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  1. #1
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    Single Chain Ring

    Hi, I want to change my commuter bike to a single chainring. The bike is running sora group set.
    ive costed up getting the Sram Force CX1 Chain Ring plus new clutched derailer,hub, 10speed tiagra and new shifter. comes out bit more expensive then id like to spend on my commuter bike.
    im wondering could i just get the Sram Force CX1 Chain Ring and leave the reat Sora 9speed.

    Or is there a cheaper or better way to make it single chainring bike.
    the reasons im doing this is:
    1)The route i cycle is quiet flat and there is a lot of chain rub and noise from the bike no matter how much indexing i do on the groupset.
    2) trying to make the commuter bike as maintenance free as possible and easier to clean. As i live in Ireland so can get wet and muddy on the road in
    thanks

  2. #2
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    Single Chain Ring

    I’ve done it by simply putting a medium sized ring (38,40,42,etc.) on the inboard side of the crank spider. Inboard or outboard will depend on clearance and which lines up closer to where you want it on the cassette.

    Then, disconnect/remove your FD and cable and ride your bike. If you shift too fast you might experience a bit of chain jump (resizing or a chain keeper should help)

    My roller bike started out as a Tiagra 10sp 50/34 but is currently set up with a single ring and works fine.

    Give it a shot. There’s nothing you’ll do that can’t be undone if you don’t like the result.


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    Last edited by Opus51569; 6 Days Ago at 05:11 AM.
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  3. #3
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    My opinion is that with a narrow/wide chainring you won't have any need for a clutch rear derailleur unless you are riding a really bumpy trail/commute.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy13 View Post
    My opinion is that with a narrow/wide chainring you won't have any need for a clutch rear derailleur unless you are riding a really bumpy trail/commute.
    Yep. Both of my road bikes are 1x with a narrow/wide. One has a Wolf Tooth and the other a Sram Force 1. No clutch necessary (5800 and 6800 short cage rear derailleurs). It's not even really necessary on MTB riding either, at least in my experience. I seem to leave the clutch off on my 1x MTBs by accident about half of the time, and there ins't much of a difference.

    With regards to the OP, I'd just get a 1x chainring. There are solutions that don't require a new crank (Wolf Tooth has a good selection, and I'm sure there are other used options on eBay). 1x9 is fine, and it is a nice setup on the road. Very quiet. If you find that you really like it or want more ratios, then bump it up tot 10 or 11 speed.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Guys. going to go for 1x9 for now. got a descent price for a Narrow Wide and dont need new crank. my route is smooth enough so a clutch rear derail might be over kill for what im looking to do.

    As @Opus51569 said nothing i do cant be reverted back. My main issue was having to invest in whole new groupset on a bike i just use for a commute.

  6. #6
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    Take a pic when you’re done and let us see how it turned out.


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  7. #7
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    as i've never done it (too many hills around here), can someone briefly fill me in on the potential issues of simply and permanently removing one of the two chainrings on a commuter? will the rider experience more chain drop in one of the two chainring positions (inner vs outer)?
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    can someone briefly fill me in on the potential issues of simply and permanently removing one of the two chainrings
    In a perfect world that single chainring would be aligned with the center of the cassette - so the angle to smallest and largest cogs is the same, to minimize cross-chaining. Just dropping the small chainring leaves the angle to the larger cogs at a steep(er) angle. With that setup there is increased potential for chain drop. That chain drop is more likely to show up on bumpy roads/trails or when backpedaling. But, you could go thousands of drop-free miles - so, I've read/been told

    I just built a 1x11 using SRAM's 1x crank - with a centered narrow-wide chainring and with a rear derailleur with a clutch (which limits bounce). And, no surprise, it works great... as it should for the $$$ spent.

    Alternatively, I probably could've just dropped the small ring, front derailleur and cable and just not back pedaled. Or, added a cheap chain guide.

  9. #9
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    You can just remove all but one chainring if you want, and depending on conditions, it might work alright. You'll probably want to also use a chain tensioner or guide if you do that, as there's no longer a derailleur in place to keep things in check... unless you leave that on as the guide, I guess. Keeping the chain on the shorter side should also help. The main issue is that a regular chainring isn't designed to hold a chain like a narrow/wide ring (the teeth alternate between a narrow and wide width and tend to have deeper/taller teeth).

    In the end though, a proper 1x chainring is simple, reliable, and typically inexpensive (~$40, though they can get up to $80 or so for big ones). A clutch is unnecessary for road/gravel use.

