Bike consolidation: Which SS to get?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Bike consolidation: Which SS to get?

    Alright guys, as taboo as this sounds, I want to consolidate bikes (yes, this means getting rid of a few). Reasoning is because I don't ride all of them and they are just taking up time and space. What I find myself on most is an old hodge-podge aluminum singlespeed (w/ Singleator) with a rigid aluminum fork. I love riding SS and our local trails allow for it, but this one beats me up and is regularly dropping a gear.

    So, I'd like to replace a few bikes and get a nice SS that will last me for years. I am still a bit of an ounce-counter, but the steel bikes have a certain allure to me (realistically if I can build up a large-framed bike from 20-24lbs. I'll be happy). I am looking for an XC feel, as I already have a ROS9, and I am drawn towards the Niner SIR9, but I dont want a slack head angle on a SS, so maybe the previous gen would work.

    I am new to the SS market, so what's out there? I definitely want it to be rigid, but I don't want to be beat up too bad, that's why I am drawn towards steel with a carbon fork. What would you guys do?

    Thanks,
    Bryan

  2. #2
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    If you're going rigid, I'd go B+ or 29+. What's your budget? Whole bike or building up from a frame?
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  3. #3
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    over the past few years I have owned:
    • small Karate Monkey (older one with the straight steerer tube, too small for me, shoud have bought a 18"

    • OG Vassago Jabberwocky, small. hated it for some reason


    • another small KM, didn't learn my lesson the first time!


    • Soma Juice- medium, loved this bike. should not have sold it. always bothered me that the chainstays were no shorter than 17.5" rode this for about two years.


    • ROS 9- medium. top tube seemed really short. always felt cramped on it and am 5'9". it was so bad that I acquired back pain severe enough to require professional help from a chiropractor. in that regard, it's the most expensive bike I have ever owned. it might have been fun if I had actual "bike park" terrain to ride, but around here is all XC with some chunk thrown in.


    • Vassago Jabberwocky, newest version medium. love the long top tube for my body proportions and my style of riding. good value for the price. I am riding it with a 100mm Reba and just bought the Vassago rigid fork for it as well. not lightweight but it's good pound lighter than the ROS 9. it's not "slack" and it know's it's a XC frame.


    in that time, I owned only one bike most of the time. I usually had a CX bike for gravel races and urban exploring, but now I just change the tires and gearing on my steel hardtail and do everything on it. I rode the Juice and the ROS 9 on singletrack and rode each of them on a 100k gravel race. the Juice was a killer gravel-grinder as well.

    a lot of the local SS riders around here are riding Verhauens and, if I had the extra cash, I would have bought one of those. (if I had a LOT of extra cash, I'd go local and get a ti Chumba.)

    good luck finding a used SIR9!
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 11-18-2017 at 08:07 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyCharm4x4 View Post
    Alright guys, as taboo as this sounds, I want to consolidate bikes (yes, this means getting rid of a few). Reasoning is because I don't ride all of them and they are just taking up time and space. What I find myself on most is an old hodge-podge aluminum singlespeed (w/ Singleator) with a rigid aluminum fork. I love riding SS and our local trails allow for it, but this one beats me up and is regularly dropping a gear.

    So, I'd like to replace a few bikes and get a nice SS that will last me for years. I am still a bit of an ounce-counter, but the steel bikes have a certain allure to me (realistically if I can build up a large-framed bike from 20-24lbs. I'll be happy). I am looking for an XC feel, as I already have a ROS9, and I am drawn towards the Niner SIR9, but I dont want a slack head angle on a SS, so maybe the previous gen would work.

    I am new to the SS market, so what's out there? I definitely want it to be rigid, but I don't want to be beat up too bad, that's why I am drawn towards steel with a carbon fork. What would you guys do?

    Thanks,
    Bryan
    This could be an option if you want steel https://www.chumbausa.com/stella-1

    Have you ridden a "slack" rigid bike, or something between 68-70 hta? I've found it makes rigid bikes much more stable and easy to handle. It does take a little more effort to turn, but that also makes it much easier to rail corners

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Have you ridden a "slack" rigid bike, or something between 68-70 hta?
    he said he has a ROS 9. that's a moderately slack bike with a 67-68d HA, depending on the fork.

