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  1. #551
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reillyj View Post
    couldn't you not use your other gears, why do you need to buy a whole new bike to ride one ratio?
    It's kinda like mountain climbing with or without a safety line. Physically it's exactly the same, you have to make it across the same obstacles, your grip is the same, but mentally there is a HUGE difference.

    Bringing a geared bike and only using one gear means you have a "safety line". If for some reason it gets too tough you have the option to reconsider and start using the gears for an easy way out. If you only have one gear you have no alternatives and if the going gets tough, you have to toughen up too. Physically there are no difference between riding ss with a 32/16 ratio and using a geared bike in 32/16 (except for the tiny bit of added resistance of the rear derailleur), but mentally it's a whole different beast.

  2. #552
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reillyj View Post
    couldn't you not use your other gears, why do you need to buy a whole new bike to ride one ratio?
    take away the choice and you stop thinking about the choice....then start focusing on the ride.

    sit.
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    push.

    are all the options you have.
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  3. #553
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    Chainline does matter too. When I was trying the SS idea by always staying in 32-16 at a geared bike, it was easy (mentally, for me) not to switch gears. It was then that I realized that even 5 gears is too much. However, the chainline was off. But now on a true SS drivetrain, the chainline is perfect and it feels so, even though ring and cog are 28-14 (and thus slightly less efficient than 32-16).

  4. #554
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    There is something more direct about a single speed drive train. It is probably the chainline or it could be the larger tooth profiles on the rings and cogs. I tried riding in one gear prior to trying SS and it was not as good. I also found that I could use a taller overall gear on a true SS. Also, there is the fact that it is quieter and weighs less too.
    Full rigid SS, Hardtail SS, Hardtail Geared, Full Suspension Geared.

  5. #555
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    Oh, the quietness is something special. I'm running a True Precision Poacher hub and despite its drawbacks (mainly exposed bearings in rare sizes, and mine has one bearing bore slightly oversized due to a CNC error), don't want to go back to hubs that can be heard and hubs that don't engage as fast.

  6. #556
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    I got a single speed mountain bike because I wanted a completely different experience from riding my road bike. I wanted to explore the local parks and trails and just get dirty and eliminate the usual excuses, like extra time cleaning up afterwards. I didn't want any complexity, nothing to get in the way of me just grabbing the bike and going out to have some fun.

    At the back of my mind I was also worried that if I got another bike it could replace my current road bike. With a single speed mountain bike deciding which one to ride on a particular day is fairly straightforward; there is very little overlap. Having said that, maybe at some point I'll add a few gears just as an option, but for now I'm happy with my decision.

  7. #557
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    I like the challenge and simplicity of singlespeed. With 3 young kids and an wife I find I can go ride and not have to spend extra time fixing things.

  8. #558
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cools View Post
    I got a single speed mountain bike because I wanted a completely different experience from riding my road bike. I wanted to explore the local parks and trails and just get dirty and eliminate the usual excuses, like extra time cleaning up afterwards. I didn't want any complexity, nothing to get in the way of me just grabbing the bike and going out to have some fun.

    At the back of my mind I was also worried that if I got another bike it could replace my current road bike. With a single speed mountain bike deciding which one to ride on a particular day is fairly straightforward; there is very little overlap. Having said that, maybe at some point I'll add a few gears just as an option, but for now I'm happy with my decision.
    Hi All....My first post I joined this site after ordering a 'leftover' '12 UNIT 22. Although it's currently inbound to my LBS in Ann Arbor (WIM) Mi, I have to say I bought an SS for the EXACT same reasons. Keeping my road (Cannondale CAAD8 105) in perfect order is no biggie, but the beauty of having an SS to grab-n-go is what I really look forward to this year.

  9. #559
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    A nice side benefit of your SS is the best username on here Have fun!
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  10. #560
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    The ability to grab-n-go is priceless all by itself. To improve it, I even quit lubricating chains.. and it's the best decision I made since moving to SS drivetrains.

    Chain wear rate remained the same as before, when I lubed them up as soon as I started to hear them running. I also washed them thoroughly every 3 or 4 lube-ups. It was such a waste of time and it kept me stressed to remember to do that. And finally it's no more!

    Another good thing is that they don't squeak nearly as much as I expected them to. They don't take the quietness out of the ride, in my experience (whereas a good pawl-style hub can ruin it entirely). And there's no more of that gunk that accumulates on drivetrain parts even with dry style lubes! Whenever I get a chain really dusty, I just wash it with water..

