Calling all SASS owners- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Calling all SASS owners

    I am currently riding an ENO converted 15 year old steel frame and thinking its time for a new frame. I heard about the great deal Jenson's is having on the SASS and I think I really want one, but after reading the reviews, I'm a little hesitant. Here are the best questions I can think of to help me make the desision:

    1) Are you happy with your SASS?
    2) Would you buy one again?
    3) If not, what would you buy?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    I am currently riding an ENO converted 15 year old steel frame and thinking its time for a new frame. I heard about the great deal Jenson's is having on the SASS and I think I really want one, but after reading the reviews, I'm a little hesitant. Here are the best questions I can think of to help me make the desision:

    1) Are you happy with your SASS?
    2) Would you buy one again?
    3) If not, what would you buy?

    Thanks!
    I love my SASS and I bought it a year ago too big as I didn't want to wait for another to come in. Most of the reviews are people who don't own one. I like mine more than I ever liked my Trek Fuel 100. No I would not buy one again. This is just because I like custom frames the more SS dedicated I get (I ride Black Sheep Bikes now). It is a great ride, good luck with your choice. I raced mine from 28mi races to 24hr solos, the bike rocks!!
    Black Sheep...where it'ss at!!
    "I'm not known for my patience. Patience is a polite quality and often appropriate, but it rarely gets things done. Impatience, however, is the hunger for results and intolerance for excuses and delays." LA

  3. #3
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    What in the reviews made you hesitate? The reviews I read were all pretty positive, and although my wife only has 2 rides so far on her SASS (from Jenson!) she loves it.

  4. #4
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    My biggest concern is chain tension. I'm a big rider (220lbs) and I tend to really torque the drive components and some folks had trouble with the chain coming loose while riding. That happens to me now and it really gets on my nerves. Also, several said that the chainline was off from the factory, and several had their chainstays break. It seems that the really enthustiastic reviews are just excited to be on a SS, and I already know I love it. I just want to get a bike that I can set up and not worry about. I guess I still go back and forth between something in the SASS/surly arena to a used custom frame. Not really sure if its worth the jump, but you never know til you try!

  5. #5
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    I think the issue with the chainstays breaking was with the earlier Bianchi SISS...check the SASS reviews - http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/singlesp...t_123801.shtml I think Bianchi got their act together after all the problems with the SISS. (although the stock headset on the SASS still sucks!) Chainline on the bike we got from Jenson seems to be right on the money and no problems yet with tension...of course, my wife weighs about 125lbs, so it's not exactly a good comparison to your situation!

  6. #6
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    I like it

    I'm putting my gear on to hit the trail on my SASS right now. It's definitely a great bike for the money. It's not as nimble feeling as my aluminum SS but it feels very very stable off small drops and on the downhills. The only upgrade I would get for it is a front shock so I think the Jenson deal is awesome.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trail topher
    I'm putting my gear on to hit the trail on my SASS right now. It's definitely a great bike for the money. It's not as nimble feeling as my aluminum SS but it feels very very stable off small drops and on the downhills. The only upgrade I would get for it is a front shock so I think the Jenson deal is awesome.
    Very nice, you'll enjoy it until the next step of custom for sure, it is a great bike!! Consider a headset change with the fork, other than that she's one great ride!!
    Black Sheep...where it'ss at!!
    "I'm not known for my patience. Patience is a polite quality and often appropriate, but it rarely gets things done. Impatience, however, is the hunger for results and intolerance for excuses and delays." LA

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    1) Are you happy with your SASS?
    2) Would you buy one again?
    3) If not, what would you buy?
    Reasonably happy with it. I actually bought a SISS but when the frame broke I was given a SASS frame as a replacement.

    The only issue I have with the design is the short fork. While this gives you fast steering, it also makes it hard to lift the front end to get over obstacles, pop wheelies, etc. I am actually about to purchase a Surly Instigator fork as a replacement, it is 1.5" longer.

