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  1. #1
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    Riding a SS, make you a stronger overall mtn biker?

    My friend, lance, claims that because he rides his single speed mtn bike on trails, that he is a stronger mtn bike rider. I told him that he probably became a stronger SS rider but not a stronger mtn biker with a geared mtn bike.

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    Some additional notes to think about.
    - You can train just as hard on a geared mtn bike as you train on a single speed. A geared mtn bike is a superset of a single speed mtn bike.
    - You dont use your optimum efficient cadence on a single speed so you don't develop this strength
    ...

  3. #3
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    A singlespeed bike forces you to go harder in many trail sections where "gearies" normally shift down and go easy. So, at least one aspect of riding/training gets emphasized.

    Is that important to me? No, not at all. I just ride. I don't care if another rider is stronger or weaker than me. It does not affect my testosterone levels.

  4. #4
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    ...I noticed that after some time on my SS, I get more tired / wore down when I spin the granny on my FS bike...??? Makes me want to stay in the middle ring more.
    Anyone else notice this?
    ...every day sends future to past...

  5. #5
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    I got much stronger technically since I ride a SS. I also can spin faster now since I have to spin like a mad man on the flats.

  6. #6
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    yes

  7. #7
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    Wink

    I have to agree with perttime, but remember , strength and fitness are two different things.

  8. #8
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    Riding an SS isn't specific enough that it has no carry over to riding a geared bike. On the strength/endurance side it obviously forces you to use a smaller gear climbing than you probably otherwise would. This leads to less shifting even if you go back and ride a geared bike,

    On the skill side, riding a hardtail at all forces you to pick better lines, and an SS in particular does this because you don't have shifting taking away from this. The SS also places a great emphasis on momentum since you know you don't have the crutch of a gear to drop back to on that upcoming hill. So you tend to attack flats before hills more.

    So yes, it does make you a stronger rider. No, you can't just simulate it by riding your geared bike in one ratio. I tried this, its not the same.

  9. #9
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    Riding SS made me stronger on the road, but made me a total geartard offroad.
    Constantly in the wrong gear when I hit technically sections on a 1 x 8, so I gave up trying to make gears work. Obviously YMMV.

  10. #10
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    I hadn't noticed just how

    much stronger I've become. I had to take some time off of my SS mtb because back/hip problems. So I've been riding my geared ht for the first time in years. I've ridden a geared 5 Spot, but that weighs 29lbs so the weight causes similar effort to my SS. However, the geared ht at 24lbs feels like I'm cruising up hills that used to make me suffer. I rode a 3 hour loop that usually leaves me exhausted on the SS last weekend and I barely felt like I'd put in any effort at all... I actually came home and cleaned the house instead of collapsing in a heap on the couch.
    Everyone has the right to be stupid, but you are abusing the priveledge.

  11. #11
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    SS riding will make your penis grow 1-3 inches, depending on your original size.................................women have vaginal expansion, but the results are harder to quantify.


    this is scientific fact.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbebop
    ...I noticed that after some time on my SS, I get more tired / wore down when I spin the granny on my FS bike...??? Makes me want to stay in the middle ring more.
    Anyone else notice this?

    Agreed. Total Anarobia!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dae3xt
    Some additional notes to think about.
    - You can train just as hard on a geared mtn bike as you train on a single speed. A geared mtn bike is a superset of a single speed mtn bike.
    - You dont use your optimum efficient cadence on a single speed so you don't develop this strength
    ...
    your logical conclusion isn't based on all factors, but on a simplistic notion that conservation of cadence is a strengthening effect instead of it being a conserving effect.
    your "optimum cadence" is that lovely point at which your body is only strainging itself soooo much but not too much to achieve the speed desired.
    It's a great place to live in, and I love finding that zone... but single speeding forces your body to accept that things may not always be optimum (in truth on a single speed on rolling terrian it's nearly NEVER optimum!)
    while riding a singlespeeder you accept (nay, DEMAND!) that things will get tougher, and your body must compensate for lack of gears, either with legs or with lungs. (see where this is going?)

    you can argue that having gears to change down to, and making it easier on yourself, is better because it allows you to maintain your optimum cadence.
    but you're making the incorrect assumption that being in your optimum cadence at all times is a STRENGTHENING exercise.

