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  1. #1
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    Benefits of mountain biking singlespeed?

    Hi guys, im new to this forum. Am doing up a SS setup right now but wondering whats the benefits/fun/advantages of riding a SS in the trails?

    Do you guys really take on the climbs well after experiences of riding singlespeed? Im starting to miss mountain biking with plans of doing a road only SS, so im considering going mountain biking with my SS like many of you do.

    Im not that confident of my ability. Just want to hear the tips, suggestions, and reflections of riding singlespeed here

  2. #2
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    it's all gear-inches and/or how manly you are...
    do you want to grind gears on the ups and rock the DH?
    Or, would you rather cruise up the trail, but spin-out going down...
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  3. #3
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    Benefits? Hmm. It's fun as hell. If you're a mechanic like me and you're tired of working on bikes in general, you can add yours to the "doesn't need much, ever" list. And all "zen" hoopla aside, I really do just like the feeling of being out on an eight-hour ride, in the middle of nowhere, with a map, lunch, and a bike that I'm not too worried about ripping parts off of on forgotten trails.

    If you've never done any MTB SS before, though, be prepared to hurt for a few weeks/months. At first you will probably want to quit, because if you're used to gears, SS just feels stupid. Stick with it, though, and you'll learn how to climb, descend, hit technical sections uphill, keep up on the flats, etc. Soon you'll be killer!
    Alison Dunlap Coaching
    When you're not paid to ride.

  4. #4
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    You are in the wrong gear most of them time, spinning like a hamster on the flats and then mashing at about 2 rpm up some steep hills
    Rides often include much more pain and suffering than geared riding. Occasionally self loathing too for even choosing SS in the first place
    You'll finish most rides with jello legs

    Oh... benefits?

    Without gears and shifting constantly changing things, you have a 100% connection between effort and speed that creates a very pure feel to the rides. Hill coming up? Don't worry about what gear you're in or shifting, just pedal harder.

    There are lots of other benefits that people will post for you, but that one is my favorite. Coming in a close second is not having to adjust or fiddle with anything on my bike, like JoeyDurango mentioned.

  5. #5
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    Less chance of impotency because you're out of the saddle more.

  6. #6
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    penile enlargement

  7. #7
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    I like the peace and quiet. No chainslap or shifting noises. Very noticeable when you first try SSing. Easy to clean up after a muddy ride too.

  8. #8
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    I like the "hop on and go" attitude.

    No searching for the right gear or if my derailuer is gonna hit a rock.

    Just go.
    Just get out and ride!

  9. #9
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    simplicity.
    great workout.
    less $h*t to break.
    peace and quiet.
    make you pick better line ups.
    make you an all around better rider.
    I feel more in tune with the trail and nature. kind of hard to explain unless you ride on one for some time. I guess it's the simplicity and quietness that creates this.

  10. #10
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    I was having knee pain on my geared bike. Doesn't happen with SS. I also find it much easier to push myself hard on the SS, although this is no doubt a mental thing.

  11. #11
    Happy in Happy Valley
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    Flocks of women admiring your ginormous quads and sculpted calves.

    Flocks. Trust me.
    Rigid Surly 1x1 650b--------Fixed CrossCheck--------Surly Pacer-------Salsa Ala Carte

  12. #12
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    Makes me smile more when I ride my SS over my geared bikes.

    As for the noise level, it depends on your rear hub. Hadley's, Kings and 36 step DT hubs are pretty load when free wheeling.

  13. #13
    Shift less, Pedal more.
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    SS will make you a better/stronger/smoother rider, just ease into it. Without the choice for gears, you will ride faster and attack hills like you've never before. You will get an upper body workout like you never would on a geared bike.

    Also you can make SS as easy as you want, just change cogs.

    It's also the most fun I've had on a mountain bike in years. So quiet, so simple, and so much fun.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  14. #14
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    Ride, Ride and Ride. I have both, one for the road and one for the dirt, both Bianchi`s. My Specialized S works are staying very clean from being neglected in the garage. You will find you can push yourself to new levels when you cannot down shift on the hills. You will learn to spin on the flats. You will pass your friends up the hills, eventually. They will be blown away by your new found fitness levels. I think I can, I think I can, I know I can. Repeat this mantra. Saddle up regulators and move out!

  15. #15
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    It differs from person to person, but I find myself to be more efficient on a singlespeed. I can't really tell you the benefits, you just gotta' give it a shot. Get a frame with a (replaceable) hanger and throw a tensioner on. If you don't like it, throw a derailleur on. I did this to a Niner Air9 and realized I liked it. I ride singlespeed most of the time, but I do have a geared full squish bike too. Infact, that bike is on the classifieds here.
    Livin' the dream.

