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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the time being I finished my build. Gave it a shake down test today and nothing fell off or vibrated loose. No creaks or noises that aren't supposed to be there. Lets go over the particulars.

I had a bunch of spare parts and a spare set of 27.5 wheels laying around. I looked around for a cheap frame to throw together a parts bike and I couldn't find anything cheap and in stock with the specs I wanted. That's when I came across the Marino brand through some posts on these forums. The price was right and I could get it speced exactly how I wanted. The original idea was to just throw together a do it all steel frame bike I would ride gravel, tarmac, and some XC trails. Eventually during the process of specing out my geometry the project turned into a Single Speed project. But I did want it to be a sort of do it all bike. I came across the Smart Sam tires and I thought they would be a good place to start. They have a continuous center knob so they roll great on the road with no road buzz. But the transition and side knobs are very similar to Nobby Nics or Maxxis Forekasters. A strange mix of aggressive XC tread made to ride smoothly on the road. In 2.6" with double down casing they aren't light at 970g but they seemed like a tire I could ride on road or hammer through the rock gardens on our local single track. After ordering the frame they were the first components of the build that I bought.

Bicycle Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Wheel Bicycle frame
Wheel Bicycle frame Bicycle Bicycle tire Automotive tire


After the tires came the fork and wheels. I still planned on using as many take off and spare parts as possible to keep the budget below $1k. I set up the geometry based on a 140mm fork but I planned on using a old 120mm Recon to begin with. I eventually want to move to a 140mm fork but the Recon will do for now. Some old 30mm ID wheels on Shimano hubs got the bike rolling. A used Deore crankset with 32t chainring and a used XT Bottom bracket and some Kona Wah Wah 2's pulled off another bike gives my feet something to stand on. I decided I wanted a Boone Ti cog. I happened to be driving through Atlanta one day and messaged them in the morning to see if I could grab a cog on my way through town. No problem they made my 18t cog to order that morning and I was able to pick it up that afternoon. The owner was nice enough to give me and my son a tour through the shop and show us how everything was made. Really cool.

Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Bicycle Land vehicle
Bicycle Crankset Wheel Bicycle frame Bicycle tire
Bicycle tire Purple Bicycle frame Bicycle part Grass


I picked up a dropper on Pinkbike. The guy listed it as a 150mm. I need about 135mm but this one could adjust -30mm so it should fit. Turns out it was listed wrong and is 170mm. I have it set at 140mm right now but it's a shade too long. I didn't like any of the bars or stems in my parts pile (or else they would be on another bike). I still needed a headset so I ended up buying some Brand X components (Stem, Saddle, Handlebar) since they were cheap and met my requirements and got me free shipping on the purple headset I wanted. Last part I needed was a dropper level. I like Crank Bro's and Wolftooth dropper levers. I was feeling cheap and decided to try out the Chinesium ZTTO dropper lever I saw on Ebay. Looks like a copy of the Wolftooth dropper lever. The mounting is a little different but you can tell they were set out to make a close copy of the Wolftooth without blatantly copying them. The breakaway plastic feature isn't on here like the Wolftooth. Pretty nice little lever for $25. I actually feel a little guilty for buying it as I love Wolftooth own a lot of their products and hate to see people's IP get copied like that.

Bicycle frame Bicycle handlebar Bicycle Bicycle part Bicycle fork
Automotive tire Bicycle fork Bicycle part Bicycle tire Rim


Outside of a couple of very minor fit and finish issues on the frame that a light touching of a file wouldn't fix everything went together well. With the heavy tires, wheels, dropper, cranks, and steel frame I expected the built to be over 30lbs. It sits a smidge over 31lbs.

Bicycle Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle wheel rim
Bicycle Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Crankset


Did my first trail ride at lunch today. I rode a relatively tame set of trails without a lot of elevation but plenty of roots and rocks. Bike performed exactly how I imagined. Tires which were a big question mark did great. Very Nobby Nic for transition and cornering traction which is plenty of grip for the trails I plan on taking this bike on. It made these relatively tame easy pedaling trails a bit of a challenge and kept me more engaged on these trails. I could definitely feel the extra effort in my core after a short hard effort 7 mile ride. I got more of a core and leg workout on today's short 7 miles than I did on my 23 mile ride last week. Anyway that's my build and I'm excited to have my first ground up single speed build.

Bicycle Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Crankset
 

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Very cool. I am planning a switch to SS on my 2019 Trek Stache 7. I know the rim I want now but I am undecided on the hub (thinking Hope Pro 4 or Swiss DT 350), I want something pretty bomb proof. I reworked my old Trek Rig SS into a drop bar gravel bike and have really been enjoying riding it. I forgot how much I liked a SS bike.

Well done sir!
 