    the fact is single speeders will simply accept that the optimum cadence isn't there and travel a different speed, while maintaining a cadence appropriate to the terrain they're on and the gear they've got to work with.
    in professional circles it's called interval training... and if you question whether that's a strenthening effect then google it.

    optimum cadence is calculated so it DOESN'T stress the body, but it DOES allow you to conserve energy and ride longer... which is why people use those gears in the first place.

    ride with or without gears, makes no difference if you're always staying in a perfectly optimum cadence, but it you don't blow yourself up every now and then you're NOT going to get stronger!
    (just that on a single speeder you really don't have the option of NOT nuking yourself...)

    so yeah, I'd say it'll make you stronger, whether you like it or not.

  14. #14
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    I am a lot faster after one year of riding a SS. No questions there. I also only ride 1x9 if it's geared bike.

  15. #15
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    yes, IMHO much stronger and faster. If you work at it~!

    For those who are competitive and want to race bikes.
    Riding singlespeed can turn you into a winner. Will also develop lots more upper body/core strength.

    Reminds me of when I first started riding SS. Way back when you didn't see alot of SS.

    I had been riding over a year and decided to give XC racing a whirl.

    Started out beginner cross country and got stomped, 38th out of 60 and felt like vomiting. Could not believe how fast beginner class was. I was determined to improve.

    Took an old rockhopper and converted to SS. Kept Riding up mission peak (approx 1800-2000ft climb in 3? miles) until I could do it non stop. Then I started working on improving my times.

    Next season, showed up at beginner XC race and won by 5 minutes. ( I am a clydesdale size rider) Then moved up to sport.

    So I think with a SS you are kinda forced to push harder. Sometime you ride with max effort then walk, max effort than walk (or ride slow)

    That is basically interval/tabata style training and scientific studies (see link at bottom of post) show you get the quicker improvements by training that way.

    Some persons will not want to endure that type of physical exertion.

    But if you can go SS and work at it, I guarantee you will see an improvement.

    View abstract test results.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8...?dopt=Abstract

    I also find if you work on keeping a fast cadence, you can also improve your spin. You can really focus on turning circles.

    Some with building upper body strength can try and do a ride standing, you just let you weight fall and try to climb real slow.

    Just few drills I used to like to practice on my SS.

    I got the best results by riding geared and singlespeed. That kept my shifting skills fresh.

    Just another perspective and factual experience with SS

    -peace

  16. #16
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    I get much more tired when I ride SS than when I ride gears.

    But, I tend to finish at the front of the pack in my group with SS, and at the back with gears.

    So, I ride harder, leading to better results. Not sure if that means stronger.

  17. #17
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    Riding SS, make you stronger over all mtn bikers!

    Fixed?
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  18. #18
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    Fixed on trails? I am not that crazy (yet) I find it hard enough to avoid hitting my pedals on rocks when I can ratchet to keep moving.

    It does not take a superman to ride SS. If I can do it ...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Fixed on trails? I am not that crazy (yet) I find it hard enough to avoid hitting my pedals on rocks when I can ratchet to keep moving.

    It does not take a superman to ride SS. If I can do it ...
    Fixed the title of the thread, not the gear...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dae3xt
    My friend, lance, claims that because he rides his single speed mtn bike on trails, that he is a stronger mtn bike rider. I told him that he probably became a stronger SS rider but not a stronger mtn biker with a geared mtn bike.
    But why would anyone want to ride a geared bike after a single speed?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Fixed on trails? I am not that crazy (yet) I find it hard enough to avoid hitting my pedals on rocks when I can ratchet to keep moving.

    It does not take a superman to ride SS. If I can do it ...
    I keep telling people that the hardest part of riding a fixed mtb is that muscle between your ears.

    You go quite a bit slower than even an SS, and it becomes more of a trials ride, especially in the bigger rocks. Yes, you whang your pedals, but you learn to hop the rear wheel slightly to unweight it, and reposition the cranks. The balance you learn, side to side, and front to back, to be truly centered over the bike, is incredibly enlightening. Descending steep techie terrain where you have to pedal, steer, brake, and balance is a zen activity, requiring total concentration, and only technical rock climbing has given me the same quiet rush and satisfaction.

    Don't hesitate to try it, just because you think it is crazy; most of your friends think you are seriously mentally deficient for wanting to ride a bicycle in the dirt as it is!

