Singlespeed build advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Singlespeed build advice

    OK,
    Over the past year I've watched you singlespeeders in awe, and deep-seeded curiosity. I thought about it for a long time, and have decided to give it a try. I'm getting a singlespeed (YIPES. Is this how it begins?). So, I'm looking for some advice.

    Mind you, I have no intention of singlespeeding with anyone for now. I'm looking for a more interesting solo challenge. This bike will be for when I want to do local fireroads (which are often steep, non-technical, sandy), by myself. I also have no intention of taking this bike on singletrack. No, really.
    Caveat: A severe snowboarding accident hacked up my left shoulder pretty badly, so I need a really cush, but reasonably priced fork (I have a Fox Float rl 100 on my dualie which I LOVE, but it might be too much fork for this bike, and too expensive as well).

    I guess it might also help to know that I'm a light rider (~110#), riding in the SoCal Santa Monicas.

    So here's what I'm thinking so far:
    Surly 1X1 frame
    Avid juicy 7 brakes
    Mavic 317 Wheelset?
    Fork?
    Crankset?
    Gears- I'm thinking about 32 x 20, for a start.

    I'd like the bike to cost no more than $800.00 ($600 if I can), and weigh about 23#.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Nat
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    I highly recommend a Marzocchi Marathon fork. This guy has one for sale in the ads:
    http://classifieds.mtbr.com/cgi-bin/...uery=retrieval

    Seriously though, that's going to be a nice build. I think it's a good idea to start off singlespeeding by yourself, so if you're dying on a climb you can take all the time you need to lay there in the shade contemplating things while you recover. A lowish gear to begin with is probably a good idea, until you bulk up.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti
    OK,
    Over the past year I've watched you singlespeeders in awe, and deep-seeded curiosity. I thought about it for a long time, and have decided to give it a try. I'm getting a singlespeed (YIPES. Is this how it begins?). So, I'm looking for some advice.

    Mind you, I have no intention of singlespeeding with anyone for now. I'm looking for a more interesting solo challenge. This bike will be for when I want to do local fireroads (which are often steep, non-technical, sandy), by myself. I also have no intention of taking this bike on singletrack. No, really.
    Caveat: A severe snowboarding accident hacked up my left shoulder pretty badly, so I need a really cush, but reasonably priced fork (I have a Fox Float rl 100 on my dualie which I LOVE, but it might be too much fork for this bike, and too expensive as well).

    I guess it might also help to know that I'm a light rider (~110#), riding in the SoCal Santa Monicas.

    So here's what I'm thinking so far:
    Surly 1X1 frame
    Avid juicy 7 brakes
    Mavic 317 Wheelset?
    Fork?
    Crankset?
    Gears- I'm thinking about 32 x 20, for a start.

    I'd like the bike to cost no more than $800.00 ($600 if I can), and weigh about 23#.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    I think its gonna be tough, at least with what you have listed, to stay under $800 let alone $600. I guess if you use the classifieds and ebay and find some great deals then it is doable. I ended up buying a complete bike since my builds ended up being way more (I was estimating using all new parts from web vendors though). You might look for a used Bianchi (CUSS, BUSS, BASS, BOSS, etc). That would be a pretty cheap way to get a complete singlespeed. I only ride a 29er singlespeed but 32/20 seems a bit easy for a 26er. I thought most people run 34/17 or 18. I have 32/18 on my 29er and although it kicked my [email protected]#$ at first on the climbs, now it doesn't seem that hard. But it couldn't hurt to start out easy and just get new rear cogs, then you have gearing for any riding situation or geographical region you might encounter. Best of luck.

  4. #4
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    32x20 is not a start for me....it is relatively common for around here (SoCal) so you did good.

  5. #5
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    speaking of gearing.....how is that 52 tooth chainring going?

  6. #6
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenyon
    32/20 seems a bit easy for a 26er.
    Depends on the terrain and rider fitness.

  7. #7
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    hi!

    You're right to limit the weight, given your thin build and the climb out of Topanga SP (don't have any idea where kenyon rides ) . Surly frames are heavy so go elsewhere.

    Does your shoulder injury mean you won't be standing and mashing the gears while pulling the handlebar? 32x20 is hard enough for starts.

