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  1. #1
    I like endos
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    okay, a little truth

    I've been lurking around this forum for a couple months now, asking so many questions I'm sure everyone hates me. 26 vs. 29, tires, forks, frame material. I'm a guy who likes to have all the info before I slap down 1000 bucks on something. The truth however is, I've never ridden a dedicated singlespeed for any length of time. I've also never ridden a 29er, and always been happy with my 26" bikes. However, that could easily be just because I don't know better. But somehow I know I'm gonna love ssing, it just appeals to something in me. So here's the real question. If you guys were just getting into singlespeeding, weighted about 190 and were about 6'1" tall, hadn't ever ridden a true ss and also hadn't ridden a 29er, what would you buy? Would you buy a 26" or 29", rigid or suspended, steel or aluminum, etc. I'm finding that I'm drowning in choices, and I don't know enough to make them. Hopefully you guys can help me.
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  2. #2
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    Man, it's a great chance to be able to try 2 new things in one bike! The popular Surly Karate Monkey meant just that for doznes or hundreds of riders, and now the Fisher Rig the same. For 2 of the 3 Rigs I know exist in my country, 2 are for SS newbies. They love both the SS and the 29".

    I was already on 29" for a bit when I frist got my KM, but the KM was my first SS. I loved it, and how the (still quite new to me) 29" thang made it work for me without being all that much slower in races than on a pimped 26" gearie. The KM after 2.5 years is still my main ride. Perhaps it says something that afterwards I've built 3 other SS's for myself, and 2 29" gearie? All still in the stable, also. Just the 4-cross/Dual Slalom bike was a 26"er, but a SS nevertheless.

    If I were you, I'd try as many different things as possible. If you've always ridden suspension forks, go rigid. If you've always used flat bars, take an On-One Mary bar. V-Brakes? Go Disc! Get a new frame material if that's an option, too.
    I've had very similar bikes standing next to each other once before, a 26" racer and a backup with cheaper parts, and it worked for that, but for pure fun riding on a tight budget, make each next bike as different as possible!

    Hope any of this helps.

    Good luck with the decision making! (We all know pre-purchase anticipation is the best part of riding)

    Happy trails,

    J
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  3. #3
    hands up who wants to die
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    What bike do you have now and are you planning on keeping it?

    If the SS will be your only bike, I'd say a good 26" steel hardtail with front suspension. Then spend the extra $50-$75 and get a Surly rigid fork (or similar) to swap in and out as you want.

    Rigid may hold you back if you like really tough trails and/or riding aggressively (fast descending, jumps, etc.). I don't hold with 29" myself; not enough tire choices (especially wide ones), and they are way too tall for agile riding with a suspension fork.

    Now - if you have a nice trailworthy bike already, a rigid and/or 29" option might be a nice complement.

    -r
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  4. #4
    34N 118W
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    deep breath...

    its gonna be ok PF. Just ease into it...

    I'd recommend trying each one out first, if possible. Then you'll know for sure. For me, I had a spare hardtail to convert to SS. And I've tried riding some buddy's 29'ers too but have yet to decide on which one myself. I never thought I would ride rigid either, that was another gradual learning experience for me.

    If you just want to jump in without testing, then I'd suggest a steel Kona Unit for <$1k or a Fisher Rig 29er, which is right at $1k.

    good luck!
    HW

    PS - I love you.



    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerFly
    I've been lurking around this forum for a couple months now, asking so many questions I'm sure everyone hates me. 26 vs. 29, tires, forks, frame material. I'm a guy who likes to have all the info before I slap down 1000 bucks on something. The truth however is, I've never ridden a dedicated singlespeed for any length of time. I've also never ridden a 29er, and always been happy with my 26" bikes. However, that could easily be just because I don't know better. But somehow I know I'm gonna love ssing, it just appeals to something in me. So here's the real question. If you guys were just getting into singlespeeding, weighted about 190 and were about 6'1" tall, hadn't ever ridden a true ss and also hadn't ridden a 29er, what would you buy? Would you buy a 26" or 29", rigid or suspended, steel or aluminum, etc. I'm finding that I'm drowning in choices, and I don't know enough to make them. Hopefully you guys can help me.

  5. #5
    I like endos
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    well...

