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  1. #1
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Do Ess Essers make good commuters?

    I'm about to find out, but do any of you commute on yours? Do you go out of your way to find obstacles to practice your skillz on? I'll be looking for staircases so I can practice my uphill "technique," since my burgh is totally flat.

    Do you find yourself spinning out a lot?

    That's all.

    How's my chain look?

    fp

    Thanks to all who replied to my post below. I'll be trying more suggestions you gave if the new chain doesn't fix the skippage.
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  2. #2
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
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    The Short Answer...

    Yes, they make good commuters.....

    The somewhat longer and (perhaps) more informative answer:

    The make good commuters, but a commuter bike and a singletrack bike are often different. As you mentioned, the roads are flatter. You don't need knobbies. In fact, you'll wear down your singltrack tires quickly by commuting.

    As you mentioned, you'll spin out of your gear. I ride a 34:16 on singletrack, but try and run around a 34:13 or 12 on the road.

    Basically, they're two different set ups for two different applications.

    My singletrack SS: 34:16 with 2.4 Wierwolfs
    My commuter set up: 34:13 with some cheap Specialized paved trail tires (1.8 I think).

    I have (or had, until my wheel flew off of the top of my car) two wheelsets that I used to switch between commuting and singletrack. My bike has an eccentric BB, so make the adjustment between the different gears was easy. Right now, I'm leaning toward a cross bike for commuting and just keeping my mountain bike as a mountain bike.

    I don't know if this helps or not, but I'm throwing it out in case it does.

    BTW Gary, I'm happy that you're at least giving the SS a try. Have fun.

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  3. #3
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    Hey from suckramento....

    I am a fellow single speeder from Sac and I ride a Cannondale. If you see a huge dude on a bee yellow Cdale give me a shout.

    Gary B

  4. #4
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    Reputation: 2melow's Avatar
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    All spun out

    I commuted for a while on my 29"er when I had it set up as a ss and found out I was just spun out too much and late for work. I ended up buying a centurion road bike for $25 at a garage sale and converting it to ss for commuter duty only.

    Careful, you'll get hooked and start looking in dumpsters and garage sales too!

  5. #5
    don't try this at home
    Reputation: moschika's Avatar
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    they make good commuters, especially if you live where it's flat. you just have to find the right gear ratio.

    i don't use my ss mtb for commuting or i would definitely spin out. i have a converted road bike that i commute on. my commute is flat and i don't spin out.

  6. #6
    Medium?
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    Hateful...

    ...on a "mountain" gear unless you want to go really slow. I've done 10 miles in my regular mtb gear a few times, and each time I remember why I didn't do it every day. For a while I had a double speed setup:



    ...but I could still spin out the 44:16 pretty easily with the tires pumped up.

  7. #7
    JAK
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    yup...

    either gear 'er up or just spin and work on the art/technique of the spin....you'll dig! IMHO, workin' on the fast spin can teach you to spin more smoothly
    Night has fallen.
    And there's nothin' we can do about it.

  8. #8
    semi-evolved simian
    Reputation: Mine'sAPint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy
    Hateful...

    ...on a "mountain" gear unless you want to go really slow. I've done 10 miles in my regular mtb gear a few times, and each time I remember why I didn't do it every day.
    I'm running a mountain gear on my SS commuter (34x18), mainly because that was the ratio I had to hand that fitted the vertical dropouts. I also have a steep hill each way that I can just make at the moment, I'll go to a harder gear when those hills become easier. My commute is basically one steep up, one gradual down, one gradual up, one steep down so it's not too bad with the low gearing. I get a good workout and I like that.

    Either way, SSs make great commuters particularly in the winter. Less stuff to clean the road crap off Oh yeah, here's the bike in winter get-up:


  9. #9
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    I've been commuting on a SS for several years, with the same bike I ride trails & 24Hr events with. 2:1 ratio usually. My commute is half trail and involves a good steep climb (up a trail). Once you settle in, it's pretty easy.

