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  1. #1
    meatier showers
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    A singlespeeder's story

    The "Why singlespeed?" thread is coming up on a year old now. There are over 200 replies
    in that thread and none of 'em belong to me. Over the years I've spoken up about what
    I think makes singlespeeding great but the very title of that thread made me feel like it was
    going to be a debate, and I get into way too many debates without doing so intentionally.
    So I purposefully avoided that thread until today. But today, reading it made me reflect
    on why I ride a singlespeed.

    So I've written a little story about some people you know. It's a story about how a few
    local (Eugene, Oregon) guys came to love singlespeeding so much that now maybe half the
    riders in our club, The Disciples of Dirt, ride 'em. And we're a pretty active club.

    Because of the nature of historical perspectives, I'm sure this story is littered with inaccuracies.
    So be it. The characters with diverse and equally innaccurate perceptions will no doubt be along
    soon to fine tune the white lies.

    Anyway, let me begin...

    I'd been mountain biking less than a year when I met shiggy in late 1985 or early '86. Back then
    he went by a different handle, which shall remain deeply imbedded in ancient history -- "shiggy"
    is bad enough. Anyway, shiggy and a guy named Justin and I (you've seen photos on this board
    of Justin in pantyhose and a thong at Barbie Camp) used to ride off-road quite a bit together back
    in the late '80s. We rode geared bikes back in those days. But shiggy regaled us with tall tales of
    a singlespeeder he'd ridden with years earlier from the coast; this guy rode a custom IRD singlespeed
    with platform pedals, 206mm Bullseye cranks and a pretty big gear (especially considering the rugged
    hills of Oregon), even taller than 2-to-1. And this guy was over 50 years old. Whoa! Needless to say,
    young-at-the-time shiggy was mighty impressed.

    Pesonally, I just thought the guy sounded crazy. Justin was too busy riding his bike underwater in
    Oregon's winter puddles to care.

    We pushed the idea of singlespeeding onto the back burner but shiggy clung to the legendary
    memories about the guy on the big bike with one gear.

    Fast forward about eight or ten years to the early '90s. Josh Ogle (yeah, that Josh Ogle, of Jericho
    fame) was renting a dark, dank run-down dwelling not far from downtown Eugene. Josh occaasionally
    joined the Disciples of Dirt for our weekly night rides in the Coburg Hills north of town. One night he
    showed up on a homemade singlespeed (er, make that a "custom frame").

    Eyes rolled.

    We laughed at him. Yeah, we laughed at Josh Ogle for bringing a singlespeed to an off-road ride.

    Well, shiggy didn't laugh. His inspiration had been burning inside him for years.

    A debate ensued.

    After that, shiggy started riding singlespeed off-road.

    "What?" I thought.

    Next General Coonskins took it up. I thought this was a real joke, because here was a guy who I
    could beat going either uphill or downhill, and now he was going to make his life worse by limiting
    himself to one gear. "He'll hate it and pitch that stupid bike off a cliff soon enough," I thought to
    myself.

    But that's not what happened. Late that summer, on one of the hardest group rides that our club
    does every year, Coonskins freakin' rode away from me like I was standing still. The only time I saw
    him all day was when he'd wait for us gearies to regroup. This ride has HILLS, folks. Big ones, steep
    ones, long ones. I was stunned by 'Skins transformation.

    How could this happen? My reality was becoming distorted. I did not understand.

    Coonskins went on to race the Cascade Creampuff. To say he'd earned new respect is an
    understatement. Currently, if he's not the strongest rider I know, I don't know who is.

    I decided I had to get a piece of this singlespeed action for myself. I wanted to become a strong rider,
    too. I wanted to keep up with my friends, no matter how little sense riding a singlespeed seemed to make.

    Honestly, I never expected to like it. I just wanted to get strong.

    And I did. Get strong, I mean. That was six years ago. But I found that once I got strong, I liked
    singlespeeding, too. What's funny is I can't say exactly why I like it so much. I just do. In fact, I
    like it better than any other kind of bike riding. It's so rewarding. My mega-bling FS bike doesn't see
    much action these days.

