I bought a new bike- Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

About a week ago, I got into a bidding war on eBay for a new Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike. Normally these sell on BikesDirect.com for about $299. Since I felt that I was getting a good deal, I kept bidding. I won the auction at $220 shipped.

The bike arrived at my doorstep in 6 days and  I was excited to put it together.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

The bike was packaged nicely. Frame was protected by foam and other wrapping material.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Here it is on my stand. It also came with two different wheel tapes, the red one was already installed, then there was also a yellow set. I guess if I want to change things up a bit I could. Oh it also arrived with 2 rear cogs. The 22t was already on the wheel the there was a 18t in the box. I’m sticking with the 22t…I’m in no shape or form to try and pedal the 18t.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Tires were inflated to only 15psi and already it felt too much. I’m probably going to drop it down a few psi, let’s say around 12-13 and see how that feels. Bikesdirect.com claims it can fit up to a 3.5 tire. Since tires of that size aren’t necessarily cheap, I’ll live with the 3.0 for as long as I can.

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Equipped with mechanical Tektro Novela disc brakes. I actually love mechs over hydros, so much simpler.Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

The no name bar and stem are going to be replaced soon. My T-Rex arms will need a 50-60mm stem and I usually go with wider bars, somewhere along the lines of 780mm-800mm. Besides having all that leverage will help with climbing on a single speed.  Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

The color scheme on the Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike is a little too conservative for me. I may switch things up with different colored bars, grips and etc. I’m still trying to decide…once I get it installed, I’ll make sure I post an update. Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

I haven’t had a chance to get it on the trail yet since it’s been raining pretty good where I live. I probably will have an opportunity to try it out next weekend after it dries out. Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

Spec sheet:

gravity deadeye single speed specs

It’s been years since I’ve ridden a single speed mountain bike, so I’m really looking forward to throwing up…oh yea that’s one of the side effects of single speeds…the hurling from all that exersion your put your body through. Fun times ahead!

Winter SSeries FinalSS:

This past weekend was host to the fifth and final race of the Southridge Winter Series. The weather however did not get the message that this was still the winter series. Temperatures were in the mid 80’s, a significant change from the previous races where layers to keep more were more typical. On the way to the course, I got a surprise phone call from fellow team racer Mark Tomas. He was able last minute to join in on the final race. Mark, who brought out his new SS, and I were in the same class with the SS’s being an open class. In our class we were joined by Bruce Dupriest with Incycle and Byant Mena with ODI. With all the registration paperwork completed, Mark and I headed out for a warm-up spin.

Spinning through the flats.
Spinning through the flats.

Normally the SS class is released for their start just after the expert class. There were a bigger group than normal of expert ladies, and somehow they missed their correct start with the group ahead of us. Donny called the SS’s up to the line and notices that there is still a group of ladies mingled in among the SSers. He tells them that they had missed their start. Some of them started to line up as if he’s going to give them a fresh “GO”. Donny tries to clarify by telling them, “No, go now!” This gets about half of them moving and the rest catch on after the first few take off.

First section of the Hike-a-bike.
First section of the Hike-a-bike.

Now the SSers actually get their start. I got the out in front off the start and through the first turn and into the flats. Mark caught me at the beginning of the single-track, and all of the SSers proceeded to loop through the single-track leading to the hike-a-bike. I have Mark about 20-30 yards ahead of me on the start of the hike with one other SSer between us. I pushed up the hill trying to close the gap between us. I wasn’t able to catch Mark, but I was able to catch and pass the other rider by the top of the climb. I reached the top and started the first descent. This is where I really notice that I was having trouble finding a rhythm. I was forcing myself through the turns not flowing through them. Through the next two climbs and down the back side of the hill, I continued to struggle to find my rhythm.

Finishing off a single-track climb
Finishing off a single-track climb

I finished up the downhill section and headed out to the flats. I cleaned the steep climb before the last bit of single-track leading to the end of the first lap. There was a change made to the final turn out of the chicane leading to the second lap, and evidently some of the riders didn’t catch the change and rode directly into the tape. Luckily, Mark & I pre-rode this section in our warm-up, so it wasn’t an issue for us. As I passed the finish line, I noted my time for the first lap. Not really a faster pace than the previous race, and I wouldn’t be setting any PR’s today. As I started the second lap, one of the other SS riders was creeping up behind me. I could not manage to maintain my lead heading to the HAB. I followed him up the HAB section. It was definitely quite warm and I was definitely feeling the heat. I noticed another rider using his water bottom to cool his head. Best idea ever! For some reason I had never thought to do this. I don’t normally drink much during the race, just a mouthful here or there to keep my mouth from getting to dry. It worked well to cool me off on the hike.

Last decent of the lap.
Last decent of the lap.

