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Bike build questions

Old 11-09-18, 09:46 AM
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tantalizingchef
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Bike build questions

Dear Bikers! I was looking to do something crazy to add to my fleet of bikes: A single speed/fixed gear gravel/mountain bike build. From a bare frame. Problem is I don't have tons to spend, initially....and wondered if there was a decent lightweight frameset to look into to start with? And I mean INEXPENSIVE! No name? Scratch and dent? Whatever...just something that I can put some decent components on to mess around with.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-09-18, 09:50 AM
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Not super light, but not bad. Mine is 28 pounds with no fancy light parts on it.

https://www.randombikeparts.com/prod...e-bmx-pink-new
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Old 11-09-18, 09:51 AM
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Oh, you want MTB/gravel??? that seattube is pretty laid back for gravel.
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Old 11-09-18, 09:54 AM
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I forgot to mention, I am 6' 6" and need a big frame!
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Old 11-09-18, 10:05 AM
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Any preference for wheel size? If I were you I'd probably be checking the used market for an old 26" MTB frame like a Stump Jumper or something. Was considering going that route recently, but I bought a complete SSCX bike instead.
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Old 11-09-18, 11:28 AM
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https://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_...es:%20Mountain

These are fully built, but they're cheap and immediately rideable.
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Old 11-09-18, 08:32 PM
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Any old hybrid/mountain bike with horizontal dropouts can work. They tended to have longer geometry, so watch the top tube length if you plan to use drop bars.
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Old 11-09-18, 10:04 PM
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How serious mtb do you need it to be? There’s the Kilo WT complete bike for $500. Has a flip flop hub and can fit like 45mm tires that can handle gravel but mtb stuff is probably asking too much from it.

Nashbar has a single speed 29er and bikesdirect has the Gravity single speed 29er and a 27.5

Last edited by 20t; 11-09-18 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 11-09-18, 11:49 PM
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I'll second the used rigid mtb from 80's or early 90's if cheap and strong are the requirements. You can get a chromoly frame and some decent components if you look. The caveat is that you usually need to employ some elbow grease which, if you enjoy wrenching and bringing life back to the dead, could be a bonus. Yes there is a learning curve but the rigid mtb makes a good canvas to tinker on without risk of costly mistakes and old replacement parts for the 3x7 era are usually inexpensive.

I've posted these pics before but it shows how an old bike can be transformed.

84 Diamondback Ridge Runner I picked up for $20




Beautifully lugged chromoly frame with forged dropouts and nice fork under the surface rust and old paint












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Old 11-10-18, 11:04 AM
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I would say look for a used All City frame or frame set.
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Old 11-10-18, 12:40 PM
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FG gravel grinding may be a more recent phenomenom, but there is nothing new about fixed mountain biking...

http://www.63xc.com

Going back some years I did it pretty regularly on bigger clearance 700c fixed bikes with CX tires - a Redline 925, then a SE Bikes Fixed PK Ripper, and finally a Steamroller. Amazing how much fun it can be going slow. In fact, some guy literally bought my "Ripper MTB" out from under me at a trailhead after he followed me around the trails a little and became fascinated with it.







But I do agree with the others who mentioned that an older '80s steel MTB with front loader dropouts would be a cheap/easy way to get into it as long as you can deal with their longer wheelbase/touring geo, and come up with or rig a rear wheel to fit the bigger OLD. An alternative would be to look for a used fixed gear freestyle bike - since that died out they should be available pretty cheap...errr...inexpensively.

Good luck and have fun...

Last edited by IAmSam; 11-10-18 at 01:04 PM. Reason: ooops...
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Old 11-11-18, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
Any preference for wheel size? If I were you I'd probably be checking the used market for an old 26" MTB frame like a Stump Jumper or something. Was considering going that route recently, but I bought a complete SSCX bike instead.
I prefer a 29er.
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Old 11-11-18, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 20t View Post
How serious mtb do you need it to be? There’s the Kilo WT complete bike for $500. Has a flip flop hub and can fit like 45mm tires that can handle gravel but mtb stuff is probably asking too much from it.

Nashbar has a single speed 29er and bikesdirect has the Gravity single speed 29er and a 27.5
I found a KILO WT on a site, HUGE sizes, but nothing in stock of course. $463 Seems maybe a possibility. Or an All City or Surly. I have some emails out
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Old 11-11-18, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tantalizingchef View Post
I found a KILO WT on a site, HUGE sizes, but nothing in stock of course. $463 Seems maybe a possibility. Or an All City or Surly. I have some emails out
if you have the extra funds I’d go with All City or Surly.... I think they’re a small step up in price from the Kilo WT, no?
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Old 11-11-18, 08:07 PM
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I think the Surly frames are about $500. Can't recall the ALL city....but not bad
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Old 11-14-18, 04:23 PM
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you'll be better off go to the neighbor, Classic & Vintage forum. million gravelers done using vintage MTB frames in clunker fasion either geared or single. look for nickname Thrift Bill, good chance he might have one or a few frames in quite affordable price range. thank me later.
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