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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have finally got my Ragley up and going after breaking my Niner WFO9. Going to spend the next couple months gathering up a bit of money and I am wanting to buy a cheap SS backup bike as I really really don't want to get stuck without an MTB again and I want to try out this whole single speed thing. I currently have a single speed CX bike (that basically lives on a trainer) and single speed BMX both of which I enjoy a lot. The bikes will also see some use on local gravel and greenways riding with my wife and some use running errands. Also it would be nice if it was able to pull a trailer but I don't know what that requires. I haven't really looked at that.

The issue I am having is trying to decide what I want to get. Some thoughts I have had.
Gravity Deadeye Monster- SS fattie, I want to try out fatties as well. Pros: brand new, easy to find Cons: questionable components, do I want to try out fatties and SS at the same time. Also given my love of BMX will I just hate fat wheels and tires. 135mm hubs. And fatties on pavement?
Older Surly Pugsley- Pros: higher quality fattie. Cons: find an XL for a reasonable price will be harder. Also same cons as the previous fattie.
Surly 1x1- I have seen these for not much money. Just bought my wife one for $300. Pros: Surly frame. Easy to configure different ways. I kind of want to try out some different size wheels then 29. Seems like the most playful option. Cons: Will take a bit of searching to find one. 26+ is hard to find but it will take 27.5 IIRC.
Bianchi SS (PUSS, WUSS, etc) Pretty much the same pluses and minus as the Surly 1x1

I also thought about the Motobecane 29+SS or looking for a deal on a first gen Krampus but it seems like it I wanted to go 29+ it would make more sense to buy a fattie and build up a set of 29+ wheels.

I'd love a Lowside since it seems like it would be pretty BMX feeling but it isn't on the cards costwise especially because I would want to do a custom build since the stock one kind of sucks.

Thoughts, opinions, other options of bikes that can be found used or new for around $600 or less.
 

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If you don't care about ever using a dropper, the new Monocog is fine aside from the weird seatpost size they used. It should not be difficult to find a nice used SS bike (old Karate Monkey, Unit, etc.)

However, it sounds like really fat tires are a priority, is that correct? What specific features are most important?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you don't care about ever using a dropper, the new Monocog is fine aside from the weird seatpost size they used.

However, it sounds like really fat tires are a priority, is that correct? What specific features are most important?
The weird seat post size on the Monocog really turns me off of it cause I really like a dropper.

Your second question is where I am really torn. I don't know if I want something that has fat tires or something that is more flickable and fun (aka something smaller wheeled with short chainstays, almost BMX like). I don't really want another 29in bike just because I already have one and I want the backup bike to be something different that I can pull out when I feel like something different.

Things that I know are priorities to me are SS-able without an add on tensioner or EBB, able to fit a dropper (but externally routed is ok so not super limiting), able to be used on gravel rides/greenway rides with my wife without me hating myself (we won't be going at a quick pace), not being expensive (partly cause I just don't want to spend a ton of money, partly because if it is being used around town and if it is stolen I don't want it to be super expensive to replace), able to fit racks or basket for running small errands/ carrying stuff on adventures, able to pull a trailer (I should probably do some looking into this since I am sure it probably doesn't take much) and offers a significantly different riding experience then my steel 29/ 29 plus ish hardtail.

Keep going back and forth between a Surly 1x1 (or something similar) setup with a BMX stem/Sunrise bar setup and a alternate bar setup (like a Jones bar or something like that) with two sets of wheels (one more gravel/road and one for MTB) or a fattie with an alternate set of bars and a set of more road-esque tires (like Vee Speedsters) and then MTB tires.
 

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Based on your priorities (inexpensive, SS dropouts, adaptable design, rack mounts) it sounds like a used Surly is in order. I love my 1x1, if you can find a good deal on one in your size I think it's a great option. I run mine with 27.5 or 27.5+ tires, was great on 26 as well. Karate Monkey is also a great option (can also run 27.5+), and there are plenty of older ones out there to show up on craigslist.

I think you'll have more trouble finding a great deal on a used fatbike, just because many fewer of them have been sold vs. 1x1s and KMs. I wouldn't bother with the bikesdirect stuff; the chainstays are long and you'll end up replacing a lot of the parts. Your use case (trail riding with some gravel and paths) doesn't sound ideal for a fattie anyway. Also price out fatbike wheelsets- there isn't much in the low end of the cost spectrum, so your desire for a couple wheelsets will cost that much more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another option, Surly Crosscheck. Obviously it will be very limited on trails. I doubt I would want to take it down some of the trails I do regularly but it seems like it could handle milder ones and it would do the other stuff better. I could also use it on my trainer and sell my slightly too small Nashbar CXSS.
 

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I love my cross-check! It's fun on trails too. I put 2.0 29er tires on mine and take it down some pretty rocky stuff. You'll have to go slower than a real mountain bike but it's still a good ride. Only thing I don't like is lack of disk tabs. You could look at the straggler too, it's basically a disk cross-check.
 
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