Rigid Single Speed Dilemma – Steel/Alloy vs Carbon

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  • Rigid Single Speed Dilemma – Steel/Alloy vs Carbon
  • Premier Icon benji

    I’m just going from aluminium to steel, not tried carbon. The steel has a very nice spring to it, the aluminium was good but not quite for me this time, couldn’t quite put my finger on it, handling was ok, power delivery good, but it just lacked some kind of involvement/attachment.

    Every frame is different and what I like you might hate, it’s so personal.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    The carbon is quite nice to ride. What puts me off the Whippet is we already have one, and I’d have to buy and install a PF92 BB.

    Do you have rigid forks on your bike as well? If so, what did you go for?


    Tyres would probably influence ride more than frame material, no?


    I will pair it with one of the On One Monocoque forks.

    which was designed for the whippet and a s a replacement for 80-100 mmm forks

    I do ride my 456 at 100 mm but only for climbing I am not sure it is the right choice for that fork though i am sure you wont die doing this

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez

    My mate and I have SS 456s. Mine’s got a sus fork but his is rigid (and 650b). It’s a great frame and rides well with a rigid fork. It won’t be that slack with a 440mm A to C rigid and can be built v. light.

    I assume you’re talking about the 26er Scandal but I’d also consider the 29er. I have a rigid 29er Inbred, which is heavier but has same geo and is v. good. 29in suits rigid SS especially well IMO.

    You’ll have to factor in either a tensioner or swapouts. Last time I looked, On-one were out of horizontal swapouts.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    Thanks for the responses guys.

    26er Scandal yes.

    29er and 650B are out because cost is my main driver and I want to use my existing wheelsets to keep it down.

    @Cheezpleez what sort of weights are we talking?

    I was considering the slot dropout version of the Scandal. I hoped it meant I’d not have to buy the dropouts?


    Don’t get too hung up on weights, I would prefer my rigid ss to be built strong rather than weight weenie. Just how I am really, not telling you what to do!

    I run a DMR trailstar with alloy kinesis forks.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    I’m hoping to build up a rigid single speed for the winter. The aim is to have a bike that will have significantly reduced maintenance and make my local trails more fun for those 2-3 hour blasts which it’s not worth taking the full sus bike out for. I’m trying to make a decision between:

    – Scandal
    – Whippet
    – 456 Carbon

    I will pair it with one of the On One Monocoque forks.

    Things to consider:

    – Cost.
    – Available parts.
    – Weight.

    I have:
    – XT chainset with standard 68-73mm BB.
    – A couple of spare wheelsets (not single speed specific hubs though).
    – Easton 685mm bars.
    – Tyres.
    – Formula Mega brakes (sans rotors and adapters).
    – Maybe £100 to scrimp for the rest of the finishing kit. Hopefully off the classifieds here.

    We already have a Whippet in the household which is a joy to ride. So it is a known quantity to an extent. Will require me to purchase a PF92 BB and get it fitted though.

    On cost alone the Scandal edges it, and all available chainset parts will fit. Something of a known quantity too as the geo is quite similar to the Whippet. Weight is higher than I’d like it to be, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    The 456 intrigues me as I’ve never had a bike that slack before. The cost is relatively higher. Would it be pointless to have a “Hardcore Hardtail” like it setup rigid for XC duties?

    What are your opinions on what I should get please?

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    Cheers curlie467. Just trying to see all the positives to one or the other.

    The Whippet is only 288g lighter than the alloy Scandal. Cost is £110 more. Would mean perhaps an additional month of saving into the SS fund for me.

    The main thing for me is to make my mind up and put an order in for one or the other.

    Premier Icon benji

    I’m running rigid, the aluminium had the aluminium fork it came with, and the steel is running a steel fork. I personally really like rigid, but I ride a lot of cross so tend to avoid thrashing through the big holes/rocks/roots as it’s not a line I would normally take, so perfectly happy without bounce.

    Premier Icon bigdean

    As a comparison. I run a inbread single speed and a scandel with gears, both rigid with short forks.
    The inbread copes better with the high torsion loads that are more frequent with the single speed.
    The scandel has more latteral flex (between pedals and bars) that when pushing big gears it is very noticable, having said that the scandel is addictivly light and single speed would getting towards 10kg. Am unsure of (cheep) carbons ability to cope with sudden high load spikes from single speed, no evidance or basis on this so probably bobbins.
    Basicly i run a steel single speed because its cheep and reliable.


    Dhana, mail me, you never mentioned SS thoughts at the weekend.

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez

    That slot dropout Scandal you’ve linked to is an Inbred 😆 I don’t think they’ve made a slot Scandal for years unfortunately.

    My mate’s C456 with Exotic carbon forks, Crest/hope wheels, Deus crank, Thomson post and stem, carbon bars,etc is flipping light – can’t be much over 20lbs-ish. Mine’s built much burliest with coil Revs, Reverb,etc and is much heavier but still a good weight.

    I used to have a rigid 26 Inbred with carbon forks, bars, etc and that was lovely and light (but must have been at least a couple of lbs heavier than my mate’s C456).

    Thinking about it – and depending on what they’re charging ATM – I’d probably go for the Inbred and spend the savings on nice finishing kit.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    @CandoDavid Done!

    Does that mean the Inbred doesn’t need any additional hardware to run SS? Sorry for my ignorance.

    I think 456 is out, just on price. So Inbred or Whippet now I reckon.

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez

    In that case it comes down to how much importance you place on weight, price, looks and BB standard. You’ll still need to find and buy (£30) swapouts if you go for the Whippet. Oh, and I reckon the Whippet is stiffer in both good and bad ways.

    Premier Icon amedias

    The Whippet is only 288g lighter than the alloy Scandal. Cost is £110 more

    so square root of naff all then in the grand scheme of things… if this really is a winter bike, and you’re going to use it regularly in properly crappy conditions then your priorities should be cost and durability, not weight, 300g is a change of grips, a thinner innertube or 2 and a few globs of mud.

    That £110 extra buys a lot of pairs of brake pads, chains, bearings etc.

    Of course if money is less of an issue for you then go nuts and splash out 🙂
    just make sure you spend wisely on the turny bits and use quality, well sealed headset, bb, and hubs.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg

    just waiting for spokes to arrive to build up a rear wheel for my winter SS, 69er steel rigid

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    @amedias good point.

    Hmmm, maybe I’ll go Inbred and spend the £110 on a Chris King headset instead of going for the Whippet. Means I get to use my existing XT BB as well. I will probably have a Hope wheel for the front.

    No tubes, I’m tubeless please!

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