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  1. #1
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    How to become a badass singlespeed rider/racer

    Around this time each year, I start to fantasize about building up a super sexy 29er singlespeed. I dream about the simplicity and toughness of the build. Carbon, tubeless, anodized cog.

    The problem is I am worried that I cannot handle such a steed. I ride a lot in Pisgah National Forest. Would I be able to do the singlespeed justice? Sure Dicky can do it, but I'm twice the mass of man he is...

    Is there any way I can be sure of this? Can I get some motivation? Some wisdom?

    Anyone who made the jump, what motivation was there?

    Im thinking I could build a Niner Air9C up and be satisfied.
    Last edited by Jnthomps08; 05-12-2013 at 12:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    don't worry, owning a SS bike automatically makes you a badass. you don't even have to ride it.

  3. #3
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    Just go easy with the gearing and it'll be fine. 32/20 gets you quite a bit of torque, yet isn't frustrating on flats.

    How hard riding the bike is depends more on the rider than the bike. You can have quite some relaxed time on a rigid SS or really push your limits with a full sus bike with gears. Or the other way around.

  4. #4
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    Just make a name tag that says it & you'll be good. Get that bike & set a new goal every ride. I am going to make this climb today, etc. Producing endorphins & making fitness gains can become compulsive/addicting.

  5. #5
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    Maybe scour craiglist for a used SS bike? I see them pretty regularly. You could try it out (and then never go back, haha). I picked one up cheap and now my geared bike never gets a ride. Start like Saul said with 32/20 or so. Get out of the saddle on all the climbs - it will build your strength up and you'll be amazed at what you can climb without gears.

    I was concerned that 32/20 would be to large, because I spent a lot of time in lower gears on my geared bike. Whether its lower friction in the drive train, or mentality of not being able to shift, I climb faster and have more fun riding.

  6. #6
    MTB NOLA
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    SSOD Race Kit

    You should start off with a BADA$$ Race Kit
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to become a badass singlespeed rider/racer-screen-shot-2013-04-05-10.29.24-pm.png  


  7. #7
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    How to become a badass singlespeed rider/racer

    I just finished building my first ever singlespeed about 6 weeks ago and I had the exact same doubts that you have. My usual after work ride is a 12 mile out and back with about 2.4k elevation. The trail basically goes up for 3 miles to the top of a ridge, then another 3 miles riding around the top of the ridge that is flattish to rolling hills.
    Before I built up the singlespeed I also had lots of doubts about my ability to pedal up this trail.
    Anyway, I geared it really low(30x20 on a 29er) and I'm finding that so far I'm able to pedal up about 90% of what I'm able to pedal on my geared bike. So far the hills that I'm not able to make up are usually either due to lack of traction(and I think technique) or a really really long and steep ascent.
    I think if the motivation and interest is there and you build something that is light and comparable or better component level than your current bike than you should be able to find a gear that will work well for your trails and be happy with your choice.
    For me personally, I still have my geared bikes and I enjoy riding both the geared bikes and the singlespeed.

  8. #8
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    I ride 32/18 everywhere but Pisgah. Up there I run 32/22 and hike a lot. If you're already use to Pisgah a 32/22 might be a good starting point. Go for it. It's better to regret something you did rather than something you didn't do.

  9. #9
    Just Ride
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    How to be a badass SS rider is easy. Build it or buy it, whichever, and ride the hell outta the thing! It will whip you into shape in a hurry, or kill you trying! I've had mine 3 weeks now and I'm far more in shape than I would have been on my geared bike with the same time frame. 3-5 rides per week.

    As others have said start with an easy gear and adjust accordingly from there. Started with 32/20, now 32/18 I think 34/18 will be my gear when I finalize it all with good quality and subsequently pricey chainring and cog.

    Careful though, as Clobber said, it's addicting! Much more so than riding gears ever was!!!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  10. #10
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    Ride.

  11. #11
    Performance Bicycle
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    I was in the same boat as you when I was thinking about single speeds. I just bought a cheap SS ( Nashbar SS) and rocked it. I have not looked back sense. I have more fun my SS than my geared and it works more of the time as well. I made climbs on my ss long before I could do them on my geared bike too. Get one and just start riding it.

  12. #12
    openwound
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    Turn off the computer and go ride your bike. A lot.
    -- let's ride

  13. #13
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    I would say if Dicky can do it, so can you.

    Most people think he's an a$$hole... maybe that helps.




