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  1. #401
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    I bought my first mtn bike and geared bike in November '09 and after 2 rides messing with the gears, I kind of found myself not changing anymore. I would just stand up and mash without thinking of it. So, each time I rode, I made adjustments. I went from 3x8, to 2x8, to 1x8, to 1x1. And it is truely awsome. No messin around just cranking. Sure the geared guys can sometimes make it further up long hills then me, but then again sometimes walking is just as fast and their rediculously slow pedaling( or should I say fast pedaling, barely moving) lol

    and of course all the guys I ride with are geared FS and I'm ss HT, they try to give me a hard time but I am really laughing at them. ha

  2. #402
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    Singlespeed ?

    so you can build strength , great for dirt jumping you definitely have to try it

    http://hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Jump-On-A-Mountain-Bike

    so you can put hairs on your chest!

  3. #403
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    After years as a roadie riding over 5000 miles a year, I bought a Jet9 2 years ago as my first foray into MTB. When ;the Jet9 was recalled, Niner sold me a Sir9 frame cheap to tide me over (I actually chose the Sir9 from all the frames Niner was offering a huge discount on with the idea that I could try SS but I probably wouldn't like it). I built the Sir with the parts from the Jet and rode it hardtail geared for about 8 months. When the new Jet came in I bought a Niner Carbon fork for the Sir and rebuilt the Jet with mostly new parts. I gathered the few parts I needed to try the Sir SS. I converted it once which was a pain in the butt and due to weather only got a few short rides and it was interesting but I was not a total convert yet. I figured at my age (56) it would probably be too hard.

    Since changing was a pain and i wanted to explore SS further I found a used Sir on ebay that included a true SS crank. I moved the carbon fork to that frame and bought a new fork for the Jet and moved that fork to the first Sir. When I built the 2nd Sir as a pure SS full rigid. The first ride, I lapped a medium hard local course twice without ever setting a foot down faster than I ever did on geared bikes and I was hooked.

    My Jet is for sale and my other Sir is turning into more of a commuter bike. I think it is the responsiveness and the fact that you have to react to every root and rock unlike suspended bikes. When you are flying along on the full rigid SS it is like being in a video game. I just totally get in the zone and fly. On the Jet and even the other Sir to some extent you just pedal straight ahead and the suspension takes care of all the roots and rocks, etc. On the SS I am constantly standing and shifting my weight and trying to pedal between bumps, etc. You are much more a participant in the ride. The suspended bikes are not responsive enough to dodge every rock, etc.

  4. #404
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    If you like single speed so much, why waste time changing it? cant you just stay on one ring the whole time biking? Is it just because:

    It looks cool, a mtber on a ss uphill
    or
    Lightweight
    or
    Other??

  5. #405
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    I found that to not be the same. First of all it is heavier, 2nd of all the bike had front suspension so it was way heavier. If you ride much, you will quickly wear out a middle gear in an expensive cassette. SS cogs have larger contact areas due to taller teeth and no profiling for easy shifting. SS cogs last a long time and if you run your expensive freewheel cogs on one gear all the time, they will wear out fast. Also, it is my experience that the one gear you choose, will not be tall enough. In other words, the right gear is generally the 32 in the front and around an 18 in the rear. I swear, if you are on that gear on a geared bike it feels insanely tall. The same gear on a light responsive SS just works.

    Also, a large part of the SS thing is simplicity and reliability. About 3 months ago, I was riding my other Sir and half hour into the ride in the middle of the woods a stick got in my rear wheel and broke the Rear Der bolt in half and slightly bent the Der Hanger. Ride over and walking out of the woods. Every time I ride my SS as I am unloading it, I think "well this ride will not end prematurely".

    SS is a different style of riding and once you learn it (attacking to build speed before hills, carrying insane speed through a corner to keep momentum up, etc.) the other type of riding just somehow seems more boring or like you are less involved. Why do people climb Everest or cross Oceans? Because they get a charge out of living in the NOW.

  6. #406
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    Well I think I'm being slowly converted......

    I'm just getting back into mountain biking after a 5+ year hiatus....I started out looking to pick up what was my dream bike 5+ years ago, a SC Blur.

    Then I rode a 29er and finally felt like I fit on the bike. So decided a 29er was it. But I still wanted gears...I NEEDED gears.

    Have some friends riding SS...thought they were totally out of their heads...racing with them too. I scoured the internets for a 29er that I could ride geared. Finally found a nice 09 Voo Doo Dambala...it was set up as SS and I had no time to convert to geared before leaving for a race. So off to the race I went as SS.

    Although I did not finish the race due to some mechanical woes, I came away thinking how nice it was to not worry about what damn gear I was in and to just be out there enjoying the ride. There were a couple of hills that I was longing for granny gear on though, so my next progression was to converting to a 1x2.....

    I've now had the bike for a month and I've not gotten around to adding an additional gear. Last week my mechanic swapped out my 16 cog for a 19 to try before doing the 1x2 conversion. Now I can feel the sickness fully taking over me....I don't need a granny gear. Ya the hills suck, sure its a struggle...but I like it...I like just getting on the bike and going...and just hanging it up when I get home. I like feeling the power come to my legs and push through a tough sandy area instead of dropping gears and cruising along...more satisfaction. Simplicity. A bit less weight. Fewer things to break. Zen. Whatever you want to call it.

    Now I'm thinking about doing my next race in 3 weeks again as SS. I've also converted my commuter to SS. I've stopped looking at derailleurs and shifters.

    I don't know what it is. A month ago I would fight you to the death that I absolutely, positively, could not possibly ride a bike without gears. Now I'm kinda feeling like, meh, why bother.

    I'm in a daze.

    All I can say is try it.
    "too weird to live, too rare to die" - HST
    "Oh Gravity, thou art a heartless bitch" - Sheldon

  7. #407
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    SS makes you a mentally tougher rider, you learn to maintain momentum, you learn that you can push up those hills you thought you never would be able to and you learn to find smoother lines.

