Planning to make the SS plunge- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Planning to make the SS plunge

    A spot of help. Been all over the single speed section, and am still reading.

    I知 a long term geared XC rider, currently racking up 4 k to 5k a year on a Specialized Epic EVO Carbon 29er with a SRAM XX1 1 x 11 drivetrain. Love it. Problem is I feel like I知 tearing the bike up putting so many mines, and I知 blowing through chains, rings, and cassettes. I知 generally the last to figure stuff out, but I think riding a SS will teach me better how to maintain momentum, how to corner better, and will get me off the saddle on climbs. And again it looks like a cheaper way to get mileage than continuing to ride the Epic. And I don稚 want to upgrade the Epic.yet.

    In looking at a SS, I will probably go the 礎outique bike route, and I知 leaning towards steel. Salsa, maybe Vassago, but again, aside from being around SS at different races, I know nothing about this. The idea is I壇 get into the bike for $1500, then piece meal the upgrades to customize it as a learn more and sort out whether I even like it.

    Can ya値l give me some input?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    I think SS is fun depending on where you ride. $1500 and "boutique" might be difficult to attain.

  3. #3
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    Take a look at Surly. Nice steel frames that like SS and they can be built up in many different wheel sizes. The 1x1 has horizontal dropouts and many of the other frames take chips that allow the dropouts setup for horizontal, 10x135 or 12x142. If you go with a rigid fork you should be able to build up a bike with a good wheelset for around your $1,500 budget. Good steel + nice wheels + decent suspension fork won't work with a $1,500 budget, unless you find killer deals. To me, wheels are the single most important component, so I'd choose wheels over a suspension fork if I had to choose one, and a decent rigid fork over a low-end or used-up suspension fork.

    Salsa El Mar SS is a good option in a complete build. I think MSRP is within your budget. Limited though in the tires size you can run, compared to Surly.

  4. #4
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    I picked up a New Kona Unit for 1k and it's Been a blast to ride. I picked up a used rockshox Reba for 155.00 and now I'm in heaven. Great bike and great price. My next thing is a set of wheels for it.

  5. #5
    EXORCIZE
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    I think the Salsa is a winner. If my Unit was stolen tomorrow, I'd probably get an El Mariachi. Top notch drop outs, great chain stay length range, moderate head tube angle, solid rigid fork, not overpriced.

    You might consider buying used. I don't see a lot of tempting deals on geared suspended bikes, but a lot of SS bikes have gobs of upgrades at a fair price.

  6. #6
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    My vote would be A Vassago VerHauen or a Chumba Stella. I love them!
    Chumba Stella
    King Cielo- For Sale
    Vassago VerHauen-For Sale
    Kestrel Legend SL
    Soma Rush

  7. #7
    Downcountry AF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    If my Unit was stolen tomorrow, I'd probably get an El Mariachi.
    if my Kona Unit was stolen tomorrow i would cry, devote my life to finding the bastard, go to work with a blow-torch and a pair of pliers, then buy another Unit.

    I love my Unit!
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I wish I could give you a good answer about the best way to select a single speed. I picked my first one up on the cheap to see if it would work for me. I quickly discovered SS was too much fun to have a crappy one (which my cheap one kind of was) and ended up with something pretty nice a piece at a time. It's all about the frame though, and I second a lot of the recommendations for good steel. Don't overlook Soma - it has a lot of the features other brands have, but a little smaller price tag, and I don't think anyone who has ridden one has anything bad to say about the quality.

  9. #9
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    The el mariachi is a solid bike for the money. Unless you want to lighten it, there's nothing really that needs replaced. About the only complaint I have is the low engagement point hub.