I knew I could gain ground on the downhill sections to help make up the gap. This time around however, I did have any issue finding a flow with the trail. I was able to pass him at the bottom of the descent as he had to reset a dropped chain. I pushed up the next climb to try and put some distance between us. As we approached the single track climb he was still about 30 yards behind me. I stood up and sprinted up the hill till my lungs were ready to burst. This lead to some rolling single-track and one last steep section that completes the majority of the climbing for the lap. By this point the other rider was out of sight and it was time to enjoy the long descent and put more ground between us. As I reached a short fire-road climb about halfway down, I came up on the rider I had already passed. He was gotten a flat and walked straight down the hill (I assume). I offered to stop and help him repair the flat as I had a tube, but he was not interested. I dropped down the rest of the hill, and toward the back flats. Up a steep short loose climb, and then I headed out to finish out the rest of the lap and on to the finish line.

Finishing up through the chicane.
Finishing up through the chicane.

I powered through to the finish line and placed in third for this race behind fellow team racer Mark who won the race. See his race report here. As this race completed the winter series, the series overalls results were available shortly after the race. Having had participated in all five races, I had accumulated enough points for a series win. The final results for the series had me in first place.

17t Cog Update

As I mentioned a few days ago, I had graduated from an 18t to a 17t cog on my single speed. Last night’s training ride with the MtnBikeRiders.com Race Team was my first chance to ride with it.

One thing I noticed right away was the speed I picked up on the flats. I wasn’t spinning as much as I did with the other cog. I also felt that I worked way harder on the climbs.

Last night’s training ride was set at a good pace by Priscilla and Joe. In fact they lead the ride and my only goal was to catch up to them. As I trailed behind, I felt the effects of this cog around mile 8 of the ride. My legs and upper body had been working as if I was on over drive.

As I rolled up to the parking lot, Priscilla was sitting on the curb waiting while Joe and Val were chit chatting. I swear…they are fast! What’s funny was, Kim and Tony Finch rode with me and those two didn’t even seem like they broke a sweat. I think they probably could have gone for another lap…aye….these racer people (Priscilla, Joe, Kim and Tony) are totally built differently from people like me… short, pudgy (but good looking) non-racer types.

Though the 17t cog was harder, I do look forward to progressing in my riding and eventually I’ll graduate to the next level, a 16T!

MtnBikeRiders.com Jersey-Maiden Voyage

Yesterday’s after work Single Speed Extraveganza was the first time I was able to wear the new MtnBikeRiders.com Jersey. But before we get to that, I wanted to share a few photos of the group that went. I say it was a single speed extraveganza, but in reality it was only Khoa, Joe and I that were on SS rigs. But our friends Ryan K. (the man behind my buff photo), Val and his brother Eric were on geared bikes.

Here’s our mandatory group shot.

And another…

Ok, now for the jersey. The fabric is Dry Fit, which means its moisture wicking and its super comfy. The cut and style allows for great arm movements, perfect for technical riding and climbing. The loose fit is great because I never felt constricted.

Sorry for the blurry photos, I just got this new camera and I’m not so sure how to set it up to take photos, but thanks to Ryan for taking them.

Here’s a side profile, that’s my new SS Red Rocket…it had red tires before…thus the name.

A staged photo of me climbing.

I do want to thank the rest of the guys for being patient with me. Man I am WAY out of shape…and I’m feeling the effects of the 170mm cranks…I’m spinning too much.

Kenda Small Block Eight: Review Initiated

I finally had a chance to install the Kenda Small Block Eight on the Sette Reken Single Speed.

The first thing you need to know is that this tire is WAY faster than my old set of tires, Bontrager Jones XR. Plus they are WAY faster than the Kenda Karmas that Priscilla has on her XC rig. What do I mean by faster? Well think of it this way, I immediately felt the benefit of these tires as we rode the Fullerton Loop.

Everyone that I’ve talked to about these tires said that they are supposed to be the lightest and fastest XC tires out there. So with that in mind, the Kenda tires already had set a high standard in my head. Well surprisingly, those people were right! The difference I felt was how well it rolled. Just think of it this way, the smoothness of these tires felt like I was riding on a road bike…for reals!

I’ve yet to test the handling abilities of the tires in situations such as rocky and technical sections. But from what I’ve experience, they are really nice XC tires. I’ll be reporting on the full review once I get more kick ass time on these tires.

Spot Brand Bikes: Belt Driven 29er

During our first day at Sea Otter Classic, the three of us had a chance to ride Spot Brand Bikes’ belt driven 29er single speed bikes.

spot brand 29er

We rode the bikes through the demo trail, about a 4-5 mile course that included some fast descents and steep climb as well as some super sweet single track.

Here’s Moe posing with his demo bike.

This is a portion of the trail where we rode the bikes. Laguna Seca has some of the prettiest trails around.

So here’s a few thoughts about the belt drive 29er…for one the bike was a sweet ride. The Manitou Minute 29er fork was superb! Moe and Jeremy complained that they didn’t like the fork too much, but I’m guessing that their bikes weren’t set up properly for them. By chance my bike dialed in just right.

One of the things I wanted to see was the feel of the belt drive. My first concern was the belt would stretch or slip. But to my surprise the bike’s drive train performed like a normal drive train. At one point I had forgotten about the belt. During the climb I had the opportunity to mash on the pedals. This was my chance to see if I could break something or at least make it slip. Again, the drive train performed flawlessly.

