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  1. #1
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    Is SS for a noob a bad idea?

    Haven't really ridin anything for about 15 years & when I did back in the day it was bmx. Im currently overweight (6'3", 312lbs) & trying to get back in a shape other than ROUND! Would it be silly to have my "everything" bike be a SS? Im digging the Se Stout, but thought someone else that might have some experience on the subject could help...

    Most likely scenario is 70% Road & Packed trail, w/ 30% making up whatever I can throw at it...

  2. #2
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    SS for a noob? Not a terrible idea at all.

    Most kids ride single speeds...

  3. #3
    no, I'm not riding SS
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    I'm a clyde (220#, was 250#), been riding my 29er for about 2 years when I picked up a singlespeed. I cannot begin to tell you how much my strength and endurance has improved because of the SS. It is absolute hell for the first few rides, not to mention trying to figure out the appropriate gearing for your terrain, but now, I can ride everything that I previously rode with my geared, and mostly with faster times. It's quite gratifying and a feeling of accomplishment to clean a 5 mile, 2000' fireroad climb standing the whole way on a singlespeed. Pain, yes, until you try the same ride on your geared and absolutely FLY up it. Go for the SS, you wont regret it.

  4. #4
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    Riding a bike is never a bad idea. Go for the ss and if you want more convincing, start browsing the ss forums and you'll see the light in no time.

    A rigid 29er is a good place to start. Just might want to find some good grips, I use ESI's on my rigid, and maybe look at setting up your tires tubless and maybe running a 2.4 upfront. That combo should give you a little cushion and not beat you up so much.

    You'll learn more and get in shape faster on a ss rigid regardless of what people tell you about getting a geared bike or suspension. The main thing is you gotta enjoy riding your bike though or it doesn't really work.

  5. #5
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    I have both a geared hardtail and a rigid SS. I look at them beside each other and can see which one I like more. I am in love with my SS. I have had it since 2007, rode it a bit, went to college and took my road bike. Now I am back in the mountains and I love taking my SS out and climbing. It hurts more, I can't spin, but I can tell the difference when I ride my geared bike. I can carry more speed just because I am not use to spinning.

    I'd say go test ride a SS and see if you like it. I know I love mine.
    You may be quick, but I'll knock you over

  6. #6
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    I like to challenge myself & the idea that it's more work actually appeals to me... No pain, no gain...

  7. #7
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    The Stout can take gears, so it seems a sensible bike for the price. If you don't like it, a new chain, rear mech, shifter and cassette won't break the bank and give you a 1x9 as a halfway house.

  8. #8
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    Dear BigVaz,

    Do not get a SS. Unless you are in great shape you will not ride it. If you were in great shape you would not weigh 300 pounds! SS is great but very hard work(depends where you live and ride). Start with gears/ and lots of them. Spinning your granny at 45 rpms is better than sitting with a beer. Save the SS for when you love to climb hills, the steeper the better...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yogii
    Dear BigVaz,

    Do not get a SS. Unless you are in great shape you will not ride it. If you were in great shape you would not weigh 300 pounds! SS is great but very hard work(depends where you live and ride). Start with gears/ and lots of them. Spinning your granny at 45 rpms is better than sitting with a beer. Save the SS for when you love to climb hills, the steeper the better...

    I don't agree with this. I know many people who ride SS. They started on a geared bike, rode a few times and hung it up. When they took their bikes back out, they went SS and love it. These aren't super fit people. these are people like us Clydes, big guys who wanna have fun on a bike and don't want to have a ton of issues.
    You may be quick, but I'll knock you over

  10. #10
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    It depends where you ride. The secret to SS success is not riding trails that are too steep or technical for your ability or level of fitness. Take it slow and just have fun.

    Gears are really a double-edged sword. They offer an advantage but they don't make up for a lack of aerobic fitness or leg strength, and they only make the ride easier if you are in the right gear for the situation. As a new rider, you won't know what gear that is, so half the time you will be in the wrong gear, or shift too late, or both, and stall out. Gears are a distraction to a new rider. SS is actually great for noobs for this very reason.

    They require almost no maintenance and are dead simple to work on when they do, another advantage for noobs. And let me tell you, there is no suspension fork on the market that is designed to work properly for guy your size right out of the box. So you might as well save the money and go rigid.

    SE Stout is a great value. I have a 2008.
    Mind your own religion.

  11. #11
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    ^Im just about certain i'll be ordering the 2009 Stout from BikesDirect in the next week or two. I think the first upgrade will be to disc brakes, unless something else really stands out once I get the bike.

  12. #12
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    BB7s are a good affordable choice but don't be too anxious to upgrade the clinchers right away. Remember MTBers lived with rim brakes for years, they work just fine. My opinion is to upgrade to discs if / when you upgrade the wheels to disc-only.

    Do keep in mind that discs with horizontal DOs can be a little tricky to get lined up properly. Nothing too bad, but a bit more effort than rim brakes.
    Mind your own religion.

  13. #13
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    Good input PoisonDartFrog, I have seen way too many people get too caught up with upgrading their bikes (at times I have been one of these people) and they forget to ride it. I am running BB5s and I love them. I would say that if you upgrade to Mechanical disks, I would get a 185mm rotor for the front. I have a 160mm and it can get rather heated on any long downhill.
    You may be quick, but I'll knock you over

  14. #14
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    I've had the upgrade bug with some other hobbies & it can get expensive! (i.e. paintball, motorcycles etc...)

