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  1. #1
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    Interesting 1x1 Story/Build

    This is my build up of my Surly 1x1. I noticed not many people post builds because, well, building a single speed bicycle is not exactly a complicated thing. I thought my situation was a little interesting and I just wanted to share.

    About six months ago, I bought an older 1x1 frameset (pre disc mounts) at the bike swap here in Tucson, AZ. It came with the frame, fork, headset, seat post, bottom bracket, and the old style 1x1 hub in the rear, all for $40. Little did I know, there was a major problem with this frame. I got it home, and pulled the seat post out, and to my surprise, the seat post was only inserted about 2 inches, as it had been cut in half. Weird. So I started looking at the seat tube, and to my surprise, there was half a seat post stuck about 4 inches down into the seat tube. Not only that, instead of removing the seat post (I'm sure they tried), the previous owner had the balls to try and DRILL the seat post out of the seat tube. If the bit had gone straight into the tube, MAYBE this would have been a good idea, but it didn't, so it wasn't. What was left was a seat tube full of metal shavings, with half a seat post stuck in the middle, which was paper thin at the top due to the crooked drilling. Needless to say, it was a little unsafe to ride this thing, even if I wanted to. I was simply amazed.

    I am fortunate enough to have a host of fabrication equipment at my disposal, so I decided to fix it. I emailed surly, and called around, and I couldn't easily find a replacement tube, so I started looking around the shop, and happened to have a piece of 4130 that would work! It's slightly thicker wall than stock, but itís free and ready to go. So, my buddy and I started cutting after jigging it up to the table. Sorry for the phone pics but it's all I had in the shop...



    There were surprises inside...




    Tube removed.



    After TIG welding the new tube in.



    After that was done, I had the frame powder coated, found a decal kit online, and started collecting parts. I built my wheels using the rear hub that came with it, a front surly new hub, dt spokes, and syncros bog box rims.






    Not quite done, still need to work out some kinks, but it should be done within the next week or so. Thanks to all you guys for all of the advice I got when selecting parts, did a lot of searching on this forum!

  2. #2
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    keep it coming!

  3. #3
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    awesome! I hate to see so many frames and part thrown away because they are "broken." most people would have tossed that frame.

  4. #4
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    nice work
    Friends don't let friends ride geared bikes

  5. #5
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    good work, + repped ya

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    awesome! I hate to see so many frames and part thrown away because they are "broken." most people would have tossed that frame.
    Most people wouldn't have the ability to swap a seat-tube. It would be a hard sell to drop a few hundred dollars on a frame you bought for $40.

  7. #7
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    Nice work!!

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    Most people wouldn't have the ability to swap a seat-tube. It would be a hard sell to drop a few hundred dollars on a frame you bought for $40.
    Yeah, I'm definitely lucky to have access to all of the equipment that I do, it would be very pricey to have someone else to this kind of thing...

  9. #9
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    That is a fantastic looking ride!! Very nice work!

  10. #10
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    That awesome! I know I would have been one of the few that pitched the frame. I had a similar experience when I bought a Colnago Master X lite off ebay. It had full Campy Record parts but the carbon seatpostwas somehow bonded to the steel frame. In the end, I had to cut the Record Post (I'm going to hell for doing that by the way) and then inserted a hack saw blade inside the tube and started cutting. It took hours but I was able to cut the post into three pieces length wise and then use some pliers to pull each sleeve out after doing a little wedging work w/ a screw driver. I then took the frame up to my buddies shop and used his reemer bit to smooth out the inside of the tube, pulled the bb and cleaned out all the filings/shavings, the new post fit perfectly! I honestly think they tried to stick a 27.2 post into a 27.0 frame. In the end, the seat tube was large enough that the 27.2 fit perfectly. Now keep in mind, I had about $1500 invested into this bike so I was a little determined to get it fixed at that point.

  11. #11
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    Sodium hydroxide works wonders with a steel frame.

    Too bad someone destroyed the actual frame tubing.

    Frame look great; nice job!

