OK I have finally decided I am a)sick of gears and b)sick of using my bmx as my single-speed.
Actually I love my bmx but i'm going to be commuting and in all weather and so the bmx isn't gonna cut it for that.
What I would love to get (or build) is a single-speed mountain bike. The frames have always appealed to me more, plus my commute is going to involve enough off-road that I wouldn't want a road bike anyway. And from the bmx bike, i'm used to being able to ride anywhere I feel like, anytime.
Here is my problem: I am 5'3" with about a 29-30in inseam. I'm female. But I hate the frame-style of woman-specific frames.
Other problem: This bike is going to be my daily commuter, even in some rough weather, plus I don't want it stolen, so I don't want to get a $1000 bike. I'd say $700 max, and i'm not sure how comfortable I am even with that. You know, the cheaper the better!
So far I have been looking at the Redline Monocog 26 but the stores near me (currently living in Richmond, VA) don't have it in stock - they have to order it. So I can't hop on to test the sizing. Standover height is supposed to be 28.4" which is awful close to my inseam.
The Jamis Exile comes in a 13" with a 26.3" standover, which sounds much better to me. But it's $675 which is right at my money cap. Plus, it has disc brakes and might look better to steal. I guess I could always give it a horrible paint job ;)
Now, I also have a crazy light aluminium no-name brand 1980's hybrid frame that a friend gave me. It has horizontal drops, and I do have two 26" wheels with surly SS hubs that I could throw on it for an instant cheap SS. But I am worried that the frame is too weak. I am glad it's light, but c'mon. It needs to be able to take a beating.
Plus, that frame is probably too big for me. When I stand over it, the top tube rests right up at my nethers. If I different shoes on, it might even dig in painfully.
I haven't had a chance to measure the exact stand-over height of it, but obviously it's around 29 or 30 since that is my inseam.
Soooo: Should I get the Redline? Even though i'll only have about an inch over the standover? I've read that you should have about 3" over it.
Or should I spend a bundle on the Jamis for a better fit, but risk having a stealable bike? And I know nothing about maintaining disc brakes - are they tougher to work on?
Or should I spend 0$ and just convert that aluminum weakling I have, and just hope I don't ah.. hurt myself. How dangerous is it to have so little standover? Btw I am female if that makes a difference :P
Also: I don't feel like building a bike from the ground up. Putting on new wheels is about as much I really feel like dealing with right now - ie, I don't want to get a frame and then have to get forks, and then have to get the seat tube and seat, and stem and bars, and on and on. It would just be too much time and money to make it a cheaper option, I think.
So.. help? Anyone? :)