  16. #16
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    Wow.. thanks guys for all the sharing! Am really pretty inspired to get my SS running on the singletrack. The bike still need tires, fork and a couple of tweeks here and there

    If you've never done any MTB SS before, though, be prepared to hurt for a few weeks/months. At first you will probably want to quit, because if you're used to gears, SS just feels stupid. Stick with it, though, and you'll learn how to climb, descend, hit technical sections uphill, keep up on the flats, etc. Soon you'll be killer!
    I will be mentally prepared. Thanks alot for sharing. What I feel is that, once I manage to complete my local trail without stopping to push, the sense of satisfication will definitely motivate me to ride my SS more.

    Without gears and shifting constantly changing things, you have a 100% connection between effort and speed that creates a very pure feel to the rides. Hill coming up? Don't worry about what gear you're in or shifting, just pedal harder.

    There are lots of other benefits that people will post for you, but that one is my favorite. Coming in a close second is not having to adjust or fiddle with anything on my bike, like JoeyDurango mentioned.
    Yes. Even now before I have even started riding my SS, i wonder whether I have made the right choice. All I can say is that this forum really inspires and motivates me. I believe that, once I master SS and grow stronger legs, I may never turn back

    SS will make you a better/stronger/smoother rider, just ease into it. Without the choice for gears, you will ride faster and attack hills like you've never before. You will get an upper body workout like you never would on a geared bike.

    Also you can make SS as easy as you want, just change cogs.

    It's also the most fun I've had on a mountain bike in years. So quiet, so simple, and so much fun.
    The last line is really quite inspiring.

  17. #17
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    I'm going to second everything that the above posters have said! Especially the parts about making you a better rider. You will learn to be smooth or fail. Very quickly.

    When you get to really tough hills and just want to get off and hike it, just yell out "yah, Mule" and dig a little deeper! helps every time.

  18. #18
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Simplicity

    Plus as an added benifit it really annoys others when you show up to the group ride with a SS. You get to hear others curse under their breath as they know all the climbs are going to be some work that day.

  19. #19
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    Physically, SS has made me MUCH stronger, and put me in much better shape. It's made me a stronger rider mentally, as well, because now I know what true pain feels like. Now, when I'm doing anything, from hiking a trail with a 30lb pack, to hammering my geared bike down the trail, I know, no matter how much I hurt, it could definitely hurt more. So I keep pushing, and it makes me faster.

    As far as riding skill, SS and rigid has made me much stronger. I can pick better lines faster and I've learned the advantage of speed through the scary stuff and how it actually makes things easier.

    Plus it's fun. It's really fun. And when you show up to a group ride on a super difficult trail and you're the only SS'er, and almost always the only rigid, you kind of become a small hero in the group. The last ride I did like this, we took a group picture, and the group wanted my bike in the shot "because it was so cool!" That was awesome.
    :wq

  20. #20
    aka baycat
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    Beer always taste better after a ride. Gets you in shape in a hurry and if you can get over the addictive nature of a single speed and hop on your geared back you will notice some improvements.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by S:Drive
    Makes me smile more when I ride my SS over my geared bikes.

    As for the noise level, it depends on your rear hub. Hadley's, Kings and 36 step DT hubs are pretty load when free wheeling.

    You're doing it wrong. If you keep pedaling, hubs are always silent.
    If you never crash you are not trying hard enough.

  22. #22
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    Personally, I find that ss rides are more about the experience and less about the "highest possible average speed", which is something I can't be bothered with. In fact, that's the core of mtb for me: an experience like no other, riding (or pushing, running, walking) places that are, somehow, essential. Does that make sense to anyone?

    Put differently: I really like writing, but usually it's only ss rides that put me in the mindset for it. Somehow, I see and feel more.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdss
    SS will make you a better/stronger/smoother rider, just ease into it. Without the choice for gears, you will ride faster and attack hills like you've never before. You will get an upper body workout like you never would on a geared bike.

    Also you can make SS as easy as you want, just change cogs.

    It's also the most fun I've had on a mountain bike in years. So quiet, so simple, and so much fun.
    Noticed your quote. How bout this one: "Make shirts that say 'bikes not bombs', not bombs!"
    PoisonDogFart

  24. #24
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    Anyone can ride a geared bike up a hill.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    penile enlargement
    It will make you feel like your in an AXE body wash commercial.

  26. #26
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    Truth be told… I really stink at climbing on a geared bike. I was always either wheelie-ing or doing burnouts and wanting to stand up and grind a higher gear anyway. The low speed (low gear/inch) pedal like a pinwheel in a hurricane deal just bugged the cr@p out of me. It may be dumb and less efficient, but I’d rather just stand up, push really hard and put everything I got into the pedals.
    One is enough...

  27. #27
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    "Without the choice for gears, you will ride faster and attack hills like you've never before. You will get an upper body workout like you never would on a geared bike."

    very true

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by playdead
    "Without the choice for gears, you will ride faster and attack hills like you've never before. You will get an upper body workout like you never would on a geared bike."

    very true

    I agree too !

