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  1. #151
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    I am influenced, too

    A nice thread. After all the years I started my first single spped last year and it wa a great success. It is a 1991 Kona "Lava Dome" an I hope to ride it a lot more this summer.

  2. #152
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    ive become stronger riding 500kms on my ss than my friend with 1500kms on his geared bike.

    true story.

  3. #153
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    ... and if we just ... Reset

    Yesterday I did what I hoped I could. I got myself and my Karate Monkey Single Up to the top of South Table Mountain under my own power. .(No I didn't have to push either!) Though I did use a cog that most of you would find laughable, a 24t Rennen, paired to my 32t ring, I was hoping that I would not find my desire to ride a nice single speed a waste of time and money. I actually think that I can perhaps handle a 23 or maybe even gasp a 22t rear. Most of the crowd around here climbs this trail with an 18 and a 34, they however are without exception all at least 35 plus years my junior. I hope that I can drop down a size or two before fall, as I still like to hammer the flats and even with 40 years of road experience I can still TT pretty well. ( Was always in the top ten Norcal TT champs when I was primed). Still at this point climbing was so much of a rush flailing myself to near death on the flats and downhills was not a significant enough detriment that I would change anything today. Matter of fact I am going back out their right now.

  4. #154
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    What makes me like my SS the most is that it gives the same feeling as going hiking up the mountains. There is no gear system that allows me to walk faster on flats or downhill, nor there is a way to go faster uphill but using all the power and speed of my own legs. It's not just hiking, it is same for canoening, sea kayaking, etcetera. Why should it be different with cycling when it doesn't have to?

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikhalit View Post
    What makes me like my SS the most is that it gives the same feeling as going hiking up the mountains. There is no gear system that allows me to walk faster on flats or downhill, nor there is a way to go faster uphill but using all the power and speed of my own legs. It's not just hiking, it is same for canoening, sea kayaking, etcetera. Why should it be different with cycling when it doesn't have to?

  6. #156
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    Tried my buddies KM rigid the other day....i'm officially hooked for life. Now I know why he disappears on the climbs. The not thinking about what gear your in is huge, helped me concentrate on aggressive lines and how to get it done on my own.

  7. #157
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    What made me go SS...well I really enjoy trail running as well as road running. My plan is to finish a 100 miler before cut off time in whatever race I choose as my first in this distance...last year whilst running a 16 mile loop it clicked. When running in the Mtn's, or road for that matter, the only gear I have is my legs. If I want to run faster I lean forward more at my ankles and go, and slower, lean less... So, how's this crossover? SS'n and running are all about ( on the bike ) cadence, ( cadence= stride during the run) and pacing. Running, the exact same...prior, before crossing over to the dark side, I'd ride and barley shift gears. When I did, I was having to think of when to shift and whatnot...wasted energy in my mind... This past winter on the fat bike set up as a1x10 I found myself in the same boat, ridding only one gear. Every time I changed gears(prior to some experimenting) I'd shift and spin out on some of the steeper climbs and end up pushing...tried the same trails in one gear, pace went up as well as ease of ridding and fun factor...so, thanks to running, Im a faithful SS'er (fatbike and skinny)
    I say, don't be bound by gears, when humans have everything we need built into us already to climb and rail the trails which we ride. Gears (for me) only complicate things...
    It works for me, and in the end that's all that matters....

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKxc View Post
    When running in the Mtn's, or road for that matter, the only gear I have is my legs. If I want to run faster I lean forward more at my ankles and go, and slower, lean less... So, how's this crossover? SS'n and running are all about ( on the bike ) cadence, ( cadence= stride during the run) and pacing. Running, the exact same...
    Very well noted! I've never thought of it, but SS riding, when you manage to keep the momentum up, indeed resembles a very efficient running, almost dreamlike experience (the kind of dreams where you can float-run, as opposed to nightmares about exerting lots of effort but barely moving).
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  9. #159
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    I had got SS jump bike (giant STP) for 3 years and liked to pedal it very much.

    I was interested how much fun it should be to ride SS XC bike. So I converted my XTC.

    I was sure that it would be impossible to climb the steep sections. I was wrong. I liked climbing before, but now it became the ultimate fun and much faster(32/16 gear).

    Riding SS you stand much so the suspension fork bobbing becomes an issue. So I locked out the fork and left it there. "Why shuldn't I try rigid fork then?" - I thought. I wasn't sure If I would be able to run technical trails with a rigid fork. I was wrong again. Riding rigid appeared to be great fun, it teaches you the flow, it gives wonderful experience of feeling the surface under you.

