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Old 05-11-09, 11:08 AM   #1
craigcraigcraig
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SS MTB questions

i have been riding the trails recently with a buddy but he only has one nice bike so i have been riding a mongoose haha. Everything about it sucks as you could imagine or as you know. So i want to get my own mountain bike but i want a SS, i ride a fixed gear road bike as exercise and for fun and what not so i want to take the simplicity to the trails. Now to my questions:

Is it recomended to buy a SS MTB already assembled or should i piece one together? I put my fixed gear together from just a frame so i know how to work on bikes and such.

For those of you who do ride SS do you have a suspension fork or rigid?

Anyone who has any opinions or advice it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-11-09, 11:28 AM   #2
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Personally, I ride a full-rigid SS because I prefer rigid set-ups for the type of trails i ride, plus on a SS, you're going to spend more time out of the saddle, and having an active suspension fork on a SS with lots of out-of-saddle efforts will translate to lots of bobbing.

As for whether to buy a pre-made SS or build one up, it's really a matter of personal preference. Personally, I stay away from complete bikes, b/c I'm weird and picky, and I find that one can find great deals on decent componenets and framesets if one knows where to look online. If you enjoy building bikes, you can build a much nicer SS for only a little more than the common SS completes. Also, most SS completes these days are disc-specific. If you prefer v-brakes on your SS(I do), you're going to either buy a redline monocog, or you're going to build a frame up.

You can build a SS on a typical frame with vertical dropouts, using a tensioner to keep the chain taught on the drivetrain. I have heard reports that these will drop the chain under certain circumstances. Personally, i prefer track ends, but these can be problematic with discbrakes. Many bikes rely on sliding dropouts (solves the disc problem, but they're squeaky, and the only guy i know with this set up had the drive-side sliding drop break in under a year.) The other option is the eccentric BB, which solves the disc problem, but it adds some weight(not much, realy) and they squeak. Generally, i dislike moving frame parts, but I'm in the minority on this one. The demand for discs with the modern SS has led to the popularity of EBBs and sliding drop-outs.

White industries makes an eccentric rear hub, which allows one to keep adequate and reliable tension on a frame with vertical dropouts. I've never used one, but i would if i had to convert a frame with vertical dropouts. By all accounts, it's a quality hub, but it does have a narrower chainline than most SS hubs, so the crank must be set up accordingly.

Anyway, i apologize if any of this is overly techy or dorky, but i assumed that a fixie guy would be familiar with most of these terms. I'm a fellow-fixed guy; i know longer have a fix for the road, but my SS mtb is a 29er with a flip/flop; i use the higher-ratio fixed side to get to the trail, then flip to the low-ratio freewheel to ride on the trail. Feel free to send me a private message if you want in-depth info, or just a lead on a great SS frame for super cheap that i found online recently.

hth,
-rob
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Old 05-11-09, 12:15 PM   #3
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I think the answer to your question about whether to buy a complete bike or piece one together will depend on your preference and budget. If you find a bike with an off the shelf spec that you like and can afford, buy that. If you can't, you can try to piece one together within your budget. I bought parts for my recent SS from www.speedgoat.com, www.bike29.com, eBay and PricePoint.

I ride a fully rigid SS. The main reason I went fully rigid was cost. The rigid fork was a lot less money than a suspended fork. After putting about 100 miles on the fully rigid setup, I really like it and am happy I went this route. If I were running a suspended fork I'd definitely want a remote lockout mounted on the bars because I spend a lot of time pedaling out of the saddle and over the front. This will come down to your preference and what you're riding though. I ride mostly fast, smooth singletrack, with some roots/rocks but mostly just fast and swoopy. Rigid is great for my needs but might not be for yours.
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Old 05-11-09, 01:18 PM   #4
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I love ebay. Call your LBS too and see if they have any "take off" parts laying around like stems, seatposts, saddles...all sorts of crap that rich kids upgraded and said "keep that old crap".