  29. #29
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by willy ride
    You're doing it wrong. If you keep pedaling, hubs are always silent.
    If they are fixed then you never need to worry about freewheel noise. Makes rock gardens so much more fun as well.

  30. #30
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    less brain clutter. you, one gear, pedaling. nothing else matters.

  31. #31
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    Not to hijack but...

    of those who replied to the original thread, do SS and 29ers go hand in hand?

    I'm 6'00, 32" inseam and DEFINIT. want to try SS. Not sure on wheel size. Thoughts to close this beat horse out....

  32. #32
    local trails rider
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    I guess it is pretty well established that 29ers have their advantages and some disadvantages too. I am enjoying my fat(tish) tire 26er SS bikes.

  33. #33
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    one thing i notice, is that when i take a break on the trail, and there r other riders there, they notice MY RIDE sooner than the ither top end bikes in the thousands of bucks range. then they c how old i am(50) and cant b lieve i ss. it makes u a much better rider, gets u in great shape, them 2 reasons alone r all i need

  34. #34
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    njbiker66

    hey bro, im in old bridge, u near by?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by razin cane
    one thing i notice, is that when i take a break on the trail, and there r other riders there, they notice MY RIDE sooner than the ither top end bikes in the thousands of bucks range. then they c how old i am(50) and cant b lieve i ss. it makes u a much better rider, gets u in great shape, them 2 reasons alone r all i need
    Yep. It's fun to have this steel bike that has no gears or shocks get praises and "WOW"s over a carbon super bike right next to it
    :wq

  36. #36
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    i was wondering, do chix dig the single speed?

  37. #37
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    Brainspace: In answer to "What's the point?"

    I've posted this elsewhere before, but it holds true:

    Singlespeeding isn't about a point for me so much as it's about a mindset.

    My wife, job and 4 year old daughter use up most of my spare time, I'm not racing, I'm just heading out to ride the local singletracks and chill out. When I ride a geared bike, the climbs are easier (but slower). Most of the flat out sections aren't much faster (even my gearie runs 1X9). And I've got chain slap, derailleur adjustment, cable stretch, cadence, should I change up, am I slacking off, blah blah blah blah blah going on in my head.

    When I ride my singlespeed I'm just riding. When the track points upwards I can feel how much steeper it is, when it levels off even though it doesn't look like it, I can feel it, I don't hear anything but the buzz of my tyres or my breath going in and out. I don't think about what gear I should be in, I just ride.

    I never understood the point of singlespeed before I rode one. I never understood it while I rode one first up (I was just doing it as a weight weenie to shave grams off my Yeti ARC), when I finally "got it" was when I switched back to gears and all of a sudden found so much extra crap going on in my headspace.

    You don't have to understand the point. I don't do it for you. I don't do it to be cool or accepted (I'm a 37 year old museum scientist, I've never been cool or accepted and it ain't about to change now), I'm not going to be in the "in crowd" because of it, I don't want to race in SS class.

    I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, for the moment, on trails that it suits, I choose to ride SS.
    Last edited by Fullrange Drew; 10-31-2009 at 02:15 PM.

  38. #38
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    thats the perfect way 2 put it, when ya riding ss, u just ride, and pedal as u need it, and when u r gearing it, 2 much thinking, 2 much noise, 2 much everything. takes the fun out of riding, which is why we do it to begin with

  39. #39
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    It's like being a kid all over again, SS is a blast!

  40. #40
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    razin cane, chix DO dig the ss.

  41. #41
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    thanx 4 the heads up, sara from me, i was wondering if anybody seen that...lolol

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullrange Drew
    Singlespeeding isn't about a point for me so much as it's about a mindset.

    My wife, job and 4 year old daughter use up most of my spare time, I'm not racing, I'm just heading out to ride the local singletracks and chill out. When I ride a geared bike, the climbs are easier (but slower). Most of the flat out sections aren't much faster (even my gearie runs 1X9). And I've got chain slap, derailleur adjustment, cable stretch, cadence, should I change up, am I slacking off, blah blah blah blah blah going on in my head.

    When I ride my singlespeed I'm just riding. When the track points upwards I can feel how much steeper it is, when it levels off even though it doesn't look like it, I can feel it, I don't hear anything but the buzz of my tyres or my breath going in and out. I don't think about what gear I should be in, I just ride.

    I never understood the point of singlespeed before I rode one. I never understood it while I rode one first up (I was just doing it as a weight weenie to shave grams off my Yeti ARC), when I finally "got it" was when I switched back to gears and all of a sudden found so much extra crap going on in my headspace.

    You don't have to understand the point. I don't do it for you. I don't do it to be cool or accepted (I'm a 37 year old museum scientist, I've never been cool or accepted and it ain't about to change now), I'm not going to be in the "in crowd" because of it, I don't want to race in SS class.