    Overall, it's a win-win-win for me.
    Last edited by J. Random Psycho; 03-13-2013 at 04:23 PM.

  11. #561
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    Building SS fat bike from old 2001 trek. Sure I will have plenty of questions and such to come.

  12. #562
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    The ability to grab-n-go is priceless all by itself. To improve it, I even quit lubricating chains.. and it's the best decision I made since moving to SS drivetrains.

    Chain wear rate remained the same as before, when I lubed them up as soon as I started to hear them running. I also washed them thoroughly every 3 or 4 lube-ups. It was such a waste of time and it kept me stressed to remember to do that. And finally it's no more!

    Another good thing is that they don't squeak nearly as much as I expected them to. They don't take the quietness out of the ride, in my experience (whereas a good pawl-style hub can ruin it entirely). And there's no more of that gunk that accumulates on drivetrain parts even with dry style lubes! Whenever I get a chain really dusty, I just wash it with water..

    Overall, it's a win-win-win for me.
    I use a product called GIBBS (not in stores) on my road bike chain, mechs and grip shifters (Smith and Wessons too) ...... due to it's ability to penetrate INTO the metal, and still plan to keep lubing my 22" Rigid Unit when the time calls for it.
    2012 KONA UNIT, 22"
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  13. #563
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    I am an aggressive rider and my rigid SS (made by a BMX company) feels like a big BMX bike that I can go for long rides on. My girlfriend is one season new to MTBing. I started her on a rigid SS. It took her longer to really (truly) start enjoying mountain biking because of this, but now the she does, she is a stronger, more agile rider who is not thirsty for upgrades.

  14. #564
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    It's been said already. SS can be quieter, depending; even silent. Wildlife sightings are on a better potential. I reeled in a guy on a long hard climb and passed him quickly. He didn't hear me coming. Except for salutations, he didn't hear me go either.

  15. #565
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    SS is more about me, than the equipment. Equipment is cool, bling is nice, etc. etc., but at the end of the day on my SS..."I" did it. I like that.
    I'm having more FUN than anybody!

  16. #566
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    so you really don't need to lube chains on SS? Just took mine off and lubed it. With a dry lube. Maybe I'll let all that get worn off, and just let it go. Washing occasionally.

    Reason I pulled it was because it was getting crunchy. Had some mud get in the drivetrain and was worried about premature wear. Guess a quick scrub would have done just as well?
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  17. #567
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    Well I still don't lubricate, and try to run them clean. ) When a chain becomes crunchy from mud or dust, I take it off and wash with water. Would have pressure washed if I had the device.

    In the winter, with all those road salts, plain water seems to be insufficient and I boil the chain with some washing machine detergent. A stainless chain works better for this.

    But SS-specific chains, unlike 8-speed ones, don't seem to be expected by designers to run dry. They have tighter tolerances between side plates and may attempt to bind at some links. I just flex those links forcibly to loosen them. This is bearable with KMC Z610HX and non-detectable with KMC X1 (I even run it on 24-20 Hammerschmidt gear without any issues).

    The one chain that I failed to run dry, while maintaining remnants of sanity, is Wippermann 7R8. It binds fiercely when dry, and emits a lot of screeching.

    If I could not get Z610HX to run freely, I'd just use SRAM PC-890. Expected good life from KMC X1, but it's on par with everything else, 6 months, either lubed/maintained or dry/clean.


    (And my chainline is 50 mm on 2 bikes, to about 0.2 mm measurement error, both ends, which I measured many times over.)

  18. #568
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    I'll be joining the SS Club in a few days. I just ordered my first, a Gravity G29,...I'm expecting simplicity & stress relief. I just started really riding bikes again last year, and my geared bikes are a friggin' PITA!!! I sold a folder, I have a Puma Nevis 8 speed (the most reliable), and a Lombardo Power2000 21 speed that has been a headache from day 1!!! And I first purchased a comfort bike (what a stupid mistake!!!), a schwinn voyageur ig3. Even THAT was annoying. You need to stop pedaling to shift,...not for meh!!!

    Anyways, I'm awaiting my new G29, and I'm expecting to finally ride & ENJOY myself.

  19. #569
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    Would anyone agree that falling isnt such a bad thing on a singlespeed?

    When you have a rear mech and about to fall the only thing I can think about is "nooooooooooo my derailuer hanger ****!!!".

