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  1. #1
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    Do you only ride SS?

    I just recently really got into mountain biking when I got a SS this spring and have been loving it since. It was my first real bike since I was a kid and is currently my only bike. However, I'm starting to think that having a geared bike on hand for more technical trails and exploring trails I don't know wouldn't be a bad thing.

    I know you guys can't really answer this, but am I just looking for the easy way out? Should I just keeping hitting the trails on my SS and wait for my skills to develop more?

    I'm curious what other SS riders out there are doing.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Don't bother with gears. SS will give you all opportunities you need. SS is more fun.
    If it seems hard thats OK - it should be hard. If it is very very hard maybe you need a lighter gear.

  3. #3
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    But, there are more options :-D

  4. #4
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Bought an SS this spring and didn't touch my geared bike for a couple of months. Then early summer I lend my geared bike to my nephew to see if he would catch the bug and so he did. Last month I took him to the LBS and bought him a bike of his own, my bike didn't quite fit him and I wanted him to have a nice bike of his own.

    So I got my geared bike back and started riding it a bit for the first time in half a year or so. On my SS my top speed is 15-16 mph, any faster than that and I simply can't pedal fast enough to keep up. On my geared bike I can hit 25-30 mph on the flat bits, I'd forgotten how much fun that was and it's great for commuting to the track, however sitting and spinning up hills doesn't really work for me anymore, I spend too much effort picking the proper gear and halfway up the climb I switch to standing and mashing and then the gear is way too low. It just seems a hassle having to choose between standing or sitting and trying to pick the proper gear for the task. Basically after a handful of rides on the geared bike I vent back to my SS and enjoyed just riding.

    I don't really see myself going back to riding geared, my geared bike has pretty much turned into a commuter/loaner bike.

  5. #5
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    I enjoy both, but not only due to the gears but to the suspension as well. My geared recently was out of commission waiting on a part, which forced me to use my SS exclusively, which did forced me to use my SS in trails I normally wouldnt, and got a great sense of accomplishment when I cleared them. Climbing I agree with sandrnseren the SS makes your decision easier, but on a steep tech climb IMO you want to have the gears and the suspension. Also on tech downhills you want the gears and the suspension.

    This is a long way to say that I enjoy both it keeps the sport fun, and have its merits.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    Bought an SS this spring and didn't touch my geared bike for a couple of months. Then early summer I lend my geared bike to my nephew to see if he would catch the bug and so he did. Last month I took him to the LBS and bought him a bike of his own, my bike didn't quite fit him and I wanted him to have a nice bike of his own.

    So I got my geared bike back and started riding it a bit for the first time in half a year or so. On my SS my top speed is 15-16 mph, any faster than that and I simply can't pedal fast enough to keep up. On my geared bike I can hit 25-30 mph on the flat bits, I'd forgotten how much fun that was and it's great for commuting to the track, however sitting and spinning up hills doesn't really work for me anymore, I spend too much effort picking the proper gear and halfway up the climb I switch to standing and mashing and then the gear is way too low. It just seems a hassle having to choose between standing or sitting and trying to pick the proper gear for the task. Basically after a handful of rides on the geared bike I vent back to my SS and enjoyed just riding.

    I don't really see myself going back to riding geared, my geared bike has pretty much turned into a commuter/loaner bike.
    Very well said, and exactly the same for me, including the changeover to ss last spring.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  7. #7
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    Right now the only bike I ride is my single speed. The only times I think gears would be useful for me is when I ride some paved sections as I commute to work. I go easy for those sections and go harder in the off road areas so it's not a big deal.

    For single track riding, I have no interest in gears. On the down hills, the bike coasts as fast or faster then my bike handling allows. For the climbs the gear I ride works very well unless is is super steep. For the steep stuff I would rather walk at 2mph then ride at 4 mph. In the core fun range the bike is awesome and I never have to think about gears when I am in the zone.

  8. #8
    Trail Junkie
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    I don't always ride my carbon full suspension 29er, but when I do, its a blast!
    Actually, its my go-to bike when I travel, especially new places.
    I like to take the guess work out of what cog I should be riding and what not.