    I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, for the moment, on trails that it suits, I choose to ride SS.
    +1

    There really is a zen quality to it. Everything slows down for me on the SS. I bought a FS gearie this year, and stopped enjoying riding. Now I'm back on the SS and loving every minute of it.
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  43. #43
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    Riding for me is like jogging for other people. I'm out there for about an hour, and I want to be tired when I'm done. That's why I ride a fully rigid ss. The bike disappears, leaving only the trail.

  44. #44
    nothing to see here
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    Never underestimate the fear of failure to make it up a climb as motivation to try harder. People will tell you they wish they were as strong as you. That's nice.

    I have single speed arms now, to add to the legs.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  45. #45
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    I recently road with a friend on the road last week, he had a geared bike while I had my SS we hit a hill and I really beat him good. I find people generally go into too high of a gear which really screws their speed plus they are at too high of a cadence, which I find SS improves greatly. I find this bike so much fun I ride it all the time and use it to run all my errands (got a Dakine Apex hydrapak for commuting). You really need to play with your momentum and looking ahead for those hills to keep your speed.

    EDIT: My SS is a road bike which was my way to ease into it.

    pink

  46. #46
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    I'm not sure if this is true for others, but I've noticed that when I ride my SS my average heart rate is quite a bit lower than when I ride a geared bike (about 20 bpm lower). When geared I tend to ride at high rpm's and rely on keeping my pedals turning fast, I avoid going anaerobic, in the process I often redline my heart ,or so it feels. When climbing on the SS I have to mash and stand up. Often times I go anaerobic and my legs burn like a Muthaf$%%. But then our hills here are short, so it doesn't last long. The downhills are equally short and if I start spinning out, I coast. Many of our trails here in southern New England don't allow you to reach max speed anyway, often times my speed is limited more by cornering and bike handling/tire grip than gearing, so usually I "coast and corner" before spinning out anyway.

    Well the point is, riding a SS has forced me to ride more diversely, alternating between high rpm efficiency and brute strength mashing on the pedals and somehow this mix has made me faster and more efficient as a rider, and is easier on my heart to boot.

  47. #47
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    I rode my geared 26" bike yesterday and it was nice, but something was missing. What Mr. Pink said about using gears and spinning - although that can be an advantage for some climbs, I feel I rely on gears too much when riding my geared bike. When I ride my SS, it's necessary to anticipate a climb, calculate, and mash it. Also, on my geared bike I know I can pretty much get up anything within "gnar" reason. On the SS, I may or may not make it - that's the fun of it. And next time, I'll HTFU and make it happen (hopefully), or I'll pick a better line, etc.

    I prefer my SS even though it's tougher at times.

  48. #48
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    i hear ya, dion!! if i dont make a climb, i get off and hike the remainder, then the next time i make it a little farther, etc. etc.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by razin cane
    i hear ya, dion!! if i dont make a climb, i get off and hike the remainder, then the next time i make it a little farther, etc. etc.
    The cool thing is that you're usually so far ahead of your friends that they don't see you walk
    :wq

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc
    The cool thing is that you're usually so far ahead of your friends that they don't see you walk
    Your "friends" might not want to ride with you too often if you always ride way ahead of them.

    It is an unfortunate reality that SSers don't often make good riding buddies except for other SSers since the pacing, especially on climbs, is so different. My friends and my wife still all ride with gears so to make them happy when I ride with them, I am usually climbing too slow for the gear I'm in and end up plodding up hills with slow, hard pedaling. Oh well, they still like me

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    Your "friends" might not want to ride with you too often if you always ride way ahead of them.

    It is an unfortunate reality that SSers don't often make good riding buddies except for other SSers since the pacing, especially on climbs, is so different. My friends and my wife still all ride with gears so to make them happy when I ride with them, I am usually climbing too slow for the gear I'm in and end up plodding up hills with slow, hard pedaling. Oh well, they still like me
    Yeah I've noticed since I started riding SS that I end up riding solo a lot, even when I'm on a group ride with 5 or 6 friends. My single speed bike is just so much more fun than my geared bike though :\
    :wq