    I've heard of people getting complete bikes for $25(?) on Ebay.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    speaking of gearing.....how is that 52 tooth chainring going?
    It's going to be for everyday trails like Mt. Pinos. I've taken the 48T everywhere (what's 1/3" anyway?), cleaned Cheesebro, Malibu Creek, without dinging. It feels smooth, lets me run 48x25, previously I had 33x20. Surprised myself on Romero too. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=120644

  9. #9
    mad aussie
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    I doubt you can build a SS for less than 800 that weighs less than 23#, and if the trails are sandy you would probably want wide tires.

    A Kona Unit complete is a nice bike, then add a used fork and change out the tires for some wide rubber like weirwolf 2.5's or similar. No disc brakes, but you can always add them later and I am finding out all over again the V's work pretty damn well (as long as its dry).

    As for no singletrack it wont be long before you succumb to the temptation and are then lost beyond redemption.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Depends on the terrain and rider fitness.
    True. I have a midwest mindset, guess things might be a bit different in the mountains I guess you could ride a gearie and figure out the gear inches for the gearing you like and then use that as a guide for your singlespeed?

  11. #11
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    sorry....forgot it was ONLY a 48t and not a manly 52t

    I need to see it in person sir!

  12. #12
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    If you want to do it on the cheap to try it out, find an old steel Specialized, or similar and try it with one of those. They have more horizontal drops and work quite well. I know of a couple guys who ride them and they're decent bikes, plenty of fun and would be lighter than a Surley.

    Also, check around, pricepoint, etc. I know of one or two people who have scored decent bikes in the neighborhood of $400 complete. The fork is what will kill you with your pricepoint. Do some checking around, you should be able to find something used, etc. I'd recommend something with lockout. Being that you're not a big guy, the Manitou Skareb Elite provides great bang for the buck.

  13. #13
    cyclemaven.net
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    Wow, lotsa good info

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nat
    A lowish gear to begin with is probably a good idea, until you bulk up.

    This is exactly my intention. In fact, I've joined a gym for the purposes of "bulking up" my shoulders.
    Nat, don't you think the Marathon might be a bit much for me? I could be wrong, but it's the impression I get from reading the reviews (nice fork,though)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pacman
    Does your shoulder injury mean you won't be standing and mashing the gears while pulling the handlebar? 32x20 is hard enough for starts.

    Hi Pacman! Congrats on your new gearing! I'm trying to be a good girl and work really hard this week, so I can make Pinos on Sunday.
    Yes, I should be able to stand up and mash (at least, I've been able to on the road). I just shouldn't have too much jarring on the downhill. (It seems to get particularly sore after a good hardy downhill run).

    I was thinking about the Surly because the guy at the bike shop said he could get a frame for me for cheap. He also said he could get a cheap Kona unit frame, but I don't think they come in 14".
    If you can think of a bettter frame for me, I'm all ears.

    Based on what you and Fo Shizzle have said, I'm wondering if I should start off with a 32 x 22!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flying Wombat
    I doubt you can build a SS for less than 800 that weighs less than 23#, and if the trails are sandy you would probably want wide tires.

    I know, but I'm gonna try really hard to prove ya wrong on this
    Quote:
    As for no singletrack it wont be long before you succumb to the temptation and are then lost beyond redemption.

    Nooooo, you can't make me! I won't go!
    I know you're right about this, but I can at least try to put up a fight.
    Donate now!
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    http://girlmeetsbike.org

  14. #14
    cyclemaven.net
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    Wink Simple, smart solution

    Quote Originally Posted by kenyon
    I guess you could ride a gearie and figure out the gear inches for the gearing you like and then use that as a guide for your singlespeed?
    Excellent suggestion. Based on the wear on my cassette (off my squishy), I should go with a 32 x 20.
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  15. #15
    you go ahead
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    hmmm... kalllisti I think 32 x 20 is perfect for Topanga SP. I took a 32 18 on Temescal Ridge, and found that it was perfect for me, but if you want to keep your shoulder nice and comfy, then you probably want to gear down.

    Paseo would probably be killer to do even on a 20t cog though, so I guess you have to compromise. Damn these hills around here.

    If you were really tall I'd offer you a frame I have lying around, but allas not even I can climb atop it .

    (Spam.... if anyone wants a tall, steel frame, PM me and I might respond... if you're so lucky. I'd be willling to trade it for something.)