    And that's why I ride singlespeed.

    Personally, now I think the title of that other thread should be, "Why not singlespeed?" Just ask
    shiggy, or Josh, or General Coonskins -- they'll tell ya.

    --Sparty
    Last edited by Sparticus; 07-17-2006 at 02:51 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
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  2. #2
    Nat
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    Bravo!!!

  3. #3
    Des(s)ert Rat
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    Well written. I replied to that thread, too and didn't add much because, like you, I couldn't really answer such a question.

    It's funny, that thread is coming up on a year and I just finished a year of dirt with one gear and no suspension. Not because I was out to prove anything or even planned to exclude the gears and suspension, but it just happened; the passing of a year snuck up on. I just happened to choose my ss for every dirt ride I rode. Will I stay on just the ss? I doubt it, but I will just let it happen.

  4. #4
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Awesome!!

    Great writing,
    Cris

  5. #5
    Combat Wombat
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    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    The "Why singlespeed?" thread is coming up on a year old now. There are over 200 replies in that thread and none of 'em belong to me. Over the years I've spoken up about what I think makes singlespeeding great but the very title of that thread made me feel like it was going to be a debate, and I get into way too many debates without doing so intentionally. So I purposefully avoided that thread until today. But today, reading it made me reflect on why I ride a singlespeed.

    So I've written a little story about some people you know. It's a story about how a few local (Eugene, Oregon) guys came to love singlespeeding so much that now maybe half the riders in our club, The Disciples of Dirt, ride 'em. And we're a pretty active club.

    Because of the nature of historical perspectives, I'm sure this story is littered with inaccuracies. So be it. The characters with diverse and equally innaccurate perceptions will no doubt be along soon to fine tune the white lies.

    Anyway, let me begin...

    I'd been mountain biking less than a year when I met shiggy in late 1985 or early '86. Back then he went by a different handle, which shall remain deeply imbedded in ancient history -- "shiggy" is bad enough. Anyway, shiggy and a guy named Justin and I (you've seen photos on this board of Justin in pantyhose and a thong at Barbie Camp) used to ride off-road quite a bit together back in the late '80s. We rode geared bikes back in those days. But shiggy regaled us with tall tales of a singlespeeder he'd ridden with years earlier from the coast; this guy rode a custom IRD singlespeed with platform pedals, 206mm Bullseye cranks and a pretty big gear (especially considering the rugged hills of Oregon), even taller than 2-to-1. And this guy was over 50 years old. Whoa! Needless to say, young-at-the-time shiggy was mighty impressed.

    Pesonally, I just thought the guy sounded crazy. Justin was too busy riding his bike underwater in Oregon's winter puddles to care.

    We pushed the idea of singlespeeding onto the back burner but shiggy clung to the legendary memories about the guy on the big bike with one gear.

    Fast forward about eight or ten years to the early '90s. Josh Ogle (yeah, that Josh Ogle, of Jericho fame) was renting a dark, dank run-down dwelling not far from downtown Eugene. Josh occaasionally joined the Disciples of Dirt for our weekly night rides in the Coburg Hills north of town. One night he showed up on a homemade singlespeed (er, make that a "custom frame").

    Eyes rolled.

    We laughed at him. Yeah, we laughed at Josh Ogle for bringing a singlespeed to an off-road ride.

    Well, shiggy didn't laugh. His inspiration had been burning inside him for years.

    A debate ensued.

    After that, shiggy started riding singlespeed off-road.

    "What?" I thought.

    Next General Coonskins took it up. I thought this was a real joke, because here was a guy who I could beat going either uphill or downhill, and now he was going to make his life worse by limiting himself to one gear. "He'll hate it and pitch that stupid bike off a cliff soon enough," I thought to myself.