    I really want to try a ss and the fact that I can moderatly wipe out and not worry about somthing like that makes it more feasible to any disadvantage of not being able to shift.

  20. #570
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    I have broken a derailleur hanger just by riding and getting a stick caught in the spokes and had to walk out. It wasn't long after that, I started to SS almost exclusively. When I am falling, I generally think about body parts, not the bike.
    Full rigid SS, Hardtail SS, Hardtail Geared, Full Suspension Geared.

  21. #571
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    I've noticed a significant difference in the drag if the chain is not lubed. That's with my road commuter SS Band wagon.

    I wash my bikes maybe once in 1-2 months. I lube them also and check the pressure. Of course I do those if needed.

    This morning I just sprayed lube on Band wagon chain and get going to work. Major difference.
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  22. #572
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    Quote Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
    ...Even THAT was annoying. You need to stop pedaling to shift,...not for meh!!!
    Yep what's wrong there is the stopping and the shifting.

    toot334455:
    I really want to try a ss and the fact that I can moderatly wipe out and not worry about somthing like that makes it more feasible to any disadvantage of not being able to shift.
    Not being able to shift is an advantage.
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  23. #573
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    Update: non-lubricated KMC Z610 HX still doesn't run as easily as a non-lubricated 8-speed chain.

  24. #574
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    I built my first SS ten years ago and I still can't give a coherent answer as to why I ride them. Just to be fair I will occasionally ride a buddy's high zoot $xxxx.xx dollar FS rig and my little inner voice just says "uh......no".
    It's all about the mo.

  25. #575
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    Interesting to revisit this thread.

    Since I was here last I went from SS to an Alfine 8, thinking that such a heavy, versatile bike (Surly Ogre) is wasted on a single ratio. Now I'm going back to SS!

    Having gears is convenient, I guess, but the more I rode the more I just sat at about seventy gear inches and mashed up hills.

  26. #576
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    I'm developing a love-hate relationship with my SS. I love it when I'm out on a trail but when I'm riding pavement to and from my destination I start getting doubt: maybe I should get a higher gear ratio, maybe I should've gone geared?

    I know it's all my fault. I don't have a car right now and in general just love riding and exploring. Sometimes a mountain bike makes more sense for that than my geared road bike as I'm more likely to go further when the path gets rough. But yeah, long boring stretches of pavement can make me crazy sometimes...

    Maybe the solution is to get another bike... Oh dear...

  27. #577
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    Cools, it's possible to do a 2 gear ratio SS bike (dinglespeed) where you manually set the chain to either of gears, and required chain length is the same for both. It takes 2 chainrings in front and something like White Industries ENO DOS in the rear.

    White industries DOS ENO freewheel

  28. #578
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    Hmm... I remember reading about that. Thanks for remind me! I'm guessing I can replace the bash-guard with a larger ring and I can already fit more than 1 cog on the rear hub (Sun Ringlé Dirty Flea SS).

  29. #579
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    You probably need a taller gear, but let me elaborate on the dinglespeed. I have one bike set up with 32-34 in front and 20-18 in back (29er with a 26er you would want 2 less teeth on the rears or 1 more on the fronts to be equal). You have to set the chain tension on the big ring because it will always be less on the smaller ring (more chain wrap on the 34-18 than on the 32-20). Also, since there is less tension on the smaller ring, make sure it is a true SS ring like a Niner or Surley with the large tooth profile. Otherwise, as it wears just a little it will derail on hard efforts. All you have to do to change ratios is loosen the rear qr and drop the wheel about 3/4 inch and back pedal the chain to the right rings and then let the bike drop back onto the axle and tighten the QR and you are on your way. I use this as a Spring bike since by the middle of the season I am riding 34-18 in the woods. I can start out on the low gear and do several laps and then switch to the tall gear for the last lap. That gets me in shape for my other bikes. Also, use it when camping and use the tall gear around the roads and the low gear in the woods if it is muddy or early season.
    Full rigid SS, Hardtail SS, Hardtail Geared, Full Suspension Geared.

  30. #580
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    Was asked this exact question on tonight's ride. My reply: "Because I like it".

