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  1. #1
    T 3
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    Learning about SS & why ask about pedals ?

    I know very little about single speed bikes and riders and I've been looking around trying to understand more about the bikes and what attracts riders to them.Relatively speaking,
    there does seem to be a different mentality that moves riders to embrace single speed bicycles.I noticed the term simplicity came up often,a minimalistic approach sort of thing.

    I perceived something suggesting a more direct connection and I can appreciate that.There's a lot of yard work and tree cutting I've done by hand when it would have been much less work to use gas or electrical powered equipment.

    Pardon me for saying this but,what I initially thought about single speeders was that they were the sort of of people who like to reject what's new,what's popular,the products manufactures flash in the latest magazines etc.I wondered if single speeders do what they do to be cool by not following the crowd."The bicycle for the rest of us." sort of a thing.
    Those aren't the "vibes" I got from looking around the Single Speeders Forum,there's
    something more complex going on.

    Many of my initial perceptions were wrong,sometimes not even close at all.My instincts told me that one thing that may reveal a lot to me about what single speed riders were all about was what kind of pedals they used.That'll probably make sense to some of you,or no sense at all to others,but strangely enough,works for me.

    I think the majority of SS'ers are people who are sincerly passionate about what they ride and their enjoyment of it.I don't know if I'll ever become more interested in this type of riding or not,but I'll stay open minded and continue to learn a bit here and there and see
    what happens. - Thanks !

  2. #2
    Jackass
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    I'm drunk enough to take a stab...

    6-pack o' Miller Light and some box wine.

    Well - I SS 99% of the time. The reason I do is because I find that on the SS I....

    a) am faster
    b) have more fun

    When I find a circumstance where the SS is neither:

    a) faster
    b) more fun

    .... I do not ride the SS and grab the Gearie FSR.

    That being said, I've grabbed the FSR twice in the last 9 months.

    I don't believe that SS'ing is some sort of badge of honor, or entitles the rider to
    some sort of measure of extra respect. I SS because I sincerely believe that I
    ride better, faster, and have more fun on the SS. I don't like it when folks around
    here crack on gearies.... That's not what it's about. Ride what makes you happy.

    SS makes me happy.... not because I have an excuse, or because I can say "Yeah,
    but..."

    SS makes me happy because it WORKS for me.

    Try it out. If it WORKS for you, you'll know. If not, we can still ride together, and I
    won't crack on you for choosing a gearie.

    It's all good.

    So you see, pedals don't mean sh*t.

    brewSSard
    No hairSShirts.

  3. #3
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    Hey T3, don't overthink this. Remember the simplicity part?

    Ever take photos with a pin hole camera? Its a box with a pin hole to let the light in. You can get some beautiful pictues. You can also get beautiful pictures with the latest digital camera with all the bells and whistles. As always, it's not about the technology, its about the person using the technology. A SS bike just happens to make that a little clearer to the rider. Once you ride SS you will see. Just get on your bike and don't shift.

  4. #4
    T 3
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    That's what I'm looking for-

    Quote Originally Posted by brewSSard
    6-pack o' Miller Light and some box wine.

    Well - I SS 99% of the time. The reason I do is because I find that on the SS I....

    a) am faster
    b) have more fun

    When I find a circumstance where the SS is neither:

    a) faster
    b) more fun

    .... I do not ride the SS and grab the Gearie FSR.

    That being said, I've grabbed the FSR twice in the last 9 months.

    I don't believe that SS'ing is some sort of badge of honor, or entitles the rider to
    some sort of measure of extra respect. I SS because I sincerely believe that I
    ride better, faster, and have more fun on the SS. I don't like it when folks around
    here crack on gearies.... That's not what it's about. Ride what makes you happy.

    SS makes me happy.... not because I have an excuse, or because I can say "Yeah,
    but..."

    SS makes me happy because it WORKS for me.

    Try it out. If it WORKS for you, you'll know. If not, we can still ride together, and I
    won't crack on you for choosing a gearie.

    It's all good.

    So you see, pedals don't mean sh*t.

    brewSSard
    I know all of you singlespeeders are probably sick of explaining why ??? I'm trying to learn and tread lightly at the same time and if that means buying y'all a few cold ones to hear some wisdom about what you're doing,that wouldn't be a bad thing.I enjoyed your response brewSSard,it was "on the real" and makes singlespeeding all the more intriguing.For now I agree with you on one thing for sure- It's all good...
    Last edited by T 3; 01-18-2004 at 07:02 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    gentle like
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    for me it's a reversion thing ...

    first, i switched back from a fully to a hardtail.

    then i decided that one gear would be plenty, and so spent a good part of today (at last!) converting my brodie to a ss (yes, i know brodie makes a ss - but they didn't last year). playing with a bike, listening to tunes ... if my eagles hadn't just sucked out again, it would have been a perfect day.

    now, i'm not going rigid. and i'm keeping the disc brakes. but i was beginning to find that a) with full suspension and gears thing were becoming too easy ... i could get away with too many mistakes, or something ( i guess).

    plus, i find single speeding shifts my focus in a way i really enjoy: i pay much more attention to the trail, it's one less thing to distract me from picking lines and terrain ... i don't know exactly how to describe it. switching back to a hardtail did the same thing, and yes, i find that switching both from fully back to hardtail and gears to ss have made me a faster rider: yes, even through gnarly stuff. i don't get it, but i like it.

    i too hate when cyclists 'ride' other kinds of cyclists - i have nothing against geared bikes (or riders), but i have a blast single speeding, and that's the reason i ride, so ... yeah.

    well, now i guess it's go panthers. should be a wicked, defensive old-school rough running superbowl. yes, i'm distracted.