    Cheers,

    Tom

  10. #10
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    Smile absolutely

    For sure, if your commute has any long flats then you'll want to gear up accordingly. I converted my trusty old MB-1 (relegated to mostly commuter duty for the past few years) to SS recently. It has vertical drops but I found a relatively tall gear combination that works pretty well (roughly 3x1). It's hard on the uphills (and SERIOUSLY hard when pulling a trailer up the hills) but rolls nice on the flats. And it's virtually maintenance free now. I do occasionally commute on my mtb SS's, and that can be fun, too. I just budget a bit of extra time, explore different routes, look around and smell the roses, etc., etc. It's all good. Enjoy.
    eddie would go.

  11. #11
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    SS is great for commuting, but not with the same gear

    ... you use for mountain biking. My 'cross/commute bike is SS and it works great. No maintenance except for the chain, no squeaky derailleur pulleys. Plus when the chain does get dirty, rusty and gunky (which it WILL if you ride in winter), the efficiency loss is pretty minor on an SS setup, whereas with a derailleur it is enormous.

    If you're going to commute and ride offroad on the same bike, you're probably going to need some two-chainring variation because the same gear just doesn't work for both. I commute on 42x17 (about 68") in the winter, which would absolutely destroy my knees if I tried to mountain bike with it. Conversely, the 34x20-equivalent gear (about 45") on my mountain bike is ridiculous on the road - cruising at any speed above 13-14 mph is completely exhausting because it's so low.

  12. #12
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Wow.

    I was a bit underwhelmed. Thanks for all the suggestions. I won't be doing that again any time soon. Too slow. I tried to keep a steady tempo, but the bike wants to squirt out from under me- saying "go faster, go faster!"

    I felt like a little dorky kid on a bmx bike- pedaling like hell for a few seconds, and coasting the rest. I must have coasted for 3/4 of the time, and the rest of the time, I was looking around cuz there was nothing else to do. I felt pretty stupid.

    And no, I won't be putting a bigger gear on it- I want to get away from working on my bike. And speaking of which- that new chain made it skip even worse- good thing I took it out (he took it out?) on a test ride afore I went to work. Back to the drawing board and/or back to the Enduro for commutes.

    fp

    Hey, Burdiman- we're riding in the Sack area this Sunday- either Salmon Falls or Auburn. If you want to hook up, eme.

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    Last edited by Finch Platte; 01-21-2004 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Engruntiota feeblester.
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  13. #13
    Ebo
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    Hey FP. You need to run that Singleator in the push up mode if you want to get rid of that skipping. I started my SS in the push down mode, and even with less slack than you have, it would still skip on the high grunt climbs. It actually worked better with a LX derailleur as a tensioner, than the Singleator pushing down. Maybe you have already switched, but looking at your picture in this tread with it down is what I'm basing this on. Good luck.

    Ps. - Spicer half-link allowed me to get a damn close fit and the push up position finished it off. No skipping.

  14. #14
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    Reputation: (Tom)'s Avatar
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    Yes, they do...

    I find myself commuting on my ss, normally when riding someplace after work - a lot of times I can ride to the ride from the office.

    My off road gearing is too low for a lot of road riding - but I learned to relax and rode the speed the gear gave me. I'll get there, eventually...

    That's singlespeeing - sometimes you're spinning like a hampster on a habittrail and other times your tearing ligaments in your knees grinding to a halt on an uphill.

  15. #15
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Yeah...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebo
    Hey FP. You need to run that Singleator in the push up mode if you want to get rid of that skipping. I started my SS in the push down mode, and even with less slack than you have, it would still skip on the high grunt climbs. It actually worked better with a LX derailleur as a tensioner, than the Singleator pushing down. Maybe you have already switched, but looking at your picture in this tread with it down is what I'm basing this on. Good luck.

    Ps. - Spicer half-link allowed me to get a damn close fit and the push up position finished it off. No skipping.
    ...I think I'm gonna have to try that. A couple of others mentioned it, so I should really give it a shot, eh?

    Thanks,

    fp
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  16. #16
    Ebo
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    It was worth the $10. I was just barely under a full link off while running a 32/18. Too much slack to run in the push up position. The half-link works great to take up most of that slack, allowing the push up position. Should be able to use it through several chain replacements too. Spicercycles.com. He makes some pretty cool frames as well.

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