Monday, November 9, 2015

New(ish) Single Speed Mountain Bike

   Man, this one has been sitting in the drafts queue for a while. Last winter I spent some time building up a new single speed mountain bike. I came across this Cannondale Trail SS on eBay, and it seemed like a good opportunity to replace the IRO. 

Halfway apart

   The nice thing about an aluminum single speed is that it's not terribly expensive to get started. I picked up the bike for $400* and put another couple hundred in parts into it. Here is the parts list:
  • Truvativ Nior Carbon Bar (used, eBay)
  • Easton EC90 100 mm 0 Degree stem (used, eBay)
  • Avid Elixir 5 Hydraulic disc brakes (new, eBay)
  • SRAM EXO BB (Community Cycles)
  • Truvativ Noir carbon crank (used, eBay)
  • Easton Monkeylite seatpost (had already)
  • Ergon grips (had already)
  • Fizik Arione seat (had already)
  • Rock Shox Reba 100mm fork (had already)
Money Shot

   So I had a lot of the parts already, and the ones I bought I was able to get priced really well. Now, on to assembly!

Parts in Bill's shop

   Half way through assembly, I came upon a problem - with the bottom bracket installed, the crank was loose. What happened was I had a SRAM crank, and a Shimano bottom bracket, and the width of the external bearing shell for the Shimano is thinner than the SRAM. 

Width differences

  So although the spindle for the crank fit through the Shimano bearings, it was too long. When tight, there was still some wiggle room. I got another BB from Community Cycles with the proper width and the whole thing went together like butter. 
   First ride was also great! The bike climbs well, handles well, does everything an alum frame should. The steering angle must be a little more steep than the Scalpel, because some corners it feels kind of different. Since it's a hard tail, and a single speed, it is a different kind of riding than I'm used to, lots of standing up. 

First ride map

   I originally planned on riding this bike in the CU Short Track series, but with the first race only having a handful of entrants, I moved to the B class racing my geared bike and have been using this to ride casually. Overall I give it a great review, looking forward to the spring when we have some fun morning rides planned!

* Natalie and I bid the bike up $100 against each other on accident. Oops.

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