1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Single Speed Vs. Traditional

    So I'm new to the sport obviously, and I have noticed on a lot of newer bikes, especially the 29ers, they are using a single speed crank system, what are the benefits if I'm freeriding Vs. the traditional gear shifting?

  2. #2
    Hardbooter
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    Here's your homework.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html

    Everything you ever wanted to know, and then some.

    Or, for the second best answer, because they're just so much fun!

  3. #3
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    if you're free riding... go with a geared bike. dont think a 29er is best for free riding either... what bike are you currently riding?

  4. #4
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    Linga, I don't think he meant actually freeriding, I think moreso piddling around on the trails at your own pace..But I could be wrong..

    Although, DH/FR with an SS would be nice, less stuff to break, no scarred chainstays..climbing with the spongy suspension would be hard, but that's what hardtail FR is for

  5. #5
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    Sheldon's web page is great, but everytime I switch gears during a mountain bike run in order to ride more efficiently and to extend my fun time (e.g. not get worn out), I think of what it would be like if I had only one gear. It would probably be pure hell. I think SS's are actually better suited for advanced riders. I am sure I will try the SS thing eventually (I plan on trying just about all bikes eventually), but for now I am more focused on riding skills.

    If you have already read Sheldon's stuff, then you know he feels shifting takes away from the riding experience - that's the part I am curious about. But I am just not ready to suffer so much to obtain that experience - perhaps down the road a bit.

  6. #6
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    It's really not that bad. Your very first hill will be horrible, think of the first day of hell week in high school football.

    It only gets better and more fun. Even though it's not the same, try picking a gear that you can climb with, but requires out of the saddle hammering. Stay in that gear for a whole ride. That ride will be considerably harder than proper singlespeeding. Plus, can't you tell it's beautifully efficient by my artistic avatar?

  7. #7
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    SS is goofy and slow and doesnt make sense. its fun though. i have an SS and i ride it quite frequently.. but i ride it places that are SS friendly. i occasionally see SS guys out on climbfest trails when im on my geared bike.. and they're pushing their bike up the hill while im riding up the hill.

    theres no benefits. its just a different way to ride, its VERY challenging and physically demanding.. but most of us sure arent out there because its easy

    some people say an advantage is maintenance.. but seriously, a 10 year old kid could properly maintain a 27 speed bicycle. SS is just fun and challenging. personally, i think its great to have a rigid SS bike, but as a second bike. you'll get a lot of online nazi'ism about 29er superiority and about how fast SS'ers are.. but then you hit the trail and see those guys pushing their bikes up the steep instead of riding. buy both, enjoy both. be realistic.

  8. #8
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    SS is goofy and slow and doesnt make sense. its fun though.
    ...
    its just a different way to ride, its VERY challenging and physically demanding
    Depends a bit on where you ride too. A long and steep climb can be seriously tough unless your gearing is very low.

    On a singlespeed you definitely need a different rhythm: when the multigear riders shift down to winch themselves up a hill slowly, you go as hard and fast as you can, and hope you can reach the top. Then you rest on the easy bits of trail where the gearies cruise in a high gear.

  9. #9
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    Well, when people claim "annual" maintenance on an SS, they do so knowing that tweaking a bike is no problem, but it's just so great to be able to haul the bike out, throw it in the car, ride till you die, throw it back in the car, and repeat, with no work in between.

    I wouldn't say it's goofy, but it does lack some of the finesse of a geared bike, but that's technology for you!

    Goating on an SS definitely isn't fun, but when you get the 29er wheels and rigid all around, rolling and flowing singletrack is the best fun you'll ever have.

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