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  1. #1
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    Which SS is right for me?

    Earlier this year my girlfriend started mountain biking with me and I bought her a Specialized Fatboy. She's made a ton of progress but a lot of the rides became boring for me due to the slow speed and not feeling like I was getting a workout. The local dealer had a great price on a Cannondale Trail SL 29 Rigid SS so I bought it tthinking even the simplest trails would become a challenge. I swapped parts out to suit my needs and it's probably the most fun I've ever had on a bike. My rip 9 and specialized Fatboy with a bluto never get ridden anymore. The only problem I have is that the geo isn't quite suited for about half of the trails I ride. These trails are extrmely rocky and best ridden with a fs bike. The cannondale feels a little fragile to me and it's a little sketchy on the steep technical downhills. I'm planning selling my fatboy or rip 9 and getting a singlespeed better suited for rocky trails and small to medium sized drops and jumps. . I'd appreciate help in finding the right bike.

    I need something compliant. I have a lot of health issues and lots of pain some days. A comfortable bike would help with motivation on days I'm not feeling well.

    I plan on running a 100mm fork. I hate suspension bob and don't like having to lock forks out.

    Climbs are important me. Downhills are my strength so a great climbing bike would be preferred over a super slack downhill bike.

    Sliding dropouts are preferred but not required.

    Looking at either carbon or steel

    29 preferred.

    Frame weight isn't too critical. I plan to spend the majority of my budget on wheels.

    I'd like to stay under $5000 for the entire build.

    I've owned a yelli screamy and the Canfield nimble 9 might work but im a little concerned about frame compliance and it seems unnecessarily heavy.

    My body weight is 165

    I really appreciate you taking the time to read everything and would love some input on which bike would be best for me

  2. #2
    The White Jeff W
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    You might dig one of the 29+ bike like the Krampus or Carver Gnarvester. The semi fat tires would give you the cush you're after and both have sliding dropouts. Just a thought
    No moss...

  3. #3
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    Look into the new 27.5+ thing, maybe all you really need is wheels, not a new bike.

    Also, don't discount a slightly more slack bike. Something like a Canfield Nimble 9 with 27.5+ wheels and tires could be the ticket for you. Slack head tube angles are very forgiving in the chunder, and it will still climb pretty darn well because it's a hardtail. the extra cush of plus sized tires will help with comfort while maintaining the same outside rolling diameter of the 29er you're used to.
    "...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
    -michaelscott

  4. #4
    Hairshirt Rider
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    Spot Honeybadger. With your budget you can buy the frame and build up a really nice bike.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. Not really familiar with some of these suggestions so I'll have to do some research. One concern about the 27.5+ or 29+ is rotating weight. That's a lot more important to me than frame weight.

  6. #6
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    Which SS is right for me?

    Custom steel or Ti with light wheels.

  7. #7
    Gotta pay to play
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    Look at a Jones with a fat front. There is also a very long thread in the 29er forum discussing the bikes.

    My Jones is the best bike I've ever ridden and while it isn't as comfortable to bomb down chunky hills as a FS bike- I choose to ride SS and I choose not to ride HT because of the various design flaws that come with only front suspension- so rigid is the only way to go for my riding philosophy.

  8. #8
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    Being that you already own a Niner product you should consider the S.I.R 9. I don't own one but I've heard nothing but good about them. It's #1 on my wishlist.

  9. #9
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    In the orig. post you spoke about good climbing and light wheels. You may want to consider something like Industry Nine wheels with light weight tires like Racing Ralph. Outside of snow, I think really big riders benefit more from the 29+ vs. lighter guys. Also, the 27.5 format really for small riders and/or making room for 140mm travel forks. Some riders need 27.5 to get low bar position but this is pretty rare. At 165#, 29er with normal widths should work pretty well for you in most conditions.