  52. #52
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    I am new to the forum and new to ss...actually still waiting on a couple of parts to make the conversion for my HT 29er. Like a five year old the week before Christmas, I am freakin JACKED about geting on the trails with only one gear. I am so amped for the beat down it is rediculous. I got the inspiration on my last trail ride when I broke the derailleur hanger on my FS 26er on a hard landing off a water bar. We were a few miles out and shortened the chain, took off the derailleur and limped home with only one gear. Everytime I tried to put the hammer down the chain would jump a gear on the cassette. Despite the flawed functioning it really got me stoked to try this ss koolaid. Maybe next week my bike will be ready...I'm sure my legs won't. Thanks for the inspiration.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    It is an unfortunate reality that SSers don't often make good riding buddies except for other SSers since the pacing, especially on climbs, is so different. My friends and my wife still all ride with gears so to make them happy when I ride with them, I am usually climbing too slow for the gear I'm in and end up plodding up hills with slow, hard pedaling. Oh well, they still like me
    Ha - same here. I ride with 99% geared riders, and I'm usually in the pack somewhere. When I am out front, I can rip up climbs but I'm usually not out front. As a result, I've developed this sort of slow-speed-balancing-slog up hills so as not to disrupt the rest of the pack... not sure it's the greatest of techniques, but it gets the job done
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  54. #54
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    Solution for all those people left riding solo now that they've gone SS: Find a killer group of SSers to ride with. If you can't find one, start one!
    Alison Dunlap Coaching
    When you're not paid to ride.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyDurango
    Solution for all those people left riding solo now that they've gone SS: Find a killer group of SSers to ride with. If you can't find one, start one!
    I'm putting my efforts in to converting my friends. I don't want to ditch them - I sorta like them.
    :wq

  56. #56
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    hey, i will ride with anybody, its all good. i am usually by myself, i am a retired young'un, if u will, and its hard 2 find friends 2 play with my same age group

  57. #57
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    Never need viagra,gives you thighs like breeze blocks,makes you so determined in other areas of your life(believe me)as it gives you some serious grunt over time,makes you a very selfish rider as everyone just seems to get in you f.....n way so you end up riding by yourself all the time,Grunt and aggression makes you a fast downhiller even with a rigid fork (goes with the ss),You actually become younger with age(i think) ask me in another ten years.Not much maintenance,bikes do not have to cost much.Very,very addictive,food tastes better,women look better,you cant go to sleep as you are thinking about sex,bikes,food,gear ratios,rides,porn etc,etc and to top it all its just plain friggin coooool.Oh and its like riding a big bmx.Puts a smile right acroos your face!!!

  58. #58
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    Across your face(oops)

  59. #59
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    And cool as in a good thing not the in thing, as i am forty and passed cool meaning in.?!?! oh and i think i have finished.

  60. #60
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    lifecycle, thats deep, bro.....very deep

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45ronin
    of those who replied to the original thread, do SS and 29ers go hand in hand?

    I'm 6'00, 32" inseam and DEFINIT. want to try SS. Not sure on wheel size. Thoughts to close this beat horse out....
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by playdead
    simplicity.
    great workout.
    less $h*t to break.
    peace and quiet.
    make you pick better line ups.
    make you an all around better rider.
    I feel more in tune with the trail and nature. kind of hard to explain unless you ride on one for some time. I guess it's the simplicity and quietness that creates this.
    Yes too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Funrover
    It's like being a kid all over again, SS is a blast!
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc
    Yep. It's fun to have this steel bike that has no gears or shocks get praises and "WOW"s over a carbon super bike right next to it
    Yep, I get tons of questions about my rigid SS from other riders and I'm always glad to let them take it for a little spin as long as they are responsible riders. Had a couple converts and several even more intrigued (but still on the wall) riders from these two minute test rides....lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fullrange Drew
    Singlespeeding isn't about a point for me so much as it's about a mindset.

    My wife, job and 4 year old daughter use up most of my spare time, I'm not racing, I'm just heading out to ride the local singletracks and chill out. When I ride a geared bike, the climbs are easier (but slower). Most of the flat out sections aren't much faster (even my gearie runs 1X9). And I've got chain slap, derailleur adjustment, cable stretch, cadence, should I change up, am I slacking off, blah blah blah blah blah going on in my head.

    When I ride my singlespeed I'm just riding. When the track points upwards I can feel how much steeper it is, when it levels off even though it doesn't look like it, I can feel it, I don't hear anything but the buzz of my tyres or my breath going in and out. I don't think about what gear I should be in, I just ride.

    I never understood the point of singlespeed before I rode one. I never understood it while I rode one first up (I was just doing it as a weight weenie to shave grams off my Yeti ARC), when I finally "got it" was when I switched back to gears and all of a sudden found so much extra crap going on in my headspace.

    You don't have to understand the point. I don't do it for you. I don't do it to be cool or accepted (I'm a 37 year old museum scientist, I've never been cool or accepted and it ain't about to change now), I'm not going to be in the "in crowd" because of it, I don't want to race in SS class.

    I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, for the moment, on trails that it suits, I choose to ride SS.
    Great way to put it.
    Last edited by Natedogz; 10-29-2009 at 07:45 PM.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  62. #62
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    Now that I don't have the time or inclination to be messing with a bike all the time, it's super-nice to have something I can just jump on and ride. (rigid SS) And it takes me back to my first "real" mountain bike ride every time...just the thrill of trying new singletrack, conquering obstacles, etc. that you never thought to do on a bike before.

    I can't do some of what I could do on a geared FS, and it has ceased to matter. And I've learned to climb stuff I never thought I'd do on a single gear, and descend stuff I never thought I'd do on a rigid.