    But that's not what happened. Late that summer, on one of the hardest group rides that our club does every year, Coonskins freakin' rode away from me like I was standing still. The only time I saw him all day was when he'd wait for us gearies to regroup. This ride has HILLS, folks. Big ones, steep ones, long ones. I was stunned by 'Skins transformation.

    How could this happen? My reality was becoming distorted. I did not understand.

    Coonskins went on to race the Cascade Creampuff. To say he'd earned new respect is an understatement. Currently, if he's not the strongest rider I know, I don't know who is.

    I decided I had to get a piece of this singlespeed action for myself. I wanted to become a strong rider, too. I wanted to keep up with my friends, no matter how little sense riding a singlespeed seemed to make.

    Honestly, I never expected to like it. I just wanted to get strong.

    And I did. Get strong, I mean. That was six years ago. But I found that once I got strong, I liked singlespeeding, too. What's funny is I can't say exactly why I like it so much. I just do. In fact, I like it better than any other kind of bike riding. It's so rewarding. My mega-bling FS bike doesn't see much action these days.

    And that's why I ride singlespeed.

    Personally, now I think the title of that other thread should be, "Why not singlespeed?" Just ask shiggy, or Josh, or General Coonskins -- they'll tell ya.

    --Sparty
    I never replied to the original post because..well uh...If I do not even know why I love it so much myself, how can I explain it to someone else. You nailed it, definately should have been why not. Great story too. I know people that think I have been mountainbiking forever and I have only been doing this since 1990. I was cranking out some serious miles on the road in 1985 and not even sure I knew mountainbikes existed then.

    Anyone else up for taking up a collection of bribe money for Sparty, to find out Shiggy's old handle?

    Brian

  6. #6
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU
    Anyone else up for taking up a collection of bribe money for Sparty, to find out Shiggy's old handle?
    Hmmmm, now I'm curious. "Squiggy?" "Jiggy?" Twiggy?" Squishy?"

  7. #7
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    Thanks for posting...

    I only wish my inspiration for going single would have come from a first hand experience like seeing that older gentleman kick arse on a SS rather than becoming addicted to this forum. Sorry folks, but its the truth
    Truffle Shuffle

  8. #8
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    Bribes may be sent directly to me.
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  9. #9
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Bribes may be sent directly to me.
    Ahhhh, your former handle was "Gimme!"

  10. #10
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    Nice post

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    The "Why singlespeed?" thread is coming up on a year old now.... --Sparty
    Just to throw in my 2 cents my current favourite explanation is to say that I prefer to ride my bike than operate it.

  11. #11
    Medium?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    My mega-bling FS bike doesn't see much action these days.
    As I like to say, "Maintenance per year instead of maintenance per ride."

  12. #12
    Obi
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    ... and if we just ... Right On Sparty! Good story.

    In thanks for your bring a smile to my face, I hope to do the same for you. Check this post out and get back to me:

    http://www.msdhw.com/forum/showthrea...ght=good+story

    Thanks Again for the Smile!


    Obi

  13. #13
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    And they've taken more than one of the DOD to the dark side. I am among the early DODers and resisted until just before last fall's BC. Shiggy was encouraging me to convert my 1988 Merlin, but Wade wasn't yet ready to do a Ti welding run at the time. I got a Zion EBB frame and gave it a go. I have only ridden the FS gearie once since then. Oddly, the hardest rides have been on the so-called SS-friendly trails. I like the steeper climbs better than the flattish rides.

    Thanks, Sparty - Shiggy - General - Red Haze - .............and others I've forgotten who puzzled me as to why they would forsake perfectly good gears. You got me going!

    The 50-ish (at the time) guy Sparty referred to that caught Shiggy's attention was David Gray, from the coast (I think). Who knows what he's up to these days, probably kicking arse of people 25 years younger than himself at whatever he chooses to do. Go David!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddy
    As I like to say, "Maintenance per year instead of maintenance per ride."
    That's a great quote. I'm going to apologize now for stealing it.

  15. #15
    JAK
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    Nice write up Sparty...

    When I first started I would ride my geared bike to alternate and most of my rides were spent wondering if I could do it on my SS...so I just stopped wondering...

