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  1. #1
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    New question here. to SS or not? that is the question

    Hey folks. Been watchin' this board for a while now and remain caught in a dilemma. Many months ago, I put a down payment on a squishy FS only to have my self thrown from the saddle during a test ride when hit by a car. Over my months of recovery, I thought long about what I will ride again if I ever did. My GF's father just got into ridin' a fixie and spawned the thought in my mind to try SS.

    I now find myself in a bind b/n goin with a top o the line boutique squishy or to SS. I love the simplicity aspect and low upkeep of an SS, but was told my gear heads that "SS is cool to train on, but not much else, especially trail ridin. Once you hit those hills it's all over! Get one to train on and get the piss beat out of ya, then get back on your squishy for some quality riding."

    When the insurance money comes in from my claim I will be faced with what to do with the $$$. SS sounds real enticing living in boston MA and for the ridin I do. I want a do-it-all frame, something a little more aggressively built for SS. Since I don't want to pay for two bikes, do you folks have any suggestions for a do-it-all SS that will act as commuter, trail and go anywhere bike?

    I contemplated a FS SS, but thought that heresy. Any feedback on this concept? Thanks for the tips and inspiration. I know that most will be biased, posting this on the SS board and all, but I have only gotten feedback from those who ride gearis and want more balanced perspective..... though I am reconsidering riding all together after I saw those pics of KGB. So sorry to hear that! He should sue the manufacturer for defects if poss.

    Thanks folks for all your help.
    It's all cycle-logical to me.

  2. #2
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    sounds like a Karate MOnkey or custom 29'er might fit the bill for ya. As for trail riding, I have enjoyed riding so much more since going SS I can't begin to tell you. I was apprehensive at first but its been about a year now and I just can't imagine putting gears on any bike now. Sure, the hills hurt sometimes but I rarely find myself pushing something the gearies aren't pushing themselves. Bottom line is that you can ride em anywhere, the only limitation is you.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

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    eh-nay Ityopia!

  3. #3
    hispanic mechanic
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    SS isn't for everyone...

    [disclaimer] I personally love riding one speeds, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone will like it. That being said, I have 3 right now, and will place the order for my brand-new, ultra-high-zoot, custom frame this week. I don't even own a geared off-road bike! Without knowing you, or your riding style, or your preferences, it's hard to say whether you'd be happy on a single. I won't have it any other way, but I don't really like full suspension anymore.
    Oh well, here's my advice after the long disclaimer; buy a Surly 1x1, put some middle-of-the-road parts on it, and see if you like it. If you don't, you'll have a bomber commuter bike, and some cash left over towards a geared bike. If you do like it (which I'd bet you do,) you'll have a burly, great riding mountain bike, and some coin left over for a fun trip somewhere!

    Hope that helps,

    the los
    "Shut up body and do what I tell you."
    Jens Voight

    http://teamjva.com/jens-voigt-soundboard/

  4. #4
    hispanic mechanic
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    Good job! Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by namaSSte
    sounds like a Karate MOnkey or custom 29'er might fit the bill for ya. As for trail riding, I have enjoyed riding so much more since going SS I can't begin to tell you. I was apprehensive at first but its been about a year now and I just can't imagine putting gears on any bike now. Sure, the hills hurt sometimes but I rarely find myself pushing something the gearies aren't pushing themselves. Bottom line is that you can ride em anywhere, the only limitation is you.
    Well put. I retract my recommendation of the 1x1, and instead second the vote for the Monkey. Duh... I should have said that! I ride one, and now I won't ride 26" wheels again. Sorry!

    the los
    "Shut up body and do what I tell you."
    Jens Voight

    http://teamjva.com/jens-voigt-soundboard/

  5. #5
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    SS bikes can definitely serve as an all-purpose bike, but I think you have to really embrace the idea of singlespeeding first. You should find a used SS bike on mtbr or, god forbid, ebay. You can pick up a complete bike for $400-$500 easily. Ride it exclusively for a few months and see what you think. Most of the people that try it end up getting hooked. If you're hooked after a few months then you can drop some coin on a nice custom Ti frame or something. I've only been riding ss for a month or two but I ride the ss probably 80% of the time. I still ride my 5 Spot sometimes. Partly because it's an awesome bike and partly because I spent a fortune on it. Definitely give ss a try. What do you have to lose?