    It was clear for me that if climbing is fun, I would spin out on flats. I was wrong again. Because SS teaches you to spin effeciently in high cadence. And I don't care about my top speed now. 30 km/h (on 130 rpm) is more than enough on most XC trails. And you are able to show higher speeds in sprint (up to 40 km/h) I bet the average speed on the trail has increased. Yesterday I practised my pedalling technique (one leg spinning and fast spinning) and saw that it's possible to spin fast and efficient.

    I'm happy that I was wrong all that times. You are allways wrong until you try something yourself. My singlespeed has opened the door to the new aspects of riding. 27 gears give you 27 limitations. Rigid SS destroys those limitations and gives you the feeling of continuous motion as it should be by nature.

    Thank you guys! Because reading this forum had great influence on my SS conversion.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post
    27 gears give you 27 limitations.
    Instant signature line right there!

    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post
    Riding SS you stand much so the suspension fork bobbing becomes an issue. So I locked out the fork and left it there. "Why shuldn't I try rigid fork then?" - I thought. I wasn't sure If I would be able to run technical trails with a rigid fork. I was wrong again. Riding rigid appeared to be great fun, it teaches you the flow, it gives wonderful experience of feeling the surface under you.
    I'm about to think that I managed to get the best of both worlds on this: a Manitou fork with tuned Absolute+ shim stack, which I always run with low speed compression damping closed. I tuned the stack to have very little platform, only enough to prevent bobbing if I pull on the bars while hammering. I also put some speed dependency in there, so that once the fork opens, it feels bottomless.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  11. #161
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    I grew up as a downhill rider, moved on to BMXing, now I'm a proud owner of a Surly 1x1 Rigid.
    I think I'm getting the best out of both worlds now.

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post
    *Very Good Post*
    Thank's @Igoreha

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post
    27 gears give you 27 limitations.
    And the _____ is the main one...

    you fill in the blank.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  14. #164
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    Hey everyone, new to the forum

    I am John from Winter Haven, Florida. I started mountain biking 2 1/2 years ago, and was hooked immediately. After tons of crashes, endos, scrapes, bruises, and a broken ankle, I started catching on and my technical skills improved. I have upgraded bikes several times, and I had the opportunity to get a hold of a nice Giant carbon single speed about a month ago. I loved it from the start, the simplicity, the quietness, and it moved out thru the trails great. My friends were all impressed how well I did on it. Hills are going to be a project, but I am learning to explode before a hill and I have been doing alot better. I just bought a Cannondale SL4 29er with hydralic disc brakes, and I got on line and ordered everything I need to convert it to a SS. Can't wait for the parts to come in. Like someone said in an earlier post, it's more than just riding, it's a lifestyle or religion. I do most of my riding at Loyce Harpe Park in South Lakeland, Florida. It has a great varity if trails. Anyway, looking foward to talking with you SS guys more on this forum.
    John

  15. #165
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    Rode BMX. Rode MTB. And then didn't do **** for years. Got back into it last fall and picked up a Mariachi. I was hesitant to take it out of the shop as a SS. I mean, it had gears on it already. And what if I was a total ****? Switched it over to SS this spring and there ain't no goin' back. It's quieter, more peaceful, faster and more rewarding.

    Amazingly, after my usual ride, I feel I'm less tired than I was when I was running the gears. So what are all those gears for?

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlacey View Post
    Rode BMX. Rode MTB. And then didn't do **** for years. Got back into it last fall and picked up a Mariachi. I was hesitant to take it out of the shop as a SS. I mean, it had gears on it already. And what if I was a total ****? Switched it over to SS this spring and there ain't no goin' back. It's quieter, more peaceful, faster and more rewarding.

    Amazingly, after my usual ride, I feel I'm less tired than I was when I was running the gears. So what are all those gears for?
    Those gears are for n00bs, racers, and fat bikes

  17. #167
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    My Surly CC (with gears) goes faster since I started to single speed in the woods.

    I got my El Mariachi last week and o brothers and sisters how nice a ride can be!

  18. #168
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    SS love on NSMB!?!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by NSMB.com
    Single speeds have interested me from the very beginning, or even before the beginning, back when I was a young liftie reading mountain bike magazines in the top shack. I was always part skeptic and part curious. I like simple things and for the vast majority of my mountain biking life I have ridden hardtails. As uncommon as they are in BC, I had still only seen a few single speeds and the obvious implications of only having one gear made me question the practical applications of these bikes.

