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  1. #1
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    One bike stable - Best singlespeed for commuting and trail?

    I may have to downsize my bike stable in the next few months and would like to go to one singlespeed bike for both trail and commuting purposes. My goal is to have two sets of wheels, one set up for commuting and another set for trails. A quick swap gets me from work to the trails that way.

    What are you suggestions for a fully rigid 29er singlespeed in the 1000-1200 price range? I'm looking for a decent spec that I can modify as needed. I think sliders might be best so that I don't have to realign brakes, etc. when switching out wheelsets.

    My trail riding is probably best described as cross country (I'm located in southeast Michigan). There are moderate hills, rocks, roots, and technical sections on most of the trails and most are along the lines of ~20 miles. My commute is pretty flat, with one major hill each way, on city roads and is about 10 miles round trip. I don't mind spinning on my commute, so gear ratio disparity between the two isn't a huge issue.

    Let me know what you think is best or if there is a thread that already covered this. As a point of comparison, I currently ride a 1x10 Trek Cobia and commute/light trail ride on a cheap Gravity G29.

  2. #2
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    I've seen few people with your average HT as a "commuter", with one of those racks that clamps onto seat post and a small trunk on top of it, as well as removable fenders. I guess you would use your Cobia or Gravity to do the same, unless you want to put road tires on it for commute.

    Of course, if you want that "true versatility", I guess Surly KM would be one of the obvious choices.

    I use my Kona Unit with Panaracer Rampage as a commuter during summer, but I live only 4km away from my work (4km on paved road, 3km on half paved half dirt road). It takes me about 9-12 minutes depending on how awake I am.
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  3. #3
    I <3 29ers
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    Your post seems confusing to me. Do you need to downsize or replace entirely? Why not just pick one of your two bikes, swap your preferred parts on it and call it done? I don't know specifics of your need to change the stable, but it could also be easier to sell one bike instead of two, let alone the potential to lose less money.

    Then again if you're tired of what you're riding and want to change things up a bit one can't argue that.


    As for gear ratios - perhaps a dinglespeed (2x2) would suit your needs?
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  4. #4
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    On two of my bikes I run an alfine tensioner with 2 rings up front. I narrow up the derailleur cage and it shifts perfectly and acts as a chain guide. If no derailleur is wanted, just lift the chain with your finger to the desired ring. For your purpose it would be ideal maybe..
    lean forward

  5. #5
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    Getting a rigid fork for your trek sounds like your cheapest way forward (could probably use the gravity fork even). In long run I think a steel bike would serve you best if you want to keep it rigid. I'd look for a used karate monkey or monocog, and put any extra funds toward an upgraded wheel set for trail riding.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the input. My thinking currently is to sell both the bikes I have (they've served me well) and get a bike that I can run SS without needing a chain tensioner as well. My thinking is probably something along the lines of a steel frame - leaning towards a Kona Unit right now since my LBS carries them. I'll look at the KM as well though.

  7. #7
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    I have a kona unit, but Singular Gryphon is your option

    http://twentynineinches.com/wp-conte...on2010-009.jpg

    Surly KM is other great option

    Regards

  8. #8
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    How high is the risk of either theft or a car accident in your area while commuting? You don't want to put all your MTB $ eggs into one basket if it could all be gone in a split second. If there's any concern of crime or high/careless traffic you might want to pickup and cheap old bike off craigslist for a commuter and not use your trail bike.

    I've lived in both places where I wanted to ride around on my MTB bling to show off to other bike people and a place where I wouldn't take a bike worth more than a couple hundred dollars down the street.

  9. #9
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    Have a dedicated townie

    Unless there is a specific reason (space in your apartment, angry wife/GF, etc) for you to have just one bike, just have a dedicated commuter and a dedicated mountain bike instead of spending all your time swapping wheels around and being annoyed by the lack of/presence of fenders and racks and crap depending on which configuration you're riding where.

    2 bikes makes more sense than one here unless you're *really* not picky about either your mountain bike or your townie.

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  10. #10
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    The main concern is space in a new place (the lady doesn't care how many bikes I have). My area is pretty safe in terms of commuting - I have indoor storage at work for the bike and I ride minor roads into town.

    I may just have to squeeze two bikes in. My thought was that I commute on a SS MTB with slicker tires and trail ride on a 1x10 or the SS with knobbies, so maybe I could get by with one bike. I also don't tend to use racks/fenders as I only need to transport a thin laptop, phone, etc. in a backpack. Thanks for everyones input, it seems like keeping a set-up like what I have now (2 bikes) is the better idea. Guess I'll have to come up with a clever bike storage idea.