    Actually, a couple of other issues, since resolved. The bearings in the rear hub went in about 2 months, I replaced them and have had no problems for a couple of years now. Same with the BB, it went quick and had to be replaced. Both were crap parts stock.

    Mine is now outfitted with a Chris King headset and White Industries ENO freewheel for a totally bulletproof ride.

    I would buy another. A lot of good parts came on the bike for the price, to include the brakes, seatpost, seat, stem and handlebars.
    Last edited by mtnpat; 06-28-2006 at 10:57 AM.

  9. #9
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    I bought a Unit earlier last summer after checking out the SASS. The local shop with the SASS wouldn't work with me, the guys with the Unit would. Love the Unit. Later, in October @ Veloswap I was lucky enough to pick up a SASS for 350 I think. It's a bit bigger than the Unit but I think the SASS rides better. The back tire does slip at times, or did until I got it dialed and I only weigh 145 but like to think I hammer. I saw that deal also and thought briefly about picking another up to send to my parents house to ride on vacation and stick the shock on my wifes bike. I think the bike looks freakin' awesome in a old school BMX way as well. Still ride it rigid and only swapped out the bars so far, headset does suck. Wheels are heavy but sh!t, what do I care?
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  10. #10
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    I got my SASS a few months ago. It is my first SS, so I have nothing to compare it to. I ride it all the time. My wife likes that because now she gets to use the Maverick. I've commuted on it, mtn. biked on it, and trained for and raced the 24 Hours of ERock solo on it. I did throw on a 16 tooth for the 24 hour race. I'm loving it so far. I'm sure I could build up lighter, and I probably will at some point, but I'm not in a hurry to do so. I do have some issues of the rear wheel slipping occasionally, but nothing major. Like one of the other posters, I'd like to think I have pretty good power and I weigh in at 165. The only reason I would not buy another one is because I'm now sold on SS's and when I do get a new one, I'll probably build up something that's lighter. I have no regrets buying my SASS, though, and I've recommended it to several of my friends. You can lead a friend to a SS but you can't make him/her ride it...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Batenov
    You can lead a friend to a SS but you can't make him/her ride it...
    Ha ha ha, or you can lead a friend to a SS...and then watch the pain rush over their face as they have turned the whole SS idea into something much more masochistic inside their own heads!!
    Black Sheep...where it'ss at!!
    "I'm not known for my patience. Patience is a polite quality and often appropriate, but it rarely gets things done. Impatience, however, is the hunger for results and intolerance for excuses and delays." LA

  12. #12
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    Sure we're crazy, but its just so fun, I cant stop!

    Thanks for all the great info guys. I really appreciate it. I checked out the dimensions and the fork does seem a bit short. I'm gonna call around and see if I can find one to ride before making my final decision.

    Its tough to get modivated to spend a bunch o' money on a new bike when I have a perfectly good one at home.......but new bikes are soooooo fun!

  13. #13
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    Rationalization

    I rationalized buying the SASS to reduce wear and tear on my full suspension bike. My fs bike has been clean and tuned up in my garage for the last month now. It's definitely a good idea to try before you buy. Make sure the bike feels good for you.

  14. #14
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    Yea, I'm one of these guys that thinks you can make any bike fit if you're willing to buy a new fork/stem/riser bar/seat post etc, but then you're taking about a bit of cash. Maybe I'm wrong. I've always test rode to see if the bike 'fit' and if I liked it. I really wonder how much that really has to do with anything.

  15. #15
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    I used to lust after certain bikes after seeing their pictures or even seeing them sitting there at the LBS. Then, after a parking block test drive, I would completely dislike them. On the other other hand, I ordered a frame from the ebay and I love that thing. I never got to test ride it, I just knew from the picture; I feel the same way about the Bianchi SASS pictures.

    I've always wanted a chrome bike, never had one. Ever since all my friends had chrome BMX bikes in the eighties. It makes sense to me to get a big, chrome bmx bike.

