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Old 11-05-17, 08:54 AM   #1
davei1980
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Best old frame for Single Speed mtb??

I sold my entry level Fuji mtb yesterday because my interests have changed to more IGH/single speed stuff. I mostly ride on the street but now I have nothing to take to the trail nearby.

I am intrigued bu single speed Mountain bikes and I think I can build one for cheap. What’s the best, cheap, widely available frame? Preferably light (relatively) and with horizontal dropouts ??
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Old 11-08-17, 02:08 PM   #2
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Surly 1x1 or Karate Monkey, Santa Cruz Chameleon, Redline Monocog, Kona Explosif, Kona Unit, On-One Inbred, Salsa El Mariachi.

Those aren't that old, but mtb standards move fast, so not sure how far you wanna go back.

I've owned a ton and am currently building up another: 2015 Salsa El Mariachi. Shorts stays with swing arm dropouts, 29er, rigid, lots of rubber.
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Old 11-08-17, 03:13 PM   #3
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Surly 1x1 or Karate Monkey, Santa Cruz Chameleon, Redline Monocog, Kona Explosif, Kona Unit, On-One Inbred, Salsa El Mariachi.

Those aren't that old, but mtb standards move fast, so not sure how far you wanna go back.

I've owned a ton and am currently building up another: 2015 Salsa El Mariachi. Shorts stays with swing arm dropouts, 29er, rigid, lots of rubber.

Nice!


Since I am new to the sport, I was thinking, like, something I could PU on CL for like $50 and spend the winter building out... if I take well to the sport, THEN maybe some of the frames listed above? Also I am a cheap bastard
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Old 11-08-17, 05:43 PM   #4
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My first offroad SS was in 2007, so it was a 29er with disc brakes, just like the rest I've owned. Not sure if you have a preference as to wheel size and brake type. Cheapest frames would probably be a 26er with rim brakes, which is before my time. But Surly has offered the 1x1 for awhile, is fairly indestructible, so might be one to look for. Here's an example:
Great big Singlespeed thread! - Page 63 | Retrobike
And there's 60+ pages more of ideas.
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Old 11-08-17, 06:47 PM   #5
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Some early 90s steel mountain bikes had horizontal dropouts. I had a 1991 or so Specialized Stumpjumper for a while that I converted to single speed for commuting. I don't know if you'll find any for $50.

Another option is to just buy any cheap frame and use a chain tensioner like the Surly Singleator. Or try to find a magic gear rate for the frame.
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Old 11-08-17, 09:51 PM   #6
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Some early 90s steel mountain bikes had horizontal dropouts. I had a 1991 or so Specialized Stumpjumper for a while that I converted to single speed for commuting. I don't know if you'll find any for $50.

Another option is to just buy any cheap frame and use a chain tensioner like the Surly Singleator. Or try to find a magic gear rate for the frame.
good call. Lots of those specialized frames for sale right now in Spokane. Just not sure if they had horizontal dropouts or not.
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Old 11-09-17, 05:23 AM   #7
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I have an 89 rockhopper comp and an 89 or 90 hardrock and the RHC has a piece welded into the dropouts to make sure the wheel is properly positioned relative to the derailleur and brakes when the wheel is removed and replaced. The HR doesn't. Both are fully rigid. I'd probably look for an 05-10 MTB as they have threadless headsets, suspension fork geometry, disc brake tabs, and are at the bottom of their depreciation curve.
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Old 11-09-17, 11:11 AM   #8
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I have an 89 rockhopper comp and an 89 or 90 hardrock and the RHC has a piece welded into the dropouts to make sure the wheel is properly positioned relative to the derailleur and brakes when the wheel is removed and replaced. The HR doesn't. Both are fully rigid. I'd probably look for an 05-10 MTB as they have threadless headsets, suspension fork geometry, disc brake tabs, and are at the bottom of their depreciation curve.
I like it. I am an accountant so you are speaking my language. Any frames in that era have horiz. dropouts? I am not in to derailleurs/tensioners. I have heard the threaded-threadless conversion is an easy one to make. The suspension geometry is a good point, not something that's practical to "retrofit"
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Old 11-10-17, 07:15 PM   #9
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I want to do this as well but I honestly couldn't imagine doing one that wasn't disc compatible and that really removes a lot of frames over 10 years old.
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Old 11-11-17, 05:24 PM   #10
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I want to do this as well but I honestly couldn't imagine doing one that wasn't disc compatible and that really removes a lot of frames over 10 years old.


Agreed but I think you can make a LEGIT weekender woods bike with disc front/rim brake rear. That's the configuration of my Fuji anyway ... The front fork is easy/cheap to swap out. Thoughts?
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Old 11-11-17, 05:39 PM   #11
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Agreed but I think you can make a LEGIT weekender woods bike with disc front/rim brake rear. That's the configuration of my Fuji anyway ... The front fork is easy/cheap to swap out. Thoughts?
I did see a clamp on stab
Disc bracket on eBay. I'm tempted to give one a go. If that's the case any vintage frame given it has enough space in the dropouts could convert to a 26/27.5 disc set up.
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Old 11-14-17, 05:36 PM   #12
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Yeti DJ - - Bolt-on horiz dropouts...plus you could boost doubles all day long without breaking it
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Old 11-14-17, 08:42 PM   #13
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I like it. I am an accountant so you are speaking my language. Any frames in that era have horiz. dropouts? I am not in to derailleurs/tensioners. I have heard the threaded-threadless conversion is an easy one to make. The suspension geometry is a good point, not something that's practical to "retrofit"
for vertical dropouts, you want to find a magic gear. all you need to know is chainstay length (fairly accurately).
http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php

plug in the chainstay length, largest chainring and smallest chainring you'd want to run (smallest mostly depends on smallest BCD mounting points on your crank), the largest and smallest cog, and tire size. the line will show you gearing that will work with no tension devices. gear combos in the same color use the same number of chain links. pick something to the right of the vertical line on the chart, as the further to the right you go, the more slack is added. I wouldn't go more than 1-2 mm longer than your actual chainstay length or your chain will get too slack.
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Old 11-14-17, 10:19 PM   #14
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for vertical dropouts, you want to find a magic gear. all you need to know is chainstay length (fairly accurately).
http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php

plug in the chainstay length, largest chainring and smallest chainring you'd want to run (smallest mostly depends on smallest BCD mounting points on your crank), the largest and smallest cog, and tire size. the line will show you gearing that will work with no tension devices. gear combos in the same color use the same number of chain links. pick something to the right of the vertical line on the chart, as the further to the right you go, the more slack is added. I wouldn't go more than 1-2 mm longer than your actual chainstay length or your chain will get too slack.
oh wow! That opens up so many frame possibilities!!
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