    I'll try to reply to everybody's thoughts. My current ride is a 26" short travel fs 1x9 (3" front and rear- it's an xc bike, 1x9 because you guys were already inspiring me) and I will be keeping it for the really rough trails. Furthermore, next summer I will be getting a ss cross bike for commuting and cross, so this doesn't have to do commuter duty. I love disc brakes, so that's a no brainer. Always ridden suspended (actually, always duallie!), so I really want to try the rigid deal, and my most common trailride is in a place that's "relatively" flat (i.e. short, steep climbs and one long fireroad) but extremely twisty and rooty. This is where I'll surely be doing most of my ssing, and therefore what I'm using as a template for my build. I don't want a pre-built bike, I'm one of those ridiculous people who hates owning anything anyone else has. The only reasons I'm not hardcore on the 29er thing are these: I'm borderline tall, but not huge; I've never ridden one, and the lbss around here don't really stock many (read: none in my size); my main ride is REALLY twisty, and I'm concerned about high speed cornering (29er advocates, please don't blow me up on this one) and steep climbing with 29er; then there's also cost- I can get a cool me-built, me-spec'd 26er for a lot less than an equivalent 29er. Part of me wants to take the 29er plunge, but part of me doesn't. What this probably means is, I need two different bikes, but that's not an option right now. So, any more thoughts? I'm trying not to freak out, but indecision+anticipation is a brutal combo.
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  6. #6
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    Monkey

    If you are thinking of trying rigid you really ought to get a Surly Karate Monkey. It's cheap, and your LBS should be able to order one through QBP. At the same time, get a set of prebuilt Salsa Delgado / Surly wheels and some big fat WTB Exiwolf 29 x 2.3 tires (don't forget to get a few tubes). That would take care of all the not easily available stuff. You'll find that the bigger wheels are more stable, roll over small obstacles easier and, contrary to popular myth, are just as maneuverable.

    My personal ride is a Voodoo Dambala 29er. It has sliding dropouts which would make the whole single speed disc brake thing a lot easier than it is on the Karate Monkey, but the frame is way expensive for a production frame (usually quoted as $700). It can be ordered through wholesaler BTI. Ignoring the price, the Dambala is one quick handling flying machine and I'm having a blast on mine.

    But if you are still afraid of the 29er thing and you want to go rigid, then I'd say Surly 1x1. Webcyclery has a really good deal on Redline Monocog frames but I'm not sure how many 110mm disc hubs are available.

    Relax, it's just a bike after all.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerFly
    If you guys were just getting into singlespeeding, weighted about 190 and were about 6'1" tall, hadn't ever ridden a true ss and also hadn't ridden a 29er, what would you buy? ....
    I was exactly in that situation (except I'm 1" shorter) and ended up with a large one of these: http://www.fisherbikes.com/bikes/bik...nesis&bike=Rig

    Get one, be happy
    [SIZE=1]"The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Belltown Brazer
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    PF,
    Go 29. Although you haven't tried it yet, you'll find that the single speed has it's own certain magic. Hard to explain, but you'll get it. That coupled with the absolute superiority of the big wheels (in everything but pure hucking) is bliss.

    I like rigid. Just something about the ride with a rigid SS. Yes, you have to slow down a bit here and there...but the climbing is great. I also find that oftentimes slow speed technical stuff is *better* rigid. No fork sucking up momentum. You always know where your front wheel is. No diving.

    The Rig is the best deal in 29 SS right now. If you're a customizer, plenty of ways to go about that. Sell off the Reba, get a nice Waltworks rigid fork, put some personal style onto the bike and let'er rip.

    If you do go 26; don't ever, ever demo a 29 SS. You'll be sad.

    B

  9. #9
    I like endos
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    some of you may...

    have participated in my discussion about the IRO MIA. This in part stemmed from my indecision. I still like the look of the mia, and from talking to IROs owner, I think the bike would work for me. I could set it up with 26" wheels, and then if I ever wanted to try 29", thats just a borrowed or prebuilt wheelset away. I like the looks with 26 inch wheels, and tony (the owner) says it works quite well with 29" wheels too (his is set up that way). It's also steel, disc only, comes rigid, and attractively priced. Is this my best option? I can handle the short top tube, my current bike has the same 22.5 inch actual toptube as the Large MIA. I guess it seems like my best, most versitile option, I just want to know if there's any big catch with it. thanks
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  10. #10
    glyphic bacon
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    I'm right about the same dimensions as you are and I'm seriously thinking about taking the 29-er route too. For me, I think the Fisher Rig is looking real good, it's a great price for what you get and has the capacity to be very light. The 29-er's often tend to be porkers due to their bigger sized wheels and frames especially with disc brakes and using steel as the frame material. Even the Rig, which is aluminum, comes in at 28 lbs from what I've heard. I'm planning on test riding a rig (when they are available again) and if I like it, then I'll probably go that route and then swap out the wheels, tires, seatpost, seat, bars and crank (and sell that stuff on ebay). Then you have a good lightweight foundation (alum frame) a lightweight beefy Reba shock (3.5lbs w/32mm stanchions) and everything else how you like it (I'm going XTR/Bonty wheels). And it comes with Avid mech discs, which are my optimum choice anyway.

