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  1. #1
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    The inexplicable singlespeed mentality. . .

    This weekend I was on a fun ride with a friend of mine who tends to be very driven. He's a former Ironman competitor who dominates the local club rides, can pull out a double century almost on a whim, and who, though he's 20= years older than me, makes me struggle to keep his rear wheel in sight on climbs.

    He has a singlespeed as his 2nd tier mountain bike, but was on his geared bike. I was on my singlespeed, 'cause that's what I've got.

    He and I are both planning on doing the Shenandoah Mtn. 100 again this year. He'll probably own the Master's Class while I'll be lucky to finish it on a singlespeed. I've done it before, geared, but that was in the old days. . .

    So, as we're riding along talking about the SM100 he's questioning my sanity for not doing it again geared. He's making some good points: "it will be harder on the climbs" he says, "you'll lose time on the paved downhills" he says " you'll spin out on the flats" he says, "I can see the value of a singlespeed as a training tool, but they're ineffiecient on a 'real' ride" he says.

    And he's right. He's absolutely right about all of those things, and he's right about what these things combine to imply. Singlespeeds don't make any damn sense. But neither does love, or art, or eating cupcakes, or having sex for non-procreative reasons. There is no really good overarching reason to ride singlespeeds. But I'm gonna do it anyway, because I like it. There's really nothing else to offer as far as I'm concerned. It's not about lightweight, or mechanical efficiency or simplicity, or proving myself, or making msyelf stronger. I just like it better. I may not finish the SM100 this year. And if I do I'm sure Im' gonna be embarassingly slow. And when I dont' finish, people will say I shoulda brought gears, I coulda done it with gears, but so what? When you get down to it, there's something I LIKE about riding a singlespeed. I can't explain what it is, it doesn't make sense, I'll have to get off and walk, but I just plain old like it. So there.

    Thus concludes my pointless self-indulgent rant.

  2. #2
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    Smile ss

    +1 on your rant.

    Brought a smile to this old face. Thanks.

  3. #3
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    A lot of things we do for no other reason than that it gives us joy.

    For me, that's more than enough reason. Anything else is just icing.

    Jim

  4. #4
    I am the owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    So, as we're riding along talking about the SM100 he's questioning my sanity for not doing it again geared. He's making some good points: "it will be harder on the climbs" he says, "you'll lose time on the paved downhills" he says " you'll spin out on the flats" he says, "I can see the value of a singlespeed as a training tool, but they're ineffiecient on a 'real' ride" he says.
    Tell that to Skip Brown who got 4th place on an SS at last year's SM100.
    SingleSpeedOutlaw .com
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  5. #5
    Reviewer/Tester
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    Well written, and well put. It is sometimes hard to define why we like to do things a certain way, but in a lot of instances, it just comes down to personal enjoyment.

    Lately, I have been asked why I am riding an old beat up single speed on the trails when I have a really well tuned full suspension machine at home.

    You would understand why I am, but most of my friends don't.




    I don't care, I just enjoy it, so I keep on doing it..


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  6. #6
    but Diggin the 1 x 14 too
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    Wink always ride your fave...

    Quote Originally Posted by farley

    He has a singlespeed as his 2nd tier mountain bike, but was on his geared bike. I was on my singlespeed, 'cause that's what I've got.

    He and I are both planning on doing the Shenandoah Mtn. 100 again this year. He'll probably own the Master's Class while I'll be lucky to finish it on a singlespeed. I've done it before, geared, but that was in the old days. . .

    So, as we're riding along talking about the SM100 he's questioning my sanity for not doing it again geared. He's making some good points: "it will be harder on the climbs" he says, "you'll lose time on the paved downhills" he says " you'll spin out on the flats" he says, "I can see the value of a singlespeed as a training tool, but they're ineffiecient on a 'real' ride" he says.
    [SIZE=2]
    ...in my opinion, life's too short to not ride the one you love... ask yourself this: if this happened to be the last time you did that ride - which bike would you prefer to be on? ...your goal to just finish on the machine you love is the way to go in my book! kudos to you![/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Inrideo est vita
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    I did a 24hour race on an 8-man team a few weeks ago. I was the only SS on the team (I saw 3 SS riders out of 360-ish teams). Everyone kept asking me why SS, why not gears?
    I wasn't the fastest, but I wasn't the slowest either.
    Maybe if I had gears I could have done it with a few minutes improvement, but that's not the point. I rode what everyone else rode, in similar times, and I did it my way.

    Ride on buddy. Listen to the inner voice.
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  8. #8
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    And he's right. He's absolutely right about all of those things, and he's right about what these things combine to imply. Singlespeeds don't make any damn sense. But neither does love, or art, or eating cupcakes, or having sex for non-procreative reasons.
    Uhm... objection, your honor!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    ...
    Singlespeeds don't make any damn sense. But neither does love, or art, or eating cupcakes, or having sex for non-procreative reasons...
    Hi, I'm Geoff...
    I'm fixed and so are both my bikes.

    Damn straight it's only for pleasure.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    Uhm... objection, your honor!
    I second that objection. Anyone that competes in Ironman competitions isn't right in the head anyhow.