  6. #6
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    in the same boat.....sort of

    Quote Originally Posted by P-Funk
    SS bikes can definitely serve as an all-purpose bike, but I think you have to really embrace the idea of singlespeeding first. You should find a used SS bike on mtbr or, god forbid, ebay. You can pick up a complete bike for $400-$500 easily. Ride it exclusively for a few months and see what you think. Most of the people that try it end up getting hooked. If you're hooked after a few months then you can drop some coin on a nice custom Ti frame or something. I've only been riding ss for a month or two but I ride the ss probably 80% of the time. I still ride my 5 Spot sometimes. Partly because it's an awesome bike and partly because I spent a fortune on it. Definitely give ss a try. What do you have to lose?

    What a coincidence. I demoed a 5 spot at one of my local trails and I am b/n a burner and spot for a squishy. The folks I demoed the bike from are trying to sell me one now! I really like them a lot but they cost so damn much! Seeing as you ride an SS most of the time makes me wonder Do I want to spend a fortune on a bike I would only ride a portion to the time? Anyhow, thanks for all the feedback folks and I am looking at a SC chameleon right now for my all purpose rig. light, SS able, cheap and burly. sort of a do-it-all.
    It's all cycle-logical to me.

  7. #7
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    what a coincidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Nimai
    What a coincidence....I am looking at a SC chameleon right now for my all purpose rig. light, SS able, cheap and burly. sort of a do-it-all.
    P Funk rides an SS chameleon, and so do i. i just love it, and would strongly recomment it to you if you're on the fence about the whole SS thing. it's a really b1tchen hardtail if you want to run gears (which you probably won't), and an excellent SS, imho. i bought mine thinking i'd probably run a 1x9 on it, but i don't see that hapening any time soon. it's just too fun as an SS.

    here's a lame-a$$ link to my lame-a$$ bike webpage. my chameleon's near the bottom. i've since changed out the cranks, pedals and bb, but the rest is the same.
    http://homepage.mac.com/christacey/PhotoAlbum3.html
    [size=1][/size]

  8. #8
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    Very simple, get both.

    You mentioned a boutique ride. I'm certainly guilty of owning some boutique stuff, but I'm also honest with myself and know you get diminishing returns for the $ spent. You can get a fine 5 inch travel trail bike and a fine single speed for the sake of one boutique bike.

    I cruised classifieds here and ebay last night and saw an 03 Specialized base model Enduro still new and some fine $500-700 single speeds. You could get the Enduro, put the 105mm air/coil Bomber on your single speed, put a 120 mm MX Pro on the Enduro and have all the bike you ever need for less than $2500. 2 bikes for less than the price of one.

    There is a great benefit to getting rid of weight weenie syndrome and gottahaveit syndrome. It's call shutupandride syndrome. I don't care about scratches, and I'm often the first who's ready to ride, and have found I'm riding better than I ever have even though I'm a middle-aged guy. Not wasting too much on a single bike also leaves $ to travel and savings.

  9. #9
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    Talk about a coincidence....

    Quote Originally Posted by Nimai
    What a coincidence. I demoed a 5 spot at one of my local trails and I am b/n a burner and spot for a squishy. The folks I demoed the bike from are trying to sell me one now! I really like them a lot but they cost so damn much! Seeing as you ride an SS most of the time makes me wonder Do I want to spend a fortune on a bike I would only ride a portion to the time? Anyhow, thanks for all the feedback folks and I am looking at a SC chameleon right now for my all purpose rig. light, SS able, cheap and burly. sort of a do-it-all.
    My SS is a Chameleon. I believe you've already seen SDizzle's "Post your Lizard" thread on the Santa Cruz board. Lots of SS Chameleons there. It's a burly frame for sure, but you can still build up a SS to around 24 lbs (give or take). It's pretty versatile: XC, FR, Urban, Commuter, etc. Here's my Chameleon in it's latest incarnation, park hopper/work commuter. On my way to work (with kids in tow) we stop by the park and play. When I get to work my wife takes them home. She works at the same building, different shift, so it's a perfect deal.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    too small of a world!

