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  1. #1
    Trail Cubist
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    How many of you were already studs when you got a SS?

    Okay, I admit I'm intrigued by singlespeeds...but one thing kinda baffles me...

    I know (from having ridden one for a short while one day) that SS bikes are harder to ride than a geared bike. By "harder" I mean as in climbing, because you're effectively "stuck in a higher gear" than what you might use on a fully-geared bike.

    I've put my geared bike on the middle chainring and the middle of my rear cassette and tried riding it on some local trails, and basically couldn't get up any of the hills I can get up in a lower gear.

    So what I'm wondering is which of the following is true of SS riders here:

    A) You were already an MTB superstud/god when you started riding a SS bike, so climbing up hills was no problem for you...or

    B) You got a SS bike precisely because you were NOT an MTB superstud/god and WANTED to be one...so you figured riding a SS bike would whip your weak butt into shape...or

    C) You ride a SS bike, and you are STILL NOT an MTB superstud/god, and you spend a LOT of time walking your SS up hills.

    (I guess this is really kind of a poll!)

    So which one of the above is it for you?

    Scott
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  2. #2
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    not only was i born a stud....i carry the stud gene.
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  3. #3
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    SS is all about technique. Carry your speed and make effective use of your momentum, and you'll be fine. Having a lighter machine also helps.

    That being said, my only SS bike is a road bike

  4. #4
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    I just got into SS a couple of months ago. I have always liked to climb a lot out of the saddle and I think that helps in SS. I do ride a lot and am in some of the best shape of my life. I actually find SS easier on everything except for the ultra steep climbs. Most of my riding in on gravel though so trail riding might be a different story.

    Maybe you need to change your gearing?

  5. #5
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    I tried SS a bit within a year of getting into mtbing and eventually gave up in frustration (though I still saw and enjoyed some of the fun aspects of SS too). It wasn't the difficulty of any particular climb, it was that after a couple of those climbs I'd be wiped so my rides were all a lot shorter in distance and I couldn't make it to some of the fun sections of my trails

    I tried it again maybe 2 years later at the end of a summer when I had been riding a lot and was in good shape... and it felt totally different and I loved it. I was strong enough to make it places on my SS and to earn the downhills that I really enjoyed. In the two years since my only bike has been an SS.

    The journey hasn't ended yet though. It is only recently that I started really pushing myself to climb better on an SS; to keep momentum going even on long climbs instead of constantly mashing to get one slow turn of the crank at a time. This effort has humbled me again, but at the same time being able to fly up a long hill makes me feel so capable and is slowly turning me into a superstud

  6. #6
    aka baycat
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    not only was i born a stud....i carry the stud gene.
    CHUM is actually Yahweh.

  7. #7
    openwound
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    A: um yeah, not so much
    B: somewhat. though when I bought my first ss I didn't really know much about it. I just thought it was an interesting idea.
    C: i'm no super-studly rider but I don't find myself walking either. I may go reeeeally slow but I'll make it...

    All hail chum.

  8. #8
    Trail Cubist
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    Okay...so (seriously speaking now)...doesn't everyone agree that for someone who is in "average-to-good" shape (as opposed to "good-to-excellent" or just "excellent" shape), a SS bike is definitely harder to climb on than a geared bike (assuming you use a much lower gear on the geared bike)?

    Quote Originally Posted by kri$han
    SS is all about technique. Carry your speed and make effective use of your momentum, and you'll be fine.
    This sounds to me like you're in awesome shape! Trust me—I understand how much of a difference technique makes...but on a climb that's well over 10% and well over a mile long, there's no way the greatest technique on earth can compensate for lack of a lower gear! (Unless of course you're a superstud.)

    I'm a clydesdale rider (6' and 220lbs). I am *already* at a disadvantage when it comes to climbing. (See basic physics.) While I'm definitely not a superstud, I'm not in bad shape either (I just did a road bike century last weekend and felt fine after 100 miles.)

    I guess I'm just wondering if riding a SS bike will be such a revelation that I'll gladly be willing to kill myself on climbs (or walk a lot)...or will I really be hating it after a few rides with tough climbs?

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  9. #9
    RLK
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    Gear selection is everything. Choose wisely...

    Yeah, you'll probably walk a few times before you either get stronger or gear down. That's half the fun

  10. #10
    Trail Cubist
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    After reading the stickied posts in this forum, I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the REAL reason why people ride singlespeeds is NOT because of some notion of "purity" or "simplicity," but because they want to be a superstud!

    Time and again I come across comments like "got me in better shape than I've ever been in..." and "started leaving geared bikers in the dust...." and "floated up hills like never before..."

    So it's becoming increasingly clear to me that there is, in fact, a significant amount of punishment involved in riding a singlespeed...but people suffer the punishment because they know the end result will be superstudness.

