Salsa Dos Niner Build and Thoughts

IMG_0002I recently bought a new (old and used) mountain bike frame at the Midwest bike show.  Today was its first real test on the trail.  I’ve ridden it by myself a couple of times on gravel and ran into a major problem;  its hard to keep a chain on a 1×9 setup.  With no front derailluer to keep it in place every large bump wanted to bounce it off the ring.  I built my own little chain catcher from spare parts and it helped, but wasn’t exactly right.


IMG_2480I decided to skip the front chainring, derailuer and shifter because I’ve found that I wasn’t using the granny gear very much on my mountain bike anymore, plus I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the fact I wanted to save some weight.  Yesterday I mounted my new Shimano HG-61 36-12 cassette, a heavy pie plate block of metal for sure, but the two extra teeth on the biggest cog over the 34-11 cassette should give me the lower gear I needed on a 1×9.

daffodils blooming in early february

daffodils blooming in early february

Joe and I went out to Glendale where my friend Mark loaned me a N-Gear “Jumpstop” chain catcher, which worked much better then the home made chain catcher I’d come up with.  We agreed on a nice “gentleman’s” paced ride, which basically means that we kept the pace civilized, but we also kept moving since we never had to stop and wait for someone to catch up.


My home made chain catcher, sort of worked.

My home made chain catcher, sort of worked.

I could immediately tell the bike was working.  It felt responsive, nimble and fast.  Over 1.5 pounds less rubber in the tires was probably a big reason why it felt so much faster.  I found myself riding away from the other guys quite often and had to tone it down.  The 2.0 Rocket Ron front tire offered adequate grip it the soft trail, but forget turning it in really wet mud.  It felt like a larger tire since it did so well as soaking up bumps that would otherwise jar me loose riding a rigid fork.  The 1.9 Kenda Kharma on the back had plenty of traction and grip and felt great.  I was the only rider to make several steep and soft climbs where everyone else spun out.



The Jumpstop chain catcher

The Jumpstop chain catcher

The Dos Niner has a lower bottom bracket then what I’m used to and I smacked my pedal and foot on rocks several times.  I’ve got enough air in the shock so its using about half of its travel.  It worked great to take the edge off small bumps.  It kind of reminds me of running a 2.5 tire with super low pressure, square edge bumps that should jar you get absorbed, but while climbing and in most other situations I could never even tell the rear end was moving.

Now here’s the most interesting part, how much do I have in this bike.


Frame, front SLX brake, BB, Headset: $200.00

Ritchey WCS bar: $8

Rocket Ron tire: $5


WTB rear wheel: $60

shimano CG-51 chain: $13

shimano HG-61 cassette: $43

Ergon Grips from Mark: $20

Junk Parts Box

Everything is so old and used that I couldn’t even remember what I paid for it, but I’ve got my money’s worth already so it doesn’t count.

Front wheel

LX Crank

sewed up a cut in a Kenda Kharma, good tire but cuts to easy.

sewed up a cut in a Kenda Kharma, good tire but cuts to easy.

Kenda Tire with big cut

Specialized Avatar Saddle

Truvativ Seat Post I stole from Dad

XT derailluer Drew gave me

LX shifter, rear brake stolen from Trek

Vassago Odis steel fork I got from Mark

Stem that came with my road bike

I’ve only got about 350 in this bike, SWEET!

About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, Bikes and components, lifestyle, Mountain BIking, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Salsa Dos Niner Build and Thoughts

  1. Mark Albrecht says:

    Matt, Had not hit your blog for a while. Once again your writing is witty, informative, and inspiring. Like your better half, 2012 was a year of one event or another that interferred with m riding. Looking at 2013 to get more saddle time and get a century in. Keep up the good work!
    Mark Albrecht

  2. Hi, good job. I like it. I also am thinking about rebuilding the 1×9, and you kicked me. 🙂
    Jakub Müller

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s