    Quote Originally Posted by eSSq
    P Funk rides an SS chameleon, and so do i. i just love it, and would strongly recomment it to you if you're on the fence about the whole SS thing. it's a really b1tchen hardtail if you want to run gears (which you probably won't), and an excellent SS, imho. i bought mine thinking i'd probably run a 1x9 on it, but i don't see that hapening any time soon. it's just too fun as an SS.

    here's a lame-a$$ link to my lame-a$$ bike webpage. my chameleon's near the bottom. i've since changed out the cranks, pedals and bb, but the rest is the same.
    http://homepage.mac.com/christacey/PhotoAlbum3.html

    that's a sweet ride. BTW where are those photos from? When I first got back in the market for a rig, I tried the chameleon in duke blue and loved it. Then a blur, then an accident, now a 5 spot! I'm out of control and overly complicated. i think my body wants a squishy and my mind wants an SS. KISS is what i should live by and you guys make the point well. BTW any drawbacks on the SC as an SS since I tried it as a gearie? thanks eSSq
    It's all cycle-logical to me.

  11. #11
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    aliso & wood canyons wilderness park

    near laguna beach in The OC, california. that's my backyard ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nimai
    BTW any drawbacks on the SC as an SS since I tried it as a gearie? thanks eSSq
    i can't really think of any drawbacks. SCZ uses a nice proprietary chain tensioning system in the horzional droputs (at least for the '04s) and it's working out well for me. the rear disc rotor lined up fine at both 32:18 and 34:20, and even though i'm using quick releases on the rear hub, it hasn't slipped under my burly 175 lbs and LEGS OF STEEL (ha, right) yet. some think that you need an EBB or sliding droputs like kona uses to be happy with rear discs, but i've had no trouble with the SCZ nor with my bianchi, which uses a similar setup.
    [size=1][/size]

  12. #12
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    I ride both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nimai
    Hey folks. Been watchin' this board for a while now and remain caught in a dilemma. Many months ago, I put a down payment on a squishy FS only to have my self thrown from the saddle during a test ride when hit by a car. Over my months of recovery, I thought long about what I will ride again if I ever did. My GF's father just got into ridin' a fixie and spawned the thought in my mind to try SS.

    I now find myself in a bind b/n goin with a top o the line boutique squishy or to SS. I love the simplicity aspect and low upkeep of an SS, but was told my gear heads that "SS is cool to train on, but not much else, especially trail ridin. Once you hit those hills it's all over! Get one to train on and get the piss beat out of ya, then get back on your squishy for some quality riding."

    When the insurance money comes in from my claim I will be faced with what to do with the $$$. SS sounds real enticing living in boston MA and for the ridin I do. I want a do-it-all frame, something a little more aggressively built for SS. Since I don't want to pay for two bikes, do you folks have any suggestions for a do-it-all SS that will act as commuter, trail and go anywhere bike?

    I contemplated a FS SS, but thought that heresy. Any feedback on this concept? Thanks for the tips and inspiration. I know that most will be biased, posting this on the SS board and all, but I have only gotten feedback from those who ride gearis and want more balanced perspective..... though I am reconsidering riding all together after I saw those pics of KGB. So sorry to hear that! He should sue the manufacturer for defects if poss.

