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Thread: Urban SS MTBs?

  1. #1
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    Urban SS MTBs?

    Subject sort of says it all.. Building an urban MTB single speed that will be dedicated for this mostly... Chromoly fork but aluminum frame.. Hopefully won't jar me around too much. Will hopefully keep under 20 lbs.. Curious on a couple things from the other urban riders.

    Tires? I'd be down with slicks but don't want something that will slip out in rain or snow and other debris. Sort of want to keep it a little fat because I want to pretend this thing is my old BMX from when I was 12, and don't think I want a crap urban tire... Or is that where I should actually be looking. I have a bad memory from checking out a Kenda Komfort that looked like a total POS (or am I wrong?) I was looking at tires like hartpack MTB tires that are light and low rolling resistance with not a lot in the middle and knubs on the side. Not sure if this is a good idea or not.

    Gearing: it is a little hillie here but I still want speed... Tires are 26". What gear ratio are you guys running? based on some tests from the geared bikes, I concluded 36/15.. I hope this works out in the end...

    What do you guys run for single speed urbans that are formerly MTB?

  2. #2
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    Whatever tires you choose, but sure to pick something with a lot of flat protection. Glass and debris become annoying if you get a flat every week. I'd just run a slick. Grip will be sufficient except for snow, so if you are going to be riding in snow for an entire winter, having two sets of tires would be a good idea.
    When I commuted on a 26" SS I ran 40/16 so your chosen 36/15 will be a good choice.

  3. #3
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    I run a 36/16 w/175 cranks and the tire I love for all around street and/or mild dirt is the WTB All-Terrainasaurus.

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    I'd go with 38x15 at the least. That's about a 65" gear; much less and you'll get nowhere fast, except annoyed in traffic.

    There's a good number of urban/commuter all-weather semi-slick tires that will do the job just fine. Even a low tread dirt tire will be more sluggish and less smooth than a city tire. Just check out some online shops and see what might work best for ya....

  5. #5
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    Santa Cruz Chameleon maybe

    SC Chameleon maybe?

    32:16 with 175 cranks

    brakes???
    only lower the seat for "bmx-like-when-12 action"

    Languages spoken: bicyclish, spanish and a bit of english
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  6. #6
    New River Scorcher
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    I live in an area with a rolling hill terrain and run 36/16 or 18 depending on what I am carrying. I have front and rear racks on my bike as this is my daily commuter/grocery getter/ bar bike.

    For tires I am currently using 26x1.95 Maxxis no name "multi use" tires. I plan on sithcing to a more street friendly Schwalbe Marathon or Pananracer Urban tire a bit wider say 2"-2.1".

    Craig

  7. #7
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    I am running Geax street tires on my commuter and they work really well. They roll almost as well as the 23C tires on my roady. Super quiet, reasonbly smooth ride, adaquate grip. I hear Specialized Fatboys are also a good choice for pavement pounding on the MTB.

    Oddly enough, I run gears on my commuter even though my commute is pancake flat. It is nice to be able to shift down for riding in those 20-30 MPH headwinds that I will be facing on my ride into work tomorrow I did reach 41 MPH one morning riding back from work a few years ago. I think I had about a 50 MPH tailwind that day. I could have gone faster if I had been on the roady
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  8. #8
    You know, for kids
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    my Urban SS 29'er riding on Schwalbe Big Apples, geared 34x15

  9. #9
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    tires

    For me its a battle between Maxxis Hookworm and Kenda K-Rad. I'd go for K-Rad though if you are gonna use it on light trails.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishcreek
    For me its a battle between Maxxis Hookworm and Kenda K-Rad. I'd go for K-Rad though if you are gonna use it on light trails.
    Noooo! Not hookworms! In 26'' size they are nearly 3lbs per tire!

  11. #11
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    My urban SS is a lugged steel conversion. Found the frame, built it a few different ways, and it ended up SS. 48/16, and the front is a Specialized Hemisphere 1.95 (I think), and the rear is a hot-rod lookin' job, though that hardly describes it. V-brakes in the front, calipers in the back. Flipped risers and bar ends. Spraypainted matte black over a gold. No one wants to steal it

    Its fast and gets me where I need to go, but the brakes suck, its heavy, and needs a seat binder bolt. But I love 'er

    -Rob.

  12. #12
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    39 x 17 fixed... front brake "29er" with 32c Panaracer T-servs.
    I rode it all over S.F., off road at Golden Gate Park and Marin Headlands. I live out in the sticks now so my buddy is using the bike around Oakland and Berkeley. The bike is too much of a city slicker to get stuck out here.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselcruiserhead
    What do you guys run for single speed urbans that are formerly MTB?

