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  1. #1
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    Need help building an urban assault/commuter/fun bike

    So I've got a 29'er SS race bike and a geared road bike. What I am wanting is something that I can hop on in my normal clothes and cruise around the neighborhood on; ride sidewalks, go to the grocery store, maybe some light trails or a stairset here and there. I've got this idea in my head of what I want, but am having trouble spec-ing a bike out that fits the bill. Requirements are:

    1. Singlespeed, rigid - frame material not a big deal, probably steel or aluminum to stay cheap
    2. 26" wheels - I would like the bike to feel smaller and more nimble, I am going to put slicks on it and like the way a 26 feels versus a 29 for this application (love my 29er offroad)
    3. Disc wheels would be preferred, probably throw BB7s on it

    Other than that, I'm not sure. If you've got ideas for a frame or components throw it up here! I don't live in a good area to surf craigslist so an old used frame is harder to come by. I wouldn't mind new if it fits the budget. Whole build I would like to be $600 or less. Let me know if you've got ideas, pics would be great too if you have something similar!

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
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    look on ebay for a used 26" Redline Monocog, Surly 1x1, etc. that might be your only choice.

  3. #3
    REALLY?
    Reputation: jeffgothro's Avatar
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    This is my urban assult bike, what I have sounds I think a little what your looking for. My frame is old, its a 92 GT True Temer frame, not sure your probably wanting something newer, you mentioned disk brakes. I bought it used for 200.00$, stripped the gears, probably put a few hundred into it, this is what I got. I love this bike, its reasonably light, I put wide rims on it for a more stable wider footprint as of this bike sees mostly city use, its a tough little bike, never has really let me down.

    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  4. #4
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    Ever think about a 26" BMX cruiser? Those are fun and nimble...

    Something like a SE OM Flyer, with a cr-mo frame/fork. You may be able to find a 2011 model for under $500 complete.

  5. #5
    The need for singlespeed
    Reputation: zaskaranddriver's Avatar
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    Dumping the disk brake requirement would open up options for '90s or early '00s bikes. Do you really need disks? With a new fork and front wheel you could go mullet.

  6. #6
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    +1 On the BMX Cruiser. I've had a couple 26" BMX cruisers and they are fun and nimble. You can get OM Flyers for pretty cheap on closeout. Also look for Volume Sledgehammers. The new models have disc mounts.

    Otherwise cruise the classifieds on pinkbike.com and pick up a used entry level dirt jumper for cheap. Hundreds on there. And all you are looking for are common specs on those type of bikes.

  7. #7
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    I built up a dirt jumper frame as a long travel hardtail / urban bike. I got a Felt Jumpshot and a Manitou Sherman, all for ~$350 on rebay and then add parts from the bin. It is an awesome bike for urban and easy trials. The fork adjusts from 130-90mm which is great for this type of bike. I have travel adjust on my normal MTB and never use it.

    In the past I had a fully rigid steel SS for my cruiser, but I since put gears on it and use it for a commuter. I had a Paul Melvin on my rigid steel cruiser, set up with 32 and 42 chainrings and a 17tooth cog. That way I could get somewhere in a hurry, but also had an cruiser gear.

    There are a lot of good suggestions here already, but if you are on a tight budget I would suggest getting an older frame or whole bike with vertical dropouts off ebay instead of a SS specific frame. Strip the gears of and get a tensioner, . It seems cheaper to get a regular frame and a tensioner, than to get a SS specific frame.

    What size? I have a ~16" blue nashbar steel frame and manitou fork (pm me if you want it).

  8. #8
    Monkey Junkie
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    You are describing the sort of bike that I've wanted to build for a couple years. Tried my Surly KM in this format, but it was too big to be that fun. 26" is definitely the way to go. I say ditch the disc brake requirement, that gives you tons of options. There's also cheap 26" frames online that you could pair up with a steel fork and go from there. Might be able to build it for $600 or less, especially if you find some used stuff. Post pics when you eventually build it!

  9. #9
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    Some really good input in here thanks. I can probably live without the disc brakes, especially if it opens the options up.