  63. #63
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    Here is a benefit.

    Killing all the geared riders on rides and in races.
    Passing a dude on a climb, watching them try to keep up, and then dropping them when they realize you are on a SS.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    Here is a benefit.

    Killing all the geared riders on rides and in races.
    Passing a dude on a climb, watching them try to keep up, and then dropping them when they realize you are on a SS.
    ...and then avoiding eye contact at the top of the hill when you're collapsed on the side with jello legs and trying to stop your pounding heart from breaking your ribs, but he just cruises on by and seems to accelerate as he passes just to taunt you I can't say it doesn't happen

    Then again, he's probably even more refreshed than when he started the climb because he used a gear so easy that he may have actually napped on the way up.

  65. #65
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    You have to learn the oh dear i appear to have a problem with my singlespeed(!!) as you pull off to the side to inspect your bike or you take the nearest exit off the trail and pretend you know where you are going.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullrange Drew View Post
    I've posted this elsewhere before, but it holds true:

    Singlespeeding isn't about a point for me so much as it's about a mindset.

    My wife, job and 4 year old daughter use up most of my spare time, I'm not racing, I'm just heading out to ride the local singletracks and chill out. When I ride a geared bike, the climbs are easier (but slower). Most of the flat out sections aren't much faster (even my gearie runs 1X9). And I've got chain slap, derailleur adjustment, cable stretch, cadence, should I change up, am I slacking off, blah blah blah blah blah going on in my head.

    When I ride my singlespeed I'm just riding. When the track points upwards I can feel how much steeper it is, when it levels off even though it doesn't look like it, I can feel it, I don't hear anything but the buzz of my tyres or my breath going in and out. I don't think about what gear I should be in, I just ride.

    I never understood the point of singlespeed before I rode one. I never understood it while I rode one first up (I was just doing it as a weight weenie to shave grams off my Yeti ARC), when I finally "got it" was when I switched back to gears and all of a sudden found so much extra crap going on in my headspace.

    You don't have to understand the point. I don't do it for you. I don't do it to be cool or accepted (I'm a 37 year old museum scientist, I've never been cool or accepted and it ain't about to change now), I'm not going to be in the "in crowd" because of it, I don't want to race in SS class.

    I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, for the moment, on trails that it suits, I choose to ride SS.

    Could not agree more, I ride a 6x6 all mountain bike and love it, noting compares when ripping downhill. Now after 7 years of MTBing I purchased a SS 29er. My winter trails are a bit mucky and a little steep, at first I hated my decision. But after you get over the initial pain, its one of the most rewarding experiences that you will ever have. When you clean more and more climbs with better routes, body positioning, knowing when to give it, you feel fantastic. And when you do go back to the full suspension, you have SO much more power and strength. SS has changed my riding for the better, and I am one of the last men standing... riding both on Flats!

  67. #67
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    Plus it's a great upper body workout.....sometimes I think that I will rip the bars right off the stem on steep standing climb outs.

  68. #68
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    Benefit: One huge f***ing smile after the ride! I dunno... there's just something about a SS ride that just makes me grin.

  69. #69
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    Actually gears problem is only with rear cassette.
    I have only three front speed, and I have NO bike maintenance.
    winter XC

  70. #70
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    iperov ... that is some rig,

    SPP
    Rigid.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenTwo View Post
    Hi guys, im new to this forum. Am doing up a SS setup right now but wondering whats the benefits/fun/advantages of riding a SS in the trails?

    Do you guys really take on the climbs well after experiences of riding singlespeed? Im starting to miss mountain biking with plans of doing a road only SS, so im considering going mountain biking with my SS like many of you do.

    Im not that confident of my ability. Just want to hear the tips, suggestions, and reflections of riding singlespeed here
    Riding SS will benefit you the simplicity of mountain biking. No worries about shifting and tuning gears. Just find the best chain ring combination that fits your riding style and you set. Also, it help you to become a stronger rider!

  72. #72
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    you attack hills or you walk. and nobody wants to walk. so over time you train yourself to attack every hill, and you stop thinking any other way.

    then when you do try a geared bike again and have the option of shifting down, you feel like a really slow wimp.

  73. #73
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    I started riding in July after a 25 year hiatus. After repeated shifting related issues I sold my geared fr susp 29er and got a low budget SS rigid 29er. It takes some getting used to but I am loving it now. My best Christmas present today was clearing a hill that I couldn't even do previously with gears. I was taking pics when another rider passed me by and after I put my camera away I caught up to him on his geard suspended bike. I was a bit proud when I realized I was thinking "I better slow down since there is no room to pass". I stopped to take more pics instead. I am 40, out of shape, and make a lot of stops to take photos. (AKA excuse to let my heart rate settle a bit) and hooked on SS.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by iperov View Post
    Actually gears problem is only with rear cassette.
    I have only three front speed, and I have NO bike maintenance.
    That looks interesting. Can you post more pics of it or have you already?