    The Jensens' deal is incredible, and I want to do it. Slipping rear wheel?

  16. #16
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    I've been drooling over a SASS for quite a while. It is the only bike I have ever seen and wanted from first sight, but the wallet will just not allow it. I did a few parking lot tests and I love how it rides.

    Anyway I'm posting because my local Bicycle Village has them on closeout for $469, way better than Jensen. They're a big chain so it might be worth checking out if one is near you!

  17. #17
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    The rear wheel should not be "slipping" on the SASS. The rear tensioning system is rock solid and completely standard for SS, there's nothing unusually weak or deficient about it. In fact it's the best tensioning system I've used yet on an SS. The SASS uses KMC's el cheapo chain and it stretches pretty easily and wears rapidly. This is probably why people think the rear wheel "slips" in it's dropouts, when in fact it's just the crap chain getting stretched out. Plus newbie SS-ers who've always depended on a derailleur to take care of chain tension don't always appreciate how much even a decent quality chain can stretch while riding an SS, especially if you're a clyde.

    Also, the chainstay breaking problem was in the previous year model (SISS). It was fixed for the SASS, haven't heard of anyone snapping one on the SASS's yet and it's been out for a couple years now. The rear wheel bearings aren't bad on the Spot hub, it just needs to be tweaked and loosened up a bit to reset the bearings so they wont bind. Check the Spot rear hub reviews for the lowdown. The headset is cheap, best to replace it, but push comes to shove it will last for more than a year if you keep it clean and lubricated (I still have mine after three years). The chainline was out, removing the bashring and moving the chainring to the outside cured the problem. I wore out the ISIS BB in about a month, your mileage may vary. Otherwise the SASS is a good bike at a good price, dig it.

  18. #18
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    Bass

    I own a 1999 BASS, which is for the record "bad ass single speed," and could not love it more. I do also experience the rear wheel problem; as to whether the phenomenon is caused by a stretching chain I can't say. Otherwise the bike is totally solid. I believe that all of the singlespeed MTB's made by Bianchi are of the same frame geometry and all have at least the main triangle made of aluminum. Since the SISS was produced ~ 2 to 3 years [I]after[I] mine, I wonder if I have anything to worry about with respect to the chainstay? If anyone has anything to share on the subject of (slightly) older Bianchi MTB's I sure would appreciate hearing it.

  19. #19
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    i have a 2002 diss, which for the record is "disc interegrated single speed". it's te first year that they threw disc brakes on it. it is also aluminum (while i believe the sass is steel). anyway, it is my first ss. i've owned it for about 2.5 years. i am no lightweigh (as much as 210 a year ago...down to 175 now) and i beat the tar out of it every few days. no troubles AT ALL. great great bike. for the price, especially. i have zero regrets about buying it. if i had the same $ i did when i bought it, i'd definitly buy it again. as it is my next ss may very well be a high bux custom that i build slowly with an eye towards light-weight.
    Last edited by warmseth; 07-11-2006 at 12:07 AM.

  20. #20
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by warmseth
    i have a 2003 diss, which for the record is "disc interegrated single speed". it's te first year that they threw disc brakes on it. it is also aluminum (while i believe the sass is steel). anyway, it is my first ss. i've owned it for about 2.5 years. i am no lightweigh (as much as 210 a year ago...down to 175 now) and i beat the tar out of it every few days. no troubles AT ALL. great great bike. for the price, especially. i have zero regrets about buying it. if i had the same $ i did when i bought it, i'd definitly buy it again. as it is my next ss may very well be a high bux custom that i build slowly with an eye towards light-weight.
    i have a large sass frame/fork/wheelset for sale 250.00

  21. #21
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    Damnit! Why are you all so tall? Where's a medium when ya need it?