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Very cool. I am planning a switch to SS on my 2019 Trek Stache 7. I know the rim I want now but I am undecided on the hub (thinking Hope Pro 4 or Swiss DT 350), I want something pretty bomb proof. I reworked my old Trek Rig SS into a drop bar gravel bike and have really been enjoying riding it. I forgot how much I liked a SS bike.

Well done sir!
Hadley has a boost, single speed specific hub. That'd be my choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Problem with building a bike from spare or old take off parts is you took them off for a reason. Man I hate these old Juicy 5 levers and brakes. And after getting used to the grab of my 4 pot Maguras I entered a couple of corners a little too fast yesterday.
 

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But man they want a lot for it….
I have the 1st Gen Hadley’s that where 135 bolt on with Ti bolts, then replaced that axle with a 142x12 one piece axle. I also have the 2nd Gen Hadley 142.
The 148 Boost Hadley’s are not back Gen convertible for a few reason. 1 being the axle and 2 being the wide flanged hub shell.
My point is Hadley’s are really nice and when you consider the prices of other hubs, I see the value also Hadley’s have a Ti free hub.
My SS’s are both 142 but if I where to get a 148 SS frame I’d get Hadley’s or ONYX just because those seem to be more precision built with wider flanges and stronger free hubs
 
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What exactly makes it better and tougher? I'm not being sarcastic, it's an honest question.

I've always heard of people saying they are good hubs but I can't even find anything descriptive about the drive mechanism. Seems like most (all?) high end hub manufacturers have some online presence where you can get a pretty decent idea what is where within the hub. But with Hadley...
 

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What exactly makes it better and tougher? I'm not being sarcastic, it's an honest question.

I've always heard of people saying they are good hubs but I can't even find anything descriptive about the drive mechanism. Seems like most (all?) high end hub manufacturers have some online presence where you can get a pretty decent idea what is where within the hub. But with Hadley...
Hadley is in the dark ages, no website or real marketing. Ball Racing, the online distributer, is really outdated and doesn’t help with much information.
I guess you just have to own Hadley’s to know about them.
72POE with a standard pawl engagement design. Standard sized press in sealed bearings (I bought my last set on Amazon) a nice Ti free hub and standard seals. The axle is end to end 1 piece and doesn’t use end caps.
I’ll post up some pics next time I break my hubs down and replace the bearing.
 

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If it was me I’d take as much length off the seat tube as I could get away with and travel adjust the dropper post to suit.
Also, one of your photos got me thinking - why do some people use a chainstay protector on a singlespeed, that the chain is never going to come into contact with? I usually just use a strip of helicopter tape, mainly to prevent damage from the chain when the wheel is removed.

Feel free to tell me to mind my own business......
 

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Andy, I'll ride my bike rather than get in a heli with ya! Taped that thing together and it sure is rickety!!
CS protection in the form of transparent grip tape is my choice but only used on geared bikes that do not have a clutch type RD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If it was me I’d take as much length off the seat tube as I could get away with and travel adjust the dropper post to suit.
Also, one of your photos got me thinking - why do some people use a chainstay protector on a singlespeed, that the chain is never going to come into contact with?
My plan from the beginning was to have a 2nd rear wheel and a derailleur/shifter in a single length of shifter housing so I can convert to a geared bike in the time it takes the swap the rear wheel, bolt on the shifter/derailleur, and zip tie the shifter housing to the frame. As a parts bin bike I had old non-clutched derailleurs I was going to use, but after riding the single speed I have abandoned that idea from the parts bin for the time being. I may still revisit that so I keep the chain stay protector on.
 

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My plan from the beginning was to have a 2nd rear wheel and a derailleur/shifter in a single length of shifter housing so I can convert to a geared bike in the time it takes the swap the rear wheel, bolt on the shifter/derailleur, and zip tie the shifter housing to the frame. As a parts bin bike I had old non-clutched derailleurs I was going to use, but after riding the single speed I have abandoned that idea from the parts bin for the time being. I may still revisit that so I keep the chain stay protector on.
All is now clear, man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
any updates on Marino? I'm considering placing an order.
No complaints. I bought mine at the height of the pandemic when everything was backlogged. There were some minor QC issues with mine, nothing that made it un-ridable but just attention to details. Sharp edges not deburred properly on the seat tube. I don't think the seat tube is 100% straight as if I tighten the seat tube collar down enough I can't move the saddle it binds the dropper. Tried multiple droppers. Very sharp edges on the internal routing guides so the first housing I pulled through there peeled an outer layer of the housing like a carrot. Probably the biggest was the top and bottom surfaces of the head tube were not parallel. It's not off enough to cause binding but you can visually see it in the head set assembly.

Love the bike. Excellent value. Minor QC issues that I mostly was able to fix myself. It's been solid and dependable. I sent it at Windrock and it held up better than the rider.
 
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