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  1. #1
    CTB
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    Another one followed me home...

    I'm hoping this one puts me back in Bad Mech's good graces. I think it will, esp once I explain why I got it. I just added this beauty to the stable:









    98 Homegrown with XTR build other than the XT crank. It's VERY original, including the tomato chainstay protector and grips. The cool thing is, I had it shipped in from Colorado, so it came from its spiritual home. Now the part that I think will really make BM happy. The whole point of this is to turn it into one of those bikes with only one gear on it. I had two derailleur cable failures this year on my Intense, and grunting it out with only two gears (the crankset) showed me that this kind of thing would probably do my wimpy legs a world of good. Now, as a suspension snob, I could have just built up my old HG Sweetspot Carbon into a mono gear, but the aluminum ones are supposed to be lighter and I figured it was a great excuse to get serious about adding another HG to my collection that I wanted. This thing is in great shape - I'm going to kind of feel bad changing it up, but I'm going try and go light on it to give myself a fighting chance at enjoying the experience. I have ideas in my head, but I'm not sure the bike will lose much weight. We'll see. It's around 28 lb as you see it. I'm excited.

    I've named it Francis. I don't normally name my toys, but this name seemed appropriate. You might notice that I haven't called it by that thing most people call bikes with just one gear. There's a reason for that, which my bike friends know very well. So...in the Stripes tradition, the bike is Francis because if anyone calls it that other name, I'll kill ya.

    PS: The rear derailleur works backwards. Is this the "Rapid Rise" device I've heard so widely maligned? If so, I see why.

  2. #2
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    Nice, every time I see a homegrown 4 banger for sale I am tempted to bring it home to.

    I have the rapid rise derailleur on my Rocket, I get use to it. It becomes a pain when switching back and forth between bikes though.

  3. #3
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    you could shed a little weight by swapping the coil over shock for an air sprung one. I have a Fox RL from a first gen cannondale scalpel on my sweet spot (also soon to be converted to a 1x1). some say the travel of the shock isn't quite the same, but I haven't noticed a difference. also, having the lockout is nice.
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  4. #4
    CTB
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    Deadbeef, I've got two air shocks for it. One's a Risse and the other is an Alps 4R that needs rebuilt before I can use it. Eventually I want the Alps on there. I think the frame will benefit from a rising rate like an air shock provides, plus the early HG's had 4R's on them, IIRC. We'll see!

  5. #5
    geek
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    definitely a nice looking bike. what is your plan for chain tension? I have the forward components EBB on my hardtail, but it looks like they don't exist anymore. I may try one of these.
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  6. #6
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    I am happy.

    Seriously, that's a beautiful bike, and I love that you're turning it into a single speed. In my opinion, they really do make just about the best FS XC single speed you can find. I think you should be able to hit 24 pounds easily.

    The offer to rebuild your Alps still stands. I think the progressive nature of the Alps makes it a great fit for this bike.

    The eccentric bottom brackets don't work on a Homegrown unless you face the bottom bracket shell down to 68mm. Personally, I think the best options are either the White Eno Eccentric hub or the Yess ETR-B (Yess ETR-B | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com). The Yess is more visible, but is very set-it-and-forget-it, while the Eno is virtually invisible, but complicates removing and replacing the rear wheel (and gearing changes).

    Have you checked out the thread regarding making the pivot fit correctly and rerouting the rear brake?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    The eccentric bottom brackets don't work on a Homegrown unless you face the bottom bracket shell down to 68mm.
    ?? disagree. I have one on one of my hardtails. no facing was needed, no chainline issues. are you referring specifically to the one I linked to? That one I have not tried, but the forward components one works like a charm.

    Last edited by DEADBEEF; 09-12-2012 at 08:27 AM. Reason: fix image
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEADBEEF View Post
    ?? disagree. I have one on one of my hardtails. no facing was needed, no chainline issues. are you referring specifically to the one I linked to? That one I have not tried, but the forward components one works like a charm.
    Sorry, you're right. Let me rephrase my statement.

    An eccentric bottom bracket won't work on a Homegrown unless you face your bottom bracket shell down to 68mm or remove the granny mounts on your crankset or use a dedicated single speed crankset.

