Is this a good start? What else would I need?



mynameisphunk

New Member
Jun 11, 2007
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I have been considering building a singlespeed mountain bike, and have come across this setup on Ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-SS-Single-Speed-Frame-Fork-HS-Stem-Bar-Crank-Post_W0QQitemZ150132388314QQihZ005QQcategoryZ98083QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Specifications: You are Bidding on a Sweet Dirt Research Columbus tubing 18" frame and fork kit. We are now getting may requests for different frame sizes - So with that in mind, we could switch out the frame size for another and if so, there may be slight differences due to production runs in cable routing, rear stays or dropouts but basically the same frame. Kit includes - Tioga 1-1/8" threadless headset, Dirt Research Alloy Threadless Stem (you pick the length - 130, 140, 150mm), Dirt Research Super Light aluminum bar 560mm length, Dirt Research Super Light aluminum Seat Post (sorry, forgot to get that one in the picture - but go to about me and that link will show you the post along with many other items and their normal closeout price, Shimano DX Single Speed 175mm Crank w/38t - we will add a 34t so you could mount both at the same time for use with a front Derailleur or just one ring. (Cranks were originally for Tandems but have been professionally helicoiled for SS - We sell just the crank set up for auction with buy it now for $35.00), Rear Derailleur chain tensioner. Frame material is Columbus Thron Sweet Italian tubing - S bend rear stays - Ritchey investment cast rear dropouts, DT has bolt brazeon for bolt on front Shimano derailleur or could be used with clamp type. and fork is 4130 Tange Cr/mo. Color is a beautifull Teal Green with clear coat. Closeout price if you add all items = $347.00 - Normal retail approx. $500.00.
Is this a pretty good start for a singlespeed project? What else would I need - wheelset (can I use any wheel with a 135mm hub?), brakes, saddle, a bunch of spacers and a rear sprocket, handgrips, pedals, tires...anything else? All that stuff can be had relatively cheaply, correct?

Ideally, I'm looking to first - experiment with bike building (total newb), and also experiment with single-speed, which I've never ridden. I don't want to spend terribly much, $350 or less total, and would like to end up with a rig that should hold up to some good abuse on the trails.

Would I be better off with a Motobecane Outcast for $340 shipped?

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-MOUNTAIN-BIKE-SINGLE-SPEED-FIXIE-COMMUTER-TRACK-ETC_W0QQitemZ140129095240QQihZ004QQcategoryZ98083QQcmdZViewItem

I know neither of these options are the BEST - I'm not looking for the best, just something that will rock for the money.
 

Hasukawa

New Member
May 15, 2007
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The things I would look out for on a MTB frame for single speed use are; non-vertical dropouts (this is a must for SS). I'd stay away from aluminum, especially on a rigid frame. Try to find a steel rigid frame, steel absorbs the best as rigid. I don't trust regular aluminum for the main components of a bike (frame, head, rims). a non-alloy aluminum frame can buckle. if you run a low enough gear ration this might not be that big of a problem. you have to remember that running a SS with a nice ratio means you are exerting much more pressure on your parts than with a normal geared bike. Speaking of ratios I would figure out what kind of MTB riding you want to do to help determine your ratio. It doesn't make sense to have a MTB that can't climb, yet you also don't want to be outpaced by a BMX. Id try a 40x16 on a MTB, depending on your cycling abilities. The standard top gear on a geared MTB is 48x16. To get an idea on what a top line SS MTB looks like check out the Trek 69er but this is too over engineered for my tastes. Play around test it out, if the gearing doesn't work you can always change it up. I think the most thing important is choosing the right frame, make sure you have dropouts that are somewhat horizontal and that the frame can withstand the abuse, because more than likely the frame will be your biggest cost for the set up, everything else is just an upgrade. oh yeah, dont mess with a tensioner if your going SS, it's just something else to get screwed up and it's easy to tension a chain line anyways, just make sure it's as straight as possible and only slightly slack. if it's too tight you run the risk of stripping something or blowing spokes. for the components, get what fits you and what fits your budget and riding style. experiment with set ups.
 

mynameisphunk

New Member
Jun 11, 2007
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Why are horizontal dropouts a must if you have a chain tensioner? What are the functional downsides to running a chain tensioner? Besides the lack of horizontal dropouts, does the Dirt Research frame/crank/stem etc... look pretty good on Ebay? For $180ish shipped for all that, I should be able to put it together with spare parts and it should come in under $300 for a starter SS bike, which is all I'm looking for.

