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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011

    How well does SS bikes do on gravel roads?

    Hi. I'm just starting up a new MTB build. I've got a Cannondale F600 frame that I was gonna build as a singlespeed project.

    I have a bit of doubt though. You see, where I live (Ontario) I have a long drive down gravel roads to get to the trails I wanna ride. On a normal geared MTB I dont mind the gravel roads at all. Sometimes I dont even go to the trails. I just ride around on the gravel roads. Its a beautiful area.

    Do you guys think that it would be lame riding a singlespeed bike down 10 miles of gravel road (and back) or would it be just as fun as on a geared bike?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shalom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Give it a shot. My feeling is that it will be just as lame as on a geared bike - roads on a mtb kill my soul. The only difference being that you might get to the trail slightly faster with gears, as you will not have to spin as much (but that is dependent on your gearing and local trails).

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Harry Mackenzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    It sounds boring unless there's some hills in there. Just try it out.

  4. #4
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I feel the same. I'd find it frustrating unless there were some hills. There is a 50km return hill climb here I would like to work up to as a challenge on SS, but if it was flat I'd hate it. Have you thought of dingle or 3 speed IGH?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    You will want a gearing that is a little taller than you would use for serious single track. If my riding was mostly gravel, I would run 36/20. If my riding was all single track then I would prefer 36/22. My current general purpose gear ratio of 38/22 works well for both applications.

    To make the idea work you will need to strike the balance between too small and too tall.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: disgustipated's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    My feeling is that it will be just as lame as on a geared bike

    Essentially this. I ride between 100-200 miles a week on gravel roads, and I do it on a rigid fixed gear mtb. I enjoy it, others do as well. Some hate it and I can understand why. Gear it as high as you can stand it on the trail and get comfortable with spinning.... a lot.
    Calmer'n you are.

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