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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 01-05-05, 07:01 PM   #1
iriedub
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Calling all SS MTB gurus

Hey folks. I'm interested in building a SS mountain bike, it's been a dream for a while. I currently ride an Epic S-works, another dream bike I recently finished building. My wife has finally realized my passion for bikes and she is allowing me to build another bike.

I would like your input and suggestions, please.
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Old 01-05-05, 07:52 PM   #2
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moots
Phil Wood Piss off
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Old 01-05-05, 07:59 PM   #3
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Since you have an S-Works I'm assuming you have a bit of cash to splurge? Or are you on a tighter budget because you spent all the money on this S-Works?

There are many budget bikes around like the Surly and Soma etc. but at the high end you can go crazy with whatever you want, you'll get custom sizing and choices (disc vs. v-brake, 26" or 29" etc.).

IF, Sycip, Jericho, Hunter, TET etc etc. So many options out there. I'd suggest you visit the SS MTBR.com board and see what kind of bikes people have. There are tons of pics around on that site and many good ideas from long time SS riders.

Personally I have a Teesdale frame and rigid fork and I cannot fault the bike, it's awesome.
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Old 01-05-05, 08:11 PM   #4
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Personally, as you seem to be new to Single Speeding, take stock of what stuff you have lying around your garage. Use it to build your SS.

Get a good quality frame (either new or used) and put a singleator or a Pauls Component on there to single it up. Hopefully from your investigation in the garage, you have some equipment that will enable you to build up the SS.

Don't spend the money on a specific SS frame YET! That may happen later as the addiction takes hold. In reality, some of the best SS AREN'T specific frames. At the SS World Championships in 02 (the last one I went to) about half the field used a chain tensioner rather than a purpose built/modified frame.

I found that (when I first started SS), that it was the "pure feeling" that I enjoyed. You'll get that will a 24lb SS, as well as a 17lbs SS. You will still get that with a chain tensioner AND you will have another frame that you can easily sell if the SS bug takes hold.

Don't spend heaps of money YET, just get a frame, chain tensioner, and get out there.

SS is the last element of MTB that is about the ride, not the gear.
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Old 01-05-05, 08:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike_13
Personally, as you seem to be new to Single Speeding, take stock of what stuff you have lying around your garage. Use it to build your SS.

Get a good quality frame (either new or used) and put a singleator or a Pauls Component on there to single it up. Hopefully from your investigation in the garage, you have some equipment that will enable you to build up the SS.

Don't spend the money on a specific SS frame YET! That may happen later as the addiction takes hold. In reality, some of the best SS AREN'T specific frames. At the SS World Championships in 02 (the last one I went to) about half the field used a chain tensioner rather than a purpose built/modified frame.

I found that (when I first started SS), that it was the "pure feeling" that I enjoyed. You'll get that will a 24lb SS, as well as a 17lbs SS. You will still get that with a chain tensioner AND you will have another frame that you can easily sell if the SS bug takes hold.

Don't spend heaps of money YET, just get a frame, chain tensioner, and get out there.

SS is the last element of MTB that is about the ride, not the gear.

You totally nailed it.
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Old 01-05-05, 11:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input so far. I don't have lot of money to spend, I was in the right situation at the right time to pick up the S-Works frame and build it with some parts from a previously sold bike. I will take advice to build the SS from a 'old' frame, the problem is I ran out of parts. So I'll have to all over again.
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Old 01-06-05, 02:02 AM   #7
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I think that's bad advice. Build what you want don't build what you can afford or you will end up with 5 bikes that don't thrill you when you could have built just one with the money that would have knocked ur socks off.
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Old 01-06-05, 03:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kurremkarm
I think that's bad advice. Build what you want don't build what you can afford or you will end up with 5 bikes that don't thrill you when you could have built just one with the money that would have knocked ur socks off.
Still dreaming of that bike? For someone new to SS or Fixed, it's best not to spend the money until you know that you will like it. I'd buy crap components out of the parts bin at the LBS, put them on the frame I just stripped, and try it. If I liked it, look for better components to put on the frame, then save up to swap the frame.

Your advice is correct if it's someone building up a bike like the other ones they have ridden. If you already ride SS, then stick with what you have and wait and get the better stuff. But if it's exploring new territory, it makes no sence to save the money, then find out that you hate it...
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Old 01-06-05, 09:20 AM   #9
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Brother Keith has some words on the subject. I've been reading him lately, he's sort of a hoot. Pretty down to earth and realistic for a guy whose company builds 16 spoke wheels.

http://www.bontrager.com/keith/rants.asp?id=8
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Old 01-06-05, 10:07 AM   #10
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I laugh everytime read that. Nice to know he is grounded.
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Old 01-06-05, 10:54 AM   #11
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Making a bike singlespeed doesn't change anything about how the bike rides, fits, or feels. You have one gear that is it. To see if i would like SS i rode around in one gear for a few weeks. I liked it.

