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  1. #1
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    Quick Question (kinda quick?)

    I hope this is the right place for this and I'm looking for some suggestions.

    I have a Stumpjumper from awhile back, and I have been recently trying to make mountain biking something I do more often with my other outdoor sports.

    I find myself getting extremely frustrated and discouraged with gearing, mainly while climbing and other things. My brain seems to be unable to comprehend it.

    A singlespeed bike seems like everything I want, simple, less noise, and I don't bike for speed I just want to be out there on a trail not getting mad.

    I'm about to buy one on a whim, is this a bad idea for someone who is recently learning how to ride trails?

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
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    Get the SS, you can ride some and learn to walk the rest.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the suggestion, pretty sure I'm gonna do that today.

    As far as finding a single speed and what I need.

    LBS or a place like REI?

    Also I'm not too sure what too look for in the bike itself if anyone has suggestions.

    For example I'm not sure if I look for one with a suspension fork or not.

    Again, thank you.

  4. #4
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    I don't think REI has any SS bikes available except for Cannondale (trail SL 29 SS). REI shops are usually staffed by good mechanics who have been trained at Barnett's Institute but that can vary. of the "big" chain bike stores, that is the only one I would trust.

    just about any bike can be easily converted to single-speed, including your bike. any bike shop should be able to do that or you can probably do it yourself with a little research and a few tool purchases.

    if you want a new bike, most major manufacturers have at least one single speed bike option. see what your trusted local bike shop has to offer. other things to consider- rigid or suspension fork? do you want a bike that you can eventually put gears on? steel or aluminum?

    i started mountain biking after 15 years of riding bmx, so a single-speed made sense to me. it allowed me to focus on the trail and just riding without worrying about learning to use shifters. now I ride with a 1x9 drivetrain most of the time and the geears have become second nature. I can see how a simple drivetrain could be a good choice for a beginner though. I see a lot of new riders stopped in the shop or the trail with their derailleurs shifted into awkward cross-chained combos because the rider clearly does not know how to use the drivetrain efficiently.

  5. #5
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    My bike is from 1999, so me thinks I should look into a new one. I'll keep this one as a beater.

    Thats good to know I can ask them to convert a bike I like into SS. When you ask rigid or suspension fork, and steel or aluminum my ignorance begins to show. I'm not really sure what to go with.

    My mind tells me I should look into a aluminum bike with a suspension fork, but I'm not really sure what I actually should be looking at as a beginner.

    If anyone has suggestions on what they feel I should look at for this new bike I'm opens ears.

    Thanks!!!

  6. #6
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    How old are you? what kind of terrain do you ride in? lots of rocks and roots?

    I would recommend a Steel frame for a hardtail bike. it's less punishing on the body and gives a more lively ride. suspension fork is optional. you can argue that one either way.

    here is a recent thread on current steel SS bikes available at a reasonable price.

    2015 steel SS frames
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  7. #7
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    I'm 25, live in NJ and it's pretty rocky.

    Steel huh, gonna look at that.

    Not many shops have SS around me, one has a Biria 29er in the color I want, rigid.

    Anyone hear of this company or bike, I wana look into it more.

    Single Speed Tanto 29 | Biria Bicycles

    Talks about it being a street bike.

  8. #8
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    That Tanto Bike is definitely not intended for trails. it's a street singlespeed with huge tires, that's all.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I found a Trek marlin SS 29er at a bike shop for 450, he said its a 2012 model. Been reading about it. Not the best reviews in the world.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgioc722 View Post
    The Gravity is a descent starter bike. I'd go with that one if you can get a smokin' deal on it. Later you can upgrade the components if you decide you like SSing.

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    So from the sounds of it I should pass on the Trek, and get the gravity.

    Or should I look into talking the LBS down on the Trek price.

    Before I order any other suggestions on SS's around the 500 range?
    Looking at nashbar too.

    Thanks for the input

  13. #13
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    if you don't know much about bikes, the local bike shop will be an invaluable resource. therefore; if you can afford to, i would buy your bike there. i don't know why the trek you mentioned would get such bad reviews... i am pretty sure that is a pretty solid beginner level bike.

    if you ever travel to south jersey there are some awesome flat smooth trails down in the pine barrens that are perfect for beginner mtb riding!