    Its more fun to just get out and ride somewhere new..and I want to take as much
    guess work out of it as possible.
    SC Tallboy C
    Intense Spider 29 C
    Cervelo S2
    Trek Boone 5 Disc
    Spech Tricross Expert
    Raleigh RX 1.0

  9. #9
    surly inbred
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    One sled. One gear.

    Find your way.

  10. #10
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    I actually sold all my geared bikes (except for my touring bike) and ride single speed and fixed gear exclusively.

    It just fits my riding style and I love not having to mess with the derailleur adjustments anymore..

  11. #11
    undercover brother
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    I alternate between my ss and my geared fatbike. I built up my first ss a couple months ago and never looked back. The fatbike serves as my adventure bike and around town bike, my ss for trails. It's a transAM so I'm able to ride it on cross country trails as well downhill courses, but spinning out keeps me limited to some aspects. As most who ride ss, it's just a more enjoyable experience. Less maintenance, less fuss, less technology, less weight, less noise, less worries. The only way I can see myself going geared would be if I moved to a more mountainous area and had to climb for miles upon end and descend the same.

  12. #12
    Mashed Potatoes Johnson
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    Myself, my wife, and daughter all ride single speed and fixed gears...

    we're simple people...

  13. #13
    Spandex Ninja
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    Only SS for me right now, but my next project will be a geared tandem (which will be used for touring with the wife and kids). After a year without gears, I don't have any desire to go back.

  14. #14
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    I ride both gears and SS (on and off road). Assuming cost is not an issue, having a geared bike is not a bad thing.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  15. #15
    psycho cyclo addict
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    No fanaticism or zealotry here- I ride both, depending on terrain, body condition and who I want to piss of

  16. #16
    noob
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    i ride both. depends on what mood i am in and who i am riding with
    2007 Fisher Rig
    2011 Trek Paragon
    2013 Trek Madone 2.1

  17. #17
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    After twenty years of mountain biking, I find it is best enjoyed as a variety of experiences. Thus, I ride SS, geared and cross and I love each bike and the fun and challenges each provide.

    I would never want to ride only one kind of bike.

  18. #18
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    Urban yes, offroad no.

  19. #19
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    My favorite ride is like a swiss army knife (Surly Karate Monkey). It was a Rigid SS all summer and most of the fall then went to a drop bar monster cross looking thing. Now it is in the process of going 1x9 and possibly add some squish upfront while I am off the bike for a few months (Docs orders). I like to tinker with my bikes so I tend to play with many options. The trick is having all the parts on hand is like having multiple bikes without getting in to too much trouble with the wife.
    MisFitPsycles DiSSent, ALc - BLINGLESPEED
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    Surly Ice Cream Truck

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy29er View Post
    The trick is having all the parts on hand is like having multiple bikes without getting in to too much trouble with the wife.
    My other hobby (RC) is quite expensive to keep up with, and the trick I learned is, no matter what it costs, when she asks, it costs $20, $40 if stuff's really shiny.
    Ghisallo Wheels

    I'm really good looking.

  21. #21
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    Do you only ride SS?

    Yes, only a single speed. For the last four years. I have three singles speeds - one full suspension 29er, a rigid 29er and a fat bike. I play barbies with my bikes, but have stuck with the ss platform. Nothing particularly metaphysical; less is more. Perhaps I've stuck with it because it's become an ideal endurance event setup for me. Because it exhorts mindfulness - stomp up the hills and walk sometimes, and then run out of gear inches on some flats - its easier to have a get-there-when-I-do sensibility. Because I don't own a geared bike and ride with lots of folks using gears I've learned that there's no real disadvantage.

  22. #22
    balance_fit
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    Learned on a coaster brake SS as kid, had geared bikes, both road and mtb, returned to SS in my 40's. Always looking for the perfect do it all bike, surfboard, body weight exercise, etc: the simpler something is, the more options one has to use it. Don't like a complicated gadget to perform a simple deed.
    I believe that this mindset keeps the body busy at adapting and improving.
    Not into speed or racing, but enjoy a long ride as well.
    Simple, not easy.

  23. #23
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    I go back and forth between my SS and FS bike. If I every went down to one bike, it would be a geared FS bike. I love to ride the SS...but everything I ride is super rocky so it beats me up.

