Surly 1x1 Project Complete - thoughts?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    ayeder
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    Surly 1x1 Project Complete - thoughts?

    Took a long time, but I finally finished my single speed project (grad school, baby, house purchase all rightfully got in the way...). Interested in your thoughts on where I could potentially improve the bike. I live in Milwaukee, so I run the river trail a lot, which is pretty technical for the Midwest. I have a 34 tooth chain ring with a 19 tooth (I believe) cog in back right now, and I feel like I should maybe go to a 32 tooth and then switch out the cogs as needed depending on the trail.

    Also wondering if the crank is good for what I am doing. I have a race face single speed crank as well - would that be better to use for the muddy trails like the one I run?

    Long time lurker on this forum, so thank you all for the inspiration the past few years.

    I got the frame, fork, handlebars, crank, seat post, and pedals for a guy on craigslist in Michigan who shipped everything to me for 275, which I think was a great deal. I had the wheels and tires (2.4 in wide) for probably five years. I bought the disc brake for the front and the rear brake and installed those myself. Also installed the new grips. Seat was also my own. I would say I am probably 400 bucks into the bike, total. Attachment 1209822Attachment 1209823Attachment 1209824Attachment 1209825Attachment 1209826Attachment 1209827Attachment 1209828Attachment 1209829
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  2. #2
    ayeder
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    I don't know why these all uploaded upside down - apologies...

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    pedals and rear brake could be much better. find a decent linear putt brake instead of cheap-o cantis.

  4. #4
    ayeder
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    Do you have any recommendations? It is hard to find something that will clear that tire width...

    Any pedal recommendations as well - I generally don't like clip on pedals, FWIW

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    flat pedals have been discussed to death in these forums. any modern BMX pedal will work for you. if you want a really nice trail pedal, something like One Up composites or Raceface Chesters are popular.

    linear pull brakes should clear the tire if you space the pads correctly. It's been over a decade since I even thought about riding with brakes like that, but Shimano looks like they make some with a little extra clearance.

  6. #6
    ayeder
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    I tried several types of pull brakes, including Cane Creek direct curves - none of them cleared. My LBS suggested going with that particular rear set up.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Linear pull brakes should clear a 2.4 tire no problem. There are usually spacers that can be swapped around to change the position of the pads.

  8. #8
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    that's really bizarre that you can't get the brakes to clear. I had a 26x2.55 weirwolf on a Surly 1x1 fork with old XTR brakes and there was plenty of room. are you arranging the brake pad spacers correctly?

    if it's really impossible, there are better canti brakes than those cheesy ones.

    the end of the cable on the front brake is way too long. trim that sucker down before it gets sucked into the rotor.

  9. #9
    ayeder
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    Do you have any suggestions to specific cantis? Links to products?

  10. #10
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayeder View Post
    Do you have any suggestions to specific cantis? Links to products?
    Hey, I'll try to give you a helpful answer instead of just telling you you're wrong. I recently converted/rebuilt a late 90's Rockhopper into a SS and that frame had no disc brake mounts, so I was forced to stay linear pull. I finally decided to spend the cash on some Paul Component Motolites, they are about $120 but the feel and quality is unmatched and I couldn't be happier. My biggest concern was the tire clearance for a 2.4 and they worked perfect, just take your time and set up the spacers carefully. Hope that helps ~
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  11. #11
    ayeder
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    HA - thank you. That was exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate it!

  12. #12
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayeder View Post
    HA - thank you. That was exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate it!
    No problem, sometimes the self-importance and need to criticize in this forum can be maddening.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaklabl View Post
    No problem, sometimes the self-importance and need to criticize in this forum can be maddening.
    It has nothing to do with self importance or criticizing. Numerous people mentioned that pretty much any linear pull brake will clear a 2.4 tire if set up correctly. Suggesting a $120 brake for a clearly budget build is a bit silly AFAIC.

  14. #14
    ayeder
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    It has nothing to do with self importance or criticizing. Numerous people mentioned that pretty much any linear pull brake will clear a 2.4 tire if set up correctly. Suggesting a $120 brake for a clearly budget build is a bit silly AFAIC.
    I have saved so much money on the bike already, just waiting for the right deal, that spending on brakes is not really an issue...the idea was a) get something that I could ride, and then b) this point now where I am targeting areas to improve it. That's why I was looking for specific things - the rear brake is important to me - much more than say, the seatpost or the handlebars, or the pedals.

