SS MTBing and Commuting?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: SmallAirAndy's Avatar
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    SS MTBing and Commuting?

    Any of you SS riders do it with just one bike? I'm about to convert my old Giant Ranier to SS for trailriding and commuting, but then I got to thinking about gear ratios.

    Here's the thing: Is it possible to go back and forth between a mid ring and big ring using one chain and tensioner? Or would the chain just be too long, making it harder (impossible?) for the chain to be fully and correctly tensioned when using a smaller ring up front for trail riding?

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

    -A
    Bend, Oregon. Proof you don't have to die to get to heaven.

  2. #2
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    Yeah! I have my one Ventana El Toro decked and blinged to the max and it is my commuter, trail, XC Race bike etc. One does it all.. What gear.. at the moment 32x17. Yeah it kinda sux as a commuter, but I love the climb home up the dirt and enjoy having a SS. What's the point of a SS if you are continually changing gears after and before each ride?? May as well have a geared bike in my opinion! Just my 2c

  3. #3

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    That's what I'm doing too. What're you guys doing for tires?

  4. #4
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    Whatever I need offroad, after all its a mountain bike, and that the primary purpose. I figure with an easy, boring spinning gear, pedalling on knobblies only aids to make it a little harder. Putting some semislicks would only make the road commute even more boring and too easy, and I could not climb up the dirt on the way home. At the moment, I have a 2.0 Nobby Nic on the back and a 1.95 nevegal on the front.

  5. #5
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    Put gears on that bike. A single speed does not work well for mixed trail riding and commuting.

  6. #6
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    Reputation: SmallAirAndy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traktor
    Put gears on that bike. A single speed does not work well for mixed trail riding and commuting.
    Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. Maybe I should save up for a road bike. Still thinking about it, though. I might still switch and just deal with the MTB ratio on the road for commuting. Decisions, decisions.
    Bend, Oregon. Proof you don't have to die to get to heaven.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallAirAndy
    Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. Maybe I should save up for a road bike. Still thinking about it, though. I might still switch and just deal with the MTB ratio on the road for commuting. Decisions, decisions.
    Double up. Two rings, two cogs. Not exactly single, but if you are thinking about ditching gears it is effective.

  8. #8
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    Reputation: farley's Avatar
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    Yeah, but only 2. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Traktor
    Put gears on that bike. A single speed does not work well for mixed trail riding and commuting.
    I've found this statement to generally be true. I used to have a commute that was about 10 miles one way, over country roads. On days when I would be planning on hitting the trails after work or at lunch, I'd ride my mt. bike (a single speed) as my commuter. It was do-able, but it could be tedious spinning a too-small-for-pavement gear.

    At some point I wised up and went dingle. I put on 2 chainrings--34/38, and 2 cogs out back--16/20, setting up chain line so that that 28 and 16 lined up and the 34 and 20 lined up. Thanks to sliding dropouts I could undo the QR, move the chain over by hand and get my trail gear when I needed it, without having to play human propeller on the road. I found that when I have perfect chain tension in the 38/16, it's a little slack in the 34/20, but it's never been enough to cause any problems.
    Fat, tired.

  9. #9
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    If you plan to use a chain tensioner, you could have two back wheels with different sized cogs so the you can maintain the "Single Speed Cred" but enjoy better gear ratios. (A second set of wheels with street tires could be even better). Another alternative is to run a"flip-flop" rear wheel, which has a different cog on each side. You simply turn the wheel around to go from trail to street (or flats to hills). That's the way it was done in the early Tours de France.
    "I don't suffer from insanity!I rather enjoy it."

  10. #10
    NormalNorm
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    Like the previous poster Farley said, as long as the number of teeth on the chainring/rear cog add up you will be fine to switch between the two. I also use a 34X20, and 38X17 setup, but use a tensioner. When you want to hit up a trail you just switch the chain over.

  11. #11
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    For me commuting is all about every day...
    Somedays are slow and easy some are fast long hauls (I go the long way most days).

    I can add in small hills or big hills, very steep, or gradual.

    So I ride a geared bike so I can just do what I want when I want.

