Need advice on SS Build- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need advice on SS Build

    So, my buddy has owned this mid 90's cannondale CAD 2 (what I believe to be an f500) for about 20 years. He recently bought a new cannondale only to realize he has no interest in riding anymore. So, the first time I saw his old one out in the rain, I asked him if I could make use of it so here we are.
    My intention was to build a light weight singlespeed that I could use on the (relatively) flat trails and around the neighborhood.
    The first thing that I did was completely disassmeble the bike.
    The crank was a light weight cooks brothers racing crank, but it had a crack in one of the sections. The pedals were not my style. I chose to get rid of the non-functional head shok and go with something else. Bottom bracket gone. Basically all I have kept is frame and wheels. The wheels have some damage and will eventually need replacing, but for now, I'm already in way more than I expected.
    I went with a nashbar rigid fork. I already have three hard tails in the garage, may as well have on rigid. I didn't really save any weight as it's about as heavy as the clunky sus fork that came out. I removed the crank and went with a cheap retrospec 44T crank and a SS conversion kit on the back (16T). I did buy a chain tensioner, but as luck may have it, this gear ratio worked out without the need for one. Threw on some lovely shimano saints that don't have a bike at the moment. I bought an FSA 1 1/2 to 1 1/8 reducer headset for the nashbar fork.
    I haven't cut the steerer tube yet because I'm trying to find what works for me. I'm using a piece of pvc to get the stem where I want it to see what hardware I need up front. So far, this heighth is close, but I don't expect to run that much stem above the headset. So trying to figure out what kind of stem/bar combo. I had thought about running low rise bmx bars, but not quite sure I'm committed yet. Just wanted to post a pic and get some input from you guys on what to run up front that may work. Also, the 44/16 gear combo seems pretty hefty. Is this something you get used to? Any other advice or input?


    Need advice on SS Build-20170209_174940.jpg

  2. #2
    western NC
    Reputation: HPIguy's Avatar
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    44/16 is HUGE gearing. I think the old rule on a 26er was 2/1, so 32/16, but for flat FL you could probably push a bit taller gear. Maybe a 34T up front, or if it's really flat maybe a 38T. But, what do I know, I'm fat and slow.

  3. #3
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I can tell by the fact you're willing to play with the bar/stem height by using PVC before cutting the steerer you've got the right mentality for this. HPI guy is right, the general rule is 2/1 is a good starting point. From there, play with it and see what you think. Much like your bar height.

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I'll see if I can find a chainring that will fit this bcd.

  5. #5
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    IMO, toss of between getting a smaller chainring or getting a bigger cog. With singlespeed, the bigger the chainring/cog the less tension on the chain. Less tension on the cog, less chance of stretching/busting. But there is always the risk of bending the chainring if it's really big, and easier to bash it against rocks. 44T is huge, but unless you're seriously mashing or jumping on rocks, it should be OK with a 20 or 21T cog in back on flat terrain.

    I didn't think headshocks used a 1 1/2" headset, but some crazy cannondale proprietary diameter.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  6. #6
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    Just ordered a 38T chainring and an 18t cog. Since the BCD is 130mm, I think 38T is about as small as I can go. So 38/18 puts me pretty close to the 2:1 ratio. I ride mostly in the burbs of Houston, so the extent of 'hills' is traversing a dry creekbed or a gully. Thanks for the tips.

  7. #7
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    Trails on. A 26" 38/18 gear still sounds brutal.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyoldguy View Post
    ,, the 44/16 gear combo seems pretty hefty. Is this something you get used to? Any other advice or input?
    44x16 are you frigging nuts? On my 26er SS ran a 32x17, 33x17 an 35x17. The 35x17 was monster gear and good for only the flats, gradual climbs or racing. Not really rideable in alot of places. the 33x17 and 32x17 are much better all round riding gears. Even then 7% grade climbs are not easy.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  9. #9
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    I run a 42/18 on my SS but its a CX style bike on 700x35c. its great for gravel or canal but I would never wanna do any real climbing with it.
    Dont make me go all Jonathan Winters on this gas station.

  10. #10
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    I have 36/20 0n my SS raleigh
    97 specialized rockhopper.- urban beater
    2013 GT aggressor 3.0- urban assault vehicle

  11. #11
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    keep in mind when discussing gear ratios that the number of teeth on the cog and ring must be relative to tire size to make a relevant comparison. 32/16 on a 26er is not the same thing as 32/16 on a 29er. go ahead and convert it to gear inches.

  12. #12
    The perfessor
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    I'm an old man and I ride 32-oval / 21 cuz I have some fairly tough riding in N-GA.........riding anything flat means I can only do about 14-15 mph as best........
    Rigid 29er Ti SS
    KHS Solo One SE 29er
    29er SC Tallboy AL
    Paketa Magnesium Road Bike

  13. #13
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    I have the 38T chainring and an 18t cog installed and played with different stem lengths. I have done a few rides, paved, trails, gravel, etc. Tires felt sketchy turning on pavement, So I just put a fresh pair of Kenda K-Rads on and WOW what a difference from cheap POS tires.

    But when putting tires on, I noticed one spoke nipple pulling through the rim. So, time for new wheels. (Any recommendations on reliable 26" wheel sets under $150?)

    As far as fit and geometry, the bike feels ok, but something doesn't feel right. The seat position is right for my height, but it puts it way above the stem. Running this much stem above the headset looks goofy, so I'd like to trim it lower and use some riser bars with about 2 inches of rise, but no luck finding anything yet. I'm trying to find a position on the bike where I can lift the front wheel off the ground easier. I can do it on my Rockhopper 29'er, even hop over logs and stuff with ease, but not on this one yet.

    Any recommendations?


    Need advice on SS Build-20170506_153451.jpgNeed advice on SS Build-stem.jpg

  14. #14
    WillWorkForTrail
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    What you're dealing with, fit wise, is the super low stack height of a 26" XC bike. Because the axle-to-crown of the fork is so short, due to the small wheel size, then you have a short head tube, you can get the bars super low. This was by design, to help keep the front of the bike down while climbing, because the chainstays are so short, the back wheel is basically up under you when you climb - only recently did people start to consider long chain stays a bad thing. Basically, "bike works as intended", or as they say in the software world, that's not a bug, it's a feature.

    Maybe something like this would help?

    Moonriser Chro-moly Bar ? Moonmen

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    What you're dealing with, fit wise, is the super low stack height of a 26" XC bike. Because the axle-to-crown of the fork is so short, due to the small wheel size, then you have a short head tube, you can get the bars super low. This was by design, to help keep the front of the bike down while climbing, because the chainstays are so short, the back wheel is basically up under you when you climb - only recently did people start to consider long chain stays a bad thing. Basically, "bike works as intended", or as they say in the software world, that's not a bug, it's a feature.

    Maybe something like this would help?

    Moonriser Chro-moly Bar ? Moonmen
    Thanks for the insight. I'm beginning to think I'm wasting my time trying to to change up the purpose of this bike.

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