    I went from a geared HT to a rigid SS and I ride all the same trails with my SS from 500 ft elevation over 15 miles to 4000 ft elevation over 15 miles. It has made me a much stronger rider and improved my skills. When I now ride my geared HT I am much faster than I used to be.

    For me its about pushing myself to my physical limit and getting the best workout I can in the very few hours I have to MTB! I'm doing what I can to stay on this planet as long as possible.

  8. #408
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    Reasons for riding a SS bike:

    1) It will make you stronger.

    2) The bike is lighter

    3) you can "feel the trail" better and learn how much torque you can apply

    4) It will make you stronger

    5) If you choose to ride rigid, you will learn to pick good lines and be smooth or you will die

    6) Maintenance is a breeze.

    7) Humiliating your friends on squishy geared bikes is fun

    8 ) It will make you stronger

    9) The geometry is better for climbing "out of the saddle"

    10) You'll never throw a chain (you may break one though) again.

    11) SS bikes are actually "3 speeds". Sit, Stand, or Walk....

    12) It will make you stronger.

    More reasons:

    13) You will never break a 1/8" chain.

    14) You will save money.

    15) You will never ghost shift again.

    16) You will save money.

    17) It will make you stronger.

    18 ) You can build a stronger wheel (less dish).

    19) You'll know when a chain is worn, it will sag. (non-tensioner setup)
    Last edited by mtnbikerfred; 01-03-2011 at 07:48 PM.
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
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  9. #409
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    I've now gone exclusively to SS. Both my bikes are 29ers, one is full rigid, geared at 32X18 and the other has front Fox fork, geared at 32x20 for the longer rides and bigger hills. I may get a 21T Cog if I need to, but at this point, I'm just liking the whole SS experience too much to think about going back to geared. I just turned 46 and I'm in the best shape of my life, mostly from SS (along with appropriate weight training / recovery).

  10. #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred
    Reasons for riding a SS bike:

    1) It will make you stronger.

    2) The bike is lighter

    More reasons:

    13) You will never break a 1/8" chain.

    14) You will save money.

    15) You will never ghost shift again.

    16) You will save money.

    17) It will make you stronger.

    18 ) You can build a stronger wheel (less dish).

    19) You'll know when a chain is worn, it will sag. (non-tensioner setup)

    3) you can "feel the trail" better and learn how much torque you can apply

    4) It will make you stronger

    5) If you choose to ride rigid, you will learn to pick good lines and be smooth or you will die

    6) Maintenance is a breeze.

    7) Humiliating your friends on squishy geared bikes is fun

    8 ) It will make you stronger

    9) The geometry is better for climbing "out of the saddle"

    10) You'll never throw a chain (you may break one though) again.

    11) SS bikes are actually "3 speeds". Sit, Stand, or Walk....

    12) It will make you stronger.
    Hahahahahahaaa great!!!!
    I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

  11. #411
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    I decided to give single speed a try. I owned a 27 speed road bike for the past 6 years and added a 2 X 10 Fargo last fall. The road bike was not being ridden after I tasted low pressure 29” tires, so I sold my F80 and ordered a single speed Kona Unit. The Kona Unit is one third the price of my Fargo build, so it will not be an expensive trial.

    I plan to use the Kona Unit primarily for exercise, riding the local Kansas City bike paths which have minimal grade change since they are normally along creeks. If that works I will check out the local single-track trails in the metro parks. If that works, I will include the bike on a trip to Colorado to try out the local 4 X 4 Jeep roads.

    I love to ride the Salsa Fargo and suspect the Kona Unit will get equal usage. It will be interesting to see which 29er gets more use, and if a 50+ year old can still handle single speed.
    Last edited by timberline12k; 01-04-2011 at 11:15 AM.

  12. #412
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    I got rid of my rip9 and am now riding a SS, commuting and on the trail. I've noticed a big difference in strength and stamina, hills that used to kick my butt in granny I'm powering up now with my 32/16 gearing. Definitely forces you to be in a different state of mind, I have to be more determined and committed and plan ahead, but at the end of each ride I feel the rewards.
    Gotta love that Singlespeed Zen
    YCC

  13. #413
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    Back on topic for a moment,
    I just got a Trek Fisher Marlin 29er SS and I love it.
    I bought it because the SS drops make for an easy conversion to an Alfine Geared Hub (Blaspemy I know)
    I was extremely surprised at how much I like it as an SS.
    SS riding is cool, uncomplicated and provides a feeling of lightness and connectedness to the bicycle that my Cannondale Jekyll Lefty doesn't even begin to approach. And I really like my Jekyll.
    Look at the reccomended FAQs and SheldonBrowns single speed Faq on his web site.
    I wasn't even looking to like an SS, now, even if I do build up an Alfine wheel for it you can bet it's going to be a quick swap with the SS setup.
    By the way the Marlin has the really first class Fisher Rig frame and although you will eventually need to dump the Forks their OK to start and a good set of Rebas still end up with a cost way less than the Rig.

  14. #414
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    My story...

    Here's my story! Last summer a friend of mine was at a pawn shop and found a beat up old Voodoo Hoodoo that had been converted to single speed with an old derailleur. He bought it, rode it a few times, decided he didn't like single speeds (bad knees) and lent it to me to try out. Some other friends of mine occasionally rode single speeds, and I thought they were crazy, but I thought I'd give it a try. I couldn't imagine giving up my gears!

    I bought a Surly Singleator for it, played around with the gearing until I found a combination that worked on my usual rides - and started having some fun.

    Fortunately, the Voodoo has a lightweight set of Bontrager Race wheels. Unfortunately, it has a boat-anchor-heavy old Marzocchi fork on it, but it still works well. The old steel frame has a wonderful, lively feel to it. I've replaced chains, tires, the bar, stem and handlebar, and gotten it to where it just "fits". Luckily, I found that the gearing that works for me around here is also the "magic gear" - no more Singleator. The whole setup weighs about 27 pounds, but I'm no lightweight either - about 185...

