Budget Single-Speed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Budget Single-Speed

    I just won my fantasy football league, and got a little bit of cash. If I don't spend it soon, the wife will use it to pay our Christmas Credit Card Bills! I'm really interested on trying a single-speed, but I don't have a lot of money to spend. I was looking at Nashbar Bee's Knees and 29er, however the size I need, 21" are no longer offered. I've also looked at BD's Gravity SS Bikes. I know another option is to go used, but are there any other options I'm missing?
    1992 Trek 800 Antelope
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  2. #2
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    Karate Monkeys are reasonable and great bikes.

  3. #3
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    I agree, the Karate Monkey is a nice bike, but it's above my budget. I was hoping to spend around $500.00
    1992 Trek 800 Antelope
    2009 Haro Mary SS
    2015 Trek Stache 7
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 9

  4. #4
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    Look on Craigslist in your area and work from there. Otherwise I think red line monocoque is in that budget. Do you have any spare parts to make it cheaper?

  5. #5
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    At that price point I would consider three things.

    Best option probably is to watch craigslist for a Redline Monocog, they come up from time to time, try Searchtempest. Might take a while. There's a practically new one in my town for $750 obo, next closest one is 600 miles away, although at $400 it looks like a great deal.

    Second option is Nashbar, assuming they ever plan to stock it in your size. Did you call them?

    The 29er is discussed at length here http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/n...ke-611987.html

    There are some gripes about tire clearance up front. Tire and wheel choice is key to enjoying a rigid ss and it won't be long before you wonder if your upgrade path is blocked. So it's not a slam dunk. Dunno about the 650b. Same issue, really. I haven't totally drunk the 29er Kool-Ade but kinda get the feeling the mechanical advantage of the big wheels, and long cranks helps gearing-wise if you're ss'ing. Me, I'd hold out for 29er.

    Third and hardest option.

    If you're really handy, or have a buddy who is, check this frame On-One Inbred 29er Single Speed Mountain Bike Frame LTD Edition | Planet X.

    Sourcing parts will be interesting. In particular that thing's finicky about brakes.

    Lessee:
    Frame: 214
    Donor bike (26er, hydro brakes) 100
    Fork 100 (gotta get lucky, watch for surly forks on ebay)
    Wheels 130 eg WTB SX23 29 Inch Wheelset w/ Shimano M475 Hubs (I think you want shimano hubs, their QR skewers are supposedly OK for ss, and are rebuildable in any event. Could go used but bet you won't save much money. If your buddy can lace wheels, you have a number of good options.)
    Tires 80 (up to you but for pete's sake get new tires)
    Surly cog + cr + tug: 90
    Sell frame and wheels on cl: ? -50
    Six pack of Marble IPA: 12

    My position, and I'm sticking to it, and wifey seems to be buying it so far, is that shipping, labor (eg, swapping headset), cable, and wear items (chains, bearings, bb, pads, cogs) don't count. So maybe that's close enough?

    The first two options work best if your idea of upgrading is to sell the old bike and buy a new one. Which is the smart way I think. But, if you aren't that smart (I know I'm not) that on-one frame is one you can live with.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips TampaDave! Unfortunately Nashbar is out of 21" 29ers and Bee's Knees. I never knew about "searchtempest", what a great website! Going the On-One route is tempting, as I already have some donor parts from my trail bike. I would just need a wheelset, crankset, rigid fork, and bottom bracket. Now I just have to get the wife onboard!
    1992 Trek 800 Antelope
    2009 Haro Mary SS
    2015 Trek Stache 7
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 9

  7. #7
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    I personally wouldn't put money into cranks, just unbolt the chainrings and put an ss ring on there and you're gtg.

    Which is good, the fork will be tricky. Options:
    - Buy used Surly or Salsa 29er fork on ebay. It'll be a tad short, giving you a very steep head tube angle of ~73 degrees. You might like it, it should make for a sharp handling bike. If you don't like it, put the fork back on ebay, it'll sell.
    - Get a 490mm carbon fork, eg eXotic or On-One, ~$160-200. The On-One is pretty cool, hard to find a 29er fork with 50mm of offset.