  9. #9
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    ah. Yes, I am using a dedicated SS crankset from spot brand. sadly, it seems to have been discontinued .. at least, I can't find another one anywhere. The BB mounted tensioner is something I have not seen. That particular one seems to be discontinued also. in the past I have used the soulcraft convert (a derailleur hanger mounted device). it works fine and can be used in a "push up" configuration, which i find to be better for a few reasons.. some others can only be used in a "push down" setup. the funky 22mm disc mounts on these bikes makes using an eccentric hub problematic. I do love the clean look the EBB provides.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEADBEEF View Post
    ah. Yes, I am using a dedicated SS crankset from spot brand. sadly, it seems to have been discontinued .. at least, I can't find another one anywhere. The BB mounted tensioner is something I have not seen. That particular one seems to be discontinued also. in the past I have used the soulcraft convert (a derailleur hanger mounted device). it works fine and can be used in a "push up" configuration, which i find to be better for a few reasons.. some others can only be used in a "push down" setup. the funky 22mm disc mounts on these bikes makes using an eccentric hub problematic. I do love the clean look the EBB provides.
    Is the Yess ETR-B discontinued? It's still listed on their website.

    I've also used the Soulcraft, and it's a pretty clean tensioner with a really neat quick release feature. The one thing I didn't care for was the small amount of play in it which made adjusting the tension involve some trial and error.

    I used the White Eno Eccentric hub on my '99 Homegrown hardtail with the 22mm Hayes mount for over a season and didn't have any issues, however I was using rim brakes. I also always tried to run the eccentric either down and away or high and forward because in those positions the weight of the bike itself will automatically tension the chain.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Is the Yess ETR-B discontinued? It's still listed on their website.
    I was just going by the link above. if you click "Buy" it says, "item discontinued." looks like you can still buy it directly from yess (for $60). Looks like Blackspire has one too. they make pretty nice stuff.
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  12. #12
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    WHY IS EVERYTHING GOOD BEING DISCONTINUED?!?!?!!?!?!??!!?!!?!?!!?!!!

    I don't think the Blackspire one is sprung or adjustable without loosening the bottom bracket.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    I don't think the Blackspire one is sprung or adjustable without loosening the bottom bracket.
    yeah, I think you are right. Is it possible to adjust the chainline with the yess?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEADBEEF View Post
    yeah, I think you are right. Is it possible to adjust the chainline with the yess?
    To some extent you should be able to spacer the roller as necessary.

  15. #15
    CTB
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    It's starting to take shape. I'm sure some folks may get angry at me for taking apart the original bits, but I have kept them all and they will not be going anywhere. My plan was to try this monogear stuff on the cheap; well, cheap is relative, but for the most part I'm doing this parts-bin and economy-new, with some clear exceptions. The front tire is new, the monogear conversion parts were new and on sale (and I know they are not top-of-the-line), I Ebayed a very nice brake set, and so on. Since I don't really know if I'll like this kind of riding, I figured I'd try and keep expenses down. I got the bike for a great price, and if I don't like SS riding, then at the very least I have another sweet Homegrown in the fleet. So here it is thus far; I'm awaiting a rear brake adapter, and I've put off buying a new, proper chain tool so I can't shorten the chain yet. I will also need to find some Eggbeaters on the cheap to match my shoes and other bikes. Here it is thus far. I have to say, the bike looks beautifully clean without the gear bits on it. Only the rear brake and hose will bung up the looks from this point.


  16. #16
    CTB
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    Latest shots of the Monogear. 23 lb, as you see it, and I really havenít tried all that hard to keep the weight down. Your eyes donít deceive you Ė there is no rear brake on the bike. That is going to take some fab work and tweaking of the parts I've chosen, so for now there is no rear brake. Iím debating if it is crazy or ďjust fineĒ to take it to my test trail with just a front brake to try it out. I want to ride the darn thing already. Changes since last time: New gearing choice, front brake fully installed, Risse Racing air shock installed.

    Before I ride it, Iíd install the Egg Beaters from my 4-Banger, however. Thatís an easy change that I might do later today or tomorrow evening. After spending most of the weekend sleeping (not feeling great), I wanted to accomplish at least something.




  17. #17
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    V-brakes temporarily for the rear?

    I highly recommend changing the tensioner to push up on the chain instead of pull down on it. That'll give you more chain wrap and help prevent any skips.

  18. #18
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    That looks beautifully clean.