    So perhaps a good question to ask a geared biker who's contemplating a SS bike is: are you willing to suffer? Are you willing to cope with punishment that will eventually lead you to a higher plane of cycling existence? Are you MAN enough to make it to the ranks of "happy SS riders?"

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  11. #11
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    After reading the stickied posts in this forum, I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the REAL reason why people ride singlespeeds is NOT because of some notion of "purity" or "simplicity," but because they want to be a superstud! ....
    naw....SS'ing is actually more fun...that's why i like it.

    that and i got sick of maintaining suspension and gears.....
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  12. #12
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    What's the point of having too very small gear ratio for climbing?

    It's pointless since you have the cheapest and the easiest way and sometime it's faster; name it: WALK

    I am a super duper superstud because I know that walk is better and faster. It's boring to just push the pedal, push the ground sometimes.

  13. #13
    RLK
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    naw....SS'ing is actually more fun...that's why i like it.

    that and i got sick of maintaining suspension and gears.....
    This

  14. #14
    meatier showers
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    Tried SS as a way to get strong -- hated it. Abandoned it.

    Got strong on the gearie. Did a 100 mile endurance race.

    Picked the SS back up -- loved it ever since.

    This was 10 years ago.

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  15. #15
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    i'm slower now that i only ride SS. Geared bikes are a much better way to get fast, assuming you use them correctly.
    But as far as if i was as strong before SS, i guess i dont really know.. i had about a 5-6 year layoff from riding before i picked it up again, then i started SSing a couple months after. So yea, i was stronger, but i only think that was because i was still getting my legs back.

  16. #16
    Trail Cubist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Tried SS as a way to get strong -- hated it. Abandoned it.

    Got strong on the gearie. Did a 100 mile endurance race.

    Picked the SS back up -- loved it ever since.

    This was 10 years ago.

    --sParty
    Hmm...makes sense (and someone else said the same). So it sounds like I might be foolish to get a SS now. I'm only nearing the end of my first year of mountain biking. I've ridden a lot, but am in no shape to do a 100-mile MTB race...so I'm thinking I may need to stick with the geared bike for another year or two before making the switch...

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    So it's becoming increasingly clear to me that there is, in fact, a significant amount of punishment involved in riding a singlespeed...but people suffer the punishment because they know the end result will be superstudness.Scott

    This is the stage I'm in.....been riding a SS for 6 weeks now and have noticed a significant improvement in my all around biking studness. This has carried over to my road bike. My roadie buddies have asked what I have changed because I'm dropping them on long climbs. I just smile and say "nothing..." Of course, I still can't keep up with a couple of the other SS that I ride with. They have progressed to superstudness..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    Hmm...makes sense (and someone else said the same). So it sounds like I might be foolish to get a SS now. I'm only nearing the end of my first year of mountain biking. I've ridden a lot, but am in no shape to do a 100-mile MTB race...so I'm thinking I may need to stick with the geared bike for another year or two before making the switch...

    Scott
    I disagree. Just make the switch and let your body figure it out.

    If you wait until you think you're ready, you'll just keep putting it off. I was in average shape when I switched over just to try it. It was three years ago and I haven't had a geared XC bike for over two years now. However, I'm still in just average shape. Once you start riding SS you'll learn new techniques for dealing with it. Also, please remember that keeping it in one gear on a geared bike is not the same as a single speed. All else being equal, a single speed is going to work better and be easier.

    Buy the $40 DMR SS kit from Jenson, throw it on your bike in a couple hours, and then give it a try. Worse comes to worse you put the old stuff back on, and you're out, at most, $40.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    Hmm...makes sense (and someone else said the same). So it sounds like I might be foolish to get a SS now. I'm only nearing the end of my first year of mountain biking. I've ridden a lot, but am in no shape to do a 100-mile MTB race...so I'm thinking I may need to stick with the geared bike for another year or two before making the switch...

    Scott
    you dont need to be able to do a 100 mile race to ride a SS. I dont think he ment what you're interpreting. Anyone can ride a SS, it's not as hard as you think.

  20. #20
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    Where I ride, it's uphill for miles and downhill for miles, so carrying momentum is a moot point. I suffer miserably, even to the point I look pathetic compared to geared gusy chit chatting while going up. Seriously, I look like I'm about to die. Yeah I stop and catch breath more often, but don't want to walk. But, I a) only have an hour or two max to ride, b) lucky if I get out twice a week, so the maximum workout in a shortest amount of time, while still having a fill on my bike, is a must.

    All so I can enjoy beer and can enjoy all day climbing on my geared bike on once a month epic. And maintain choirs. So I don't fit in any of your choices. Shrug.