  6. #6
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    nice to hear from another brodie rider. (nm)

    nm nm nm

  7. #7
    What the Crap?!
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    For me:

    it was a long journey that started with realizing i only used 1 chain ring and so i originally went 8 spd. you know lose a little weight, ease of use, simplicity. for me8 spd was problematic and still didn't give me the freedom or ease i wanted. now i feel my bike and riding is pared to the core - bike, rider, and dirt. hard to explain, easy to enjoy. try it!

  8. #8
    What the Crap?!
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    oh, forgot to add:

    as far as pedals i am riding Look clipless that were given to me nearly 10 years ago on my mtbing bachelor party trip. they weigh a ton with a large platform. i put them on the first night of the trip and have used them on every bike i've had since.
    i have almost went to the latest/greatest a few times, but these babies continue to work fine so why change. i have always wanted Time's, but i have that special attachment to the Looks.

  9. #9
    Paintbucket
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    Glide effortlessly.
    Heart pounds legs strain and mind clears.
    Leaves crunch in silence.
    Zippy for president

  10. #10
    gentle like
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    i'm ashamed to ask ...

    ... but what is nm?

    when i went to high school computers were still geeky, and i kept this attitude until long after it was fashionable to think so.

    and now i'm unhip and culture has passed me by.

    cheers to brodie! and now that i live in the states - hardly any others around ...

    i must confess that i did order a new bike on friday, and went with the 1x9 setup. of course, i want to use it for trials and some shore playing, so the bike weighs 35 lbs or thereabouts. but i am pleased to have gone with the new sram x7 stuff instead of big s.

    my brodie-riding friend, are you on a unabomber, being here in ss? mine ride is last year's kinetic.

  11. #11
    hispanic mechanic
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    "no message" (nm)

    neutral moles
    "Shut up body and do what I tell you."
    Jens Voight

    http://teamjva.com/jens-voigt-soundboard/

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by T 3
    I know all of you singlespeeders are probably sick of explaining why ??? I'm trying to learn and tread lightly at the same time and if that means buying y'all a few cold ones to hear some wisdom about what you're doing,that wouldn't be a bad thing.I enjoyed your response brewSSard,it was "on the real" and makes singlespeeding all the more intriguing.For now I agree with you on one thing for sure- It's all good...
    I'm probably repeating what others have said by now, but I think it's worth saying.... The main reason we all SS, or ride Singlespeed bikes, or however you want to say it, is that we enjoy it. Personally, I still use suspension and disc brakes and like looking at all the new parts and bells and whistles and such, but I also do not like changing gears if I don't have to. So for me, its not as much about simplicity as it is just about fun. My recommendation to you is save your beer, and just try riding. If you don't have an SS bike built yet, just try riding a geared bike in a middle gear, and try to not shift. That's what I did to see if I would like SS-ing and I was immediately hooked.

    -Josh

  13. #13
    Probably drunk right now
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    1 Speeds, "nm" and other life mysteries explained...

    "... what is nm?"

    "No Message", or "Neutered Mice".

    Why I ride a SS:

    Because it's the type of bike that I like to ride. I don't feel superior to people who ride gears and for me, it's not a zen return to simplisity or retro anti-technology approach either. A singlespeed bike is what I prefer to ride.

    I don't know that pedals have anything to do with it either. Everyone that I ride with, or have ridden with rides the type of pedals that they like, based on what works for them. Some people swear by flats, others by SPD's, others by Times, and still others by Frogs. Personally, I ride Times because I think that they release and lock in consistently. People tell me that upper end Shimano pedals do too, now. Still others swear by Frogs, and many prefer flats. I guess if someone asks my opinion on pedals, I can comment on flats and Time. I can comment on Frogs (never ridden them) or SPDs (haven't ridden them in 6 years or so), but I don't feel any love or affection from Times/Flats. I happen to ride them because they work for me.

    Enjoy what you ride, and enjoy the ride. As long as you accomplish these two objectives, then nothing else really matters (in mountain biking, at least)

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  14. #14
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Right--it's really not that big of a deal...

    it's just a bike. Only with two gears instead of twelve (or what have you). I ride it because I have fun on it. It's my only bike, and I wouldn't have it any other way. That said, it's just a bike, pretty much like any other.

    OK, scratch all that. It's QUIET.
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


    -The Good Doctor

  15. #15
    ali'i hua
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    words that I found and cut n pasted into a word doc some time ago: (however, I dont remember where I got them- sorry for the plagarization...and the length- but still worth the read.