  19. #19
    CTB
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    That looks beautifully clean.
    I thought the same thing. Almost a shame to put a rear brake on it. I'm also used to heaving my 30-lb Tracer around, so lifting this thing up the stairs is laughably easy.

    Can't use V-brakes on it unless I use the boat anchor of a rear rim it came with. All my wheelsets are disc-only these days, aside from the one set on my commuter bike (which uses rim brakes). Those old Mavics are only 17mm inside width, which won't play nice with the quite wide (but quite light) rear tire I have for the bike.

    The tensioner is a cheapie spring loaded one, purchased since it was cheap so that I could see if I enjoy this type of riding without breaking the bank. I don't think it can be reversed. Interesting thing about wrap - I had the chain 2 links shorter, but that was short enough that the wrap made pedaling notchy, if that makes sense. I added two links (can't do just one, right?) and you see the result. No notchiness, but not as much wrap, either. Gearing is 36/18. I chose this because the cheapie hub kit I bought came with a 16 and 18 cog. This, I believe, gives me room to grow if I progress from the 36/18 combo I have now. My one ride on another bike as a singlespeed (due to broken cable...) was with a 32/17 combo. That was just about right for the trail I intend to ride, spinning out on occasion, but also not having any problems scaling the climbs on a 30-lb, full-suspension bike. So I hope to keep this gearing combo and make the chain work. If I end up liking this, I might later move to a better system.

    BM, not sure if you got my email. I still intend on sending you my Alps. Just haven't gotten to it lately, and this weekend of not feeling well didn't help.

  20. #20
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    You can do just one if you use a half link. What you want is buy two of these:
    Amazon.com: KMC Z610H x -C/L Master Link Single 1/2 x 3/32 Silver: Sports & Outdoors
    And one of these:
    Amazon.com: Gusset Slink Half Link, 3/32" - chrome: Sports & Outdoors
    Then join the half link into the chain using the two master links. It's a high quality and burly set up, and I've been running one myself for several years with zero problems.

    You can run the tensioner in push up mode if you zip tie it to the arm. It looks like crap, but it can be done.

    Also, I just found this on eBay:
    Hayes Hydraulic Brakes, complete set, 22mm rear caliper | eBay

    Did I not reply? Hmm, I go find and get that rectified.

  21. #21
    CTB
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    Ooo, sweet info, BM! I'll definitely order up the right links for the chain. I'm using an 8-speed chain, which I believe I read works well with single-speed gears. (It's also what came with the bike.)

    I have several of those 22mm calipers. Turns out the one I was trying to use on two Sweetspot builds (and failing) wasn't the "good" one. I dug into the parts bin tonight and found the one I had been using on my Banger. Voila. Rear brakes. I'm not thrilled with having mis-matched front and rear brakes aesthetically, but this solution is far more elegant (i.e. it was designed for it!) than what I was having to kludge up with one of those B&S adapters.

    With luck (health-wise), I will ride this thing tomorrow after work! Thanks for the parts advice!

  22. #22
    CTB
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    First ride went well! No skips, no drops, pretty good gearing choice, etc. Just the usual tweaks of suspension setttings (air pressure mostly) and ergos (trying a different stem), but overall a success. Brakes could be stronger, but not much I can do there at this point. Certainly a different workout on my "home" trail. I now have a new goal before the season ends, which is good.

  23. #23
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    What was it like riding single speed?

  24. #24
    CTB
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    Good and bad.

    Good: Even my wuss legs can accelerate a 23-lb bike easily. It's a "simple" kind of riding - as a friend once said, you'd be surprised how much brain power you use thinking about gear shifting. It also was a very different workout than geared riding. I found it a bigger cardio challenge since normally I don't pedal at a high cadence. It was also a bigger strength challenge at times, as I had to grunt out the climbs in a higher gear than I'd normally use.

    Bad: It takes away my favorite part of mountain biking - flying down the downhills at full-tilt. I'm a downhiller at heart, so I don't just coast down the hills like most of my friends do. I pedal as much as possible for max speed and handling. You simply can't do that with only one gear - at least not a gear you can also use to get up the hill. I'd also never use the word "plush" to describe a Sweetspot Schwinn, but I think the bike is well-suited to this type of riding. It is an efficient pedaller.

    Makes me very curious about a Castellano Zorro...esp one built with 650B wheels...

  25. #25
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    You can fit 650B on a hardtail, you should be able to fit it on a Sweetspot.

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