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  1. #1
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    Building a rigid SS 2011 Unit

    I've got a 2011 20" Unit frame arriving in a couple days that I'll be building up as a rigid SS for the buffer desert trails near Phoenix/AZ. Components will be my spare parts, hand-me-downs from my primary bike (Salsa Dos Niner), and some new parts.

    Fork: Buy a Salsa Cromoto: steel with nearly identical geometry to '11 P2.

    Drivetrain: White Industries ENO 32t, King 20t cog, KMC Z610H 3/32 chain, SPD pedals.

    Wheels: King hubs and Stan's Flows run tubeless, Weirwwolf 2.55 and Crossmark 2.1.

    Cockpit: Easton Monkeylite 28" carbon DH riser bar, ESI chunky grips, 90mm stem, Eriksen ti 420mm layback seatpost, saddle???

    Brakes: '08 hydraulic XT 160/160 brakes.


    Parts I'm considering as alternatives:

    19t cog. I'd rather run 32X20, but want an effictive chainstay of about 17.4" WITHOUT a half-link (consistent problems with those). I believe an unstretched chain will put me at about 17.5" with 32/20 - CAN ANYONE CONFIRM???

    Niner carbon fork - seemingly perfect rigid fork, but its pricey and backordered. Looked at some cheaper carbon forks but took issue with each, plus I like the idea of an all-steal frameset.

    Titec Jones H-bar: I ran these on my rigid SS a couple years ago - great, but STIFF, heavy, and UGLY. I prefer an alt-bar for SS climbing, but a 28" carbon bar will get installed first.

    Ardent 2.4 in front: I'm enjoying my second Ardent 2.25, and didn't like the Weirwolf much when I briefly had it on the front of my Salsa, but I've got a Weirwolf and it has great volume. I also liked the Rampage I ran 3 years ago.

    Exiwolf 2.3 rear: This and the Crossmark are far and away my favorite rear tires. I have used versions of each ready to mount.

    Saddle: no idea. my spare WTB Rocket will probably get the nod, but I much prefer my Dos Niner's Fizik Gobi (1st gen.) that's no longer avaialbe. The new Gobi feels like a flat rock...

    Any suggestions?
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    2011 Kona Unit

  2. #2
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    Reputation: gte819s's Avatar
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    pics?
    How tall are you and how did it fit?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gte819s View Post
    pics?
    How tall are you and how did it fit?
    6'2" or a hair under. I'm very leggy (36" true inseam") and normally prefer a large frame (~24.5 ett/73d seat tube), especially for a SS where standing climbs are the norm. I haven't finished building it up so I can't remark yet about fit, but I've carefully compared its geometry to previous 29er SS frames I've owned and know it will be plenty big with a 90-100mm stem. My last SS frame was a Large SIR9 which fit well, and I expect the '11 Unit to fit similarly. I also had an XL Sir9 (too long), '06 Haro Mary SS (a hair small) and a 20" '07 Kula (fit great). I got the '11 Unit for the slacker angles, dropout design, long head tube, and sleeper appearance/reputation. Not happy with the tallish BB height (12.2" with Ignitors - wtf?), but I guess I'll never have to worry about pedal strikes.

    New brakes (and headset) are holding me back from finishing the build. I need to bite the bullet and buy some '12 XT hydraulics. My other option is temporarily borrow the brakes on my geared Dos Niner, but high temps here are currently around 110d, so I'm not too eager to disable my geared rig...

    Numbers: 5.7 pounds; chainstay and wheelbase are as advertised (17.1 and 43.5) with rear dropout all the way forward. Sliders look top notch, and have about .7" of adjustability. Gearing in photo is 32/20.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building a rigid SS 2011 Unit-kona-unit-6.24.11-40-percent.jpg  

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    2011 Kona Unit

  4. #4
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    Update

    I finally got this frame built up. Splurged on a Niner carbon fork and decided to try the "alt bar" thing again [in the form of a 26" Titect H-bar w/45 degree back sweep - perfect!]. Maiden voyage was a very pleasant surprise. Frame size was perfect. I don't know how much credit to give to the frame or fork, but the ride was remarkably comfy all around (despite the 400g aluminum Titec h-bar)

    Front-end steering was nice and stiff and the BB area felt stiff enough for out-of-saddle climbs, yet the whole bike felt mysteriously compliant (Niner's carbon fork is surely due some credit here). Like my '07 Kula 29er, handling felt very natural and predictable (71/73 degree angles seem perfect to me - much better than uber steep 72/74 Niner angles). Looks like a keeper.