  16. #16
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    they need to make an interchangeable cog/chainring for me....that way, when the going gets too tough for this sissy, I could throw the 20t on the cranks and the 32t on the cassette

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    they need to make an interchangeable cog/chainring for me....that way, when the going gets too tough for this sissy, I could throw the 20t on the cranks and the 32t on the cassette
    Hold on... I have a sneaky suspision that someone has thought of this before...

    Hmmm... maybe those weird gearie folks would be able to help..

  18. #18
    mad aussie
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    If you want a fork????

    I have a 2000'ish SID XC (the hydra-air) which was like an air version of the Judy. It was on my wife's old hardtail before she went to a Marathon 105 on her Titus and is a pretty nice fork. 80mm travel and fairly plush for an air fork. At your weight the stiffness shouldnt be a problem.

    It is pretty light which might help in that elusive 23# goal.

  19. #19
    ACS
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    The 23 lb. goal is definately attainable on a surly 1x1 frame. My 20" is 21 lbs. with a budget build. If you want to spend under $800 you're definately going to have to find some deals, buy used or pillage your other bike for parts. Someone mentioned checking out the mail-order companies for their clearance stuff. I'll second that. My surly was built up for under $500 by buying a used frame and wheels and scouring the online stores for cheap quality parts.

  20. #20
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    Ok

    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    sorry....forgot it was ONLY a 48t and not a manly 52t

    I need to see it in person sir!
    The usual place.

  21. #21
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    Forks

    Another fork that may work is the Manitou Mars air forks. They are light and cheap.

  22. #22
    Steamroller
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    It's do-able for $450-550 rigid

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Wombat
    I doubt you can build a SS for less than 800 that weighs less than 23#, and if the trails are sandy you would probably want wide tires.
    If you are resourceful you can do it for $450-550 for a nice light ridgid SS with all or mostly new parts. Add say $100-250 and you should be able to find a decent suspension fork used or on clearance. I like Marzocchi MX comp or MX pro for sturdy forks, good for SS bikes that don't break the bank. The Marathon is a bit nicer but harder to find for cheap. Here is a pic of a bike I recently sold that you could build for about $550 or $600, it's rigid and only 22#. I got some exceptional deals on some of the parts and actually built it for $450. I have a nice SS Santa Cruz Chameleon on ebay now that I built for $570. It takes a little effort to seek out the best possible deals on every single part but with sales, ebay, your LBS OE take-off bin, etc. It can be done. Of course you could buy a nice complete SS bike like a KHS Solo-one for about $500 and put a $200-300 fork on it and be done.
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  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=Flying Wombat]I doubt you can build a SS for less than 800 that weighs less than 23#, and if the trails are sandy you would probably want wide tires.

    A Kona Unit complete is a nice bike, then add a used fork and change out the tires for some wide rubber like weirwolf 2.5's or similar. No disc brakes, but you can always add them later and I am finding out all over again the V's work pretty damn well (as long as its dry).
    /QUOTE]

    build? i agree--doubtful.
    buy? i think a medium 500$ KHS SS weighs in at about 23.5#... a few swaps here and there and that figure drops below 23# easily
    living on earth is expensive, but it includes a free trip around the sun -bill woods

  24. #24
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    Fetish

    Check the Fetish Cycles frames. They deal primarily on Ebay, but a new frame can be had cheap. i just bought a Fetish Fixation frame from there. Talk about a light weight frame! but yet, its super rigid and strong. I love it. It has standard horizontal dropouts so you dont need a singleator or whatever, but still has a derailer hangar as well. I added a Manitou Black comp OE from jenson cheap too. it has 100mm travel and a nice plush feel and smooth stroke.

    I will admit that the fork is a little heavy, but def a good value.
    check out jenson for sure. they have alot of stuff that is OE, so it is new, but dirt cheap.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Black-Fetish-Cyc...QQcmdZViewItem

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...omp+04+Oe.aspx
    Im just saying..

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    The usual place.
    i just saw this now ironically........glad I happened to go to Cheseboro yesterday. it was really cool to see it in person. so how did you fair on the tougher climbs with that gearing?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    i just saw this now ironically........glad I happened to go to Cheseboro yesterday. it was really cool to see it in person. so how did you fair on the tougher climbs with that gearing?
    Made it. Momentum is my friend. On the way back .. (PM to you)

    (Enough hijacking of this thread)

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