  21. #21
    Spud State Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    i'm slower now that i only ride SS. Geared bikes are a much better way to get fast, assuming you use them correctly.
    But as far as if i was as strong before SS, i guess i dont really know.. i had about a 5-6 year layoff from riding before i picked it up again, then i started SSing a couple months after. So yea, i was stronger, but i only think that was because i was still getting my legs back.
    I agree faster on geared bike on flat or downhill but I know I am a quite a bit faster climbing SS now than I am on my geared bike. Maybe the constant temptation to drop a gear on the geared instead of sucking it up and pushing harder is what does it.....dunno.

    On a geared bike I really dislike the sensation of being in a low gear and spinning the pedals but not moving forward very quickly. I find that a frustrating sensation. On the SS I can feel the cadence I am putting out matching my rate of forward progress and mentally that feels better to me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_ID
    I agree faster on geared bike on flat or downhill but I know I am a quite a bit faster climbing SS now than I am on my geared bike. Maybe the constant temptation to drop a gear on the geared instead of sucking it up and pushing harder is what does it.....dunno.

    On a geared bike I really dislike the sensation of being in a low gear and spinning the pedals but not moving forward very quickly. I find that a frustrating sensation. On the SS I can feel the cadence I am putting out matching my rate of forward progress and mentally that feels better to me.
    It's all in the dicipline. If you dont force yourself to ride in a harder gear, then yea, you wont be faster on a geared bike. I've timed myself on both bikes up long climbs and the gears win, hands down.
    But with that said, i hate working on my bikes, so i dont even own a geared bike anymore. Havent had one since 2006 or early 2007, i forgot when that frame broke.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    It's all in the dicipline. If you dont force yourself to ride in a harder gear, then yea, you wont be faster on a geared bike. I've timed myself on both bikes up long climbs and the gears win, hands down.
    But with that said, i hate working on my bikes, so i dont even own a geared bike anymore. Havent had one since 2006 or early 2007, i forgot when that frame broke.
    I know it's a little off topic, but this brings up a good point. I never went single speed for less maintenance, but it sure has been a nice bonus. Aside from lubing the chain, I really never have to work on my bike; it's nice.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    It's all in the discipline. If you dont force yourself to ride in a harder gear, then yea, you wont be faster on a geared bike. I've timed myself on both bikes up long climbs and the gears win, hands down.
    Is this really true? I mean...(not trying to open a whole 'nother can of worms here, but...) going faster isn't always the result of a harder gear is it?

    I'm no expert, but I've always heard that with road biking at least, the greatest amount of power comes from a very high cadence (spinning like mad). Look at Lance Armstrong—the guy spins like mad.

    Obviously I'm not not talking about two riders in the identical gear...I mean given a choice between spinning faster in a slightly easier gear...versus pedaling slower in a harder gear, the fast spinner will win, right? (Everything else being equal.)

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  25. #25
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    I suggest making your rides progressively harder so you build strength and SS stoke at the same time. I took up riding a rigid singlespeed to make myself a stronger/smarter rider and planned to ride the SS once a week and my full suspension bike on the other 3 or 4 rides.

    As I got stronger, I cared less about how the SS improved me as a rider and more about the way I felt like I was 14 years old again, out having fun on an oversized BMX bike.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    Is this really true? I mean...(not trying to open a whole 'nother can of worms here, but...) going faster isn't always the result of a harder gear is it?

    I'm no expert, but I've always heard that with road biking at least, the greatest amount of power comes from a very high cadence (spinning like mad). Look at Lance Armstrong—the guy spins like mad.

    Obviously I'm not not talking about two riders in the identical gear...I mean given a choice between spinning faster in a slightly easier gear...versus pedaling slower in a harder gear, the fast spinner will win, right? (Everything else being equal.)

    Scott
    i was refering to not throwing it in an easier gear just for the sake of being lazy. You can push the same cadence in a harder gear, and yes you will be going faster, obviously. It just depends on if you have the strength to do it. There's a good chance people can do it, yet they choose not to because it's easier to drop down a gear.

    Why else would you be faster on an SS?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    Is this really true? I mean...(not trying to open a whole 'nother can of worms here, but...) going faster isn't always the result of a harder gear is it?

    I'm no expert, but I've always heard that with road biking at least, the greatest amount of power comes from a very high cadence (spinning like mad). Look at Lance Armstrong—the guy spins like mad.

    Obviously I'm not not talking about two riders in the identical gear...I mean given a choice between spinning faster in a slightly easier gear...versus pedaling slower in a harder gear, the fast spinner will win, right? (Everything else being equal.)