    At the end of a summer of guiding for Tyax Adventures in the South Chilcotins, I made my semi-yearly pilgrimage to Cumberland on Vancouver Island. Most of the riding I have done around the Comox Valley has left me physically shattered, wondering what sort of hell these trails were bred in, yet most locals seem to float over the unforgiving terrain. To see guys like Jeremy Grasby, owner of the Riding Fool Hostel, ride a single speed through this terrain was an eye opener.

    The South Chilcotins are hard on drivetrains: creek crossings, mud, overgrown sections and long days on the trail can wreak havoc on a bike. During one of our rides, Martin Ready, owner of Island Mountain Rides, and former Tyax guide, cracked in his trademark dry humour that if I was only going to use three gears and that I should just buy a single speed...

    Without thinking much more about the single speed crack and with the intention of simply getting a new drivetrain I sauntered into Dodge City Cycles and there hanging on the wall was an orange Surly 1x1 frame Ė it was like it was meant to be. I thought it over for the night and the next day I built it up on a spare stand in the shop and was on the trails by 2pm. I had no idea how long I was going to keep this bike and at times just looking at it was enough to put fear in my heart. I figured I could ride it through the fall and off it in the spring if I did not like it.

    Weighing in around 30 pounds this is not a whippet build, though it is by far the lightest most XC style frame I have owned in a number of years. Some of the parts were pillaged off my 2007 Norco Manic. I added a Pike 454 air, FSA pig headset, Chromag handlebar, seat and seat collar to the XT crank arms, Mavic 721 rims, 70mm Raceface Evolve stem and Avid Juicy 3 brakes.

    At first I ran a 32 x 18 gear ratio because that is what I had to work with at the time. I soon went to 34 x 20 which is just bit easier to turn. After a while a set of Elixir R brakes found their way onto the bike. It took me a long, long time to give into the longer stem this bike is designed for but once I mounted a 90mm stem the bike felt a whole lot more comfortable. Too bad my back wonít forgive me for all those years with the short stem just yet. With this build the Surly has really settled into its skin. A true work horse build.

    The frame was designed around an 80mm fork. The Pike's adjustable travel from 140mm to 110mm raked out the 1990's XC geometry. The head tube angle is on par with most modern bikes while the seat tube feels like youíre behind the pedals and the top tube feels just plain weird while seated. To compensate for the slack seat tube I spend a lot of time with the fork dialled down to 125mm, and while it does lack some of the small bump absorption in this setting I seldom feel like I need the extra 15mm. However if I have a long descent in front of me I donít hesitate to crank it to the full 140mm.
    Surly chain stays come stickered with ďfatties fit fineĒ and the rear triangle can host up to 2.7 inches of rubber if you are so inclined. I've never paid much attention to tire weight and prefer to be on the beefier side; the single speed has taught me the meaning of the term rotational mass. While I donít have the coin for light and strong in the hoop department and have continued to ride the Mavic 721s, I have migrated towards lighter, faster rubber. Currently I have a set of Maxxis Ardents 2.4s. With their tight packed centre knobs and predictable side knobs these tires roll fast and corner well without a huge weight penalty.

    Water bottle holders are not used much in B.C. having fallen out of fad, but this bike has been equipped with one, and at times two, for most of its life. In the summer I pack bear spray and a bottle of sugar water as a backup thirst quencher. *Side note, if you pack bear spray be careful not to puncture the can, clients (or your buddies) donít like to be sprayed as I happened to find out.
    The saying goes that single speeds have three gears: sit, stand, and push. The transition to single speed was not an easy one... they are an inferior tool no matter how you look at it. The first ride out of Cumberland to Forbidden Plateau went well enough, though I found that my thumbs were hunting for gears on all the climbs. Then a dusty trip down Wild Bills in Pemberton had me questioning the reality of riding such a pinner hardtail.

    It took me a dozen rides to stop thinking about gears. Once I did I stopped thinking about the tool and focused entirely on the ride. Having only one gear means you really have to know how to pedal your bike. From slow grunting climbs which use the upper body to power through obstacles, to high cadence spinning, single speeds force to you do it all, placing the onus of fitness and ability firmly on the rider. The only clear advantage to a single speed is knowing that no matter how rough the terrain is I am not going to drop my chain or ghost shift. Always knowing what gear I am in so that when it comes time to put power to the pedal I donít hesitate.

