I got triple crank (44-32-22) and 3x9 speed drivetrain. What will I need and is it possible to remove some of the chainrings and convert the crank to single or double? Will I need new parts or adjustements? Thank you in advance! :)

  • what are you trying to get out of this? Less weight? Fashion? Experience with working on your bike?
    – Móż
    Dec 30, 2015 at 0:22
  • You can certainly remove the rings (and tighten the derailer limits), and doing so would not generally change the chainline. You might need to insert spacers (washers) if you don't buy new bolts, but that's about it. Or you can replace the whole bottom bracket & cranks with a narrower one -- that will change the chain angle slightly, but shouldn't upset anything. Dec 31, 2015 at 0:08

2 Answers 2


At the simplest level you may simply be able to unbolt a chainring and re-set the limit screws on the front derailleur to stop it shifting onto the missing chainring. I assume you're trying to remove the smallest chainring, and those are fairly commonly removable even on cheaper setups. Slightly more expensive setups will have all chainrings removable, so you could remove two chainrings.

If you can't do that it's probable that your bike is so cheap that buying parts for it is a waste of money - while you can buy cheap parts the markup and distribution costs mean you're not saving much over the cost of a better part. But spending $100 on a new crankset for a $300 bike doesn't usually make sense.

What you will probably find is that even with a single chainring you still need the front derailleur to stop the chain falling off. Derailleur systems are designed in many ways to facilitate that, only they call it "changing gear". If you look at many of the 1xN setups on the market they have a chain retention device that does the same thing.

If you just want to find out whether you can deal with only having one chainring, I suggest simply not shifting gears on the front derailleur. See how you go, if you regularly find yourself having to either shift it or get off the bike, a single chainring setup will probably not work for you.

  • Well, it is a MTB crank with removeable chainrings. I am asking because I do not know if there will be a problem with the chainline and the crank, using 1 ot 2 chainrings, as it is triple.
    – SuperMan
    Dec 30, 2015 at 12:03
  • Right now all the chainrings can be used, so the answer is broadly yes. The "crossover gears" are not going to be ideal, specifically the large chainring to large cogs combos. If you only use that it's normal to swap it to the other side of the spider, so it's where the middle chainring is now. You might also need to add a link to the chain to releive stress on the rear derailleur, and that's fine because you no longer have the smallest chainring so there won't be excess chain in the low gears.
    – Móż
    Dec 30, 2015 at 20:28
  • Should be noted that now in 2017, narrow-wide chainrings are readily available for 1x setups, removing the need for chain keepers (unless you're doing hardcore downhill mtb). Brands like SRAM, Wolf Tooth, Absolute Black, Q Rings, or you can even get a nice taiwanese one off ebay for ~$25
    – Andrew
    Feb 26, 2017 at 16:18

What will I need and is it possible to remove some of the chainrings and convert the crank to single or double?

Yes, it is possible to remove chainrings--assuming they're not welded or riveted.

Will I need new parts or adjustments?

Depending upon the crankset, you may be able to simply remove one or two chainrings. However, it is unlikely that any one or two of your existing chainrings would provide either efficient or optimal gearing, depending upon your goals.

You would likely need new chainrings, assuming you could find chainrings that bolt to your crankset. If not, then you would need a new crankset. It's likely your front derailer would work with a double. Also, you would likely want a new left shifter, assuming you went to a double.

As others have asked, what is your goal?

  • My goal is less chain bounce as it is jumping much over bigger bumps and sometimes even scratches my frame near the chainrings, and also little weight saving. I hope that if I move to double or single chainring, I will shorten my chain, so less bouncing?
    – SuperMan
    Dec 30, 2015 at 23:57
  • Am I right and are there other ways to prevent the chain jumping so much over bumps and jumps?
    – SuperMan
    Dec 30, 2015 at 23:58
  • @Ivan there are a range of chain retention devices, and also chainstay protectors that stick on to the chainstay so that when the chain hits it damages the protector rather than the chainstay. Downhill MTB riders use a whole range of things, for example, but many of those don't work with multiple chainrings. I'd try a protector first, they're cheap (or you can DIY one of of an old tube or strip of plastic from a bottle or whatever)
    – Móż
    Jan 1, 2016 at 0:48

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