    Another thing interesting about the Fisher's genesis geometry is that based on its description it sounds to me like it will suit taller/ganglier riders. I've never ridden a genesis bike, but I like what I see on their website concerning what they claim the genesis geometry does. As a taller dude, I often feel top heavy and unstable on tricky descents and I sometimes have trouble getting back and down far enough on the saddle to feel comfortable on gnarly downhills or abrubt technical drops. Supposedly the genesis arrangement helps with this, especially when combined with 29" wheels, and I could see where it would. Another thing that's curious, is that Gary Fisher himself looks kinda tall and gangly...hmm, did he consciously or even subconsciously develop this geometry in conjunction with big wheels for himself and others like him?

    Not saying I endorse the genesis geometry "sell", because I haven't tried it yet. It may turn out to be some cheesy marketing gimmick, but it makes sense to me and I can see where it would be helpful to taller people. Certainly worth having a look into, in any event.

    My $0.02, good luck.

  11. #11
    zeebot
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr
    PF,
    Go 29. Although you haven't tried it yet, you'll find that the single speed has it's own certain magic. Hard to explain, but you'll get it. That coupled with the absolute superiority of the big wheels (in everything but pure hucking) is bliss.

    I like rigid. Just something about the ride with a rigid SS. Yes, you have to slow down a bit here and there...but the climbing is great. I also find that oftentimes slow speed technical stuff is *better* rigid. No fork sucking up momentum. You always know where your front wheel is. No diving.

    The Rig is the best deal in 29 SS right now. If you're a customizer, plenty of ways to go about that. Sell off the Reba, get a nice Waltworks rigid fork, put some personal style onto the bike and let'er rip.

    If you do go 26; don't ever, ever demo a 29 SS. You'll be sad.

    B
    Can't agree more. 29er is most excellent as an SS. I'm very glad I got one earlier this year.

    Not sure what rpet meant by being too high with a susp. fork to be agile. I've never had an issue with agility but i gotz mad skillz.

  12. #12
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    PF -

    Here is the deal. You are excited about the possibility of a new bike, and you are ready to get it, so are you are becoming willing to make compromises to get rolling.

    Step back...take a breath...and determine what you really want (within reason).

    If you do something hasty, you will end up selling whatever you get on eBay and then spending more dough to get something that you should have just waited an extra month and purchased in the first place. Trust me...I have learned this the hard way!

    29" wheels will not make you a new rider! I love them...that is all I ride or own...all 26" stuff gone, but it is just a bike. I really think most of the advantages from 29ers come from a good fitting bike for people that have been stuck on TOO SMALL bikes for TOO LONG (a la a 22.5" TT for a 6'1" rider)

    Save some money and get a properly fitting steel 29er and ride it for a long time. You can make up your mind on rigid v sussy later if you have the frame (or purchase a frame that is) designed around a 470mm a-c fork.

    Also remember SS is fun if you drive to the trail, but it is not the best for getting there. Keep your options open!

    Good Luck

    LP

  13. #13
    I like endos
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    I understand...

    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope
    PF -

    Here is the deal. You are excited about the possibility of a new bike, and you are ready to get it, so are you are becoming willing to make compromises to get rolling.

    Step back...take a breath...and determine what you really want (within reason).

    If you do something hasty, you will end up selling whatever you get on eBay and then spending more dough to get something that you should have just waited an extra month and purchased in the first place. Trust me...I have learned this the hard way!


    Save some money and get a properly fitting steel 29er and ride it for a long time....

    Also remember SS is fun if you drive to the trail, but it is not the best for getting there. Keep your options open!
    LP
    What you are saying. In fact, I completely agree with you. In fact, as of this morning, I have begun dialogue with Peter @misfit psycles about the possibility of a Misfit 29er by next spring (nobody freak out, it's just talk and numbers at this point). What I really want, is a reasonably priced, attractive 29er ss built by a small builder. Like a cheaper Niner (w/o ebb). I don't mind aluminum, and I would like open suspension options. I don't want to pay more than $500 for a frame (no offense folks, but at my salary, that's just ridiculous). I don't want a ridiculous looking bike (sorry but I realy hate purple, I'm a monochromatic guy I guess). I guess all this means I'm just going to have to wait a while. It's just hard to wait when you want to ride ss so badly. I'm getting bummed just thinking about having to wait until next spring to ride ss, but if that's what I have to do, then I will. Tough to save $ all that time with nothing to show for it though. I appreciate everyone's helping me come to this difficult decision.
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerFly
    What you are saying. In fact, I completely agree with you. In fact, as of this morning, I have begun dialogue with Peter @misfit psycles about the possibility of a Misfit 29er by next spring (nobody freak out, it's just talk and numbers at this point). What I really want, is a reasonably priced, attractive 29er ss built by a small builder. Like a cheaper Niner (w/o ebb). I don't mind aluminum, and I would like open suspension options. I don't want to pay more than $500 for a frame (no offense folks, but at my salary, that's just ridiculous). I don't want a ridiculous looking bike (sorry but I realy hate purple, I'm a monochromatic guy I guess). I guess all this means I'm just going to have to wait a while. It's just hard to wait when you want to ride ss so badly. I'm getting bummed just thinking about having to wait until next spring to ride ss, but if that's what I have to do, then I will. Tough to save $ all that time with nothing to show for it though. I appreciate everyone's helping me come to this difficult decision.
    You are doing the right thing. It will be a good exercise in self-control. Also remember that you do not have to wait that long to ride SS...only to get a new bike. Get a junker from a pawn shop and convert it (check out the SS FAQ for more info). You can experience the SS deal and not have a bunch of cash outlay. When you get your new bike, you will like it that much more.