    Riding the Surly I have found that I think more about my routes than when on a geared bike. Hike-a-Biking has its place in the world but I try to avoid it if I can. New bikes always make old trails fresh, but stripping all the gear options off a bike changes the way you look at riding. Momentum becomes a necessity, knowing when to be on the pedals, and when to rest, using your brakes sparingly, looking way up trail. Back yard climbs become like bouldering problems, I solve sections one problem at a time until I can link it together and clean the entire thing.

    And then there is the silence. No chain slap. No deraileur smashing around on the ass end. No gears clicking. No mystery pings that you get with an aluminium frame. The 4130 chromoly frame has a great ride feel, being both forgiving and snappy.

    When I first got the bike I didnít know if I was going to be able to guide on it. I worried about being too slow on the flats and pushing way too much. I soon found the opposite problem: having only one gear means you end up hammering most climbs, if you donít you end up pushing making it hard to go slow. It is one thing to drop your friends, but most people hiring a guide don't like it when the guide leaves them in the dust. Leading rides in the 40 plus km range with people you have never met before, pacing becomes one of the hardest parts. Finding the flow of the ride, keeping the group reasonably well spaced without being strung out, these are things that are hard to do on a geared bike, let alone a single speed.

    Sometimes my job takes me on multi-day rides. These are always the cherry on the cake that is summer. Out in the park, with good people, riding through stunning landscapes, these trips mean long and fulfilling work days. Without having to deal with my own bike maintenance itís that much easier to help clients and get the rest I need for another long day.

    Then there are the days where random friends show up at the door on a day off, dangling the carrot of an interesting line. These are the times when I truly appreciate the reliability of a simple ride. Lube the chain, fill up the water bottle, and just go. Long rides are the norm in the South Chilcotin. Once you get away from Gun Creek, a six hour ride is a short day. While thereís a lot of super buff single track, start poking around the less travelled parts of the park and the willow shrub, hidden rocks and long descents make you consider packing a spare derailleur, a couple hangers, a hand full of chain links and a set of brake pads Ė or you could simplify your ride.
    Burly Surly | NSMB.e.MAGAZINE - Freeride, Extreme and North Shore style Mountain Biking
    Trailwrecker at large

  19. #169
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    Just to chime in...

    I have had a single speed in the quiver for the last 5 years.. and sadly (or happily) my Heckler has been demoted to my "other bike" and I ride the SS most of the time. I am a 32 X 20 (soon to be 21) guy but I can ride almost anything that I want to. I miss the tractor climbing power of a 2.5 maxxis tire over loose dirt with 22 X 34 ratio... but really riding the Jabberwocky makes all my local trails really fun again and I can clear the same stuff!

    I am now to the point where I will explore and try new trails on the SS and just do not worry about what the trail is going to look like. I know I can make it - or at least get a great workout making the attempt.

    Long live the Heckler - she was a great bike.. but gears are over until I need knee surgery.

    Great thread all.
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  20. #170
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    This year I'v broken my 26 XC rigid SS (the fork and the frame are dead).

    But i had one more SS - my giant STP jump bike. But climbing on it was noting like XC bike. To make it a good climber I should spend a lot of money to make it light. Even then it wouldn't become pedalable enough. So i needed smth. pedalable. SINGLESPEED ONLY!

    And what do you think I bought? It's 2011 giant bowery mashup fixed gear road bike which was in stock (750 $). I would never buy a fixedgear bike, but it has a flip-flop hub, both brakes and was setup as singlespeed (which was great for me). I rode with freewheel at first, but decided to try fixed once.

    At first I thought: WTF? Later it felt enteresting. Now I absolutely love this bike in fixedgear configuration.

    But that's not all! I tried to ride it in the forest on non technical trails and it's much, MUCH better than I thought! Even though it has 48/17 gear and 25mm slicks pumped to 8 bar it performed acceptable.
    It was clear that it was because of big wheels (compared to 26) and steel frame and fork. Then I thought: "How should rigid 29er perform then? - It should be a BLAST!".

    A fixedgear bike definately worth a try. It emproved my balance, power, skills. With 48/17 gear walking became my option on XC trail, but I walk less, than I thought. This week I took part in the 5 km XC time trial and walked only 3 times. My average speed was more than 18 km/h and that is more than I showed last year on my geared bike.