    Don't Die Wondering!

    So true...I think that old timer on the IRD was pictured in their catalog in the 80's? Wearing a shop coat n'all.

    So, I have a buddy here who lived in Eugene in the 90's and he refers to Shiggy as Don the _ _ _ ! Thats all I know and I haven't approached him with a bribe...yet...

    You Oregoinians have great 'tudes!
    Night has fallen.
    And there's nothin' we can do about it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK
    Nice write up Sparty...

    When I first started I would ride my geared bike to alternate and most of my rides were spent wondering if I could do it on my SS...so I just stopped wondering...

    Don't Die Wondering!

    So true...I think that old timer on the IRD was pictured in their catalog in the 80's? Wearing a shop coat n'all.

    So, I have a buddy here who lived in Eugene in the 90's and he refers to Shiggy as Don the _ _ _ ! Thats all I know and I haven't approached him with a bribe...yet...

    You Oregoinians have great 'tudes!
    Your buddy's reference to Shiggy is slightly incorrect. It is more like _ _ _ _ the _ _ _! Send bribes straight to Shiggy. He will gladly accept them.

  17. #17
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    Ride on Sparty

    Need I say more?

    red-haze
    The more I know the more I know I don't know.
    Let the bike ride the trail, you ride the bike.
    Look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by red-haze.com
    Need I say more?

    Bob, you're such an overcompensator. In order to get past the stigma of those training wheels now you have to do every log ride possible and some more. Dude, you rock. Can't wait to ride in your neck of the woods. When is HC again?

    Tim

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK
    ...I think that old timer on the IRD was pictured in their catalog in the 80's? Wearing a shop coat n'all...
    More likely that was Ray Baldwin, Rod's partner in IRD. He always wore blue mechanics' overalls on and off the bike.
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  20. #20
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    Why I converted and I know a secret.

    I swithed to a SS within the first year of mtb'ing because Sparty told me that "resistance is futile". Of course my thumb got bored so I bought a bell.

  21. #21
    I <3 29ers
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    Quote Originally Posted by red-haze.com
    Need I say more?

    HAHAHA! THAT is it, right there.

    Can I share my revelation of this morning?

    I've been rebuilding my old mid-90's HT. Intention was to overhaul it, use it on the trainer and give it to someone when spring hits. Nothing more, nothing less. SS? What, are you nuts? I'd NEVER do that. It doesn't make sense.

    I took the whole bike apart and cleaned everything (not done yet, impatience of sharing my revelation). The frame has been sitting fork-less for over 2 weeks now. I finally procured one last night. It was promtply put on this morning. I sat, looking at what little was done so far - frame, fork .... well, at least it's starting to resemble a bike now!

    I sat a little longer, just staring at it. Funny, but i've been SO used to suspension that i'd practically forgotten what a rigid fork looked like. It was ..... wierd. The reason for going rigid was to oust an old, dead RS Mag 21 (I did say it was mid-90's, right?). The future user was riding it bottomed out, so what was the point? I'll lighten it up for her a bit.

    Anyways, I sat there, looking at this fork. Yes, the fork. It reminded me of ...... of ...... ahhh, yes - BMX forks. Enter the nostalgia trip!

    What on earth does a BMX fork have to do with SS'ing? Whatever you want! For ME it reminded me of being a kid. You know, the "good ol' days", when you didn't worry about sag, platform versus plush, chainlines ..... or even shifters and gears!

    Yes, being a kid was FUN! You got together with your friends and your means of transportation was your bike. You went wherever you wanted or could ride. You tried "pulling a wheelie", bunny hopping, maybe even more. The point was you were having FUN! There was no worry of today's "complications".

    It actually hit me like a brick (don't ask how I know!!!!!!! ).

    Now I sit here, typing with yet another new found enthusiasm for biking. Excitement fills my head and sweat's my palms as I type. Funny, another frame and several fork purchases haven't done this to me - and I LOVE those toys!!!! - but this ..... this is different.

