What do you think of my (cheapo) SS build?

  • Thread starter knucklesandwich
  • Start date
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knucklesandwich

Guest
Building up my first MTB, but doing it SS/rigid style, and on the cheap, since I just bought a new cx bike last summer (I commute 4-5 days/week on it, and despite some hills, rarely switch rear gears anymore, and never out of the big ring), and if I stick with MTB'ing, I'll probably be throwing more money at a bike in a year or two...

Anyway, wanted your opinions on my parts spec so far, if possible:

Nashbar steel frame (the cheap one, incl seatpost)
NYC Bikes Rigid Raked Steel Fork (410mm A-C)
no-name stem
Scott Strike handlebar
Nashbar Basic Mtn Crankset
Nashbar sealed BB
Avid AD 5 V-Brakes
Avid FR5 Levers
FSA Pig Headset
Nashbar Legend Saddle
Cane Creek Grips
wheelset off an old Rockhopper, back one need truing
Ritchey Excavader 2.1 tires
pedals- not sure yet, platform though
Surly Singleator tensioner, and spacers
KMC bmx chain

Going to take off the chainrings and replace with 2 Salsa rings, which I understand are not ramped/pinned. And going to get 2 dimension $4 cogs in place of the cassette, allowing me to have 2 gearing options, provided I adjust the Singleator to get a straight chainline.

Anyone have any opinions/recs on this so far? Everything's bought at this point except: fork, stem, bars, pedals, Salsa chainrings, cogs, so any opinions on those will be taken under consideration.

Thanks,

PS- photos to follow in a month or so...can't wait!
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
KS-
retro is the new old skool...so rigid build is all good. i've been considering swapping the slicks off of my 1993 trek 970 and riding that exclusively at Lewis Morris. my only fear would be snapping the thing...but now that mary is on her way...the 970 will stay road only.

anyway, i would HIGHLY recommend running the singleator in the push UP position. yours, like mine and like jason's, probably didn't come with the spring and you'll have to order it from surly. both jason and i had issues with them in the DOWN postion and we're very different riders. i don't really know how much jay weighs, but i'm at 225 clyde weight in shorts with powerlifting background. when i tell you the chain EXPLODED off the thing, i mean it exploded. heythorp was with me one of the times.

other than that, hit up price point for everything else you don't have.
 

Spylab

New Member
I don't know where the heck all you guys are riding, but this single-speed rigid stuff is blowing my mind. Even on a full suspension all mountain machine, I beat the crap out of myself and my bike when I ride some of these trails. Besides flat, hardpack stuff like Sussex Branch trail, I can't imagine riding without a derailleur or some type of shock cushioning.

Frankly, I thought singlespeed bikes were best reserved for trials, BMX or bike messenging. Settling on a middle ratio would make climbs over-exterting, and heading downhill would all be free-coasting. And why put yourself through the abuse of trying to roll over rocks, stumps, logs etc. on a fully rigid bike? Seems masochistic, not purist.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I don't know where the heck all you guys are riding, but this single-speed rigid stuff is blowing my mind. Even on a full suspension all mountain machine, I beat the crap out of myself and my bike when I ride some of these trails. Besides flat, hardpack stuff like Sussex Branch trail, I can't imagine riding without a derailleur or some type of shock cushioning.

Frankly, I thought singlespeed bikes were best reserved for trials, BMX or bike messenging. Settling on a middle ratio would make climbs over-exterting, and heading downhill would all be free-coasting. And why put yourself through the abuse of trying to roll over rocks, stumps, logs etc. on a fully rigid bike? Seems masochistic, not purist.

Oh these guys don't actually ride. They like to talk about it a good amount. :D
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I don't know where the heck all you guys are riding, but this single-speed rigid stuff is blowing my mind. Even on a full suspension all mountain machine, I beat the crap out of myself and my bike when I ride some of these trails. Besides flat, hardpack stuff like Sussex Branch trail, I can't imagine riding without a derailleur or some type of shock cushioning.

Frankly, I thought singlespeed bikes were best reserved for trials, BMX or bike messenging. Settling on a middle ratio would make climbs over-exterting, and heading downhill would all be free-coasting. And why put yourself through the abuse of trying to roll over rocks, stumps, logs etc. on a fully rigid bike? Seems masochistic, not purist.

it is masochistic. no two ways about it. but, i've ridden single speed hardtail(when i had it, the few times it functioned correctly) at Mahlon, Lewis Morris, KVSP and the tourne. if you count the time i rode one mile on CEM's cannondale, you can add deer park to that. mooch is the only place around that i haven't ridden and that's only b/c i knew my lack of fitness would really slow people down.

i hope to change that this year though with the arrival of mary, my lady of pain. but not until i get reba sucking up the rough stuff on the front end. :D
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
I don't know where the heck all you guys are riding, but this single-speed rigid stuff is blowing my mind. Even on a full suspension all mountain machine, I beat the crap out of myself and my bike when I ride some of these trails. Besides flat, hardpack stuff like Sussex Branch trail, I can't imagine riding without a derailleur or some type of shock cushioning.

Frankly, I thought singlespeed bikes were best reserved for trials, BMX or bike messenging. Settling on a middle ratio would make climbs over-exterting, and heading downhill would all be free-coasting. And why put yourself through the abuse of trying to roll over rocks, stumps, logs etc. on a fully rigid bike? Seems masochistic, not purist.


Spylab,
I used to think the same way you did. Then I built up a cheapo SS out of a spare frame, some cogs & a Nashbar SS conversion kit. That was it, I was hooked. I started at Kittatinny, then progressed to Deer Park & then Mahlon. I rode Allamuchy once, but I think I found my limit. I didn't enjoy it as much there.