  10. #10
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    The advice here is great. With miles like what you're doing I can see why you're feeling it with the maintenance. With a rigid SS for the most part you're left with a cheap chain every 1200-1500 miles and tires. Using it to get some cheaper miles, honing some skills and hopefully getting faster on the climbs will probably be the end result. As said earlier be cognizant of the size of tire you can put in your new frame.
    For me the difference between loving and hating SS has to do with gearing choice. I'd suggest getting advice from local singlespeeders on that one. Good luck
    18" rigid Unit

  11. #11
    Ruckus99ss
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    I just took the plunge last week and am waiting for my bike to be done. I ended up getting a verhauen with x-fusion fork, left the race face parts, upgraded to slx brakes, stans arch hoops with i9 hubs, absolute black oval ring, and wtb seat. I have a carbon post and bars to throw on when I get it. I can't wait

  12. #12
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    I have had my VerHauen for a while now and still love the thing. There are three VerHauens in our riding group.

    I tried an oval ring on my Chumba and it was a bad move. Now I have to buy oval rings for all my bikes!

    Planning to make the SS plunge-img_20160131_152844%7E2.jpg
    Chumba Stella
    King Cielo- For Sale
    Vassago VerHauen-For Sale
    Kestrel Legend SL
    Soma Rush

  13. #13
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    Planning to make the SS plunge-image.jpgClassic Singlespeed situation: I wear out front rings, rear cogs (NINER aluminum with long teeth) and toss em into parts bin. A few years later I use this old stuff for a mud bike. New chain and demolished cog/ring. My first 10 rides they sound horrible together. Now, 50 rides into mud, they have meshed together. A little chain growth, a little wear on cog teeth sides, and lots of grit. Thing is a silent runner now! I will run it 'til it breaks! This bike saves a lot of wear and tear on my nice bikes.

  14. #14
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    Same here. I've been all over the map as far as bikes. I've always had a SS built as well but once I went 29+, the rest is history.

    I'm currently riding a Surly Krampus, but have a Vassago Verhauen on the way.

    I'm fully converted to SS and always leave the geared Ti Mukluk at home. SS just fits my riding style.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 5

  15. #15
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    I've really enjoyed my two Niner frames (One9 Scandium + SIR9 steel). Just built up the steel frame and it's been a blast so far. I would definitely advise you to get some nice wheels for the bike as that has made the biggest difference in my experience as far as upgrades go. On my original One9 build I went from some tanky 2500g+ wheels a friend gave me to a nice set of hopes laced to american classic 101's and what a world of difference it made.

    SS will make you a stronger rider. It forces you to optimize line choice and carry more momentum through turns and preceding climbs. Especially if you decide to go the full rigid route.

    Above all else if you go the route of a boutique frame and custom build have fun with it. Picking every part of your bike is an exciting process, especially seeing it come to life and being able to ride it.
    Niner RIP 9 Alloy

  16. #16
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    The reasons mentioned why you're considering SS are exactly why I built one last year in January. I lived on the west side of the Cascades in the Pacific NW and was destroying drivetrain and suspension parts (my record was just over 100 miles out of an XT chain ). I had the same budget without the boutique preference and ended up getting a Gary Fisher Rig frame and the matched Fox fork then built it up...and haven't looked back. I'm officially hooked on SS and ended up converting a carbon frame 26'' HT I have to rigid SS and just built up a Carver 420 for racing.

    If you're not sure if you'll like SS then I suggest looking at the used market. Dedicated SS frames can be difficult to find but I've seen plenty of really cheap midrange HT come up that you could convert with a less-than-ideal tensioner. That way you can turn around and sell the bike if you decide that SS is not for you or when you build your boutique SS.

    I also recommend going with a rigid fork. My skill level increased significantly after a few rides and all that translates to the rare occasion when I ride my geared Camber Evo.

  17. #17
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    I built my OnOne Inbred fixed gear for about $1500. I even built the wheels out of nice components (had to, its hard to get a threaded track cog 29er wheel). The frame is super solid and very cheap, and I bought a used Karate Monkey fork from a buddy of mine for $40... You can make a very budget friendly build around those two pieces.

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