    Upcoming changes: Replacing the 25.4 Titec h-bar with a 31.8 Origin8 Off Road Space II handlebar (so I can run a high-rise stem and drop 90g and some ugliness). Also may go 33X21 instead of 32X20 so I can run the chainstay length at about 17.3" instead of 17.55".

    Love the sleeper looks. Ran into a girl who told me I should shop Craigs list for a bike, recalling how she had purchased a bike for $60 that had gears and suspension on it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building a rigid SS 2011 Unit-10-1-2011-kona-unit.jpg  

    Last edited by Ryder1; 10-02-2011 at 12:27 AM. Reason: adding photo
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    2011 Kona Unit

  5. #5
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    Ran into a girl who told me I should shop Craigs list for a bike, recalling how she had purchased a bike for $60 that had gears and suspension on it
    Ha!

    Your bike is so badass! Love your build and your positioning with your post and stem/bars.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JulianPeeters View Post
    Ha!

    Your bike is so badass! Love your build and your positioning with your post and stem/bars.
    Thanks. Build differences from what I posted earlier: Stylo 1.1 OCT 180mm instead of ENO 180mm because they seemed about the same weight in my hands (friggin' scale broke) and the Stylo was black. Also, I think the ENO's narrower Q factor bothers my knees - gonna sell the ENO. Currently wearing Ardent 2.25 and Crossmark 2.1 which I found to be enough meat/cush, so they stay for now. Am raising the h-bar a bit - I was crouching over on standing climbs. Its currently well under the saddle (hard to tell from pics). ~23.6 pounds.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building a rigid SS 2011 Unit-10-1-2011-kona-unit-2-70-percent.jpg  

    2017 Diamondback Haanjo
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  7. #7
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    Nice build! I just ordered one of the last 2 2011 Units from my LBS today! I'm really looking forward to the bike and like you, I really like the understated "sleeper" look! Mine will be a long way off from your build, but you got to start somewhere!

    And the girl's comment rings true as well! I was at a bike shop yesterday and as I came out I noticed a Land Cruiser with a Jabberwocky mounted on the roof rack. I stopped for a bit to check it out and there was a guy near the truck, so I asked if it was his. He said, "Not mine, but it sure looks like and OLD ONE!" I got a kick out of that...

  8. #8
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    I bought mine complete (it was cheap!) and then swapped a lot of stuff out.



    Definitely liking the 2.4 ardent up front, with a 2.25 in back.
    P35 rims on XT hubs.
    Carnegie bar with ergons.
    Wah Wah pedals.
    60mm stem instead of 90.
    Had Speeddial SL levers but broke one, so went back to stock.
    And stock fork, headset, bb and cranks.

    I switched to a 33 chainring, and found that 33x18 with a brandnew chain is a little tight. It loosens up pretty quickly, and It's not going to destroy my bb, but it's tight. I might get a 17 next year to balance that off.

    No idea what it weighs, put it's wearing a pannier half the time anyway.

  9. #9
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    my twenty inch unit

    Quote Originally Posted by lowes48 View Post
    and like you, I really like the understated "sleeper" look!
    For my 2nd ride, all my baggies were dirty, so I regretfully dug up some roadie spandex. Standing outside my car at the trailhead, with my bike on the ground, a 12 year-old boy pedaled by and shouted "Nice Unit!". Bizarre experience...
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    2011 Kona Unit

  10. #10
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    As a change, I tried my Syntace Vector 685/31.8 lowrise carbon bar with 100X10d stem - it countersteered nicely, is noticeably less harsh than the 400g+ aluminum Titec H-bars, and dropped weight to 22.6lbs. Five rides and very pleased. Here's a higher rez pic of it after a cleaning.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building a rigid SS 2011 Unit-bikes-013-40-percent.jpg  

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    2011 Kona Unit

  11. #11
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    Nice looking builds. I have a 19" 2011 frame on the way that I'll build as a rigid as well. It's coming with a P2 fork but it appears to be the older 2010 model. I'll probably give the supplied fork a go at first, but I may swap to a Salsa.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  12. #12
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    Oh you're making me want a Niner CF fork even more now!

  13. #13
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    Quick Question guys, does the Unit take a 30.0mm seat post clamp?
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitrousjunky View Post
    Quick Question guys, does the Unit take a 30.0mm seat post clamp?
    Yep. I just picked up a Hope quick release with no-tool microadjust. Bulky/ugly item, but works well enough.
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