    Ok, back on the original topic, I agree with everyone except the OP. An SS makes you a stronger rider on any bicycle, just like miles on a road bike increases your endurance for mountain biking. The different workouts are synergistic and help each type of riding.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    But why would anyone want to ride a geared bike after a single speed?
    I love me rigid fixed / SS 29er bike, but it does not work well for me here.


    My geared double boinger 29er loves it though.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    I love me rigid fixed / SS 29er bike, but it does not work well for me here.


    My geared double boinger 29er loves it though.

    Man cannot live on bread alone..............
    I use my single speed 20" wheel bike for that sort of stuff
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    I use my single speed 20" wheel bike for that sort of stuff
    I saw that!

    You Aussies are a lot to begin with, and it seems like sunlight and strenuous outdoor activities seem to really bring out the in you. I used to do some rock climbing and mountaineering with a couple of wackos from your island. What a way to earn your pints!

    When are you going to try that bike fixed gear on those trails?
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  25. #25
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    yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by dae3xt
    Some additional notes to think about.
    - You can train just as hard on a geared mtn bike as you train on a single speed. A geared mtn bike is a superset of a single speed mtn bike.
    - You dont use your optimum efficient cadence on a single speed so you don't develop this strength
    ...
    When you ride a geared bike, you arent as concerned as to what line you pic... with a ss you need to pic the best line to kee pyour momentum, therefore makes you a faster more efficient rider... i have only been ss'ing for a month and have a very noticeable difference on how i ride.... and if you ride a rigid ss it makes you even a much better rider yet. as far as a training yes you can train as hard if not harder, but as far as strangth goes, i think a sss gives you much more strength because you do not have any choice BUT to be strong.

  26. #26
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    It allows me to wear my skinny jeans while riding my ss without the fear of getting caught on a big or small ring.

    That and be able to riding with 113.4% more efficiency so I can drink that much more PBR on special for $4 a can at the local bar.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    I saw that!

    You Aussies are a lot to begin with, and it seems like sunlight and strenuous outdoor activities seem to really bring out the in you. I used to do some rock climbing and mountaineering with a couple of wackos from your island. What a way to earn your pints!

    When are you going to try that bike fixed gear on those trails?
    I'm in Scotland at the moment - the Scotch "pints" are a wee bit stronger. That wee bike is almost perfect as it is so I've no changes planned, but I am planning "fixing" my Dahon Boardwalk - just bought it a present of a Campy Record Pista crank which is worth more than the rest of the bike. No doubt it will end up offroad - here's a pic of one of its offroad excursions (warning, embarrassing gearie pic).

    A 20" wheel bike is really useful - it can live in the car - and when you're driving along and see a useful track, out it comes. This one has had its wheels rebuilt very strongly (for obvious reasons)

    The small wheels also make any track you know well into a new track - in some ways better (incredible manoeuvrability, good pickup), in other ways more interesting!
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbebop
    ...I noticed that after some time on my SS, I get more tired / wore down when I spin the granny on my FS bike...??? Makes me want to stay in the middle ring more.
    Anyone else notice this?
    Your training different muscles in a different way and how those muscles are energized.

    Most people would consider a sprinter in track to be stronger than a distance runner but the distance runner will blow the sprinter away over a long run. This is very similar with SS to Geared bikes.

    Training specifically on a SS will only improve your performance on that machine at the trained interval. Hope on a geared bike for a much longer time and your almost sure to wonder if you have been training at all.

    The key is to mix your training and or riding. Mix it up. SS and geared. Your enjoyment and level of fitness will benifit for it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alumni
    .

    The key is to mix your training and or riding. Mix it up. SS and geared. Your enjoyment and level of fitness will benifit for it.
    thus why i have a road bike and i ride quite abit lately and still a phat phock
    must be the filipino foods my wife cooks every night

  30. #30
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    I notice I get on geared bikes and forget to change gears... so whether its made me stronger is still up for debate but made me dumber... sure.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alumni
    Your training different muscles in a different way and how those muscles are energized.

    Most people would consider a sprinter in track to be stronger than a distance runner but the distance runner will blow the sprinter away over a long run. This is very similar with SS to Geared bikes.

