Sweet single speeds

Three great bikes, all with one gear

Mens Journal (6/14/2002)

Brion's comments:
'If you're crazy enough to ride a single-speed mountain bike, you might as well get the best on the market.'

Feature article:

Single-speed mountain bikes, by their nature, demand a whole lot of stamina, willpower, and technique from their riders. Yeah, theyíre testy little critters. But thereís no reason why you canít have the pick of the litter. Hereís our top choices:

Bianchi BOSS (Bitchin' Orange Single Speed) - A rock-solid Easton Elite 7005 aluminum frame with the Italian race heritage of Bianchi, a chro-moly fork plus a choice parts pick, all for under $800? That's amore. "This is one kickiní bike," says Steve Elmes of Independent Fabrication. High praise indeed from a competitor. Aside form the frame, highlights include RaceFace Turbine cranks with Spot Brand chainring and guard, Avid brake levers, stout Paul Components hubs, Mavic rims and an SDG Ventura kevlar saddle. A great deal for neophyte single speeders. Two sizes. (510/264-1001)

Spot Brand - How nice is this Northwest rig? After reviewing one for her magazine, Dirt Rag editor Elaine Tierney shelled out her own coin to buy it rather than send it back. Michael Golinski's company, named after the dog that took out a riding partner one day, produces only single speeds. But the bikes benefit from Golinski's work with Rocky Mountain, Synchros and Paul Components. The traditional double diamond frame is made from a custom steel blend, and delivers one choice ride. Four sizes, two colors - candy apple red or flat black. Sloping top tube provides reassuring clearance. $599, frame only. With a nice parts package, expect to pay roughly $1,400. (1-888-711-7768)

Independent Fabrication - Hand-crafted quality. Thatís all you need to know about these works of art from a small Somerville, Massachusetts, framebuilder. Flawless welds connecting ultra-responsive and durable Reynolds 853 tubing. Once known primarily as the cast-offs left in the lurch when Chris Chance took his Fat City Cycles and bolted town, the gang at IF have surpassed their one-time mentor. The Deluxe SS offers the same geometry as IFís Deluxe mountain bike frame, but features CNC-machined track dropouts. Standard frames run $1,095. Folks who want custom sizing will pay roughly $200 more. Tack on another $200 for a rigid fork from Vicious Cycles. Total with a solid component group will run about $2,000. (617/666-3609)

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