    I guess i'm just going to have to buy another frame now! REALLY kicking myself in the a$$ now for missing a super-sweet deal on a 19" Misfit! Conveniently, nogearshere is on holiday's too!!!!!!

    Anyways, that's my sharing. Not meant to hi-jack!!!! I'm sure there have been many other's that felt/posted about the same, so i'll shut up now.

    Now, if you'll excuse me - i've got a conversion to perform. Damn, i'm all giddy .... did someone spike the Koolaid?
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies.

  22. #22
    Known Mountainbiker
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    hey bob, couple of observations of your sweet singlespeed: I think your saddle is too high, front valve stem doesn't look good, nice shoes; SPDs?, looks like you've had that hair style for along time, that wool jersey looks sweet, knobby in the back touring in the front, three piece crank must cut some weight, I think 36 spokes is overkill for your weight, might want to check that slacky chain before it comes off on your next climb, and the kickstand; how does that work with the training wheels? Also, you'll probably have a hard time getting a suspension fork with that size of headtube; you're better off staying rigid.

    See ya at HC

    chris

  23. #23
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    Good job! Sparti...

    You know.........some things sort of .... strike a chord inside us sometimes. It's hard for me to explain, but I feel that SS'ing is like that for me. It touches me inside in a way that geared bikes have never done.

    There is something about the purity of SS'ing that is in tune with my body and my soul. I feel completely at peace when I ride with just one gear, the simplicity and the silence combine with the effort it takes to make the bike go and I am always happier on the SS.

    SS'ing is harder, it takes a lot more out of me than geared bikes, but I just love the feeling of pushing myself and my body to the limit when I ride like that.

    Sure, I have to get off and push up some big hills because i'm just not strong enough to pedal up them, but that's all part of the SS'ing thing.

    Thanks for your post. It reminded me why I love SS'ing so much.



    R.

  24. #24
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    good job Sparti! Just like always! i think it's time to bring down the Oregon attitude to SoCal! OK so maybe Sea Otter. Are you going to make it?

    andy
    Always preach the Gospel; even if you need to use words.

  25. #25
    meatier showers
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    I can't make it this year...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy aka Rut
    good job Sparti! Just like always! i think it's time to bring down the Oregon attitude to SoCal! OK so maybe Sea Otter. Are you going to make it?

    andy
    ...but I hope to make it in '07. My divorce last year and its rippling effects has kinked my lifestyle a bit to say the least. But I'm gettin' back to "normal..." whatever that is. I'm discovering what it is as I go along.

    Loved Sea Otter in the past and plan to get down thataway again -- hopefully next year. I'll let you know in advance. I wanna drink margaritas and eat some authentic Californicated Mexican food with you fun-lovin' Calis again.

    Thanks for the invite, bro.

    --Sparty
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    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    ...but I hope to make it in '07. My divorce last year and its rippling effects has kinked my lifestyle a bit to say the least. But I'm gettin' back to "normal..." whatever that is. I'm discovering what it is as I go along.

    Loved Sea Otter in the past and plan to get down thataway again -- hopefully next year. I'll let you know in advance. I wanna drink margaritas and eat some authentic Californicated Mexican food with you fun-lovin' Calis again.

    Thanks for the invite, bro.

    --Sparty
    I hear you about the big D. It is still taking me time and adjusting as well.

    It will be good to drink a Margy and eat some CaliMex food with you. Maybe we'll have to actually set something up. Don't get me wrong.... this is not a request for a date!
    Always preach the Gospel; even if you need to use words.

  27. #27
    meatier showers
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    ... and if we just ... Can't blame you for trying

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy aka Rut
    ... Don't get me wrong.... this is not a request for a date!
    S'okay... I have met someone wonderful, Andy, and she looks nothing like you. She goes by Wreckless here on MTBR, rides a tricked-out rigid Vulture SS and has everything going for her except one thing -- she's stuck with me.

