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Single Speeder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for everyones help getting the bike to this point:
Bicycle frame Bicycle handlebar Bicycle part Bicycle Bicycle accessory


Bicycle frame Bicycle part Bicycle accessory Bicycle handlebar Bicycle


Bicycle handlebar Bicycle part Bicycle accessory Bicycle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Tire Bicycle wheel Wheel


Where would you start?

I'm thinking wheels or fork.

I have a set of candy clipless pedals and I'm going to buy some shoes and learn to ride them. Also, I'm working on getting the number of spacers down on the steerer tube. I just haven't got my stem dialed yet so I want the flexibility for now.

I ride a local trail that has some tough areas but for the most part I'm not minding the bike being rigid. I've had some wrist numbness/discomfort but I think it may be associated with the stem length and not having the angle of my handlebars dialed, combigned with plain old trail noise. I'm not running tubeless yet so maybe wheels or just trying to rig my blunts and small block 8's for tubeless would be huge for me. I imagine I'm not getting the most out of my tires in the way of cushion running at about 25-28lbs on front and 35ish in back. Also, I'm not exactly digging the difficulty I'm having bunny hoping. Let me admit that I'm not in the best shape but still the bike doesn't feel really dialed for this. I think I'm too far out over the fork with the 100mm stem. So I've got the stem sold and I'm going to try a 70mm and move up if necessary from there. I do realize that it's a 29er and is going to take some strength for a 5'8" rider to hop it. I plan to stay with the Vassago frame awhile longer so I can really appreciate what it offers. So base the upgrade suggestions around the existing frameset and on the criteria of freeing up the front end some to manual, wheelie, and bunny hop. I'm gonna work on my fitness along the way. I' guess I'll put the pics at the top for those who'd rather shoot from the hip. Thanks for any advice.
 

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Upgrades:
1. Chris King hubs and Stans or DT swiss rims - expensive but it will be the best upgrade ever. Do no make the mistake that a lot of pople make, start buying middle of the road parts and then end up with a collection of crap that in the end is more than that "expensive" item.

2. Suspension fork - check ebay for deals on 2007-08 Rebas, Manitous

3. Pedals - shimano XT

4. Get the bar that fits you. Some people like MAry's, some flat, some lots of bend some straight. This is not the department where you want to look "cool" matters. For example, the EA70 DH bar is the most comfortable for me. I have like 15 different bars at home just trying...

Enjoy...
 

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Jacob 34:19
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You're off to a good start!

I'm running the Luv Handles with Oury grips myself and love them. Along with the shorter stem you've purchased, you might try angling the handlebars downward a tick. The clipless pedals will be huge for you as well. I've never learned to bunny hop correctly on any bike but clipless pedals at least help me cheat enough to get over smaller obstacles.

By far the biggest performance increase will come with wheels. I'm not sure what you're running but if you can convert them to tubeless, do it. If not, consider a new wheelset. My personal preference is for DT Swiss hubs and Stans rims.

Lastly, after years of riding rigid I finally caved and bought a fork for my singlespeed. I didn't want to like it but a nagging wrist injury made me try it. Not only is it more comfortable, I'm faster with the fork. Riding rigid taught me a lot about picking lines and riding smooth. I ride the same way with the fork, just faster.

Hope this helps. And nothing at all wrong with the Vassago. I've heard nothing but great things about those frames.

PS: I run BB7's on all my MTB's. The stock rotors do indeed suck. I've been impressed with the Alligators. And they're cheap.
 

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Expert Crasher
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Don't need to cut that steerer tube yet - just slide some spacers on top of the stem. Cut only when you are totally sure you've got bar height dialed.
 

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Agree with greenlight. I've still got some extra steerer tube above my stem and it's been no biggie.

I'd go with wheels if you've got the money for them. DT 240s hubs have been great for me. Kings, hopes and i9s also get a lot of love with stans or DT rims.

As for the hand numbness, try a carbon fork out. WB Rock Solid is what I've got and while I haven't ridden other rigid forks a friend of mine rides a rigid with a steel fork and he hopped on mine and noticed the difference in a 2 min test ride. You could also go with different bars and some ergons if you decided to switch bars. Not sure how they'd work with yours though.

Brake rotors may be a cheap way to upgrade. I have bb7s and the rotors do have issues. Mine have been really noisy lately even after cleaning and without really getting dirty, but I haven't lost braking performance so if yours work for you it may not be necessary.

