Here is a sneak peak at a new bike build that I have going on at the moment. Without going into too much detail, this is going to be a budget build, single speed road bike. Or, at least my version of a road bike. Still a ways to go, but progress nonetheless.
And in case you are wondering, those are Big Apple 26×2.35, and they fit in the frame just fine.
Just keep spinning…
For all of those not paying attention, this coming model year is going to be stellar for bicycles. Need further proof of that? Check this Cross Check:
Yes, that is a Surly Cross Check. True, not a new model. Here is the kicker; this bike is now offered as a single speed complete, set up with mountain bars! This is the Cross Check that I have always wanted to build. Well done Surly!
Be sure to check out their blog this week, they are planning on dropping new products every day.
Pic from Surly’s site, also check out what looks to be a Krampus with an even fatter front…
So now that I have finally secured the funds to start my new bike build, I am unfortunately at another crossroads. This time, I am still leaning towards the Troll, but also leaning towards a full fledged fat bike. I seem to go back and forth with this, over and over, and waiting is not helping me one bit. So, for this installment, here is the next round of my bike comparisons.
As for why I am leaning towards a fat bike, it all started with this:
Gary Fisher Rig SS
This was my first taste of the big wheels. Only ridden around 100 miles, in a haste I dismantled it and sold it off, only to buy another single speed to then sell off, etc. I regretted it after the fact, but hind sight is 20/20 right? Anyway, after riding this bike, I really wanted to try out a full on fat bike. So recently, in my planning stages for the new bike, I found a used Surly Puglsey on the local Craigslist that got my mind rolling on the big wheels again. Unfortunately I was not as quick as I should have been with it, and it sold. So that leads up to the comparison.
We will start with this:
This is the current model that I am leaning towards. I will not go into details, since I have talked about this frame numerous times, like here and here. The frame is very versatile, and I feel like it would be a great fit for my riding style, and also the type of riding that I have been doing. Also, it would give me a bike that is ready for the woods, which is what the Xtracycle was lacking, thus it’s departure. Two things make me not want to go this route though:
First, there is newer model coming out later this year. From what I have read on a cycling forum, it will be in the fall. The newer model adds bottle/cage mounts on the fork, and another bottle mount on the underside of the downtube. I would like those options, but I am not sure that I can wait until then. Patience is a virtue that I do not possess. This is not a deal breaker for me though.
Second, the Troll fits big tires. I plan on using the 26×2.6 Maxxis Ardents on the frame, should I get it. But this could be the opening of Pandora’s Box for tires. It could only lead to wanting a little more rubber (enter “That’s what she said” joke here) and the Troll would be maxed out. Not a true fat bike. The Troll would always be lacking in the tire department.
For the fat bike route, I will not go into too much detail again, since I will only be repeating myself. Click here to see my comparison of the Pugsley and the Mukluk, which would probably be the route that I would take. In a perfect world, I would buy both. Hmmm, if only…
The next few days will be tough on the cycling decisions, thankfully that is the worst thing in my life that I have to worry about. For that, I am thankful.
Just keep spinning…
Surly Troll picture from their site, click the link to the right to have your mind blown on their products.
Now that the Xtracycle has been disassembled, I am back to square one with my old friend, the Haro V3. This bike was my very first “real” mountain bike, from 2003 I believe. This bike has gone through some changes over the years.
For a while it was my MTB, geared with a Manitou suspension fork, and V brakes. That phase traveled from Ohio to Southern California and continued on for a bit. Then, after the Gary Fisher Rig showed up, it turned into a geared commuter with 1.5 inch slicks, then switching back to trail duty as a second single speed. Moved back East, and it found it’s way back to the streets, as a single speed commuter, this time with a Salsa steel rigid fork and disc brakes. It hung on the wall of the garage for a time, patiently waiting for parts once again. Finally came the cargo bike phase, via Xtracycle. Now, we are here:
Back to just a frame. What form should it take now?
I have to say, this bike has lasted far longer than I ever would have guessed. I couldn’t even begin to estimate how many miles it has logged over the 9 years or so that I have owned it. I am thinking I could piece together a cheap single speed again, but this time run some Schwalbe Big Apples just for fun. Anyway, whatever form this bike takes on, it has been the best $400 that I have ever spent. Thanks Haro!
Yesterday I picked up the latest edition of Bicycle Times and one ad in particular caught my eye. Inside the front cover was a picture of this:
Beautiful disc brake only, single speed, steel frame cyclocross bicycle from Raleigh Bicycles. This bike is amazing. The bike has a decent set of components, some of the highlights:
-Shimano Alfine crank set.
-Eccentric bottom bracket for easy chain tension.
-Double wall rims.
-Kenda ‘cross tires.
I love a single speed bike, but it is almost like this bike was built for an Alfine internal gear hub in mind. That would be an amazing upgrade to an already fantastic bike. ‘Cross bikes are used now a days for more than just cyclocross. I would venture to guess that most end up in the streets for commuting duties, due to more comfortable geometry compared to a road bike. This bike with an Alfine IGH would be a perfect commuter.
Looks like this bike is in the $800 range, not too bad. Nicely done Raleigh!
Photo from Raleigh’s website.
Since I am the official bicycle geek at my workplace, I get to do random maintenance projects on friends’ bikes. This latest project, has made me extremely happy:
This is a 70s or 80s Sears and Roebuck Ted Williams edition road bike. A friend of mine actually found it on the side of the road in someone’s garbage. He decided to pick it up and see if I could do anything with it. Fifteen dollars later, he has a road worthy single speed! Granted, I did not do anything too fancy with it, for example, I left the cassette on the freewheel, and also I left both chain rings on the crank. But for this build, it does not matter. What matters is that it is ride-able, for extremely low money. All you need is a new chain, semi horizontal dropouts, and some new tubes, and BOOM! You are riding! The weirdest thing about this bike is that it has Dura Ace brake levers and brakes on it, which I did not expect. A little bling for a free bicycle. Too much fun on two wheels. Here are some glamor shots…
Oh my… after I write a posting about switching to road biking, blah blah, Kona drops the Honzo on everyone! Holy crap! That bike looks amazing! Steel 1×9, with sliding dropouts for single speed conversions, can used tapered forks, can jump off of things, can ride all day, etc. Just check out the pics:
So Kona does not have a price listed, but I found on a dirt forum that the complete will be around $1750, and the frame around $550. Damn, looks like I need to start saving…
Looks like Kona hit this one out of the park. Thanks Kona, for making me want to mountain bike again…