    I decided that I would ride only the Voodoo for a month, and not touch my geared bike - and see where it would take my 53 year-old legs and lungs. Well, it was 2 months and 23 straight rides before I rode my geared bike again, and that was only because of a broken chain I couldn't replace right away! It's heavy, looks like crap, but I just grin like an idiot every time I ride it! I found myself riding stronger, longer, and looking at all my usual rides in a whole new way. And getting better workouts in a shorter time.

    Then, I borrowed a friend's 29er 1x9 Spot, test rode a couple of 29er SS rigid bikes and decided late last year that that's the way I wanted to go...

    Fast forward to today, the Voodoo's off being powder coated, and my geared bike is allowing me to attempt to stay in riding condition when it's warm and dry enough. My budget's real tight, but I've started to sneak money away for a new Niner EMD with Niner's carbon fork, set up as a single speed (magic gear or tensioner, so I have the option to go 1x9 later if/when I desire - I am an old fart, you know). It may take me a full year to put it all together, but in the meantime I'll have the Voodoo to abuse myself with!

    I think a good single speed analogy for me is to compare it to cars I've owned - my current Passat is smooth, quiet, comfortable and competent - but "disconnected" from the whole driving experience. About 10 years ago I had an older Porsche 911 - driving it was so much fun because the steering was so precise and gave so much feedback, the brakes were excellent, and you had to really pay attention and be involved with the road and the whole process of driving. It was work to drive well, but always put a smile on my face.

    That's what a single speed does for me - I get more involved in the terrain, picking my line, feeling feedback every inch of the way. It's simpler, quieter, lighter (or will be), just somehow more "pure". It's something that's just hard to explain to someone who hasn't given it a try.

    I can't wait - 1: for warmer,dryer weather, and 2: to be flying down my favorite rides on a nice, lightweight Niner! I'm hooked. Bad. I need help... Seeya

  15. #415
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    Ok so here's my view. I started riding about 3 years ago. I was always a decent rider and considered myself pretty fast especially on climbs. I have limited time to ride tho and I was starting to get bored with my normal loops. While planning my 1x9 setup I stumbled upon this forum. I ignored my yearn toward single speed and continued on with setting up the 1x9. It was cool but I found my thumb mashing the shift down trigger wishing for a lower gear. Finally I decided to hell with shifting after I broke another deralieur hanger and ordered me some single speed bits. I set up my xtc single speed much to all of my friends confusion. Sure the first few rides sucked but today it all sorta clicked. I was flying up hills I used to granny gear. I was climbing extra hills cause it was fun! I loved the burning in my wimpy arms and chest as I crested a climb I used to hate. I still out ran my buddy on his gorgeous gt 29er on the downhills cause I got such a lead climbing up. I'm even ok with spinning like mad as I ride down the road to the trailhead. I now understand what people can't really explain about single speeding draw, you just have to jump in and try it. Consider me converted, next step 29in wheels for my 6'3" frame.

  16. #416
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred
    13) You will never break a 1/8" chain.
    I thought about half of your reasons were lame or not true, but the only one that I'll strongly disagree with is 13. I only break 1/8" chains and I think their masterlink set ups blow in comparison to an 8 speed.

  17. #417
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    I tried singlespeed last summer, and I still don't get it. It might just be due to the trails in my area that have alot of really steep hills that made it no fun.......... Or... it might be that I'm out of shape. At any rate, I have no issue with people that like single speed, but the folks that use it here are soo f**king elitist that it gets on my nerves! Its like the hipster mountain bike club!!! Ok, I'm done with that rant...
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  18. #418
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I thought about half of your reasons were lame or not true, but the only one that I'll strongly disagree with is 13. I only break 1/8" chains and I think their masterlink set ups blow in comparison to an 8 speed.
    I suppose I'll revise it to read "SS chain". 9spd, fail all day long (especially pinned). 8spd or SS specific, almost never.
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
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  19. #419
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    why didn't I do this sooner?

    I just did a budget conversion of my Cannondale F6 to SS and could not be happier. The bike is now 2.5 lbs lighter and I ran the 4 mile loop at the local trail over 2 minutes faster than with gears!
    crash expert, ss convert

  20. #420
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    Good job! Some thoughts from a recent single speed convert.

    This is a bit of a follow on to my posting at 413.

    I recently got a Trek Fisher Marlin single speed 29er for the express purpose of converting it to a dual purpose 8 speed gear hub bicycle, primarily because the drop outs are ideal for this conversion.

    Of course when I got it I tried riding it as a single speed. I was surprised, I now understand why single speeds have a true cult following.

    The Marlin is really light and feels it and with its huge wheels, you can steam roller over almost anything.

    I have since converted it to an Alfine 8 speed and also put on heavier more dual purpose tires (Fat Big Apples). It is now a great dual purpose bicycle, but you do feel the added weight and it just doesnt quite have that extreme lightness and connectedness that it had before.

    Fortunately, I installed the Alfine / handspun wheel so it is a 5 minute swap with the stock single speed one and I used the same sized (20 tooth) rear sprocket as the SS. So the stock chain works and the wheel doesnt even need to be adjusted front to back to swap.

    I am also going to get a spare quick change front wheel so I can keep a truly light front tire on it. Best of both worlds.

    Till now I haven't been much of a weight watcher, my Canondale Jekyl not being particularly light, but now I understand, with the SS extreme light weight really makes the bike seem more like a part of you.

    Once youve ridden one that has that really light and connected feeling you want more.

    A note about the Marlin. It is a truly great single speed for the price. In spite of others comments, the Tektro Novellas are at least OK although you can swap them later for Avids or Hayes if you want. However, th same cannot be said of the fork. It is light enough and for my intended dual purpose use it is OK, but for serious dirt, forget it, you will need to get a better fork. You can pick up a decent mid grade RockShox for $200-$300.00 and this is a swap you will need to make sooner rather than later.

    Other than that, the Marlin is an excellent value and way cheaper even with a new fork than the Fisher Rig which uses exactly the same frame. I would do it the same way I did even if I had it to do over.

