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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been thinking of getting a mountain bike for my winter commutes, because riding on uneven snow/ice with 35 mm tires sucks. On the other hand, the combination of slush, sanding and road salt during winter is murder for the drivetrain. So I've been considering something like this

https://www.konaworld.com/unit.cfm

So the two things I'm wondering is - will this be way too heavy to actually pedal and is a mountain bike with no suspension a bad idea? Helsinki is relatively flat so there's no huge hills to climb. I get that a single speed will probably suck for actual mountain biking, but for me it would be more of a commuter in rough weather.
 

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I am Groot
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Go for it! I’ve been itching to find a Cannondale F29 to convert for some of the tamer trails around here. On flat it will be no problem at all. And you won’t miss suspension on a commute.

A lot of SS bikes have room for two cogs at the back. That gives you the ability to manually move the chain to an easier gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool. There's a few shops closing out the 2019 version of the Kona Unit for a few hundred cheaper than the 2020 version so I might look into that.
 

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Go for it! You might have to change gear ratios a little to suit you as it might be kinda under geared, but it looks like you could easily fit a derailleur on it in the future too if you wanted to. Would be good for some off road touring (with gears obv) too as it has lots of mounts on the frame. The suspension corrected geometry means you could even swap the for out for some suspension later on too if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I'm quite convinced I'll be getting one, although probably not before October. Won't need a winter bike before November at the earliest anyway (I hope!).

So far I've found two singlespeed mountain bikes on the market, the Kona Unit and Surly Lowside. The Surly is somewhat more expensive and not really available in Finland (would have to take a trip to Estonia or Sweden just to test one). Anyone aware of any other manufacturers that make these?
 

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I am Groot
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Surly is a cheap brand making bikes out of a bunch of welded steel tubes. They're heavy and durable, but I've never heard expensive used to describe them. They're definitely the hipster brand of bikes, since they make all sorts of weird niche stuff. Their parent company owns Salsa, so whenever Surly stumbles upon something that becomes popular (like fat bikes), then Salsa usually comes up with aluminum and carbon models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Surly is a cheap brand making bikes out of a bunch of welded steel tubes. They're heavy and durable, but I've never heard expensive used to describe them. They're definitely the hipster brand of bikes, since they make all sorts of weird niche stuff. Their parent company owns Salsa, so whenever Surly stumbles upon something that becomes popular (like fat bikes), then Salsa usually comes up with aluminum and carbon models.
The Surly singlespeed is about 1500 €, so it's more expensive than the Kona or my Ridley cyclocross. So yeah, it's not expensive compared to some super high-end bikes, but I'd say it's pretty expensive for what you get (like you said a bunch of welded steel tubes).
 

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I'd go with whichever is easier to get spares for (derailleur hangars, etc) and service in the event that you have an issue with the frame.

My downhill bike is from a Canadian company (Devinci) and as a result it's an extra expensive, time-consuming pain in the ass to get spare parts for it. I love the bike, but if I had a mulligan I'd just buy a Santa Cruz again simply because it's easier to get parts for them.
 
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I have a trek superfly ss and love it. It’s a great mountain bike and I often used it as a commuter too. I’ve ridden a kona unit and it was sweet as well. The dropouts on the trek are next level, but really anything horizontal is ideal and you can get away without dropouts if chain tension isn’t a huge deal( or you can use a tensioner). I personally prefer rigid unless it’s a serious trail. My bike weighs roughly 25lbs with enduro tires. There were a lot of options in the ss hardtail market like 5 years ago so finding a used frame with good geo shouldn’t be too hard. Specialized Cruze was another one I tested that I liked but I got a sweet deal on the trek when they discontinued the model.
 

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Surly is a cheap brand making bikes out of a bunch of welded steel tubes. They're heavy and durable, but I've never heard expensive used to describe them. They're definitely the hipster brand of bikes, since they make all sorts of weird niche stuff. Their parent company owns Salsa, so whenever Surly stumbles upon something that becomes popular (like fat bikes), then Salsa usually comes up with aluminum and carbon models.
Only other thing I'll add is the guys at Surly are supposed to be a blast - they come into town once a year to do a small group ride with my shop and my shop is trying to invite me along for the next one even though I don't ride a Surly. They take turns towing a beer cooler behind them while they ride, it's THAT kind of an outing.
 

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Only other thing I'll add is the guys at Surly are supposed to be a blast - they come into town once a year to do a small group ride with my shop and my shop is trying to invite me along for the next one even though I don't ride a Surly. They take turns towing a beer cooler behind them while they ride, it's THAT kind of an outing.
So it's exactly like Dave said - they do hipster things to appeal to hipsters. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, well the Surly is more expensive than the Kona that's also just a bunch of steel tubes welded together, so I'll probably go with the Kona. I'm still not at the level where I consider a 1500€ bike cheap. ;)
 

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So it's exactly like Dave said - they do hipster things to appeal to hipsters. :lol:
I mean, basically, but they're supposed to be a fuckin' LOT of fun to drink with! :lol:
 
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The Unit's a good bike and you won't be disapointed. Just make sure to upgrade the brakes if you're going to hit the trails. Those tektros are fine for commuting but you'll want more modulation and power for dirt. Even just an upgrade to some M6000s or SLXs will make a huge difference without a big cost to your budget.
 
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