Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Bike - SE Stout 29er Singlespeed

I needed something with one gear because I signed up for the Singlespeed USA Championships up in Stowe (if you want to read a funny article on the 2009 version of the race by the incomparable BikeSnobNYC, click here).  I gave a brief thought to just buying a few spacers and a chain tensioner for my Full Suspension 29er, but as we all know, the correct number of bikes to own is n + 1, with n being the number of bikes you currently own.

So I bought frame, fork, headset, stem, handlebars, grips, seatpost, saddle, and clamp off of Ebay for $111. Then I got it stripped and painted by Anatoly at Hard Knox Customs in Burnt Hills:

It came out fantastic. After that, I had to assemble the remaining components. I made a Jenson order for the freewheel, chain, cables, pedals, and tubeless specific tires; got the crankset, brakes, and brake levers for my birthday (Thanks again, Mom and Aunt Roz!); and ordered the handbuilt wheels from Universal Cycles.

Building the bike wasn't bad at all. I had CK Cycles in Albany install the headset because I didn't have a headset press and I didn't feel like messing with a DIY solution. The only tool I had to buy was a $20 bottom bracket tool (figured I should probably do some cleaning and maintenance with my other bikes anyway). Other than that, I just installed everything with an allen wrench set (didn't use a torque wrench, but with no carbon parts, I wasn't worried about breaking anything).  I was really happy with myself after I finished it:

Here's the full build spec:

Frame & Fork: 2010 SE Stout
Headset: FSA The Pig
Crank: Truvativ Stylo 1.1 180mm crankarms
Brakes: Avid BB7
Levers: Speed Dial 7s
Cables: Jagwire
Rims: WTB Frequency i23
Front Hub: Shimano XT (silver)
Rear Hub: Paul Components WORD Disc (silver)
Front Tire: WTB Weirwolf TCS 2.5
Rear Tire: WTB Wolverine TCS 2.2
Freewheel: White Industries Trials Freewheel 18T (for now)

How does it ride? Pretty great. I love the simplicity and smoothness on non-technical trails. The rigid fork is pretty jarring on the rooty, rocky stuff and I might swap it out for the suspension fork before Stowe (depending on how the trails look on youtube videos).  Here's a little tour of the bike:

I love the rear wheel. The Paul Components hub, combined with the White Industries Trials Freewheel, makes for a smooth, bombproof setup.

That's the obligatory singlespeed chainline picture. I don't know why people do this, but I didn't want to rock the boat and not put it in.

The front tire (WTB Weirwolf) is listed at 2.5". I'm not the only one who's a little disappointed in the actual width. I haven't measured, but it doesn't seem much bigger than the 2.2" tire I have on the back. I'm hoping it spreads out a little as I ride. On the plus side, the tubeless system was easy to set up, and the 20-25 psi pressure that I run really helps cushion the rigidity of the front end. 

All in all, it's exactly what I wanted in a bike. It's got significantly better components than the Redline Monocog Flight that I was looking at buying new, and it was significantly lower in price (like, half). Consider me stoked.

And if you're wondering where these pics were taken, there's a bunch of ATV trails bordering my neighborhood, and they're great for a quick spin after work if I can't make it out to some of the other trails in the area.  I can roll around for about 30 minutes and get a pretty good workout.  Which is good, because I think I'm going to need all the help I can get at Stowe.


  1. Nice wheels! Good luck in the race!

  2. how much was the final build if you dont minde me asking