    Scott
    neither one is faster or more powerful, but spinning vs mashing can be more efficient for your body and leave you less drained. However, that too depends on your physiology because everyone has a different balance of muscle fiber types

    those pro road bikers didn't necessarily start with a cadence that fast, but they've trained hard to build fitness at a certain cadence. Same thing with your body... it will adapt to how you "train" it through normal riding. If you stand and mash a lot you will become much more efficient at that and less efficient at spinning because you aren't doing it as much

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_ID
    Maybe the constant temptation to drop a gear on the geared instead of sucking it up and pushing harder is what does it.....dunno.
    I think this has a lot to do with it!!

    I actually purchased a rigid/SS/29er a couple years ago, to try out a 29er before I sold my 26 FS to go to a HT.
    I did sell my 26er and bought a geared HT 29er, however I've been through 7 SS bikes since then. I just recently had to sell my bikes to make it through a very tight period.

    I'll be buying stuff to replace what I sold over the winter and I've about decided to go SS only. I just enjoy it more and feel like I get a better workout with it.

    I'm still far from a Super Stud SS rider though.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  29. #29
    aka baycat
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    Crash your jet fighter on Dagobah and spend some time with the little green man learning the why(s) of SS riding.

  30. #30
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    Kinda late to party but SWriverstone, anyone can ride a ss, until you get one you want know what your missing. You can chose a gear that allows you to conquer any climb and build on that. Part of ss is the challenge that you can beat the mountain/ trail in one gear. Part of it is the simplicity and lack of maintenance. Everyone has their own reasons but rarely do you hear reasons why "not" to ss from someone who has spent time on one.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    This sounds to me like you're in awesome shape! Trust me—I understand how much of a difference technique makes...but on a climb that's well over 10% and well over a mile long, there's no way the greatest technique on earth can compensate for lack of a lower gear! (Unless of course you're a superstud.)

    I'm a clydesdale rider (6' and 220lbs). I am *already* at a disadvantage when it comes to climbing. (See basic physics.) While I'm definitely not a superstud, I'm not in bad shape either (I just did a road bike century last weekend and felt fine after 100 miles.)

    I guess I'm just wondering if riding a SS bike will be such a revelation that I'll gladly be willing to kill myself on climbs (or walk a lot)...or will I really be hating it after a few rides with tough climbs?

    Scott
    Haha, perhaps. 5'10" - 150lbs, 7% fat :P

    That being said, I am definitely NOT one of those riders that keeps track of his kms, rides to be "fit" or am a weight weeny (DH and BMX are my fav's.. adrenaline junkie). The SS will be a bit of torture at first, but it makes your riding a LOT better, and when you do go back to having gears, you'll be that much better of a rider.

    I got my SS roadie to help train for single track.

    PS. A note about basic physics: Rotational Inertia (of your wheels) is a big factor when biking, and particularly while climbing. Regardless of how long the climb is, it is always beneficial to keep as much speed as possible, for stability AND for pedal input.

    Proof: Next time you're on one of those gruelling climbs, stop and try to get going again.

  32. #32
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I started riding the SS when I noticed I had a huge penis.

    It has been downhill from there.

  33. #33
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    I reckon it surfaced my inner stud.

    Really though, a rigid single speed just translates all your juicyness into forward motion. Fellow riders will comment "wow, how do you do that?" and I try like heck to offer the efficiency stats. They won't listen to it, they suggest I'm making excuses for studliness..

    Can't win this one.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    Okay...so (seriously speaking now)...doesn't everyone agree that for someone who is in "average-to-good" shape (as opposed to "good-to-excellent" or just "excellent" shape), a SS bike is definitely harder to climb on than a geared bike (assuming you use a much lower gear on the geared bike)?

    Scott
    I gas really fast on a geared bike most of the time. Sure the hills are harder but I've ridden the hills so much in my area that they seem easier now. All that extra rotational weight from gears really slows me down.

    We had to hurry back tonight to be the night. Well I let my roommate ride in front of me, he rides a 2x9 and was just huffing and puffing today. We got the top of the hill and he looked as if he was going to throw up. I just took my usually double sip from my water bottle and said "ready?" He weighs 160lbs I weight 220lbs and I'm not all muscle, mostly beer.
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  35. #35
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    LOL..Chuck Norris wishes he could SS like Chum.


    I think it has something to do with the water in our area or something. Surprisingly enough there's actually a good number of us in the 510/415/408/831 .

    IMHO, I'm no "stud". I rode SS before it was popular, and still ride today.

    I prefer the lack of gears as:
    ~Simplicity (?) well, then again my bike is pure bling and high-end except the frame.
    ~Function.
    ~Challenge.
    ~Enjoyable.

    I have days where I clean everything, and days I cannot. The days I cannot clear stuff I still get more trail time and see stuff I sometimes would miss.

  36. #36
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I finally had time to read the whole thread. I started SSing because my first mountain bike was an absolute piece of **** and before I was able to get it on singletrack the rear trigger shifter broke. I said, "**** it," and got the derailer on a cog that I thought would give me a good ratio and went for it.

