My New Ghetto Rigid Singlespeed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My New Ghetto Rigid Singlespeed

    I have this '96 Cannondale M900 that I got from a friend about a year ago or so. He paid $2500 for it back when it was new. Even by today's standards the frame is light and the components are excellent for what they are. And the bike is fun because it feels so nimble. Sometimes even more so than my FS bike.

    Well I finally broke a seal on the aftermarket Manitou Answer4 and I decided to turn this into a rigid singlespeed done cheaply.

    I found a rigid steel fork used for about $30 and a singlespeed kit for $45. I kept the gears and deraileur up front for 2 reasons. 1- for the chainguide and 2- because its simpler given the big ring and cranks are one piece. Too bad the drops aren't horizontal so I needed to use the tensioner. The bike now weighs 23.1 lbs.







    I have never ridden singlespeed before, but I can't wait to go ride this thing soon. For now I have a 18t on the rear. The kit came with a 16t so I imagine I will switch to that after getting a feel for this.
    "You don't stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding." ~KRob

  2. #2
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    very nice, now go ride it!

  3. #3
    CB2
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    Wow, that brings back memories.
    My first "nice" mountain bike was a '94 Cannondale w/ headshok. Had a purple fade paint job. I didn't care for the paint so I stripped it (big mistake). Then I fell in love with the last rigid steel Stumpjumper (1996), and handed the Cannondale down to my wife (who had loved the purple fade, Oops!).
    Soon after I decided I "needed" a suspension fork, and was planning on getting a Manitou 4. I was all psyched about what, 75mm of elastomer travel? By the time I got around to getting a fork the Manitou Mach5s were out.

    Sorry for the novel. Nice bike! Should be fun.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    Wow, that brings back memories.
    My first "nice" mountain bike was a '94 Cannondale w/ headshok. Had a purple fade paint job. I didn't care for the paint so I stripped it (big mistake). Then I fell in love with the last rigid steel Stumpjumper (1996), and handed the Cannondale down to my wife (who had loved the purple fade, Oops!).
    Soon after I decided I "needed" a suspension fork, and was planning on getting a Manitou 4. I was all psyched about what, 75mm of elastomer travel? By the time I got around to getting a fork the Manitou Mach5s were out.

    Sorry for the novel. Nice bike! Should be fun.
    Thanks, it was fun this morning on my first ride with this bike. I did about 8 miles on paved rail-trail this morning at 6AM in complete darkness just to get a quick feel. Its very light and manuevers beautifully. I was a little worried about having only one gear, but now I have a glimpse of why so many people rave about singlespeed riding. Its so simple, less to think about. The pedaling is more consistent. It almost reminds me of the bikes we had as kids, those Schwinn Stingrays. I always felt so cool riding those around the neighborhood. I got a nice workout today and the hills were never a problem. At worst I had to stand to accelerate a bit. Can't wait to try this bike on some dirt.

    I was a little surprised by how noisy the chain and tensioner appeared to be. It might be that something is rubbing. I think I will have my LBS take a look at it. One thing for sure is that the wheels need truing. I was trying to locate the noise by spinning the wheels with the bike on the car rack. Hard to say, but I can see the wheels are not true as they spin. Also, when I stood and accelerated it seemed to me that I heard and felt the knobbies in the rear. I can't tell if they are rubbing too. I'll see what the LBS says.
    "You don't stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding." ~KRob

  5. #5
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    BikePedia - 1996 Cannondale M900 Complete Bicycle

    $1200 msrp new, still seems way too high for 1996

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBuddy View Post
    BikePedia - 1996 Cannondale M900 Complete Bicycle

    $1200 msrp new, still seems way too high for 1996
    Yeah, whatever...I'm just going off what he told me. He was probably exaggerating. I know he added the Manitou fork at time of purchase and some other stuff so who knows.....
    "You don't stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding." ~KRob

  7. #7
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    Looks good. Love re-purposing bikes like that.
    As far as the noisy chain goes, most of that can be removed with slight adjustments. Need to slowly turn the pedals in a stand and watch as the teeth pick up the chain on the chainring, cog and tensioner pulley. If you see the side plates of the chain touching any of the teeth, that will cause noise and extra wear. Some time and patience can get those things really quiet. Also, I have found those cheaper stamped cogs to be a bit noisier than a good machined cog (maybe 10% louder). Ride for a few months/years to find what gearing combo you like and then buy a Surly cog or similar.
    '15 Soma Wolverine '12 Soma Analog SS '10 Transition TransAM '07 Felt F1X '97 Schwinn Mesa SS '89 Fuji Saratoga '86 Fuji Club

  8. #8
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    Great work. I'm sure bike is happy to see some action again.

  9. #9
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    If that's the forte ss kit that's what I use also. It was sooooo loud! Your lbs can throw some Phil wood in the body and it will alleviate almost all noise. That's if your chainline is straight.

  10. #10
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    badass! My buddy and co worker just turned an old cannondale just like that into a cross bike. 700c x 32mm and everything. It rides really well! But he went with 1x7 set up. Not ready for the leap I guess.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

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