    Well, there are a lot of different possible reasons. And yes, people do ride them on trails. It's not as hard as you might think. I run geared some of the time (road rides, some mountain biking), and singlespeed some of the time (commuting, more and more mountain biking). Here are my reasons:

    Efficiency. A singlespeed's chain runs directly from the chainring to the rear sprocket and back. A geared bike's chain snakes around two jockey pulleys to a sprocket that is out of line (left-to-right) from the chainring by much as an inch. Even without the chainline issue the improvement is at least a couple percent, and compared to some of the more crooked chainlines you might run on a multi-geared bike, the difference can be quite a bit more than that. Believe it or not, you can feel the difference. Don't believe me? Find a bike shop that sells a few singlespeed bikes, and pull both a singlespeed and a geared bike off the rack. Now crank the pedals backwards pretty hard and let go. Notice how much longer the pedals spin on the SS bike? That's the difference in efficiency, and it's even more pronounced under load.

    Maintenance. No derailleurs to adjust, no jockey pulleys to lubricate, no cables to clean. Most of the maintenance most of us do, other than tires, is on the drivetrain. With a singlespeed all you have to do is take care of your chain. That's IT.

    Durability. No rear derailleur to tweak on trail obstacles, no shifters to go bad, no front derailleur to jam, no 11-tooth cogs to wear out early and force you to replace your cassette before its time.

    Weight savings. To be honest, I still have the rear derailleurs on my bikes so I can run gears when I want, so I'm not seeing that much weight savings. BUT even so, when I pull off my cassette and replace it with a single cog, I'm taking away about 220 grams. That's half a pound. I can easily feel the difference when I pick up the bike. Go truly singlespeed by stripping off the derailleurs, shifters and cables, and you can end up saving 2-3 POUNDS. People spend hundreds of dollars to lose that kind of weight off their bikes, but with singlespeeding you can do it for free.

    Concentration. You don't have to think about what gear you're in. You don't have to plan your downshift ahead of time when you come to a stop in traffic. It's not like shifting is THAT much of a mental burden, but you'd be surprised how many brainwave cycles singlespeeding frees up for other things. Like paying more attention to traffic. Like paying more attention to your body English, line and speed when you attack that rock garden. See my write-up below under the "Inaugural SS ride at Cutthroat PaSS" for a better description of what I mean. Singlespeeding makes you a better technical rider.

    Momentum. 1. On a geared bike, when you start losing speed on a climb, you downshift, and you let off the power to do it ... which slows you down even more. On a singlespeed, you stand up and hammer. You get more momentum going up the hill (although it can be exhausting at times!). 2. Because you know climbing can get tough if you bog down too much, you pay a lot more attention to preserving your momentum, and you're less likely to sap away precious momentum with your brakes when you don't need to. 3. Because you carry more momentum going uphill into difficult technical sections, you have an easier time getting through them in the uphill direction. Why is technical terrain harder going uphill than downhill? Speed.

    Pride. Let's be honest here. It feels pretty good doing that bad beeotch of a climb in a gear twice as tall as you would have on a geared bike. And people that aren't ordinarily impressed by others' riding are sometimes impressed that you can ride a particular trail AT ALL on a singlespeed.

    Those are the reasons that are most important to me, but singlespeeders are a diverse group (which is a good thing, in my little worldview) and here are some other potential legitimate reasons which I also respect:

    Elegance. A singlespeed bike (other than mine) has a really nice clean, elegant look to it, with no derailleurs hanging off various places, shifters cluttering up the handlebars, and shift cables running along the tubes. Now if you saw my bikes you'd know I'm not exactly seeking out a "clean" look, but I can appreciate it in others' bikes, and a lot of other singlespeeders appreciate it too.

    Cachet. It's a fringe activity. You're a member of a pretty exclusive club if you're a singlespeeder. There's always the danger of it being a trendy fad, which means someday it won't be cool anymore, but I don't think where anywhere near there yet.

    Making a statement. There are a lot of people who are fed up with planned obsolescence, Shimano's dominance of componentry, and/or the over-engineering of today's bikes. Some people like making a statement about one of those things, or about nonconformity, stickin' it to the man, or maybe something else they think singlespeeding stands for.

    Boredom. Some of the people on this forum are extremely accomplished mountain bikers. They've ridden it all. Singlespeeding is a new challenge.

  16. #16
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    I tried it because of the hype

    I've seen so much going on in here that I had to try it and to be honest liked it. I haven't ridden it as much as I would like to but with a job, wife and 2 kids is very hard to ride anything.

    Last weekend I took it to a trail that I usually ride with my son (both on gearies) and could really feel the uphills because had to maintain momentum in order to complete the climb and that made me realize that this could be "special". Hopefully will be able to ride it more often.

    In terms of pedals I use SPD compatible on all my bikes, this way I avoid changing cleats Iif I only have 1 pair of shoes.
    Last edited by DiRt DeViL; 01-19-2004 at 04:02 PM. Reason: forgot the pedals

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