    Since then I've tried gears every so often. They are noisy, I'm too dumb to take advantage of them and I love coming out of a corner or dip and know exactly how I'm going to have to lay down the hate.

    If you are really worried about speed, when things get rough on the hill, throw the bike over your shoulder and run the rest of the way. I bet you burn by the spinners.

  37. #37
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I started riding the SS when I noticed I had a huge penis.

    It has been downhill from there.
    BOC!!!*



















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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I started riding the SS when I noticed I had a huge penis.

    It has been downhill from there.
    I'm the boss of me. I'm the king of me. I'm Dirk Diggler. I'm the star. It's my big dick and I say when we roll.

  39. #39
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    1 QueSStion....

    Just WHO is this CHUM you all speak of? He is NOT an uberSStud! Ask PLIM.... .
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug_ID
    On a geared bike I really dislike the sensation of being in a low gear and spinning the pedals but not moving forward very quickly. I find that a frustrating sensation. On the SS I can feel the cadence I am putting out matching my rate of forward progress and mentally that feels better to me.
    I agree. When I ride my FS with gears, I always end up in close to my easiest gear, going slow, and still suffering. If I'm going to suffer, I prefer to do it on the SS.

    I'm not even close to being a stud. I'm barely maintaining a semblance of shape. I also enjoy not worrying about what gear I'm in. I can walk, sit, or stand. I gear on the easier side of most on these boards. Maybe because I'm not near as good of shape as them. But I also prefer a faster cadence to make it less painful (although breathing hard with my heart pounding sometimes hurts more).

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    I'm the boss of me. I'm the king of me. I'm Dirk Diggler. I'm the star. It's my big dick and I say when we roll.
    Great movie, and great name.. wish I thought of that. oh wait, I ain't a porn star, but I feel like it riding the SS!

  42. #42
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    Nice post, I've been riding a highend Mojo full squish that I love. I'm going to built up a super lite Ti SS this winter. Never rode a HT or a 29'er either but am going on the instinks of this forum and eveyone in my club raving about them.
    I started racing this year in the Sport class on my 1 x 9 and was a bit worried about not having a granny. Missed it very little during several races, it's amazing how your body will get stronger. I can't wait unil I do the time on a SS and race my full cush 1 x 9. I think the extra power and fittness will make me untouchable in the Sport class.

    I really like the low maintanance of them also, since I'm a nut case over my FS bike. I hopefully won't mind training in less than ideal conditions.

    Plus I think by getting out of the saddle more, it will be easier on my back which gets very tight and stiff during a hard 17 mi training ride.

    And if I hate it, I can always sell it.

    Mojo

  43. #43
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    im 6'5" 350lbs and i do ok on my single speed

    i hate spinning up hills though, id rather stand up and mash and feel like im actually doing something
    Specialized HardRock 29er
    Nashbar 29er SS

  44. #44
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    Will SS makes you stronger or not is actually depend on yourself.

    With gears you can be spoiled not too push harder by shifting. If you ride SS and push your limit to pedal in any condition this will makes you stronger.

    If you talk about cadence, I experience my self in these past 6 month.

    Cadence build your stamina and muscle suppleness which is great but not your muscle strength.
    When I try to climb a steep hill for the first time my legs doesn't have any strength, I don't feel tire at all because my stamina is over the top because of cadence training but it's just that my leg doesn't want to move the pedal because I don't have the strength for my legs.

    My body feels strong but my leg so weak.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47
    Just WHO is this CHUM you all speak of? He is NOT an uberSStud! Ask PLIM.... .
    Plim rides?
    Plim's just jealous

  46. #46
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    I am not a super stud.

    I rode geared for 2 years...that's was about 4 years ago. I'm 42, no spring chicken. Found the trails I was riding got a bit boring.

    Thought SS riders were crazy. WTF...why would you do that...one gear. WHY?

    Out of curiousity, and my previously stated sense of boredom...I thought I'd try one out.

    Local shop let me borrow a Jabberwocky.

    It was ALL fun again. I mean really REALLY fun. Like being 8.

    On my trails, rolling Missouri hills, I am definitely faster on the SS 29er than I was on my geared 26er. Without question. But, depending on the trail...a SS with the wrong gearing will be slower.

    I attack the hill rather than succumbing to it. There is no other option. I'm more in tune with the bike. "We are one grasshopper."

    Is it harder...no...not really. Just requires that you attack.

    Just geared down after riding it one year. Started at 32 x 20. Went all the way down to 32 x 19.

    It's just fun.

    I still ride the geared 26er to mix it up. And have a blast when I do so.

    Variety brother.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    BOC!!!*
    *Beer on computer

    --sParty
    Hope it wasn't anything nice- beer or computer.

