Single Speed Conversions: Chainline - Is My Chainset In the Right Place?

(The definition of chainline applies for all Single Speed Conversions but for most Mountain Bike users you will not end up aiming for a 42mm chainline)


If you have a chain running at a big angle from the front to back of the bike then it is likely to repeatedly derail, making the bike effectively unusable.

In order to stop this we need to make sure that the distance that the cog at the front of the bike - the chainset - is offset from the centre of the frame is close to identical to that of the cog at the back. That will then allow the chain to run straight from front to back.

This distance - the offset of a cog from the centre of the bike is known as the Chainline.

(We realise that was totally nonsensical - hold on, we'll explain in a second)

Check Your Chainset Chainline in 1, 2, 3

  1. Visit Sheldon Brown on Chainline (a good read in itself)
  2. Scroll down to the Chainline Measurement-Front section
  3. Follow the instructions.

Close Enough to 42mm?

All of our single speed wheels with fixed gear hubs will give a rear cog with a chainline of 42mm. 42mm is the industry standard for single speed bikes.

If your chainset has a chainline of 40-44mm it will almost certainly run fine with our single speed wheels.

Fortunately, usually the existing chainset on a road bike will have at least one chainring which will be within this range so you can get started straight away.

However if not then please visit our page Single Speed Chainset Chainline Adjustment or Contact Us and we can discuss options.