    And brakes, BB7's are a PIA to fit on that frame. Might be worth a call to see what's supposed to work.

    You saw this, right? Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Gravity 29 SS Single Speed 29er Mountain Bikes

    Same thing, blemished: BikeIsland.com - Bicycle Parts, Accessories and Clothing at Affordable Prices with Free Shipping

  8. #8
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    Thanks again for the advice for the build up options with the One-Up.

    I have checked out the Gravity G29 SS and the Gravity 27Five SS. The G29 SS looks pretty sweet for the money, but I'm concerned with the durability of the wheelset. I don't care that it's most likely heavy as hell, I just want it to be durable as I'm 280lb. The Gravity 27Five SS has no-name wheels, but people seem to like the bike on the forums.

    I've also been eyeing the Swobo Mutineer, but I don't see any reviews on it.
    1992 Trek 800 Antelope
    2009 Haro Mary SS
    2015 Trek Stache 7
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 9

  9. #9
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    OK run over to OSBikes.com, got a couple of things I want to show you.

    First, about the designer, just so you know: Mark Slate | The Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

    Nice bike eh? It's not just something to drool over, just want to point out that there's a lot of innovation going on with 29er geometry, and the idea of a steep head tube angle is alive and well, he'll put you on 74 degrees if you want.

    Now look at his forks. 51mm offset. You need a lot of offset with big wheels to lighten up the steering. Even with steep angles.

    You can make a bike with shorter chainstays, but you do so at the expense of compliance and climbing ability. So. The Blackbuck should be an extremely quick-handling bike with a nice ride, and it should climb like a mountain goat. I think the reviews bear this out. This is the concept you'll be going for with the Inbred frame.

    In fact, Slate will sell you a fork for cheap ($100, he should charge more) so, if you dig that frame, you can take the first step now.

    Now, look at the smallest fork he has, the 435mm. That's a very interesting fork.

    I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I'll just lay it out there: 69er is one option for you. Advantages:

    - Cheap. Inbred ss-specific steel frame, 20 inch, for $213. (Call em, got a nickel says they'll give it to you for less.)
    - Strong. You can get a Sun Rhyno Lite rear wheel for cheap. Get one built on a shimano M525 hub, take it down to the LBS and have them put a solid axle and polished races in there, lube it up with Phil Wood grease, and you'll have a nice, bulletproof rear wheel setup. Up front, your fork is considerably shorter, which I think might make it a tad less likely to fold on you.
    - Comfort. That Sun rim is nice and wide, plumps up a 2.2 tire really nice, and it sets up tubeless well. Chainstays are long. Those things combine to cush the ride more than you'd think. It'll cash any check the front wheel writes. STA is a reasonable 73.5, compared to ~75 on the 29er frame with an 80mm sus-corrected fork.
    - Good geometry. That 435 fork will get your AC length a smidge less than a sagged 100mm 26er suspension fork, so your HTA should be ~70.5, well within the design parameters for that bike. BB comes up a smidge, plenty of room for 175mm cranks and maybe room to run 180's. It'll climb well but now you can go back downhill too. Personally think a slack geometry kinda works for rigid, but YMMV. So let's not say "good geometry," let's just say "different."
    - Sharp steering. Trail should be 79mm. Show me a 29er that has trail numbers in the 70's (I can name two, both of which are beyond your budget.)

    Disadvantages:

    - Rolling resistance is higher, although if you're willing to look at 650b, that shouldn't bother you. I mean, it nets out the same, but you get at least one 29" wheel, and you get it where you want the most roll-over ability.
    - Less traction out back. You can make up for that by running aggressive tread -- I had good luck running a Bonty XR4 out back -- or you can learn how to enjoy drifting through turns. Don't knock it till you've tried it.
    - You may not want slack geometry. On a really tight trail you'll tend to run wide in turns. If you're bombing through tight stuff, you might want a steep front end and more traction out back.
    - Resale. That frame will be in your garage forever.