    PS you can see the details of the Alfine wheel swap at my thread in the internal gear hubs forum at: Trek Fisher Marlin 29er SS to Alfine 8 speed
    Last edited by Gary McCray; 03-15-2011 at 12:04 PM.

  21. #421
    Saint Nik
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    Single speeding is a healthy addiction, 20 kms in Whaka forest is worth one hundred on the road ! it;s simple and silent and enables you to use all your skills to negoiate the trails

  22. #422
    ilmfat
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    doh

  23. #423
    ilmfat
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    really? it posted thrice?

  24. #424
    ilmfat
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    i guess it didnt. it was such a good post too. anyone wanna copy paste from their e-mail notification for me?

  25. #425
    ilmfat
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    i got it...

    hey gemini6: vassago and ron burgundy have a message for you.

    i feel better.

  26. #426
    ilmfat
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    nobody? really?

    i guess i gotta go ride instead of trollin. luckily i just picked up my jabberwocky (no gear plugs for me thank you) from the bike shop.

    big apples for the mother f-n win.

  27. #427
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    ilmfat your posts make absolutely no sense... care to clarify..

  28. #428
    ilmfat
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    i thought i posted 3 times, so deleted 2. turns out it only double posted, so it deleted both.

    it was my explanation of "why SS?".

    plus an F-u at gemini6 for calling me elitist. i guess he actually got to me.

    i was hopin someone could copy paste from an e-mail notification for my first (double) post, as i thought it was pretty good. meh.

    and i put big apple 2.35's on (finally true) outlaws on my jabber. only one street ride so far, but it was waaay nice.

    sorry people. im a drama queen sometimes.

  29. #429
    crunx
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    I actually got my first real single speed set up recently (converted). My whole life since I was a kid I rode bmx bikes, then when I lived in South korea I bought a geared road bike, which was okay for the time being, but I really wasnt into it. Now living in Finland I decided to buy an old Finnish made Tunturi and converted it SS and I can tell you that I am already addicted to SS trail riding. I mainly went SS because I am really bad with keeping a straight chain line on geared bikes and I just think they look stupid.

  30. #430
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    Because I'm getting frustrated shopping for a FS 29er and SS are so much cheaper? Still on the fence...

  31. #431
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    Go the SS route

    What's holding you back? The SS is just as fast as the FS and much more fun! infact I was at a race this weekend and the SSer took second and fouth overall. They are fast and fun!

  32. #432
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    +1. love me some SS.

  33. #433
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    Why SS? Found a $10 bike on Craigslist with no pic or description but went to buy it since it was $10. Found that it was an SS with zero problems. Turned out to be a Trek 850. Not sure if that's a good or crappy bike but it does what I want it to do. That's reason enough to ride SS for me.

    Still not sure why he sold the bike for so cheap though.

  34. #434
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    Could be stolen. Lots of stolen bikes end up on Craiglist for little$.

  35. #435
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    why single speed

    I live and ride in the Colorado mountains, some of our trails are great ss rides, you get up amazingly fast and get to work on your spin on the way down, that being said, I do still ride my full suspension on the trails where it is appropriate, neither is better, just better suited to certain rides/trails. I love the single speed and will still love and ride my other bikes as well.

  36. #436
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    I love ss for mountain biking but since i am an adventurous dood, i like to ride from trail to trail, maybe do a loop starting at my house, ride on road to one trail, ride down on road to another then loop back to my house. Its hard to ride road on a single speed bike geared for steep climbing. It is also hard to train with, because it is hard to not go really hard on a single speed because you have no choice. those are my only complaints.

    Not all ss are light either. I ride a redline monocog and its about 27 lbs. its was 450$ as a whole bike, but still. I think single speeding is also about exploring the roots of mountain biking and biking in general.

    Oh yea and it makes you look like a badass.

  37. #437
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    mountaindudespike; one thing you can do is fix up a bike with 2 sets of gearing. At one time I had my Sir9 fixed up with a 32 and 34 on the front and a 19 and 17 on the rear. You adjust the chain for the 34 17 combination and then it will be just a little loose on the 32 19. You can ride the 34-17 to the traiil then just drop the rear wheel enough to swap the chain at the trail. This will work with any combination as long as the total teeth count remains the same and the large ring in the front is the one to adjust the chain to because the smaller one will always run a little looser.

    You didn't say what size wheels you run but for example if you have a 32x21 currently on a 29er (I would consider that as gearing that I would use for very steep stuff) You could buy a 34 and mount it where the bash guard is currently and a 19 and space it to have perfect chainline with the new ring. That would give you gearing of 44 gear inches in the woods and 52 gear inches on the road.

  38. #438
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    For the Joy and Simplicity of the ride. Just got back from a short ride through the fields around our place. Sun shining, grass up to the top tube, no drive train noise and the present moment feeling that comes with riding one gear. After riding fs for years I am amazed at the clarity of mind one gets when you forget about shifting. Something that cannot be explained only experienced.

    Cheers,
    Straw
    Ease & Flow Where Ever I Go

  39. #439
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    I like SS also because you dont have to worry about what your pacing is, because you dont even have a choice! When I ride my geared FS, i am always shifting around trying to decide what gear i should be at.
    '11 Dawes Deadeye
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  40. #440
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    great thread!
    I rode before my memory starts - just early pics.
    My Army days in the 80's I got a Bianchi from the factory in Italy, and a Peugeot moutain bike from the local economy when I was stationed in Europe. Both got ridden - one as a tool, one as part of a group for something to do.

    In 2004 I walked into my local bike shop to get a new tube for my son's BMX racer. There was this Specialized P1 there. It didn't leave with me on that trip....but it did by the end of the day.

    couldn't get the idea of it out of my mind. so simple, so free. I knew it was 'me' before I swung a leg over.

    I'm probably not the best fit for it - as I'm 6'4" tall but I make it work just fine. My son, his friends, and their dads and I - we ride trails some around here...some are pretty famous like the Womble. No one waits on me too much...and I'm better than some with their gears.

