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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 11-21-11, 10:06 PM   #1
FreakyFast
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Looking for Single-speed mountain bike frame? Trying to avoid tensioner...

I deliver food in downtown Dallas, tx. I started my job with a steel-frame Raliegh from the late 80's. Still serves me very, very well. Fabolous bike, proves that quality means quality.

Anyways, the 700 x 23 tires on my road bike just don't withstand the rough roads in downtown Dallas. I tried a mountain bike, 26 inch tires, which served me pretty well, but it was stolen. It was also just a little too heavy-duty to be practical for freaky-fast delivery.

I went back to the Raleigh.

Next I purchased a higher-end, Fuji mountain bike. Proved once again to be too heavy-duty for my job, which requires me to be as fast as possible.

Sold the mountain bike, bought a single-speed Scattante bike. It was pretty awesome... but still seemed to fragile for the daily beating of the streets and curbs. And also, it was stolen (somebody cut the cable-lock I had on there...)

So to summarize... I am looking for a nice, hybrid, single-speed bike (I never really shift gears, dallas is pretty flat).

I want to build one, for the experience. I have decided I need to start with a mountain-bike frame, as cheap as possible (I hope someone out there is still reading this rant). However, I find it difficult to find a mountain-bike frame (do hybrid-frames exist?) that is ready to be a single-speed (all the drop-outs are vertical... a.k.a. I will have to install a chain tensioner cause I can't manually provide the tension that horizantal drop-outs provide).

I am a little drunk, and I hope all that made sense. I am looking for a mountain-bike frame, with appropriate drop-outs (non-vertical) that provide me the opportunity to build my own single-speed bike with around 700 x 35 wheels (somewhere between mountain bike and road bike) that will allow me to be fast, handle rough terrain, and only have one gear, as I am a simple guy, rarely shift gears, and dallas is flat. Thanks for your time.
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Old 11-21-11, 10:46 PM   #2
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Did you look into the Kilo WT on BD? you wont be able to build it but it seems to meet your needs
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Old 11-21-11, 10:52 PM   #3
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Good choice: KiloTT WT: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../kilott_wt.htm

Cooler choice for only $40 more: KiloTT WT5: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...kilott_wt5.htm

If you'd prefer a mountain bike frame over a road bike type frame, here's a couple options:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/se/stout.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/deadeye.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/bullseye.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/g29ss.htm

It sounds like a beefy road/track frame would be fitting for your needs though.
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Old 11-21-11, 11:36 PM   #4
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http://surlybikes.com/bikes/karate_monkey

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check

Either of those would do fine as a rough pavement bike, with the right adjustments. They're both available as framesets as well, though you'll save money if you purchase them complete.
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Old 11-21-11, 11:56 PM   #5
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Good choice: KiloTT WT: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../kilott_wt.htm

Cooler choice for only $40 more: KiloTT WT5: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...kilott_wt5.htm

If you'd prefer a mountain bike frame over a road bike type frame, here's a couple options:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/se/stout.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/deadeye.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/bullseye.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/g29ss.htm

It sounds like a beefy road/track frame would be fitting for your needs though.
My deadeye is really heavy and the bullseye and stout are practically identical frames. He mentioned that a higher end Fuji MTB was too heavy-duty so I think these heavy entry level bikes would be out of the question.
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Old 11-21-11, 11:59 PM   #6
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My deadeye is really heavy and the bullseye and stout are practically identical frames. He mentioned that a higher end Fuji MTB was too heavy-duty so I think these heavy entry level bikes would be out of the question.
I guess I don't really get how something can be "too heavy duty" when you're popping curbs and riding on bad roads.

Either way, you're right, they're not really what he's asking for. Don't mind me.
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Old 11-22-11, 12:07 AM   #7
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By heavy-duty do you just mean heavy? MTBs don't have to be heavy. My 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero G is at 24.5 lbs with Mythos XC knobbies. about 24.25 with some cheepo semi-slicks. Winter project is to get it down to 23 lbs with 26x1.25" slicks and keeping it's 3x8 drivetrain intact. I bet if I got rid of gears and put my sewups on there with single speed freewheel I could get it down to 21 lbs.

I haven't weighed this Novara yet, but I just played around with it 'til I got the chain do drop into a gear. Sometimes you get lucky with vertical dropouts. It was a little tight so I filed the leading edge of the dropouts a bit.

34x15 = 58.4 inches on 1.9" knobbies. Maybe a little low for fast street riding but nice for street/mellow trail mix.


Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 11-22-11 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:01 AM   #8
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thanks all for the help. Yeah, when I said heavy-duty, I pretty much meant heavy... I could have reduced the weight of my previous MTB's by making them single speed, and not having shocks on the front. All the options you guys gave me are pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks all for your help, I simply couldn't find single speed mountain bikes out there, and the links ya'll gave me are perfect. I will continue to reserach and browse bike forums. Thanks
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Old 11-22-11, 06:23 AM   #9
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1994-1997 is probably the peak era for light, rigid, steel MTBs. Suspension forks are a big speed killer, but plenty of aftermarket rigid forks are out there.