    Sorry for the OT, everyone.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by iperov View Post
    Actually gears problem is only with rear cassette.
    I have only three front speed, and I have NO bike maintenance.

    I got a pair of those Teny rims I picked up on a lark. You don't mind the weight of them?

  76. #76
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    I am running 1x10 currently, I generally ride a 10 mile loop but my endurance isn't very good. I usually stop around 3 times to catch my breath. I would like to try SS but I am worried I don't have the chops currently. Should I work on my endurance first or just go for it?


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  77. #77
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    Go for the single speed......Trust me, there is no faster way to build your endurance! The 1x10 will quickly become a cake walk.

    Civilian Luditte Singlespeed
    Stumpjumper EVO ht 1x10

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoomerBrian View Post
    I am running 1x10 currently, I generally ride a 10 mile loop but my endurance isn't very good. I usually stop around 3 times to catch my breath. I would like to try SS but I am worried I don't have the chops currently. Should I work on my endurance first or just go for it?


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    How hilly are your rides?

    I switched to SS a couple of weeks ago so still quite new, I was running 36:18 (Same as the classic 32:16), but found the climbs a bit too hard). Then I tried 32:18, but got annoyed spinning on the road. But with my current gearing 32:17 my average heart rate is actually lower than running gears....but....I hit my peak heart rate most rides now and I can feel muscles in up core aching.....but so far I love it. Rides typically 10-13 miles with 1000ft to 1500ft of total climb, with probably up to 200ft in a single climb.

    I do think my fitness has improved though in the last two weeks, I ended up pushing one climb on my first ride (with 36:18), but since I have made that climb several times (admittedly with the slightly lower gearing), it seems to make the most of my lower winter miles ( I try and do 3 hours a week, normally at the weekend).
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  79. #79
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    I live in Oklahoma so pretty flat. The trails generally have small climbs and descents.


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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoomerBrian View Post
    I live in Oklahoma so pretty flat. The trails generally have small climbs and descents.


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    I'd say give it a go for a couple of weeks and see how you like it. Not having a gear to drop down to makes you go for it...and it gets it out the way. I will also add that yes I have to stop at the top sometimes to catch my breath again...but its an excuse for a rest .
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  81. #81
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    Just stay lower gearing until you can go your whole loop without stopping, then up your gearing until you're happy with the speed on the flats.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoomerBrian View Post
    I live in Oklahoma so pretty flat. The trails generally have small climbs and descents.


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    You'll be fine in OKC - I just picked up a SS to punish myself with here in Tulsa.. I think I'll do a short night ride tonight to suffer. I have a feeling I'm going to be falling on a lot of rocks during some climbs

  83. #83
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    Better Beer and better looking girl friends

  84. #84
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    You can easily feel the benefits of singlespeed when you try brakeless fixie!

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post
    You can easily feel the benefits of singlespeed when you try brakeless fixie!
    Broken neck?

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymouseTech View Post
    Broken neck?
    I wanted to say that when you ride brakeless fixie you will understand the benefits of singlspeed with freewheel and brakes.

  87. #87
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    I ride both on the road and on the trails with SS. I constantly have to stop and remind myself to slow down so my girlfriend can catch up. Talk about pissed when i blew passed her and her brand new Hardrock 29'er on my $200 monocog 26'er. It is pure bliss to me. I'm a fairly decent rider and figured screw it if i can't ride up it i can walk up it...or not.

  88. #88
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    I just recently purchased a cheap, heavy SS off of Craigslist and have ridden it a dozen or so times and been having a blast. Last week I took it to a trail system that I've ridden geared for many years but that has a lot of climb. I figured if I gotta get off and walk a bit, no big deal..it's a singlespeed after all. I ended up PR-ing a climb and came within seconds of PR-ing another on a bike that's at least 4 lbs heavier than my f/s Niner. Moral of the story is you don't know how good you can be when you have two options, go or stop. The two things I really like about SSing are the solitude a singlespeed yields along with the instant power transfer feeling.

    I purchased it as a hard tail compliment to my 'dream bike' about a month ago but I haven't ridden anything else since.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local IMBA chapter. It's trail karma.

  89. #89
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    You have here, one rider who got into MTBR well before getting into SS, and who been riding SS part time for more than a decade; so you could say this rider, me, is an old-timer.

    I just re-read this thread over the course of the day in bits and pieces, and I have this to contribute.

    Fat bikes happened quite a while ago with the Pugsley, which was seemingly, it seemed to me, a solution looking for a problem. This was about the time I timidly began to single speed.

    Upon becoming a SS enthusiast, I began to percieve more distant horizons. The heavy appearance of the fat bike was not threatening to me after becoming a habitual single speed.

