Putting together/buying a single-speed?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Preston Crawfor, Sep 30, 2003.

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  1. I was talking to a guy at my LBS the other day and we were talking about the state of
    water-deflection on my bike. The state is not good. It's a road bike that would require major
    hacking to get some fenders on it and I survived last winter in Oregon fine, but have been
    thinking about getting a second bike, a winter bike that is easier to clean, maintain, etc. With
    that in mind, I've spied some single speeds I've seen here and there and I was wondering how
    people get these. Are there places where you can just buy them straight-up? Or do most people buy
    old bikes and convert them? We also began talking about disc brakes (so as not to sand down the
    rim quickly as often happens here in Portland, Oregon), but that's another discussion. Either way,
    I've been thinking about getting one of these for a while (freewheel, not fixed) and I'm wondering
    where you get them.

    Preston
     
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  2. Mann

    Mann Guest

  3. "Preston Crawford" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I've spied some single speeds I've seen here and there and I was wondering how people get these.
    > Are there places where you can just buy them straight-up?

    Many people convert an old bike, but frames (and complete bikes) designed for the purpose are sold
    by a number of companies. Even the major manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon, e.g. Kona with
    their 'Unit', and Cannondale with the '1FG'.

    http://www.konaworld.com/kw_index.cfm

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/04/cusa/model-4MRSS.html

    These singlespeed mountain bikes are geared too low for general use on the road - typically
    52-54", compared with a typical 70" gear for road riding - but it's not hard to modify the gear to
    your needs.

    Surly sell a number of frames designed for single-speeding.

    http://www.1x1speed.com/

    > Or do most people buy old bikes and convert them?

    That's probably the most common approach.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html has a lot of information and some useful links.

    A hub gear would be another option for a weatherproof commuting bike.

    http://www.scottusa.com/product.php?UID=3750

    James Thomson
     
  4. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Preston Crawford" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I was talking to a guy at my LBS the other day and we were talking about the state of
    > water-deflection on my bike. The state is not good. It's a road bike that would require major
    > hacking to get some fenders on it and I survived last winter in Oregon fine, but have been
    > thinking about getting a second bike, a winter bike that is easier to clean, maintain, etc. With
    > that in mind, I've spied some single speeds I've seen here and there and I was wondering how
    > people get these. Are there places where you can just buy them straight-up? Or do most people buy
    > old bikes and convert them? We also began talking about disc brakes (so as not to sand down the
    > rim quickly as often happens here in Portland, Oregon), but that's another discussion. Either way,
    > I've been thinking about getting one of these for a while (freewheel, not fixed) and I'm wondering
    > where you get them.

    Building up bikes is not usually a cost-effective way to go. Margins on complete bikes are much
    lower than components, and then there are substantial labor costs. Even if you do all the work
    yourself, and scrounge bargain bins, it's hard to beat the price of a complete bike.

    "Utility/City" bikes seem to be a growing category. Fenders, generators, racks, etc. are easy enough
    to add, if you have the right starting bike, but some may prefer the whole thing prefabricated (like
    Breezer or Electra). I dunno about disks just to save rime wear in the rain, if you haven't already,
    try KoolStop salmon-colored pads -- very effective at reducing wet grit rim grinding.
     
  5. I've just got into SS by converting an old MTB - using sheldon browns guide.

    I tried my local hills on a geared bike to get the max ratio, allowing me to get up the toughest
    hills without having to walk (but can't pedal sitting down) and used this as a starting point for
    my gearing.

    I ended up with a 42/17 and a 26inch wheel = 64" Ok for spinning around 16 mph on the flats and
    getting up a local 16% hill. Not the best of both worlds, always a compromise.

