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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've wanted a dedicated single-speed for several years now and I'm going to start watching for that perfect frame (which may not exist). I want a sporty-geometry mountain bike with semi-forward facing dropouts.

The 90's Bridgestone MB's have perfect geometry but vertical drops. It seems that some of the early 90's Specialized Stumpjumpers/Rockhoppers might have had the dropouts I want but I don't know about their geometry.

What I don't want is early, slack MTB geometry. Have one of those and it's completely unsuitable for my purposes.

Any recommendations on old MTB's that fit these criteria?
 

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If you can get your hands on a steel Ibis Mojo that should put a smile on your face for sure. Light weight, nice geometry and it has a handjob.
 

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Mid 90's (I think) Diamondback Apex with TT lite tubing. Bonus was magic ratio - 32:19 (I'm a wuss and it's hilly in socal).
 

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Phobia of petting zoos.
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Vertical dropouts and a White Industries eccentric rear hub. That opens up the options.

Unless of course you already have wheels you really want to use.

Salsa Ala Carte from pretty much any era is an option too. Kona's steel offerings are popular options.

I had a Mountain Cycle Moho for a while (until the cracks started appearing). It was bloody light. Then a Diamond Back WCF until it copped a rock into the downtube, and now the rigid single speed is a later model Soma Groove.

Grumps
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are a couple of Rockhoppers on E-bay right now, one a base model and one a Comp model. These two bikes appear to have different dropouts. The Comp's look more vertical but even the base model's dropouts look really short. Would the base model's dropouts be long enough to tension a SS chain? I assume the Comp's wouldn't work at all without a tensioner, is that corrrect?

Specialized Rockhopper Frame and Fork Single Speed Fixie Horizontal Dropouts | eBay


Vintage 1992 Specialized Rockhopper "Comp" Mountain Bike Custom Butted Steel | eBay
 

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Sergeant Spandex
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The drops on the base model in your link are the same as on my Stumpjumper, and are long enough to tension a chain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I picked up that Rockhopper frameset with a few components on Ebay and I should have it within a week. The only other things I need to buy are a spacer kit/cog and some single-ring crank bolts. This will be my minimal expense proof of concept build and if I really, really like it, I'll get it powdercoated and color-coded (ie, all silver or black components) and put some higher performance tires on it. From what I've seen of Stumpjumpers, framesets are too rare and too expensive to justify seeking one of those. Would be nice to have that really light prestige tubing but if I can end up with a SS bike that's in the mid-20 lb range, I'll be thrilled.
 

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Sergeant Spandex
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This is the greatness of that particular frame, you can do the single speed conversion with very few special parts. At first I used the XT cassette hub with simple spacers and a lone cog from a Shimano cassette. Also gave a wide range of options for a perfect chain line.
 

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Completely agree with Lewisfoto, I have that same frame (gifted to me via a very gracious fellow VRCer) and it is amazing for this. All I did was take a XC Pro crankset and make it is a single ring and then ran spacers on the freehub body with a single cog, works like a charm. Never have weighed it but it is quite likely low 20s even with a brooks on it...... also you would be surprised how cheap you can pick up a Stumpie like these.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll continue to watch E-bay and the pawn shops but in two years all I've found locally is lower level Treks.

I have no idea how stout the Rockhopper is but if it ends up weighing 25-27 lbs, I'll be thrilled.
 

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I scored a '97 Ibis Mojo frame off epay and a wheel set with king front & white industries eccentric rear. The only part I'm lacking now is the right length BB. My '98 mojo with a Marzocchi fork is ~25 lbs, or was before I installed a Brooks.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I got the Rockhopper up and running a few days ago. There was a learning curve for installing the BB and cranks and then using a chain tool but I got it figured out. I despise messing with traditional cantilevers so I'm waiting for some V-brakes to put on it. The current gearing combined with my chainstay length puts the rear wheel at the very front of the dropouts....further forward than I'm comfortable with. I had the LBS order me a half-link and I will pick that up today and hopefully it won't make the chain too long. This bike has very short dropouts so if that doesn't work then I guess I'll have to switch the cog and try that.

From my limited time riding this thing, it's living up to my expectations. It's just a blast to ride around the neighborhood and I have had no desire to ride my good multi-speed 700c bike.

0000000000000 Rockhopper (4).JPG
 

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Phobia of petting zoos.
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Don't worry about the half link just yet. Assuming it's a new chain, it will settle in and stretch a little first, allowing you to pull the wheel back in the drops a little.

I hear you, having the axle at the very front of the drops results in a little voice telling me that out of saddle efforts are not a good idea. Use a bolt up axle or at least use a Shimano quick release skewer, they just hold better than the external cam type.

If you swap to v-brakes, make sure your levers are compatible, v brake levers and centre pull canti levers are different.

Grumps
 
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