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  1. #1
    In my mind, I can do it!
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    Why singlespeed? (Also see the SS FAQ - Stickied at top of thread list)

    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.
    Last edited by CHUM; 04-06-2012 at 01:56 PM. Reason: new location for SS FAQ

  2. #2
    an eagle in your mind
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    try it and report back to us

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    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.
    Why not?

  4. #4
    I am the owl
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    Why a bike? Why not just get a motorcycle?

    Seriously, this has been discussed to death. The search function is your friend...
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  5. #5
    Jabberwocky Jockey
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    B'cause.
    Calling out from the Land of the Riding Hillbilly.


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  6. #6
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    try it

    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    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.
    Just try it. I never change my 34/16, so I'm ok. Don't fret too much on it.

  7. #7
    Des(s)ert Rat
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    It's fun.

    The only way you will understand is to try it. If it's for you, then great, if not, at least you gave it a shot.

    Also, read the singlespeed FAQ.

  8. #8
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    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.
    because i can.

    if you can't justify it maybe it's not for you?

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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    mm blogging

  9. #9
    the cool nerd
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    As Chuck D said...

    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    21, 24, or 27 speed would be superior to a singlespeed. .

    and FF repeated just to get the point across..

    Don't believe the hype..



    Check out your gear ratios, your average 21/24/27 speed probably only has 8-12 gear ratios. the rest are repetitious..

    It's not a weight thing, its just a choice. I (and others) choose to believe that the SS is an appropriate bike for whatever trail we want to ride, whenever we want to ride it.

    Also, be careful slinging that 'superior' word around here, there are quite a few SSers that are capable of crushing people on geared bikes, in whatever terms you want to decide the contest, speed, hucking, beer drinking..

    But the beauty is, you can just do what you want, SS or geared. It doesn't have to be about competition, going fast, going slow. So long as you are riding, all is good

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    because its simple...

    just you and the pedals.

  11. #11
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    Convert

    Convert or forever more SS riders will point and laugh behind your back.

  12. #12
    In my mind, I can do it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    and FF repeated just to get the point across..

    Don't believe the hype..



    Check out your gear ratios, your average 21/24/27 speed probably only has 8-12 gear ratios. the rest are repetitious..

    It's not a weight thing, its just a choice. I (and others) choose to believe that the SS is an appropriate bike for whatever trail we want to ride, whenever we want to ride it.

    Also, be careful slinging that 'superior' word around here, there are quite a few SSers that are capable of crushing people on geared bikes, in whatever terms you want to decide the contest, speed, hucking, beer drinking..

    But the beauty is, you can just do what you want, SS or geared. It doesn't have to be about competition, going fast, going slow. So long as you are riding, all is good
    Wow, I am amazed that out of all the replies one person managed to actually give a decent one. Thanks. I ask because I am curious about the SS phenomenon. It seems very popular but everytime I start going up and hill and have to downshift to get to a useable gear I can't figure out how a singlespeed would be beneficial in that instance. But I am curious about it all.

    Granted, I know that there are people on a singlespeed that could crush many of those on geared bikes but that's not really where I was going. Heck there are probably people that could crush me on a tricycle. So what. I ride for the fun of it all. Of course, crushing here and there is fun too...

    Thanks for the comment. Funny, I don't seem to get the heckling in the other forums. The singlespeed forum is the first one....

  13. #13
    In my mind, I can do it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by neville
    Convert or forever more SS riders will point and laugh behind your back.
    So if they are pointing and laughing "behind" my back then they are "behind" me then right?

  14. #14
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Why are you considering converting to SS?
    Read the FAQ.
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    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  15. #15
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    Thanks for the comment. Funny, I don't seem to get the heckling in the other forums. The singlespeed forum is the first one....
    the heckling is good natured. I'm sure that you'd get the same (or more) heckling from this crowd if you went on rides with its members.