    Ofcourse, bowery is not an XC bike (but good train and commuter bike), It wouldn't be fast on steep and technical terrain.
    So, now I'm going to make salsa el mariachi. No way to gears and suspension - ONLY RIGID SS.
    Easton Haven 29'er have just arrived. I'm going to have my third SS!

  21. #171
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  22. #172
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    I recently got a Kona Unit and got serious about singlespeed and I must say I really love it. I was in a bit of a rut, but the new bike brought the enthusiasm back, I can't wait to go riding again..

    However I'm completely bombed. It's almost like back when I started riding mountain bikes, I'm dead tired in the evenings and sleep like a rock.

    I feel like I carry every single climb I do with me to the next one and once I reach that 6th or 7th hill I'm out of go-juice. On my geared bike I kinda "reset" on the downhill stretches, getting ready for an almost fresh start on the next climb up, but on my SS it seems I carry the previous climbs with me..

    I really love it though, I'm sure I'll get stronger and eventually get over the hump, I'm not quite matching my geared times yet, but that'll come too I'm sure..

    Fun, fun, fun, but damn I'm exhausted after my SS rides at the moment..

  23. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    I recently got a Kona Unit and got serious about singlespeed and I must say I really love it. I was in a bit of a rut, but the new bike brought the enthusiasm back, I can't wait to go riding again..

    However I'm completely bombed. It's almost like back when I started riding mountain bikes, I'm dead tired in the evenings and sleep like a rock.

    I feel like I carry every single climb I do with me to the next one and once I reach that 6th or 7th hill I'm out of go-juice. On my geared bike I kinda "reset" on the downhill stretches, getting ready for an almost fresh start on the next climb up, but on my SS it seems I carry the previous climbs with me..

    I really love it though, I'm sure I'll get stronger and eventually get over the hump, I'm not quite matching my geared times yet, but that'll come too I'm sure..

    Fun, fun, fun, but damn I'm exhausted after my SS rides at the moment..
    How long you been riding SS? How much time off you taking between rides?

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw2jr View Post
    How long you been riding SS? How much time off you taking between rides?
    I've only been riding SS for 2-3 weeks, something like 150 miles total, so I'm new at it and still getting to grips with when to push and when to coast, so to speak.

    My riding pattern in general depends on time, weather and energy, typically around 18-20 rides per month. I aim at getting at least 3 rides per week but when the weather is nice like the current it's not unusual for me to put in 5-6 rides in a week. My rides are pretty consistent 15 mile loops unless I hit one of those days with "rubber legs" and turn back after a couple of miles.

    I don't ride all rides equally hard, some days I go all in and aim for my record, other days I go easy and just put in the miles nice and easy without forcing it.

    I'm used to frequent riding, doing 4-5 days in a row isn't uncommon. I've been doing patterns like that for more than a year on my geared bike now.

    I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of adapting to climbing every hill full steam ahead on the SS, I've got no aching joints and my muscles feels spent in the regular good way, I just have a harder time keeping awake at night after switching to SS mashing..

  25. #175
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    If I simplify my bike any more I will be a trail runner.

  26. #176
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    I just bought a $1500 2012 TREK RIG for my Fiance (she doesn't get the "gears") i couldn't resist, so i put the seat up and took it for a blast, so much fun I am loving it. So quite no chain slapping and so on its been 3 days since my $6000 INTENSE tracer2 has been out on the trails

  27. #177
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    Spot on!! I always thought single speeders were nuts!! As of two weeks ago I finally broke down and tried my buddy's out on the weekly ride, and developed an addiction! I got my first one last week and I'm stoked!! A 29er single speed is a hard thing to beat!
    Last edited by UpillDaemon; 08-22-2012 at 01:43 PM.

  28. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by UpillDaemon View Post
    Spot on!! I always thought single speeders were nuts!! As of two weeks ago I finally broke down and tried my buddies out on the weekly ride, and developed an addiction! I got my first one last week and I'm stoked!! A 29er single speed is a hard thing to beat!
    a RIGID single speed 29er can My squishy bike has not left the basement since I picked up my Karate Monkey a week ago. I have found myself riding a ton more and much longer too!

  29. #179
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    I agree. I picked up a rare specialized stump jumper convert. Its way fun, and so quiet!
    Mit einem Ziel vor Augen schaffst du ALLES!!! or in other words... Just do it.

  30. #180
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    Ouch.

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    ... and if we just ...