  48. #48
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    I have been a road cyclist for the past few years and started getting extremely addicted to riding long climbs. The problem I am having is on the steeper climbs, I am running out of gears and blowing myself up. Coming into the off season I was going to focus on mountain biking to help maintain my fitness level and maybe build on my climbing ability. One of my friends recommended a SS 29er and at first I thought he was crazy. Then I started to think about it, if I really want to build my climbing ability, going from a geared ride to another geared ride was not going to challenge me. So I bought a cheap SS 29er and I love it. It is definitely an adjustment, but every time i go I find myself getting up or further up climbs I hadn't before. I haven't touched my 26" FS bike since I got my SS.

  49. #49
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    I rode a cheap geared bike . Then, I was very weak as I struggled up climbs even on my lowest gear .

    I gained enlightenment when I converted . But this was not without the painful maiden SS rides. Whereas I used to struggle crawling, I now had to struggle flying .

    I struggled, and I continuously grew a single speeder's wings. I believe climbing hills on a higher gear is easier than that of a lower gear as I compare my rides now with then .

  50. #50
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    For what its worth, I watched a pro mtn bike race on TV the other day for the first time. I could not believe how fast the top 5 riders would spin on the smaller uphills, it looked commical. Seems if they had stronger legs and used higher gears they would have been much faster. But then again what do I know. I was very surprized by the high cadance they were using.

    Mojo

  51. #51
    The need for singlespeed
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    Glad to hear you're still considering SS! After your cyclocross thread I wondered if your interest had 'shifted' lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    B) You got a SS bike precisely because you were NOT an MTB superstud/god and WANTED to be one...so you figured riding a SS bike would whip your weak butt into shape...or
    This is me. As a 'time crunched cyclist,' I needed to pack as much intensity into my cycling workout as possible. SS does that, and offers more of an upper body/core workout to boot. This is becoming even more relevant with a baby on the way!

  52. #52
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    Before I go making claims about "studliness" and SSing, I would seriously take a look (visually that is) at how many fat a***s are riding SS (myself included). Once you break that initial barrier of difficulty, say 2 months of riding, you learn to be lazy on a SS. Think: really slow stairmaster. "Studliness" is relative and it can plateau if you're not crazy about fitness.

  53. #53
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    I was a top level Cat 2 before I got my first SS.

    I had a bunch of parts laying around and the 26 inch Jamis Exile frame came on sale from jenson for 100 bucks and I said why the hell not. I picked it up built it up with a 32x16 gear. It was my first hardtail and my first SS

    I had tons of fun, there were some looser steeper hills that I just couldnt do, but on tight flowly singletrack it was just so fun and springy.

    I started racing expert geared and was midpack at best but end of last season I broke my suspension frame. So this past spring all I had was my 26 inch SS. I took some of the nicer parts from my geared bike and put them on my SS and that made it alot lighter and more fun to ride. been riding raceing SS all summer and finally bit the bullet and built up a monocog flite 29er. I have had a couple top 5s local in the open SS class. My local races can be quite tough due to living in South western Pa as the riders here do well at NUE series and stuff I just cant touch yet

    SS has made me a stronger climber
    SS has made my spin better, because on road sections you have to make that gear work
    SS has made me a better rock rider as it seems the gear ratio forces you to keep momentum better
    SS has made me decend better because it force you to learn to ride fast with out pedaling.

    overall I am quicker than when I started SS, I beat my old geared times on my SS now. I do want a geared suspended bike next year but I will never not have a SS. they are too damn fun and so easy to keep going. I highly recommend them to anyone who rides and wants something different.

  54. #54
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    I am a cycling super-stud, that's why I ride SS
    Ride & Smile

  55. #55
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    I have always been a stud. Just ask your mom/wife/girlfriend. She will tell you.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone
    Okay, I admit I'm intrigued by singlespeeds...but one thing kinda baffles me...

    I know (from having ridden one for a short while one day) that SS bikes are harder to ride than a geared bike. By "harder" I mean as in climbing, because you're effectively "stuck in a higher gear" than what you might use on a fully-geared bike.

    I've put my geared bike on the middle chainring and the middle of my rear cassette and tried riding it on some local trails, and basically couldn't get up any of the hills I can get up in a lower gear.

    So what I'm wondering is which of the following is true of SS riders here:

    A) You were already an MTB superstud/god when you started riding a SS bike, so climbing up hills was no problem for you...or

    B) You got a SS bike precisely because you were NOT an MTB superstud/god and WANTED to be one...so you figured riding a SS bike would whip your weak butt into shape...or

    C) You ride a SS bike, and you are STILL NOT an MTB superstud/god, and you spend a LOT of time walking your SS up hills.

    (I guess this is really kind of a poll!)

    So which one of the above is it for you?