    Have been looking at the dirt jumper style frames and they look perfect, except will I be able to add a long seatpost and not be 2 feet behind the rear wheel? The seat tube angles look really slack, would think that would cause a problem when raising the saddle up. I am pretty tall and run a 78cm saddle height from BB, so this may be an issue!

  10. #10
    REALLY?
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdasd View Post
    Some really good input in here thanks. I can probably live without the disc brakes, especially if it opens the options up.

    Have been looking at the dirt jumper style frames and they look perfect, except will I be able to add a long seatpost and not be 2 feet behind the rear wheel? The seat tube angles look really slack, would think that would cause a problem when raising the saddle up. I am pretty tall and run a 78cm saddle height from BB, so this may be an issue!

    Did the Surly KM thing too...didnt like it as much as 26", and I've done the DJ thing as well, I didnt like that bike set up with a tall seat post, a DJ bike to me felt like a MTB that was well, too small for me, not long enough, it felt akward and I was to far back over the rear wheel.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  11. #11
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
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    I've had several 26" commuters over the years. Last year I did a 135 loaded trip with a MC, and I have to say that it might have been my best town bike ever. I had a delta rack on the front with a basket zip tied to it- it often carried two six packs home and the bike felt pretty damned stable.

    I prefer disc brakes, but if you open the door to other set ups, there are a lot of options on craigslist. If you are in the Portland area, I'll guide your way.

  12. #12
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    I just threw this together a few weeks ago:



    Late 80's steel frame with horizontal dropouts. Got it, the fork, the wheels and the bullmoose bars at the local co-op for $25. 2.35 big apples for some cushion and because they're cool. It's a dinglespeed for commuting/trails/trailerhauling/whatever. It's been awhile since I've had rim brakes, and I definitely prefer discs, but v-brakes still work pretty well and are cheap and light, and they give it a retro feel. It's also meant to be my bad-weather-bike, so the fenders just went on last weekend, but they may or may not stay.

  13. #13
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    How about a Haro Reserve 1.1? ~$500 new. I have the alum version I got on sale. Great bike for tooling around with my daughter, hitting the dirt jumps, cruising around. It's got 26" wheels so you don't look like an adult trying to be a kid again.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    I would classify what your talking about as shenanigans. The Surly 1x1 is the ultimate shenanigan bike.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all the suggestions, I just put through a big order of parts today. Blew the budget by about $400....oops. Parts should start arriving this week, keep your eyes out for a build thread.

  17. #17
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    If you can find an old DMR trailstar they are made for that. I have run mine 26er with gears and a 5" fork, SS rigid and as a geared or SS 24er. Lots of fun. Right now its SS rigid with 24" gazzaloddies. The wife could not understand why I needed all those parts for one bike.
    2011 Kona unit with some carbon.

  18. #18
    Monkey Junkie
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    I'm really looking forward to this build. It's motivating me to sell some stuff and build a similar rig.

  19. #19
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    I think you are working on the same type idea as I. After much consideration I have to go with a super specific build, a rigid 69er with a 1x8/9 drivetrain, front disc brake only. Since what I want is something that can be fast across concrete flatland but be ready to conquer light trials work, this build gives me flexibility. In theory and based on forum talk, the 29 up front rolls over objects a little easier while the 26 in back keeps the bike more nimble underneath me.
    Just something different to think about.

  20. #20
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    I've had a lot of bikes over the years but nothing is more fun that cruising around town on one of these - big enough with enough seat post extension to sit and cruise, yet nimble enough to hop, wheelie and jump. The new school dirt jumper MTBs with slammed seats and ultra short stays are too park specific for my liking.

    Here's my 2012 OM Flyer:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need help building an urban assault/commuter/fun bike-omflyer.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastietx View Post
    i've had a lot of bikes over the years but nothing is more fun that cruising around town on one of these - big enough with enough seat post extension to sit and cruise, yet nimble enough to hop, wheelie and jump. The new school dirt jumper mtbs with slammed seats and ultra short stays are too park specific for my liking.

    Here's my 2012 om flyer:
    awesome!

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