  22. #22
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    delete

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    Damnit! Why are you all so tall? Where's a medium when ya need it?

    here's one


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by croaloha
    I do also experience the rear wheel problem; as to whether the phenomenon is caused by a stretching chain I can't say.
    How does this problem manifest itself? I've heard a number of people claim this, but for the life of me I can't understand how the rear wheel could slip as long as it's properly bolted down and both chain tensioners are installed and properly adjusted. Really, it's simply not mechanically possible for the hub/wheel to slip forward in the dropouts (track ends) with it all cinched up and with the tensioners holding everything in place. My DISS is rock solid, always has been. Can you explain in more detail what happens? How do you know the wheel is "slipping?"
    Quote Originally Posted by croaloha
    I believe that all of the singlespeed MTB's made by Bianchi are of the same frame geometry and all have at least the main triangle made of aluminum.
    Yeah I believe they are all very similar from year to year. Only changes made were for finish/color, material either in alum or steel, and then a transition to disc brakes for later models. But to my knowledge they never had mixed material aluminum chainstays; i.e. steel bikes were steel through and through and aluminum bikes were aluminum through and through.
    Quote Originally Posted by croaloha
    Since the SISS was produced ~ 2 to 3 years [I]after[I] mine, I wonder if I have anything to worry about with respect to the chainstay? If anyone has anything to share on the subject of (slightly) older Bianchi MTB's I sure would appreciate hearing it.
    I've been reading about and following the Bianchi line since about 2001 and the only version I've seen have a clear and repeatable problem with chainstays was on the 2003 SISS. And the dealers were good about honoring the warranty and swapping them out for SASS's. All the other XXSS bikes have excellent reputations, I know mine has been a great bike. I also know some folks with the older versions from the 90's and early 00's, never heard anyoine having a problem with them.

  25. #25
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    wheel slipping

    Ziggy, thanks for the in-depth and free of sarcasm response, that's always appreciated. I agree that the idea of the rear wheel loosening under what seems like its own willpower from its tensioned place in the dropout seems improbable. But I am afraid the cause cannot be a stretching chain, because i have fixed the slippage problem simply by re-tensioning the assembly, without recourse to repairing the chain. Also, the one slippage occurrence I experienced "happened" very promptly, in other words, it was fine one day and unrideable by the end of the next. What do you think about this? That minor glitch notwithstanding, I'm glad that the chainstay issue is limited to the SISS. My BASS is just not replaceable. If I break my frame it will break my heart.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by croaloha
    Ziggy, thanks for the in-depth and free of sarcasm response, that's always appreciated. I agree that the idea of the rear wheel loosening under what seems like its own willpower from its tensioned place in the dropout seems improbable. But I am afraid the cause cannot be a stretching chain, because i have fixed the slippage problem simply by re-tensioning the assembly, without recourse to repairing the chain. Also, the one slippage occurrence I experienced "happened" very promptly, in other words, it was fine one day and unrideable by the end of the next. What do you think about this? That minor glitch notwithstanding, I'm glad that the chainstay issue is limited to the SISS. My BASS is just not replaceable. If I break my frame it will break my heart.
    Try a Surley chain tug if the rear wheel is coming loose. My Bianchi tug never worked and if you get the Surley one all the rear wheel coming loose problems will be solved. I had this issue with my SASS for a while. Good luck.
    Black Sheep...where it'ss at!!
    "I'm not known for my patience. Patience is a polite quality and often appropriate, but it rarely gets things done. Impatience, however, is the hunger for results and intolerance for excuses and delays." LA