    Despite my answer upthread, that sums it up for me.
    If you need me I'll be at the bar

  31. #581
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    Well from going from bmx in my teens, to a geared mtb and then to a ss mtb. I feel very at home with the ss mtb, gears just don't make sense to me for my idea of mountain riding. I always had an issue with my geared mtb, something to tweak something to fix. Ive had this ss for almost 3 weeks now and I've beaten it almost every day rain or shine. Not one problem, and this is on a cheapo gravity rigid fork with a brake upgrade.

    Sure, the ss kicks my ass..I imagine as I get more and more accustomed to it and how to utilize my power more efficiently it will be unbeatable for me. I plow by geared riders, though im definitely working harder.

    Cant say I would like a ss road bike though, seems far too limited for speed. I love trying to keep up with cars. I also dont have the issue of parts failing on my 1990 giant quasar, its a heavy and bullet proof and doesnt deal with pesky rocks and sticks getting places they shouldn't.

  32. #582
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    I'll chime in on this thread. For me, what what I love about riding a SS is that it takes me back to my childhood years of just riding a bike to have fun. I grew up riding BMX bikes in the 70's, and I rode them everywhere - trails, race tracks, to school, on family camping trips. I practically lived on my bike. The bikes were simple and a blast to ride. Fast forward to my mid-40's and I find myself seeking the same kind of simple enjoyment on a bike. Nothing to break, nothing to adjust, nothing clanking around - just pedal to your heart's content with one gear. I got sick of riding the same trails around here on geared bikes, but a SS makes them fun again. I've owned everything from 50 lb. DH bikes to ultralight XC race bikes and everything in between, but nothing puts a grin on my face like riding a SS bike. In fact, it's time to stop waxing poetic and go riding!

  33. #583
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    Because... I ride mostly by myself, and gears makes it too easy. A little suffering is a good thing. It will make you 1) climb better 2) brake less 3) find smoother lines 4) pump more - use your body.

    Anything to keep the momentum. It will make you a better rider.

  34. #584
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    Since I went to riding SS exclusively I have noticed that now I choose going for a ride over having sex about 9 times out of 10, with gears it was more like 50-50. More fun with my baggies on..

  35. #585
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    I have a very nice (but flat) forest near me. In the past I took the car and rode 70 - 100kms south to get some hills with my geared bike.

    Now I just step on the single speed and find myself having serious fun 5k from home on terain that was boring as hell on the geared bike.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 4

  36. #586
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    What's with all the hate from the Full Suspension guys these days? I ride a Niner One9 Rigid Singlespeed on trails most guys won't ride without a FS bike. It just drives me crazy hearing about it all the time. I do love getting out there and hauling up the hills while the FS guys are spinning away at 0.0035 MPH up hill. I love my rigid SS. I may change out to a shock fork one day. A good friend of mine just doesn't get it and continues to doubt why I love riding SS. I can't wait for the day he finally moves out here to Oregon so I can show him how great SS bikes are.

  37. #587
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    When I got a single speed i never took the Heckler out again.. I always had more fun on the Redline. Now I have a geared pugs - but the lure of turning it into a single speed is very strong...

    For me the thing I like best is No slopy shifting. I hate it when I shift and do not get instant feedback. I have had the Dinglespeed - and used the 42 X 16 on the road and the 32 X 21 in the dirt. Good stuff.
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  38. #588
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    I'm hooked. Riding partner turned me on to SS. I picked up a slightly used Kona unit this week despite never riding a SS. Whole different dynamic to my rigid 26". I can honestly say I had a lot more fun today and worked harder while doing it.

  39. #589
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    Going SS only is the best thing i ever did. Sold all my geared gear! Never looked back

  40. #590
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    In the process of selling the geared parts here too.. would build a narrow freehub 1x7 on Shimano 10-speed rear, narrow-wide teeth ring front anyway these days if I was really interested in a geared bike.

  41. #591
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weinerts View Post
    When I got a single speed i never took the Heckler out again.. I always had more fun on the Redline. Now I have a geared pugs - but the lure of turning it into a single speed is very strong...

    For me the thing I like best is No slopy shifting. I hate it when I shift and do not get instant feedback. I have had the Dinglespeed - and used the 42 X 16 on the road and the 32 X 21 in the dirt. Good stuff.
    ss the heckler.
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  42. #592
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    here's a little blog post I wrote about the performance benefits of riding SS compared to a power meter for road riding, with a dash of humor thrown in. I may have used a few four and five letter words while writing this and a lot of it is basic stuff pretty much anyone who has ridden SS knows...but hey, check it out anyway. Share it with your friends who don't SS and want to get faster and be better riders, call me names in the comments section, whatever.

