Used frame selection- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Used frame selection

    How do, folks:

    I'm a recent convert, having had my winter bike (converted to SA 3 speed) convert itself into a single speed somwhere around January or so. I'm going all out for this winter, communting daily on a purpose-built single speed. The buildup will start in August, with finished product as light and simple as possible, and ridden in temperatures down to 35 below Celcius.

    Knowing, then, that
    a) it's quite flat around here (Edmonton), with only one minor hill in my commute,
    b) weight is a consideration,
    c) I am one cheap *******,
    d) who will need to ride in deep snow, and so will probably run WIDE downhill tires,
    e) and with a pannier rack,

    ...what do you, the esteemed gathering of single-speeders, recommend re: frame and componentry?

    Many thanks,

    D.A.D.

  2. #2
    hot like a box of fire
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    An on-one inbred might suit you real well. Webcyclery has them for $350 (though i suppose one could be found used.) 4ish lbs, rack mounts, and fits a 2.7 in the rear.

  3. #3
    FUD
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    karate monkey

    the monkey would be good for that use.

  4. #4
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    Good job!

    Cake, FUD:

    Thanks much for the suggestions, but I'm leaning toward something with a little more, um experience ...

    What older, used, back-of-the-shop sorta frame would work for me? I'm talking garage sale here.

    Thanks,

    Dark Alley "Cheap Bugger" Dan

  5. #5
    34N 118W
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    you're on your own...

    sorry to put it bluntly Dan, but if you're looking for a garage sale find, then I (we?) have no clue as to what you'll find out there. The only answer that comes to mind is "Yes".

    if you find something used with rack mounts, then Yes, that is your new frame!
    if you find an old steel roadie to convert to a fixie - "Yes!"
    if you come across a beater mtb and convert it to a 1 or 2 speed - "Yes!"

    decide what you're after and go search for it. Worked for me.

    enjoy your new find and report back. We'll be happy to help ya along...

    HW

    PS - also saw this on the RBR ads:
    http://www.greenfishsports.com/index...ROD&ProdID=558 or there's that mtb frame folks have been buying from JensonUSA for $90.00

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Alley Dan
    Cake, FUD:

    Thanks much for the suggestions, but I'm leaning toward something with a little more, um experience ...

    What older, used, back-of-the-shop sorta frame would work for me? I'm talking garage sale here.

    Thanks,

    Dark Alley "Cheap Bugger" Dan
    Last edited by Hollywood; 05-14-2004 at 09:40 PM.

  6. #6
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    Cheap bikes and cheap beer

    I don’t know exactly what you mean by “cheap,” but in general I would avoid the Huffy-Magna-Murray low-end types at any price, or even if they are free. They are plentiful, especially at garage sales and thrift stores, and they are crapola. Opt instead for a harder-to-find older quality bike, something that sold for at least $300 when new. They will be lighter, will last longer and handle better. In fact, some of the older bikes have excellent handling. Anyway, for cheap I would suggest a Mtb from the early to mid 90’s in the range of maybe $50 -$100, i.e., Trek 830 or 930, Specialized Hardrock, Mongoose Alta, or Schwinn High Sierra.

  7. #7
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    Hollywood, thanks for you bluntness. Your point is taken, and yes, the hunt is half the fun. What I'm wondering about, though, is what recommendations might be made re: older frames of quality. Are there frames out there that are "cult favorites" re: handling, durability, light weight, etc?

    Pacifico, that's exactly the info I was looking for! Thanks.

    Are any other makes / models out there that are favorite build-up candidates? I'm new to the cult, so please bear with my ignorance...

    Thanks,

    D.A.D.

  8. #8
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Alley Dan
    Hollywood, thanks for you bluntness. Your point is taken, and yes, the hunt is half the fun. What I'm wondering about, though, is what recommendations might be made re: older frames of quality. Are there frames out there that are "cult favorites" re: handling, durability, light weight, etc?
    Steel Stumpjumper or a Trek 970 from the early-mid 90s. Both sweet riding frames. Maybe not as light as you'd like, but they'll do what you're asking. The only caveat is tire clearance in the rear, which is a maybe. I'm sure there are other mass produced upper echelon steel frames out there as well.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  9. #9
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    look for Kona's

    I am very partial to the ride and handling characteristics of Kona's steel frames. Look for an older Kilauea or Explosif. Also, some others have posted regarding a "magic" gear ratio that can be used without a tensioner.
    Just my personal cult favorites and can be had on the cheap with a watchful eye.

  10. #10
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    I'm using an old Mongoose (95 or 96, I forget) IBOC Zero-G frame. Since you can buy new Mongoose full suspension bikes at Walmart for about $100, it basically killed the value on the 'pre-Pacific takeover' bikes. So you should be able to get one dirt cheap.

