Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Modifications

$15 For A New Bike

with 14 comments

Well, sort of.

Last year I bought a Redline Monocog, which was my first bike purchase in about 15 years. It was on mega-clearance, and I had convinced myself that a new single speed, 29er was just the motivation I needed to get back into trail riding. It’s an awesome bike that’s loads of fun to ride, but in the end, it failed at motivating. I ride it, just never off-road.

As it turns out, mountain biking just doesn’t seem as fun for me and my old bones. After discovering the suburban assault, I seem to get more enjoyment out of riding around my neighborhood and town.

This became a problem with having the Monocog. Even though it’s a fun ride, it was geared for off-road pedaling – which translates to SLOOOOOOOOW. If I remember correctly, the front has a 32T crank and the back is configured with a 20T single gear, great for getting the torque you need on the trails but likes to spin softly when on the streets.

Having a slow bike was fine but my new bike had become my back-up bike, forcing me to rely on my old, geared bike for long commutes or group rides. It seemed a waste. My first thoughts were to trade in the Monocog for something a little more street friendly. That just seemed like too big of a hassle, plus I don’t think I would have gotten such a great deal on another bike. The next idea was to just convert the Monocog with some better gearing.

Not knowing the best gear set-up for single-speed road riding, I went to the internet. I compared several single speed road bikes and decided to try out a larger crank chainring. Not wanting to make a big jump at first, I figure moving from a 32T to a 42T would do just the trick.

I talked to Nick, one of the great mechanics over at the Richardson Bike Mart who immediately related to my problem and put me at ease with his “Right On” attitude. We talked about the cost of upgrading to the larger crank chainring, which would have required a special order. In the end, it would have cost me about $40 – 50 in parts and labor, plus a few days of waiting. This wasn’t too bad, but with all the holiday shopping and my crazy schedule, I almost decided to put it off for a few more weeks.

That’s when Nick suggested I try going with a smaller back gear. He had a 15T in a box ready to replace the 20T that came stock on the Monocog. For about $15 parts and labor, he could have me switched out immediately and give my bike the speed it needed. I told him to go for it.

When I jumped back on the saddle, I was amazed at how losing 5 little teeth on my back gear could make such an amazing difference. That little change was enough to turn the Monocog into a nice little ass hauler. It was like having a brand new bike.

Written by dickdavid

December 29, 2009 at 7:05 am

Posted in Cool Bikes

Tagged with , ,