    Training specifically on a SS will only improve your performance on that machine at the trained interval. Hope on a geared bike for a much longer time and your almost sure to wonder if you have been training at all.

    The key is to mix your training and or riding. Mix it up. SS and geared. Your enjoyment and level of fitness will benifit for it.
    I think you summed this up perfectly above!!!

    Thanks for all the feedback here..

    I started this topic because Lance rode his SS way more than his geared bike and claimed that he is a stronger mtn biker because of this. He found this one trail (a climbing trail) where he thought was perfect for his SS and that he thought he can beat me in a time trial. I ride a geared mtn bike. We are both in good shape and Lance rides around 3-4 times a week, mostly SS. I told him that no SS bike will beat a geared bike anywhere. He disagreed and we raced. I came in at 13 minutes 40 seconds and he came in at 14 minutes 18 seconds. I ended up proving and I think everybody knows this that an SS rider at the same fitness level will never beat a geared rider. Hence most mtn biking pros ride geared bikes. I told my friend Lance to take his geared bike up the same trail and time himself. I have a feeling that he may be slower because of all his abundant SS riding . I will keep you guys posted on this result. This point is reflected with "Teekay"'s comment.. If Lance does come in slower with his geared bike, I think overall, he became a weaker mtn biker from riding his SS too much.

    Now I have to make a clarification that a Strong mtn bike rider means to me that this person goes from point A to point B of a trail in a very fast time.

    Like many of you, I totally believe in interval/tabata style training that SS offers you but I think you need to train on your optimum cadence as well (possibly majority of the time) vs. doing intervals majority of the time with your SS. I think this is why most mtn biking pros train mostly with geared bikes instead of SS.

    A lot of people are saying that they feel stronger with riding SS and you are probably getting stronger in your legs to power up the steep short sections, BUT Strength and fitness are too different things as mentioned by "soslo". just because you get stronger in your legs for climbing those steep sections doesn't necessarily mean that you are a stronger overall mtn biker. If I use this reasoning, all body builders with strong leg muscles are strong mtn bikers and we know that's not the case. I want to see some hard numbers like the shortening of stop watched/timed courses, etc when they rode their SS more than their geared bikes.

    If people have data like that, it would be interesting.

    Hey I have no problems with SS bikes but it's when people say you become a stronger mtn biker because you ride SS majority of the time is what I disagree on.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by One_Speed
    yes, IMHO much stronger and faster. If you work at it~!

    For those who are competitive and want to race bikes.
    Riding singlespeed can turn you into a winner. Will also develop lots more upper body/core strength.

    Reminds me of when I first started riding SS. Way back when you didn't see alot of SS.

    I had been riding over a year and decided to give XC racing a whirl.

    Started out beginner cross country and got stomped, 38th out of 60 and felt like vomiting. Could not believe how fast beginner class was. I was determined to improve.

    Took an old rockhopper and converted to SS. Kept Riding up mission peak (approx 1800-2000ft climb in 3? miles) until I could do it non stop. Then I started working on improving my times.

    Next season, showed up at beginner XC race and won by 5 minutes. ( I am a clydesdale size rider) Then moved up to sport.

    So I think with a SS you are kinda forced to push harder. Sometime you ride with max effort then walk, max effort than walk (or ride slow)

    That is basically interval/tabata style training and scientific studies (see link at bottom of post) show you get the quicker improvements by training that way.

    Some persons will not want to endure that type of physical exertion.

    But if you can go SS and work at it, I guarantee you will see an improvement.

    View abstract test results.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8...?dopt=Abstract

    I also find if you work on keeping a fast cadence, you can also improve your spin. You can really focus on turning circles.

    Some with building upper body strength can try and do a ride standing, you just let you weight fall and try to climb real slow.

    Just few drills I used to like to practice on my SS.

    I got the best results by riding geared and singlespeed. That kept my shifting skills fresh.

    Just another perspective and factual experience with SS

    -peace
    Do you ride your SS more than your geared bikes or vice versa?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dae3xt
    Do you ride your SS more than your geared bikes or vice versa?
    Varies with the season, I'm in CA and ride year round. Dry season I ride FS 2 to 1 SS each week; it is a matter of longer rides, more hours on the bike, rougher terrain.