    Seriously, I'm doing alright. Only thing that really gets in my way of living the good life is a serious lack of funds... and in a few short years that'll change for the better, too. Meanwhile, pancakes and Kraft Mac & Cheese ain't so bad, eh.

    C'mon up to Barbie Camp, willya? 'N don't forget to bring Poacher witcha.

    --Sparty
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    . I thought this was a real joke, because here was a guy who I could beat going either uphill or downhill,

    --Sparty

    Ain't it funny that once you finally realize that cycling doesn't have to be about beating everyone else it gets to be twice as fun! I always roll my eyes when "that guy" is on the ride with us.

  29. #29
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    for me

    A pic says a lot about the "why" for me
    Support your Local Coffee Roaster

  30. #30
    Daniel the Dog
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    Whatever spins your wheel...

    However, I'm committed to 5" of FS travel for the rocky straight up and down rides I do in the Columbia River Gorge. I like gears. I like 26" bikes. I like shifting. I like going over a bump and having the suspension eat it alive. I like being comfortable. But, each to their own.

    Jaybo

  31. #31
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    Thank you for a good read. I can't say much that hasn't been said before with regard to SSing, but I would like to share my experience.

    I was bitten by the SS bug last December and I haven't looked back. I purchased an 06' Monocog to use as a commuter in hope of saving my rather expensive geared bike from being stolen outright or cannibalized by thieves. The obsession began gradually, and at first I only used the SS for commuting. Now I rarely ride the geared bike, maybe once a week at most. Maybe its because the SS reminds me of my BMX days, maybe its because it handles like my old Bontrager, but I feel at home on it.

    <img src=https://webspace.utexas.edu/scv85/MC_SV.jpg?uniq=m3oqva>

  32. #32
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    Excellent read, people think your crazy riding SS, especially around where I live, they think because something is newer and more up to date that means its better.

    I started SS not through choice, it was a case of having to, I was 18 and had no other means of transport than a trusty old french chro mo framed effort that was bought for me 3 years earlier for christmas, I rode it to work and back every day in all weathers (we get them all here, snow, sleat, hail, heavy rain, blazing heat etc!) needless to say it took a battering it wasnt designed for, the brakes gave up and the gears where down from 21 to about 7.

    I decided it needed some attention, but I was on really low pay and couldnt afford a new bike or new bits for this one, so I stripped it, cleaned and greased all the bearings, removed the shot brakes and gears, and managed to scrape enough together for a hope SS rear hub I'd read about.

    I still have this bike 9 years later, after the overhaul it never let me down once and I became real strong, which you only notice when you ride with other people, I'd been riding it a year when I went out with my dad who's been riding 40 years, and he was struggling to keep up, where before it was the other way round!! he was impressed, but not converted!

    Sorry for waffling, this thread should be "Great SS stories"

    theres deffinately something hard to explain about SS, it just feels right.

  33. #33
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    Nice write-up, Sparty!
    * Soulcraft Plowboy SS/fixxie
    * Steelman Eurocross 525 fixxie/SS
    * Custom-built Haro BMX tandem for the kids

  34. #34
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    Cool-blue Rhythm can sealer

    single speeds are nice bikes

  35. #35
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    I've only just discovered this forum and in particular I had no idea an SS scene existed.

    My Dad always rode SS on his road bike. When I was a kid we did a 45 mile trip, me on my zillion gear mtb, him on a feather weight roadie with the one gear. To my amazement I just couldn't leave him on the hills. That was 15 years ago.

    Since then I've always removed my front mtb gears, to the disgust of my mates. On cheap hard tails, and even now on my 2006 s-works xtr. No front gears ever required. Who the hell needs a granny ring? Grannies don't ride. Plus a big ring is for the roadies. That just leaves the rear cassette for mtb'ers. Of that, I only use the middle few gears.

    I can imagine after I'm back on form, there's no reason to think I can't have SS. I just need to work out which is my best all round ratio. Should be easy enough as I have a regular route. I'll keep you guys in mind when I'm out and about. I'll try not to swap cogs while on a spin.

