Farmer_John wrote:My suggestion is to take your present hardtail and convert it. A Surly Singleator, a couple of old cassettes and a narrower BB would do it.
I agree with Farmer John, except I have never had to replace a bottom bracket on a SS conversion before. The adjustability of the chainline at the cassette should keep you golden. You can also swap chainring positions (middle to outside or vice versa). I would do the following personally:
* Strip off all gear-related stuff
* Buy a Shimano or Novatech BMX cog ($5) - Keep a 2:1 gear ratio. If your middle chainring on the front is a 32T, get a 16T BMX cog. If it's a 34T, get a 17T BMX cog.
* Get some cassette spacers - These can be swiped from some old cassettes, or you can buy a set for around $10.
* Buy a Surly Singleator ($45-50) or Soulcraft Convert ($70) - Tensions your chain. Check out your chain length before buying one, though, as the chainstay length on some frames allows you to run certain gear combinations without a tensioner.
I have some great single speed conversion links on my website. Scroll down past the SS manufacturers to the "Information" section.
With a conversion, you're out very little money if you decide that you don't like single speeding. Otherwise, you'll take a bath on selling your fancy, shiny SS bike in the classifieds or on eBay. If you absolutely sure you want to get a "real" SS bike, though, the Redline looks like a great complete bike
for the $$$ (I'd shy away from buying a frame/fork and building one up, though...not cost effective). I'd also look at a Surly 1x1
or Kona Unit
. Surlys should be able to be purchased for ~325 (frame/fork) from your LBS, and the Kona Unit (frame only) is on sale at Bikeman.com for $329.