    I just really like the look of discs (yes im a noob) plus, from what I gather, they stop better. I've also read the 185mm up front would be better for my size.

    I figure I should be able to buy the Stout, a set of bb7's & new stem (heard the stocker isn't good) for around a grand total of $500.00.

    I'll be happy with it as a start. Then next winter if I really get into it, i'll probably do fork & wheels. Seems like all the reviews I read say the SE Stout has a really "Stout" (pun intended) frame & should last me a long time!

  15. #15
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    Sounds like a hell of a deal. I think I have about that much in my Monocog now. I hope you love your SS as much as I love mine.
    You may be quick, but I'll knock you over

  16. #16
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    just keep in mind:
    your Heart Rate will incrase by about 20% almost instantly when you stand and begin cranking out of the saddle.

    if you're a newb, and 312 lbs, SS will just make breaking into riding less pleasant, but like was said, it will incrase your leg power quite an insane amount.
    Good luck to you whatever you decide!

  17. #17
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    He should be riding flat trails until his fitness improves a bit.

    Either way, you can spin or you can mash. But it takes the same exact amount of energy to get up that hill, gears or not.
    Mind your own religion.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoisonDartFrog
    But it takes the same exact amount of energy to get up that hill, gears or not.
    Only if you make the false assumption of 100% efficiency.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  19. #19
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    My 2009 Stout is en route to my mother in laws in MO as we speak, so I'll have something to play on when we visit next week. I am taking a rear gear setup in case I really hate it as a SS. I don't think my wife knows how many spares I'll have in my luggage for fettling it tho - that might get me in trouble!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    Only if you make the false assumption of 100% efficiency.
    Really, how does that work?

    Taller gears means less force is required at the pedals, but the trade-off is that you have to pedal faster. In the end, the same exact amount of work is done moving a mass from point A to point B.

    That is unless you have figured out a way to get free energy out of your gear cluster, which would be pretty cool.
    Mind your own religion.

  21. #21
    SSOD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iridethedirt
    just keep in mind: your Heart Rate will incrase by about 20% almost instantly when you stand and begin cranking out of the saddle.
    Are you kidding me? That means if your riding at 150 and stand up you instantly go to 180....I guess depending on your fitness level then I could see this being true but I would think it out of the ordinary, even for a noob clyde. Maybe for the first week but your body will adapt fairly quickly to out of the saddle riding.

    OP browse the ss forum or cross post this thread there. I don't think but maybe a couple responses have been from people who actually ride ss. You'll do dine man just don't give up.

  22. #22
    Ride & Smile
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    I would consider myself a SS noob having just purchased a Kona Unit. Iím glad I gave single speed a try. I did upgrade it to a hardtail, but single speed has been an easy transition. I still ride my 2X10 on longer rides, but it is easier to take out the single speed for shorter rides.
    KanzaKrūzer
    Salsa Warbird | Kona Unit

  23. #23
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoisonDartFrog
    Taller gears means less force is required at the pedals, but the trade-off is that you have to pedal faster.
    I think you got that backwards.

    Anyway, going up a long and steep hill can be hard. On a singlespeed it can be even harder, unless you have ridiculously low gearing. I take the uphills as challenges. Sometimes I choose to walk. Sometimes I don't have a choice.

    ... whatever. I enjoy riding singlespeed. I don't worry about others agreeing with me.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoisonDartFrog
    Gears are really a double-edged sword. They offer an advantage but they don't make up for a lack of aerobic fitness or leg strength, and they only make the ride easier if you are in the right gear for the situation. As a new rider, you won't know what gear that is, so half the time you will be in the wrong gear, or shift too late, or both, and stall out. Gears are a distraction to a new rider. SS is actually great for noobs for this very reason
    Great advice. SS will be tough and it will kick your ass when first starting out but if you stick with it you will have a ton of fun, just be prepared for some frustrating walks up long hills.

    Rigid is a ton of fun and very addicting, a well set up rigid bike will teach you great bike control and reflex. You'll be able to pick clean lines much better than someone who starts on a FS, and riding a SS, you'll already be standing a good bit and using your arms and legs as all the suspension you need.

    My 2cents, nobody should start on a full suspension. Rigid geared bike or rigid singlespeed for all beginners that way you learn to enjoy the benefits of suspension without seeing it as a requirement.

  25. #25
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    Sometimes you walk a steep climb faster than the guys in granny gear can spin up it...

    To the OP, one more thing to think about. If you find the 32/18 (32-tooth chainring and 18-tooth cog) that came on your bike to be too tough to pedal at first, consider going down to your LBS and having them swap in a 20-tooth cog on the back. This should be really cheap to do and it will make your ride about 10% easier (but 10% slower for the same pedaling cadence...).

    I have a set of cogs in 16, 18, and 20 tooth sizes. 18t is the default, 16t for flat / fast trails with no climbing, or street riding, and 20t for those hilly rides. I may even get a 22t for some epic climbs in the Texas Hill Country.

    Contrary to popular belief, singlespeeders DO change gears... we just do it the garage the night before the ride.

    Someone once told me that the rides don't get easier, you just get faster. Good luck, be safe, have fun, and don't quit!
    Mind your own religion.

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