  6. #6
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    I have a 1st Gen Spot Rocker SS. Without knowing your body type or riding style, what I can tell you about the bike is that the frame is reasonably light, super comfortable (running it with a Reba 100), and that if you are going to get a SS, Belt Drive is a must have feature. Personally, I would prefer a bike with a slacked out front end - the Rocker has a 71 HA and I find it kind of twitchy. My other bikes are a 29er trail bike with a 68 HA and a DH sled with a 63 HA, and based on my experience riding those, I'd love to have a SS with a 68 or slacker HA.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    he said he has a ROS 9. that's a moderately slack bike with a 67-68d HA, depending on the fork.
    I made the assumption that his ROS wasn't set up as a rigid bike

  8. #8
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    true. a ROS 9 is "slack" with a fork that is much longer than most rigid forks. the trick, in that regard, is to find a frame that is slack when build with a <500mm a-c fork.

    it sounds like OP is not all that interested in a "slack" bike, but it's still worth considering.

    I have found that it's having a "slack" HA is not all that helpful for my riding style. YMMV.

  9. #9
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    The slack HA isn't necessary around me. I actually prefer the quick turning here in Michigan, it helps with dodging trees. I would like to stay with a 29" (or 27.5+) also, as that really fits my riding style.

    The ROS9 I have has a 130mm fork on it BTW. It's fun and goes downhill fast, but does turn slow for tighter trails.

    Also, I am 5'11, 180-200# (hibernation weight) if that matters.

  10. #10
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    I like building from frame up. My budget is negotiable probably around $3-4k, I can always save longer to get the right bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyCharm4x4 View Post
    I like building from frame up. My budget is negotiable probably around $3-4k, I can always save longer to get the right bike.
    With this, go custom!
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF
    Smash

  12. #12
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    Custom is going to take up 75 to 100% of his budget for the frame alone.

  13. #13
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    3-4k sounds like a perfict budget for a custom riged SS build, you could almost look at custom titanium frame for that price judging that about 75% of the cost of a nice ridged single speed build goes into the frame since you don't have expensive dropper post and gears/shifters to worry about

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyCharm4x4 View Post
    I like building from frame up. My budget is negotiable probably around $3-4k, I can always save longer to get the right bike.
    Go Ti at this price point. Ti Vassago for about 2k and rest on parts.

    The Steel Verhauen would be even better, but with no OX Platinum tubing Tom can't build the frames.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Custom is going to take up 75 to 100% of his budget for the frame alone.
    To clarify, i meant getting a full-custom frame will probably be cost-prohibative. A custom bike built around an off-the-peg frame, sure.

  16. #16
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    Reeb was doing custom geometry steel frames at one point, I don't know if that's still the case or not. You could ask. I expect you'd need to find someone to come up with the geometry numbers for you, though. They mentioned it was an option for me when I ordered my frame a while ago, but not one I ever explored. Their standard frames are $1600, I don't know if they charge more for custom geo or not, but it'd be worth asking.

    If I recall right, Coconino was around $2200 for custom steel frames only. He had fork addons as well, but his website seems to have been stripped down, so you'll have to email and ask.

    With a $4k budget, rigid SS, custom certainly seems like an option to me based on the builders I've spoken with. It'd be worth looking into, at least.

  17. #17
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    I just came off a 7-8 year old Kona Kula 29-er it was time to upgrade and was looking at a lot of different options. I guess a lot will depend on if you want a Steel frame. Aluminum or Carbon. And of course your budget....

    The SS+ from Giant looks interesting if your into the B+ tires:
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/xt...-27dot5plus-ss

    Ibis Makes the Tranny which is good if your into breaking down the frame for traveling.

    For me my wish list was the following:
    ** 29" wheels
    ** get something in the 20 lb range
    **Carbon frame
    **100-120 Front Suspension
    **I prefer normal tires like 2.35 so no need for "Plus" frame option

    I went with a Pivot Les Carbon. High end build and the bike weighs roughly 19-20lbs. Having a light bike will not make your ride short segments faster but it will make you faster over a 10-14 mile ride as you will have more energy left.

    On the older, heavy SS I ran 34x21 gearing and went to 34 x 19 gearing on the Les and it's much better. There are a bunch of used ones in great shape online and if they have gears it's an easy conversion.

