Well, I finally took the plunge and built up my first SS. I took it out today for the first time. I did the emigrant trail north of Truckee out to Stampede Resevoir. About 22 miles total, mostly rolling, one or two longer climbs but nothing all that big, and not that steep. I had done this trail with my heckler many times and never needed the granny. It was never that big a deal, but today it kicked my @ss.

I first started thinking SS (or at least hardtail) when I notice that rolling xc trails were starting to bore the pants off of me on the Heckler. These were the type of trails that used to put a huge smile on my face when I started riding 7 or 8 years ago. I though "well, I've still got the old beater I was riding then (well, the frame at least and a mish-mash of spare parts) so how about I ride that?" It was an mid 90's GT steel hardtail that is too small for me with an x-vert fork that was about 2-1/2" too tall for the frame. Didn't matter. I had a blast. I have been hearing about and seeing ss a lot lately, so one day I decided to try using my middle ring (32t) and my 18t cog and never change gears. Didn't think I could do it, but I surprised the heck out of myself, and was stoked to do more. I figured sinse I wanted a new hardtail frame anyway, why not try SS?

I bought the Zion 853 EBB frame from Jenson. I pulled most of what I needed off the old beater bike, and spare parts laying around. All I bought was a new ring, bash guard, the Gusset ss conversion kit (comes with a 16t and a 18t cog), chain, and seatpost. I'll put up a picture with a review soon.

Anyway, it was a blast today, and I am stoked to go back and hit many of the trails I had written off as boring.

Kapusta