  12. #12
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    That is a fantastic looking ride!! Very nice work!
    Thank you scottcan!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD View Post
    That awesome! I know I would have been one of the few that pitched the frame. I had a similar experience when I bought a Colnago Master X lite off ebay. It had full Campy Record parts but the carbon seatpostwas somehow bonded to the steel frame. In the end, I had to cut the Record Post (I'm going to hell for doing that by the way) and then inserted a hack saw blade inside the tube and started cutting. It took hours but I was able to cut the post into three pieces length wise and then use some pliers to pull each sleeve out after doing a little wedging work w/ a screw driver. I then took the frame up to my buddies shop and used his reemer bit to smooth out the inside of the tube, pulled the bb and cleaned out all the filings/shavings, the new post fit perfectly! I honestly think they tried to stick a 27.2 post into a 27.0 frame. In the end, the seat tube was large enough that the 27.2 fit perfectly. Now keep in mind, I had about $1500 invested into this bike so I was a little determined to get it fixed at that point.
    Yeah I would imagine you were a little more motivated than I was! I just wanted to give it a shot, no harm done if I messed it up for $40. Pretty amazing how badly seat posts can get stuck in these frames. Then again, many times it can be user error, like you described...

  13. #13
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    I just couldn't believe that someone would try to cram a $140 carbon Record post into a frame that was too small. I mean for the price of that bike new and the parts that were used, you would think that the shop would have taken the time to get the right size for it. Scary thought there.

  14. #14
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    Yep, very scary. Just another reason to do all the work yourself. All decisions, good or bad, are up to you to make.

    I'm having a bit of a problem with the seat tube right now because of the heat effect from the weld. The seat post diameter is now 25.8 because of the tube that I used. The area where I welded it at the top to the top tube and the seat stays is slightly bubbled on the inside due to the weld penetration, so the seat post won't go in more than a few inches. I either need to get a dremel down in there or find someone that has a seat tube reamer for this oddball size...

  15. #15
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    Start calling the local shops to see what you can find. I would think that getting a dremil bit down in there would be tricky. I mean you would need some sort of extension or something. Wait, don't they make an extension flex line or something like that? I swear I remember seeing something like that a while back. A dremil bit connected to an air tool would be great but once again, getting it down in the tube would be tricky.

    Check out an engine building shop, perhaps they have a bit/drill press you could rig it up to and bore it out. Just a thought.

  16. #16
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    would a long round file work?
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  17. #17
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    I suggest asking in the framebuilders section of this forum about your situation. Whatever size you do I think you'll really want it properly reamed to insure that it is straight and even. If you have enough wall thickness to spare you could open it up to 26.8mm and expand your seatpost options

  18. #18
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    just weld another pipe instead of a seatpost. and don't forget to weld on a saddle.

    seriously tho. syncros style head, might work for you: Products Description Ė ORIGIN-8

    bravo my friend. love posts that go "So, my buddy and I started cutting..."

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all of the ideas, guys. I ended up going to the machine shop at school and finding a reamer that was about 0.005" over the inside diameter of the tube (Sorta what 1spd mentioned doing). Ideally, an expandable reamer should have been used so that I could step it up to the correct size, but the one I found was very close. It is a 1-1/32 reamer, and I am assuming it has been ground since it was first made because it is about 0.010" under spec. I hand reamed the tube to make sure that the reamer stayed straight with the tube and took my time. Some pics:



    Seat Installed



    All I need now are grips, a rear brake, and a chain ring and it should be ready to go. Also, I'm hoping to get the crank arms I have anodized black, but I'm getting antsy

  20. #20
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    I so positively repped you!
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  21. #21
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    Excellent work. Nice to see a troublesome build come out so well. Thanks for sharing.

  22. #22
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    that is beautiful.

    In "The Age of the Disposable" it is nice to see people actually reviving stuff. +1 point for Steel!

  23. #23
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    As I mentioned, I would love to have you (and equipment) around for some stuff that I've wanted done. Nice, nice and nice work.

  24. #24
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    i can't say i would have thrown that bike away. definitely couldn't do that type of work, i would be the idiot riding around with the seat post as deep as it would fit, and just call it good. you must feel pretty BA riding that thing around.