    Just added wide 780 mm bars and that helps a lot too

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Go Ti at this price point. Ti Vassago for about 2k and rest on parts.

    The Steel Verhauen would be even better, but with no OX Platinum tubing Tom can't build the frames.
    I have been looking into the Vassagos for the past couple days and I like what I am seeing. What's the story behind this tubing?

  19. #19
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    Having been fortunate enough to have owned many nice SS frames (custom steel, custom Ti, carbon Niner and Tranny (loved the Tranny), and others my favorite bike is my current Kona Raijin with the 44mm HT. I was about to have a custom Ti frame build when I found the Raijin. After a lot of bikes and keeping notes I knew the exact geometry that I wanted and I knew I enjoy the ride of a quality Ti frame. The Raijin is damn near exactly what I wanted. I now have 500 miles on it in the last 3 months and can honestly say its the best frame I have ever been on. I have raced a 12 hour and the Shenandoah 100 on it and it has been great.

    Check out the Raijin...

  20. #20
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    stupid question alert.......what company do you mean when you say tranny?Transition? didn't feel comfortable googling tranny singlespeed....


    Back on topic

    You could also just get the Ti kona raijin for 2k

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    stupid question alert.......what company do you mean when you say tranny?Transition? didn't feel comfortable googling tranny singlespeed....


    Back on topic

    You could also just get the Ti kona raijin for 2k
    Ibis Tranny. Was a SS HT they made.
    Too Many .

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singletrackd View Post
    stupid question alert.......what company do you mean when you say tranny?Transition? didn't feel comfortable googling tranny singlespeed....
    Ibis. Don't know if they still make it...

    https://www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/past_models/tranny29/

  23. #23
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    My SS list was a

    Trek Rig Alum. it was fun. sold it to move to a Salsa El Mariachi.
    I kept breaking spokes and went to a Opti Vassago. Loved it

    Now I have a Vassago Ti Mooseknuckle. best SS I have had
    Too Many .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyCharm4x4 View Post
    I have been looking into the Vassagos for the past couple days and I like what I am seeing. What's the story behind this tubing?
    True Temper decided not to make the tubing any longer and make other stuff. I guess the decided it was not profitable.

    True Temper Throws In The Towel - Core77


    I did hear about a Columbus steel version of the Verhauen, but I have no details on it.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for all of the help thus far guys. I have been and will continue to be pouring over the details of all the SS's I could find. I am finding that I keep getting drawn towards a few details though, so I can refine my search a little.

    Current search:
    - USA made Frame - Interested in frame-only mostly, will consider completes.
    - Higher end steel - off the shelf, not custom. ($1-1.3k)
    - 29" SS (belt available would be a plus, but not necessary.

    What other brands are out there. Here's what I have so far:
    - Vassago Verhauen - pending availabilty
    - Chumba Stella
    - REEB??

  26. #26
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    REEBs are a bit more expensive, $1600 frame only, but meets all of those requirements. They use Paragon sliders and can run belt drive.

    SPOT Rocker may also be a choice, but I am not sure if they are made in the US or not though.

  27. #27
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    I do like the Spot Rocker, but don't know where they are built. I have an email in to them asking that.

  28. #28
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    Jones Plus. Been my favorite bike to ride for 2.5 years now.

  29. #29
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    Love my Chumba Stella SS in steel!
    Pedal through it!

  30. #30
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    Youíre really close to Waltworks territory, and thatís likely the best option that will tick all your boxes.


    Bikes, recipes and ranting
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    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

  31. #31
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    Thanks for all of the help guys. I ended up making a decision with the recommendations from this thread. I ended up pulling the trigger on a '17 Vassago Verhauen. I reached out to Tom (the owner) and they had a few Ox steel versions in stock (and will have the '18's out soon with Columbus steel) so I ordered a custom paint color and it should be here early next week.

    Deciding factors were American-made, geometry, weight, price, and customer service. This checked all of the boxes that I needed. I am excited to get my build going and Tom has been an amazing resource and has helped me all through the process. I can't wait to get this bike built, probably Spring-'18.


  32. #32
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    Just for a custom steel frame data point, IF and WW both start right around $1900 for a custom steel frame. Options will drive that price up, but you have to work pretty hard to get a $4k frame from either of them.

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