  24. #24
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    Five bikes, five gears:

    Redline Monocog Flite 29
    Firemans Texas Cruzer 26
    Firemans Texas Cruzer 24
    Swobo Del Norte SS Road
    Fairdale Parser SS Road

  25. #25
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    Single only for offroad duty. I do have the equipment to convert one of my bikes back to geared but for whatever reason I just can't get into a groove with that bike in 1x10 mode. I'm constantly shifting trying to find a sweet spot that just doesn't seem to be there.

    For mixed road, gravel, and singletrack rides I am fond of gears. My cx has sliders but I don't think I'll go single on that anytime soon.
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  26. #26
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdg1320 View Post
    I just recently really got into mountain biking when I got a SS this spring and have been loving it since. It was my first real bike since I was a kid and is currently my only bike. However, I'm starting to think that having a geared bike on hand for more technical trails and exploring trails I don't know wouldn't be a bad thing.

    I know you guys can't really answer this, but am I just looking for the easy way out? Should I just keeping hitting the trails on my SS and wait for my skills to develop more?

    I'm curious what other SS riders out there are doing.

    Thanks!
    SS (prefer rigid over a front suspension fork), geared HT and road bike too. All 29ers (700c) Depends on where I'm riding, who with and what I feel like that day.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  27. #27
    The perfessor
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    Depends on the ride........I ride geared 29er for some mountain rides that have long climbs but SS 29er for XC style rides...........the SS is down temporarily, but I intend to rebuild it with CF Niner fork and tubeless set up to lower my weight (28 now, hopefully around 25 or less afterwards).......
    29er Ti SS Rigid / 29er SC Tallboy AL

  28. #28
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    This winter has been all SS for MTB. My geared ride is in parts...


    I have been racing geared cross through. I gave up on SS CX!
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  29. #29
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    I've been riding for 16 years and all but 5 of them have been on a SS. I haven't had a geared bike for 2 years but I am currently building up a 1x10 to give my knee a break from all the mashing.
    Last edited by boostin; 12-02-2012 at 12:00 AM.

  30. #30
    Fat & Single
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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    I've been riding for 16 years and all but 5 of them have been on a SS. I haven't had a geared bike for 2 years but I am currently building up a 1x10 to give my knee a break from all the mashing.
    1x 10 is awesome

    I was only riding SS and i built my fatbike with 1 x 10, some people look at it and comment on the 1 ring up front being hard.... i think it unreal having 9 more gears than im used to.
    Trek 9.9 Superfly SL
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  31. #31
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    I rode SS only for almost 4 years. It is immensely fun and effective.

    I left the SS thing for two reasons:

    - started using the bike for communting, etc. Since I don't want two have two bikes, the one I have needs to go well on road, off, etc.
    - And the most important, I only find SS enjoyable when I can ride/train enough to keep my shape up. It's not fun to have to stop riding for 2 months and then start again and not be able to do your usual loop. With gears I'll get there, doesn't mater if faster or slower. SS has only one speed: FAST

  32. #32
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    Just sold my FSR 29er so I am currently living the single life only for MTB. I have the ability to add gears if I like (possible future 1 x 10) but we'll see how it goes.

  33. #33
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    Single speed all summer ( and a 1x10 on my fatbike)....GPS says I'm faster on a SS, than gears...

  34. #34
    mtbr member
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    bikes I have owned:
    mid-90s to last year: BMX bikes, several. all SS of course
    converted road bike "fixie." fun but it hurt my knees after a while
    a few years ago- GT hybrid. rode to work and back a bunch of times. got bored and bought a mtb.
    converted Gunnar geared-SS mtb with rigid fork
    Redline Monocog, SS of course
    Karate Monkey, SS of course (current mtb)
    Masi road bike. really nice bike but I somehow got bored with it. traded it in for...
    On-One Pompino- current road/commuter with 39/17 gear

    maybe it's all the years of riding bmx, but I have tried and tried to appreciate gears but commuting to work, riding trails, and long road rides around town always end up more fun without them.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    ppreciate gears but commuting to work, riding trails, and long road rides around town always end up more fun without them.
    You can't beat SS in the fun department

  36. #36
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    I ride single track and train on my SS, I race xc on my SS, I throw on slicks and a different cog and road train on my SS, I throw on a ridged fork with 1.8 tires and race CX on my SS. I rode my geared carbon full squish 2x this year.