Clipless will really help you out and other than that the only thing I'd do is put on a knobbier front tire but that's just personal preference. I like to have a lot of grip up front. Depends on what you ride though. I bet those two small blocks are fast.

Good luck with it and have fun riding it!
 

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Those Luv Handles look awesome and the hand position looks comfy. However, many of the reports I've read about them complained that they were very stiff and harsh. That could easily be part of your discomfort
 

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Good looking Jabber

I agree with pretty much all the advise you've gotten already, I would suggest that you take the bike to a reliable LBS for a proper fit, like 7daysaweek suggested, play with the spacer arrangement on your forks.

Personally, I would stay with your ODIS fork, I've got one on my Jabber and it is sweet! I would definitely consider a carbon bar. I have the Answer carbon on the Jabber and the Easton on my Canzo, I like either one, but that would be a "less costly" upgrade than a fork. Also I really, really like the Ergon grips with the bar ends, great on a SS.

Other than that, the wheel upgrade would be a high priority. I got a sweet set of used Stans 355's w/ Surley hubs on flea-bay for $200 bucks. I'm running Nevagals tubeless and they are pretty nice, I might in the future play with some Rampages or WTB's. But the wider tires really help to absorb the rough stuff.

Definitely get used to clipless pedals, I have been running shimano's for about 100 years and recently tried the eggbeater C's....:thumbsup: It rains once in a blue moon here in No. AZ and they light years better for mud than shimano's, plus the bigger float is better on the knees.

Good luck and stay with Jabber, you already have one of the best steel SS bikes out there!:)
 

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Single Speeder
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Zion, JRM, Jake, Green Light, 7days, Boom, and Going 29.

1. Wheels - thinking kings with stans, although I've heard the hope hubs are really loud and pretty nice also. You guys think I should build them up single speed specific or geared on the rear hub? For the moment I am staying single speed but I'd like to have the option to go geared if the performance of the wheel wouldn't suffer that much.

2. Fork - possibly carbon fiber or suspension... may keep the ODIS

3. Handle bars - maybe try out some carbon bars or other styles

4. Clipless - getting my clipless set up going by purchasing some shoes

5. Rotors - cheap and easy upgrade although my rotors don't seem to have issues yet other than not being true out of the box???? ugh!

6. Tubeless - trying to get my current wheels to run tubeless if I can (i've read it's possible but my SB8's are not tubeless tires)

7. Front tire - I can see where running a fatter front tire with more tread would be helpful with trail noise, traction, and comfort. Maybe a weirwolf?(sp)
 

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ETP2008 said:
Thanks for everyones help getting the bike to this point:

Where would you start?

I'm thinking wheels or fork.

I have a set of candy clipless pedals and I'm going to buy some shoes and learn to ride them. Also, I'm working on getting the number of spacers down on the steerer tube. I just haven't got my stem dialed yet so I want the flexibility for now.

I ride a local trail that has some tough areas but for the most part I'm not minding the bike being rigid. I've had some wrist numbness/discomfort but I think it may be associated with the stem length and not having the angle of my handlebars dialed, combigned with plain old trail noise. I'm not running tubeless yet so maybe wheels or just trying to rig my blunts and small block 8's for tubeless would be huge for me. I imagine I'm not getting the most out of my tires in the way of cushion running at about 25-28lbs on front and 35ish in back. Also, I'm not exactly digging the difficulty I'm having bunny hoping. Let me admit that I'm not in the best shape but still the bike doesn't feel really dialed for this. I think I'm too far out over the fork with the 100mm stem. So I've got the stem sold and I'm going to try a 70mm and move up if necessary from there. I do realize that it's a 29er and is going to take some strength for a 5'8" rider to hop it. I plan to stay with the Vassago frame awhile longer so I can really appreciate what it offers. So base the upgrade suggestions around the existing frameset and on the criteria of freeing up the front end some to manual, wheelie, and bunny hop. I'm gonna work on my fitness along the way. I' guess I'll put the pics at the top for those who'd rather shoot from the hip. Thanks for any advice.
I'd say don't change too much. It's a pretty decent build as is. Maybe change the bars, stem and tires to make it fit you and your trails better...

I would say work with your bike fit some more, and then ride it a bunch before changing anything else. Work on your gear before upgrading your bike! :)

I don't know how far extended your legs are with your seat at that position, but if they're pretty extended, it looks like your bars are pretty high. I find when my bars are too high, it's difficult to lift the front end and bunny hop..

