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  1. #1
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    Some SS newbie questions

    Well, I have just joined the forum and am loving the information on here so far. I have been riding for about 10 years but always geared, 26er and with suspension. I have decided to go SS 29er and have some questions to get me started. Please forgive me if I sound ignorant... because I am
    First of all I weigh about 220lbs and am about 6ft2in, Im not HUGE but Im a pretty big boy. Is this going to matter when Im picking a frame to build from? I am not planning to go carbon because its just too expensive for me so either aluminum or steel will be my platform. I have been looking at the Niner frames, I like their new EBB but Im not totally sold on them yet.

    My second question is about the fork. Due to money being short I am planning to go fully rigid since I can get a good fork for a couple hundred bucks vs. spending $500-$600 on a suspension fork. If I absolutely hate the fully rigid bike I can always save up for a suspension fork, but for now Im going fully rigid. Taking my size into consideration is there a fork that anyone would recommend? or will I be ok on any rigid fork (Im thinking about a carbon whites brothers)

    Lastly, is my size going to mean that I have to buy big bulky wheels, since Im going fully rigid or will a lighter set work for me?

    I know that there is a lot that goes into answering all of these questions but Im just trying to get an idea of what I need to be looking for once I start looking for parts. I really appreciate all of the help so far and am excited to be on the forum.

    bigboy

  2. #2
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    Okay, I am 5' 7", 180 lbs so you can take my advice as you see fit. I used to have a 2008 Gary Fisher Rig. It had an EBB and I absolutely hated it. The Fisher used a 73mm shell instead of the Bushnell 68mm shell so there wasn't a decent replacement other than the crappy Carver EBB. When it came down to it, I had to get a new frame. I'm from the Midwest, so of course I'm partial to Surly's. I got a Karate Monkey frameset and began chopping it up. I cut the derailleur bits off as well as the canti posts and rack/fender hardware. I built it up and I love it so much more than my Rig. The steel feels right and no more creaky, slippy EBB. I also decided to swap my Fox F29 for the stock KM fork. It's a bit heavy but feels good with the frame. Also I have 2.2 Conti's that absorb the bumps well.

    Long story short:
    1. Niner is dope, I bet their EBB works awesome
    2. I would probably run the Salsa Cro Moto Grande w/ Maxle. Stiff and burly:
    Salsa Cycles | Components
    3. I would stick to Stan's Rims and maybe WI hubs. The Venti 20mm through would go awesome with that fork.
    My motorcycle runs on infant blood

  3. #3
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    Go as cheap and light as you can. Most SS frames and forks are steel and I don't think they have weight limits.I have a rigid 2011 kona unit that weighs under 25lbs. I'm 6ft, 210lbs and ride at 24-30psi with stock rims, very light tires and have not dented or pinch flatted yet. All the 26ers I have had in the past even with suspension would destroy anything but a dh rim riding the same way.
    2011 Kona unit with some carbon.

  4. #4
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    Steel's the real deal with single speed. For a 29er I really can't advise towards a suspension fork. It kinda goes against the singlespeed mantra of technical simplicity. I ride a rigid steel 26er and, yes, getting fast on technical stuff is tricky, but that's part of the fun.

    As for the carbon fork, I can't advise since I've never ridden one. But from what I can tell you, I was considering one as well, did a ton of research and decided that paying $300+ to save less than 2 lbs is really not worth it. While the dampening effects of carbon on smoother surfaces are good, for mountain biking, the solidity and elasticity of steel feels much better. I would just stick with the stock steel fork, then spend the extra money on nice carbon bars (Easton EC90s or Truvativ Noirs, but if it comes down to looks I think the Truvativs look cooler), ODI lock-ons and a solid-as-hell stem and seatpost (Thomson) and be done with it. Slap a big tire up front and you'll be plowing over stuff in no time.

    As far as wheels go, go for something stout. Mavic 719s laced 32 or 36 to reliable, serviceable hubs, like XTs. These wheels are cheap and relatively available for about $350.

    But what I'm suggesting is probably already too much. Go buy a stock Surly Karate Monkey and it might be the best thing you've done for yourself in a long time.

    As another note, don't rule out 26ers. I personally love my 26er single speed because it feels much more nimble than any 29er I've ever ridden. Just doesn't roll over choppy stuff as easily.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all of the great advice guys. My plan is to go as light as I can and put as much carbon on the bike as I can. I was thinking about building some wheels since that may be cheaper but I havent made up my mind yet. If I do decide to go that route does anyone have suggestions for hubs, rims, spokes? Im getting really excited about this project and cant wait to get started on it.

    bigboy

  6. #6
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    I started out 230lbs on my Monocog...rigid ss steel tank rolling on cheap/crap Alex wheels. I put that thing through over 3 years of abuse with no issues whatsoever. I only replaced the rear wheel on it because the hub developed some play. Never once had to true the wheels.