I build mine for cheeeep.
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Old 05-11-09, 02:09 PM   #5
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I bought mine complete with a Reba front fork for a grand
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Old 05-11-09, 05:27 PM   #6
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all good information, i think i'll go the route of building it myself since i dont have money at the moment to buy complete so i can then build as i get money.

for frames would i be better off buying an older used frame or a newer ss specific frame? Or just throw some options out for me to look at and ill check them out also.

The trails around here that i ride most often are loose rocks with a lot of roots and not much flats.

Thanks for the info ill keep looking around the forum to find more info.
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Old 05-11-09, 11:54 PM   #7
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i got a good deal on my bike.

i bought a rigid 29er with disc brakes and pretty good components for 460 usd
then i bought a reba race fork for 400 usd
i switched the rear brake and got good chain tugs

cost me under a grand.
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Old 05-12-09, 08:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surreal View Post
Personally, I ride a full-rigid SS because I prefer rigid set-ups for the type of trails i ride, plus on a SS, you're going to spend more time out of the saddle, and having an active suspension fork on a SS with lots of out-of-saddle efforts will translate to lots of bobbing.

As for whether to buy a pre-made SS or build one up, it's really a matter of personal preference. Personally, I stay away from complete bikes, b/c I'm weird and picky, and I find that one can find great deals on decent componenets and framesets if one knows where to look online. If you enjoy building bikes, you can build a much nicer SS for only a little more than the common SS completes. Also, most SS completes these days are disc-specific. If you prefer v-brakes on your SS(I do), you're going to either buy a redline monocog, or you're going to build a frame up.

You can build a SS on a typical frame with vertical dropouts, using a tensioner to keep the chain taught on the drivetrain. I have heard reports that these will drop the chain under certain circumstances. Personally, i prefer track ends, but these can be problematic with discbrakes. Many bikes rely on sliding dropouts (solves the disc problem, but they're squeaky, and the only guy i know with this set up had the drive-side sliding drop break in under a year.) The other option is the eccentric BB, which solves the disc problem, but it adds some weight(not much, realy) and they squeak. Generally, i dislike moving frame parts, but I'm in the minority on this one. The demand for discs with the modern SS has led to the popularity of EBBs and sliding drop-outs.

White industries makes an eccentric rear hub, which allows one to keep adequate and reliable tension on a frame with vertical dropouts. I've never used one, but i would if i had to convert a frame with vertical dropouts. By all accounts, it's a quality hub, but it does have a narrower chainline than most SS hubs, so the crank must be set up accordingly.

Anyway, i apologize if any of this is overly techy or dorky, but i assumed that a fixie guy would be familiar with most of these terms. I'm a fellow-fixed guy; i know longer have a fix for the road, but my SS mtb is a 29er with a flip/flop; i use the higher-ratio fixed side to get to the trail, then flip to the low-ratio freewheel to ride on the trail. Feel free to send me a private message if you want in-depth info, or just a lead on a great SS frame for super cheap that i found online recently.

hth,
-rob

well Rob, you beat me to it, and pretty much took the words out of my head, butt-hole

To OP, you may wanna look at a disk rear, so you can bolt on a tomicog or something in the future if your feeling froggy and wanna try fixed on the trails as well. Its hard, but oh so fun.
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Old 05-12-09, 01:42 PM   #9
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pretty good information in this thread craig. i built (well building) my SS from a generic aluminum frame from a dept store bike. i know the frame will be my weakest link, but i'm small (5'2" 110,) and this frame fits me well. it's solid, with good welds, and should hold up since i'm light and don't do any jumps or anything really aggressive.

anyway, i chose rigid because of the weight and fact that it's simple. honestly. i'm just getting into mtb, and i figure that the simpler the bike, the easier it will be to diagnose/fix any problems. i also love the tactile feeling of a rigid fork. it's like driving a stick, or a well tuned sports car... you actually "feel" the terrain. with mtb tires, i don't get too fatigued. but where i ride is mostly flat - to rolling hills. like i said, nothing too aggressive.

i built my bike up from the frame for about $600.00. yeah, i could have bought a GT Peace, or Redline Monocog for about the same price, but i had the option of buying the components i wanted. eBay can be your friend. also, check with your lbs for old parts like was mentioned earlier in the thread. that's a good idea, wish i would have thought of doing that. anyhow, once i decide to upgrade my frame, i'll have a badass bike that has some personality. plus you'll know your bike top to bottom better than anyone. good luck man!
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Old 05-12-09, 03:04 PM   #10
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To the OP and any other cheapskates: Jensonusa.com has old jamis exile 631 frames for $190, in either copper or black. The black ones have canti posts and disc tabs; the copper is disc-only. Save me a 17" in black, please.

