs themselves, I had some nicer Surly ones in addition to some generic ones. The Surly ones are flat on one facet and type of beveled on the opposite, which suggests they’re “stackable” and you need to use a couple of collectively:
I solely had a generic 18-tooth cog, however because of the profile of the 20-tooth Surly I may place them each collectively, and because of the flatter profile of the generic one I used to be nonetheless capable of get the lockring again on there with out fishing round for thinner spacers or something like that:
All of this took perhaps 5 or 10 minutes, after which it was perhaps one other 10 minutes to put in the entrance chainrings, most of which was spent fishing the suitable double-ring bolts out of my components bin.
(By the way in which, having the choice to make use of a couple of chainring, or to place the chainring on both the surface or the within to tune your chainline, is a good purpose to make use of a multi-ring crank as a substitute of a flowery devoted singlespeed one in your singlespeed bike. The truth is you possibly can make the identical argument for utilizing a daily geared hub in your singlespeed and simply utilizing spacers, although no less than the singlespeed hub ends in a slightly stronger wheel.)
As soon as I received all of it collectively, I rummaged round within the care bundle the nice folks at Dumonde had been variety sufficient to ship me awhile again and grabbed some chain lube. As I utilized it, I used to be shocked to seek out it smelled strongly of mocha, and solely after noticing this did I feel to have a look at the label:
I need to say I owe a debt of gratitude to Dumonde. Whereas I can’t communicate to the espresso stuff but (moreover the scent that’s), I’ve been utilizing the opposite chain lubes they despatched they usually’re incredible–they final a very very long time, and when you’re the lazy sort who doesn’t clear their chain like I’m they don’t gunk up the drivetrain the way in which some others do. I’ve additionally gotten lots of good use out of their liquid grease:
I’ve breathed new life into cartridge wheel bearings in seconds by drizzling these things on there, and I’ve even used it to unencumber my sticky automotive hood latch.
Their freehub oil additionally not too long ago helped me out of a (literal) jam:
My son has appropriated the Normcore Bike as his commuter, which suggests it’s gone from being an indoor cat to an out of doors cat and all that entails After the bike hung out locked up within the rain the freehub seized up, and I used to be all set to begin combing eBay for a alternative. However the savvy residence mechanic is aware of it is best to at all times strive the simplest answer first, and after squirting freehub oil in there as finest I may I’m happy to report it’s been working fantastically each since.
So yeah, the Dumonde bike lubes are nice, particularly for the lazy bike proprietor. As an adolescent I labored in a ironmongery shop, and when my boss used to make me clear the cabinets or the fluorescent lighting fixtures he used to admonish me to make use of “extra juice and fewer elbow grease”–in different phrases we had tons of cleansing merchandise readily available, so it irritated him to see me waste an excessive amount of time doing precise scrubbing. With Dumonde, I’m capable of apply this “extra juice, much less elbow grease” to my bicycle upkeep by simply drenching stuff again into performance, and for that I’m grateful.
As for the dinglespeed, it appeared to return collectively properly:
You’ll be able to scent the espresso scent from a mile away, however it’s important to get in actually shut to note the dingle:
It’s adequately subtle I daresay a drunken SSWC “official” wouldn’t even discover it:
Chainline appears simply advantageous too…
…although I’ve by no means been one to do greater than eyeball the chainline, and it must be fairly far off for me to note:
If it doesn’t run easily I’ll simply put extra lube on there. Drawback solved.