Ok, this all may be just because the weather here sucks right now and I can't go ride.
Last year, I bought a 19-inch frame 2006 Jamis Exile SS 26er complete bike ( ~$400 like new on CL, but I think it originally came from Jenson). This was mostly an experiment to see how I would like SS. I now know that I really like it and that I'll probably always want to have one in addition to a geared FS.
The 19-inch frame is on the large size for me (I'm 5-9 / 32" inseam -- 18 would probably be right). I'm at a point where I want to change the Axel fork (despite its name it really isn't all that good...) and the brakes. Now Jenson is selling the Jamis Exile frames for $199. If I go for the 17-inch frame I could fit a longer travel fork. I wouldn't go for anything more than 100mm (stock is 80mm) but for the 19-inch frame, I think even 100mm would make the standover height bad for my boys. The smaller frame would give me a few more options for finding a used fork.
How does frame size affect ridability for SS? When mashing, the 19-inch frame seems perfect. It seems very easy for me to ride this thing smoothly up pretty steep slopes. Would a smaller frame make this much harder? When I climb sitting down is the only time when the frame feels a bit big (long). I have the seat all the way forward (adjusted according to this: http://www.caree.org/bike101bikefit.htm).
While I'm ok doing wheelies on my geared FS (Epic) it takes a lot of effort to just lift the front wheel on this bike (which probably makes going up steep stuff much easier).
As I see it, I can
a) buy better brakes and fork only (upgrade the headset and maybe a shorter stem)
b) but a new 17-inch Exile frame from Jenson, sell off the 19-inch one, I'd probably lose $100 or so in the process, plus I need to transfer all the parts.
c) buy a completely different (better?) Singlespeed bike. I have no idea what. I generally don't care too much about the shopping process and staying on top of the latest trends / bikes, etc.
d) quit thinking about this and ride the b***h once the weather gets better.
Someone's gotta think of the economy, right?
Thanks for any comments / recommendations. I'm especially unsure about the SS-specific aspects for frame size.
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