    Scott
    After getting back into mountain biking this past year, I had been quite intrigued by the whole 29er/SS bikes that I have been seeing out on the trail, and have been secretly Jonesing for one. About 3 weeks ago, I caved in and bought an SE "Stout" from JensonUSA. I have taken it out to our local trail system and rode it once with a 32/20 last week and yesterday with a 32/18 combo. Yesterday was the 3rd opportunity to ride it on singletrack, and I am definitely sold on the whole full rigid, 29er and SS concept.

    I would say that I was not a superstud prior to or now, but I have given my riding buddies the illusion that I am! Changing my riding style to accommodate the new bike (standing more, attacking early, carrying momentum, etc). My riding buddies have all said that I am riding faster. I feel that I am riding at the same effort level as before, just in a taller gear. I know that they have started riding taller gears trying to keep pace with me.

    The lack of squish gives me full transfer of power to the back wheel, etc. My climbing began improving when I switched from riding my '08 Spec' Hardrock to my '89 Giant Iguana (full rigid), due to picking better lines and taking some SS attitude, but once I got on the Stout, the longer cranks, larger diameter wheels, etc, added to the capabilities.

    All my bikes are "entry level" bikes, weighing anywhere between 28 - 33lbs. I'm 5'10" and currently tipping the scales at 195lbs. Far from being in "superstud" shape!

    So...to answer your question...I would have to answer B- or C+, because of a difference in the reasons to what you listed. More to satisfy the itch to get a SS 29er, not knowing if I would like it or could handle it. What I forgot is that once you scratch the itch, it makes you NEED to scratch it some more...now I am looking at what my next 29er SS is going to be!

  57. #57
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    My SSing studlyness is so great, that when Chuck Norris wanted to embrace the phenomenon he came to me.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenTwo
    I believe climbing hills on a higher gear is easier than that of a lower gear as I compare my rides now with then .

    ^^^ This.

  59. #59
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    not just a stud but a Playboy Stud... lols

    I have no Idea. SS is awesome for climbing imo, let's you focus on the task at hand. keeps my speed sane downhill.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by madss
    My SSing studlyness is so great, that when Chuck Norris wanted to embrace the phenomenon he came to me.
    Awesomeness ensues when a singlespeed is ridden. I have not ridden a geared bike in over three years. I'm not the fastest rider around but I do feel like my technique, handling and overall abilities have greatly improved. I would say mainly due to riding with a couple of people that are SS Studs. You do learn to "ride" the trail more. Carrying momentum, apexing corners, keeping weight over the rear when standing and climing.

    Just get one and don't look back

  61. #61
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    1. I have always been a decent climber ... because I enjoy the pain and effort of climbing.
    2. I like simplicity. In the past, that meant I had one do-it-all bike (Spez Epic)
    3. I was a spinner , but was amazed by SSers.
    4. Last year, for the first time, people I ride with were breaking out the SSs.
    5. I was getting tired of gear and maintenance problems.

    I built a SS in Oct. 09, and I ride it about 90% of the time. I built a nice geared bike for longer rides and multi-day events. I just did a 60 miler on the SS, so the gear bike may be relegated to multi-day events only ... more specifically, to days when my legs are tired.
    Last edited by gjenkins@; 10-19-2010 at 10:31 AM.

  62. #62
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    i started out of necessity and was too broke to fix my old bike with a new frame and then again with new gears. the super-stud gene must've passed me by because after riding ss for umpteen years, was never fast and there were a couple climbs i could never conquer unless i was to really gear down. the right gearing for your terrain and fitness is crucial to having a good time. but ss is very different way of riding and you'll get used to it. maintenance is low or in my case non-existent and it felt good when in shape. but an out of shape single-speeder is a sad sight for sure, which happens to me every winter.

    that being said, i bought a geared squishy because i had never owned anything like it before. i'm in the process of getting my ss ready for winter, having last ridden it in march. it's definitely gonne be geared down. gotta do what i gotta do.
    will you rep me?

  63. #63
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    Just got back on riding after many years off. I went SS for simplicity. Right now I am set up for on road duty only. Ran into some true roadies the other day at a stop light. We were all headed the same direction, and about to hit an extremely steep and long climb. Well, I beat them to the top by a long shot. However, I was literally close to puking my face off at a the top. There is no choice and no forgiveness with SS. The hill would have been so much easier, although slower, in a lower gear. With 32 x16 on a 29er, I had no choice but to stand and mash and try to get my cadence up or I would stall and have to dismount. The roadies caught up on the backside

    BTW, the hills around north Atlanta are absolutely brutal. Very long climbs, very long descents and nothing in between.

    Am I a SS stud? No way, not with only a month in the seat. But I was in good shape before getting the bike together, so that helps.

