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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-16-09, 06:35 AM   #1
arnicaliebe
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surly 1x1 frame geometry: good or bad for the road?

I scored a free Surly 1x1 frame and I'm tweaking it ( gears, wheel diameter ) to ride it around as a brakeless fixed gear road bike.

However I've noticed that MTBs have markedly different frame geometry than road bikes. The seat tube appears to be proportionally shorter than on a road or a touring bike, esp. with the 1x1. The top tube isn't parallel to the ground.

I assume the frame is configured thus to make it more efficient for the rider to exert force in lower gears, thus making it easier to propel the 1x1, which is designed to be a single speed MTB, up hills with a lot of friction and resistance.

I
So, my question is, if I convert this thing into a road bike fixie, am I going to destroy my knees and waste a lot of energy due to the specific design of the frame? Is it just a matter of adjusting the position of the handlebars and seat? Is my energy wasted here, and ought I find another, better tailored - to - the - streets frame instead?

thanks!
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Old 07-16-09, 06:58 AM   #2
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If you've got the parts sitting around, build it up and see if you like it. But realize an SS MTB is going to have a slacker head angle and your reach may be different depending on the size. You can ride it around on the streets but it's not going to be the same as a road or track bike.

If you don't have the parts already, I'm not sure I'd invest in the project unless you plan on taking it off road. It's a good bike, I've got one and I'll cruise it to the bar occasionally but it's main use is trail riding.

Also, realize the rear wheel is spaced for an MTB hub.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:13 AM   #3
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MTB geometry is intended for more nimble handling at lower speeds on rough terrain, by comparison to a road or track frame, which is designed for stability at high speeds over flat ground. Your MTB frame is going to put you in a more upright position, is going to give you more maneuverability, but it isn't designed for flat-out speed. Different riding style entirely. For example, it'll let you turn in little tiny circles while you're hardly moving forward at all, while that would be tougher on a road bike.
Now, that's not to say that it won't be awesome. I built a really fun SS with a coaster brake and cruiser bars last summer, on an 80s Raleigh MTB frame, and it was great.
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Old 07-16-09, 07:23 AM   #4
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I'm a huge fan of the ol' tried and true on-road MTB w/slicks. When I was in the market for a new ss/fg commuter, I was seriously considering a 1x1. I went with a 700c frame which I convinced myself would be more nimble.

Well It's a little more nimble alright. And my damn wheels go of true every time I look at them cross-eyed. And yes they're hand-built. I don't care if you had your front wheel built by Peter White and your rear wheel built by Sheldon Brown, 700c is quite weaker than 26". I also just can't ever resist the urge to ride like a little kid, rolling into every pothole and mud puddle I see. And riding over every dead branch and discarded bag of fast food in the shoulder, I can't help it!

Anyways... In the rural setting I'm currently in, where there isn't a stoplight for a 20 mile radius, I would say my 700c wheeled SS/FG road bike is alot more efficient for building up a good pace during the long haul commute.

In the previous urban setting I was in, I found that even though my MTB w/ slicks was heavy and stout, with my tires and geometry, I could (without a care towards wheel integrity) roll over manhole covers, road construction, hop curbs, ride medians if needed, hell I could even ride PARALLEL down trolley tracks! In the end, It made my top speeds lower, but my overall commutes significantly quicker. And lets not even compare it's efficiency in the ice and snow, it would make all these poor "semi-track geometries" and 26mm tires feel terrible about themselves!


Anyways, my rambling is sort of pointless because YOU ALREADY HAVE A 1x1 YOU GOT FOR FREE, you lucky dog! So build that ****, and go ride like a little kid again!

Go look at the mtbr Surly forum, there is a "post your surly pics" somewhere with some sweet 1x1 on-road builds.

Oh! One more thing, my favorite MTB slicks are Panaracer Ribmo's, 1.75. They roll REALLY well and are still plenty fat enough.

Last edited by whoosh!; 07-16-09 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoosh! View Post
I don't care if you had your front wheel built by Peter White and your rear wheel built by Sheldon Brown, 700c is quite weaker than 26". I also just can't ever resist the urge to ride like a little kid, rolling into every pothole and mud puddle I see. And riding over every dead branch and discarded bag of fast food in the shoulder, I can't help it!
I don't really want to derail this thread, but I can't let this one go.

How many spokes? What kind of rims? Who built them? Because I can tell you, I've done more than ride over potholes with 700c wheels and have had zero issues over a 26" wheel. In theory they might be weaker, but a proper build will say otherwise. All wheels pictured below are 700c, none have failed...

Note to the OP: the 1x1 can fit 700c wheels.





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Old 07-16-09, 11:16 AM   #6
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OP, I think you are thinking way too hard. Just ride it and adjust as needed.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:16 PM   #7
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Insert wheels, add rider. Enjoy.

I bought my wife a 11th anniversary 1x1 rat because she desperately loves my Karate Monkey and I refuse to tell her that at 5' even, the 29ers would make for fun time
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Old 07-16-09, 01:41 PM   #8
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dude 1x1 are awesome bike on and off the streets
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Old 07-16-09, 11:17 PM   #9
arnicaliebe
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thanks for the advice

Thanks for the advise, I reckon I'll stick to my 26" rear wheel.... one person who responded to my post was incorrect, though, the 1x1 is designed to allow for 700C rims, there's plenty of clearance.
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Old 07-17-09, 01:32 AM   #10
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Hey,

I could sworn I have seen 1x1s at fixedgeargallery, but I can't seem to find it again. That one had WTB dirt drop with a suspension fork. One would imagine it to be ugly, but it didn't look bad. ... I found something similar, but uses a solid fork with a midge bar, but you can imagine how it would look with a drop bar.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33536892@N00/315563016

... I think a ordinarly drop bar wouldn't be very good, but I am subjective.

As for 29's, I heard it is more flat tire resistant. Is that right?

T

P.S. I found another one,

http://www.t3.rim.or.jp/~baren/img249.jpg

Last edited by Tomo_Ishi; 07-17-09 at 01:36 AM.
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