Anyone ride their Fatbike Singlespeed?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    dmo
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    Anyone ride their Fatbike Singlespeed?

    I was wondering if anyone rides their Fatbike as a singlespeed especially in the winter and snow. How does it handle riding a single speed with such fat tires? Is it totally masochistic? What kind of set up do you have, gear ratio, cog, chainring etc?

    What tires do you use, studded or a?

    Was thinking it might be a fun experiment

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  2. #2
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    I do 24 hour races on mine.
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  3. #3
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    Plenty of people do. Several threads on it. I generally run 2 teeth more on the cog. Every major winter fat bike race has been done on a singlespeed and several have been won on a singlespeed. You lose some of the ability to stand an crank up hills due to traction, but so does everyone else, and you've been practicing bike pushing all this time while they've been dropping to the granny.

  4. #4
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    Just started a few months ago and won't be going back.

    Haven't tried it in snow but suspect it won't really be all that different from snow riding with gears (i.e. walking a lot).

    Here's a pic from last Sunday. 30 miles and 5700 vertical. Wanted to die but glad I did it.
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  5. #5
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    I ride mine often!! It's my hood bike Put a beer in my hand and around the block or so I go!

    Not fit enough to ride a single speed in anything other than mild hills or flat land, however. Bad knee - working on building up the muscle around it.
    2016 RadRover Fat Bike
    ^I put wings on it. This makes it a plane. It's only logical based on the members of this forum.

  6. #6
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    I'd be curious to hear what ratios others are running.

    I set mine up pretty low at 30/22 but have been happy with it. Only on very wide straight descents do I spin out. On single track it's usually steep and tight enough that I gravity does just fine getting me up to speed.

    I've yet to find anything steep enough I couldn't climb if my legs were fresh. That'll change in moab but I should still be able to manage 90 percent of slickrock.

    to the op, I'm running a tensioner which I'd avoid at all costs. Surly cog in back and blackspire mono veloce ring. Kmc x8.93 chain (favorite chain ever since it's versatile as hell).

  7. #7
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    I've wondered about a SS for the beach. If I just cross the super soft stuff and head for sand with a bit of moisture I can get away with 22/26, maybe 22/24 or 1:1 if I'm feeling chipper. The beach is just brutal unless I ride only on minus tides (low) when the super hard sand shows up. A SS would reduce some maintenance.

  8. #8
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    Here are most, if not all of the older threads on this topic. https://www.google.com/?ion=1&espv=2...2Ffat-bikes%2F

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    I've wondered about a SS for the beach. If I just cross the super soft stuff and head for sand with a bit of moisture I can get away with 22/26, maybe 22/24 or 1:1 if I'm feeling chipper. The beach is just brutal unless I ride only on minus tides (low) when the super hard sand shows up. A SS would reduce some maintenance.
    I've done a few beach rides on fat SS with my normal fat touring gear of 32/22 and 4" tires(Nate/Sterling). Did fine on rocks/pebbles and below high tide line. Was a lung busting workout above high tide line on white sand. Bigger, less aggressive tires and wider rims would have made it a lot easier, theoretically.

  10. #10
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    I think it's bad for your knees and I would not recommend it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Pressure View Post
    I think it's bad for your knees and I would not recommend it.
    Do you have any evidence to back that up? I've been riding nothing but SS for 17 years. I started with a bad knee and now I run on a semi regular basis, which I couldn't do before. SS has been around far longer than multispeed. You would think there would be some data to back it up if it was actually bad for your knees.

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    I'm pretty sure life is bad for your knees too so let's just get it over with.

  13. #13
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    Anyone ride their Fatbike Singlespeed?-img_5170.jpg---At 63 years old, I don't buy the knee thing. I road road bikes, mtbn, and now fat bikes, all on SS. Asphalt, hard pack, or sand, pick the right gear.

  14. #14
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    Annecdotal evidence that ss is no worse, and possibly better for your knees than multispeed: Fixed Gear Bicycles and Knee Health

    Reddit(more annecdotal) conversation on ss and knees: https://www.reddit.com/r/cycling/com...for_the_knees/

    This .pdf(it will download if you click on it), is an actual study that found no correlation between ss use and knee injuries. www.mdpi.com/2075-4663/2/1/1/pdf

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Was a lung busting workout above high tide line on white sand.
    We call it the cardio zone here. It's the one area during the summer that is basically unrideable unless the rider is under 100 pounds on 4.7"+ tires. I roll a 22-38 up front and 11-32 outback. That 22 gets me access nearly 365 days though I don't spend a long time in the cardio zone. All it takes is a little rain then the beach hardens up and is more accessible. Those that rent fatbikes are shocked at how difficult they are to pedal in the super soft stuff. I'm still interested in a SS but the gearing would be interesting.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=onecogshortofacluster;12805643Asphalt, hard pack, or sand, pick the right gear.[/QUOTE]

    How do you pick the right gear, for constantly changing conditions?
    At some point you'll always end up pushing too hard of a gear or you'll walk, a lot.