    Do you have to be a Stud to start out on SS? No, you just have to be a bit twisted.
    Stuffing our faces at an ever smaller table.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by OdinOrion
    BTW, the hills around north Atlanta are absolutely brutal. Very long climbs, very long descents and nothing in between.
    Amen to that!! Glad I wasn't the only one complaining.

  65. #65
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    The "all up or down in Atlanta" got me wondering: Are there any SS riders from Telluride out there? Aside from the river trail - everthing is seriously up or down. I had a hard enough time rocking the granny @ 12,000 feet!

  66. #66
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    Go for it

    I tried SS'ing at the suggestion of a friend. Like others have said, it was painful at first, but got better and very fun. I have since sold off SS's only to realize they are waaaay too fun to not have in the stable. I don't ride SS exclusively, but for local rides, it's the bike I tend to choose more often than not (Ventana El Toro).

    So, just give it a try and see if you like it... Plus, chicks will dig you bulging quads.

  67. #67
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    Studly??? Hard to say... what I can say is, once I spent $2k on my SS build, and riding it, the geared bike is gone! I like not having to think about what the f*ck gear I'm in, or need to be in, or may need to be in around the next corner. Now I ride! Simplicity! I focus more on the trail. With that said, finding the right gearing for your area takes some trial and error, but once you find a happy medium, it's all good!
    2008 Trek 69er SS
    2010 Vassago Jabberwocky SS

  68. #68
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    I don't know about a stud but I am stronger now for sure after switching to SS in June. I enjoy the challenge and the reward from making big climbs. Also getting used to rigid was a little brutal at first but now I am a much smoother rider.

  69. #69
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    Not a Stud!

    I rode mountain bikes with gears my first 3 years and was easily classified as a beginner mtn biker in skills and being a runner and road/touring/commuter I had some endurance. BUT I love to ride uphill. After teaching mountain biking at a summer camp in which I only used one or two gears (I followed the last kid), I made the jump and bought a Bianchi DISS. First ride, I rode 22 miles and made more things than I did on my gears. I QUIT THINKING, and that was the key! I only got off the bike 3 times that day, and that was to wait for the others at the top of the hills.

    Now since those days, I now feel I can ride better technically (still not close to an expert), but I can hold my ground. I'm comfortable enough to take my dogs on my back and not worry about falling.

  70. #70
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    I never really used my front shifter and when I broke a derailleur that ended up in my rear wheel I decided to pick up a used Monocog for cheap. I ended up liking the challenge of hill climbing on the mono so I stuck with it for a while even after I repaired the geared bike.

    I had ridden (geared) with a biking stud (mostly roadie) co-worker at the beginning of the summer that year and didn't ride with him again until early fall. He mentioned that he thought I was alot stronger and that he could tell a huge difference since our last ride. He thought it might be the bike so we switched off for a pretty tough climb. At the top he said he couldn't believe I was riding that whole ***** of a trail with a 32:16. That felt good to hear coming from him.

    Riding a SS will help you build strength if you're pushing your limits with it and I feel like it forces you into an interval workout every time you ride a trail with hills. Interval workouts and strength training on the bike may not make you a bike racing god, but it will definately make you studlier.

  71. #71
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    I was pretty much a crap mountain biker before I switched to SS. The bike taught me to be a much better (and stronger) rider. I too tried the "keep it in one gear" thing, and it really isn't the same. I was shocked by what I could climb - even stuff I'd screw up in my granny.

    I think the transition is easier (less painful?) for expert riders, because they already know most of the tricks to make SS fun (mostly conserving momentum). Do make sure you start with a decent gear ratio - walking everything won't make you a better rider.

    Having said that, SS is more fun when you do have shorter momentum climbs. You can do long grindy climbs on the SS, but the joy is that swoop and push over the top.

  72. #72
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    A: I'm a good bit faster then the people I ride with. Having a SS bike makes me seem more human like to them. I climb some really steep stuff on my geared bike but I can still handle over half the climbs on my local trails with the SS. They all get to see the pain on my face as I pump away at 3.5mph.

  73. #73
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    I'm C. I spend a lot of time walking but I usually get to the top in a fairly close time to those with gears. (because imo if u spin fast barely moving, u may as well be walking ) But I rip on flats and dh.

  74. #74
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    i started out riding on a 1x9 rigid bike.
    since most others were on fs 3x9 bikes and passing me i felt the need to join thier club.
    i spent about 3,000 on a fs 3x9 and after a few rides i converted it to 1x9.
    about a month later i kinda figured out how to ride and felt comfortable. also a bit bored.
    so i bought a rigid geared bike and converted it to ss.
    now all i really ride is ss rigid.

    i definatly think riding ss made me stronger alot. i also quit smoking and drinking soda and that helped my riding alot.

    a big part of ss is not having shame in walking up what you cant ride. but the feeling of passing someone uphill when ss is so nice.

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