  14. #14
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    What areas do you know in south jersey? I work on the road and go as far as the French town area, I might take a road trip down there.

    Haha well now I'm at a cross roads, I may take a trip to the LBS and see what kind of deal I can strike up. Maybe get them to change that suntour fork to a rigid one.

  15. #15
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    If I recall correctly, a lot of people had problems with that generation of Trek/GF single speed mountain bikes and chain tension. the dropout design was lousy and it caused the chain to loosen under pedaling and braking load. do some research on that because it might become more headache than it's worth.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/2...ed-641689.html

    there might have been a thread about it in the Trek forum too.

  16. #16
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    Do you like your Stumpjumper other than the shifty bits? If it fits well, rides well and has decent components why not convert it with a tensioner or an eccentric hub? Give singlespeed a try on the cheap before you throw a bunch of cash at it.

    If not, the Gravity 29 and Marlin SS are okay bikes, might need a few upgrades to achieve their potential. My Marlin SS needed new brakes, fork, and handlebars to make it a serious trail bike, but other than that its been great.

  17. #17
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    Any input on this bike?

    Single speed MTB

    I might go for the gravity, went to that LBS and the Marlin SS didn't look like it was in great shape for being "new old stock" and he wouldnt come down below 300.

  18. #18
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    Quick Question (kinda quick?)-image.jpg

    26" wheels and a tensioner=Meh.

    Shop around for a gently used Monocog. Should be able to find one in your price range.

  19. #19
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    I was avoiding the monocog because of the chromoly frame, I wouldn't be making a bad choice going with a frame made out of that will I?

    I might have to pick one up new considering no one seems to have one in my area. Haha, finding a SS where I live has been mission impossible.

    I called over 40 bike shops and every time I asked if they have SS MTB in stock I get an uhhhhhhh, no.

  20. #20
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    It's 4130, same thing many SS frames are made of including my Jones. No issues there.

  21. #21
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    Do you have any other suggestions that might widen my search some that would be in the same range?

    So far I'm searching for a used Kona Unit and Monocog, but no luck in the tristate area (what..?)

  22. #22
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    I have a 99 stumpjumper that i recently converted to ss. There is enough movement in the drop outs that i have it set up as a 36x18 with no tensioner. I had to use a half link to get this ratio and there is a good 5mm to account for chain stretching. 36x20 works well with a standard chain. The gearing will depend on your local terrain. It cost me about $65 to set the drivetrain up, probably less if you live in the USA.

  23. #23
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    I'm running a Kona Unit, converted 2011 26" Stumpy hard tail and converted 26" old Diamondback hard tail.
    The Stumpy is too race focused.
    The Unit is more my style. Heavier and lazier, but will go all day.
    The Diamondback was going to get thrown out as it was useless. I thought I'd try it as a single speed on the cheap and the geometry that was crap for seated climbing is spot on for standing climbing!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgioc722 View Post
    Do you have any other suggestions that might widen my search some that would be in the same range?

    So far I'm searching for a used Kona Unit and Monocog, but no luck in the tristate area (what..?)
    a used On One Inbred should be on your list along with the Unit and Monocog.

    it takes a little time and patience to find the right used bike if your on a tight budget. you should be able to find the right bike for around $500 but it could take a month or two.

    if you don't want to wait that long go with the Gravity SS. you'll have some money left in the budget to tweak the stem, bars, or saddle to your liking.

    the only other way to make it happen sooner is to broaden your craigslist search and keep an eye on Pinkbike, MTBR, and ebay. but be prepared to spend $100-150 on shipping.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  25. #25
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    Surly Karate Monkey. Check on eBay too.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    Surly Karate Monkey. Check on eBay too.
    people want stupid money for those things. I like the brand but a new one is now $650+ for just the frame, or $2k for complete bike. seriously? is it really that much better than any other 4130 frame? no. i can't justify that kind of price just so the frame says Surly on the side. I can build my bike twice over with better components for less than a new Karate monkey.

    though they hold they're value pretty well because they seems to be a high demand for them in the used market. you'll never be able to find a complete one for $500 though.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BENKD29 View Post
    people want stupid money for those things. I like the brand but a new one is now $650+ for just the frame, or $2k for complete bike. seriously? is it really that much better than any other 4130 frame? no. i can't justify that kind of price just so the frame says Surly on the side. I can build my bike twice over with better components for less than a new Karate monkey.

    though they hold they're value pretty well because they seems to be a high demand for them in the used market. you'll never be able to find a complete one for $500 though.
    Just throwing it out there. I've never been able to stay at or below my intended budget for a build, lol.