Sweet looking bike!
 

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Expert Crasher
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ETP2008 said:
Thanks Zion, JRM, Jake, Green Light, 7days, Boom, and Going 29.

1. Wheels - thinking kings with stans, although I've heard the hope hubs are really loud and pretty nice also. You guys think I should build them up single speed specific or geared on the rear hub? For the moment I am staying single speed but I'd like to have the option to go geared if the performance of the wheel wouldn't suffer that much.

2. Fork - possibly carbon fiber or suspension... may keep the ODIS

3. Handle bars - maybe try out some carbon bars or other styles

4. Clipless - getting my clipless set up going by purchasing some shoes

5. Rotors - cheap and easy upgrade although my rotors don't seem to have issues yet other than not being true out of the box???? ugh!

6. Tubeless - trying to get my current wheels to run tubeless if I can (i've read it's possible but my SB8's are not tubeless tires)

7. Front tire - I can see where running a fatter front tire with more tread would be helpful with trail noise, traction, and comfort. Maybe a weirwolf?(sp)
1- Kings are nice but pricey, great choice if they fit the budget. You can't go wrong with Hopes though - yes, they are loud, but work just as well as the Kings in my experience. Little less blingy but nothing to skip over when selecting. I have run two sets of the SS/trials hubs - you can fit 6 cogs on the back so they offer some flexibility for gearing later on (you can put cogs on the King hub too). Stick with SS (free hub style) rear hubs, there is some flexibility.

2- Keep the Odis, I hear it's a great fork and the geo is designed to work with the Jabber.

3- Keep the bars, experiment w/ the stem. I too think your bars are little high and that my affect your bunny hops.

4- Look at a good walkable type shoe - like the Specialized Taho or one of the new Bontragers Inform shoes

5- If the rotors work, no need to change them yet (you don't get the same bang for the buck upgrade here that you do with automotive rotors)

6- Save tubeless for later, just experiment with pressures right now

7- If you're working w/ the SB8 up front just fine, than the WW will be a good choice for some added cushion. Save that second SB8 as a spare for the rear - you'll consume 2x rear tires before a front wears out (my experience any way).
 

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Single Speeder
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thanks Green Light and Tron...

I'm going to try the bars in a lower position once I get my 70mm stem. My legs are just comfortably short of locking out at the knee where the seat is now and my knee cap is right over the spindle when the cranks are horizontal. When I started reading about bike fit it sounded like ideally the bars and seat would be level or the bars a little below the seat. I have seen some bikes where the bars appear to be several inches below the seat. It looks like it would ride strange like that but I see allot of people rolling like that. So I'll give that a try also.

I completely agree about upgrading my fitness level before spending too much on the bike and thats the goal. I'm having trouble getting to the trail more than twice a week so I really need to start woking on some urban assault rides in the evenings. I think a WW up front and a set of clipless shoes along with continuing to work on the bike fit and my fitness are the way I'll go while saving for the wheelset. I'm going to try and get a set of carbon bars and go tubeless Bruce Brown style along the way.

Thanks again, I'm very happy with the bike and I couldn't have gotten here without you guys. 24 degree's this morning in Dallas and my old stem is in the mail so I wont be getting to ride at all this weekend... ugh!! Anyone have a 70mm 25.4 Thomson Elite stem laying around? I'd pay 50 bucks shipped for one in really good condition.
 

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Do you need help with your fit??

ETP2008 said:
Thanks Green Light and Tron...

I'm going to try the bars in a lower position once I get my 70mm stem. My legs are just comfortably short of locking out at the knee where the seat is now and my knee cap is right over the spindle when the cranks are horizontal. When I started reading about bike fit it sounded like ideally the bars and seat would be level or the bars a little below the seat. I have seen some bikes where the bars appear to be several inches below the seat. It looks like it would ride strange like that but I see allot of people rolling like that. So I'll give that a try also.

I completely agree about upgrading my fitness level before spending too much on the bike and thats the goal. I'm having trouble getting to the trail more than twice a week so I really need to start woking on some urban assault rides in the evenings. I think a WW up front and a set of clipless shoes along with continuing to work on the bike fit and my fitness are the way I'll go while saving for the wheelset. I'm going to try and get a set of carbon bars and go tubeless Bruce Brown style along the way.