For me, a 25 pound bike is fine. Check out bikepedia, back in the mid 90s a lot of bikes had weights listed. Nice thing about mid 90s MTBs is that they were all XC race style, so nice on the road also.

http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...ro-G&Type=bike

Here's a dream MTB for road riding. I love mid nineties KHS MTBs more than I love life itself! 23.5 lbs claimed stock weight.

http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...Comp&Type=bike

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 11-22-11 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:39 AM   #10
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Just a hair over 24 lbs as it stands here. Much lighter without the barends and with slick tires.


DSCN1785 by Lester Of Puppets, on Flickr
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Old 11-22-11, 06:53 AM   #11
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yeah, I'll probably go alluminum frame, although I hear that can be quite jarring to the rider. My 80's Raleigh is steel, and I definitely appreciated the extra "sponginess" of the steel versus the aluminim Fuji I briefly had, but I figure if the aluminum of my project MTB is too unforgiving, I could toss on a suspended front fork, and possibly a spring-seat, and it would still be lighter than a steel frame... all while being on a tight budget.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:53 AM   #12
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perhaps this time you should buy a decent lock
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Old 11-22-11, 06:55 AM   #13
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I hate to get too off-topic, but while I have some pro's at my disposal...

The reason I was going for a mountain bike frame to make my hybrid-like bike was because I really want to be able to put thicker than 700 x 25 tires on there, and I figure a road frame would not be able to accomodate this... am I wrong about this?

Thanks ya'll.

PS I now have an On-Guard u-lock, but damn that thing is heavy... I simply cannot find a good lock solution. As a delivery driver I am unlocking and locking up my bike at least 20x per day. Need the strenght of a good U-lock, with the lightness of a cable.

Last edited by FreakyFast; 11-22-11 at 06:56 AM. Reason: address an issue
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Old 11-22-11, 07:01 AM   #14
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My 1984 or so Pinarello only accepts up to 26mm Panaracer Stradius Sports - Luckily I LOVE those tires. My olde 1988 Trek 400T could take 38mm knobbies. That Trek was spongy as hell, though. I had a 1982 or so Univega Super Special, Killer frame! which took 28mm tires no problemo.

Ya know, most 26" wheel MTB frames can take 700c wheels. just gotta figure out if you can get brakes that reach.

Here I am with a road wheel in my MTB measuring the distance needed for caliper brakes. Yes, that's a sewup! Turns out I need a nutted caliper with a 50-60mm reach to accommodate.


Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 11-22-11 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 11-22-11, 10:21 AM   #15
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Here I am with a road wheel in my MTB measuring the distance needed for caliper brakes. Yes, that's a sewup! Turns out I need a nutted caliper with a 50-60mm reach to accommodate.
Thanks for the demonstration
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Old 11-22-11, 02:21 PM   #16
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I run 700x45s on my 80s shogun conversion,using old weinmann dual pull calipers to clear the tire.The 27x1 1/4 tires that where standard for many old low to mid level bikes come out to be 32s and many bikes had room for fenders as well.Have you checked how much space there is on your frame?Also, going from 23s to 28s on two of my bikes made big difference in comfort.Are you sure you need something bigger than 35s?
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Old 11-22-11, 05:55 PM   #17
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op...to do exactly what you described in your initial post you will not find a better deal than this...

http://www.departmentofgoods.com/swobo-heywood-bike
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Old 11-22-11, 06:43 PM   #18
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you can take a mtn bike with vertical dropouts and turn it into a singlespeed with an ENO hub.
it's eccentric; no tensioner required. you'll just have to build/rebuild the rear wheel.

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Old 11-22-11, 07:40 PM   #19
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op...to do exactly what you described in your initial post you will not find a better deal than this...

http://www.departmentofgoods.com/swobo-heywood-bike
God I would love one of those for singletrack. HNNNNG.
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Old 11-23-11, 12:38 AM   #20
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I appreciate all the feedback
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Old 11-26-11, 06:58 AM   #21
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http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/FROOIN26...swap_out_frame

run disk front and back and you can put what ever wheel size you want in there. i have seen photos of the inbred with 700c and it looks pretty bad ass...
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Old 11-26-11, 07:19 AM   #22
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I built up a Vassago Fisticuff as a SS, it pretty much seems to fit your criteria. http://www.vassagocycles.com/fisticuff/ The bike is pretty quick with 35's on it and definitely is built to take some abuse.
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Old 11-26-11, 03:53 PM   #23
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Azonic Steehead, if you can still find it. I think Azonic still makes a singlespeed rigid mountain bike frame, but I can't remember what it's called. I had one, but my dad threw it out and did not tell me until this weekend, along with my FBM *****in' Camero. I was furious to say the least.
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