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    I agree with the two bike option. I would hate riding on-road on my mountain bike. I've got a fixed gear for my on-road bikes and its a blast to ride. Mountain bike geo sucks for me, on-road. I've got a Wabi Classic. Highly recommended.

    Here are some storage options. I think anyone has space for two bikes, if you've got space for one bike.

    Bike Storage Rack - 2-Bike

  12. #12
    Monkey Junkie
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    I think selling the two bikes you own to build a SS 29er to do everything is sort of working backwards. I'd either keep them both or just keep the 1x10 Trek and ride it to work in trail guise. Why over complicate things? No offense, just my 2 cents.

  13. #13
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    same thought as walt dedicated trail single speed and commuter just because of possible theft

  14. #14
    metrotuned WoS
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    The swaps aren't quick for wheelsets. Nice in theory, but not in practice. Typically have to realign the brake calipers even when different wheelsets have the same rotors.
    #willofthesun and author of the most viewed MTBR thread: Platform Pedal Shootout

  15. #15
    metrotuned WoS
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    SS for commute and singletrack is difficult because the singlespeed is already "never the right gear" and then you have the full rigid versus hardtail. Lock out suspension will help.
    #willofthesun and author of the most viewed MTBR thread: Platform Pedal Shootout

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by illnacord View Post
    SS for commute and singletrack is difficult because the singlespeed is already "never the right gear" and then you have the full rigid versus hardtail. Lock out suspension will help.

  17. #17
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    I've been doing this for almost 3yrs going from road to paved path to intermediate single track throughout the course of my commute.

    I use 34/16 for my regular commuting gear and run either spec fast traks or michelin wild racers. Yeah I spin out on pavement in that gear and can't quite make it up the roughest of hills, but it works well and makes for a commute that I can do every day without killing myself (10-15mi one way depending on the route). I was running a carbon black ops fork and it was great, but recently snagged a 2yr opld pushed fox f80 fork for a $100 steal that just needed a new lockout knob and have been enjoying it lately so I left it on.

    The tires are friendly enough for pavement without a whole lot of rolling resistance and really do well in the dirt, rocks and roots as long as it isn't crazy muddy. Beats having to change tires/wheels or maintain squirrely setups such as different cogs to switch out. I just go from pavement to dirt without even slowing down and vice versa.


    I ride a On-One Inbred, Fox F80 Pushed, Hope/Stans wheels, etc... I built it from scratch in the $1500 range and it comes in right around 23lbs right now, but you could easily go cheaper than that and still have an enjoyable bike that would handle roads to trails easily.

  18. #18
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    i've got exactly the same prob - ie moving to a one bike stable. well - truth be told, I have 2 stables, but only one located in my back yard (long story). Having had both my single speed mtb and my 9sp commuter recently stolen (from my back yard), i'm going dingle. Current thinking is 36:14 for commute and 32:18 for weekend trails. a 3/32 chain with spring tensioner should make changing between the 2 easy. any views appreciated

    now all i need is the insurance to pay up so I can get on with it!

  19. #19
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    Seriously bro - If I were you, I'd look on CL for a cheap 2nd-hand steel or alu roadie bike and convert it to SS as my commuter. You can do this almost as cheaply as you want.
    Mind your own religion.

  20. #20
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehwik View Post
    I may have to downsize my bike stable in the next few months and would like to go to one singlespeed bike for both trail and commuting purposes. My goal is to have two sets of wheels, one set up for commuting and another set for trails. A quick swap gets me from work to the trails that way.

    What are you suggestions for a fully rigid 29er singlespeed in the 1000-1200 price range? I'm looking for a decent spec that I can modify as needed. I think sliders might be best so that I don't have to realign brakes, etc. when switching out wheelsets.
    I built a 2010 SIR 9 rigid (EBB) with used parts for under $1200. I run one set of tubeless Racing Ralph's everywhere (Snakeskin 2.4 F / 2.25 EVO rear). If weight isn't so much of an issue and you want something out of the box, ready to go then Karate Monkey or something along those lines might a bike to consider.

    34x16 is my gearing for commuting and trails with less climb. I switch to 34x18 or 20 for other places depending on how much elevation. Took me ~1 year to drop down the gearing from 32x20 to where I am now (I rode 3400+ miles last year total- not all SS). I still enjoy riding geared bikes too. Be careful about over-spinning because it is not good for your knees.

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