  11. #11
    cause it's fun
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    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    or having sex for non-procreative reasons.
    It's called practice.
    bus driver wanna be

  12. #12
    Combat Wombat
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    If we applied logic to everything....

    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    This weekend I was on a fun ride with a friend of mine who tends to be very driven. He's a former Ironman competitor who dominates the local club rides, can pull out a double century almost on a whim, and who, though he's 20= years older than me, makes me struggle to keep his rear wheel in sight on climbs.

    He has a singlespeed as his 2nd tier mountain bike, but was on his geared bike. I was on my singlespeed, 'cause that's what I've got.

    He and I are both planning on doing the Shenandoah Mtn. 100 again this year. He'll probably own the Master's Class while I'll be lucky to finish it on a singlespeed. I've done it before, geared, but that was in the old days. . .

    So, as we're riding along talking about the SM100 he's questioning my sanity for not doing it again geared. He's making some good points: "it will be harder on the climbs" he says, "you'll lose time on the paved downhills" he says " you'll spin out on the flats" he says, "I can see the value of a singlespeed as a training tool, but they're ineffiecient on a 'real' ride" he says.

    And he's right. He's absolutely right about all of those things, and he's right about what these things combine to imply. Singlespeeds don't make any damn sense. But neither does love, or art, or eating cupcakes, or having sex for non-procreative reasons. There is no really good overarching reason to ride singlespeeds. But I'm gonna do it anyway, because I like it. There's really nothing else to offer as far as I'm concerned. It's not about lightweight, or mechanical efficiency or simplicity, or proving myself, or making msyelf stronger. I just like it better. I may not finish the SM100 this year. And if I do I'm sure Im' gonna be embarassingly slow. And when I dont' finish, people will say I shoulda brought gears, I coulda done it with gears, but so what? When you get down to it, there's something I LIKE about riding a singlespeed. I can't explain what it is, it doesn't make sense, I'll have to get off and walk, but I just plain old like it. So there.

    Thus concludes my pointless self-indulgent rant.
    Why even bother doing the SM100 in the first place.

    Brian

  13. #13
    Retro Grouch
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    Huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    And he's right. He's absolutely right about all of those things, and he's right about what these things combine to imply. Singlespeeds don't make any damn sense. But neither does love, or art, or eating cupcakes, or having sex for non-procreative reasons. There is no really good overarching reason to ride singlespeeds. But I'm gonna do it anyway, because I like it.
    Of course it makes sense; it's because everything your talking about feels good (done properly ). I rode 13 hours at the Creme Puff and got turned around at the end without finishing and I had a smile on my face the whole way. If I had done it on a geared bike, it wouldn't have meant anything...

    1G1G, Brad

  14. #14
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    This weekend I was on a fun ride with a friend of mine who tends to be very driven. He's a former Ironman competitor who dominates the local club rides, can pull out a double century almost on a whim, and who, though he's 20= years older than me, makes me struggle to keep his rear wheel in sight on climbs.
    Can your friend really have a "fun" ride?

    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    So, as we're riding along talking about the SM100 he's questioning my sanity for not doing it again geared. He's making some good points: "it will be harder on the climbs" he says, "you'll lose time on the paved downhills" he says " you'll spin out on the flats" he says, "I can see the value of a singlespeed as a training tool, but they're ineffiecient on a 'real' ride" he says.
    He's missing the entire point, and if he sees a SS as just a training tool...

    When I built up my SS in Dec., lots of people on this forum warned me that the gearie would gather dust, that I'd spend most of my time on the SS, etc. I just thought, yeah, whatever, not with me. But you know what - I'm about 75/25 SS to FS and I get the most satisfaction out of the SS. Why?...don't know...don't care...
    Ride more; post less...

  15. #15
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    ..heheheh... I was riding on some very sweeeet singletrack today...just got back from the ride, actually...and i'm still sweating..

    I was breathing hot razorblades and my thigh muscles were screaming for mercy on the long climb.. and I thought to myself as I struggled upwards to the top and close to oxygen deprivation blackout conditions..."geez.. I love this SS stuff"..

    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  16. #16
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    ... and if we just ... yup

    I converted my old HT last November, haven't ridden the geared FS in a while, which is sad that it is less than a year old.

    I figured that I don't shift that much anyways, so why not try it. My riding has changed, it is some sort of reverse logic that cannot be explained to those who haven't tried it.
    I can make it through tough sections of trails that I was never able to do, climbs especially.

    Could it be, that we as cyclists, like to suffer some what, and SSing enables us to do this in the purest form?

    A friend of mine was over last night, who is into motorcycles, who made the analogy that SSing must be like the Bobber/Chopper motorcyclists; in that we want to go back to the basics of just riding, stripping off anything that wasn't neccessary, enjoying the ride, etc.

    -Dan, ready to sell his geared FS

  17. #17
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    It's, ummmm...

    kind of like...uhhhh....you know, it's.....ummmmm, the flow and......uhhhh, that thing that happens when....the rhythm synchs with the brainwaves..... come on you KNOW! It's good for dyslexia!

    eLe
    Last edited by edemtbs; 07-08-2005 at 11:45 AM.

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