If there is no real downside to a chain tensioner besides the looks of it, then that doesn't bother me.
 

Hasukawa

New Member
May 15, 2007
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One of the great things about a SS is the true chain line, it helps to make your pedaling more powerful. No pully's to go through and the chain is straight and has as little resitance as possible. A chain tensioner is needed if the dropouts are vertical, yet is acts as a pully for your line. Last night I actually stumbled upon a bizarre hub http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/singlespeed.html#hubs that is designed for vert dropouts and single speed use, yet the downside is its 160ish dollars. So with that case, yeah go with a chain tensioner if you have a vert drop out. But I'd say try and get horizontal or semi-horizontal if you can. Good luck and have fun, because thats what its really all about. If you can post pics when you get done with it, i'm slowly workin on a MTB SS project myself. I'd get it done faster if i didn't keep having to fix my SS roadie.
 

Old Guy

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
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It sounds like I was in the same boat...looking for a first SS project, had some parts around, etc. Well I purchased the exact Dirt Research kit your looking at and it is now built up. I live nearby the seller and actually met the gentlemen in person, great guy. Anyway..the frame is way beyond my expectations for the price. Great paint and welds. The bike built up beautifully! As for the price, it would be almost impossible to beat for what you get. As for vertical dropouts, they are no problem with the tensioner. When you fit the chain to length, install the tensioner and thread the chain. Then pull the tensioner up tight to the chainstay and zip tie it there. Pull the chain as tight as you can before connecting. I needed to take out about a half a link more then I could stretch it to get it as tight as I personally wanted it. Here's my trick. Allow the chain to fall off the bottom few teeth of the chainring and then pin the chain. Simply pedal forward to get the chain on all the way and you'll have a chain every bit as tight as with horizontal dropouts. Good luck :D and let me know how you make out.







mynameisphunk said:
I have been considering building a singlespeed mountain bike, and have come across this setup on Ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-SS-Single-Speed-Frame-Fork-HS-Stem-Bar-Crank-Post_W0QQitemZ150132388314QQihZ005QQcategoryZ98083QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


Is this a pretty good start for a singlespeed project? What else would I need - wheelset (can I use any wheel with a 135mm hub?), brakes, saddle, a bunch of spacers and a rear sprocket, handgrips, pedals, tires...anything else? All that stuff can be had relatively cheaply, correct?

Ideally, I'm looking to first - experiment with bike building (total newb), and also experiment with single-speed, which I've never ridden. I don't want to spend terribly much, $350 or less total, and would like to end up with a rig that should hold up to some good abuse on the trails.

Would I be better off with a Motobecane Outcast for $340 shipped?

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-MOUNTAIN-BIKE-SINGLE-SPEED-FIXIE-COMMUTER-TRACK-ETC_W0QQitemZ140129095240QQihZ004QQcategoryZ98083QQcmdZViewItem

I know neither of these options are the BEST - I'm not looking for the best, just something that will rock for the money.
 

mynameisphunk

New Member
Jun 11, 2007
13
0
0
I actually ended up picking up a leftover '06 Redline Monocog for $330 shipped, 21" frame (perfect for me, 6'4") - couldn't pass that up for a complete bike. I'm picking up a used K2 Zen V converted to single speed for the wife to give it a shot as well :)

Thanks for your help, I'd love to see pics of your Dirt Research build!
 

Old Guy

New Member
Jun 23, 2007
2
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Great! I'm glad you found a great bike at that price. I'm sorry to say I'm not sure how to post the pics. It appears you can't just insert attachments. If you can educate me on that I'll be happy to share some pics. By the way I was able to get my frame in "titanium" color as opposed to the teal as shown on EBAY.:)



mynameisphunk said:
I actually ended up picking up a leftover '06 Redline Monocog for $330 shipped, 21" frame (perfect for me, 6'4") - couldn't pass that up for a complete bike. I'm picking up a used K2 Zen V converted to single speed for the wife to give it a shot as well :)

Thanks for your help, I'd love to see pics of your Dirt Research build!
 

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