    I bought my brand new Mukluk 1 at a bike swap for $750 5 years ago.

    While I'm Not going to convert the Mukluk onto an SS, SS riding has given me the strength and confidence to ride the fat bike on social trail rides.

    In the same way, I think SS riding can help motivate a rider, it has worked that way for me, to try other styles of riding, and try other trails.

    Another thing I wonder about is the different types of SS builds and trails.

    Recently I just did a big SS ride with 10k of climbing. The bike is set up rigid. I have been wondering how I would do in a race against myself when I was in good shape, but didn't SS,any years ago. I bet I would crush that guy.

    So no doubt, SS bike and you get stronger. But it can be just as dangerous too.



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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBeing View Post
    I just recently purchased a cheap, heavy SS off of Craigslist and have ridden it a dozen or so times and been having a blast. Last week I took it to a trail system that I've ridden geared for many years but that has a lot of climb. I figured if I gotta get off and walk a bit, no big deal..it's a singlespeed after all. I ended up PR-ing a climb and came within seconds of PR-ing another on a bike that's at least 4 lbs heavier than my f/s Niner. Moral of the story is you don't know how good you can be when you have two options, go or stop. The two things I really like about SSing are the solitude a singlespeed yields along with the instant power transfer feeling.

    I purchased it as a hard tail compliment to my 'dream bike' about a month ago but I haven't ridden anything else since.
    I just did the same (converted a bike I picked up from CL) pretty much for Browns Ranch and Sonoran / Apache Wash area. I'm just tired of dragging my 5010 around those trails, too much bike.
    MTBR: Your dad's online mountain bike forum.



  91. #91
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    So, I finally built a SS this winter and have been riding it all spring and as much as I can in the ridiculous Summer heat here in Austin. At the same time, I deliberately built an extremely light bike, I've got a half dozen in my garage because I just really like building and riding bikes, but I wanted this one to be super light which it is by my standards at just over 16 lbs.

    But, I'm officially a convert to SS. I've been riding since I was 8 or 9 and I raced for a number of years, but SS has literally been a game changer. Not in fitness specifically, sure it is, but in literally the passion of the sport. Just riding without having to worry about gears is refreshening. What I was most surprised about is how I was still able to ride just about everything as normal, in many situations I would say I ride better SS, just focusing on riding and breathing and slowing or speeding up cadence based on my lung or leg fatigue. It's truly refreshing after this many years.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  92. #92
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    My first SS was an Ebay cheapie, Motobecane Outcast 26er, $349 delivered. It came full rigid with a 44-16 set up and was not made for climbing. I switched it to a 34-16 and rode the hell out of it as a rigid for awhile and then put my CK headset on it and my SID front shock. I rode it from '08 til the summer of '14 when I built my current SS. My climbing has changed dramatically and I almost never ride my geared full suspension bike any more.
    One gear for all, 'cus one is all you need.

  93. #93
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    benefits to single speeds, simple........all the women want me and the men want to be me

  94. #94
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    The benefit is simple.

    You get to ride your bike rather than operate it.

    When it comes to hills, if it's really steep I find gears only get me a little bit further and at less than walking pace.

    If it's not really steep, then on an SS it's just mental attitude, and you'll get up the hill.

    I have always taken the attitude that walking pace is when you get off and walk. It rests your legs, you go the same speed, and instead of having to scrutinise the 2-3 metres immediately in front of the bike for that tiny rock that will stop you, you can enjoy the views - steep usually = scenery after all.

    And instead of paying the yearly Shimano tax to upgrade/replace your drivetrain, you have more money to spend on bling for the bike and beer for you.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    The benefit is simple.

    You get to ride your bike rather than operate it.
    Goddam that is very well put!

  96. #96
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    This weekend I am away from my SS and have ridden familiar trails on an FS geared bike.

    It's easier on the FS/gears, that's for sure. However, I did notice that some of technical stuff, particularly the uphill tech, was just as hard or harder than on the rigid SS.

    That blows my mind.

    It's like the dude who single speeds is a different critter. Buy it's just me.

    I think SS makes me focus.

    It's hard to find traction here in this season at times. I have to ride both wheels. Front to guide, and the rear to avoid slipping out. It's such a difficult game at times!

    And then, in case the rear wheel misses traction, I have to float over and then dig to recuperate.

    On the SS, I have to slow down on easier areas of the technical climb to bring the heart rate down enough for the next surge.

    On the FS bike I tend to spin at high output more, and then the charges up the ledges and steep twisties, come at me almost too fast to read.

    The suspension takes some of the power as it wraps up and over bumps climbing. The suspension delays the application of power.

    Even on the down hill the Enduro​ style FS gives some quality that the rigid SS sometimes exceed. I know the FS is much much faster, but some sections are just a higher quality descending experience fully rigid.

    A benefit of SS is the contrast to what everyone else is riding, including your own self, and what you learn about it.



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