    If you want to understand the heckling, just do a search and look at the number of times this (or closely related) question has been asked in this forum. And also notice that SS has a FAQ (upper right) unlike most of the other forums.

    that's it..its all good until bulC comes back (I'm not even sure if he posted in SS), and then feelings get hurt but useful info is disseminated and I laugh a lot

    scott

  16. #16
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    This reason is my current favorite:

    By Objectionable Material

    "As a white male in America, I have a genetic disposition to serious self loathing. I deserve nothing but pain and suffering. My rigid single speed dolls it out in large quantities. What's better is that the pain and suffering is completely self inflicted."
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  17. #17
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    ...that's it..its all good until bulC comes back (I'm not even sure if he posted in SS), and then feelings get hurt but useful info is disseminated and I laugh a lot

    scott
    He has posted here. He will probably show up again with a different user name. He has done that before.
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  18. #18
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    it's faster

    I ve been riding exclusively on a SS for about a year now. I started racing one last year. The truth is I am faster and more efficient on a SS.

    This may not be the case for everyone but it works for me.

    beerman

  19. #19
    In my mind, I can do it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambone
    because its simple...

    just you and the pedals.
    and the shoes
    and the shorts
    and the brakes
    and the camelbak
    and the other riders laughing at me as they pass going up hill...

    I am sure it's probably fun. Just don't know if it is worth it to me or not. Although having a 20lb bike would be cool.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    Wow, I am amazed that out of all the replies one person managed to actually give a decent one.....
    so who was it that gave the decent reply?

    you have to understand that people just get sick of this question in the singlespeed forum, it comes up about once a week, and the same points are hashed out.

    SS is not for everybody. But on the right bike in the right terrain its a hell of alot of fun. If you do alot of climbing it can be brutal lungbusting misery, on nice rolly curvy terrain it is a blast.

    It's hard to explain really, but you just have to work with the bike more...rather then changing the bike to work with you by shifting gears. The lighterweight and less component noise is a benefit, but for me I just love having to strategize my pedal stroke rather then when I shift gears.

    I also ride a geared squishy bike too...it just depends on the trail, the day, and my mood.

    give it a try. I jumped in feet first and bought a Kona Unit before even trying SS. Risky but it turned out great as I spend probly half my time on it. If you aren't ready to throw down $, either demo or borrow one, or build up an old beater.

    I have some SS disk wheels in the classifieds now by the way.

    cheers

  21. #21
    I am the owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    He has posted here. He will probably show up again with a different user name. He has done that before.
    Has bulC been banned? I hope not. I'm sure I'm in a very small minority, but I like his posts. Sometimes gruff, but generally speaking the truth.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    This reason is my current favorite:

    By Objectionable Material

    "As a white male in America, I have a genetic disposition to serious self loathing. I deserve nothing but pain and suffering. My rigid single speed dolls it out in large quantities. What's better is that the pain and suffering is completely self inflicted."
    I agree. That is one of the coolest things I've read here on MTBR in long time.

    To the answer the original post. I really like the feel of my rigid singlespeed. When I stand up it goes. For me and the place I ride the most it is faster. You would be amazed how fast you can climb when you don't have a choice (to gear down).

  23. #23
    34N 118W
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    welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    I have a bike I could convert but I am having trouble justifying it.
    1) you have a bike you can convert
    2) you're taking the time to inquire about it on the SS boards
    3) Next step in your immediate future: conversion and first ride report!

    you know its coming. That's exactly the same process that I went through.

    oops, almost forgot Step 4:

    neglect/sell your current ride

    pull up a chair to the SS bonfire and grab a beer...you're gonna be here a while.
    Last edited by Hollywood; 03-01-2005 at 02:28 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    and the shoes
    and the shorts
    and the brakes
    and the camelbak
    and the other riders laughing at me as they pass going up hill...

    I am sure it's probably fun. Just don't know if it is worth it to me or not. Although having a 20lb bike would be cool.

    I don't know about the other riders passing us uphill. By the time you figure out what gear you need to be in, I'll be cranking it over the top with my smelly ass in ur face.

  25. #25
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood
    1) you have a bike you can convert
    2) you're taking the time to inquire about it on the SS boards
    3) Next step in your immediate future: conversion and first ride report!

    you know its coming. That's exactly the same process that I went through.

    oops, almost forgot Step 4:

    neglect/sell your current ride

    pull up a chair to the SS bonfire and grab a beer...you're gonna be here a while.

    pull up a chair young man, and let Uncle Hollywood tell you a story...
    sh!t man, we all just ss so we can hang here and read HW's stories..

  26. #26
    Probably drunk right now
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    No....

    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Has bulC been banned? I hope not. I'm sure I'm in a very small minority, but I like his posts. Sometimes gruff, but generally speaking the truth.
    Not banned. Self imposed exile, I think.

