29-er for everything (x-post 29ers)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29-er for everything (x-post 29ers)

    My next project is a SS/fixed 29er commuter. I'll be switching between road, cyclocross and mtb tires occasionally. My first thought for a frame is the Karate Monkey. I like the geometry, but the biggest difference being the chainstays, it's not a deal-breaker. I've also seen the Kona Unit 2-9 and the Soma Juice. All three frames are steel and have a 24.5-ish top tube and fender mounts (I'll be running full fenders on the street, taking them off is as much trouble as changing the tires). I'm not sure on the retail price of the Soma, but I think it'll be close to the other two. I'm looking at ~$600 for the frame and fork. Are there similar frames I've missed?

  2. #2
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    You're on it

    Quote Originally Posted by OverStuffed
    My next project is a SS/fixed 29er commuter. I'll be switching between road, cyclocross and mtb tires occasionally. My first thought for a frame is the Karate Monkey. I like the geometry, but the biggest difference being the chainstays, it's not a deal-breaker. I've also seen the Kona Unit 2-9 and the Soma Juice. All three frames are steel and have a 24.5-ish top tube and fender mounts (I'll be running full fenders on the street, taking them off is as much trouble as changing the tires). I'm not sure on the retail price of the Soma, but I think it'll be close to the other two. I'm looking at ~$600 for the frame and fork. Are there similar frames I've missed?
    You missed one though; the KM - Unit29 - and Soma are the main ones... BUT don't forget the On-One though as it's a very sweet 29'er too. I have heard from friends who have them that they're really nice for the money.
    I just went through the same thought process as you; coming from a fixed X-Check for EVERYTHING and wanting a ful blown 29'er. I went for another Surly because I loved my XC so much. I just built a new KM last week and took my first real off-road ride this afternoon. I'm stoked!!! I think that this bike will be the do-all machine. The XC with 45c Mutano's was good but the new large WTB's on the KM are off the shizang for the trail.
    Another side note: The Soma is really nice design if you're in steel frames. It's around $415 without a fork so it's in the ballpark as well. They offer a really cool red too!
    Good luck on the decision process and I'll post a pic of the fixed/free KM as soon as I get some more batt's for the camera.
    -l

  3. #3
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    Thanks, that's a good looking frame, but doesn't have fender mounts (but the price is right . . .) It's a niche, I guess. There aren't a lot of 29" singlespeed frames at that pricepoint, and I think even fewer with fender mounts. I'm trying to match my Gunnar Street Dog, and that will be what makes the decision.
    Last edited by StageHand; 01-15-2006 at 05:05 PM.

  4. #4
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    look at the SE racing BM Flier. Retail for THE WHOLE BIKE is $450. I don't think that they have fender mounts but I'm pretty sure that you can find something to work for it. Also if you wanted to wait a while another good choice for you would be the Redline Monocog. I think that they'll be out in march.
    what the fu#k is the internet?

  5. #5
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    It's close, but it only comes in one size: too small. I'll be getting a large or extra large. I like seeing new stuff, though. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    You need 2 bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by OverStuffed
    My next project is a SS/fixed 29er commuter. I'll be switching between road, cyclocross and mtb tires occasionally. My first thought for a frame is the Karate Monkey. I like the geometry, but the biggest difference being the chainstays, it's not a deal-breaker. I've also seen the Kona Unit 2-9 and the Soma Juice. All three frames are steel and have a 24.5-ish top tube and fender mounts (I'll be running full fenders on the street, taking them off is as much trouble as changing the tires). I'm not sure on the retail price of the Soma, but I think it'll be close to the other two. I'm looking at ~$600 for the frame and fork. Are there similar frames I've missed?
    I have a SS KM I built for commuting on the road, riding on crushed lime stone trails, and for racing in a SS mtb races. I have to tell you I love the bike! But… I only really enjoy the KM off road with fat tires. When I put the skinny tires on my bike sure it improves road worthiness a little, but it is not even close to the ride quality of my road bike. I have listed some problems I have found with the KM skinny tire combo below. I’m planning on getting a 3rd bike, a Surly Crosscheck based on what you have said that may be a better bike for you. I’m going to use a two speed Richey cross v crank set 38-48 tooth chainrings and a 18 tooth freewheel on the back. The Paul Melvin chain tensioner http://www.paulcomp.com/melvin.html will take care of the chain tension. I think this will meet my need for the commuting, and crushed lime stone trails.


    Problems with Skinny tires on a MTB single speed.


    1. Frame and fork are way to stiff for 80 psi skinny tires. When you jump off a curb your wrist hurt the rest of the day.

    2. Vee brakes and skinny tires are a bad combo. They are way to powerful and don’t have enough modulation. I’ve locked up my front tire more than once.

    3. BB is about 1 inch lower, so now I drag pedals in sharp turns.

    4. Changing the diameter of the tire 2” smaller is like adding one tooth to the freewheel. This creates a shorter gear, when you probably want a taller gear. If you want to use a bike for cyclocross, MTB, and road riding you will need at least three different ratios. This requires you to have two chains, two chain rings, and two freewheels.

    5. It takes for ever to switch tires. When you add up the time to collect my tools and change the tires, tubes, freewheel, chain, and chainring, it takes me almost two hours.

    5. It’s still not a road bike. It still has mtb geometry and very limited hand positions.

  7. #7
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    Problems with Skinny tires on a MTB single speed.


    1. Frame and fork are way to stiff for 80 psi skinny tires. When you jump off a curb your wrist hurt the rest of the day.

    2. Vee brakes and skinny tires are a bad combo. They are way to powerful and don’t have enough modulation. I’ve locked up my front tire more than once.

    3. BB is about 1 inch lower, so now I drag pedals in sharp turns.

    4. Changing the diameter of the tire 2” smaller is like adding one tooth to the freewheel. This creates a shorter gear, when you probably want a taller gear. If you want to use a bike for cyclocross, MTB, and road riding you will need at least three different ratios. This requires you to have two chains, two chain rings, and two freewheels.

    5. It takes for ever to switch tires. When you add up the time to collect my tools and change the tires, tubes, freewheel, chain, and chainring, it takes me almost two hours.

    5. It’s still not a road bike. It still has mtb geometry and very limited hand positions.[/QUOTE]

    I what works so some people does not for others but I have found my KM to work great on the road and off.

    I have set up for single of road and fixed on the road. I have two wheelset so I dont have to change tires etc but I do have to change the chain and adjust the tension which takes about ten minutes (thanks power link). I use the Jones h-bar so I have tons of hand positions. IOn the road I use 25c at about 100 psi and dont find it harsh but again this is just me and everybody is diffrent.

  8. #8
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    Maybe you're right. I'll add the Cross-Check to the list.

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