  28. #28
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    I bought a used complete Karate Monkey with BB7s, a Chris King Headset, and decent parts for $600. you just have to be at the right place at the right time.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I bought a used complete Karate Monkey with BB7s, a Chris King Headset, and decent parts for $600. you just have to be at the right place at the right time.
    a Unicorn!
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbot View Post
    I have a 99 stumpjumper that i recently converted to ss. There is enough movement in the drop outs that i have it set up as a 36x18 with no tensioner. I had to use a half link to get this ratio and there is a good 5mm to account for chain stretching. 36x20 works well with a standard chain. The gearing will depend on your local terrain. It cost me about $65 to set the drivetrain up, probably less if you live in the USA.
    ^^ This is so the correct answer.

  31. #31
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    Haha thanks for the suggestions I'm gonna keep my eye out. I decided to sell some of my electronics to fund a used SS.

    I would use the Stumpjumper I have, but I'm pretty disapointed in it.

    Anything I need to keep an eye out for while buying a used SS. I'd like to over pay for something.

    What are the major factors I'm looking at to justify a price on a bike.

    What should I avoid and look for.

    If any examples, that would be awesome.

    Everyone has been super helpful. Thank you so much.

  32. #32
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    Ideally a clean machine without too much use. Preferably from someone who built up a nice SS but gave up on it from lack of intestinal fortitude.
    True rims (tubeless ready preferably), no cracks in frame welds, no stripped bolts, Anything you would have to replace should be used to leverage the price down (tires, chainring, cog, bent rotors, worn brake pads)
    Make sure the BB spins freely with no stiffness or slop. Same for hubs.
    No slop in headset - hold front brake and rock bike forward and back, looking for movement in the cups.
    Bent levers
    Ask if the brakes have been flushed recently

    They're fairly simple machines without the complexities of a geared drivetrain or suspension fork.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    Ideally a clean machine without too much use. Preferably from someone who built up a nice SS but gave up on it from lack of intestinal fortitude.
    True rims (tubeless ready preferably), no cracks in frame welds, no stripped bolts, Anything you would have to replace should be used to leverage the price down (tires, chainring, cog, bent rotors, worn brake pads)
    Make sure the BB spins freely with no stiffness or slop. Same for hubs.
    No slop in headset - hold front brake and rock bike forward and back, looking for movement in the cups.
    Bent levers
    Ask if the brakes have been flushed recently

    They're fairly simple machines without the complexities of a geared drivetrain or suspension fork.
    What does BB spin freely and movement in cups mean?

    Also this was super helpful. Thanks.

  34. #34
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    Do you know what size bike you are looking for? I have a Dawes deadeye 29er large frameset (rigid) and wheelset that I would give you for shipping and... well, really cheap. It is basically the same bike as the gravity. The only catch is that you will need a new hub for the rear wheel.
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF
    Smash

  35. #35
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    Me thinks 17.5 or 19. I'm 510

  36. #36
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    BB=Bottom Bracket. Make sure the cranks spin freely. Give them a good whirl backward if you don't want to pull the rear wheel off.

    Cups are the parts of the headset that sandwich the bearing. The inners mount in the headtube and the outers sit on top of them. When you hold the front brake and rock bike forward and back, there should be no movement between the two. If they do, it may be just a simple adjustment is needed or the problems been neglected for so long the headset will need to be replaced.

    Pick up a copy of Zinn's MTB maintenance. It will help you a lot. You're better off learning to do this stuff yourself instead of losing riding time while your bike sits in the shop.

  37. #37
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    26" and tensioner = so much funs

    Quick Question (kinda quick?)-10642780_10204507393547362_677686190_o.jpg

    just get something in steel higher the number the better!