Thanks again, I'm very happy with the bike and I couldn't have gotten here without you guys. 24 degree's this morning in Dallas and my old stem is in the mail so I wont be getting to ride at all this weekend... ugh!! Anyone have a 70mm 25.4 Thomson Elite stem laying around? I'd pay 50 bucks shipped for one in really good condition.
I live in Dallas too and ride SS 95% of the time. PM me if you want help with the set up... I was going to do Samson but it was freaking cold 18deg. Did Grapevine yesterday and it was nice and tacky....

ZR
 

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Zion Rasta said:
I live in Dallas too and ride SS 95% of the time. PM me if you want help with the set up... I was going to do Samson but it was freaking cold 18deg. Did Grapevine yesterday and it was nice and tacky....

ZR
I WISH it was 18 degrees here. Then I could go out and ride my new Pugsley. It's -5F with a -30F wind chill. I prefer to only commute when it's a little chilly like this.
 

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We texans like it hot!!

Schmucker said:
I WISH it was 18 degrees here. Then I could go out and ride my new Pugsley. It's -5F with a -30F wind chill. I prefer to only commute when it's a little chilly like this.
I hear ya, but we went from 71deg to 18deg in 12hrs.... Its about the feel... Plus it is an excuse to go shop for picture frames with the wife at Target.:thumbsup:
 

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ETP2008 said:
Thanks Green Light and Tron...

I'm going to try the bars in a lower position once I get my 70mm stem. My legs are just comfortably short of locking out at the knee where the seat is now and my knee cap is right over the spindle when the cranks are horizontal. When I started reading about bike fit it sounded like ideally the bars and seat would be level or the bars a little below the seat. I have seen some bikes where the bars appear to be several inches below the seat. It looks like it would ride strange like that but I see allot of people rolling like that. So I'll give that a try also.

I completely agree about upgrading my fitness level before spending too much on the bike and thats the goal. I'm having trouble getting to the trail more than twice a week so I really need to start woking on some urban assault rides in the evenings. I think a WW up front and a set of clipless shoes along with continuing to work on the bike fit and my fitness are the way I'll go while saving for the wheelset. I'm going to try and get a set of carbon bars and go tubeless Bruce Brown style along the way.

Thanks again, I'm very happy with the bike and I couldn't have gotten here without you guys. 24 degree's this morning in Dallas and my old stem is in the mail so I wont be getting to ride at all this weekend... ugh!! Anyone have a 70mm 25.4 Thomson Elite stem laying around? I'd pay 50 bucks shipped for one in really good condition.
You're not going to get much from a carbon bar, IMO. The Luv handles have a nice sweep to them, you won't replicate anything like that in a bar that is compatible with bar ends - which if you SS a lot, you might find that you need. I'd start by leveling your bars with your saddle - which means just putting your spacers on top of your stem. Give it a shot for a few rides then make another change if necessary.
 

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ETP2008 said:
What bar ends are popular for the luv handles?
You don't need them for the luv handles - b/c of the sweep. The only bar end compatible carbon bars I know of are 6 degree, and with that, you might want bar ends (I would).
 

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Jacob 34:19
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Zion Rasta said:
I hear ya, but we went from 71deg to 18deg in 12hrs.... Its about the feel... Plus it is an excuse to go shop for picture frames with the wife at Target.:thumbsup:
No kidding. I was going to try to get out to RCP yesterday but the wind chill was 16º. I know that's not cold to some but come on, this is Dallas. It's tough to get used to that kind of cold when we only see it 2 or 3 weeks out of the year.

ETP - Work on positioning the Luvs before you give up on them. I've got Luvs on my singlespeed and a carbon bar on my geared bike. I much prefer the hand position of the Luv Handles. I'm trying to work out the fit on my geared bike currently. If I can't make the carbon bars work, I'm going to replace them with another set of luv handles.
 

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Single Speeder
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
GreenLightGo said:
You don't need them for the luv handles - b/c of the sweep. The only bar end compatible carbon bars I know of are 6 degree, and with that, you might want bar ends (I would).
I was really confused in thinking you were saying bar ends for luv handles.... durh ^_^

I couldnt really wrap my mind around the concept and with good reason

misunderstood...

BUT... 70mm thomson is on the way and I'm gonna drop my stem position some AND got some Specialized Tahoe Clipless shoes to go with my Candy C's... gonna be bunnyhoping over logs soon! Hahahahah... or at least be able to get close *_* I'll try and work with the Luv Handles for a bit longer. I didn't really think they were the problem. Maybe I'll see you guys out at RCP one weekend.
 
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