Singlespeed & Fixed Gear - Building up a SS MTB - Frame Choices
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08-06-07, 04:53 AM
Hey all. Don't think I've posted in SS/FG before.
I'm starting to collect some parts to build up my new MTB, its going to be a dedicated SS and I'm having trouble with frame choice. My biggest problem is that I live in Oz which is a small island most of you won't have heard of on the far side of the planet (its largely desert with the occasional tropical paradise that some insane god-of-choice filled with crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish and german backpackers). I want a long lasting hardtail frame (probably steel) that is tough enough for my overweight arse (120kg + atm though its on its way down) on fire trails and the occasional bit of single track. I'm not interested in a cross bike, pure MTB here.
From what I can see the only real cheap options I've got in my part of the world are the Surly 1x1, though I'd love to go an On-One Inbred (although the $240 AUD shipping costs quoted by On-One made me faint) to go with the On-One Superlight Carbon fork I just ordered. Other options I can see are the Voodoo Wanga, and the Soma 4one5. I was originally saving for a Kelly Deluxe though seems they're out of business nowdays. Any other ideas? Does anyone know if Bianchi will sell just the M.U.S.S. frame by itself?
I've not got a whole heap of cash (though for the right frame I'm sure I can scrape together a couple of extra $$$ especially as the AUD is pretty strong against the greenback right now) and the less I can burn on shipping costs the happier I'll be. So if anyone might be able to point me in the right direction of a bike shop that is happy to do international business (with reasonable shipping) I'd be grateful.
If I go the 1x1 I'll be taking the thing straight to the powdercoaters and getting it sandblasted and the colour replaced with something other than pus green....
gotta be new? if not, i'd strongly suggest you consider a used conversion...possibly cheaper, and you'll have a much larger pool of local bikes to draw from. then spend on a white eno rear wheel so you don't have to mess with a tensioner. if you're gonna pound it offroad, it won't be new long anyways...
i found a used ti frame/fork ('99 kona king kahuna/reba u-turn) for $500 a couple years ago. absolutely bulletproof and an absolute steal! sponsored racers are a great source for high-end gear at clearance prices.
I have experience with both 26" and 29er SS mountain bikes. Have you ridden both to consider which you would prefer? It sounds as though you will be going fully rigid with the On-One fork. Fully rigid is the trend within the 29er community, and frankly, I will never go back to a 26 SS setup.
Here are the SS frames that I have owned; if you have any specific questions, just let me know.
Cannondale 1FG 26, lefty, rumored to be replaced with a 29er version this fall.
Van Dessel 29er SS my first 29er, long wheelbase -> hard to navigate on the ST.
Niner On One Scandium, EBB, light, less comfortable than steel, very popular company.
Salsa El Mariachi Steel, SS with EBB (can run gears)
Wolfhound custom 29er SS mmmmm
Check out forums.mtbr.com for a better idea of what people are riding. The 29er forum is > 50% SS. Inexpensive steel frames are available: VooDoo, Q-Ball, Soma, Surly Karate Monkey...all for about $400 US. Shipping should be less than $100 provided that the box is cut to fit just the frame.
08-06-07, 07:19 AM
That wolfhound looks schmick as :) Are they on-one Mary bars? How do they go?
I was talking to a couple of the mechanics at my LBS the other day about wheel choice, particularly with reference to getting something solid for someone my weight. The consensus seems to be that for a given wheel setup with a given number of spokes, the 26" will be less prone to damage than the same wheel but in a 29er. My theory to overcome that problem was to go for a 36 spoke hub/rim rather than a 32 spoke hub/rim, however both mechanics were utterly insistent that the 32 spoke combo would be stronger if made properly. I don't know about that claim, but I've got no reason to doubt these guys as they've been building wheels and fixing bikes longer than I've been on this planet. As a result I'm pretty sure I'll go with a 26" (plus I've already ordered the 26" carbon fork and changing the order from Oz sounds suspiciously like hard work)... though as I'm finally getting my ass into gear with eating properly and getting on the bike / in the pool, and the N+1 principle, perhaps for my next bike.....
At this stage the Soma is looking good as is the 1x1 especially if I can get the shipping as low as you say. If the prices are right I can always get some of the rest of the components I need from the U.S. shipped with it which will spread the cost amongst more items.
gotta be new?
Good point, not especially. I've not had much luck looking for quality second bikes in my area. Everything I find that would be a great bike for conversion is either not for sale or WAY too expensive for what it is. If I can get a new frame thats good quality and it helps reward some smaller manufacturer for trying something different, then new works for me.
Yeah yeah...26" wheels are stronger. If you had not ordered the fork, I would do more research and attempt to convince you that you would be fine, but I agree at this point stick with the 26". Especially because you are running fully rigid.
Yup, the On-One Mary bars rock my world. They make any trail feel like I am on a beach cruiser. Also, with the set back, lifting the front end is super easy. Plenty of different hand positions as well. I am actually thinking about putting a set of Mary's on my Cannondale track frame for around the town (like the riser club).
I sent a PM about a few frames.
there are also the zion frames that are SS you can find them at www.jensonusa.com
08-06-07, 01:43 PM
1) I know 29er riders are very missionary about their steeds, but I for one am not a convert. Don't feel pressured by the trend, of 26" works better for you, stick with it. (You should feel how an ex-small-sized 9er handles- noodly and terribly and corners like a touring bike!)
2) Consider getting one of the stock bikes and upgrading! I ride an upgraded S.A.S.S. I believe the MUSS is available complete-only this year. Consider that. Redline's Monocog is good if you want to throw some cash at upgrades... or the Monocog Flite is a really nice setup. Personally, I'm also a big fan of the Santa Cruz Chameleon, but they're hard to find cheap.
08-06-07, 02:07 PM
I like the Monocog for most starters. Complete it's about as much as the frame and rigid fork are for a 1x1 or Soma.
26 vs. 29 inch: In my opinion, it's not even worth bringing up unless you are a big person (more than 6'). If you are shorter than 5'8" it's just ridiculous.
08-06-07, 04:20 PM
i have a kona unit and it has the slide system for the disc brake like the voodoo... 26 or 29 version.
08-06-07, 10:31 PM
I like my MUSS, nice frame and decent components.
08-07-07, 01:26 AM
Well, it looks like I'm going to go the Soma 4one5. Have found some pretty good prices online (and one local dealer whose price wouldn't break the bank). Now its just a matter of getting all the bits then shake'n'bake. Can't wait :)
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