    To be clear, with an unlimited budget, at your height, there's literally no good reason to run 26 out back. But. If you're on a limited budget, you can build a really great bike, the back half of which will be dirt-cheap.

  10. #10
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    If it's easier for you to find a geared bike within your budget, you can always just throw on a tensioner, get a SS chainring and SS cog/spacer kit. I've had some kick ass SS's by taking that route!

    Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8Interceptor View Post
    I agree, the Karate Monkey is a nice bike, but it's above my budget. I was hoping to spend around $500.00
    keep in mind that you have to be specific about what you mean by "budget." to some people, a $2000 steel hardtail is a "budget" bike compared to the fleet of $11,000 carbon bikes they have in their garage.

  12. #12
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    There is no such thing as a budget SS.....if you spend the money to get a cheap SS, you are just throwing money away.

    You will get one, like it and start throwing more money at it. I did the same thing when I first got into SS'ing.

    Bought a Monocog 29er for $400. Within 4 weeks, had dropped $400 for a Reba, $250 for Juicy 7's, $100 for King HS, $75 for new bars/grips, $25 for new Cog. Fortunately, I got some new tires to demo for free, or that would have been another $70. Also, I got rid of it before the wheels went bad.

    So my budget SS wasn't so budget.
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  13. #13
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    I totally understand. I've dropped so much money on my Stache 7 in upgrades, I could've bought a Remedy 8. However, the way I rationalize my upgrades, if I had bought a Remedy 8, I still would have dropped tons of money on wheels, carbon bars, etc.

    I understand if I buy a cheap SS from Bikes Direct or Nashbar, I know I'm getting a cheap bike. Luckily, I have a lot of quality parts taking up shelf space in my garage that I can swap out. I would love to buy an Ibis Tranny, Surly Karate Monkey, or a Kona, but that's not in the cards for me. It's just not going to happen anytime soon. I started this thread to see if there were any other vendors I should consider other Nashbar or Bikes Direct to buy a SS for around $500.00.
    1992 Trek 800 Antelope
    2009 Haro Mary SS
    2015 Trek Stache 7
    2017 Trek Fuel EX 9

  14. #14
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    Used Kona Unit is the ticket. Should be able to get one for under $600.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    There is no such thing as a budget SS.....if you spend the money to get a cheap SS, you are just throwing money away.
    I like my budget SS.
    2003 Diamondback Vectra Sport with an old pair of Rock Shox SID's and a DMR STS tensioner.
    34/20 gearing.

    Probably owes me $300us including the Flow EX front, forks, brakes and oval front ring.

    Good for racing XC too.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8Interceptor View Post

    Luckily, I have a lot of quality parts taking up shelf space in my garage that I can swap out.
    So build, for pete's sake. Buying at the very bottom of the market with the idea of upgrading doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

    Are you OK with alloy? NINER ONE 9 FRAME (100127304) at CambriaBike.com . Comes with that bodacious niner EBB, a headset, and a *bottle opener.*

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampaDave View Post
    So build, for pete's sake. Buying at the very bottom of the market with the idea of upgrading doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

    Are you OK with alloy? NINER ONE 9 FRAME (100127304) at CambriaBike.com . Comes with that bodacious niner EBB, a headset, and a *bottle opener.*
    That would be the base for a very nice ride.
    Maybe not a Clyde level ride, but a nice ride nonetheless.

  18. #18
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    Used Karate Monkeys are aplenty and a better buy than the inexpensive singlespeeds you can buy online. I regularly see upgraded ones sell for $600-700 on some of the Facebook for sale groups.

    FWIW, I have a Redline Monocog Flight & a newer Salsa El Mariachi. Both of those would also be good options for a singlespeed.

    Buy used & you'll get a better value. Also, you'll have a better platform to build on.

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