JUST KIDDING!!! Like I would ever leave Minh (or he would ever leave me). Nope, this new status has to do with the new addition to our cycling family.. my new SingleSpeed 29er from Nashbar (!!!). This brings our current total bike count to 8.
I bought this as a birthday present to myself. I had told Minh that I wanted to build up a singlespeed over the summer just for kicks. I also thought it would be nice to have a 29er, just to see what it was like (having neer ridden one before). Minh said that it would be hard (and expensive) to find a 29er frame in my size (extra tiny) and even more difficult to find a singlespeed. Luckily for me, he’s great at scouring the internet for what he needs. A few days later, he showed me a complete singlespeed 29er from Nashbar that came in my size (15″) !!! The standover height was a little more than his S-Works hardtail, which I have ridden before. This would be a reach for my little legs, but it wouldn’t be too bad. The whole point is stay ON the bike, right?
We ordered the bike and it arrived about a week later (after my birthday, but no worries about that). This is what was waiting for me after work:
We had to haul it over to Minh’s house to actually start putting it together (there’s no space at my house.. or tools). It was a little bit of a hassle to have to take it over there in the little CRV, but we made it ok (Minh did all of the muscle work getting it into/out-of the car). There was a lot of cushioning/packaging protecting the bike. I guess that’s a good thing becuase I didn’t want my bike to come already scratched up. It took me a while to get it all out of the box, eventually Minh just told me to rip the box apart, since we wouldn’t be using it again anyway.
We put the frame on the stand to start assembling the bike. I had to remove the fork because Minh got his hands on a “new” one for me (not rigid).
The bearing spacer was different on the two forks, so Minh had to knock out the one that was on the original fork and put it on the new one. Probably not the safest way to do it, but it got the job done
We swapped out the breaks and rotors for a different/better set. We also went to a bigger rotor in the back for more stopping power.
After we had it somewhat thrown together, we realized that the steer tube (not really sure of the nomenclature) was too long. So Minh had to trim that down quite a bit. Again.. probably not the safest way to do it, but it got the job done. We really didn’t have anywhere to clamp the guide to.. so Minh was just very careful not to cut himself.
Put the whole thing together and did a couple laps up and down the street. Felt pretty good, definitely different from the Era that I normally ride. I couldnt’ really tell you how it was different.. mostly I felt higher up and like I was rolling slightly faster, but that may have been in my head. It was weird to not have gears to shift through, though.
Here’s a shot of the bike fully built up.
There are still some changes that need to be made. We’re going to swap out the handlebars, wheels and tires, stem.. at least. Maybe a few other things here and there.
We took the bike out for a ride at Fullerton Loop on Saturday (sorry, no pictures). Minh rode his cross bike. Took us about 1 hour 30 minutes, which isn’t super fast, but also isn’t bad for being on a singlespeed. I had to walk two of the steeper climbs, but one of them I could have probably powered through if I really tried. The ride is a little bit bumpier with a hardtail, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. Looks like what I really need to work on is being able to power up hills and keeping momentum/speed.
Here’s the gallery of pictures from the build: