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  1. #1
    crankdango
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    To 29 single speed or not to 29 single speed? My first post.

    I've been coming to MTBR since 1998. Even forgot the password to my old account and had to get a new login... first post in over a decade.

    I just got back into mountain biking last year after taking 10 years off. I'm 42 now and ride more often than I did then. More discipline I guess. Up to 120 miles a week off-road and thanks to incentive from Strava I'm at 156 lbs. Half my weekly miles are on a cyclocross bike. I even ride the cross bike on single track to relish in the absurdity of it all. I decided to sell my 26" 2001 Klein Attitude Comp. I don't want to dump all the proceeds into the CX realm. I'm enjoying the roll on big wheels so I'm either going to get a 650b, a 29'er (seriously scoping the Airborne Goblin) or a single speed 29'er.

    Some of the fastest guys in our area ride SS 29. All about strength. I like to burn and get out of the saddle on climbs, trying to use momentum instead of gears. This is especially helpful in CX on FSR's with quick switchbacks followed immediately by a climb. This has got me seriously considering the single speed world. Not sure if I'm turned on or off by the single speed crowd and the dresses at races and the novelty aspect of it all. Does anyone take SS seriously or I do I risk entering the fixie, hipster world of MTB?

    Decisions... decisions.

  2. #2
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    I think that having a SS is a great bike to have in your quiver. They are low maintenance, great for strength training, are extremely simple, and gives you another option.

    I have a 29er SS rigid, that I also have a Reba for. I love the simplicity of not shifting gears. Not worrying about suspension settings. Just going out taking good lines and enjoying the ride. That being said, I also love my expensive, complex, full squish, but for different reasons.

  3. #3
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    Not sure what "serious" means...but I sure have a lot of fun on my Niner. Its like a big toy. Its reinvigorated my riding for the last 2 years....love it. I dont own any dresses....

  4. #4
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    Get a rigid ss 29er. With big tires. Ride it. Ride it more. Then put a fork on it for summer. You will not be sorry. It will change the way you ride and make you stronger and you will kick ass, old man.

  5. #5
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    and I'm not sure what you mean by "single speed crowd", "dresses", and "novelty aspect". just ride.

  6. #6
    Bro
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb View Post
    Get a rigid ss 29er. With big tires. Ride it. Ride it more. Then put a fork on it for summer. You will not be sorry. It will change the way you ride and make you stronger and you will kick ass, old man.
    So is OP supposed to ride without a front wheel/fork, like he's on a unicycle, until the summer?

    OP, just do it. SS bikes are fun and they're cheap enough, especially if you end up on a rigid bike. You'll probably regret it, but then you'll be having so much fun riding that you'll forget that regret.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  7. #7
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    Any bike can be a ss, but a dedicated ss is self defined. If you're on the fence and will only have one bike I'd go geared, if you feel like mashing it put it in a gear and leave the shift lever alone.

  8. #8
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    SS is fun. I've had a few over the years, both road and mtb. To be honest, I'd not want to have one as my only bike, but as an option. A lot of trails where I live are pretty suitable for SS, and you could gear it fairly high because steep climbs tend to be short, and long climbs tend to be pretty gradual. On my geared bikes, I don't need to change gears very often.

    But there are trails where having gears is very useful. I wouldn't have nearly as much fun there on a SS.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen144 View Post
    Not sure if I'm turned on or off by the single speed crowd and the dresses at races and the novelty aspect of it all. Does anyone take SS seriously or I do I risk entering the fixie, hipster world of MTB?
    While there is a single speed subculture that includes lots of drinking and wearing of costumes, most of the single speeders you will see on the trail are pretty much like any other mountain biker. It's just another mountain bike, not a cultural statement. (And yes, lots of people take single speed mountain biking seriously and often beat the pants of geared riders in races).

  10. #10
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    Most of the people I know that kill it are on CX bikes or their SS 29ers. To be fair I am on a 26 FS so...

  11. #11
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    Riding SS is a ton of fun and it makes you a stronger rider. I notice it translates into my other bikes and I tend to mash a bit more than I would usually do in a taller gear. As a matter of fact, I went riding with a friend last night on our fat bikes, I noticed I shifted much less than she did when we came to hills and that I stood more to climb.

    I had a Karate Monkey 29er SS for a while and just sold that and switched over to a SS Nature Boy CX bike. Actually, I rather like the fixed gear side of the hub better(my first foray into fixies since my tricycle years as a toddler!) Well, that isn't necessarily true...my unicycle is a fixie! Fixed is weird but oddly entertaining!

    Depends on where you ride, I think you could go SS all the way if you wanted to but options are nice. Maybe you could try a 1x10 instead or look for rear dropouts that allow SS or geared setups easily(track ends or semi horizontal dropouts, etc) that way you can go either way.
    2010 Surly Conundrum
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  12. #12
    B.Ike
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    ^^x2 a bike with versatile dropouts. Buy ss now, and piece-together a 1x drivetrain at clearance prices.

    I have a kona unit, that's 2x9 right now.

  13. #13
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    It depends on how you like to ride. I grew up on a BMX bike, got a mountain bike in 82. I'm 6-0 and 175lbs. By the forums, I should ride a 29er. I got one and didn't like some of it. My 29ers, Slow to accelerate, rides over everything, keeps speed. my 26 was fast to start and took some skill to get over everything, but very flickable, and easy to move bike around stuff. My 69er was really fun, but felt like I was pulling a wheelie, and every mechanic I ever talked to said it was a stupid idea. Now I'm playing with a 650B, it feels like it is best. It's a compromise of a 26 and 29. Pretty fast to start, rolls over most stuff, flickable, easy enough to maintain momentum. Again, it depends on how you ride, or what you've riden. If your old school 26er, get a 650. If you've only been riding a 29er, keep at it, but I think a 650 feels best. Just," Ride, Smile and Pedal Damn it".

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