    Wet season changes things to SS 3 to 1 FS each week, since short daylight and wet trails limit outings. The SS MTB also becomes a fixed MTB for most wet season rides as well, since the workout intensifies when you have to pedal down as well as up; Fixed night rides rawk.
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  34. #34
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    Everybody seems to have missed the fact that because riding a singlespeed is so awesome, you ride more, and are therefore likely to be in better shape and a better biker.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    Varies with the season, I'm in CA and ride year round. Dry season I ride FS 2 to 1 SS each week; it is a matter of longer rides, more hours on the bike, rougher terrain.

    Wet season changes things to SS 3 to 1 FS each week, since short daylight and wet trails limit outings. The SS MTB also becomes a fixed MTB for most wet season rides as well, since the workout intensifies when you have to pedal down as well as up; Fixed night rides rawk.
    Very interesting in your selection of rides. it seems like you mix it up so I'm sure it totally makes you a stronger rider. I ride mission peak (3 trees) as well sometimes. I live in old porter ranch (tampa and Rinald). That is a tough ride for a SS.

    Did you race at castaic lake for your XC .. Bud light series? I was in a couple of those races.. back in early 2000. Beginner class and top 10 was my best finish. they have a lot of strong riders there.

    I'll totally look for a SS rider around my area. You ever try rocky peak with your SS. that will be a challenge for sure..

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dae3xt
    I came in at 13 minutes 40 seconds and he came in at 14 minutes 18 seconds. I ended up proving and I think everybody knows this that an SS rider at the same fitness level will never beat a geared rider.
    Aren't you now claiming to have proved something different to what this thread started out discussing?

    Surely testing for whether "Riding a SS, make you a stronger overall mtn biker?" is all about riders who do not have the same fitness levels. Surely it is about how lance's fitness has improved over months of SS riding.

    Perhaps your test should be to ride SS as much as lance for two/three months and then go back to that climb on your geared bike and see if you can do it in 13 mins 20.

  37. #37
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    You racing your friend only shows that you went faster than him on one particular ride. How does that carry over to a blanket statement about SS benefits carrying over to all MTB riding in a particular person? Did you go to the George W Bush school of science? LOL!

    The way to do this would be to switch to time yourself on this course, then ride SS yourself for 3 months and run it again on your geared bike under as close to the same conditions as you can. If your time improves or declines a noticeable degree then you can draw conclusions.

  38. #38
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    The SS has made me stronger -- I climb in a higher gear than I used to on my geared bike, for the same perceived effort. The other difference I've noticed is that with that extra bit of strength, some technical uphill stuff that used to stop me seems easier.

    I also now seem to notice I don't spin quite as high cadence as I used to on my geared bike. That may have been helping me in tech situations too.

    Could I have just ridden in higher gears on the geared bike? Yes. But, the SS _forces_ you to ride in a gear that is too high sometimes. It forces you to stand for some climbs, and forces you to turn a lower cadence with more power. I just needed to be forced, I guess.

    OH -- and since my ss is rigid, that also helped me become a bit less reliant on suspension to eat up the bumps. I would guess that I ride a bit better because of that, too.

  39. #39
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    You don't improve because you've ridden just a ss for the past year, you've gotten stronger because you've got another year of riding under your belt. It doesn't matter what the bike is, riding is riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_slacker
    You racing your friend only shows that you went faster than him on one particular ride. How does that carry over to a blanket statement about SS benefits carrying over to all MTB riding in a particular person? Did you go to the George W Bush school of science? LOL!

    The way to do this would be to switch to time yourself on this course, then ride SS yourself for 3 months and run it again on your geared bike under as close to the same conditions as you can. If your time improves or declines a noticeable degree then you can draw conclusions.
    yes.I agree. this will be a good test. but I don't have a SS.

    I will have my buddy lance do this test since he has both bikes. But if he rides his geared bike up space mountain right now (after riding so much of his SS) and the time is slower than his SS time, i think that shows that he just became a stronger SS rider but it effected his geared riding to the point he got slower than if he would have just trained on the geared bike. hence possibly did not become a stronger mtn biker.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm
    Aren't you now claiming to have proved something different to what this thread started out discussing?
    yes. I did prove something different.

    I still haven't proved that riding SS majority of the time makes you a stronger or weaker rider yet. I just believe that my common sense tells me that riding majority of the time on your SS will make you a weaker rider in the sense that if you ride a geared bike all the time, you probably would get to point A to point B in a faster time than riding your SS a lot and then hopping on a geared bike and riding from point A to point B.