    Thanks folks for all your help.
    But if limited to one bike, it would be my FS rig. I love my ss and there are trails where you will not find me riding anything else. However, there are also trails that would have me carrying my ss bike as much as riding it and what fun is that? Same with bombing down a long fireroad in your big ring.
    I highly recommend trying out a ss if possible before spending a lot of money on one. It seems to be a love or hate thing and even a Surly 1 X 1 is not cheap once you build it up. If you really can not decide, maybe forgo the boutique FS rig, buy something less expensive and use the money you save on a ss. You can get a Surly from Webcyclery for $900. Reading this forum, it is easy to believe that most people that ride singlespeeds, do not ride or own any other kind of bike. However, I think that is the exception and not the rule. Most of the hardcore riders in my local club own singlespeeds, as well as geared bikes. It varies among the group as to who rides what more, but they all ride both.

    Brian

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sslos
    [disclaimer] I personally love riding one speeds, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone will like it. That being said, I have 3 right now, and will place the order for my brand-new, ultra-high-zoot, custom frame this week. I don't even own a geared off-road bike! Without knowing you, or your riding style, or your preferences, it's hard to say whether you'd be happy on a single. I won't have it any other way, but I don't really like full suspension anymore.
    Oh well, here's my advice after the long disclaimer; buy a Surly 1x1, put some middle-of-the-road parts on it, and see if you like it. If you don't, you'll have a bomber commuter bike, and some cash left over towards a geared bike. If you do like it (which I'd bet you do,) you'll have a burly, great riding mountain bike, and some coin left over for a fun trip somewhere!

    Hope that helps,

    the los
    very good point indeed. There are some great deals out there away from Surly as well. One thing is for sure, you'll know pretty quickly if its for you or not and if it is, resistance will be futile.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  14. #14
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    Hey eSSq...

    Quote Originally Posted by eSSq
    P Funk rides an SS chameleon, and so do i. i just love it, and would strongly recomment it to you if you're on the fence about the whole SS thing. it's a really b1tchen hardtail if you want to run gears (which you probably won't), and an excellent SS, imho. i bought mine thinking i'd probably run a 1x9 on it, but i don't see that hapening any time soon. it's just too fun as an SS.

    here's a lame-a$$ link to my lame-a$$ bike webpage. my chameleon's near the bottom. i've since changed out the cranks, pedals and bb, but the rest is the same.
    http://homepage.mac.com/christacey/PhotoAlbum3.html
    I checked out your photo album webpage. You have a couple of pics there that I might want to use in a calendar that I've been designing. The Sunny San Juan photo and the Chilao phot taken from a distance. I designed the calendar a few months ago but didn't quite get all the pictures that I needed and other things took precedence so I might just wait a few more months and have it printed as a 2005 calendar. It's basically a SoCal MTB calendar. I got a lot of pics from regulars on Foo-Riders. Here's a sample:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by P-Funk; 04-26-2004 at 10:28 AM.

  15. #15
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    Good job! help yourself!

    jeff jarvis (aka el jefe, aka HLD from socalmtb & fooriders) shot the san jaun shot in the winter of 2001, and the distance shot at chilao was either by hollywood or terminaut at the socal SS gathering last year.

    i suppose you might want to email them and make sure it's cool with them, but i can't see it being a problem for any of 'em.
    [size=1][/size]

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimai
    that's a sweet ride. BTW where are those photos from? When I first got back in the market for a rig, I tried the chameleon in duke blue and loved it. Then a blur, then an accident, now a 5 spot! I'm out of control and overly complicated. i think my body wants a squishy and my mind wants an SS. KISS is what i should live by and you guys make the point well. BTW any drawbacks on the SC as an SS since I tried it as a gearie? thanks eSSq
    If you are serious about the Chameleon, let me know since I can maybe point you towards a couple of shops that have em in stock. DO NOT order one unless you plan on being off a bike for some time, Backlog is ridiculous, I know since Im one of the one's waiting on a frame right now. I think the SC would be a great do it all choice though but Im rather biased towards them obviously.
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

  17. #17
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    not a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by namaSSte
    If you are serious about the Chameleon, let me know since I can maybe point you towards a couple of shops that have em in stock. DO NOT order one unless you plan on being off a bike for some time, Backlog is ridiculous, I know since Im one of the one's waiting on a frame right now. I think the SC would be a great do it all choice though but Im rather biased towards them obviously.
    Not to worry, but thanks for the looking out. since i live in the boston area, there are lots of shops in the metro region that stock SC Chameleons. All kinds of colors too. MSRP is $499. Not bad, but I could probably do a little better. Belmont Wheelworks and International Bicycles have them in stock and a few others at the moment.
    It's all cycle-logical to me.

