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  1. #1
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    single speed as first mountain bike?

    I've been riding a road bike now for about 9 months now, and I'm hooked. I've taken it on some gravel roads and it's done ok, but I'm wanting something I can take on rougher dirt roads, easier single track, etc. I've ridden a few geared mountain bikes, but I'm kind of intrigued with the simplicity and value of a single speed. My goals are to enjoy being out on a bike, fitness, and fun. I also like the idea of being able to change tires, put on some fenders and have a bike to take camping, to the beach, greenways, etc. I plan to go on my next day off and ride a couple, specifically the Kona Unit and Trek/Fisher Marlin single speed. My question is: Am I setting myself up to be frustrated? Am I letting my somewhat romantic notion of "Man and machine" cloud my judgement? Am I better off starting out with a "Regular," mountain bike? For what it's worth, I'm 50, 5'11", 165, in fairly good shape.

  2. #2
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    Getting a singlespeed as your first mountain bike is a great idea, its lots of fun and you don't have to worry about making mistakes like shifting into the wrong gear on a hill and breaking something in your drivetrain. All you have to do is pedal harder when you get to a hill! Why do you think lots of children's bikes are singlespeed?! Simplicity, so there is less of a learning curve. All you have to really concentrate on is the trail instead of what gear would be best...

    hope that helps
    Buy a f-ing bike maybe you wouldn't be fat

  3. #3
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    Go for it. You may end up going SS for your roadie as well.

  4. #4
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    + rep for even mentioning it !
    You became weak loafing around in that big girly gear! -Soares

  5. #5
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    If you are fit and willing to put in the effort - go for it! I rode many years on a geared bike and when I went to a rigid SS five years ago, I ended up getting rid of all my other off-road bikes, except one that has sat in the garage since... The quiet ride and simplicity are great. There are places where gears can be nice - touring in hilly country with a larger load, etc... but if the frame you get has a hanger, or ability to put one on, you can run a cable with zip ties. That way if you DON'T like it, you didn't get a bike you won't use. IMO - it sounds like you might like SS though...
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living
    http://www.endlesscyclesonline.com

  6. #6
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    Did you have a bike when you were a little kid? if you did, was it a single speed? Most people I know started out that way.

  7. #7
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    They make ti ss'ers in ur neck of the woods !
    You became weak loafing around in that big girly gear! -Soares

  8. #8
    Teen Wolf
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    you will be absolutely fine. singlespeeding is not this huge, mind shattering difference like people here would lead you to believe. it's simply riding a more simple bike and it's not any more difficult than riding a geared bike.

  9. #9
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    Do it! I did and love it. It is hard at first until you get stronger and dial in your gearing; but it is nowhere near as hard as geared riders seem to think (but don't tell them as it makes us look cool on the trails).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr45h View Post
    you will be absolutely fine. singlespeeding is not this huge, mind shattering difference like people here would lead you to believe. it's simply riding a more simple bike and it's not any more difficult than riding a geared bike.
    + 1 Just make sure you don't make it too easy by adding too many teeth on the rear cop ! 32x16 should be perfect.
    You became weak loafing around in that big girly gear! -Soares

  11. #11
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    I'm pretty much doing the same. Having close to 7000 acres of trails basically in my back yard, I decided to get a bike. I bought a used Santa Cruz Heckler at the end of the summer- the full suspension is nice for bombing the downhills and jumps, but its more than I need for most of the trails I ride. Shifting gears is annoying to me. I like to stand and mash(since being a liitle kid, and until my dirt jumping days, it was always single speed). The group of people I ride with has a few guys that ride SS, and they're fast. So I decided to build up a SS 29er, and its almost complete. Don't plan on ever putting gears on it, but we'll see how it goes.

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