    I don't bother with slicks just ride the knobbies, cause slicks just make you faster....and I don't really care, I just go shorter or longer.

    I ride a pair of 2.3 inch Conti verticals, very fast tires when pumped up cause on the weekend I will ride 2 to 4 hours, with a good road section to get to the mountains.

  12. #12
    Silence! I kill you!
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    My commute is about 5.75 miles one way, all flat except for a hill that I choose to climb. I either ride my SS with a 32x16 ratio, or my geared bike. I usually spin around 120rpms while going around 16-18mph the entire way (well, except for the hill). My SS has the eccentric BB, so when I hit the trails, I can swap out the rear cassette to a 18t cog, tweak the BB a little bit and the bike is good to go.

    I'm also wierd, since I'll find a big cheap tire (I run 2.2-2.3s) on my bikes while commuting so I have more resistance. I work in a warehouse, so I'm not too worried about smelling like roses when I get to work.
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  13. #13
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    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/BikePictures/photo#5161758112033324770"><img src="https://lh6.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/R6I_p5w8vuI/AAAAAAAABkI/FKqRgyOc4RI/s400/CIMG0463.JPG" /></a>
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/BikePictures/photo#5161758348256526082"><img src="https://lh5.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/R6I_3pw8vwI/AAAAAAAABkY/pFzlpfQGOTQ/s400/CIMG0467.JPG" /></a>

    36:12 on the drivetrain. Cruise at 20mph with no fuzz. I am now running specialized all conditions pro which are 26 by 1 and pump up to 125 psi and weight 250 grams.

  14. #14
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    ss works fine for commuting and trail use. yeah a road bike would be faster, but who cares. with a 32x18 on a 29"er i can average 16mph to or from work on a really hilly 16+ mile route. most of the time it's in the 14-15mph range though. it'll improve your spin. the only reason i put slicks on is for an easy day. most of the time i leave the knobbies on and hit the trails up, if even for a little bit, on the way home.

  15. #15
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    I rode my redline 29er for about 3 months to work, 11km one way with 32 x 20 gearing. It took a bit of patience. Just swapped out to 34 x 18 and it is much better. If it is snowing I'll take the SS, but I find myself taking the geared bike most of the time...

  16. #16
    ride on(e)
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    fixed/single gear road bike

    go down to your local DAV or Salvation Army or check out garage sales for old steel road bikes. You can usually find them for less than $50. then have some fun and convert it to single or fixed (less maintenance) by purchasing a fixed gear hub or full wheel.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmallAirAndy
    Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. Maybe I should save up for a road bike. Still thinking about it, though. I might still switch and just deal with the MTB ratio on the road for commuting. Decisions, decisions.

  17. #17
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    32-15, get good at spinning and climbing at the same time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by markito200
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/BikePictures/photo#5161758112033324770"><img src="https://lh6.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/R6I_p5w8vuI/AAAAAAAABkI/FKqRgyOc4RI/s400/CIMG0463.JPG" /></a>
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/BikePictures/photo#5161758348256526082"><img src="https://lh5.google.com/zorrilla.marcos/R6I_3pw8vwI/AAAAAAAABkY/pFzlpfQGOTQ/s400/CIMG0467.JPG" /></a>

    36:12 on the drivetrain. Cruise at 20mph with no fuzz. I am now running specialized all conditions pro which are 26 by 1 and pump up to 125 psi and weight 250 grams.
    That thing is sweet

    I'm excited about getting a SS for a commuter. I agree that the trail/road gearing would be too different. Cruising at 16mph sucks, I'm annoyed if I can't go more than 18. Then again, if you have a short commute, it doesn't matter so much any more. I just tend to like covering large distance in short time.
    John

  19. #19
    conjoinicorned
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    i run 48x18 on the commuter (crosscheck)
    my race bike is often at 32x22

    way too different gearing IMO, i would never desire to commute on a trail friendly gear. i echo others....get a cheap steel roadie and convert it for a fun commuter with decent gearing. then you won't have to make any compromises on your MTB gearing either...
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

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