  27. #27
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    Hey man no problem, more than happy to provide some "SASS" free content. nyuk...
    Quote Originally Posted by croaloha
    ...I am afraid the cause cannot be a stretching chain, because i have fixed the slippage problem simply by re-tensioning the assembly, without recourse to repairing the chain. Also, the one slippage occurrence I experienced "happened" very promptly, in other words, it was fine one day and unrideable by the end of the next. What do you think about this?
    So I take it the chain tension was fine before one ride, and the wheel was properly installed, the axle bolts tightened down firmly and the tensioners were in place, properly adjusted and with their locknuts secured and tightened too? And then you went for a ride, and came back and then the chain was all droopy? And the chain wasn't new and unbroken in? And the only plausible explanation was that the wheel slipped forward in the dropouts? Hmm, dunno about that one. One thing that can happen, and often does on my fleet, is that the chainring and/or the rear cog is almost always somewhat out of round. This causes the chain to vary in tension as it cycles around the ring/cog. Sometimes it can be very pronounced, where the chain will get really quite taught at one crank position, and then as you continue to rotate it, it'll then loosen to a point where there's actually too much slack. Is it possible that prior to the ride the crank just happened to be in a position to cause a tighter chain tension and then after the ride it was in a looser position? Also, if the chainring bolts were loose (or not fully tightened) the ring can actually slip in its position somewhat while in use and develop an out of round condition during the ride as a consequence of this (especially if you bash the ring/guard on a log). It might also be possible a cheap freewheel could get out of round from heavy usage too, I suppose. If you visit the sheldon brown website he has a good description on how to help minimize the out of round chainring effect.

    Also the Bianchi bikes are inexpensive, so the finish on the dropouts can sometimes be a bit crude. What I mean by this is that when the dropout is welded to the rear triangle it can deform somewhat which sometimes negatively affects the way bolt on components match up with their mating holes/slots. For instance on my DISS I actually had to use a rat tail file to file out the disk brake slots a little before the caliper would easily slide up and down the full range of motion. Also, I had to slightly face the side of the disc mount surface so that the caliper would mount more perpendicular to the axle (and thereby preclude disc rub against the pads). It's also possible these welding heat distortive effects could slightly twist the track ends (i.e. horizontal dropouts) so that the male portion on the tensioner may not be fully inserting/mating into the dropout. If this were to happen and the axle bolt wasn't real tight, then it's conceivable that the wheel would appear to be all cinched up, but in fact not be and possibly slip during a ride. So, if the tensioners do not easily and fully insert/mate into their respective track end slots, then slightly filing open the ends might fix the problem.

    The only other thing I can think of is that maybe the bottom bracket experienced a rapid partial failure and developed significant play within one ride, which I suppose is possible. I know before the ISIS and Octalink BB's fully let go they really get a good side to side orbit going on, which will definitely affect chain tension. Was the BB ok?

  28. #28
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    I rode a cuss for 4+ years and loved it....it was aluminum though, is the sass steel?
    BELIEVE
    Imagine what you could achieve if you knew you would not fail.

  29. #29
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    Yup! Having ridden steel for the last year, I dont think I'd ever go back to Aluminum. Just me though...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by warmseth
    i have a 2002 diss, which for the record is "disc interegrated single speed".
    For the record, whats the SASS acronym? I don't know.

    I have a SASS and never had a problem with it. I just dust off the chain once a month with the chain cleaner and sometimes squeeze some lubricant on it when it starts to get pretty squeeky. I hardly check the tires. Just a quick visual that its not comepletely flat. I ride the SASS when my finicky mantra and truth gives me drivetrain problems or when I'm short on time to prep the bikes before the ride. Think with most single speeds, the SASS is a "get on and ride" machine. It won't give you trouble especially if you treat it like crap. The thing I like and dislike is the bolt-on rear hub. Bolt-on makes for a solid rear end but changing a flat will be most inconvenient. Other than that, no wheel slippage.

  31. #31
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    SASS: Shiny A$$ Single Speed...