    The weight saving by removing cassette, rings, mechs, shifters etc.. helps with the hills and
    overall, i'm enjoying the new experience. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    C

    On Wed, 1 Oct 2003 00:44:32 +0200, "James Thomson" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Preston Crawford" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> I've spied some single speeds I've seen here and there and I was wondering how people get these.
    >> Are there places where you can just buy them straight-up?
    >
    >Many people convert an old bike, but frames (and complete bikes) designed for the purpose are sold
    >by a number of companies. Even the major manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon, e.g. Kona with
    >their 'Unit', and Cannondale with the '1FG'.
    >
    >http://www.konaworld.com/kw_index.cfm
    >
    >http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/04/cusa/model-4MRSS.html
    >
    >These singlespeed mountain bikes are geared too low for general use on the road - typically
    >52-54", compared with a typical 70" gear for road riding - but it's not hard to modify the gear to
    >your needs.
    >
    >Surly sell a number of frames designed for single-speeding.
    >
    >http://www.1x1speed.com/
    >
    >> Or do most people buy old bikes and convert them?
    >
    >That's probably the most common approach.
    >
    >http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html has a lot of information and some useful links.
    >
    >A hub gear would be another option for a weatherproof commuting bike.
    >
    >http://www.scottusa.com/product.php?UID=3750
    >
    >James Thomson
     
  6. Kaputnik

    Kaputnik Guest

    I know nothing about the following bike except what I've read, but it looks interesting. It's got a
    flip hub so you can pick genuine fixed gear or single speed freewheel.

    http://vandesselsports.com/b_cntryBob.shtml

    "Preston Crawford" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I was talking to a guy at my LBS the other day and we were talking about the state of
    > water-deflection on my bike. The state is not good. It's a road bike that would require major
    > hacking to get some fenders on it and I survived last winter in Oregon fine, but have been
    > thinking about getting a second bike, a winter bike that is easier to clean, maintain, etc. With
    > that in mind, I've spied some single speeds I've seen here and there and I was wondering how
    > people get these. Are there places where you can just buy them straight-up? Or do most people buy
    > old bikes and convert them? We also began talking about disc brakes (so as not to sand down the
    > rim quickly as often happens here in Portland, Oregon), but that's another discussion. Either way,
    > I've been thinking about getting one of these for a while (freewheel, not fixed) and I'm wondering
    > where you get them.
    >
    > Preston
     
  7. On Wed, 01 Oct 2003 11:51:00 +0000, Peter Cole wrote:

    > Building up bikes is not usually a cost-effective way to go. Margins on complete bikes are much
    > lower than components, and then there are substantial labor costs. Even if you do all the work
    > yourself, and scrounge bargain bins, it's hard to beat the price of a complete bike.

    Well, that depends. If you have a collection of parts, then the margin is often the other way.
    Another way to really lower the costs is to go to a swap meet and get what you can get cheap there.

    BTW, the Trexlertown swap meet is this Saturday, beginning at 9:00. Great selection, lots of stuff.

    >
    > "Utility/City" bikes seem to be a growing category.

    This is a category that you can usually construct for very little money with swap-meet and
    parts-bin stuff.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig... You _`\(,_ | soon find out the
    pig likes it! (_)/ (_) |
     
  8. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Tue, 30 Sep 2003 09:43:14 -0700, <[email protected]>, "Preston Crawford"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've been thinking about getting one of these for a while (freewheel, not fixed) and I'm wondering
    >where you get them.
    >
    >Preston

    Some companies make trendy expensive SS bikes: Kona, Surly, Spot, etc.

    Cruiser replicas are often single speed. Cruisers can often have an interesting social scene
    around them.

    Most people seem to bash them together out of old road or mountain bikes. You need horizontal
    drop-outs unless you want to run a chain tensioner. But, they're as ugly as derailleurs.

    Except for the freebie coaster brake bike, (with $15 in parts) that goes a mile and back to the
    store, I don't get enough use from my other SS bikes to warrant spending much money on any one of
    them. (~$150 - $250 @)

    They're fun toys but don't go nuts until after you see how often you ride it.

    For a more sensible bike in Portland, but maintaining the simple aesthetic of a SS bike, I'd look at
    internally geared hubs.
    --
    zk
     
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