a new SS rider


Nov 26, 2005
So Cal
Hey i was looking at the surley 1*1. I would be commuting 10 miles a day for school, and mabey doing some cross country trails on the weekends. I would be riding fully rigid. Where i live there are alot of hill, and mountains. What cranks/bb would you guys recomend? Is the surley us the same kind of cranks/bb as a regular mountain bike does? And i read on all the other threads about the chain tensionerizer thing. What are they and which ones are good to buy. What is the whole wheel thing that i have to buy? Is there a certain hub that i must puchase? I would like a hub that is a free wheel not a fixed gear, i dont know if that was the right word, but i want a hub that i can not pedel and just cruz if i want to. And is it a standerd headset size? Sorry this is kinda a lot of questions, but it would HELP me out A LOT!


Oct 11, 2005
Ashland Oregon
Hey, awesome that you wanna try SS'ing! Any cranks will work really, you just gotta take off two outta the three rings. As for cranks/bb, yes Surly is the same as pretty much any mountain bike out there, and I believe it is a 73 mm BB shell FYI, and yes the headset is the same as any mountain bike (1 and 1/8 inch threadless). For a chain tensioner, Surly actually makes one called the Tugnut and it's really simple and not too expensive. Basically single speed frames have horizantal (also known as rear entry) dropouts so that the wheel can slide back and forth to correct for chain tension, and the Tugnut will just pull the wheel back in the dropouts (via a little screw) until the chain is tight enough. Umm. . .wheels, well that's really up to you. You could build up one with a dedicated SS hub which are usually designed to run a freewheel on one side and a fixed gear on the other, or you could convert pretty much any cassette hub just by taking off the cassette and removing all the cogs but one and adding spacers to take the place of the other cog. Hope this helped and wasn't too confusing!


Jack Ass Pen Goo Win
Oct 15, 2004
South Bend
Actually, if you buy a single speed specific frame like the Surly (good choice) you don't need a "chain tensioner" tensioner's are designed to convert a regular frame to single speed. The tugnut mentioned in the previous post is cool it prevents the rear wheel from slipping under torque, but is not always needed depending on riding style and how well you tighten your rear axle.