    Any plans for the weekend of April 8th? I hear there's a party brewing in St. Louis that you would probably like.

    I'm trying to make it out for the SSWC but with the date being right at the start of school, it's looking less and less likely that I can swing it.

    Ken

  27. #27
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    uncle

    Quote Originally Posted by roadiegonebad
    pull up a chair young man, and let Uncle Hollywood tell you a story...
    sh!t man, we all just ss so we can hang here and read HW's stories..
    Uncle Hollywood, read me a storeee...in Wisconsin here, where we have tons and tons of metric snow...we like stories.

    Hey, I ride SS because it was much more efficient. Much more efficient to keep my mouth shut about "Ah man, I was, like, on the big ring...then there was this turn and I had to like, pant pant, shift to the middle ring....then my chian got all messed up by the granny gear man...dood, I gotta master how to shift better...hey, is SRAM better then XTR?"

    bcitches!
    Shifting takes the fun out of a normal ride for me. I just like to ride unhindered of shifing mechanisms a la mud cake in the woods with a muddy ride.

    I don't freak about getting my gears dirty. I only freak about cars. Not shifting and riding SS allows me not to think about what gear to shift to and why my bike is ghost shifting...

  28. #28
    Probably drunk right now
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    Subjective....

    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    Wow, I am amazed that out of all the replies one person managed to actually give a decent one. Thanks. I ask because I am curious about the SS phenomenon. It seems very popular but everytime I start going up and hill and have to downshift to get to a useable gear I can't figure out how a singlespeed would be beneficial in that instance. But I am curious about it all.

    Granted, I know that there are people on a singlespeed that could crush many of those on geared bikes but that's not really where I was going. Heck there are probably people that could crush me on a tricycle. So what. I ride for the fun of it all. Of course, crushing here and there is fun too...

    Thanks for the comment. Funny, I don't seem to get the heckling in the other forums. The singlespeed forum is the first one....
    So you didn't realize that redundancy was built in to gearing and that makes a response a "decent one"?

    Asking why we choose to ride SS's isn't a response to which there is one definitive answer. We all choose to ride SS's for our own wide and varied reasons. Trying to find the reason that makes you change your mind isn't what we're here for.

    I ride a SS because that's the type of bike I like to ride. I have a geared bike but don't bring it out much. I have more fun riding on my SS, so that's the bike I ride.

    I'm not here to sell or pitch SSing to anyone. I would never suggest that SSing is superior, better, more kore, etc. I suggest this: Try it. If you like it, that will be great because you'll have discovered another way to enjoy mountain biking. If you don't like it and prefer to ride your geared bike, that will be great too because you'll still enjoy mountain biking.

    If you're really that interested, read the FAQ as others have mentioned.

    Ken

  29. #29
    brother on a mission
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    Go for it. Enjoy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    and the other riders laughing at me as they pass going up hill...
    Do not be so sure that geared bikes will be passing you going uphill. I am faster going uphill on my single speed than on my geared bike. I think this is for one main reason: I'm lazy. The single speed forces me to ride faster, and I think it has made me stronger as a result.

    A reason to try single speeding not mentioned above is that it can be less expensive than a geared habit. Though there are plenty of single speeds posted on this board worth multiple $1000.

    I made up my mind to give it a go after watching one of my riding budddies finish very well in the vermont 50 this past year. Then I learned that the guy who won the whole thing (troy michaud) was on a single speed. He entered in the regular expert class because he did not know that there was a single speed class and beat the field by 13 minutes.

    I say give it a try, you might like it.

    What kind of frame are you thinking of converting?

  30. #30
    Probably drunk right now
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    Until...

    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    Not shifting and riding SS allows me not to think about what gear to shift to and why my bike is ghost shifting...
    That is until you ghost shift while climbing a grinder... that's always fun. Never happened to me, but I've heard stories...

    What's the difference between metric snow and imperial snow? Less snowmass? And if that's the case, what does a ski mountain near Aspen have to do with snow conversions?

    Ken

  31. #31
    Whatever! Just crash it!
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    It Challenges us....

    to come up with creative answers to the SAME EXACT QUESTIONS every week.

    Hugs and kisses,

    Peter
    If a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. If a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $3.95 per minute.