    I'm rocking a Kappa 26" BMX cruiser, 37 x 16, and Specialized Hemispheres. GREAT urban tires, great playbike.

  14. #14
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    So got the bike built and all dialed in and been riding to work and around town since Weds.. Super psyched.. Around here in the morning there is a good little up hill to work and town is about 500 vertical feet higher than where I live (though maybe a mile away) so plenty of uphills. When I got the bike going ( link ), I thought 36/15 was too slow, could not believe the power you get from SS! But after riding and experimenting, going slow and fast, up and over curbs, cruising in traffic, up hill, even riding in a mall last night! , I am super psyched on the gearing. Killer all around gearing. A hair slow for decent moving traffic so you just have to pedal a little faster. That is really my only complaint... If I were a little more urban flat land I think I'd be all about a faster gear than this. But super happy, worked for me and works great. For now I'm on Bontrager 2.2 MTB tires with small lugs, the Jones something arothers. People rip on them for rails because they supposedly rip apart easily according to the reviews but for around town they are awesome, no complaints at all. That said now I'm thinking of switching to some Bontrager pythons a buddy has lying around that he'll never use. Maybe run slightly over inflated (50psi?) and I think they'll be killer for the street and still tough, slightly smaller lugs.. Will post up with whatever I end up with..

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselcruiserhead
    I thought 36/15 was too slow, could not believe the power you get from SS! But after riding and experimenting, going slow and fast, up and over curbs, cruising in traffic, up hill, even riding in a mall last night! , I am super psyched on the gearing. Killer all around gearing. A hair slow for decent moving traffic so you just have to pedal a little faster.
    You're running about 62 -inch gear with that 36 X 15. My 37 X 16 is 60 gear inches. When I first built it, I went with a bigger chainring, but I paid the price on the hills. So I'm with you on the gearing - you have to spin a little to get up to speed, but for general-purpose knock-around urban cruising, that is just about the perfect gear.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselcruiserhead
    now I'm thinking of switching to some Bontrager pythons a buddy has lying around that he'll never use. Maybe run slightly over inflated (50psi?) and I think they'll be killer for the street and still tough, slightly smaller lugs.. Will post up with whatever I end up with..

    I was going to suggest 2.0 Hutchinson Pythons. Very light, low profile, and yes when pumped up to 50psi, they run fast on the streets. Although I don't know what they would be like in the snow.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  17. #17
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    My Urban commuter (also used for some offroad fitness runs)

    2001 SC Chameleon, rigid fork I got somewhere, kenda semi slick at the back, something with more grip on the front (big, heavy and cushy), gear ratio 36:15
    weight is about 25lb but lighter wheels and front tire can fix that...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads..

  18. #18
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    34x14 on my Monocog Flight (26" wheel) city bike. Perfect for me. For large streets, I can speed up a bit to cross the street to the median without spinning out and then still ride comfortably in the grass median while I wait to cross the other side. I'm not going to win any races vs a geared bike on flat ground, but I can beat my friends to the top of a parking garage.

    I use slick tires with a little row of tread along the edge which supposedly helps cornering in grass - don't know the brand.

    Don't forget head and tail lights.

  19. #19
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    Killer guys.. Mounted up those Pythons.. They are 2.0, got them up to about 50 psi and they are killer on the street.. Super psyched...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselcruiserhead
    Killer guys.. Mounted up those Pythons.. They are 2.0, got them up to about 50 psi and they are killer on the street.. Super psyched...
    I think that they are the best urban performing MTB (true XC) tire.


    And they work well on hardpack, and surprisingly well on limestone (at much lower PSI). But as mentioned before, I have no idea how they perform in the snow. You will have to let us know.

    Be careful with road debris, the pythons have a thin sidewall.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  21. #21
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    Cool... For winter I'll do something else (probably studded snows of some sort.. ) but these will work for now. Will cruise home for lunch and grab the bike to ride back and see how they roll. I bet awesome... Thanks!

  22. #22
    Better Late Than Never
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    My SS is an older Redline Monocog and the previous owner had it at a 34/14 so I left it there as I had no need to change it (yet), but the tires were a problem. I ended up with IRC Lovers Soul inverted tread tires. Bit of an odd duck, but they are gret for urban riding and as long as I don't get cocky in sand, I have no issues.

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