.....and before you get too excited. No, the knards will not fit on your monocog. Not without some modification that is. However, it can be done. All you need is a set of welding torches, vice grips, and some gusto.
Here's the story. I decided to sell my BMX bikes and get a mountain bike. I opted for a singlespeed since I've spent my whole life on a bike with one gear, and I hate geared bikes. Too fiddly. I read tons of reviews and settled on a Redline Monocog. I ended up scoring a brand new 2010 model off Craigslist for $250. Banging Deal.
Took it out on the trail. It was extremely muddy and wet that day. About half way through I realized that the bike as it comes from the factory is not really trail ready. The frame was really good, and the tires worked well. That's about all. The fork was too rigid and felt disconnected due to the crappy headset. There was sand in all the bearings. Rim brakes do nothing in a downpour (which I knew), and the pedals were about useless. As I got back to my car I thought well, you got a good frame for $250. Time to go shopping.
My goal was simple. Build a tank. Weight be damned.
At 6'2" 225 I guess I fall into the clydesdale category. Aptly named as I have a tendency to break things. I also wanted to be able to service every component on the bike, from bearings down to the springs and pawls in the freewheel. I want to buy something once.
So I started with the crankset. That was the worst of it on the stock monocog. I changed the gear ratio when I did this, which is much better (33/18) from (33/20). Swapped the stem, bars, grips, seat, seat post, seatpost clamp, saddle. All made an improvement, although some was just in the style department. Swapped the brakes. Night and day improvement. Next was the fork and headset. This made the biggest improvement of all so far. The front wheel finally felt connected to the frame. Everything but the wheels was rock solid.
Since this is a fully rigid setup I knew I wanted to get as much air under me as possible, which means wide rims and tires. Now the problems start coming. Nothing pre-built would work, so I had to build my own wheelset. I started by searching for the widest 29er rim and tires out there. This is literally one week before Surly releases info on the Krampus, Knard tires, and Rabbit Hole rims.
After hours and hours of searching and researching I came across the Kris Holm Freeride 47mm wide unicycle rims. Sold. I settled or the Surly Ultra New hubs. They're forged and roll on enduros, why shell out the extra loot for some king's or hopes? I did splurge on a White Ind. trials freewheel (it is the second most important part of the drive train). Got some DT spokes and laced em up. Now on to tires.
I came across the usual stuff 2.3's, 2.4's, 2.55 etc. Nothing seemed all that exciting. The Kenda's that came stock filled out nicely on the KH's, but those tires are only good offroad. I found a set of WTB Exiwolf's for a steal and scooped them up. The day after I ordered the WTB's, Surly sent out the Krampus press release. What?!? Three inch wide tires on 50mm rims!
I already have 47mm rims. I need those tires, but they won't fit in the rear of my Monocog, and I can't get them. They don't exist yet. It's July and Surly says maybe November. Okay. That gives me time to modify the frame. I know you are thinking I should have just scrapped the project and bought a Krampus, but I was in too deep to give up. So I called up my buddy. Got out the welding torches and went to work. We just heated the chain and seatstays and squeezed them with a pair of vice grips. I took a while, and it's not super pretty, but we made just enough room. That was in August. The last eight months have been like chasing a unicorn. November turned into February still no Knards. Now its March 20, and today I finally got my hands on the Knards (haha). They fit! Pure Joy!
Sorry for the long read. I felt like sharing this story.
Here is a list of the build and some pics.
Frame: 2010 Redline Monocog
Fork: Salsa Cromoto Grande
Headset: FSA Pig DH Pro
Stem: Eightinch BMX Stem 60mm
Bars: SE Racing BMX Cruiser Bars
Grips: Oury Downhill
Crankset: Profile Racing Spline Drive 180mm Cranks
Sprocket: Profile Racing Spline Drive 33 Tooth
Bottom Bracket: Profile Racing Outboard
Pedals: Fyxation Mesa MP
Rims: Kris Holm Freeride 47mm
Tires: Surly Knard 29 x 3
Hubs: Surly Ultra New Disc
Freewheel: White Industries Trials 18 Tooth
Spokes: DT Swiss
Brakes: Avid BB7 180mm Front 160mm Rear
Brake Levers: Diacompe Dirt Harry
Brake Cable: Jagwire
Seatpost: Old School Layback
Clamp: SE Racing Donut
Saddle: Serfas Dual Density
Chain: KMC Half Link
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