    Here's one of my 1x road bikes with a Wolf Tooth 44t:



    It wasn't big enough, so it now has a 48t Sram Force 1 crankset. Both setups are completely reliable and nice to ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    You can just remove all but one chainring if you want, and depending on conditions, it might work alright. You'll probably want to also use a chain tensioner or guide if you do that, as there's no longer a derailleur in place to keep things in check... unless you leave that on as the guide, I guess. Keeping the chain on the shorter side should also help. The main issue is that a regular chainring isn't designed to hold a chain like a narrow/wide ring (the teeth alternate between a narrow and wide width and tend to have deeper/taller teeth).

    In the end though, a proper 1x chainring is simple, reliable, and typically inexpensive (~$40, though they can get up to $80 or so for big ones). A clutch is unnecessary for road/gravel use.

    Here's one of my 1x road bikes with a Wolf Tooth 44t:



    It wasn't big enough, so it now has a 48t Sram Force 1 crankset. Both setups are completely reliable and nice to ride.
    I love the orange/rust color. Glows nicely in the sunlight.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I love the orange/rust color. Glows nicely in the sunlight.
    Yeah, Kona did a good job with the paint on this one. I had it up for sale for a while, but decided to keep it. It's the only bike I have that's actually a color. The rest are boring black or titanium.

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    thanks for the follow-up.

    what does a "1x" chainring provide that an original 2x setup doesn't?
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    thanks for the follow-up.

    what does a "1x" chainring provide that an original 2x setup doesn't?
    Some people like the idea of not having to shift in the front and not having to worry about chain drops.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Some people like the idea of not having to shift in the front and not having to worry about chain drops.
    i understand the first part but not the second.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfrancois View Post
    i understand the first part but not the second.
    Well if they have never experienced 5800 or 6800, they wouldn't know about a virtually chain-drop-free system.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  16. #16
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    It hasn’t been about chain drop for me, but I do like the simplicity of the 1X setup.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Well if they have never experienced 5800 or 6800, they wouldn't know about a virtually chain-drop-free system.
    Heh, 6800 actually made me want to move to 1x on my road bike. It never dropped a chain, but it was more finicky with the need for what seemed like a lot of trim adjustment while in the big ring and the lower half of the cassette. I also live in a relatively flat area, so a huge gear spread is unnecessary.

    So in my experience, 1x is quieter, simpler, and provides appropriate gearing for my needs. It certainly won't work for everybody though... like you bastards with mountains and hills.

  18. #18
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    It's not about chain drop... at all. Like a single speed, the 1x_ is just a simpler setup. It's quiet, clean... simple. It's harder to justify it rationally. But, then so is a lot of our sport.

    I ride a single speed (53:15), a 1x11 (52t - 11-28) and a 2x11 in Atlanta, which is reasonably hilly. We really don't need as many gears as the industry would have us believe.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah2000 View Post
    Heh, 6800 actually made me want to move to 1x on my road bike. It never dropped a chain, but it was more finicky with the need for what seemed like a lot of trim adjustment while in the big ring and the lower half of the cassette. I also live in a relatively flat area, so a huge gear spread is unnecessary.

    So in my experience, 1x is quieter, simpler, and provides appropriate gearing for my needs. It certainly won't work for everybody though... like you bastards with mountains and hills.
    LOL! I like mountains and hills. If you ride mostly flats, then a 1x would certainly be fine. Where I ride, I sometimes need close to a 1:1 gear ratio F:R. For mountain biking, a 1x has an appeal. For road riding, it wouldn't give me the range I would want.

    Trim adjustment in big ring and larger cogs is a non-issue for me as I almost never go there. I drop to the small ring as soon as I see a hill ahead or I anticipate a stop.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    For mountain biking, a 1x has an appeal. For road riding, it wouldn't give me the range I would want.
    MTB cassettes have more range. Do you mean you like a tighter spacing for the road?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    MTB cassettes have more range. Do you mean you like a tighter spacing for the road?
    I don't need ultra-tight spacing. But let's say you have a 44T single ring on the front. An 11-42T is quite a spread. I suppose I could get used to that. It would definitely require a clutch RD or shifting could be quite sloppy.

    The point is that I really have no problems with my compact 34/50 and 11-32T. The 5800/6800 shifts flawlessly front and rear.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I don't need ultra-tight spacing. But let's say you have a 44T single ring on the front. An 11-42T is quite a spread. I suppose I could get used to that. It would definitely require a clutch RD or shifting could be quite sloppy.

    The point is that I really have no problems with my compact 34/50 and 11-32T. The 5800/6800 shifts flawlessly front and rear.
    I don't necessarily disagree. As similar as the components are for mtn and road, the "needs" do vary - mtn bikers don't sweat multi-tooth shifts as much as roadies. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE those single-tooth shifts on the road. But, the 53t and 11-28 cassette covers the range with an acceptable number of jumps. It works here (moderately hilly). Definitely not the bike I take to the mountains though ;-)
    Last edited by OldZaskar; 7 Hours Ago at 08:02 AM.

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