  38. #38
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    This is a tough point in your nascent cycling career. You are probably going to "learn a lot" this time around, meaning that you're going to buy something and then constantly wish for something different or wonder if there's something better out there. Therefore, I recommend a) Trying it out before you buy it, and b) Constrain yourself to an extremely tight budget. I think you are on track with both of those concepts already.

  39. #39
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    Thanks, what I'm trying to grasp now is what should I be paying for a used SS if/when I find one. I

    If I'm lucky enough to find a monocog,surly,kona,etc how do you gauge the price and not over pay? I ask because sometimes I question my own common sense ><;

    I decided to wait on buying a bike as I build funds and do research. I really, really don't want to make a mistake haha.

  40. #40
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    17" Jamis Dragon ONE Single speed 853 Steel

    Been looking at this one even tho it's way over what I want to spend haha. Just to get a sense of what I should pay for a bike tho, is this worth that amount or not?

  41. #41
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    i would haggle down a hundo or so
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF
    Smash

  42. #42
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    it's a great bike. I have a Dragon 29 race (with gears). that fork is ok, but not great. find out if it is the Silver or Gold version. my wheels are a bit flexy, but I'm 210 lbs. make sure the brakes are in good shape. a test ride will tell you more. ditch the ugly grips.

    if you can get him down $100 or so i'd say it's a great deal. you may want to swap out that fork down the road though.

    if it's too far over your budget don't sweat it, another bike will come along.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

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    Yeah just got paid then paid a bunch of bills and was like dammit I should of offered first, haha.

    It's deff over what I want, but like like the bike.

    Been looking at that nashbar recently.

    So a bike like that, why is it better then say the nashbar I was looking at.

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  45. #45
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    1. Check out mtbnj.com There are alot of knowledgeable people on that forum plus with a marketplace as well.
    2. Chrommoly is fine for NJ. I ride NWNJ parks on a ROS9.
    3. I might have a 2009 Stumpjumper 29er Comp for sale soon. This was the years where the SJ had sliding dropout so you can run it SS or geared.

    I switch over to SS at the end of last summer. I went back to geared once or twice but really found that I love/hate SS the best.

  46. #46
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    nope not a bad idea. I just started trail riding and got a single speed. In regards to gearing its easier its either ride it or push it. I was thinking about building a older MTB and converting it to SS but I just wanted to ride and not spend a few months figuring out compatibility with various parts, chain lines, chain tensioners or eccentric rear hubs etc...so i just got a specialized crave.

  47. #47
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    How tall are you?

  48. #48
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    local shop would be the best bet if they were helpful, the Trek could be a decent deal. If not you will learn fast and spend money along the way
    Kona Big Unit 2 9 Single Speed Extra Cogs | eBay
    I've been inside too long.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgioc722 View Post
    Yeah just got paid then paid a bunch of bills and was like dammit I should of offered first, haha.

    It's deff over what I want, but like like the bike.

    Been looking at that nashbar recently.

    So a bike like that, why is it better then say the nashbar I was looking at.
    pretty much everything is better, all the components especially the frame, are higher quality. wheels, brakes, bearings, cranks, all of it.

    the nashbar bike is just ok, I owned one for a few weeks before deciding to build my Unit. but it's not a high quality bike in any way. the aluminum frame gives a very harsh ride, the brakes suck, everything on it is just good enough to get the job done. between that and the Gravity SS, I'd take the gravity every time. that said, it's not the worst bike in the world, there are far worse.

    the Jamis 853 steel frame is pretty much the highest quality steel you can get. the tubes are double butted and size specific, or in other words designed/selected by an engineer using math and science. gives a much better ride, saves weight, way better quality. etc.

    car analogy:
    Nashbar=Suzuki, you don't want to drive a Suzuki.
    Gravity=Hyundai, can't knock it. gets the job done. good value. not luxurious.
    Jamis=BMW/Porsche, fine leather and brushed aluminum. you'll blend in well at the country club.

    ^ can't wait to see if anyone agrees with that.