  32. #32
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    Another SASSer here

    I've had my SASS for over a year. I would recommend it wholeheartedly. It's my first SS, first hard tail and first steel bike but third mountain bike since '99. I would buy it again.
    The geometry makes it nimble, the steel, smooth and the chrome beautiful. I put a SID World cup Carbon fork on it, chrome CK headset, carbon bars and post with magnesiun stem and Frog pedals. It weighs just over 23lbs.
    Once I realized I was hooked I thought my natural progression would be to get a custom steel frame some time in the future. Now I ask myself what I would change and I can't think of much.
    Yes the chainline is off a bit. As a previous poster has said, taking off the bash guard and switching the chainring to the outside would solve that. Or I could splash out on a new rear wheel and space the rear cog accordingly. Or a new crankset with out board bearings perhaps? I have done none of these YET because the huge chain has no problem with the off set line.
    As to rear wheel slippage: I found that the bolts that set the chain tensioner would rattle loose during a ride. Pipe tape took care of that. I noticed that when I set the chain tension properly prior to tightening the axle bolts that the hub would move backwards when I tensioned the drive side bolt. Now I keep one finger pressed down on the middle of the chain while I tension that.
    I grew up with Sturmey Archer 3 speeds and setting correct chain tension was instilled early. I set mine a tiny bit looser than I would normally to accomodate the off chain line.
    Lastly, 'tis a thing of beauty!

  33. #33
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    Guss

    had the GUSS for 1.5 years. only thing i don't like is the low-end Easton product.

    WTB rims good, ENO hub.... for the price its great,.

    Team Reba fork blew out the air seals, but that was RockShox deal,

    for an out-of the box SS, Bianchi is doing it best as of late.

  34. #34
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    SASS = Sweet Ass Single Speed. I believe it's left open for interpreation. My SASS 2004 is still favorite bike ever. The geometry and looks. It's the only bike that people comment regularly, people that aren't bike heads: "Wow, the Italians have such style!" My SASS:

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/racingmix/2211922929/" title="Chromed Out Gold Digger by RACINGMIX, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2345/2211922929_0e2dc31130.jpg" width="357" height="500" alt="Chromed Out Gold Digger" /></a>

    QUESTION: Does anyone know the bottom bracket info as follows:

    For a JIS bottom bracket square taper, do I go for the 113mm or 108mm and for the cups, is it 68, 70, or 73mm?

    This info is needed as I am going to swap out my hallowtech external BB, Shimano Saint, which is a badass crankset with stealth bomber steez, to another bike.. and go with a traditional square taper crankset.
    Creative Producer, Will of the Sun, Platform Pedal Shootout 1M+ views WoS

  35. #35
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    The spindle length you'll need will depend on your rear chainline. If you're using a cassette style freehub you can adjust the rear chainline. If you're using a freewheel your chainline is fixed. You have a 68mm BB shell. You'll probably want the 113mm, but I've seen people needing 130mm spindles. Every square taper crankset is different. You might have to mock it up with another BB and see how much you'll have to change it to get the chainline correct.

  36. #36
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    Hey SASS owners - what about replacing the stock fork with a titanium polished fork? There is a fork I'm looking at - titanium fork much like a segmented steel fork in construction. Smooth and recommended? What about the offset and the rake and the length - are they ok? The SASS works wonderfully with an 80mm suspension fork (Fox F80 terralogic). Can anyone provide yes/no if a 66mm suspension fork equivalent rigid fork would work on the SASS. I have a 2004 Bianchi SASS (chrome 26" single speed).

    These are the specs:

    Material: Titanium alloy
    Specification: 26" wheel, 1-1/8 steerer tube (9.5" steerer tube length)
    Weight: 605g (with 250mm steerer tube)
    Crown to axel: 405mm (66mm suspension fork travel equivalent)

    Creative Producer, Will of the Sun, Platform Pedal Shootout 1M+ views WoS

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: metrotuned's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1,808
    What's all this about XACD and Excel making inferior products? How do the welds look on the fork? They look good to me, no? Was that Waltworks talking ish about XACD forks back 5 years ago? Surely improvements have been made?
    Creative Producer, Will of the Sun, Platform Pedal Shootout 1M+ views WoS

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