Surly Dingle Speed

a guest post by Quinn Mclaughlin

A little about the Dingle Speed Drive, for those that don’t know about it, the Dingle Speed Drive stands for Dual Single (they should have named it Dixie Speed if you ask me).  It was created by Surly as an alternative to a flip/flop rear wheel by giving you 2 different gear ratios without having to go to the hassle of flipping your rear wheel.  And as long as it is properly set up, it also enables you to utilize your rear brakes, unlike a flip/flop hub.

17/20 Dingle cog with Dingle lockring
17/20 Dingle cog with Dingle lockring

According to the Surly Website:

Dingle Cogs are part of a different concept for fixed-gear drivetrains. Having two cogs on the back means you have more options for gear changes when the conditions demand it. For instance, say you want to ride your off-road fixie from your house to the trailhead, but your gear combo is either too high for the dirt or too low for the road. With a 17/19t Dingle on the back, pick two chainrings that are 2 teeth apart, like a 44t and a 42t. When you change from the outer (44:17t) gear combo to the inner (42:19t), you’ll have a much better off-road gear and your wheel position will not change. This maintains effective chainstay length so you won’t have to worry about having too much or too little chain length to accommodate the gear change.

Side view of Dingle cog with lockring
Side view of Dingle cog with lockring

PARTS USED

  • 2008 SE Racing Stout 29er frame
  • 2012 Race Face Chester triple crankset
  • 36t Salsa chainring
  • 33t Surly chainring
  • Surly 135mm flip-flop, fixed/FW rear hub laced to a Mavic Open Sport rim
  • 17/20 Dingle cog

A little about my bike and why I chose to put the Dingle Speed Drive on it…  Well it is one of the few mass produced 29ers to not only have track dropouts in the rear, but also V-brake posts.  In spite of the 6061 aluminum heavy duty BMX style frame, the Easton carbon cockpit, Origin 8 carbon fork, and a Stan’s tubeless conversion, the bike is still 24 lb. I did have a mid-level 2×9 drive train on it, but that added 3.5 lb. to the bike. I converted it with the Surly flip/flop hub last summer, and though it was nice and light.  The fixed gear really works for me, although I found the one gear ratio just too limiting, especially since I bike everywhere.

36t chainring outer, 33t chainring middle
36t chainring outer, 33t chainring middle

I am now setting up this Dingle Speed with a 36:17 street/urban gear and a 33:20 mountain gear. You can use any fixed gear hub, but I am using a 135mm Surly hub.  It’s already on my 29er, it’s the most affordable 135mm fixed gear hub on the market, and I already had my eye on the Dingle Speed set up.

Dingle lockring with 0.65” “lip” of extra tread
Dingle lockring with 0.65” “lip” of extra tread

The two important parts that make this drive train work are the Surly 2-speed Dingle cog, that comes in 3 combinations, 17/19, 17/20, 17/21, and the Surly Dingle lockring.  It looks like a typical fixed gear lockring except for an small “lip” that has an extra 0.65” of thread to help compensate for the wide double cog.

SETUP

Rear Wheel

The setup of the Dingle Drive is for the most part quite easy.  On the rear wheel, use a spanner to uninstall the lockring that is on your hub (if one is installed), thread the Dingle cog onto the hub, and secure it with the Dingle lockring. You are now done.  Keep in mind that you may have to re-space the rear hub depending on frame clearance and chainline.

Dingle cog/lockring installed on Surly hub
Dingle cog/lockring installed on Surly hub

Crankset

It is easier if you are working with a new external bearing crankset like I am; however, it is not necessary. The first thing you want to do, using the appropriate chainring bolts, is install your chainring(s). I am using a 33t middle and a 36t outer chainring to match up to my 17/20 Dingle cog. You can use non-matching chainrings but you will probably have brake issues. You can even use just one chainring. Just make sure to mount it in the middle position on the crankset, and also line it up in the middle of the Dingle cog; otherwise you will have chain issues when in one of the two gears ratios.

Secondly, you want to install the bottom bracket into your frame.  Here it is favorable to use an external bearing bottom bracket.  They make it easy to adjust the crankset for proper chainline, especially if everything is already good with your rear hub.

2 spacers on the drive side of the bottom bracket, 1 spacer on the non-drive side
2 spacers on the drive side of the bottom bracket, 1 spacer on the non-drive side

It is possible to use a cartridge bottom bracket; it just makes your project more complicated and longer if you need more fine tuning, since cartridge bottom brackets are generally not adjustable.

After the bottom bracket is installed, install the crank arms and check for proper chain alignment (chainline). To adjust an external bottom bracket for proper chainline, simply remove bearing cups and add or subtract the spacers as needed to the drive side. Spacers not needed on the drive side can probably go on the non-drive side. If you have added or subtracted all the spacers, and still cannot achieve proper chainline, you will have to re-space the rear hub.

After installing it all, my hub did not have to be re-spaced, and I just needed to put two spacers on the drive side and one on the non-drive side.

Chester
Race Face Chester Crankset

The Finish

Once you have the Dingle Cog properly installed on the rear hub, the chainring(s) and crankset properly installed with the correct chainline, you need to install a chain, preferably a 1/8 chain.  For some reason Surly make their Dingle cog 3/32, and their chainrings 1/8, but a 1/8 chain will work for both and tend to be sturdier chains.  Adjust the rear brake pads if needed, and off you go.  Make sure to keep an eye on things, because the nuts and bolts may loosen as they wear in and may need to be tightened periodically. Otherwise Go Out and Ride.  I certainly am, and will be back with a long term report on how the Dingle Drive is working for me.

More on the Dingle Cog over on the Surly site HERE.

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6 thoughts on “Surly Dingle Speed

  1. Quinn

    just thought now to mention that if fixed isn’t your thing, White Industries makes a double free wheel that you can use in place of the Dingle cog, on the other side or on a FW only hub of course

    Reply
  2. Glenn Amspaugh

    Hi,

    I have the same green Stout 29r and want to add a dual chainring to the front. Can you tell me what parts you used for the crankset? This is my first bike since 80’s 10 speed (am 45) and the wide variety of parts is somewhat daunting. Oh yeah, I’ve already added a 9 speed cassette to the rear; New Mexico mountains above 7000′ are a bit much for an old guy with a single speed.

    Thanks,

    Glenn ‘Gilmoure’ Amspaugh

    Reply
    1. Quinn

      Glenn,

      Like it says In the article the crankset is a Race Face Chester, that is If you want to replace the crankset, if you want to stick with the one that is on there you with just need two new chainrings and a front derailleur to match your rear derailleur, and shifters to match your derailleurs

      At one time this was also geared with a 2×9 set up, I took a regular 3 speed crank, like the Chester and put a 22t chainring on the inner position (any 22t ring will do) and a 36t geared (had ramps and pins) 36t chainring to the middle position, with single speed chainring Bolts, and it worked Very well. if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

      Reply
  3. Deacon Patrick

    How are the 1/8 chain and the Dingle getting along? I’m interested in running a Dingle on one side and Dos Enos on the flip side and wondering what chain plays nicely with both. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Quinn

      Luckily you don’t Have to worry to much about mixing things up, it is possible to use 3/32 gears front and back with a 1/8 chain, But you can not use the reverse. now I don’t know about the Dos Enos But Surly has that covered, they offer chainrings and single and Dingle cogs in both 3/32 and 1/8 measurements.

      I like to use the 1/8 chain because they are sturdier, meant for single speed applications.

      this project, for non-related reasons didn’t work out, but as it happens, I am setting up my road fixed gear with a Dingle set up tomorrow. Hopefully I will report on that too.

      Reply

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