    I like simple stuff that works hard and isn't fussy. And I can't remember the last time I worried about a gear change.

  41. #441
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    I met a dude on the trail one time and i asked him for directions since this particular trail was like a maze. He said no problems...follow me and I'll show you around.

    This guy was a pot bellied hippy looking dude with a long ponytail that showed a lot of gray. As i fell in behind him we started to roll through the woods and he was giving me a cool tour of the trail...he was part of a group that helped build it...it was neat to hear the history behind the names of the trails and how it all came together.

    After a while i couldn't help but notice that this Buda looking hippy dude was a machine. He flowed through the woods so effortlessly and quietly that i thought for a moment he must be riding an extremely expensive bike. I was clicking away trying to find the right gear and i was huffing and puffing trying to keep up. He was soooo quiet that all i could hear was his tires softly rolling...almost like they were carressing the forest floor. I looked down to see what type of deraileur this guy was running because his was WAY better than my clunky POS. To my SHOCK he didnt have a rear derailleur. I almost wrecked my bike trying to steal a second glance...and then a third.

    W...T...F? Buda is kicking my ever loving arse on a single speed! Now i wasnt in the best shape at the time....but i was far from the worst either.

    This guy sounded like a ghost...there was no way you'd ever hear him coming. I thought the quietness of it was really cool. We don't have ny huge climbs around here so it woouldn't be a killer to ride one here. It's been in the back of my mind ever since. I imagine I'll own one some day. And then I'll go back and see Buda...and then the student will become the master.

  42. #442
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    Lol! I want some of whatever you took.

  43. #443
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    I've been getting a lot of questions from the guys in the group lately. I'm the only one on a SS. They just don't understand how I can make it up some obstacles and climb certain parts the way I do. All I can tell them is that when you only have one speed to work with, you KNOW how to use it in every situation. When a nasty climb starts and they are in the wrong gear or try shifting in the middle, I just hammer down and blast past them. It requires no thinking, no maintenance and no BS excuses for equipment not performing.

  44. #444
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    Singlespeed for life

  45. #445
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    Singlespeed for life

  46. #446
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred View Post
    Reasons for riding a SS bike:

    1) It will make you stronger.

    2) The bike is lighter

    3) you can "feel the trail" better and learn how much torque you can apply

    4) It will make you stronger

    5) If you choose to ride rigid, you will learn to pick good lines and be smooth or you will die

    6) Maintenance is a breeze.

    7) Humiliating your friends on squishy geared bikes is fun

    8 ) It will make you stronger

    9) The geometry is better for climbing "out of the saddle"

    10) You'll never throw a chain (you may break one though) again.

    11) SS bikes are actually "3 speeds". Sit, Stand, or Walk....

    12) It will make you stronger.

    More reasons:

    13) You will never break a 1/8" chain.

    14) You will save money.

    15) You will never ghost shift again.

    16) You will save money.

    17) It will make you stronger.

    18 ) You can build a stronger wheel (less dish).

    19) You'll know when a chain is worn, it will sag. (non-tensioner setup)
    #7 could not be more true after last weekend.

    Made a great climb out of the saddle on the technical "Overlook trail" of Lynn woods and was ahead or right with my geared buddy. I am so sold that i have roped in my cousin to be my next victim and believer tomorrow.

    I love it and will probably never ride my FS rig again...

  47. #447
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    I only have one problem with a SS...no rear suspension. But there are chain tensioner to make a FS a SS. I usually only use about 2-4 gears in the back and back and forth on the 2X up front. Just can't stand a hardtail is all.

  48. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikernc69 View Post
    Just can't stand a hardtail is all.
    Ever thought about a Lenz Milk Money?
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  49. #449
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy View Post
    I don't get it. With different cogs and gear ratios it seems like having a 21, 24, or 27 speed would be superior to a singlespeed. So what is the benefit? Is it only weight? I have a bike I could convert but I am having trouble justifying it.
    Simplicity & ease of maintenance!

  50. #450
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    BikeBreakingJake,
    Great list!
    thank you.

  51. #451
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    Muddytire,
    Great story!

  52. #452
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkparchitect View Post
    BikeBreakingJake,
    Great list!
    thank you.
    I am just a follower there... mtnbikerfred came up with it... I am just sipping the same kool-aid now.

    Had a great run last weekend and took my cousin to school on the trails.... The only suck part ... is I blew out my left ankle Monday at work!! Good news my SS will be great for rehab

  53. #453
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    I will not take credit for "The Reasons" list myself. I am merely the profit. A dropout of the order Velominati (eff those leg-shavin' gear-lovin' roadie scumbags). Unlike their "Rules", Our "Reasons" is an open document to SSers. Add what you want, but make them "Good Reasons", inclusive and enlightening.

    "The Reasons"
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  54. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred View Post
    I will not take credit for "The Reasons" list myself. I am merely the profit. A dropout of the order Velominati (eff those leg-shavin' gear-lovin' roadie scumbags). Unlike their "Rules", Our "Reasons" is an open document to SSers. Add what you want, but make them "Good Reasons", inclusive and enlightening.

    "The Reasons"
    I BELIEVE!!!!

  55. #455
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    For some (like me) it's almost unexplainable - building my first SS now with a Giant Iguana

  56. #456
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    looking forward to seeing how the Iguana comes along...what year is it? i miss my 1991 model

  57. #457
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    it's a disc - mid 2000's I think. Not one of the vintage models. I'd post some pics now but don't have minimum 10 posts under my belt.

  58. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred View Post
    I will not take credit for "The Reasons" list myself. I am merely the profit. A dropout of the order Velominati (eff those leg-shavin' gear-lovin' roadie scumbags). Unlike their "Rules", Our "Reasons" is an open document to SSers. Add what you want, but make them "Good Reasons", inclusive and enlightening.

