Bikes of Singletracks is series of blog posts that takes an in-depth look at the bikes the Singletracks crew rides.  These are our personal bikes, not bikes we have in for review.  This is what we ride, and why we ride it.

I rode my single speed Jabberwocky exlusively for a little over two years.  Then I joined the Singletracks blogger team and the first two items I got to review were a set of 29er wheels and a fork – aka, two of the most expensive components on a bike.  Since I still had all the parts from the Anthem sitting on a shelf, all I needed for a geared 29er was a frame!  This is the resulting bike.  It’s the one I take to the mountains, and is used on really long rides since the gears save my legs.

Nothing terribly fancy, but it works. I like the simple look of the straight round tubing, something rare in these days of hydroformed everything.

Frame:  On-One Scandal, large

I knew I wanted a geared bike this time around because while I love the single speed, it’s hard to push a single gear when I take a trip to the mountains.   I chose to go with an aluminum hardtail frame to keep weight and cost down.  I like the looks and geometry of the Scandal, the fact that it uses full length cable housing, and most importantly the price was right.  I have no major complaints; it fits well, rides comfortably, is reasonably light (especially for the price), and handles well.  My one minor complaint is the paint: it sucked, it was really rough.  So before building the bike up I stripped the frame down to bare metal and had Nate over at Zukas Cycles spray it with a flat urethane clear coat to keep corrosion at bay.

Fork:  Fox F29 Terralogic, 100mm

This fork rules.  Period.  Read the review here to find out why.

Headset:  Cane Creek 40 Series

Newer model from Cane Creek, replaced the S3.  But, just like the S3, it works great and doesn’t cost much.

Wheels:  Custom, American Classic hubs and Stan’s Crest 29er rims

I built these myself, and they’re really light, weighing in at only 1,557g.  The hubs are light, feature well-sealed bearings and a strong freehub mechanism, and are super smooth rolling – these wheels will spin forever.  Look for a review of the rims in a future blog post.

Might be a 'budget' frame, but it's well made with good looking welds.

Front TireSpecialized Ground Control, 2.0” set up tubeless

Since I have suspension on this bike I use a narrower tire than I usually do on the Jabberwocky to save some grams.

Rear TireSpecilaized Renegade, 1.9” set up tubeless

FAST FAST FAST.  That sums it up.  Oh, and light too.  This one weighs in at only 509g.

Stem:  Thomson X4, 100mm

Handlebars:  Specialized S-Works Flat XC

Light and wide-ish.

Grips:  Ergon GP3

SeatpostThomson Elite

SaddleWTB Volt (not pictured)

This is a new model from WTB, and I haven’t put many miles on it yet, but look for a review here in a month or two.

BrakesAvid Elixir 9

To be blunt:  I hate these brakes.  Yes, they’re strong and have good modulation.  But they vibrate and make so much noise!!  And I have to bleed and flush them every 9 months or so.  The left and right lever never feel the same.  After putting up with them for a few years… I’m ready for something else.  I’m not putting any more time or money into these.

Shifters:  SRAM Attack Gripshift

YEAH BABY- GRIPSHIFT!  I love it, I really do.  The Attack model works with Shimano derailleurs, which I had before I got the shifters, and I didn’t want to upgrade the entire drivetrain just to get gripshift.  Drivetrain stuff can be expensive.

Front Derailleur:  Shimano XT

It’s Shimano XT, which means it works great, is pretty light, and is somewhat affordable.

Rear Derailleur:  Shimano XT Shadow, 9spd

Yep, I’m still rockin’ 9 speeds.  And I’ll continue to until this stuff wears out, or someone gives me a 10spd group to review!  The 9spd stuff still works great (and my gear has thousands of miles, and lots of nasty conditions on it) and as a bonus the parts are cheaper now that there is newer, “better” stuff out.

Shown mounted on the Jabber for the infamous 2010 Fools Gold mudfest (where hundreds of racers had their brake pads ground to powder by the abrasive North Georgia clay). This same derailleur spent a few thousand miles on the Anthem, then a little abuse on the Jabber, and now it lives on the Scandal. I just can't kill it.

Cranks:  Shimano XT, 22x32x44

I like my triple crank.  Never need the granny around home, and mostly just use the big ring on gravel roads, but when I go to the mountains I use every gear I’ve got!

CassetteSRAM PG-990, 12-34

Aluminum carrier is light.  And I got it on sale.

Chain:  SRAM hollowpin

Light, and on sale.

PedalsCrank Brothers Candy 3

Other:  Specialized bottle cages, Thomson seatpost binder, Cateye Strada Wireless computer, Incredibell Brass Duet bell, DIY chainstay protector

Weight:  24.68lbs

Trying to put the hurt on some roadies at a 'cross race. Photo: Michael Drawdy

I also have a road bike, a Raleigh Clubman.  Nothing exciting there.  It’s steel, 2×10 Tiagra drivetrain, heavy (about 3lbs heavier than the Scandal!), and has a rack and fenders.  It’s used for commuting to work a few days a week and road rides when the trails are too wet to ride, or I want to get in a quick ride and don’t have time to drive out to a trail.  I’m actually riding it a lot though–I’ve put almost 1,000 miles on it in the five months I’ve had it.  Riding this bike definitely makes me stronger on the MTB.

Rare Saturday workday meant the bike could sneak inside the office.

Tell us about your mountain bike with the new My Bikes feature in your Singletracks account.

# Comments

  • gfro1

    yet another great post, love reading your stuff. Have you reviewed the civilian cross bike you talked about in an earlier post yet?

    • dgaddis


      No, never did review the Civilian CX bike, never asked for it though. The company changed hands while I had the Luddite, and I didn’t want to bother them any more while they were going through all that.

  • fleetwood

    Really cool article. I enjoyed reading through the breakdown of each part and component and hearing your thoughts on them.

    *how did you strip the frame down to the metal?
    *why doesn’t Avid do something about their crappy brakes?

    • dgaddis

      1) I used a chemical stripper. “Paint” it on the bike, the paint bubbles up, rinse it off with water. No sanding needed at all, and it’s easy to get into all the nooks and crannies. Terrible for the enviroment I’m sure, but works really really well.

      2) Excellent question!

  • onespeeder

    Nice bike but my experience with American Classic freehub mechanisms is that they are weak. I know that there were issues with some earlier models that were “supposedly” ironed out but I’m speaking of the “improved” version. A LOT of people “just around my area alone” have had those hubs start slipping/failing and seems that it has often been in the middle of a race. They have a single (1) spring where the tip engages one of several “tiny” notches on a clutch plate which engages the freehub. If the end of that spring or the notches get a little worn then it is slip hub city.

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