noob SSer questions about rig and possible build project- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    noob SSer questions about rig and possible build project

    Hi there. After growing up on a bmx and riding geared mountain bikes for the past 25ish years, rather than quit for a while, as I would normally do when I burn out/get bored, I've decided to take my dj bike single-speeding. I'll be riding a 26er 2013 deity cryptkeeper with 100mm in the front, 11/25 gearing, and bb7 mechanical brakes (just put the front on today... looks funny on the dj, but i digress) I know I should have more chain wrap and a general 1/2 ratio, but I'll build to that.

    I realize that one understandable argument for ss is to say "eff it" and ride what you've got. But I also get the other argument: the simpler the better; rigid, no dropping your seat, etc, etc. I get both angles.

    So I'll be riding the cryptkeeper for at least a while if I enjoy it out there. If I do enjoy it but find out later that I'm an idiot for even trying it on my dj because "blank, blank, and blank" are such better bikes for ss, then I'll be building a bike. So, questions...

    If I were to look for a used ss frame, are there some classics that just stand out geo and reputation-wise? I mean, I started mountain biking on a rigid GT Karakoram in 1990ish, so I know it can be done on anything, but as the specific discipline of ss has evolved over the years, have there been a few frames that people have come to a consensus on as being great for all the ss specific stuff? (All I can imagine is that I'll be standing up a whole lot more and using energy in different ways, and the dh will be sketchier having the seat in my guts like the good ol' days and less/no suspension, but there are bound to be other things that I'm unaware of that are unique to ss that may make other frames an obviously superior choice).

    Anyway...
    will I have a good idea of what ss is about by charging on the dj, and if not, why? And what are some good used frames that would prove the dj a dumb choice if it is?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback

    sincerely,
    the noob.
    Last edited by dirtyBob; 09-18-2017 at 12:35 AM.

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    The Redline Monocog was made for quite a while and could be had at various points in time in both 26" and 29" wheel sizes. I won't say they're a dime a dozen, but there are plenty of them in the used market if you poke around, and you could certainly do worse for the minimal investment it would require to pick one up.

    As to whether or not the DJ is a good idea or "will work" - I've seen it done. Anyhow, riding a single speed mountain bike is a lot about being stubbornly determined that you can do something that, if you stop and think about it, is a little silly. So, don't let the fact that you've got a DJ stop you. You're on the right path already. Ultimately, something else may be a better single speed mountain bike, but you won't know how much better something else is until you give it the old college try with the DJ.

  3. #3
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    Short answer, if you have fun riding it like that it will work. A couple years ago I was just a casual mtber and rode a standard hardtail on the more beginner type trails. A friend of mine let me play with his dj one day and it made me feel like a kid again on my first bike which was just an average 20" in the 80s. I went out and bought a rigid dj and started trail riding it. Eventually I got a 100mm fork for it and front brake. It beat me up for awhile standing and single speeding it. Quickly It made me much stronger. Because I was having so much fun on it I started riding it everywhere. Eastern PA has some seriously rocky trails with real climbs and yes I took it there too. Now two years later I only ride ss, I stand for the entire ride (which for me is usually 10 to 20 miles), every bike has a slammed seat and a ss conversion. I ended up getting for my main trail rig a NS eccentric with a longer travel fork, it feels like a dj and I have it set up as one, but has a more slacked out headtube, best of both worlds. I have a blast riding like that and I'll ride anywhere and with anybody and not feel underbiked.

  4. #4
    EXORCIZE
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    Some of the SSs I've seen heavily praised over the years: On-One Inbred, Raleigh XXIX (non-corrected rigid fork), Misfit diSSent, Monocog, 1st gen. Sir9, Karate Monkey, Soma Juice, Vassago Jabberwocky, Canfield Nimble9. The Kona Unit and Salsa El Mariachi were arguably best in 2014-2015 even if sales weren't so hot. For custom frames, Waltworks.

  5. #5
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    Oh, Jones. And that Trek Sawyer seemed to get people excited.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the suggestions and feedback guys. Good to see the Nimble 9 made a list.. I ride a Canfield Balance normally.

    Think I'd like all those bikes, especially something with a little slacker angle than the thing I'll be riding for a bit.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    I ride a 2008 Bianchi Sok 29er. It's aluminum with track fork ends. I use a bolt on hub. I ride it all rigid as well. It feels like a BMX bike for sure.

    I built it up cheap from eBay purchases. I think I have less than $600 total investment. I've been riding this bike almost 10 years and I beat the crap out of it and it still looks new! (I don't jump tho, but I weight over 200 lbs and hammer it).

    DJ will work fine. Those frames are kind of small tho... If you plan on longer rides, you might want to consider a bigger frame. But for short trail/singletrack pumping fun, it work just fine.

  8. #8
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    Yeah I think I'll be trying to do what you did and build something up off ebay. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Just got my seatpost in the mail today. Front brake ready and once I stopped viewing it as a weird-looking dj and switched to seeing it as a different type of bike purpose-wise, I actually think it's kind of a sexy looking mtb. All stripped down and simple compared to my enduro.

    First ride tomorrow...

    Thanks again for all the feedback guys.

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