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Thread: ss vs geared

  1. #1
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    ss vs geared

    If i am on a ss (44:17 - 28 inch hybrid) i find it easier to ride than on a similar geared bike. is it because of psychological reasons, the derailleur, the weight? thx

  2. #2
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    There's a slight efficiency benefit from the straight chainline, smaller weight, shorter chain and reduced amount of moving parts. Psychological effect from knowing this also plays a role, which should not be underestimated. A rider who thinks their bike is better will give more effort (or a similar effort will feel lighter).

  3. #3
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    It could be that the similar geared bike you are comparing it to is needing a good tune-up.

    All things being equal the difference between the two are about .1% physical and 99.9% psychological. Like Saul said though- never underestimate the placebo effect.

  4. #4
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    As I wrote before in another thread, ss doesn't give you any benefits. It just makes you a better rider. It's enteresting how many of your phisical and mental opportunities show up when you can't change gears. In your case probably one gear makes you maintain more speed and going faster is sometimes easier because of the momentum.

  5. #5
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    I've never thought about that, Igoreha, but that makes sense. Similar to losing a sense, I guess. If you lose your eyesight, for example, your other senses will become stronger. If you lose the ability to change gears, your body will compensate and become stronger.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igoreha View Post
    As I wrote before in another thread, ss doesn't give you any benefits. It just makes you a better rider.

    I thought that generally becoming a better rider is a benefit?

    Anyhow, there has been lot of threads about SS making you better and whatnot but unless I'm mistaken I think in this case the OP is asking whether a SS bike is faster than an otherwise similar geared bike, assuming you keep it in the same gear as the SS (68 gear inches).

    No?

  7. #7
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    Bicycle drivetrain efficiency study here. I admit to not reading the entire article so I don't know if it analyzes the difference between geared & singlespeed drivetrains specifically. I remember years ago shiggy posted something about the difference in efficiency between geared & SS drivetrains and I was surprised by how high that difference is... something between 5 -10% IIRC. But of course there are other factors besides drivetrain efficiency that affect how easy or difficult it feels to pedal a bicycle in totality... for instance gravity, wind resistance, terrain surface, rolling resistance, condition of a particular drivetrain, etc. So 5 - 10% of one individual factor (which may, in itself, be a minor slice of the total propulsion pie), may not have a noticeable affect on one's overall perception.

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  8. #8
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    I've never thought about that, Igoreha, but that makes sense. Similar to losing a sense, I guess. If you lose your eyesight, for example, your other senses will become stronger. If you lose the ability to change gears, your body will compensate and become stronger.
    It's a myth that your other senses become stronger if you lose one, blind people don't generally have better hearing than people with eyesight, they are just more trained in using their hearing in a practical way.

    As for riding ss it makes you ride harder because there is no easy option if the going gets tough. On a geared bike you have the option to trade speed for comfort, you don't have to go all in, you can downshift and get the task done at a lower speed and with less effort. On an ss you don't have that option so you have to either bite the bullet and ride through the pain or get off and walk. Ss makes you stronger because you have to ride harder.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Bicycle drivetrain efficiency study here. I admit to not reading the entire article so I don't know if it analyzes the difference between geared & singlespeed drivetrains specifically. I remember years ago shiggy posted something about the difference in efficiency between geared & SS drivetrains and I was surprised by how high that difference is... something between 5 -10% IIRC. But of course there are other factors besides drivetrain efficiency that affect how easy or difficult it feels to pedal a bicycle in totality... for instance gravity, wind resistance, terrain surface, rolling resistance, condition of a particular drivetrain, etc. So 5 - 10% of one individual factor (which may, in itself, be a minor slice of the total propulsion pie), may not have a noticeable affect on one's overall perception.

    --sParty

    ^^^Well said!

    I read some of that study and drivetrain efficiency on a geared setup with derailleurs ranged anywhere between about 80- 98.5%. The 3 things that most influence power loss or gain are sprocket size, chain tension, and rpm. Larger sprockets and more tension lead to higher efficiency and vice versa leads to less.

    Surprisingly (to me) lower crank rpm is generally a fair amount more efficient at the drivetrain but human physiology favors a bit higher rpm, so the slight efficiency lost in friction is inconsequential.

    Chain offset (bad chainline) power loss was also tested and found to be insignificant enough not to warrant mention in drivetrain power loss percentages.


    Like Sparticus said, drivetrain power loss is a small % of overall forces you have to overcome riding a bike, so a very small % loss or gain in that area is not going to affect things a whole lot. Rolling resistance is the biggest inherent energy loss in mt. biking, followed by gravity.... I think.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    It's a myth that your other senses become stronger if you lose one, blind people don't generally have better hearing than people with eyesight, they are just more trained in using their hearing in a practical way.

    As for riding ss it makes you ride harder because there is no easy option if the going gets tough. On a geared bike you have the option to trade speed for comfort, you don't have to go all in, you can downshift and get the task done at a lower speed and with less effort. On an ss you don't have that option so you have to either bite the bullet and ride through the pain or get off and walk. Ss makes you stronger because you have to ride harder.
    I started noticing that more lately. When I'm on the SS I tend to be mindful of my pace to conserve my stamina. On my geared bike I'll mash in a higher gear to go faster on some trails knowing that on other trails I can drop down to the lowest gear to spin and recuperate.

