I took my newly SS'ed mountain bike out for a little test run today. I have not yet gotten the tools I need from Nashbar to finish it completely, I am still waiting on a cassette tool and a chain tool to break apart the cassette for the 18t cog I'll be using. But, I set the derailluer right where it holds the chainline as close to perfect as it's gonna get, which lands it on the 14t rear cog. I used the 32t chainring, and got some spacers to hold the whole mess together, so the front end is squared away. On the ride, I wheeled the bike over to an old landfill on campus that gives about a 30 foot rise to do some short climbs. It climbs okay, a little stiff, but that will be better once I have it set at 32x18. The best part is the noticeably lighter weight and the simple beauty of seeing a set of handlebars with only brake levers. I can't wait to finish it and get it on the trail! It only threw the chain once, that happened going down some stairs. I think this will be completely eliminated when I take some links out of the chain to get the derailluer to provide more tension to hold the chain on.
Aside: I have heard that there are rivets or bolts that hold the whole cassette together. Is this true and how do I go about breaking it apart?