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  32. #32
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    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.
    I had the same question in my mind too. Even went so far as to [gasp!]...vocalize my disdain against singlespeeds. Then I converted an old bike and tried it. Never looked back.

    I just wished I hadn't been so close-minded about it, because I missed several years of singlespeeding before the epiphany.

  33. #33
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    Nat, no offense...but your avatar pic makes me insane...

  34. #34
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    metric

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    That is until you ghost shift while climbing a grinder... that's always fun. Never happened to me, but I've heard stories...

    What's the difference between metric snow and imperial snow? Less snowmass? And if that's the case, what does a ski mountain near Aspen have to do with snow conversions?

    Ken
    I meant "metric tons" of snow. Want some. I might as well put some snow on ebay. Selling it bulk.

    I wish the USA adopted metric for everything.

    As for ghost shifting...it scares me. One time I was riding, and my bike, like, ghost shifted and I was scared. I think Unsolved Mysteries did a segment on it once...

    With SS, no ghosts in my shifting...it's like telling the ghost to leave or some siht like that.

    Whoa! did you just see that? My eye twitched! I must be haunted.

  35. #35
    I am the owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    Not banned. Self imposed exile, I think.

    Any plans for the weekend of April 8th? I hear there's a party brewing in St. Louis that you would probably like.

    I'm trying to make it out for the SSWC but with the date being right at the start of school, it's looking less and less likely that I can swing it.

    Ken
    I don't think I can swing making it out this year for that sweet party you guys throw. Believe me, I've been trying to come up with a way to do it.

    As far as SSWC goes, check your email.
    SingleSpeedOutlaw .com
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  36. #36
    Jabberwocky Jockey
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    As a follow-up to my smarta$$ answer I offer this.

    I enjoy the challenge and fitness I get from riding my s/s. It's quite addictive as you always want to go back and ride a little further or harder than before.
    As Ken said, it's definitely not for everyone and it's not necessesarily superior to other bikes (although mine thinks it's better than its f/s Yeti brother).

    Riding a singlespeed regularly will bring you to a whole 'nother level of fitness and make you a better, stronger rider all-around. Singlespeeding requires you to stay off the brakes to keep your momentum and it requires you to charge up hills harder than on a geared bike.
    You also gain an important mental edge as the suffering (yes it hurts - bad sometimes, that's one reason it's not for everyone) you endure makes you stronger between the ears too. As you endure more, you become more confident in what you are capable of.

    I suggest you give it a try and see what all the hubbub is about.
    Calling out from the Land of the Riding Hillbilly.


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  37. #37
    Whatever! Just crash it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    Wow, I am amazed that out of all the replies one person managed to actually give a decent one. ....
    We don't answer offensively because we don't care. Trust me, we do care... deeply.

    Borrow a SS from someone. Ride it. If you have fun, build one. Ride it more. If you don't, then you can live your life in a manner that makes you happy, secure in the knowledge that you gave it a whirl.

    The most important thing is to experience life for yourself.... and don't touch yourself too much.

    Thanks for posting.

    Love,

    Peter
    If a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. If a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $3.95 per minute.

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    I ride a SS because that's the type of bike I like to ride. I have a geared bike but don't bring it out much. I have more fun riding on my SS, so that's the bike I ride.
    Hey Ken,

    Have I got a ride for you! I'm assuming that you'll be up in Calgary still this summer. Its Lake Miniwanka, it was a fun trail even before I tried it on a SS. Then it was amazing! Its out by Banff with rolling windy singletrack along the side a big lake. Its an out and back ride that you can do about 35km...

    Scott

  39. #39
    Probably drunk right now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambone
    Nat, no offense...but your avatar pic makes me insane...
    You must have a fever with only one cure....

  40. #40
    34N 118W
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    the important things

    Quote Originally Posted by roadiegonebad
    sh!t man, we all just ss so we can hang here and read HW's stories..
    My stories, One f******g Speed stickers and beer chat.

    A man don't need much more'n that...

    ...and satellite TV with a universal remote. And a leather La-Z-Boy. That'll do it. (for the rain days )

    ...and a custom ti SS bike. Done.

    ...and a week as Camp Counselor at Camp Podium Girl.