    "The Reasons"
    dont forget about it makin you stronger! haha

  59. #459
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    I did my 2nd race ever, 2 years ago. I had an SS that I rode for fun but I was racing on a FS AM bike. At the time I couldn't imagine racing on a SS and yet I was trying to do XC on an 32lb AM bike. Anyways, it was a local race and my 2nd race ever. One of the guys was an older guy and he was on an SS. I thought "no threat there". Not only did he walk away from me on the trails, he dominated the race as well as the series. I found a new respect for SS. I did my first SS race this year and I am hooked. I sold my 'geared S-works race bike' and now I'm building a 2nd 'race SS' bike. I'll probably run gears on a couple of the marathon races but from now on I'll only race the SS/Open class.

  60. #460
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    I got a 96ish Gary Fisher Mt. Tam given to me from my uncle. He had it in his garage for 10 or so years and never rode it. Has Rock Shox Judy XC fork that still seem to be brand new. Apparently it was $1500 when it was new and its really light.

    Problems: The shifters both suck, the rear won't shift off the smallest cog, the front is sloppy but it works. Is it possible to ditch all this stuff (and some more weight) and convert this thing to single speed? Would I need a new rear wheel?

    Would I need a new crank set as well?

    Also, the brakes are terrible. From what I've read, Shimano XTR V brakes are the best post style brakes.

  61. #461
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    Quote Originally Posted by essinem4130 View Post
    I got a 96ish Gary Fisher Mt. Tam given to me from my uncle. He had it in his garage for 10 or so years and never rode it. Has Rock Shox Judy XC fork that still seem to be brand new. Apparently it was $1500 when it was new and its really light.
    Great bike to start out with if it fits you.

    Problems: The shifters both suck, the rear won't shift off the smallest cog, the front is sloppy but it works. Is it possible to ditch all this stuff (and some more weight) and convert this thing to single speed? Would I need a new rear wheel?
    Yes, ditch that stuff. No, you can use your wheels and some spacers or a SS conversion kit.


    Would I need a new crank set as well?
    No, but a SS chain ring will work better. just take the granny and big ring off for now.

    Also, the brakes are terrible. From what I've read, Shimano XTR V brakes are the best post style brakes.
    You might just try new pads and scuff up the rims before throwing down money for new brakes.
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
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  62. #462
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    How would I be able to adjust the chain tension? Or would I need some sort of aftermarket spring tensioner?

  63. #463
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    Quote Originally Posted by essinem4130 View Post
    How would I be able to adjust the chain tension? Or would I need some sort of aftermarket spring tensioner?
    Yes. There are many creative ways of doing this. Either some sort of tensioner or find the "magic gear ratio" for that frame (where you can just barely get the wheel in the dropouts and the chain is not to loose or too tight).
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
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  64. #464
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    Yeah, I guess with the removable axle that would be possible. Whats a good starting gear ratio for a 26" SS? I live close to some fairly steep trails and I'd like to be able to ride through them.

    And any idea how much weight I'm going to lose by going SS?

  65. #465
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    32/18 is a good starting place. You should run the tallest gear you can "clean" most of the hills where you ride on.

    3-5lbs depending on the bike and components.
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
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  66. #466
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerfred View Post
    32/18 is a good starting place. You should run the tallest gear you can "clean" most of the hills where you ride on.

    3-5lbs depending on the bike and components.
    Wow I didnt think it would be that much. The bike only weighs 24.6 stock, If I could have a 20lb front suspension bike that would be pretty sweet.

  67. #467
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    I should have prefaced that with YMMV. You're probably starting on the lights side, so maybe not that much. My Black Cat is 22lb and change with a 3.2lb suspension fork and fairly heavy tires. If you started with a 30lb bike, steel chainrings, cheap (heavy) components, you could expect to lose more. The bottom line is that once you get this thing sorted it's going to climb like a monkey with it's butt on fire....
    Giant Trance Advanced SL0
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  68. #468
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    Yeah from what I've read this thing has some pretty good geometry for climbing. Can't wait to get it all sorted out

  69. #469
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    doin one of these on my mongoose d40r

  70. #470
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale View Post
    I did my 2nd race ever, 2 years ago. I had an SS that I rode for fun but I was racing on a FS AM bike. At the time I couldn't imagine racing on a SS and yet I was trying to do XC on an 32lb AM bike. Anyways, it was a local race and my 2nd race ever. One of the guys was an older guy and he was on an SS. I thought "no threat there". Not only did he walk away from me on the trails, he dominated the race as well as the series. I found a new respect for SS. I did my first SS race this year and I am hooked. I sold my 'geared S-works race bike' and now I'm building a 2nd 'race SS' bike. I'll probably run gears on a couple of the marathon races but from now on I'll only race the SS/Open class.
    same here in many ways...full sus Giant...heavy....but geared well....too many things went wrong at once...HAD to use my GT Peace 9er (which i had bought to try out the rigid ss 29er experience in one gulp) which i had barely used...

    what it came down to was this: i became stronger faster...in three races i finished 2nd twice and 5th (in the last hardest race of the year) and finished 3rd overall in my lowly age/race class, but i could NOT have done it w/o the GT ss....i finally got a feel for the 32x18, wisely switched to 32x20 for that last crazy race (Bear Creek....PA)...

    now i have to move up, so my dilemma is: race by age class or bike class...that is, race 40-49 sport geared guys on my ss.....or get truly whupped racing the dedicated ss'ers! either way, it will be fun and brutal.

    one thing for sure: the 32x20 is great going up mountains that are rocky....but steep loose is tough out of the saddle...too much spin...32x18 has more traction. i'm starting to get the picture of what a quantum leap 2 teeth make.

    the kool-aid tastes so much like beer...

  71. #471
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    Next move, get a 34 front and the 34 18 is right between the two current ones and also gives you a higher one to play with.
    Full rigid SS, Hardtail SS, Hardtail Geared, Full Suspension Geared.

  72. #472
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    I was browsing Rivendell's catalog and came across this piece on their SimpleOne bike. Some pretty good reasons to SS. I like the duathlete line!!