You would be surprised at what you can ride on the SS. I know I was. I am not going to give up my full suspension bike, but my SS fills a niche for me. Also, I think it has made me a better rider this year and taught me not to waste time & energy switching gears on some stuff. Oh, and I learned that standing up is a good thing sometimes on a bike.

The SS also comes in handy in the winter for shorter rides because it gives you a great workout in less time and you use your upper body a lot, too. And I also use it when I take my young nephews out for a ride -- I work a lot harder on my SS then I do on my FS so it makes an "easy" ride challenging.

Come on -- join the fun. All the kids are doing it -- it will make you popular. Your Mom won't find out. How's that peer pressure working? :)
 
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ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
I agree. You would be surprised of what you can do on a SS. I have been riding since May and been on a SS since november or so. I love it not sure if ill go back to a geared bike. Yea sure you may have to walk a few sections that you could spin in the granny gear.

It is a cool feeling when you blow by a guy on a geared bike up a climb and you realize you only have one!
 

mergs

Spokompton's Finest
JORBA.ORG
Spylab,
I used to think the same way you did. Then I built up a cheapo SS out of a spare frame, some cogs & a Nashbar SS conversion kit. That was it, I was hooked. I started at Kittatinny, then progressed to Deer Park & then Mahlon. I rode Allamuchy once, but I think I found my limit. I didn't enjoy it as much there.

You would be surprised at what you can ride on the SS. I know I was. I am not going to give up my full suspension bike, but my SS fills a niche for me. Also, I think it has made me a better rider this year and taught me not to waste time & energy switching gears on some stuff. Oh, and I learned that standing up is a good thing sometimes on a bike.

The SS also comes in handy in the winter for shorter rides because it gives you a great workout in less time and you use your upper body a lot, too. And I also use it when I take my young nephews out for a ride -- I work a lot harder on my SS then I do on my FS so it makes an "easy" ride challenging.

Come on -- join the fun. All the kids are doing it -- it will make you popular. Your Mom won't find out. How's that peer pressure working? :)

Joe you nailed all the important points. My favs are how it power packs a short workout, makes the less tech parks fun again, and how it improves handling skills. Heck its just fun to switch to a different bike once in a while.

The only thing I'd add is: to enjoy a SS, you have to enjoy punishing yourself a little. You don't have to be a full on goat, but if you don't enjoy the pain and suffering of that big climb that you finally cleaned, you may not enjoy SS. But the first time you clean that hill, which you walked the time before, its a good feeling.

What's also amazing to me is how much the "SS thing" has taken off. Its not a question of "who has a SS" nowadays, its now a question of "who hasn't". Its so rampant that I wonder if Shimano has taken little bit of a hit in derailluer sales ;)
 
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knucklesandwich

Guest
I guess I am a little bit of a sadist, coming from a distance-running background. In high school, I ran XC and track, but my favorite season was winter (we had no winter track team) where we'd have "unofficial" practices every day, and just go out in a pack, clad in shorts and sweatshirts, and just run til our eyes burned.

Maybe I'm trying to recapture a little of that punishment, building up my first MTB as a singlespeed.
 

ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
I guess I am a little bit of a sadist, coming from a distance-running background. In high school, I ran XC and track, but my favorite season was winter (we had no winter track team) where we'd have "unofficial" practices every day, and just go out in a pack, clad in shorts and sweatshirts, and just run til our eyes burned.

Maybe I'm trying to recapture a little of that punishment, building up my first MTB as a singlespeed.


Good for you! and welcome to the fun! :D
 

Spylab

New Member
I guess I just don't see on the same level, and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't use the granny ring up front at all, and if I am in the mood for an ass-kicking I will climb hills in 2-5 through 2-7, but I like having the option of cooling down if I over-exert myself. Bad example perhaps, but it would be like buying a car that only had second gear because I liked the sound of the engine and taking in the sights. For putting around with the old lady it's just fine, but sometimes you gotta save some fuel and shift.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
the new SS slogan: no pain, no fun?

i don't know. i was a lacrosse goalie so my logic about what does and does not hurt is flawed to begin with.
 

bonefishjake

Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
i'm trying to use my least sacastic internet voice with this one...but yes, i have actually heard that one before. more than once. actually, way more than once.

but, how is that SS build going? any movement since you started it??
 
K

knucklesandwich

Guest
No movement since my last post. Waiting on a Nashbar order containing crank, BB, tires, tubes, saddle, grips. Then will lie low and lurk on Ebay for a bit for the remainder, but if that doesn't bear fruit, looks like I'll have two more orders:
Bikeman: chainrings, cogs, pedals
NYC Bike: bar, stem, fork
Pics will be posted as it is completed, followed by a ride report, then (knowing myself as well as anyone) posts about upgrading parts or looking into my next bike...
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
I guess I just don't see on the same level, and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't use the granny ring up front at all, and if I am in the mood for an ass-kicking I will climb hills in 2-5 through 2-7, but I like having the option of cooling down if I over-exert myself. Bad example perhaps, but it would be like buying a car that only had second gear because I liked the sound of the engine and taking in the sights. For putting around with the old lady it's just fine, but sometimes you gotta save some fuel and shift.

Yeah, I understand. The SS just gives me a great workout even when I am riding with slower people or my nephews for the day. Also is a great workout when I only have time for a short ride. I also think of it as recycling -- my old hardtail got recycled into something more useful to me for about $20 rather that just collect dust.

Your byline implies you own a Reign -- Great bike! I currently have a Trance & love it. My next FS bike will probably be a Reign when I need a new one.

AJ
 
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