    Nuff said

    Mojo

  37. #37
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    I like both but it seems that I like ss more. I have ss 29er, sscx, two fixies(road), geared fs and a road bike. Road bike hasn't seen much use during past year but the full susser I really do like (tracer vp). It seems to go in phases as far as mtb goes. During the summer I rode mostly my full suspension but now I don't think that I've touched it for last two months.

  38. #38
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    seems hard core

  39. #39
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    yes
    Calmer'n you are.

  40. #40
    ~ B A D A S S ~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    however sitting and spinning up hills doesn't really work for me anymore, I spend too much effort picking the proper gear and halfway up the climb I switch to standing and mashing and then the gear is way too low. It just seems a hassle having to choose between standing or sitting and trying to pick the proper gear for the task. Basically after a handful of rides on the geared bike I vent back to my SS and enjoyed just riding.
    I shift up 2 gears going uphill, that 2 gears heavier, and then I stand up and mash. otherwise its spinout madness. This is on a 11-32 ration 9sp cass, you could probably do with approximately 3 gears on a 9sp mtn cass. such as 2 gears would give you ona 8 or 7 or 6 sp. there is alwayts 2 gears standinf and sitting and spinning, i would probably be satisfied with geared crank or a 3sp rear hub. Considering. or both
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
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    Single only. Had a full suspension geared bike but once I started riding SS I fell in love and never went back. Sold my other two geared bike and now have 2 single speed MTB.. One 26er and One 29er.

  42. #42
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    I ride both SS and geared. My SS is my regular ride during off season or winter season and use my geared on race day. Riding SS will make you a strong rider.

  43. #43
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    Went to a 1x9 set for the last year, started out strong and enjoyed the break from SS . As the season wore on I found myself getting lazy and using gears to spin. I realized in a late season race when I was dropped by a group of SS I had lost my SS mindset. With that being said sold the gears and back to SS rigid, took me about 8 weeks to find my strenght again to mash.

  44. #44
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    Rode a 1x10 for the past year or so. Just sold all the geared bikes and back on a ss as my sole bike.

  45. #45
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    More beers than gears.
    My geared hardtail is collecting dust. The SS bug has bit me hard and I could care less to ride the hardtail anytime soon. I do enjoy hammering the geared road bike though.
    Ride Bikes
    Drink Beer

  46. #46
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    MTB, single speed, Fatbike, soon to be single...CX bike, on the fence on that one, most likely will end up that way...

  47. #47
    Low Rep Count
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    Well, my only mtb is a SS and I love it though I do some times wish I had a full squish/geared set up. It would be nice to get out and ride some of our more technical trails but since the majority of those are a minimum of 45 min away I can't support the purchase of said squish/geared bike as I know I wouldn't head out to these places often enough. Instead I bought and basically rebuilt a road bike...I know, I know, but that is what started it all for me some 25 yrs ago or so and its one of the few things my father and I used to do together (rip).

    I can say that riding on gears is totally different when it comes to climbs. I have figured out how to do it again and pretty much know what gear to jump into and the transition between the two bikes has become much easier now days. I still have a blast out on the SS and don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon and the road bike seems to be calming my need for speed if you will.

  48. #48
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    My mtb's are all SS. My main road bikes are SS as well, but I do have some older geared road bikes for recovery rides & touring.
    2014 Seven Ti w/gears
    2012 Seven Ti SS
    2012 Seven Steel SS w/rigid fork

  49. #49
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    I've been on SS for two seasons. My gears FS is a loaner now. The only time I miss gears is on long sustained uphills, steep enough where I have to stand for long parts.

    I ride with geared riders. At first they told me I better stick to easy trails. I now laugh at the top of the hill when I am waiting for the "gerbil wheels" to make it up.
    Just because you can't hear them scream doesn't mean they don't. Save a plant, eat meat.

  50. #50
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    I ride both. SS beater for pavement and geared for trails. Just picked up another SS for trails and I'm just waiting until I figure out a way to transport it on the long drive from my parents house to my apartment.

    Also I never understood how you can ever have a hard time picking the correct gear on your geared bike. I've never had a prob with it. I blame that on riding only SS for my first couple of months of riding.

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