  18. #18
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    ... and if we just ... sweet looking ride =)

    Quote Originally Posted by P-Funk
    My SS is a Chameleon. I believe you've already seen SDizzle's "Post your Lizard" thread on the Santa Cruz board. Lots of SS Chameleons there. It's a burly frame for sure, but you can still build up a SS to around 24 lbs (give or take). It's pretty versatile: XC, FR, Urban, Commuter, etc. Here's my Chameleon in it's latest incarnation, park hopper/work commuter. On my way to work (with kids in tow) we stop by the park and play. When I get to work my wife takes them home. She works at the same building, different shift, so it's a perfect deal.

    BTW what's the build and how do you like the Vanilla? does it make the HT too slack, cause I was looking a the same fork for mine. If you don't mind me asking, how much for the build? I was planning arond $1500 bills, but just a ballpark. like the kiddie wagon too
    It's all cycle-logical to me.

  19. #19
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    now that's a thought =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wm. L.
    You mentioned a boutique ride. I'm certainly guilty of owning some boutique stuff, but I'm also honest with myself and know you get diminishing returns for the $ spent. You can get a fine 5 inch travel trail bike and a fine single speed for the sake of one boutique bike.

    I cruised classifieds here and ebay last night and saw an 03 Specialized base model Enduro still new and some fine $500-700 single speeds. You could get the Enduro, put the 105mm air/coil Bomber on your single speed, put a 120 mm MX Pro on the Enduro and have all the bike you ever need for less than $2500. 2 bikes for less than the price of one.

    There is a great benefit to getting rid of weight weenie syndrome and gottahaveit syndrome. It's call shutupandride syndrome. I don't care about scratches, and I'm often the first who's ready to ride, and have found I'm riding better than I ever have even though I'm a middle-aged guy. Not wasting too much on a single bike also leaves $ to travel and savings.
    What a damn good idea! But would i be content with the quality for the price? that's something i have to ask myself. thanks for the great idea. i am looking at a burner and an SC chameleon, one squishy the other SS. we'll see what happens.
    It's all cycle-logical to me.

  20. #20
    You Are What You Is
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimai
    BTW what's the build and how do you like the Vanilla? does it make the HT too slack, cause I was looking a the same fork for mine. If you don't mind me asking, how much for the build? I was planning arond $1500 bills, but just a ballpark. like the kiddie wagon too
    I love the Vanilla. It came off of my old Tracer when I sold the frame. I don't think it makes it slack at all, but then I prefer slacker angles anyway. This Chameleon SS was just going to be a cheap project - something I could throw together for $300 or so. I had a lot of extra parts laying around that I could use. I got the frame used for $150 with headset and by the end of the build I had about $450 in it. Since then (2 months ago) I've already upgraded to a setback seatpost, SLR seat, CK headset, Paul's Love brake levers, and new lightweight tires. So now I'm up to about $750. Clearly I suffer from upgraditis. You can build up a nice Chameleon SS for $1500.

  21. #21
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    Hi guys,

    How diffficult is it to build up an SS? I have an old (don't have a clue what year) Raleigh Avalanche frame and some parts. I'm thinking SS just for the reason of commutiing. I did just buy an entry level bike as well, but I might have some cash coming my way so I'm wanting to do something with the Raleigh frame. The drive train is kinda all crapped up, I'll need some cables and a cheap fork (which I could probably find for like $10..a rigid fork would work for me too) and a headset. I guess it's the drive part that would confuse me.

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