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  1. #1
    Suburban Redneck
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    First SS build nearly done.

    About two weeks ago I reacquired my first mountain bike. It's a '91 Diamond Back Topanga. Over the course of my original ownership I had upgraded some parts like we all do. Upon inspecting it after getting it back I realized the shifters were shot so I did what felt natural. I ripped the drivetrain apart. And tossed it. I replaced the Hyperdrive ('glide?) crankset with an Alivio ($29 shipped) unit and replaced the big rig with a BBG bashguard. Also removed the inner ring. I also picked up a Forte SS conversion kit from Performance for $25. Swapped out the brake/shift combos for some older Avid levers and trashed the 14 year old Specialized tires. I'm waiting for a lighter-weight seatpost to arrive and I'm trying to decide on whether or not to keep the bar ends (retro) or get a set of lock-ons for it.

    This is my first attempt at single-speeding and the bike's primary purpose will be kicking around the 'hood with the kidlings. However, I'm already looking for a low-cost frame to build up that will be a trail-worthy SS. I'm sick like that (meaning I'm already looking to upgrade before this one is even done). I'll get some pics up later.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  2. #2
    Suburban Redneck
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    Ok, it's pretty much done except for seatpost, brakepads and a new chain. Wrapped it all up last night and rode around the neighborhood for a bit. Currently running 32x18.
    Before:

    After:




    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  3. #3
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    Looks pretty trail-worthy to me, I'd say take it out and flog it! Enjoy!

  4. #4
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    Sweet build. Now take it out and ride it!

  5. #5
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    Nice conversion, looks trail ready to me. Take it out and learn to love your old bike again.
    Rockin it Fixed On my Iron Horse In Adelaide ,South Australia

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...17#post8293017

  6. #6
    Suburban Redneck
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    Thanks for the kind words! Brauluver, after spending about two hours riding with my kids~who by the way have the riding passion at 8 and 5~I'm certainly loving the old rig.

    Gotta say that the bike feels ten pounds lighter after stripping off the old gear and upgrading some other parts. Real snappy ride now. It's like being 18 again. Which, for the record, was twenty years ago! Now I just have to find some relatively flat/rolling trails to get her dirty again. My usual stomping grounds are a bit much for me as a SS newb.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  7. #7
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    I had nearly the same story...Got my first bike back ('94 Topanga no less) and converted it over to a SS. Although I liked it, I had problems with pulling the wheel out of the dropout on hard climbs..In the end I went to a 1x9 and it's great.

    Cool build in my book..Enjoy it!

  8. #8
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    Yeah Boxman, some of my favorite bikes that see more riding time now are my least expensive/oldest builds. Even though many new single speed rigs look unbelievable and I'm sure are magic to ride, I feel good every time I throw a leg over an older bike. Besides, I've got kids too and a $5000 bike isn't in my near future. Get those kids of yours out, and ride the **** out of that bike - that'll be worth more than any upgrade!

  9. #9
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    I'm doing my 1st SS also.. I can't wait to get her finished... The SS look so clean..

  10. #10
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    I agree. I have a frame on the way that internal rear brake line chase.
    2011 Specialized Allez
    2011 LTKO23 w/ carbon lefty and Stans Race Golds

  11. #11
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    Love the pain job! HA!

  12. #12
    Suburban Redneck
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    Quote Originally Posted by linadog View Post
    Love the pain job! HA!
    I'm willing to bet that the textured paint adds about a pound to the weight of the bike.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  13. #13
    Suburban Redneck
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    Made a few more changes. Upgraded the cockpit on my FS rig so the SS got the old riser (complete with Club Roost crossbrace) as well as the WTB saddle. Also added a pair of Performance brand ergo grips. Still debating whether or not to throw my spare Smarty pedals on it. At the moment it serves as my "Kickin around the 'hood" bike and not sure if I want the "hassle" of chaging my shoes to ride it.
    And despite the fact that it has yet to see any real trails, with the weather warming and the kids wanting to ride all the time it's getting the crap ridden out of it. Totally digging the simplicity and it has even served as a conversation starter with a neighbor (I have a mountain bike, but it has gears?!?!?!)
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  14. #14
    CB2
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    Jam Econo
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    My first mtb was a Topanga as well ('93). Rode the heck out if that bike. Upgraded everything but the headset.

  15. #15
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    looks good! Love seeing the old bikes rejuvenated!

  16. #16
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxman12 View Post
    And despite the fact that it has yet to see any real trails, with the weather warming and the kids wanting to ride all the time it's getting the crap ridden out of it. Totally digging the simplicity and it has even served as a conversation starter with a neighbor (I have a mountain bike, but it has gears?!?!?!)
    Nice build. The way you have it built up I'd be hitting the trails. Only danger is you might decide that gears and suspension are not really needed. I've heard it before from lots of folks and there seems to be a joy in just being able to ride without the added complexity.

  17. #17
    Just Ride
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    Nice build. Does the chain slip under heavy load? I ask because mine did when I converted. Also 32/18. When I had the tensioner pushing the chain down. Using it to push the chain up, I have had no slip issues at all!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  18. #18
    Suburban Redneck
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    So far no issues at all with slippage. We'll see what happens when there is an actual climb.
    I'm not big-boned, I'm a Clyde.

  19. #19
    Just Ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxman12 View Post
    So far no issues at all with slippage. We'll see what happens when there is an actual climb.
    Yea, that's when you'll notice it if at all. Mine was fine on flat and short/easy climbs. But when it came time to actually grind a climb is when it would skip.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

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