  25. #25
    nothing to see here
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    you rock
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  26. #26
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    Thanks for all of the compliments guys! I've put a lot of time, and way too much money into this build, and it's finally coming together. I got the crank arms back from annodizing today, they were sand blasted and then annodized to get the matte finish.





    Now, I just need to go to the LBS and have them tighten the spider. Then I just need to bolt the cranks on, throw on a chain, and she should be ready to go. Next pics, it will be complete

  27. #27
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    Dang!!! Looks too good to be true. I would suggest to try clipless instead of tostrap tho. It helps a lot on single speed keeping momentum up, or when you are losing speed on a uphill.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by yliu4 View Post
    Dang!!! Looks too good to be true. I would suggest to try clipless instead of tostrap tho. It helps a lot on single speed keeping momentum up, or when you are losing speed on a uphill.
    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely look into it. I haven't had a chance to ride it in the dirt yet so we'll see how it goes. I finished the bike up on Friday night and took it for a spin in the street, and it went great! The bottom bracket is creaking a little bit so i gotta pull it and grease it better I guess. Here is a picture with it done before I rode it for the first time.



    Can't wait to get it in the dirt.

  29. #29
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    Just curious, how much do you think you put into this bike? Material wise, excluding labor cost.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by yliu4 View Post
    Just curious, how much do you think you put into this bike? Material wise, excluding labor cost.
    After all was said and done, probably 500-600 in parts. It blew me away when I added it all up, because the frameset was basically free, but 20 or 30 bucks here and there really adds up. I collected a lot of the parts over about 8 months too, so it didn't hit me how much everything was adding up to. Luckily, I did all of the labor, minus anodizing and powder cause I don't have access to that kind of stuff.

    If you're talking about just the parts to fix the frame, that was all free to me.
    Last edited by Wooden Payload; 10-02-2011 at 04:06 PM. Reason: needed to add something

  31. #31
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    I'm building a single speed bike started last week. I got the few expensive parts for cheap (frame, crank sets, and handlebar for $150 total), I kept it cheap and ordered brakes and fork from Jenson, and found a pretty BA deal on Craigslist, which probably saved me about $300 and getting higher quality parts.
    Surprisingly after getting all the good deals, I am almost $600 down in the hole when I was planning on spending no more than $400.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by yliu4 View Post
    I'm building a single speed bike started last week. I got the few expensive parts for cheap (frame, crank sets, and handlebar for $150 total), I kept it cheap and ordered brakes and fork from Jenson, and found a pretty BA deal on Craigslist, which probably saved me about $300 and getting higher quality parts.
    Surprisingly after getting all the good deals, I am almost $600 down in the hole when I was planning on spending no more than $400.
    Yeah, I definitely know how that goes! It's pretty amazing how quickly it happens without you knowing it. Singlespeeds are supposed to be simple and mine somehow ended up being fairly expensive

    Makes me wonder how much some of the guys on here with higher end frames have into their bikes. Definitely an awesome hobby though, and I don't regret a single cent I spent.

  33. #33
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    Nice! I'm rebuilding a old bike too and picked up some of those big box rims for cheap. Just waiting to lace them up. Your bike looks great.

  34. #34
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    You did an awesome job on that thing. Way to go!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasey View Post
    Nice! I'm rebuilding a old bike too and picked up some of those big box rims for cheap. Just waiting to lace them up. Your bike looks great.
    Sweet man, they're nice rims and you can't beat the price. Seems like they're pretty beefcake.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisdad View Post
    You did an awesome job on that thing. Way to go!
    Thanks a lot!

  37. #37
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    For all that, I would have had Ed Foster at La Suprema Bikes build me one.

  38. #38
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    Fresh to death.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooBoo View Post
    For all that, I would have had Ed Foster at La Suprema Bikes build me one.
    Wouldn't that ruin the fun of doing it all myself??

    Quote Originally Posted by monzie View Post
    Fresh to death.
    Thanks man!

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