    Not saying the Monocog is for you, but just showing a cheap $500 singlespeed can handle someone about your size.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigboySS View Post
    Thanks for all of the great advice guys. My plan is to go as light as I can and put as much carbon on the bike as I can. I was thinking about building some wheels since that may be cheaper but I havent made up my mind yet. If I do decide to go that route does anyone have suggestions for hubs, rims, spokes? Im getting really excited about this project and cant wait to get started on it.

    bigboy
    Stan's Archs for rims. The rigidity of the wheels really compliments a rigid ss. I have SRAM X7 hubs on Stan's Archs for $300. Great wheels for a great price. And I know somebody heavier than you that rides them with no problems.
    The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates
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  8. #8
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    Have an '08 se stout aluminum. Rode it for 6mo or so and was VERY stiff with the stock fork. I put an Origin 8 black ops fork on and it made worlds of difference. Not a ton of flex, but just enough to make the bumpy stuff on the local trails not rattle my fillings out.

  9. #9
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    K monk is a sweet frame for bigger dudes. Thats what I would do if i weighed more.

    My jabber kicks ass too. Ya cant go wrong with steel on the mountain.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  10. #10
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    While I share Two Tone's thoughts on KISS (keep it simple stupid) in regards to a sus-fork on a SS,some of us had to chose,ride with suspension or be down and not able to ride (spinal injuries from '01,it's also why my blog's label's "DISABLED cyclist ),so I wanted to add that you don't have to rule out s susser fork...for 50 bux more than "a couple hundred" you had figured for a rigid fork,I scored a NIB '11 Rockshox Recon Air Silver for my Jabber and have been happy with it (I've owned MUCH mure expensive forks over the years),and then there's used...I picked up a '10 Manitou Drake 80mm for my Bander (my "geary Jabber",LOL!) for 100 bucks at my trusty LBS,knowing he wouldn't knowingly sell me a bum fork. Just a couple thoughts.

    That all said,there's some really good advice\opinions given already,IMHO. I've never owned a Surly KM,but have RARELY read ANYthing negative about em. A friend has an Instigator,loves it and what experience he's had with Surly as a company. Of course,see my sig,I have to recommend Vassago's too,LOL!

    My 3 cents worth anyways,hopeithelps,and let us know,we all love reading\seeing bike projects\pics
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  11. #11
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    I might suggest you go w/ a XL Santa Cruz Chameleon. It too has an EBB design by SCB that allows you run the BB hieght wherever you want (higher or lower center of grav.) That's what I ride for SS duty but I stuck w/ a light susp. fork w/ lockout.

  12. #12
    Got a suspension fork
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    I ride an '11 Kona Unit outfitted with Easton Haven wheels and carbon Haven Bar, and a Niner carbon fork.

    Very happy with all mentioned items.

    For something a little different, and a great steel frame, consider the OS Blackbuck.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  13. #13
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    Huck&Roll had a huge sale for Vasago Jabberwocky frame + addtiional $60 off coupon. Not sure if its still available. Got mine shipped for $306.

  14. #14
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    I guess I'm a little different than the rest of the crowd, I had a spare 26" frame and wheels that I turned into my singlespeed. I'm running a Scott Scale aluminum frame, White Bros suspension fork, Spinergy Xyclone wheels (ghetto tubeless) with a Forward Components EBB. The rims are a bit narrow but running them tubeless allows me to lower the pressure a bit for a nice ride.

    At 6'3" and 200 lbs, what I like about this bike is that it's stiff and a great climber (aluminum being stiffer than steel) and light (21 lbs) and cheap. I'm definitely not as fast through the rough stuff as I am on my Sultan but I'm not slow either. All in all I'm happy I was able to use my parts on hand to put together a really nice performing bike.
    I'm super, thanks for asking...

  15. #15
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    I am pretty close to your specs (200 lbs, 6' tall) and I went with a Niner one9 frame. Been on it 9 months and no problems. I went with a Rockshox for the fork and my last rigid bike had an alum fork on it so can't help you much there. For the wheels I went with hope SS hubs and stans flows rims and have been rock solid for me. I didn't want to worry about the wheels so I went with the flows and they have been great for my size. I was always bending cheaper wheels on my last bike. Another thing I didn't skimp on was the cranks. I went with E.13 SS cranks and they have been great. I went through 3 sets of cheaper SS cranks on my last bike and didn't want to deal with the head aches.

    The Niner EBB has been trouble free for me but there is mixed reviews out there for it. I used the niner recommended carbogrip fix when installing. Hope this info helps you alittle.

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