    Suffering, Sweating, and Smiling: Confessions of an Ultra-Endurance Cyclist: Singlespeed Mountain Biking: Like a Power Meter, Except Rad

  43. #593
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    why do I ride a SS? It's fun. It's quiet. It's easy to maintain. It tears up the trails here in the Pisgah National Forest...Not quite like my big old dual suss USED to, but in it's own way. It makes me feel like I've had to work for a ride. It tears at my lungs on a big climb ride. It ridicules me when I'm having an "off" day. It rewards me when I'm in the zone. And it never fails to kick my a$$, regardless of what kind of shape I'm in. I don't ride to prove anything. I don't ride to be the next KOM on strava. I ride to enjoy it. And my SS always brings a smile to my face. Beer seems to taste better after a long ride on the SS. Sometimes in the middle of a long ride. Even my wife can tell when I've been riding the SS exclusively. I'm no spring chicken, but it does really increase my fitness... Probably because I can't wait to get back out on it again...and just RIDE!!!

  44. #594
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    I trail rode a SS for the first time today and I liked it. It wasn't the longest ride, but it was fairly proper and the bike wasn't exactly a perfect fit. But to paraphrase a friend of mine: "it was kinda like stroking left handed- awkward, but still very enjoyable".

  45. #595
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmc1171 View Post
    "it was kinda like stroking left handed- awkward, but still very enjoyable".
    Well, my personal experience tells SS vs geared is more different than that..
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  46. #596
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    "Why does Rice play Texas?"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ateh7hnEnik
    My other bike is a /7.

  47. #597
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    For me its all about a inexpensive, simple, quiet challenge.

    I find that once i get my bike dialed in for whatever the latest upgrade, experiment, or bling addition I don't have to touch it. no adjusting shifters, checking for gear wear, checking shock pressure or seals, etc. It is just riding.
    My current bike is a PIG (a Dawes bullseye from bikesdirect.com) but i have maybe 5000 miles on it, lots of that is commuting along dirt paths and into down town LA, but i have crashed it a fair amount on my local single tracks and been hit by cars with ZREO damage except for a popped tire.

    Sure its 27 lbs and is a bit of a bear on the climbs but i'm into it for less then a complete entry level specialized 29er (Crave SL or even a converted rockhopper) by a big number and WAY less then the SIR 9 I covet and I have a bike that is has a nice custom look and that I have had the joy of seeking out the best deal on high end parts and installing myself.

    There is little to no chain noise, just the sound of the dirt crunching beneath the tires (or the insane traffic). You really get into your surroundings and enjoy the trail a lot more i find. I don't ever think about if I am in the right gear for the climb ahead, because i clearly am, or have any loss of power because i'm mid shift. I have never lost a chain on my SS either. It increases you focus on where you are riding and your own body (breathing, cadence etc).

    But Really It makes me feel like a kid again. And I guess that is the best part of all. I don't worry about it for any reason Like i would a more fancy, complicated, expensive rig... I just ride my bike.

  48. #598
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    I live in a very flat area here on the coast of NC and grew up riding bmx and single speed cruisers mostly on and around the beach so it was nothing new for me, reliability, simplicity and confidence on a single speed is what propels me to ride one. Challenges are fresh and new every ride.
    If your seat post is sticking out of your frame further then 6 inches, you need a bigger bike.

  49. #599
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    ....because it is my constitutional right.

  50. #600
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    Why singlespeed? (Also see the SS FAQ - Stickied at top of thread list)

    Quote Originally Posted by jdac85 View Post
    For me its all about a inexpensive, simple, quiet challenge.

    I find that once i get my bike dialed in for whatever the latest upgrade, experiment, or bling addition I don't have to touch it. no adjusting shifters, checking for gear wear, checking shock pressure or seals, etc. It is just riding.



    There is little to no chain noise, just the sound of the dirt crunching beneath the tires (or the insane traffic). You really get into your surroundings and enjoy the trail a lot more i find. I don't ever think about if I am in the right gear for the climb ahead, because i clearly am, or have any loss of power because i'm mid shift. I have never lost a chain on my SS either. It increases you focus on where you are riding and your own body (breathing, cadence etc).

    But Really It makes me feel like a kid again. And I guess that is the best part of all. I don't worry about it for any reason Like i would a more fancy, complicated, expensive rig... I just ride my bike.
    This

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