    I wonder if people already understand and agree on the following:
    If person A trains full time on a geared bike and races person B who trains on a SS full time, and the race is a geared bike vs. an SS bike. Most likely the geared bike (person A) will win on any mtn bike course.making the geared bike rider a stronger mtn biker.

    My thinking is then the following:- which others may disagree on..
    If person A trains on a geared bike and races person B who trains full time on a SS but Person B now hops on a geared bike to race person A, Person A who trained with a geared bike will probably win the race.

    With this logic, I'm assuming that a person who rides SS majority of the time is making himself a weaker mtn biker.

  42. #42
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    No question. You stand on it all the time with a SS. When I rode a roadie, I sat and spun, like a fat dork, up medium hills. Now I build up my speed fast as possible, shift to the big ring, and stand on it...I clear them much faster now. My knees don't hurt anymore, either.
    I'm convinced it's the SS.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dae3xt
    Very interesting in your selection of rides. it seems like you mix it up so I'm sure it totally makes you a stronger rider. I ride mission peak (3 trees) as well sometimes. I live in old porter ranch (tampa and Rinald). That is a tough ride for a SS.

    Did you race at castaic lake for your XC .. Bud light series? I was in a couple of those races.. back in early 2000. Beginner class and top 10 was my best finish. they have a lot of strong riders there.

    I'll totally look for a SS rider around my area. You ever try rocky peak with your SS. that will be a challenge for sure..
    I am 200+ miles north of you in San Luis Obispo.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  44. #44
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    Everyone here has compelling arguments and thoughts on the subject. Each style Rigid SS or FS XC will have its different riders that excell at it. Like what someone said earler you will have to test yourself in both situations to determine weather it is fact or not, and with that said it must be multiple tests due to the fact that everyone has better days and worse days. Even then you need alot of data from multiple people to make the clear determination and state a fact. No matter what the outcome I will continue to ride my SS with my geared pals because its fun. If I ever turn pro (not likely) Im sure I will ride the latest geared fandangle with shocks and more computer processing power than my PC, because I must win to pay the bills, untill then I take great satisfaction in the fact that my bud's look at me weird when I pass them in the technical short uphills that they cant figure out, and when I meet a new friend on the trail and they say "your riding that, I already know your psyco", but thats what makes me tick. Any way this thread is giving me a headace, I think I will go hit the trails, have fun everybody. Mark
    You Can't Triple Stamp A Double Stamp!

  45. #45
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    I think dae3xt proved you are faster on a geared bike. Does that mean your stronger on a geared bike. You and Lance should have traded bikes and checked your times. That would have been interesting.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dae3xt
    I told him that no SS bike will beat a geared bike anywhere.
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb.php?i...quamegonfest07

    You have some good arguments, but I think that claim is a little too bold. That link shows that a single speed can win against geared bikes.
    Last edited by smoen81; 09-26-2008 at 11:34 AM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoen81
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb.php?i...quamegonfest07

    You have some good arguments, but I think that claim is a little too bold. That link shows that a single speed can win against geared bikes.
    Another link where current and repeat national XC champ (and '07 World SS champ!) Adam Craig raced his SS and beats other pros on geared bikes. 2nd place was Carl Decker, also on a SS. This was in '07.
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb.php?i...7/may19mtbnews
    I feel like riding the SS in addition to my geared bike has made me faster overall. It could be just having another year of riding and racing under my belt, but riding the SS has changed the way I ride overall. I'm more conscious of conserving momentum and powering up short steep sections instead of spinning in a low gear. There are more times where when I'm climbing and starting to get cooked, I'll actually upshift and stand rather than downshift. This is faster. I suppose I could have learned this on the geared bike, but climbing on a SS has made me realize that maybe I'm stronger than I think.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    I'm in Scotland at the moment - the Scotch "pints" are a wee bit stronger.
    lol yeah i know I have the Scott's "tree trunk legs" lol
    I am Scottish by blood but was adopted in a french family..... this is probably why i am starting to find 18/32 abit to slow... time to kick it up a notch

  49. #49
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    well I think the point dea3xt is trying to make is his geared bikes still have a purpose damnit!!! I mean he spent how many thousands on his FS bad ass bike so he can beat his buddy lance anywhere... Well I remember when I only rode my 3 geared bikes(5000$ worth) ... then I got myself a 600 buck single speed. Well I am not shure about any of you but I sure felt like a complete dumb ass for wasting my money on bikes that are over built. I am Always faster on my single speed. But hey what I really think is SS were invented to hurt rich guys ego's when they think there 4 thousand dollar wonder bike will make them faster but then a SSer blurs past them on a climb and they never see them again...

