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https://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/singlespeed-bikes-frames-2019-20-a-1106367.html

Several of the bikes listed here are available as complete bikes.

How essential is front suspension? Some options have a rigid fork but replacing it with a squishy would blow up your budget.

Also consider- a bike that has gears and adjustable dropouts (Kona Unit X, Salsa Timberjack, Specialized Fuse, etc) can be converted to singlespeed for the cost of a cog and spacers. Then you can sell the cassette and shifter to recoup some costs.
 

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Redline Monocog and some of those Bikes Direct options are singlespeed right out of the box. There's also the used market where you might find a great deal on an old KM or Vassago or something like that.

Don't limit yourself to SS only bikes as that limits your choices to about six bikes. Turning any of those bikes into a singlespeed is cheap and incredibly simple. There's no reason at all to negate any of those bikes because they come with gears. Turning them singlespeed takes a few minutes and you can sell the shifty bits or keep them around "just in case."

Can you give us some specifics about how and where you intend to ride this bike? How tall are you?
 

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I'll toss my hat in for the Salsa timberjack or Karate Monkey. Can't go wrong with either bike. Friend picked up a timberjack that was last year's model that was heavily discounted. He really likes it. I just saw the monkey is 1,500. That would still be my top pick if you're willing to go a little above the budget, save a little longer, possibly get a discount, or buy used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Redline Monocog and some of those Bikes Direct options are singlespeed right out of the box. There's also the used market where you might find a great deal on an old KM or Vassago or something like that.

Don't limit yourself to SS only bikes as that limits your choices to about six bikes. Turning any of those bikes into a singlespeed is cheap and incredibly simple. There's no reason at all to negate any of those bikes because they come with gears. Turning them singlespeed takes a few minutes and you can sell the shifty bits or keep them around "just in case."

Can you give us some specifics about how and where you intend to ride this bike? How tall are you?
Okay ideally it will be ridden on pavement to and from work (2 mi round trip) with the occasional hilly dirt terrain tracks that are local to my state. I would like the option of taking them to the Sierra nevadas, Rockies, smokies, etc. I am 5'11" 170 lbs and pretty athletic. I'm a 28 y/o Firefighter/Paramedic if that matters. I refuse to buy a pavement pounder because I just don't like them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll toss my hat in for the Salsa timberjack or Karate Monkey. Can't go wrong with either bike. Friend picked up a timberjack that was last year's model that was heavily discounted. He really likes it. I just saw the monkey is 1,500. That would still be my top pick if you're willing to go a little above the budget, save a little longer, possibly get a discount, or buy used.
Okay. What makes these two bikes (that I would have to convert to as) more capable than the Lowside or Unit that come ready to roll? Just curious.
 

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Okay. What makes these two bikes (that I would have to convert to as) more capable than the Lowside or Unit that come ready to roll? Just curious.
The Lowside has fairly poor brakes IMO. Also the 26+ version wheelset and stem seems pretty crap TBH. It also doesn't take to well to having a front suspension fork added. It looks like a fun bike to me but it doesn't look like good value to me and I don't think I would want it as my only bike.

The Karate Monkey has a bit more modern geometry then the Unit and can be run with a boost wheelset which the current Unit cannot. Supposedly there is a new Unit coming out soon. That being said I really don't think there is anything wrong with the Unit. It certainly wouldn't be a bad choice.

The Timberjack is the most slack (67.4 HTA vs 69 on the rigid KM) but it is aluminum.

Edit: Just read your post about what you are using it for. I'd look for rigid and non-plus tires. If you bought the Unit or KM you will probably want a set of 29in wheels.
 

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Okay ideally it will be ridden on pavement to and from work (2 mi round trip) with the occasional hilly dirt terrain tracks that are local to my state. I would like the option of taking them to the Sierra nevadas, Rockies, smokies, etc. I am 5'11" 170 lbs and pretty athletic. I'm a 28 y/o Firefighter/Paramedic if that matters. I refuse to buy a pavement pounder because I just don't like them.
Ah, THAT is helpful. I would not bother with something designed around balloon tires like a Lowside then. A Monocog would be great for that, or an older XC bike would be ideal. That will allow you to venture into the woods quite a bit.

For riding a puny two-mile round trip, ANY bicycle that rolls and stops will work. For that short a trip, personally, I'd just as soon walk and save myself the trouble of locking up the bike and anything like that. I'd ride a cheap POS bike so I don't worry about exposure to theives and the elements.

If you want a bike that can handle real trails on actual mountains, a rigid SS budget commuter is going to be quickly overwhelmed under most mortals. It can be done if you have the cajones for that, but most people will want a stronger bike with stouter components.
 
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