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  1. #1
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    Chinese build

    Hi guys,


    I will be doing a write up of a small project. No idea if it's any good But it might come in usefully for some people.


    First of all…. I ride a 2012 Kona Unit which I bought in 2013 as a late model.


    Over the years I changed quite a lot:

    Thomson handlebar, stem & seatpost + clamp

    Stans crest SS wheelset

    XT cranks with 33T e.thirteen chainring

    Chris King 18T stainless steel for

    Tubeless mounted Maxxis Icon 2.2 tires

    DT Swiss 470 carbon rigid fork


    Actually, only the frame and the Avid BB7 brakes are still the same.


    The bike comes weight is 9.5kg (21lbs).


    I absolutely adore this bike. Done so many miles on it and I just don't want to get rid of it. But the paint is coming off in a couple of places and since it's a steel bike, I should be doing something about that.

    So I decided I want the frame powder coated.

    In the meantime I won't have a single speed and that's kind of disturbing. The solution: I bought a BXT Chinese carbon frame with fork that I'm going to build up with the parts from my Kona.


    The initial idea is to use it as a temporary bike… but who knows, maybe the chinese frame will surprise me.


    So why the BXT frame:

    Cheap as hell. €285 for frame, fork and seatpost (+€70 on import tax)

    Frame can be convert to 135mm quick release since that's what my current rear wheel is

    Carbon fork can be bought as quick release since that's what my current front wheel is

    Bottom bracket BB76 since that's what my current t bottom bracket is.

    And did I mention that is cheap as hell?



    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    It actually looks suprisingly well. Feels a bit too plastic when used to steel. But I'll manage to live with that

    The carbon weave looks quite nice.

    As for the weight it's seriously light, but again I'm used to steel.
    1625 grams for frame, seatpost, seatpost clamp and headset
    590 grams for the fork

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Nice! Can't wait to hear your thoughts. I'm in a similar situation myself.

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    Almost done...

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjansen83 View Post
    Almost done...

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
    Damn dude! That looks slick with those skin walls!!

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    For now... All done.

    Although the chain tensioner is making a rattling noise. No idea if that's normal. Maybe I should just buy a more expensive one.

    Will get the scale out tomorrow

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Any reason you didn't go BB30 or something so you could use an EBB?
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Any reason you didn't go BB30 or something so you could use an EBB?
    I wanted to use everything from my kona unit. And that was a BSA bracket.

    Maybe it was a stupid choice. Maybe not, who knows

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    How were the tolerances on the frame? I have worked on a couple of these (maybe not from the same place as yours) that were brought into the shop and they seemed to have little to no QC for tolerance. Wheels not lining up properly in the dropouts, disc mounts not being in the optimal place... things like that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjansen83 View Post
    I wanted to use everything from my kona unit. And that was a BSA bracket.
    Gotcha, that does save $100. Good luck with the build!
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    How were the tolerances on the frame? I have worked on a couple of these (maybe not from the same place as yours) that were brought into the shop and they seemed to have little to no QC for tolerance. Wheels not lining up properly in the dropouts, disc mounts not being in the optimal place... things like that.
    Only did a 200 meter ride and I didn't feel anything strange.
    Calipers alligned the same as the steel frame.

    Will let you know after the first gravel ride

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    one thing that i found was that chain slap on the top of the chain stay was really loud on my bike. i put a lizard skin protector on and that helped a ton. i hope someone makes a clutch tensioner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefflinde View Post
    one thing that i found was that chain slap on the top of the chain stay was really loud on my bike. i put a lizard skin protector on and that helped a ton. i hope someone makes a clutch tensioner
    DMR tensioner uses two bolts to keep it in place. Best way to go if you are using a tensioner in my opinion. That way it's a fixed tension and not a spring tension.

    DMR Simple Tension Seeker | Chain Reaction Cycles
    Last edited by theruns; 08-20-2018 at 10:54 AM. Reason: missed a point

  14. #14
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    The bike looks great except... - and that's just my personal opinion here - I can't get over the tensioner. I've been wanting to get on a raceable carbon xc SS frame for years now, when Specialized still had single speed Stumpjumper frame in their line up. Last model year was 2014, I believe. It looked like a beautifully executed sliding drop out system. Unfortunately, that frame was unobtanium in Canada, where I am.
    There doesn't seem to be much interest from manufacturers to offer anything similar nowadays, plus trends have definitely shifted in geo and standards department. The only current carbon offerings with tension achieved by some kind of sliding or swinging drop out set up that I know of are Pivot Les and Giant Advanced XTC, neither of which tick all or even most of my boxes as far as cost, geometry with a rigid (read: shorter) fork, and compatibility with at least some of my current components, that I'd like to be able to re-use.
    These "Chiners" seem to be a bit more old school that I think would suit me, but I'd love for at least one of them to have a sliding drop out system, I'd be all over it...