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Bastard
    well I think the point dea3xt is trying to make is his geared bikes still have a purpose damnit!!! I mean he spent how many thousands on his FS bad ass bike so he can beat his buddy lance anywhere... Well I remember when I only rode my 3 geared bikes(5000$ worth) ... then I got myself a 600 buck single speed. Well I am not shure about any of you but I sure felt like a complete dumb ass for wasting my money on bikes that are over built. I am Always faster on my single speed. But hey what I really think is SS were invented to hurt rich guys ego's when they think there 4 thousand dollar wonder bike will make them faster but then a SSer blurs past them on a climb and they never see them again...
    yeah i feel that way too... feel like kicking myself in the nuts for spending so much money on geared bikes... i do still have one but just a mid level HT that i use to ride with my wife being she is a beginner.
    And yes I noticed that too on climbs if I am behind the peeps i ride with i notice they are somewhat slower to get up but hey im still a beginner SS'er

  51. #51
    Got single track/speed?
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    Nice trolling dae3xt. Almost had me......

  52. #52
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    who says singlespeeds don't have gears. Let's see.... how many gears does my SS have?
    1 - walking slowly
    2 - walking normal
    3 - walking quickly
    4 - standing and pedaling really hard, pulling with arms, barely able to breath, etc
    5 - "rest step" pedaling, standing up, keeping legs as straight as possible (straighten leg as high in pedal stroke as you can, drop weight on pedal using your straight leg bones to push)
    6 - standing, pedaling less effort
    7 - standing, pedaling easy
    8 - sitting, pedaling hard
    9 - sitting, spinning with good resistance
    10 - sitting spinning fast
    11 - sitting, spinning REALLY fast
    12 - sitting, coasting
    13 - sitting, hands on bar ends for semi-aero
    14 - sitting, one hand on stem, one hand in close for full aero

    see, lots of gears! and geared bikes have lots of combos that don't really work anyway (ie little rings in the front and back)

  53. #53
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    I converted to SS a couple of months ago, and I'm definitely a faster rider for it. I commute up a hill every day, and in the 18 months doing it geared I never cleared it sitting down, but having ss'd for a while I'm able to do it easily.

    I went back to my geared FS recently, and was able to climb a good deal faster than my normally faster riding buddies, because I was in a higher gear but spinning at the same cadence as them.

    It's not scientific in the slightest, but I feel faster and I put it down to SS.

  54. #54
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    My riding time has been split pretty much evenly between SS and geared this year, with a slight emphasis on SS. The SS made me a much stronger rider in a number of different ways:

    -- way more leg strength so much less need to change gears
    -- far better use of momentum
    -- greater variety of approaches to climbing

    The only thing it weakened was my ability to use gears. A few times I got on the geared bike and I really felt like I'd forgotten how to use them. I found myself forgetting to change gear, so when it came time to downshift, I'd be in the wrong front chainring AND back cog.

    It was interesting watching which bike I chose for a ride. The SS was the default. If I was riding with faster riders on geared bikes, I'd go with the gearie.

    By the end of the season I was no more tired at the end of a SS ride than a gearie ride. But a hard ride on the SS would burn up my legs for the next day, and I'd usually take the gearie if I rode two days in a row.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  55. #55
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    I won't re-hash some of the reasons others have cited that I agree with, but I will add that since SS helps you focus on momentum, I'm more instinctive on picking the cleanest lines possible.



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  56. #56
    fwd... that's how I roll
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    I started to drink more beer after spending more time on the SS vs. gears... after 8 yrs on the SS vs. 15 yrs on gears ... I would say that I'm getting old and it doesn't matter which provides the better skillset, fittness level or overall strength ... they both kinda balance out in the long run ... I just enjoy riding my SS more & I really enjoy the beer that follows ...

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