    By accident.. Around 2004 I had an old DB Apex taking up space and needed a putt around town bike, so I singulated it. Hmm, this is not bad. Decided I wanted to try a 29er later that year and found a Surley KM here on MTBR for a good deal and went for it. I was in ID at the time and would trade off riding the KM and my baby Titus RX, enjoying the totally different ride I'd get from both. In 05 work took us from the vistas of ID to the flatlands of the FL panhandle. Still trails available that were fun in Pensacola and on Eglin AFB, but the RX and all it's g-whiz technology/shocks/gears was serious overkill. One day I had a spoke give up the ghost and unable to find a replacement (Mavic Xmax circa 99). So she got parked. And is still parked. The KM became my one and only by default and I love it more every time I get to go out. True, my wrists sometimes take a beating, but rarely do I have to get off on any hill climbs. Love the point/shoot, love the (lack of required) maintenance. We're now in coastal GA with next to no trails nearby, but the bi monthly trek to Augusta or once a year to Asheville NC keep me juiced. The KM is doing me right, havin too much fun every time we're out. I did spy a Niner Air 9 carbon ss recently tho, and serious bike lust has set in. Could be trouble. Luckily I can't justify it for as little as we ride... for now. Life is awesome.

  32. #182
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    Got into singlespeeding on a whim 5 years ago this month and it was/is a buzz. First time I cleared my regular training trail (Old Chevy in the Whakarewarewa Trail network, Rotorua NZ) including a few nasty pinches, I was ecstatic!

  33. #183
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    First SS 29er

    My first SS 29er,

    Didn't believe the hype till I rode it!

    It's a blast! Will fit my stable nicely
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A singlespeeder's story (Why not Singlespeed?)-2012-09-21_21-15-37_214.jpg  


  34. #184
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    Has a ride with my fried yesterday. He has a newly build 96er On One 456 rigid SS with a NINER carbon fork.

    So much fun!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A singlespeeder's story (Why not Singlespeed?)-img_1426.jpg  


  35. #185
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    Opting out of the rat race. Singlespeed, I always come back to ya

  36. #186
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    I've been wanting to try singlespeed for a while, finally pick up a SS bike. The first ride, and i knew it was my cup of tea. I was loving it, i wanted to just keep riding, eventually the legs gave out and i headed for home. Sore the next day but can't wait to take it back out on the trails.
    "Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter."

  37. #187
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    There was an Ibis demo close to my house, it was packed, the only thing left on my size was a Tranny SS.
    I was with a group, we knew the trails, I took the lead and never looked back.

    Sorry guys

  38. #188
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    People tell me I am the epitome of an xc racer dork. If any of you ever see me in my full race kit you might just think i should be in the peloton of the tour. I shave my legs and ride a 29er hard tail 2x10. Just the other weekend me and some buddies headed down to frUiTa for some sweet riding at 18 rd. I brought my rigid 29er ss that hadnt been getting alot of use (except for pickin up serious babes with its radical orange paint job!1). riding rigid and single speed just gives me less to think about. I might not have been able to shred PbR as fast s on a dirt jumper, or my hard tail, but I worked with it. my favorite part about riding SS is just not having to think about shifting, especially at trails like 18 rd. average 5% grade maybe, fast ascents, fast smooth descents, and lots and lots of super short and steep 15%-20% grade hills. The feeling of powering up those hills 32-20 is just awesome. I might be the best darn shifter in town, never in the wrong gear, but the feeling of not shifting for a whole day of riding is awesome. I might not be as fast, or maybe ill go a little faster, but in the end I dont care that I am wearing carhartt shorts, a carbondale beer works t shirt, and a tie, its all about having fun and getting away with it all because you are on a single speed. Being a racer dork I sort of get stirred up in what other people think of me, because I can get very competitive. But when i am not riding in the "peloton" i can "relax" mentally and just have a good rime riding with friends. who cares if we stop at the top of every trail to wait for those who might be a bit slower, or who cares if my training schedule is messed up. Maybe i can put off interval workouts, spandex, certain foods, and GEARS for a day to enjoy myself with the buddies. Finish it all off with a giant unhealthy hamburger at suds in downtown fruita and call it a day

    Yall should read this article in the local paper about my good friend darin, who races his single speed in lots of ultra endurance events. He puts it very nicely. http://www.postindependent.com/artic...profile=search
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  39. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by cormy View Post
    Yall should read this article in the local paper about my good friend darin, who races his single speed in lots of ultra endurance events. He puts it very nicely. Geared for a three-peat | PostIndependent.com
    Hey, 2 sustained tailwinds a day is serious!
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  40. #190
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    Ditto everything you posted!

