Just wondering if there is much point in having three chain rings on my MTB, I very rarely change gear on the front and I feel like having a single cog would make the bike lighter and also tidier as there would be less shifters and cabling getting in the way.

Is there any danger in fitting a single chainring?

  • 1
    Your nose might fall off. Other than that, no real danger. You can start by just discarding the derailer and two of the rings, leaving the current crank in place. If you're keeping the middle (vs large) ring you can probably discard a few chain links to make things crisper. Then you can consider replacing the crank with a single, after you figure out the geometry you want. Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 2:10

3 Answers 3


Running 1x9 is a great idea. I have done it with relatively good success. There were always times on big rides i wish i had a granny.I also intially had issues on chain drop. Because the 9 speed rear, bumpy and rocky terrain can knock the chain off when the derailleur would slap.

To prevent chain drop on the front, you can run a bash guard, and an N-gear jump stop on the inside.

  • A very solid crank with built in light weight bash is a stylo 1:1 - goo.gl/SjZwk
    – Matt Adams
    Commented Jan 30, 2012 at 15:56

In the MTB world, it's only XC (and closely related) disciplines that run a triple ring. Just take off the rings you don't want anymore and buy a chain device. If you only really do XC, then there is no need a buy a burly DH chain device with a bash guard, you just need one that has two rollers to squeeze the chain - as it joins and leaves the front ring.


If you convert your current triple chainset to single you might have to change the chainring bolts also (I've had to on 2 bikes).

When removing inner and outer and fitting a bash-guard ring, you might need longer/deeper bolts because bash-guards are often thicker at the drilled fixing lugs than a chainring.

When removing inner and middle, and leaving outer ring, you'll probably need thinner bolts to take up the slack of the missing middle ring width.

If you're not sure which bolts I mean have a look here (commercial link but good example images): http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mobile/MobileCategories.aspx?CategoryID=4

2p - in my opinion you will get regular chain drop on all but the smoothest trails if you don't get a bash/guide combo as already suggested, or double roller also suggested. Worth every penny :)

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