  11. #11
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    Last year I built up an On-One Inbred and set it up as a 1X9. This is the first geared bike I have ridden in 7 years and in my experience.....any huge difference is in your head. A couple things to consider, a clean drive train, medium cage derailleur, and the perfect straight chainline matches the exact same gear ratio that I run on my SS, which is where it spends most of its time despite the additional 8 gears. When I do shift, it is rarely more than one gear below or above this center gear on the cog. Even so, I have purposely hammered at the extremes on the cog just to see how much drag or noise there was. Surprisingly, hardly noticeable.

  12. #12
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    Yup I am faster on gears BUT that's because I ride singlespeed where I learn how to ride and pedal efficiently.

    It's all thanks to singlespeed.

  13. #13
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    I also noticed I'm faster with SS...in getting out of the house. I lube an SS chain like once every few months but I will lube a geared chain every two rides because it can get squeaky.

  14. #14
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    I am 100% certain that I could ride faster on a geared bike over the long haul, especially on road. I would not dream of trying to keep up with roadies on hill terrain on a SS road bike, I would run out of gears on a flat section and just get dropped.

  15. #15
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    I agree with this ^^^
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  16. #16
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    You think less, and focus more on the ride, less about what could go wrong. I built my transAM up singlespeed when I got the frame as an experiment and because I didn't have the extra drivetrain parts. Well half a year later and I've put well over an additional grand into and its still SS.

    You've read and heard it all...silent, maintenance free, lighter, etc. etc. etc. What it really comes down to and why I think I am faster on my SS is that I have to be to keep the momentum going. When I spin out on flats I am forced to pump the trails, which helps you find the fastest lines possible.

    I agree that its a majority of a psychological thing, but riding SS makes you ride "smarter" and I think thats where a lot of the increased speed comes from.

  17. #17
    Daniel the Dog
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    SSing gives you an opportunity to be in the wrong gear most of the time. This makes you either curse, walk or pedal. Geared bikes are faster just about everywhere; however, I have seen pro's like Adam Craig stomp us average riders by a lot on geared bikes.

  18. #18
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    I ride 4 bikes - 2 mtn; 2 road. My geared road bike is a carbon Addict SL, Dura-Ace, etc. My SS is a 1996 aluminum Klein with old RSX parts. I do ride my SS road bike on club road rides. And, on the rides under 50 miles, have NO problem keeping up and actually spend as much or more time up front. That bike is set up with a 52:16 (Atlanta's kinda hilly).

    On the dirt, I find that I'm as fast or faster on the SS on short trails. My fastest laps at my favorite trails are on the SS. But they're 4 miles loops. Sprints really.

    The SS forces you to hammer the hills - dirt or road. On shorter rides, you just go faster. On long rides... that'll take its toll.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I have seen pro's like Adam Craig stomp us average riders by a lot on geared bikes.

    To be fair, someone the caliber of Adam Craig could stomp most of us riding a $99 Wally-world Huffy.

  20. #20
    psycho cyclo addict
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    I change gears- every few months ehehehe. I also ride two geared 29er's at least once a week so I like all of them... depending on what trail I'm hitting, level of fatigue, mojo, etc.

    I'm runing 34 x 15 on my rigid SS 29er now and did fine on the 1st trail ride with it Sunday. I like this setup for commuting and ~20% of the trails in my area as the others have too much climb for that small of a cog.

    There are benefits riding SS:

    Improves balance (while scurrying up hills that you would normally go lazy on with gears), particularly when you are behind slow spinny geared riders...

    Helps you manage your pace more efficiently- have to work harder climbing so you are forced to balance the overall output in some respects.

    Strengthens climbing ability on geared bikes (within about 4 months of riding SS my geared cronies noticed it straight away).

    No chain slap is psychologically worth at least 20%

  21. #21
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    And, on the rides under 50 miles, have NO problem keeping up and actually spend as much or more time up front. That bike is set up with a 52:16 (Atlanta's kinda hilly).
    I'm the only SS rider in my group, and modesty aside, I'm the fastest


    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    On the dirt, I find that I'm as fast or faster on the SS on short trails. My fastest laps at my favorite trails are on the SS. But they're 4 miles loops. Sprints really.

    The SS forces you to hammer the hills - dirt or road. On shorter rides, you just go faster. On long rides... that'll take its toll.
    I totally agree with you on this
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  22. #22
    surly inbred
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    This thread had been brought to you by Cabin Fever. Has to be, otherwise you ****ers would actually be riding bikes & sparing me the pseudo-psycho enginerding.

  23. #23
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    ^^^ I like this ^^^

    repped.

    tONe~
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroutBum View Post
    This thread had been brought to you by Cabin Fever. Has to be, otherwise you ****ers would actually be riding bikes & sparing me the pseudo-psycho enginerding.
    I don't ride during the week because of my work schedule and my new (to me) SS is sitting on the floor in pieces awaiting its new suspension fork. It's also almost 10pm where I live. I wish I could be riding! Hopefully when the days get longer I'll be riding more than browsing MTBR.

  25. #25
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    On second thought SS is faster since it spins like this:
    Shimano M475 hub/freehub demonstration - YouTube

    Just a little bit show off of what I capable of.

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