Single Speed Mountain Bike Upgrades

Orange single speed chain

Best looking chain I’ve ever had!  (new wheels not yet installed)

My main project these days has been attempting to motorize my wooden MountainBeest.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get it working (or didn’t try hard enough) using a chain drive, even after upgrading the drivetrain to the sweet wider single speed chain seen on my bike above.  I’ve got another solution though, so definitely check back to see it in action.

Fortunately, I happen to own a custom single speed bike that could also use it.  Check out this post to see my original conversion from a “normal” mountain bike to a lean single speed.

Below is a video of me changing the chain out.  Note that I decided to remove the outer ring on the crank, as it looked possible that the wider chain could rub on it.  Why hide such a great looking chain?  Also note that you may need a slightly wider-than-normal chain tool to work with this wider chain.  One of mine worked, but it had a piece broken off that allowed it to fit.  I think it would have worked eventually, but would have taken some finagling to get things correct.

Since this upgrade was “free,” I also decided to splurge on a set of new street(ish) Michelin “country rock” tires and some fairly cheap “Top Cabin” bar grips.  Although the grips probably not the best you can buy, they are pretty good, and are much more comfortable that the grips I’d been using.  The former grips were literally made out of a tree, and worked much better than I ever expected.  They were still a little uncomfortable though.

wooden-grips-removed

“Top Cabin” – better than cracked homemade wooden grips!

I’ll do another article about the tires themselves.  I was quite impressed with how well they worked, and actually did some experimentation as to how much better they were on asphalt than my mixed set of knobby tires.  I was impressed, and review them in this article.

Leave it to me to turn a “free” upgrade into something that costs around $50, plus whatever portion of Amazon Prime that I decide to mentally assign to this purchase.  Speaking of that, the links that go to Amazon (like this one) are affiliate links that I get paid for if you go there and buy something (anything).  I’d probably be linking there anyway, since that’s where I bought this stuff.

I’ve decided that getting paid is better than not getting paid.  So be sure to shop on Amazon after clicking any of my links there and support my crazy projects!  As for not spending money, my mountain bike shoes converted to laces are still holding together 1.5 years later.  They are about to literally rip apart though.

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