    Why this bike?

    Its a fairly lightweight cro-mo frame.
    1-1/8 head tube
    68mm BB
    and most importantly (at least to me)... I can run 34:17 without a tensioner.

    I bought one of these new for about $700, and couldn't get a more than $50 for it. The geometry is a little goofy, but you can correct a lot of that with a stem, riser bars and moving the seat all the way back. My bike weighs almost 21 lbs (with my Salsa bell).

    If you decide to go this way keep this in mind... the seatpost is 26.2, so finding a quality replacement is REALLY difficult!

  11. #11
    The man who fell to earth
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    To satisfy all of your requirements (which isn't that easy to do garage sale cheap), I would recommend a used (2-4 year old) disc braked Bianchi Singlespeed. These bikes were $700-$800 new, and commonly sell used for $300-$500 in very good condition. They have large S chainstays to allow fat tires (which old cheap bikes wont), the disk brakes will actually work in the ice and snow (unlike V's or cantis), the Aluminum frame is light, not sure about the pannier rack, but I know they have aftermarket mounting systems that can be made to work.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Alley Dan
    How do, folks:

    I'm a recent convert, having had my winter bike (converted to SA 3 speed) convert itself into a single speed somwhere around January or so. I'm going all out for this winter, communting daily on a purpose-built single speed. The buildup will start in August, with finished product as light and simple as possible, and ridden in temperatures down to 35 below Celcius.

    Knowing, then, that
    a) it's quite flat around here (Edmonton), with only one minor hill in my commute,
    b) weight is a consideration,
    c) I am one cheap *******,
    d) who will need to ride in deep snow, and so will probably run WIDE downhill tires,
    e) and with a pannier rack,

    ...what do you, the esteemed gathering of single-speeders, recommend re: frame and componentry?

    Many thanks,

    D.A.D.

  12. #12
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    Many excellent suggestions - thanks for your time.

    Anyone else care to chime in?

    Cheers,

    D.A.D.

  13. #13
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    Yeah I have a suggestion..get a job and get a decent bike.
    Capt_Phun's Riding Blog:
    http://captphun.blogspot.com/

    I better go get my headlamp while I'm sober....ish

  14. #14
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    I'll chime in

    The snow's almost all gone - I'm in Winnipeg so I know what I'm talking about That means it's garage sale time. Grab an old road bike that fits for about $3. Perform the disc hub to fixie transformation detailed at this link: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...ght=disc+fixie Cheap and simple winter commuter. Spend $ on beer and a decent bike for the 2 months of summer you'll be enjoying.

  15. #15
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    Paul, thanks for the input. Good luck on your recent snow - at least the farmers will be happier... I worry about skinny road tires on the 10 or 20 days I'm forced to ride on the road when it's covered in that brown sugary muck that snow turns into when it's had time to merge with salt and roadcrap. I have access to a couple of old Nishiki road frames, but I'm holding out for something that will accomodate tires that have a degree of "flotation"...

    Capt. Phun, I'm guessing you don't know road salt from your arse - I have a decent bike that I ride once the roads have seen enough rain to clean 'em off. Decent bikes ridden in winter conditions up here are landfill in two seasons. Your career counselling and financial advice are noted, but useless. Thanks for trying.

    D.A.D.

  16. #16
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    Old frames with semi horizontal dropout are not that hard to find and easily converted to SS. However, most old frames are not made for wide tires, and some clearance is nice to have for winter commuting, so you should not just stick the biggest tire you can fit either. Another thing is "cheap" and "light" generally are not a good combination, since "strong" it will not be. However, even a heavy-ish frame when stripped down to a SS is relatively light. In any case, you've pretty much said it already, any frame you hunt down that has rack eyelets and a reasonable tire clearance will do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Alley Dan
    Capt. Phun, I'm guessing you don't know road salt from your arse - I have a decent bike that I ride once the roads have seen enough rain to clean 'em off. Decent bikes ridden in winter conditions up here are landfill in two seasons. Your career counselling and financial advice are noted, but useless. Thanks for trying. D.A.D.
    I'll have to disagree, personally I commute daily with a decent bike, and I live in Hamilton, which probably sees more salt than Edmonton (which sees more sand). A decent frame that doesn't corrode, decent hubs with seals, decent sealed BB, etc... will survive many winters without a rebuild. However, use a cheap chain, and don't use mechanical disc calipers (they really like to seize in salt). Hydraulic discs work in salt AND axle deep snow, but are not really necessary for commuting, and don't fit the "cheap" criteria.

    And when I forget my fender, my ass is road salt...

    Cheers,

    Tom

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