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  1. #1
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    Swiss Army Bike - Or, 4 bikes in 1

    Hey all, I wasn't sure where to ask this because the bike I'm thinking of will definitely be a 29" wheel size. I decided to go ahead and ask here because I think I will start with a SS frame and go from there.

    Basically, I have too many bikes! I also enjoy many different types of riding. So, rather than adding several more to my collection I'd like to have one bike that can pretty much do it all maybe with a few parts swapped here and there. The swapping of parts needs to be as convenient, adjustment free, and as easy as possible.

    That being said, what are some good choices for a bike that meets the above criterion and that I can run SS, 1x9, suspension fork, or rigid fork in various combinations?

    Switching from SS to 1x9 is probably the more technical challenge. I think I want an eccentric BB to handle the chain tensioning task so I don't have to mess around with a chain tensioner or sliding/horizontal dropouts. Hopefully I'll just be able to bolt on a derailleur and shifter and be good to go.

    A light frame would be nice too. I think the lightest out there are 1300g for some carbon Felt and Orbea jobs but none of which have eccentric BB (that I know of.)

    Geometry wise, I think I tend to prefer a slightly more upright/relaxed top tube length rather than a stretched out hardcore XC style frame.

    I've done a lot of research but I think I still have a long way to go. Any hints/tips would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    808+909 = Party Good Time
    Reputation: chumbox's Avatar
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    Salsa El Mariachi

    Haro Mary

    Niner SIR9

    Just some EBB options with derailluer hangers. The El Mariachi comes stock with 1x9 so you can get it and switch back and forth. All have suspension corrected geo.

  3. #3
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    what he ^ said.

  4. #4
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    Singular Swift

  5. #5
    Witty McWitterson
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    I don't think you're going to get the combo of Carbon and 'upright/relaxed' in the same model unless you shell out loads of dough. The two just don't go together.
    Just a regular guy.

  6. #6
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    All steel recommendations, interesting.

    I think I found another option - Specialized Stumpjumper Marathon 29. It comes with modular dropouts for running either SS or gears which looks pretty promising. The only bike other I've come across that takes this approach is a Dean Ti bike which is pretty pricey. No sites seem to list a weight for the SJ but I'm guessing it's manageable. I'd probably go with a 17" size to achieve the relaxed fit I'm looking for. I also hear that they may come out with a carbon one for 2010!

  7. #7
    Cheezy Rider
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    No offense, but are you sure you want to go this route? I like to wrench, but when I want to ride I want to ride, and if my only bike was in pieces I would be

  8. #8
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    Any bike with Paragon dropouts would work really will for this applicateion. Vassago optimus Ti, Gunnar, etc. You could just unbolt the slider and leave the deraileur attached, and replace with a SS dropout. Would not even have to remove the shifter cable!!

    I think that using a frame with an EBB would be a big mistake... you would have to adjust the deraileur and ebb everytime you switched... kind of starting from scratch.

    Seems like a giant hassle to me... I agree with Ruf on that one. Just get two bikes, a cheap SS like monocog... and then spend the money on a geared something...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufudufus
    No offense, but are you sure you want to go this route? I like to wrench, but when I want to ride I want to ride, and if my only bike was in pieces I would be
    A worthy question I think. Depending on how often you plan to switch you might feel like you spend more time wrenching than riding. How often do you currently rotate between bikes?

    I have a single bike that has been an SS (most of the time), fixie, 2x9 and 1x9 along with switching between rigid and susp fork. I can't have a second bike right now, but this has definitely made me want one. Switching between SS and gears can still take half an hour to an hour unless I rush it (but I feel unsafe doing that). That just sucks when I want to pick up my bike and ride. The time really adds up if you are switching back and forth a lot, so I generally keep it setup one way for a couple weeks even though my mood can change a lot quicker than that.

  10. #10
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    I do have a cheap SS by the way of an Origin 8 Black Ops or Scout whatever it's called. The thing is, now that I've tried SS and realize that it's something I like, I want a more performant bike. I have raced the O8 in a local weekday series and I was surprised how well I did considering it's heftiness (2140g medium frame, 1271g steel fork.) But I can't justify owning both a race worthy SS and geared bike...

    That being said, the search continues. It seems like very few aluminum frames feature sliding dropouts or if they do they're 2000g. Must be they require extra strength in the frame or something...

    I just discovered the Salsa Selma which looks pretty ideal! I guess I would prefer sliding dropouts but I think I can live with an EBB. I'll just have to make sure to have all the tools to break it down and clean it out as it's been very muddy around here lately...

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