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    I think that peoples trepidation's about tensioners are odd to say the least. reading in this forum about the lengths that people are going to find that perfect chain length and the concessions they are willing to make in terms of serviceability, gearing choices, bike frame options and chain stay length makes me laugh. I never would have guessed that single speeders are that hung up on looks to sacrifice all of the above. for instance, people will write off a frame because the chain stay is 5mm too long. yet they ride a sliding drop out frame with 20mm of adjustment. WTF. or they have a gearing combo that perfectly fits the bike so the drop out is all the way forward (until it stretches) but then they are stuck with that gear ratio. what if you go to a hilly track or a really flat track?

    A chain tensioner solves all these problems. you can run an frame, any gear and change gears in few seconds. i can go from a 34/22 to a 34/13 and do nothing besides change my cog. for those looking to race i would thing that tailoring your gearing to the track would be very important.

    I guess you just want to look "cool" as you spin out on flat courses or struggle up the hilly ones.

    sorry rant over. carry on.

  16. #16
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    OP. love the build by the way. the skin walls look amazing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Chinese build-thumb_img_1442_1024.jpg  

    Chinese build-thumb_img_1532_1024.jpg  


  17. #17
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    the trepidation over chain tensioners is not just about looks. so far, all of them suck balls from a function standpoint. having a bouncy chain sucks when you compare it to the smooth, silent feeling of a bike with something like sliders, EBB, swinging dropouts, etc. I would ride a frame that is not SS-specific if I could find a tensioner that does not suck and works with a 142x12 thru axle, which probably rules out the DMR tensioner.

  18. #18
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    I am running the Shimano alfine tensioner and it works with any bike with a hanger. right now it is on a fat bike with 197mm TA. the worse part about the single jockey wheel ones i have used is the jockey wheel is not a bearing or the shittiest bearing possibly made. the Alfine uses std shimano jockeys or you can change them out to what ever you want. hell run some ceramic speeds.

  19. #19
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    OP, any idea on a final weight?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefflinde View Post
    OP, any idea on a final weight?
    Hi, sorry haven't had a lot of time to respond.
    Final weight of the bike is 8.5kg.

    It is seriously stiff and incredibly fast. First ride I dropped 4 seconds off a Strava segment I've been doing for 3 years.

    Still don't like the hanger. Have the idea it isn't working very well, it's making noise and most of all..... It's ugly as hell.

    Doubting to convert to 5-6speed (10speed cassette on SS hub) and rebuilding my Kona Unit a bit faster then planned

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefflinde View Post
    I think that peoples trepidation's about tensioners are odd to say the least. reading in this forum about the lengths that people are going to find that perfect chain length and the concessions they are willing to make in terms of serviceability, gearing choices, bike frame options and chain stay length makes me laugh. I never would have guessed that single speeders are that hung up on looks to sacrifice all of the above. for instance, people will write off a frame because the chain stay is 5mm too long. yet they ride a sliding drop out frame with 20mm of adjustment. WTF. or they have a gearing combo that perfectly fits the bike so the drop out is all the way forward (until it stretches) but then they are stuck with that gear ratio. what if you go to a hilly track or a really flat track?

    A chain tensioner solves all these problems. you can run an frame, any gear and change gears in few seconds. i can go from a 34/22 to a 34/13 and do nothing besides change my cog. for those looking to race i would thing that tailoring your gearing to the track would be very important.

    I guess you just want to look "cool" as you spin out on flat courses or struggle up the hilly ones.

    sorry rant over. carry on.
    You sound like someone who has a strong opinion on tensioners, but has never used one. The ones I've tried have been noisy, don't stay tensioned that well, and you can feel the chain dragging because of them.

    People don't go out of their way to avoid them because of aesthetics, they go out of their way because if you're building a dedicated single speed there are hundreds of frames to choose from that are actually made to be run single speed.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    there are hundreds of frames to choose from that are actually made to be run single speed.
    hundreds? for a mountain bike, I think there are fewer than 30 on the market today. that's why I would like to be open to the idea of a tensioner.

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