If someone wants a SS they should ride around in one gear and if they like it, then build the SS they want not cludge together something. Why not just do it right the first time?
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Old 01-06-05, 02:09 PM   #12
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Whos to say there is one right way? Why does there only have to be ONE way? Bike_13 has the right idea, there is nothing wrong with a bike that isn't made for ss to be an ss without the propreitary ss parts. It is still just a ss. Ride it and love it.
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Old 01-06-05, 05:37 PM   #13
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i think you should try and find an old specialized hard rock, rockhopper, or stumpjumper. they have short semi-horiz dropouts, so you arent stuck looking at a totally ugly singulator or what have you. theres other older MTBs out there with horiz. dropouts, but they are usually crappy stamped out ones, the specialized has nice forged dropouts.

ive done quite a few conversions to old specialized, and they always come out great. i love the geometry, and i love riding rigid. i converted my hard rock to a threadless headset as well. theres a pic of it in the sticky thread, or i can post it here if you want.
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Old 01-06-05, 06:20 PM   #14
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Vail Cycle Works Mega-one, do a google search on them its a great ride www.vailcycleworks.com
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Old 01-06-05, 06:26 PM   #15
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Or you can go with some real classic iron from the early 80's. Me, I got's my MB-2. I dare you to say it's got crappy dropouts.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:45 PM   #16
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I wish I could find an 'old' steel frame, but they are hard to come by. I did however get a 2000-2001 Gary Fisher Tassajara frame to start my little project with. I plan on building this bike with parts that will end up on the final true SS frame.
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Old 01-08-05, 08:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Or you can go with some real classic iron from the early 80's. Me, I got's my MB-2. I dare you to say it's got crappy dropouts.
i love the bridgestone MB-whatevers. does it have horiz drops? all the ones ive seen have verticals.
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Old 01-08-05, 12:08 PM   #18
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Mine has horizontal dropouts. It's got enough distance in there I think to accomodate a 3 tooth range in the drivetrain. I'll be getting a half link a little later today to see if I can make a 20t/17t free/fixed combo work out. Based on some test fits last night, I think it's gonna just fit with the 17 all the way back and the 20 all the way forward.

But it's also got a real vintage geometry. Nice and cushy. That may not be your thing.
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Old 01-09-05, 07:32 PM   #19
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I love that article by Keith. Nice choice of some of the parts that he had 'just lying around........Bontrager frame.....brazed unicrown fork......Sante rear derailleur......prototype tires....prototype rims.....prototype cranks......prototype seat......prototype.....

HAHA!

Anyhoo.

If you're not sure about the singlespeed thing, build up a cheap beater, or just don't change gears on your current bike. Simple. Or if you're hangin' out for a new frame, get a geared frame with a Bushnell EBB. Sure, it's a compromise, but it's a versatile one.

If you live in the right part of the world, a singlespeed MTB is the most versatile bike you will ever own, but don't just rush out and buy one because you heard it's cool. I'm not suggesting that's what you're doing because I don't really know - however, there's also no point in building up a bike you'll never ride, too.
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Old 01-10-05, 08:53 AM   #20
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If your Tassajara is the 'genesis' geometry, you're in luck. I just converted my 00 Fisher Ziggurat to a SS. Using a 32 x 16, I get perfect chain tension using a KMC half-link, without having to use a tensioner. Got mine from WebCyclery for about $3.

Really happy with it so far. Gives a really 'clean' appearance, and the chain runs smoothly and quietly.
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Old 01-10-05, 11:05 AM   #21
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Just to follow up on my earlier comment, I have enough room for a 4 tooth range on my MB-2. That's like 1/2" which seems about right just eyeballing it. I could actually measure the dropouts but I'm way too lazy for that.
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Old 01-10-05, 01:12 PM   #22
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so you have 1/2" dropouts? cuz thats whats on my SS hard rock, and i was wondering how much of a tooth spread i can work with.

do you actually take your SS off road? theres a lot of idiots in philly that ride fixed and scoff at the idea of mountain biking, 1 gear or many. i think they dislike it because they know they cant hang.

i loved riding fixed, and love that a lot of people are getting into it, but around here all the scenesters think its worth like 100+ scene points if you have a fixie. bunch of tools.
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Old 01-10-05, 01:47 PM   #23
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Each tooth counts for 1/8" of lateral distance so 1/2" will give you a 4 tooth range assuming you can seat the high and low end at the very back and front of the dropouts.

Yeah, I offroad with my mtb. I just got it late this summer though so I haven't done a ton.
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Old 01-11-05, 12:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbike
If your Tassajara is the 'genesis' geometry, you're in luck. I just converted my 00 Fisher Ziggurat to a SS. Using a 32 x 16, I get perfect chain tension using a KMC half-link, without having to use a tensioner. Got mine from WebCyclery for about $3.

Really happy with it so far. Gives a really 'clean' appearance, and the chain runs smoothly and quietly.
The Tassajara is a 'Genesis' geometry. Do you have any pics of your bike?
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Old 01-11-05, 09:41 AM   #25
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Unfortunately, I do not yet. Hope to soon though. Good luck with it.
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