    SimpleOne

    "Some notes on riding a single-speed, for the benefit of those who haven't done it.

    It's not just harder, it's different. You give up a lot by not being able to shift, but you get some things in return for that sacrifice:

    Having no options means having no pressure to shift, or be in the right gear. You see the hill ahead, and you know the gears are in your legs, so you just go. You grunt more, yes, but it is mentally relaxing to not even have a shift option.

    On flat terrain, you go easier. Why spin like the blades of a Waring blender? The gear and terrain dictate the speed, which is always proper as long as it feels good.

    On steep hills, you have to get off. This is good for you. Rather than grunt like an overgeared fool, you get off and hoof it. It's almost, but not exactly, like being a duathlete!

    Bike variety is a good thing, especially if you ride the same routes all year long. A different bike makes the ride different. Each bike makes it easier to appreciate other bikes even more. When you ride a one-speed, not shifting teaches you that you don't have to shift as much as you've been shifting on your 27-speed. When you really sweat it out on the one-speed, you really appreciate the gears on the 27-speed. "

  73. #473
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    Why?

    Bought a nice lightweight Boardman Pro HT in April. Rode it 3 times. Converted my Kona Cindercone to SS cause I thought I would "give it a go". Haven't ridden my Boardman for six months, converted it to SS this week because SS is so freaking cool.

    I just hope my legs can keep up with my ego now

    I beg you to try it, I liken it to clipless pedals, once you try it there's no going back
    MTB SS, trail running & road TT
    It's all in the mind

  74. #474
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    like SS for mud riding.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  75. #475
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    I love it!

    I know I'm just repeating everything that has been said, but man oh man, I love riding single speed. It's an experience that nothing else can compare to. I feel like a little kid just being able to hop on my bike and go, and think about nothing else but staying on top of my bike. I don't think I would ever consider going geared on trails again until my knees give out on me.

  76. #476
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    another for less maintenance

    i'm a tinkerer by fault.

    this year i purchased a 2011 giant anthem X 29er X2. great bike and plenty of stuff to wrench on, clean, lube etc.

    during the summer, i built up a rigid jabberwocky which turned into my main ride. i sold the giant last week.

    now when i'm in my shop with bike in the stand, i realize that i just don't have much to do!

    chain tension...check
    tire pressure....sure
    brake rub...as long as i don't hear it while i'm pedaling, no problem

    that's about it...

  77. #477
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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    i'm a tinkerer by fault.

    this year i purchased a 2011 giant anthem X 29er X2. great bike and plenty of stuff to wrench on, clean, lube etc.

    during the summer, i built up a rigid jabberwocky which turned into my main ride. i sold the giant last week.

    now when i'm in my shop with bike in the stand, i realize that i just don't have much to do!

    chain tension...check
    tire pressure....sure
    brake rub...as long as i don't hear it while i'm pedaling, no problem

    that's about it...
    I have been in the process of gathering parts to switch my El Mariachi from SS to a 1x9.
    initially, it was a fun process selecting parts and getting a rear wheel build but each time I rode my SS it was so quiet and smooth riding I just love it. Now I find out I will need a chain keeper to keep my chain from dropping off my 36T white industries chainring and honestly.....I'm beginning to become a bit disenchanted with this whole process and wondering why I thought I needed to do this anyway!

    I may be backing out on this deal after all. SS @ heart.

    K.I.S.S. right?

  78. #478
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    Tone No Balone,
    I guess it's because first-hand experience with complexity is sometimes required so that we learn to value simplicity more.

    PS
    I've been reading this thread for quite a while.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  79. #479
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone No Balone View Post
    I have been in the process of gathering parts to switch my El Mariachi from SS to a 1x9.
    initially, it was a fun process selecting parts and getting a rear wheel build but each time I rode my SS it was so quiet and smooth riding I just love it. Now I find out I will need a chain keeper to keep my chain from dropping off my 36T white industries chainring and honestly.....I'm beginning to become a bit disenchanted with this whole process and wondering why I thought I needed to do this anyway!

    I may be backing out on this deal after all. SS @ heart.

    K.I.S.S. right?
    who builds your wheels around SC?

  80. #480
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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    who builds your wheels around SC?
    PM'ed

  81. #481
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    Quote Originally Posted by UBUgoat View Post
    chain watch is not a big deal. i have one on one of my last 'geared' bikes (cx 1x9)....but i find more problems and vagaries with the 1x9...i only use 3-4 of those during races. at this level of addiction, the ideal (not cost effective) solution is to have a small stable of ss bikes for all possible terrains and conditions
    My thoughts are on a similar line here. keep the SS and build @ 1x9
    Or not.......

  82. #482
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    Tone No Balone,
    I guess it's because first-hand experience with complexity is sometimes required so that we learn to value simplicity more.

    PS
    I've been reading this thread for quite a while.
    Hey Psycho......Very well said....very well said.....

  83. #483
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    chain watch is not a big deal. i have one on one of my last 'geared' bikes (cx 1x9)....but i find more problems and vagaries with the 1x9...i only use 3-4 of those during races. at this level of addiction, the ideal (not cost effective) solution is to have a small stable of ss bikes for all possible terrains and conditions

  84. #484
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    yeah, until i mutate into an animal, i do wonder about racing cyclocross on an ss rig....depends on the course (of course!)...ideally, a 1x4...! racing ss in xc races was ideal.

    maybe in the future, an internal hub that's LIGHT and provides 3 singlespeed options: 32x20, 32x18 and 32x16

  85. #485
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    yes

    cause its down right fun!

  86. #486
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    I just really like riding bikes and I couldn't pass up a deal on two wheels so here I am!

    ~JRA

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    Quote Originally Posted by UBUgoat View Post
    yeah, until i mutate into an animal, i do wonder about racing cyclocross on an ss rig....depends on the course (of course!)...ideally, a 1x4...! racing ss in xc races was ideal.

    maybe in the future, an internal hub that's LIGHT and provides 3 singlespeed options: 32x20, 32x18 and 32x16
    Hate to break it to ya, but "3 singlespeed options" ain't singlespeed!