-rob

PS-Joe, I went with a 135mm fixed/free hub so I could avoid the dished wheel that disc hubs cause, and i can conceivably run a tiny 13t fixed cog if i want, but the disc-hub with a bmx cog bolted on does make for a cheap fixed gear option. The secret to offroad fixed gear trailriding seems to be in lower gearing, but it still scares me half to death whenever i try it.
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Old 05-12-09, 03:17 PM   #11
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what frameset are you guys using for your single speeds?
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Old 05-12-09, 04:08 PM   #12
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I'm riding a Vassago Jabberwocky. I ordered it from Addictive Cycles. They're right outside of Atlanta. They're excellent. Super nice guys, super helpful, great service.

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Old 05-12-09, 06:20 PM   #13
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i ride a base model redline monocog 29er, built it frame-up with my own parts spec.

good n cheep, but heavy and ugly

-rob
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Old 05-12-09, 08:01 PM   #14
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there have been a few monocogs on my local craigslist i just need some money and i may scoop one up.
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Old 05-12-09, 08:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surreal View Post
To the OP and any other cheapskates: Jensonusa.com has old jamis exile 631 frames for $190, in either copper or black. The black ones have canti posts and disc tabs; the copper is disc-only. Save me a 17" in black, please.

-rob

PS-Joe, I went with a 135mm fixed/free hub so I could avoid the dished wheel that disc hubs cause, and i can conceivably run a tiny 13t fixed cog if i want, but the disc-hub with a bmx cog bolted on does make for a cheap fixed gear option. The secret to offroad fixed gear trailriding seems to be in lower gearing, but it still scares me half to death whenever i try it.

You just need to be more hardcore rob, then you'll get it.... lol


Yeah, but I like being being able to use the wheels for a different project someday.
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Old 05-15-09, 08:32 AM   #16
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versatility is good, joe, you're right about that. I don't know whaty it is, but i enjoy using dura-ace lockrings, just for kicks whilst wrenching. Admittedly, they have limited use on the trail. I built my wheels rather cheaply, but somehow, they're proving to be bombproof. I know lots of ppl have trouble with the big hoops. I credit the strength of my wheelset in part to the dishless nature that comes from the singlespeed, nondisc hubs, and also to the overbuilt nature of the WTB dualduty freeride rims. I never weighed the things, but even with the weirwolf lazy&triflin's on it, they feel pretty lightweight off the bike. And, they look mean in quadruple-black.

I think the OP has abandoned this thread, but i feel compelled to mention that SSs are more fun when you build 'em yourself. I feel that way about geared bikes, too, but i feel more strongly about it with the 1x1s.

-rob
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Old 05-15-09, 02:41 PM   #17
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im here, no worries just attempting to gather up some funds so i can make decisions then ask you fellows more questions. i did ride today though with a couple friends and found out the a 15 inch bike is way too small. so i test rode an 18 in frame at the LBS and it fit much much better, so frame size seems to be set. The other thing i am out on is suspension or rigid fork. i will most likely start with a rigid because of cost but i dont know if i can handle the drop offs and steep climbs as well with a rigid.

One question i can ask and start looking at is wheels, i know nothing about MTB wheels so will definitely need some help in that department. Oh ya i think i will be going for a 29er. that may help the wheel question.

thanks again.
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Old 05-15-09, 02:50 PM   #18
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Mongoose makes some pretty decent bikes at higher pricepoints.
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Old 05-15-09, 03:10 PM   #19
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Just one more plus to building up your own bike:

By the end, you'll have every tool you will ever need to work on it.

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Old 05-15-09, 03:11 PM   #20
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it was not one of those.
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