    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf View Post
    I am now on my second go around on a single speed. The first time I tried it was several years ago and I did it pretty steady for about a year. I then wandered away, smitten by full suspension, 29er wheels and a boatload of gears.
    I then started getting bored with biking. The new ride made it all seem too easy, and most rides became rather forgettable.
    I bought a 29er ti hardtail with a full set of gears. I liked it but it paled in comparison to my full suspension ride. I played with it but it just did not compare and it started to gather dust.
    Then one day I got the bug to try single speeding again, and stripped off the gears, the derailleurs, the cables, the housings and the shifters. I had a chain tensioner that a buddy had given me and I put that on since my steed didnít have an EBB or sliders.
    On my maiden voyage the first thing I noticed was that I kept reaching for my shifter. Well this really stinks I thought to myself. Of course the first outing was on pavement into town to show off my new ride to my friends at our afternoon hangout. I presented it to them and they just rolled their eyes, but they all had to pick it up just to see how light it was!
    The true test was on my first mountain bike ride. Spinning out doesnít happen like it does on the road and the hills were a joy to tackle. I had no trouble keeping up with the group and my trail cred went up greatly!
    I kept with it and started to learn how to ride single speed again. The legs become your gear box and the whole range of leg RPMís comes into play. Flats and downhills demand a spin and coast approach and it is surprising how little you really give up here, unless it is a real long pedal to the metal type of downhill.
    The uphills are the place where a single speed shines and in fact I feel like it is cheating in a way. While my geared buddies are planted firmly on their butts spinning up a hill, I just use my leg gear box to go up. I alternate between sitting and rocking my body back and forth and when the pitch gets beyond a certain point, I stand to keep my momentum going. I picked my gearing to allow me to ride just about all of our local trails without having to hoof it. As time goes by the climbs become easier and easier once I learned how to measure my efforts. It is amazing how long you can stay in the saddle without any huge strain on your legs or knees and once I stand I have learned to measure my efforts even more. Climbing out of the saddle reminds me of a stairmaster or hiking up a steep hill. With the proper gearing you rarely have to put out that gut wrenching effort to make a climb.
    A few weeks ago I climbed back on my dually and boy did it feel plush and comfortable. I thought to myself, next time I go out, I am taking the geared bike, but it has yet to happen. The only thing I can figure out is that my trail cred will go down and I will not get the exhilarating workout I get with the single speed. Often times I just stare at my single speed for no reason at all.
    I have noticed that it is now easier to put on a pair of pants! My leg muscles are more toned and I have much better balance. I can stand on one leg with a steadiness I havenít had for a long time and no longer have to hop around getting one leg on and then the other.
    I have come to the conclusion that single speeding is a lifestyle that only those who do it can truly understand.
    I have been pro FS for years....went 29er FS, got a Gary fisher RIG frame just for fun, built for my son and he loved it....thought he was crazy....this fall, took it out for a training ride and been hooked ever since....actually it took a couple of rides.

    It's a 32X18 setup, and I have since learned that maybe a 19' or 20 is the way to go....anyway, I am really taken with SS, may even race with it in 2013 :-)

  41. #191
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    Hey guys
    Just bought my new SS today after having a cannondale badboy ultra 09' it's hard at the moment but I'm sure I will get use to it, and I sure can feel those quads! Hahah

  42. #192
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    I am about to be in the same boat Khoder...starting riding 1.5 years ago and just got my SS (SIR 9 fully rigid). Can't wait to get out get on the trails...looking forward to the experience.

  43. #193
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    I started out with a 2010(i think) Specialized Hardrock 26", i really hated the cheap drivetrain that was on it and i couldn't afford to get something better so I bought a cheap SS kit and loved it. In November 2012 I bought a Surly Pugsley and again hated the drivetrain so I converted that too. Just last week I got myself a Specialized Carve SL, I figured I would just skip the gears completely this time.

  44. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM11 View Post
    I am about to be in the same boat Khoder...starting riding 1.5 years ago and just got my SS (SIR 9 fully rigid). Can't wait to get out get on the trails...looking forward to the experience.
    Oh dude it sure is hard to just start SS'ing! But leg muscle growth is always good

  45. #195
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    Surely I can't add much to what has been said....but there is just nothing like feeling strong on a single speed climbing. (granted this is a combo of fitness, gearing, and grade, but when all three align on a stretch of trail its sweet)

  46. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride_bikes View Post
    a combo of fitness, gearing, and grade
    and traction, and skill... it is said that fun happens when challenge meets skill.

