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  1. #1
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    N00b Questions

    I'm looking into a rigid steel SS, likely El Mariachi, Kona Unit, or building up a Soma Juice.

    It does need to have rear rack mounts, knocking the Karate Monkey out of contention here.

    Intended usage: commuting to work 9 miles each way a couple days a week, riding to the trails once in a while (I often drive), and becoming a better biker. Ideally it will see more pavement than dirt, and replace my cross bike, or at least be used 50% of the time I'm not on my fat bike. My Schwinn SS in my signature is my beater bike, for going to the bars, etc., and I enjoy that, but would probably further enjoy an actually nice, un-beaten up SS.

    I like the idea of a dedicated SS bike, as today I rode into the office on my cross bike with one gear, and despite how hilly it is, I enjoyed it.

    Would one of those bikes above be right for me? A better suggestion?
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  2. #2
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    Price is vastly different for these. You can't beat the price for a fork /frame on the kona unit (you can trade out the ss slider for geared derailleur mount slider too) . And the Somas are darn nice too. The el mar frame is way more money plus a fork.

    Don't knock the Monkey. Phenomenal bike for the money.
    CRAMBA Chairman

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    Thank you for the reply.

    I'm not mad at the Monkey, but I need rack mounts. I'd likely buy used, hoping to keep it under a grand.

    Looks like I could get a used white (2013 or 2014) El Mar complete online for right around $1k. Complete brand new Unit for $1200, but no local dealer.

    If I went with the Soma, it would likely be difficult to keep the build around $1k, with nice(r) parts.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    I'm confused as the Monkey is the only bike with any rack mounts.
    CRAMBA Chairman

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    Quote Originally Posted by thickfog View Post
    I'm confused as the Monkey is the only bike with any rack mounts.
    Weird. I understand that the few ones that came with rear rack mounts were accidents, and that it does not come with them.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

  6. #6
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    Hmm. My older ones always did. My newest version 2012 does. Looking at the newest ones on the surly site suggests no mounts any longer!
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    Ogre. All the rack mounts you need. Capable commuter. Capable mtb.

    Another suggestion would be a Straggler. Can fit fat tires, better geo for road and good enough for occasional singletrack.

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    2:01 - thank you for the feedback. I just cannot get into the color of the Ogre. I love LOVE the color of the Straggler, but it can't fit 2+ inch tires (can it?), and I want 29er geometry/don't want another cross-style bike.

    Is it horrible to purchase a geared bike, just take off the deraileurs and shifters, and fit the chain to a gear?
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Isn't the Ogre is available in Black too?

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    I don't know if you NEED new, but a used KM (2012 or older) should have what you need. If you are going to ride on the trail at all, I suggest something steel. I would also think a dinglespeed setup would be ideal for on/off trail riding.

    I can fit 2.5" Maxxis Hookworms w/ full fenders on my 2011 KM. Also consider a frame bag over a rack?

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    I don't need new, prefer used for cost/wife reasons. I am sold on steel.

    Speaking of dinglespeed - I was thinking that maybe a front deraileur might make sense for what you mentioned. And ok, maybe for big hills too. Is dinglespeed generally manual and on the rear?
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Soma makes a nice fork, bought one for my kids bike. I like the dropouts on the juice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    I don't need new, prefer used for cost/wife reasons. I am sold on steel.

    Speaking of dinglespeed - I was thinking that maybe a front deraileur might make sense for what you mentioned. And ok, maybe for big hills too. Is dinglespeed generally manual and on the rear?
    manual shift only.

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    True n00b question about purchasing a geared bike (from LBS) that I intend to run SS. Do I pay the full price and keep the derailleurs, or do they knock some dollars off for setting it up SS (sans FD, RD, and shifters)? Will they want me to get a new hub, and would that negate the savings on the parts mentioned above?

    How does this work!?
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyriverag View Post
    True n00b question about purchasing a geared bike (from LBS) that I intend to run SS. Do I pay the full price and keep the derailleurs, or do they knock some dollars off for setting it up SS (sans FD, RD, and shifters)? Will they want me to get a new hub, and would that negate the savings on the parts mentioned above?

    How does this work!?
    You're probably not going to get a refund on any stock components, unless the shop is just using it as an excuse to discount the bike below guidelines to make the sale. Can always try, though. If not, just eBay them as "new take-offs." The SS conversion parts may add to the cost if you want a nice cog (Wolftooth, Endless, etc...), but you can probably get a cheap stamped one for free. Most shops will do the conversion on a new bike without charging for labor. If they won't, take your business elsewhere.

    You won't need a new hub; they'll just put spacers around a cog on the freehub body. Dedicated SS hubs can make for a stiffer rear wheel, but they're frequently heavier. If you can live without the wider flange on your geared bike, you can probably live without it on the SS. I prefer the conventional freehub route, as the wheel can be swapped to a geared bike, if need be. It also makes the wheelset easier to sell, due to there being a larger market.

  16. #16
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    Thank you for the clear answer.
    it's a challenge some of us are ultimately worthy of.

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