    ^ Hyundai

    never seen that before. don't know much about that fork, it's cheap just don't know if it rides decent. aluminum frame- meh. good to have options though. i know OP is considering aluminum... though i'm trying my best to convince him steel is a better material for a rigid/hardtail SS bike.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  50. #50
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    I'm 5'10.

    As far as local shops go I called about 40 in my area. "Do you have a single speed mountain bike? Sorry nope" everytime aside from a $1500 trek and a trek that was busted up and the owner wouldn't go lower.

    So I'm having a tough time finding a steel bike via Craigslist and local shop. That's not a crazy price for me haha.

    Paying shipping puts me off so hard. Feel like it's wasted money.

    Should I consider building my own bike? Will I end up saving s decent amount of money or will it be a way of getting a decent bike.

    Reason I'm considering aluminum Gravity is price and availability.

    I'd like to avoid wasting too much time looking for a bike. I still have my eyes on the look out for a nice used one.

    Think the jamis one has already been sold.

  51. #51
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    piecing a bike together is a fun, rewarding experience and a great way to learn about bike parts. but it certainly cost more money. the $500 target is just a bit low, you will have to make compromises. at that price point i think your better off buying a complete bike new, with a warranty.

    I built my Unit with a mix of new and used parts, all good quality, for $7-800. i ended up with a bike i am very happy with. probably my favorite bike.

    so if you can score a good used one for under $500, your doing pretty good.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  52. #52
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    Thanks!!!

    So I just found this one, and before I jump on it I wanted to see if anyone had feelings about this bike. I'd prefer a rigid fork, but I might just buy one.

    Redline single speed mountain bike rockshox shimano xt

    or
    Bianchi SASS 17.5


    Wheels seem to be 26 on both, is that something I should avoid since I'm taking more time to buy a bike? I feel put off by it, but the searching and you guys help has given me a much better idea bout what I want.

  53. #53
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    Ooooo that bianchi is kinda cool.

    What's wrong with 26 wheels? That little sucker looks fun. That bike is owned by an enthusiast, I'll bet it's been well taken care of.

  54. #54
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    I do like that bike, it was the wheels putting me off but now im reconsidering.

  55. #55
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    I'd way rather have 29 inch wheels on a rigid, but with a suspension fork I could go either way. Nice thing about the Bianchi is, it's already set up for ss, with decent components all around. Would hate to see you spend more money and wind up with a hack job, which ss conversions often wind up being. Whenever people start talking about "chain tensioners" I throw up a little. Tugs are different. Very useful; among other things, you can open your beer with it, and singlespeeding goes with beer like orange juice goes with sunshine.

  56. #56
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    pass on the 26ers. 29er or nothin! something else will come along.

    you'll always wonder "would i have been happier if i held out for a 29er?"
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  57. #57
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    Haha, ok keeping my eyes out, but I do have a question.

    If I got the Gravity 29er, what would be the harm in upgrading certain items as time goes on? As I find myself with extra money or something.

    If I really get into it, can't I then transfer those items to a better frame down the road? I like to upgrade things as I'm able to, I think I would do that on any bike I buy.

    Seems like alot of what I read is people advising not to upgrade parts on a low end bike. Am I unclear about something?

  58. #58
    Wanna ride bikes?
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    I think buying upgrades as you can afford them is a great way to go. i do it for all my bikes. nothin wrong with that.

    a frame is just a place holder for all your components. you can always upgrade the frame down the road and swap the parts over. it happens all the time. in fact some people do that very thing right out of the box to save money.

    example: they buy the frame they want, and a complete bike from Bikesdirect with nice components on it, then swap over the parts and sell off the unwanted frame. pretty smart.

    I would say if your planning on keeping the components you are buying than it is a good "long term" investment. not a waste of money like if you were going to sell them with the complete bike. see the difference? you can always hang on to the original parts you replace and put them back on the bike if you decide to sell the whole thing and just keep your upgrades. either way i dont see any reason to keep using parts your not happy with.

    other than initial saddle, pedal, or handlebar/stem adjustments, the first thing i would upgrade is wheels (assuming your happy with the tires) then frame. your priorities may differ.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

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

  59. #59
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    Awesome awesome, I'd like to try and get an idea of frame size for myself. Looking at a Kona Unit thats 16inch, I'm 5'10. That sound too small?

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