    PS: You'll be fine.
    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

    I get paid 3 every time I post on MTBR.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jnthomps08 View Post
    Around this time each year, I start to fantasize about building up a super sexy 29er singlespeed. I dream about the simplicity and toughness of the build. Carbon, tubeless, anodized cog.
    Carbon != Badass

    Quote Originally Posted by Jnthomps08 View Post
    The problem is I am worried that I cannot handle such a steed. I ride a lot in Pisgah National Forest. Would I be able to do the singlespeed justice? Sure Dicky can do it, but I'm twice the mass of man he is...

    Is there any way I can be sure of this? Can I get some motivation? Some wisdom?
    Yes, I am sure you will be walking some, we all do.

    Go for it; I am sure you will do fine.
    Mark Farnsworth, Raleigh, NC
    http://farnsworthbikes.com

  15. #15
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    Congrats Dicky! Your propaganda machine, aka your blog, has convinced the people of the interwebs that you are a bonafide badass. Or did you pay the original poster of this thread 3 cents to post this?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJP412 View Post
    Congrats Dicky! Your propaganda machine, aka your blog, has convinced the people of the interwebs that you are a bonafide badass. Or did you pay the original poster of this thread 3 cents to post this?
    My quest for the oval office is right on track.

    Boom. Another three cents for me.
    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

    I get paid 3 every time I post on MTBR.

  17. #17
    Fat Biker
    Reputation: wyoracerX's Avatar
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    Sweet, now I can ride a geared bike and still call myself a badass. B-)

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    don't worry, owning a SS bike automatically makes you a badass. you don't even have to ride it.
    Don't be a Hater!
    SS Black Sheep Phat Speedster
    Borealis Yampa XX1

    Rolling on 2 Fat Tires-Blog

  18. #18
    beautiful jackass
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    Quote Originally Posted by vudu View Post
    You should start off with a BADA$$ Race Kit
    I would want one that reads "Single Speed or Walk"

  19. #19
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    Okay. Let's build this thing. I think that I've got two options here:

    #1
    XT brakes, XT cranks, carbon bar, Thomson stem from current bike
    Pink I9 wheels (Like Dicky's)
    Pink Kick Ass Cog (Like Dicky's)
    China Carbon 29er w/BB30 + BEER EBB

    #2
    XT stuff, carbon bar, Thomson stem
    XT/Arch Wheelset (have currently)
    Air9C frame

    So...do I go with the Niner frame or the new I9 wheels. I love the I9s I currently have and I also love my Chinese carbon cx bike.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jnthomps08 View Post
    Is there any way I can be sure of this? Can I get some motivation? Some wisdom?

    Anyone who made the jump, what motivation was there?
    SS is actually easier than what's you're riding now.

    On my wizz bang, double suspended, carbon, multi speed steed, I should be able to ride anywhere on the planet without ever taking a foot off the pedal. So when I end up walking up a hill (which is often), I feel like poo.

    Now on my rigid, single speed, I'm expected to have to walk up some hills. And if I'm not walking, it means my gear is too easy. So now when I walk, I feel better about myself; "therapy on a bike".

    Seriously though, when I'm on my geared bike, I make my ride as easy as I can (gear way down, pick sloppy lines, etc.). On my SS, there's no such thing as an easy ride. Every ride is a workout. And I'm a better rider for it! I'm clearing hills I couldn't weeks ago. I'm picking better lines on the trail. And most importantly, I'm having way more fun.

    Do it; you won't regret it.


    And I just saw the end of the thread and that you've decided to go with a SS. Congrats; good decision. I'd throw my vote in for the Niner frame. The wheels are nice but the frame is the heart of the bike. It has the biggest affect on how it'll ride and feel.

  21. #21
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    Option 2!

  22. #22
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    Here is a hint: Dicky is not a badass because of the bike he rides.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    GF Superfly 29er HT
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    Pake French 75 track

  23. #23
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    #1
    XT brakes, XT cranks, carbon bar, Thomson stem from current bike
    Pink I9 wheels (Like Dicky's)
    Pink Kick Ass Cog (Like Dicky's)
    China Carbon 29er w/BB30 + BEER EBB

    This one!

  24. #24
    WNC Native
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    Option #3 Have Steve Stickel build you a true Pisgah SS steed!
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  25. #25
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    Just go easy with the gearing and it'll be fine. 32/20 gets you quite a bit of torque, yet isn't frustrating on flats.

    How hard riding the bike is depends more on the rider than the bike. You can have quite some relaxed time on a rigid SS or really push your limits with a full sus bike with gears. Or the other way around.
    ^^yep

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