    In terms of bike, hardtail design is going to come down to riding style. I do a lot of endurance trail riding and enjoy racing events like six hour or the NUE 100 format. A single speed climbs pretty darn well so I prefer a design that supports descending. With a slightly slack headtube angle, longer frame, and a short stem my bike sorta looks like an enduro hardtail although I don't yet ride with a dropper post. Geared riders sometimes have problems with climbing on bikes designed like this because the front end becomes too light when climbing in the saddle. As a single speed rider, I am out of the saddle on most climbs so weight on the front end is not a problem. A setup for single speed is more then just putting sliders on a typical XC build; you may want to consider a bike that is 10mm or so longer then you would use for geared riding and pair it with a shorter stem.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

  10. #10
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    With that budget, a custom steel or titanium would probably be your cup of tea.

  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone.

    I'm going to research everything recommended here, but for now my plans have changed and I'm going to have to spend money on my girlfriend's bike before I get something for myself lol.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    A setup for single speed is more then just putting sliders on a typical XC build; you may want to consider a bike that is 10mm or so longer then you would use for geared riding and pair it with a shorter stem.
    That's the main issue with my current SS. It's a medium so I'm forced to run a much longer stem than I'd prefer. Riding seated feels great, but when I'm out of the saddle I can tell the fit isn't quite right. I also run short stems on my other bikes, so it just feels weird having a long stem.

  13. #13
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    I had a custom steel SS frame made and finished the build with very nice components for about $4k. I honestly don't know how I could spend another $1k on it other than carbon wheel set which isn't gonna happen. A custom builder can give you the exact geometry you need for what you will ride. And since they are OEM they can finish the build out with great prices on components. I can't recommend a custom build enough. I'm like you in that my Bronson C is collecting dust now that I have my SS.

    I went with a local builder and couldn't be happier. He built it so that I could add a rear derailluer later if I wanted to. I won't but I wanted that option since this was my first single speed.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by poonamibaxter View Post
    I had a custom steel SS frame made and finished the build with very nice components for about $4k. I honestly don't know how I could spend another $1k on it other than carbon wheel set which isn't gonna happen. A custom builder can give you the exact geometry you need for what you will ride. And since they are OEM they can finish the build out with great prices on components. I can't recommend a custom build enough. I'm like you in that my Bronson C is collecting dust now that I have my SS.

    I went with a local builder and couldn't be happier. He built it so that I could add a rear derailluer later if I wanted to. I won't but I wanted that option since this was my first single speed.
    I'll do some research on custom frames. My only concern is my lack of knowledge on geo and sizing, but I'm sure most builders can figure that out for me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    I'll do some research on custom frames. My only concern is my lack of knowledge on geo and sizing, but I'm sure most builders can figure that out for me.
    Exactly. I didn't know much about it either but your builder should know all about it. They should take your measurements then talk to you about where you will be doing most of your riding and your riding style. It was really a fun process seeing my bike start with just a few sketches to being a bare frame to painted to built up. You really get to customize everything. Hand picking individual components is freaking awesome also. You aren't stuck with a set groupo so you can really dial it in. And again your builder is an OEM so they get everything cheaper than what your local shop does and should pass that along to you.

    I get some lower back pain when I ride my Bronson around miles 5-8 that goes away but I don't get that at all with my SS(of course that could be because I am standing up to pedal a lot more). I can't recommend custom high enough.

    If you have any questions about the process shoot me a pm.

  16. #16
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    I have the same Cannondale Trail SL 29 Rigid SS as you do. Bought it because it was a cheap way to try out SS and see if I like it.

    I did buy an used Lefty and put it on the bike along with some super wide handlebars and now ride the thing all of the time and even over rough, rocky, technical trails.

    If the medium is not super small for you - doing something similar may work for you as well. If not, like me, it was a cheap way to try SS - of course now I have the addiction and someday will build a really SS bike (I told myself I would ride this one for a year to be sure before building - but I am not sure I can last that long)

  17. #17
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    Check out the Pivot Les. Great geometry and sliding drops. Plus you can throw gears on it if you ever needed too.

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