  88. #488
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruTone View Post
    Hate to break it to ya, but "3 singlespeed options" ain't singlespeed!
    i know.....that's why i am still in the molting stage of 100% ss mutation.....! xc, yes.....cx, soon

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    I road a geared bike for the first couple of years but I got sick of adjusting derailleurs and having them get ripped off after a hard crash. I really like the simplicity of a single speed, it's durable and maintenance free. Going over bumps is more efficient when you have more speed while climbing, the single speed forces you to gather momentum when climbing which in turn helps you get over the terrain. I also ride a rigid fork, it's just more predictable and enables me to really feel the ground during cornering, not to mention the fact that it ultimately forces you to choose better lines and develop an eye for finding the smoothest one. I used to ride a conversion but recently built of a 29er with eccentric BB and I love the power curve of the bigger wheels, the momentum gathered when you get up to speed really makes a difference, and having a bigger contact patch in the rear really helps when hammering up a hill..single speed for me is way more fun..I love hammering past people climbing on their fancy full suspension bikes that are 3-4 times more expensive than mine. I always find it funny when other riders ask me if I can adjust their derailleur at the top...I can, but that is one reason why I don't use them, i hate breaking out tools on the trail. people told me I would eventually want a full susp. geared so that I can do the rougher trails with big climbs, instead I bought a rigid fork and built another SS, I climb 4000+ ft on any given day and do the same trails I used to do with my geared bike..I love it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why singlespeed? (Also see the SS FAQ - Stickied at top of thread list)-img_1035.jpg  

    Why singlespeed? (Also see the SS FAQ - Stickied at top of thread list)-img_1031.jpg  

    Why singlespeed? (Also see the SS FAQ - Stickied at top of thread list)-img_2140.jpg  

    Why singlespeed? (Also see the SS FAQ - Stickied at top of thread list)-img_2141.jpg  


  90. #490
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    Lately I'm on a singlespeed on every ride. It's just fun to ride. Momentum gained by not braking (when I normally would have touched the brakes) or momentum lost and the price you pay on the following climb or slow grind. Same old trail with new lines and challenges. Pain and reward, I enjoy and appreciate both.

    Reasons I hear from others that don't apply with me.
    Simplicity-
    I'm all about simplicity but I don't recall ever thinking that shifting gears was tricky or complex. I don't recall ever giving shifting any thought at all. I just do it without thinking.

    Maintenance-
    Honestly, once my drivetrain is setup (with properly stretched cables) I've gone years without having to adjust it. (I live in a dry climate)

  91. #491
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    Converting giant XTC to SS

    My transmission is worn so i decided to convert to SS instead o buying new parts (geares). I have always appreciated SSing.

    I can't wait when I get the convertion stuff and take all triggers, derailers and cables off.

    I also want to bring everything to order - cut the brake hoses.

    I'm not going to shift to a rigid fork - my fork has a remote lockout so i like it's perfomance.

    The future setup:

    2010 26'' giant XTC frameset

    rockshox recon 351 coil u-turn with poplock

    mavic crossride wheelset

    truvativ STYLO OCT crankset with 32t ss chainring

    avid elixir CR brakes

    dmr ss convertion kit 16t + surly 18t cassette cog + point tensioner

    sram PC1 singlespeed chain

    tyres (depends on conditions): schwalbe racing ralph 2,25 / nobby nic 2,25 / super moto 2,35 / ice spiker pro 2,35 / possibly kojak 1,35 for drag race

    Have to wait for the chain, ring, tensioner and conversation kit now.

    Want to try 32/18 at first. (It,s winter and much snow outhere).

    Cant wait to ride my singlespeed on trails! And also to race it. I was one of the last using gears (my first 2 races) so loosing nothing switching to SS. Hope I will even emprove.

    P.S. Happy new year everybody! Ride your SS more!

  92. #492
    DAC1
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    I am interested in riders thoughts/experience on the difference in riding style with SS. I spend alot more time standing riding SS and find that this involves the upper body and core more than sitting and spinning in a lower gear. Initially I experienced sore shoulders but with a little time they have adapted. What have you experienced in the switch to SS?

  93. #493
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAC1 View Post
    I am interested in riders thoughts/experience on the difference in riding style with SS. I spend alot more time standing riding SS and find that this involves the upper body and core more than sitting and spinning in a lower gear. Initially I experienced sore shoulders but with a little time they have adapted. What have you experienced in the switch to SS?
    I had the exact same experience as you. Sore triceps and forearms too. This was surprising to me.
    CRAMBA Chairman

  94. #494
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    yup

  95. #495
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    running wider bars with a SS helps a bunch.. i stand up alot and pull on the bars every which way to get the most power down. plus it opens up your arms for better breathing.

  96. #496
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    It is just so much of a pleasure to ride, the bike is dead silent and maintenance is super low, that and the fact that it makes you look cool

  97. #497
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    it's funner. and funnier. i seem to laugh more, even when i crash. my legs seem to be getting toned and stronger. and i still drink beer. of course, i am smart enough to do recovery right so i can go back and have just as much painful fun. people who haven't caught on are really missing the party. solo or a pack, it's now all about fine tuning the jubilation

    taking the quantum leap from 26 to 29, ht/fs to rigid, gear'd to ss was actually easy...now to go drop bar and the mutation will be complete

  98. #498
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    It's bare necessities. I'm using my rigid/ss '98 Gary Fisher wahoo and ascending has never been easier especially when you utilize your momentum. As far as descending, I think it helps me that I only use my elbows and shoulders as a surrogate form of suspension so when I take my freeride/DH, i'm not relying so much on the fork's use. Plus, I'd still have atleast 3 inches of travel left when the day is done.

  99. #499
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    I ride SS because I can.

  100. #500
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    I love the quietness of the ride and that I really have nothing to blame but me and my fat a$$ if I can't make it up a hill

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