  47. #197
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    i love the simplicity of the ss. always had the gears on past road bikes and when i bought a mountain bike. i switched the mountain bike over to a single speed and it's the only bike i own right now. if i can't make it up a hill, because i have asthma and sometimes run out of gas, i have no problem walking my bike up and than getting back on.

  48. #198
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    its hard to explain the feeling, maybe the ah-ha moment/seeing the light, whatever you want to call it. but its amazing. heres my version of how it all happened

    just started riding mountain bikes 1.5 years ago, went out and bought a $2500 fsr stumpy. ive raced mx bikes/quads/street bikes/bmx etc since i was a little kid, any kind of "wheeled adrenaline rush" and im all in! but this heavily worn and abused body, that has more surgeries/pins/ti screws/broken bones etc for about 6 peoples lives didnt want to cooperate

    it had been probably 15+ years since my legs had to be my motor, and it was difficult at first to say the least. much different than what i had been doing with a real motor. i could, not-practice for 2 months and hit up a local xc quad race in the vet class [over 30] and podium easily, vet class is just older fast guys like me. but i wouldnt be beaten down by this mtb thing, i pushed as hard as i could every other day riding. every pedal revolution was making me stronger.... thats what i was telling myself anyways so i hooked up with some friends and we were riding 3-4 days per week consistently for about 6 months. i was becoming pretty darn fast and strong, enough so that my riding buddies started saying i needed to find some faster people to ride with. only way to get faster, is ride with someone faster, period.

    on one of our group ride days while at my local trail, i got introduced to this guy riding a bamboo bike that he had made. he was about my age and a smaller guy, i was thinking in my head [im gonna hammer this guy] after all, im getting stronger/faster and not many of the riders can keep up with me. i still have my ego from my racing days, up for any challenge and wont back down. so we took off as a group and hit the trails. this guy was amazing, just dropped the hammer on everyone, without even breaking a sweat....without any friggin gears! i was like....WTF! that dude is a freak. at the end of the ride, i remember thinking that...i want to be as strong a rider as that bamboo dude.

    turns out bamboo is a converted roadie, a very very strong rider, and became a great friend. so after getting my ass handed to me, i decided if you cant beat them join them haha. so i started to build a ss, carbon hardtail. it took a few weeks to horde up some parts without scavenging anything from my beloved stumpy. but it was built in no time, and we had a local 6hr race coming up in 2 weeks. this race will be my 1st mtb race and were going to race as a 3man team [another friend was building a ss at the same time as me]...all 3 of us on single speeds.
    i was riding as hard and often as i could leading up to the race, it paid off... because we ended up pulling 3rd place in the 3man team out of 20 teams. what a great day we had. i absolutely fell in love with the whole ss deal. so much that what had started out as i would probably ride it 1 time a week while on the bike patrol, to.... i wouldnt even consider riding the stumpy! it just sat in the garage and collected dust. emotionally i just couldnt get rid of the stumpy, she is a beautiful bike, easy on the eyes and could just flat out haul ass on downhills.

    the ss was just so... i dont know man, natural, it just felt right. steathly quiet, smooth, and was for sure making me a stronger
    rider! now a year later, im like a ss drug pusher, i try to convince anyone who joins our riding group to atleast give it a shot, we have a solid group of 6 guys that all but 1 guy has made the switch to ss! its great flow when were all riding together...like a freight train

    as we hammer up the climbs, and pass other riders with gears, i can hear "their" words in my head....WTF are you kidding me!!!
    those guys dont have any friggin gears!!!

  49. #199
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Awesome story!

    The funny thing is, you start out on a geared bike, get better and start pushing to go further and faster and think that you're exploring the limits of what you can do. Then you switch to ss and find out you can do a helluva lot more.

    When waiting for my ss to arrive I was dead certain that some climbs would be completely impossible on a ss. I had it all figured out, which climbs I thought would be no problem, which would be hard and which would be downright impossible, but when I actually got to ride my ss I discovered that I had been wrong and most of the impossible stuff was quite possible.

    Riding ss took me by complete surprise and amazed me, that's pretty rare to blow your own expectations and limitations out of the water that way - looking back on a climb you just made and thinking "how the *pleep* did I manage to clear that?!?"

    Riding geared takes you as far as you think you can go. Riding ss takes you beyond that and shows you what you really can do.

  50. #200
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    your last sentence says it well!!!

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