    Also check out Spicer and Tom Teesdale for affordable (almost in your price range I think) custom steel hardtails. Heck - I think Walt will do a lower grade custom steel frame for cheaper than his regular retail (this may be wrong - e-mail him directly to see for sure)

    My first SS ($60 and about 2 hrs of labor) from a local pawn shop:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by lanpope; 06-28-2005 at 12:56 PM.

  15. #15
    I like endos
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    so...

    I can still hang out on the ss board, right ? I feel like kind of a poser, but I completely dig the thing, and I sort of like the ssers on this board. I will be singlespeeding soon though, so I think that I probably can still hang out. Once again, thanks for the help, and I'll let you all know what I decide long-term. For now, probably a pawn shop special in my future.
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  16. #16
    I like endos
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    if I could

    get a used (ebay or classifieds) Rig frame, how hard do you think it would be to strip the paint? I'd be sweet if I could get it painted Sea Foam Green. Now there's a cool retro color. Poo on purple.
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

  17. #17
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    From the input and your response, it sounds like you've narrowed your options down to a singlespeed 29er. That's a great framework to start with. Now you need to take a look at what your options are within that framework, given your $500 budget. You already know what some of the obvious options are.

    To keep things on track and not lose sight of what you're after here, I think it's important to go into the build knowing exactly how you're going to come out of it. That's what I do, at least. For each bike I've ever built up - and I've built up three now - I use an Excel spreadsheet that lets me itemized every single part of the bike with its cost, so that I know exactly how much I'm in for and to make sure that I've not forgotten to budget for a part that I need. It also helps me figure out what parts might not work together. I do this even before the very first part is bought. Of course, this list is dynamic and things change and I make adjustments along the way, but I never lose sight of how the finished product is going to end up, from a cost and parts perspective.

    lanpope has probably offered some of the best advice here. Proper planning with offer up the bike you're going to be happiest with. Now you gotta get to work!

  18. #18
    hispanic mechanic
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    Howzabout a 1x1?

    Good riding frame and fork, cheap, and if you're going with discs anyway, it's easy to ride as a 29".

    the los
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  19. #19
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    You guys need to get on the 29" Demo thread over on the 29" board. Demo rides to be had all over the globe, and if you ask nicely and bring beer, probably close to your home as well.

    Definately don't spend your precious cash before you've demo'd a proper 29"er that fits you, long enough to know for sure.

    Next year's Rig appears to be black, judging from the Fisher-website-under-construction. It might hit soon, also might not. yes it's alu, but probably one of the more plusher alu's available, being 29" and from thin tubes with long seat tube extension.

    There will be a complete On-One SS Inbred 29 bike soon, for around $800. It's a small company also.

  20. #20
    my knees hurt
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    Definetly test ride both 26 and 29....I'm sure someone on this board could meet with you for a quick demo. I'm 5'11", 175 Lbs and ride a Sycip 29er with a rigid fork...I love it, but thats me...you got to test ride them first.

  21. #21
    Belltown Brazer
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    Depends on where you are. Sandblast and powder coat around here (Connecticut) will go ~$60, if you know where to look.

    IanPope has the best advice. Build up a cheap SS, and start saving for the sweet 29er you really want. I bet most of us did just that when trying the SS thing. Convert something first, ride the balls off of it and get the feel for what you want in a custom frame. It would also help, if you're thinking custom, to be able to give the builder some feedback based on reall SS riding experience.

    PF, where are you located? And how big are you? There may be some of us here that could muster up some cheap parts to get you on your way.

    B

  22. #22
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    That's sort of the problem

    I live in Lincoln, NE. Not exactly the mtn. biking mecca of the US. Some good trails to ride, just not many riding them here. Road biking much bigger. So it's hard to get demos, i.e. my local fisher dealer isn't even sure they'll get ANY rigs. Anyways, I'm 6'1 and if anyone has a 29er for me to demo, that'd be awesome. Thanks.
    As for the Pyramids, there is nothing to wonder at in them so much as the fact that so many men could be found degraded enough to spend their lives constructing a tomb for some ambitious booby, whom it would have been wiser and manlier to have drowned in the Nile, and then given his body to the dogs. - Henry David Thoreau

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