    HW

    ...and a BBQ full of meat. Because
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Hollywood; 03-02-2005 at 11:20 AM. Reason: thanks Padre!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    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.
    Justify this: With no derailleur it's easier to change a rear wheel flat.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by iviguy
    Funny, I don't seem to get the heckling in the other forums. The singlespeed forum is the first one....
    Did you go to the Clyde forum and ask why they are Clydes?
    Did you go to the wieght weenie forum and ask "why do things need to be light"?
    Did you go to the 29er forum and ask "why 29er"?
    Did you go to Cannondale forum and ask "why Cannondale"?
    Did you go to a vegitarian forum and ask "why no meat?"

    Could this be about the question you asked and where you asked it?

    It's ok... lots of people ask and we don't mind sharing.

  43. #43
    hispanic mechanic
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    Hmmmmm...

    I seem to get this question a lot, so I don't usually open these threads. There's a lot of guys here who are more eloquent than me who do answer this query regularly.
    Why? I guess "As a white male in America, I have a genetic disposition to serious self loathing. I deserve nothing but pain and suffering. My rigid single speed dolls (doles?)it out in large quantities. What's better is that the pain and suffering is completely self inflicted." may not work, since I'm Hispanic. I do loves me some sufferin', though! I guess there's a drive in some of us to just do things the "hard way." Sure, when I fish, I could probably catch a delicious bass easier with bait-cast stuff than with my fly rig. But isn't it about the journey, not the destination, or something? I don't really know why I'm personally driven to ride the bike I do, and I'm sure there's almost as many reasons out there as people doing it.
    I can tell you one thing. I haven't ridden a bike with derailleurs off road in 4 years. I haven't ridden one with a derailleur at all in 9 months, and I haven't coasted in 6 months.
    Beware. Once you try it, there may be no going back.

    the los
    Last edited by sslos; 03-01-2005 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Misquoted ND :P
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  44. #44
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    ....Gotta have more cowbell. Why SS? Four riders start out for a little 26 mile ride in the hills, 3 singles and one gearie FS. Guess which rider had to limp out of the woods 10 miles into the ride because a little stick got thrown up into his drivetrain? Our friend the gearie had his Saturday ride cut short with a busted derailluer, snapped hanger, and kinked chain. That can't happen if you only have one gear. SS can also stand for Simple Speed.

  45. #45
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    Oh the peacefullness of a SS compared to a gearie.

    Just the thought of gears makes me shudder. I was out on a ride this saturday with 5 single speeders and just sitting there pedaling and talking with them was nice because you did not hear all of the gears shifting, the rear derailleur slapping the frame, the chain slapping the chainstays. Just peacefullness and riding. The next day I went out with two single speeders and four gearies and heard all of the above the whole time. Just try it out and see for yourself.

  46. #46
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby-doo
    Just the thought of gears makes me shudder. I was out on a ride this saturday with 5 single speeders and just sitting there pedaling and talking with them was nice because you did not hear all of the gears shifting, the rear derailleur slapping the frame, the chain slapping the chainstays. Just peacefullness and riding. The next day I went out with two single speeders and four gearies and heard all of the above the whole time. Just try it out and see for yourself.
    unfortunately, I just had the opposite experience. Met for a ride with 3 other ssers and two gearies.. All of the noise came from me because I didn't remove and clean my bb/cranks after Old Pueblo. Everyone knew when I stood up. They banished me off to ride alone on the climbs

  47. #47
    the cool nerd
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    Despite the nature of this thread, and the fun-loving heckling that you received early on, notice that this is the only thread where >10% of the views result in a reply. At least for now...

    If nothing else, the ssers on this board love to express their opinions about the allure of ssing..

  48. #48
    Kill your... television
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    Why gears?

  49. #49
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    Cool-blue Rhythm ss

    I'd been considering it but I decided to try the "no" budget version of SS first; pick a 2/1 gear and don't shift. What I discovered is that I don't like walking the really steep hills and I'm not neerly strong enough to ride them without the lower gears, plus it hurts my joints to push the bigger gears. I saved a bunch of money and found that it's not for me. It's a good way to try it without spending the $. For those into it have a blast, anything having to do with bikes is worth trying.

  50. #50
    singlespeed smash brother
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    My fave answer to this question so far is...

    "A derailer killed my father."

    I don't know who originally posted it here but it's my standard response these days. It makes people stop and think for a bit. Try it. Its piss funny some of the responses you get.

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