Jeremy and Moe…we all walked the bikes at one point.

Back to the bike. I was honestly impressed with the whole bike. There was nothing bad I could say about my experience with the Spot Brand Belt Driven 29er. Overall it was a sweet bike. So the question is, would I get one or would I recommend it? Well for one, I wouldn’t get one just because of the price of the bike…around $1800. That’s quite a bit of money for a single speed 29er. Now if someone were to ask me if I could recommend the bike, my answer would be yes. If you’re looking for something totally different (belt drive)…something that no one really has, then the Spot Brand Bike 29er would be perfect for you. But for this p’oh boy, I’d have to pass on it. I’d personally save some of that money and get a decent KHS solo one or Redline Monocog.

Sette Reken Maiden Voyage

Last Saturday was the first time I took out the newly built Sette Reken out for a ride. We rode on a trail called Turnbull Canyon in Whittier, Ca. This is a super fun trail, not as friendly to single speed bikes, but still wicked fun!

The ride starts off with a 2 mile climb to the top. I’m not sure the elevation is but its pretty high. Once you’re up there, you can see downtown LA and the Hollywood sign.

I ended up using the Yess Pro Full Suspension tensioner because the first tensioner I installed wasn’t wrapping around the rear cog enough,which caused my chain to skip. After swapping it out, the bike rode fine. This was also a perfect opportunity to try out the new Ergon Grips I just got. I really like those things because it has the bar end features with out it looking goofy with 6″ ends…

Basically, the Sette Reken did REALLY well for its first ride. The frame was light, flickable and I was able to take it on jumps, singletrack and some other technical parts of the trail. I’ll keep riding this baby and report back how it performs.

Sette Reken Single Speed Build Complete

This morning I got up around 5:30am just so I can put on the finishing touches on the Sette Reken frame. Magally of Pricepoint.com sent me this frame so we can show our readers that you can easily build a single speed bike for allot less than what people think. First of all this frame only cost $69 from Pricepoint.com…not bad if you ask me! The single speed kit that I have on there was only $12…also from Pricepoint.com. I’ll get into the cost of the other stuff later. But for now I’ve built it so I can ride this weekend. I’ll probably do a test run on it just to make sure nothing snaps.

Those tires are the Rubena Harpie set that I recently reviewed.

Single speed kit from Pricepoint.com includes spacers, a 16t and an 18t cog. They also have tensioners for as low as $20. I happen to have this one laying around, I figure I’d use it.

These are Avid 5 Single Digit V brakes, courtesy of Priscilla’s old bike. I recently converted her over to Avid BB5 (Disc)

Marzocchi Bomber with ETA. I forget the actual model, its either a EXR or MX Pro or something like that.

I really dig how the bike is basically all black. Those are Tektro brake levers, but they’ll soon be replaced with some Avid levers. Uno handle bar and a 90mm WTB stem.

I weighed the Reken…about 24lbs…eh not too bad. But a huge improvement from my full suspension single speed that weighed close to 30lbs. I figure the fork and low end Alex wheels are the culprit of the chunkiness of the bike. But then again I wasn’t trying to build a super light bike. I was building this with a budget conscience mindset.

All in all, I’m happy with the build. I’ll be trying this baby out soon enough and I’ll come back with a full report and the cost breakdown of the build.

Sette Reken Frame is HERE!

This evening when I got home from work, a sweet package was winking at me…it was the Sette Reken Frame! Pricepoint.com shipped it Friday afternoon and I got it today…and it was supposed to be UPS Ground…that’s wicked fast!

sette reken

I was impressed on the care packaging that went on with the frame. It was bubbled wrapped at least 5 layers thick. The frame arrived flawless.
sette Reken

I really dig the matte black finish…

This thing is sooo sexy that it looks good enough to be part of anyone’s home decor. Heck when Priscilla saw the frame she let out a…”oooohhhh” and said…”mmm is that the new frame?”

There’s big plans for this frame and I’m going to keep you guy updated as I make some progress on the build.

Nirve Night Owl…a Single Speed made simple and affordable

Nirve Bicycles recently introduced a new bike in their line up called the Night Owl. It’s basically a beach cruiser frame with a BMX handle bars and some knobby tires…kinda reminds me of the Klunkerz bikes that mountain biking was bred from.

I think the Night Owl would be a good contender to go against some of the rigid single speed mountain bikes out there. You get V-brakes, a sturdy frame and a kickstand!

Here’s the Specs:
# Nirve proprietary Galaxie™ Alloy frameSingle speed
# Linear Pull Brakes
# Nirve Classic double spring saddle
# Quick-Adjust seat clamp
# Aluminum wheels w/stainless steel spokes
# Alloy crank
# Nirve grips in soft Kraton rubber
# Nirve 26? Enduro tread tires
# Welded Cartridge Kickstand

We’re actually going to test this baby out for both uses, bike commuting and for single speed mountain biking next month. I’m really excited about it because you get the best of both worlds with this bike.