    My general question is what order should I upgrade things based on the impact on performance they will have? My guess would be...

    1) Rear brake
    2) Crank
    3) Gear ratio
    4) ?

  15. #15
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    It has nothing to do with self importance or criticizing. Numerous people mentioned that pretty much any linear pull brake will clear a 2.4 tire if set up correctly. Suggesting a $120 brake for a clearly budget build is a bit silly AFAIC.
    Itís no more budget than my build, and I decided the braking power was worth the $. The OP didnít specify it had to be cheap, so maybe he feels the same way as I do? But youíre free to assume otherwise, everyone being entitled to opinions and such.


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  16. #16
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    I would agree that the Moto-lites are a great rim brake and partly because of the clearance and the ability to use them with a 650b rim, assuming of course you can find a MSW 650b rim, but they are blingy.

    I would suggest the Avid sd7s. I think they are relatively cheap and for the years I used them prior to disc, they worked quite well. With some salmon colored Kool Stop brake pads you'd be golden. As for the rest, perhaps get a couple cheaper Shimano freewheels to try out different ratios before going for a WI freewheel. The other option is something like a Hope SS hub but that is gonna cost. Whatever happens, ride the snot outta that 1x1.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  17. #17
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    If I were you I would consider a rigid fork. From what I have seen, older suspension forks like that even if they were good at the time, feel like complete garbage. You say you ride river trails a lot, what do you need front squish for?

  18. #18
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    Magura hs33r !!!

  19. #19
    ayeder
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    If I were you I would consider a rigid fork. From what I have seen, older suspension forks like that even if they were good at the time, feel like complete garbage. You say you ride river trails a lot, what do you need front squish for?
    I have never ridden a Fox fork, only Manitou and Rock Shox forks from early to mid 2000s, but this Bomber works better by a long shot. Eventually would like to upgrade to a Fox fork, but not this year.

    The river trails are pretty technical with lots of roots and rocks. I think riding it without a front suspension would be miserable...

  20. #20
    ayeder
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    I would agree that the Moto-lites are a great rim brake and partly because of the clearance and the ability to use them with a 650b rim, assuming of course you can find a MSW 650b rim, but they are blingy.

    I would suggest the Avid sd7s. I think they are relatively cheap and for the years I used them prior to disc, they worked quite well. With some salmon colored Kool Stop brake pads you'd be golden. As for the rest, perhaps get a couple cheaper Shimano freewheels to try out different ratios before going for a WI freewheel. The other option is something like a Hope SS hub but that is gonna cost. Whatever happens, ride the snot outta that 1x1.
    Thank you - this is exactly what I was looking for! I think the freewheel on there is actually a higher end one, I just don't know which. I bought the wheels 5-6 years ago.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayeder View Post
    I have never ridden a Fox fork, only Manitou and Rock Shox forks from early to mid 2000s, but this Bomber works better by a long shot. Eventually would like to upgrade to a Fox fork, but not this year.

    The river trails are pretty technical with lots of roots and rocks. I think riding it without a front suspension would be miserable...
    I think you have a nice ride here and since the Marzocchi fork is working, keep on riding it. These are nice forks when they are working properly, and may last a long time (clean the inner stanchions a d the top of the seals before each ride).

    No need to fix something that isn't broken, yet.

    The suggestion to switch to a rigid fork is good option as well.

    Please send us more photos of the bike after it gets some upgrades. Hopefully they will post upright too.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  22. #22
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    There should still be plenty of good linear pull (V-brake) options out there for the rear brake. Yes, Paul makes awesome ones, but im the type of person who's reluctant to drop that much cash on a V-brake, but they are cool! Any calipers that are full metal construction (no plastic) and pivot smoothly should be sufficient (check out TRP, Promax, Box, XT). The pads and brake track would arguably be more important. So, just get a good pair of pads that work well in trail conditions (maybe something from Kool Stop).

    Definitely address your gearing ASAP, as that will affect every aspect of your ride. My go-to setup for a 29er singlespeed is 32x18, and adjust from there as necessary. Maybe 32x19 if running meaty tires.
    For crank, yours is fine as long as it doesnt flex or creak unacceptably. Stiff cranks on a single speed are obviously beneficial because you're often required to mash on them.
    To be clear, your bike is still plenty fine as-is, especially for $400.

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