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tech talk: race bike on the cheap

Posted Aug 19 2009 5:05pm
I LOVE seeing stuff like this:

http://singletrack.competitor.com/gear-and-tech/how-to-build-a-blingle-speed-mtb

I love it because it makes me laugh.

If you read this article, you'll note that the racer who was interviewed for this story, downhill racer and pro mechanic Gerry Carcia, is suggesting all-new parts. Here's his break-down:

Frame and fork: Surly 1×1$570
Handlebar: Dimension$20
Stem: Dimension$40
Headset: Cane Creek$35
Grips: Oury$15
V-brakes: Shimano Acera$22/each
Levers: Shimano$20
Freewheel: Shimano$25
Rear hub: Surly (bolt-on, flip-flop)$72
Front hub: Shimano Deore LX$26
Spokes: DT Swiss straight-gauge$51 ($.80 each x 64)
Rim: Mavic 317$35 each + $85 to build wheels
Rim tape: Velox$6
Tires: Bontrager Jones XR$40 pair
Tubes: any$6
Seat stem: Promax$30
Chain: SRAM SS PC-1$12
Cranks: Truvativ Stylo GXP w/ BB$200
Saddle: WTB$40
Cables: mtb$8
Housing:$5.50
Seat clamp:$15
Pedals: Shimano M-520$55
Total:$1,490.50

And here's mine:

Used bike: Kona Fire Mountain ("Race Light" model)     $180.00
Wheels: Shimano Alivio hubs, Mavic 314 rims (came with bike)
Tires: Michelin "Country Trail" 26 x 1.95 (pair)                    34.00
Tubes: standard (pair)                                                          8.00
Headset: Ritchey Logic (came with bike)
Handlebar: Misfit Psycles FU2-bar                                       42.00
Stem: Profile 1 1/8" quill                                                      26.00
Grips: Oury                                                                           12.00
Cantilever brakes (stock; came with bike)
Brake Pads: Kool-Stop Eagle 2, Salmon (2 prs)                     18.00
Levers: Kona (came with bike)
Lever covers: (Lizard Skin)                                                      6.00
Seat post: Kona (came with bike)
Saddle: Jamis stock, found in "free" box at bike shop
Chain: KMC 610X singlespeed 3/32"                                      13.00
Cables and housing (replaced all)                                        15.00
Cranks & BB: Turvativ Stylo GPX 170mm, used                       50.00
Pedals: Crank Brothers 5050xx with extra pins                      78.00
Chain tensioner: Soulcraft Convert:                                       95.00
Rear cog: Surly stainless steel                                              30.00

TOTAL:                                                                             $607.00

NOTE: Some of the parts came free with the bike. I did all my own labor, including installing the bottom bracket and cranks and overhauling all the bearings in headset and hubs. I also listed retail prices for everything here, but in the interests of full disclosure, I got most of the new parts through my shop and therefore paid far less than retail. For what I make working in a bike shop, getting discounted parts is the least I can expect for my work. I'd subtract another 35% or so on the new parts listed, which would bring the total down to somewhere around $415.00.

(And you can bet that Mr. Garcia, being both a professional racer and a professional wrench, is also enjoying a discount on at least SOME of his parts -- though he doesn't mention that here. I'd guess that, taking his discount into account he built his "blingle"-speed for just under a thousand bucks.)

He didn't display a photo of his finished bike, though I'd love to see it. Built up on a Surly, I bet it's a sweet ride.


If you've been following my singlespeed adventures this spring and summer you may have already seen my bike. Here's a photo of it before I swapped in the Truvativ crankset:






And here's the Truvativ crankset after installation:





As you can see, I did okay for what I spent. And with a little hunting and gathering, so can almost anyone. Which is why the idea of a $1,500.00 singlespeed mountain bike being a bargain made me laugh.
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