    P.S anyone else have rear brakes only ; )

    Respect guys.

  36. #36
    meatier showers
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    I hear ya

    Quote Originally Posted by KUB3
    ... I've always removed my front mtb gears ...
    I'm with you. I've got about a dozen bikes; I admit some of them have gears. All my multi-geared MTBs are 7 speeds, which feature just one chainring. Seven gears feel like plenty when I'm used to just one.

    I don't rode all of them combined as much as I ride my MTB singlespeed. I just like the SS best -- by far.

    Glad you've found us... now join us.

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  37. #37
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    Seems Like People enjoy them

    but I haven't been able to warm to single speeds yet. Maybe I have just test rided very cheap ones? In any event, seems like a successful marketing program and product for the industry.

  38. #38
    Combat Wombat
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    Test riding a SS is right there with test riding a FS bike, except for maybe fit, its hard to get a feel for what it is really like without trail time. What is this marketing program you are talking about? Except for maybe a Bianchi ad, I rarely, if ever, see ads for SS''s.

    Brian

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    I started ridding a single speed about two weeks ago and i love it. It is a great work out and goes pretty good on tight trails. just wanted to say that i loved the article

  40. #40
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    My dependable old Trek has been reduced to having 14 gears and I run it as a 1 by 7 as that granny just isn't needed... 7 gears is more than enough and it's pretty likely that she'll slim down and become an SS.

    My XC tourer falls in at the other end of the spectrum as it has a full gear range and rather steep 48:11 road gearing at the top end.

    I've started working on an SS road bike and since I have yet to find a suitable crank and rear hub I just ran the chain over the 42 and the 14 to see how I liked that 1:3 gearing.

    My best expectations of how the bike would perform were simply blown to hell in a few seconds of riding.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

  41. #41
    wait a minute....
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    because my 5spot needed painting

    I got a bianchi siss off ebay and rode it a few times but didnt like it much.
    I liked my 5spot better. when the paint started coming off i had to send it to turner
    for warranty.then i had to ride the bianchi for a month. when the turner got back
    i went for a ride and something had changed.why did it feel so slow and sluggish?
    i got back on the ss and there it was,light,nimble fun fast and simple.my last 1000 miles or so have been about 900 ss,100 full suspension blinged out garage decoration.I was converted by the need to ride, and only one bike to ride.
    Three old guys are out walking.


    First one says, "Windy, isn't it?"

    Second one says, "No, it's Thursday!"

    Third one says, "So am I. Let's go get a beer."

  42. #42
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    Great story Sparticus . . Excuses are not used or needed . All failings are me, not finiky deraileurs , less than strait chainlines and breaking chains . I seem to get the full spa treatment while kicking my ownass.
    Last edited by Evel Knievel; 04-10-2007 at 12:38 AM.
    Yeah I gotta question. You got any excuses tonight Roy ? -Antonio Tarver

    There is room for it all, just ride what you like to on what you like to...that's freeriding. -rbn14



  43. #43
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    Why SS?

    The chicks dig the massive Quads, its that simple!

  44. #44
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    For me it is just a natural way to ride. I rode and raced BMX for so many years. We didn't use gears or suspension. I never really got along well with a geared mountian bike or the suspension forks they always came with. Sure, I could ride them, but just never could get the shifting thing down, I destroyed derailleurs all the time, broke chains, and bent sprockets. Loren from Dakota Cyclery called me a "masher" one day when I had him attempt to fix my gears so I could do more Maah Daah Hey. My friends started laughing because they knew how I rode. Then one day I changed my P.2 freeride bike to a singlespeed so I could roll backwards without having the gears jam up on me. I did a few urban rides and then started using it as my main XC bike. My nice On-One Inbred Geared I had just got wasn't even being ridden as my main XC ride. I rode my heavy P.2 instead. I even raced it once and right away, after passing all the granny gear climbers up all the hills, I realized this was for me. When I got back home I went to the LBS (Hollywood Cycles) and got a singulator, cog, and spacers. My On-One was now a single and has been ever since. Now, when I come to a hill.....I just stand up and crank up that sucker. If there are gearies around, I need to let them know there is a singlespeed back and I pass them as they granny gear up the hill. Seems so silly to me to do it that way. I never get caught in the wrong gear....how can I? My bike is simpler, lighter, and just plain a lot more fun to ride. I did prove in Fruita that you can ruin a singulator though.....darn rocks. I will alway abuse my bikes and they will always hate me for it. My On-One is a 26" BMX bike to me and I feel totally natural on it. No springy fork, so I rail turns with a solid feel. I pull my front wheel up over stuff like you are supposed to do. And I am a much better mountain biker now than I ever was with gears and springy things.

