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  1. #1
    zizeked brett jerk's Avatar
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    singlespeed ALUMINUM cross bike?

    I see the post for singlespeed bikes, but I can't find anything there that's aluminum.
    The reason I'm looking for aluminum is because I'm going to be owning a bike in a place where getting parts etc is going to be very difficult and I don't want to have to worry about the bike rusting, so if someone can point me at either a good aluminum frameset from which I can build up the bike, or a complete aluminum bike OR another metal-type (other than steel, which rusts and carbon which is too $$$) on the cheap
    lemme know

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Where do you live, the bottom of the sea?

    I've got bikes that are over 30 years old and while there is a bit of rust on them, mostly from years of neglect, they still run fine.

    If you are really concerned still then titanium would be the best choice.

  3. #3
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    any geared aluminum cyclocross frame would become a single speed with an eno hub.

    van dessel and specialized both make an aluminum single speed cross frame.

    other than aluminum, any non-steel frame is not going to be "on the cheap". frame saver works great on steel, and as jfmckenna alluded, steel can stand the test of time. sure, i'm not going to use my slx de rosa as a rain bike, but i don't think twice about having a steel mountain bike or riding my steel peugeot in the rain or snow.

  4. #4
    zizeked brett jerk's Avatar
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    it's not where I live currently, it's that I'll be living in Africa and I'd like a bike that I can do all the maintenance and requires me to bring the fewest amount of spare parts but is still fully rideable. I'm thinking singlespeed cyclocross as a result, and I figured the aluminum would be the best because I'd probably be leaving the bike outside and I don't want to have to maintain it any more than I HAVE to.

    Good looks on the titanium recommendation, don't know why that didn't occur to me

    also, how would a cromo do? (also, what the hell is this? I see it specked a lot but googling/wiki doesn't really turn up anything)

  5. #5
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    Cromo is steel.

    The difference between framesavered steel and alu is negligible, in my experience. If I were you, I wouldn't limit myself to non-ferrous frames.

  6. #6
    zizeked brett jerk's Avatar
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    I love the way steel rides and I'd love to keep it, but I'm going to be in Africa for over two years (not sure exactly where, but I'd rather plan for the worst) and I don't want to have to worry about the bike rusting.

    I'll check out the van dessel and specialized frames, thanks!

  7. #7
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    I can just about guarantee you if somehow your frame needed repair you wouldn't be able to find someone to repair an aluminum frame where you're going. Steel on the other hand, yes.

    Framesavered steel will work fine. I had a steel mtb when I lived in Seattle for 5 years and left it out in the rain while at school all the time. It never got any significant rust and it wasn't even framesavered.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  8. #8
    Senior Member schooner's Avatar
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    Stick with steel, if something happens in Africa and you need to get a chainstay or something else fixed, you can go to a muffler shop and give them a few bucks to get back on the road. With aluminum it wont be as easy, with Ti it will be near impossible. Yes, steel bikes rust, but it takes decades for a bottom bracket to rust out.

    Just be sure to build it with a lot of grease in the seat tube, bb shell, and head tube.

  9. #9
    Senior Member the pope's Avatar
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    If I were you, I'd be more concerned with the I'm going to be in Africa for over two years (not sure exactly where... part.

  10. #10
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    i would wager you could leave a steel bike outside for 20 years and still be able to ride the frame without issue... especially thicker walled less expensive tubing. *cough* surly, iro, etc. *cough*

    i think frame rust would be one of your last worries... i'd worry more about sourcing tubes, tires, spokes, replacement bearings, etc.

    steel is much more resilient to damage and is easily and essentially infinitely repairable. what happens when you bend or crack an aluminum tube? i would wager the average african metal smith is not going to have a tig welder and the means to heat treat the frame... however, oxy/acetylene is probably rather common. brazing is amazing!

    if i was going to africa for two years and wanted a single speed do all bike, i think i'd opt for a steel single speed 29"er with v brakes. if i lived in colorado and rode mountain bikes a ton, i think i'd opt for a steel single speed 29"er with v brakes. oh wait...

    edit: dammit, i left this open too long and everyone beat me to the repairability thought. stupid work, interupting my slacking.

  11. #11
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    Guys on the touring board always say how hard 700c wheels are to get outside of the US and Europe. So, you might consider a 26" wheel sized bike. Maybe an early 90s mountain bike, a older Rockhopper or somesuch. I would definitely go with steel, myself.

    Eric

  12. #12
    Senior Member TheKingFiphtin's Avatar
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    Definitely go with steel. You'll want multiple sets of sealed bearings as replacements. The sand is going to be your biggest concern as far as bike longevity. It will get into everything. chains will wear far faster, too. Make sure to clean them all the time. Rust will not be an issue over a two year period. Road salt is the number one rust worry for bikes. I don't think you'll have an issue with that. I would recommend a surly crosscheck frame.
    Having fingers is pretty sweet. You can do all kinds of things with them.

  13. #13
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Brett it looks like good advice to me what do you think?

  14. #14
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    If I was going to africa for two years, assuming it wasn't an urban center like Johannesburg, I'd get me a fully rigid steel mtb with tough, serviceable wheels with cup and cone hubs, something like deore with an extra set of ball bearings for the wheels. Square taper BB. 1 tub of Park grease (or similar) and a couple bottles of dry chain lube (unless you're going to a wet area). A couple patch kits, 4-6 extra tubes, maybe just 1 extra tire, tuffy-tire liners in the tires, an extra chain (one w/ a quicklink), a good, big multi-tool, cone wrenches, an adjustable wrench and a pair of pliers/cable cutters. I'd find a frame that took a 1 1/8 fork and if it had a threaded headset buy a new fork and switch to aheadset so I wouldn't need a huge wrench for it. Also like... 4 extra brake cables, a little extra housing maybe. 2 years isn't an incredibly long amount of time, and Africa isn't going to be any rougher than a mtb trail anywhere else in the world. It's just mother earth. The worry is not having access to any repair parts. An old adjustable bb might be an even better bet because you could bring extra bb's for it, but then you'd need a pin spanner and a big bb lockring tool.

    You know what would be the ultimate Africa bike? The Mutton Master:

    http://www.63xc.com/thursday/muttonmaster.htm
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  15. #15
    zizeked brett jerk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the pope View Post
    If I were you, I'd be more concerned with the I'm going to be in Africa for over two years (not sure exactly where... part.
    I'm going with the peace corps, and they won't tell me where exactly I'm going till about a month before I go, so thats why I don't know where 8-)

    thanks everyone for the help. word is that I maybe get a free old ****ty trek mountain bike, so I'll have that if I need to ride anything real raunchy, so I'm looking for a cross bike that I can do more like road commuting. I'm definitely going to bring a ton of extra parts, that's a given.

    Looks like I'll be going for steel after all (which is sweet, I guess I just assumed itd rust out on me, but I love steel and I'm glad to hear it won't be much of a concern over a two year period)

  16. #16
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    When I saw - Africa, two years, needs a bike - I was trying to guess mission or peace corp.

  17. #17
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Specialized Tricross comes in a single speed. It is all aluminum except the front fork ends which are carbon.

    If I were going to Africa, I'd want a cromoly steel frame. Easier to find local repair help in case of an accident. You will be able to get welding done or have someone bend the steel frame back into shape.

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