    Without finially discovering singlespeeds, I probably would not mountain bike much at all anymore.

  45. #45
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    yup single speed kicks ass

  46. #46
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    Got the bug

    After giving up mountainbiking since my wife no longer rides a mountainbike I bought two Bianchi SS cross bikes to use on the Computrainers this winter. We have done several rides on the trainer so far.

    We have ridden road exclusively since May 2005 because of her surgery and I enjoy it but there is something about mud,rocks and dirt that makes me feel young. I will be 65 next month.

    So last month I got my hands on a Bianchi WUSS, put BMX pedals on it and tried it out after changing the rear to a 32/22 gearing. I went to the Tourne and got up the hills pretty well. Then I went to Kittatinney a couple of times. While I think making it to the needle without walking a bit is out of reach I have been doing really well on the rest of the trails.

    On Monday I rode Mahlon. My riding partner and I did almost the whole side across from the parking lot including the climb to the highest point and came back via the trail that is on the left side of the fire road and takes you to the tower.

    I am not a good rider but I enjoy riding and really feel I should have done this along time ago. In the Spring I can easily see us doing some SS road rides on the San Jose bikes or some rails to trails with cross tires.

    You really have to be in good shape to ride a SS bike and you have to believe that hills are put there for you to ride.

  47. #47
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    As my ss brother Joe puts it Singlespeed = Breakthrough

  48. #48
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    Question for you SS-ers:
    I'm a SS newbie - about a month ago I took an old HT frame I had and made it SS, kind of on a lark. The thing I've noticed, however, is that after the first 4 or 5 rides (getting the bike set up, getting my back a little stronger), I've started riding a lot faster than normal. I mean, a LOT faster. Tough hills wipe me out pretty good, and I don't have the long-term stamina that I have on my FS, but I feel like both of those issues will go away soon.
    Just curious if that's normal - I wouldn't mention it if I wasn't surprised by it.

    So yeah, in answer to the question "why not singlespeed?", at this point the only reason I can see is if I wanted to ride slower .

  49. #49
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by longshanks
    Question for you SS-ers:
    I'm a SS newbie - about a month ago I took an old HT frame I had and made it SS, kind of on a lark. The thing I've noticed, however, is that after the first 4 or 5 rides (getting the bike set up, getting my back a little stronger), I've started riding a lot faster than normal. I mean, a LOT faster. Tough hills wipe me out pretty good, and I don't have the long-term stamina that I have on my FS, but I feel like both of those issues will go away soon.
    Just curious if that's normal - I wouldn't mention it if I wasn't surprised by it.

    So yeah, in answer to the question "why not singlespeed?", at this point the only reason I can see is if I wanted to ride slower .
    It's totally normal. It's the training effect. You're working a lot harder than you're used to, so you get more tired than you used to. You're getting fitter!

  50. #50
    ravingbikefiend
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    longshanks - Riding ss will condition your body like nothing else except riding a fixed gear.

    It takes most people some time to acclimate to riding with only 1 gear and your stamina should improve exponentially as you ride.
    I ride with 65'er...he's a mountain goat....But then again, we need to throw him in the mud and pack his pockets with lead shot before a scale will read him. - Psycho Mike

    -Environmental stickers don't mean shite when they are stuck to CARS!-

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