    I ride everyday, year round, 7-10,000 miles a year. I rode SS exclusively for three years. At first it made me stronger, but eventually I could tell it put a lot of extra stress on my joints. YMMV.

  17. #17
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    Q Factor pain and SS

    With the discussion of knee pain with SS; I began to speculate that SS might reduce one's Q factor pain, ie, out of the saddle more?

    On the theory that wider saddles, spread your legs out at the hips more?

    Seem logical?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Pressure View Post
    How do you pick the right gear, for constantly changing conditions?
    At some point you'll always end up pushing too hard of a gear or you'll walk, a lot.

    I ride everyday, year round, 7-10,000 miles a year. I rode SS exclusively for three years. At first it made me stronger, but eventually I could tell it put a lot of extra stress on my joints. YMMV.
    Sounds like you were pushing too hard of a gear or had poor fit. Poor fit can happen, even to people that ride that much in a year. You should be able to easily spin out a ss gear on firm, flat terrain. Most hills should be a stand and crank up them affair. Some will be walk ups. The most efficient ss technique for moving quickly on the flats is; spin at an unmaintainable pace for 10-20 seconds, then coast till you feel your speed drop a few miles per hour, then repeat.

  19. #19
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    You are a bigger man then I. I'm riding about 40 and couldn't imagine going bigger (yet).

  20. #20
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    I run 32x22 so 38.1 inches. It comes in handy on those longer/bigger elevation climbs and long days.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  21. #21
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    Most of the time I run 34x17 in Michigan. This allows me to keep a good speed on the dirt roads and able to ride any trail in the area without a problem. Been riding SS fat for over 4 years and it is my go to bike 99.9% of the time. Have a stable of bikes to chose from and the SS fatty always is the one I chose.
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  22. #22
    dmo
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    How do you calculate gear inches and what does it mean anyway? I'm running 30x21 which leaves me walking some steep hills. When in feeling lazy or tired I think I'd like 30x22 or 28xsomething. I have 18-23 sized cogs and 30, 32 sized rings and am still experimenting. Do I need different chains for different gears?

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    How do you calculate gear inches and what does it mean anyway? Do I need different chains for different gears?
    How and what -> Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    You'll only need different chains if the length changes too much that your dropouts or chain tensioning device can't accommodate. A 2nd or 3rd chain would work as would adding/removing links to your current chain. Several ways to skin the cat.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    How do you calculate gear inches and what does it mean anyway? I'm running 30x21 which leaves me walking some steep hills. When in feeling lazy or tired I think I'd like 30x22 or 28xsomething. I have 18-23 sized cogs and 30, 32 sized rings and am still experimenting. Do I need different chains for different gears?

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
    Gear inches (edit)would be how far forward you move for one full revolution of the cranks if you multiplied it by Pi(end edit). You can calculate yours without doing any math by using an online app, like this one: Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    You don't necessarily need a different chain for different gear combos, assuming you're using all 3/32" or all 1/8" cogs and chainrings. Nearly all the stuff available for mtb nowadays is 3/32". You are likely to need different chain lengths though. The solution is to use more than one quick link.
    Last edited by sean salach; 09-01-2016 at 06:21 PM.

  25. #25
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    Just ordered a new Kona Wozo.

    That will be converted to ss. Someone might get a good deal on a brand new Gx 11 speed drivetrain.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Gear inches is how far forward you move for one full revolution of the cranks....
    Not like you to confuse the issue.

    Gear inches is a hangover from Penny Farthings (ordinaries) when a bike was assessed by wheel size. When safety bikes came along with geared cranks they needed a comparison, hence a 26" wheel bike with a 2:1 ratio (32/16) is 52 gear inches.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  27. #27
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    Not quite SS, but Dinglespeed. I've been riding my Pugsley as a Dinglespeed bike for about 8 months.



    I used it as a 29+ bike on a tour of Iceland (~30 days of loaded touring) and on that tour, I only used the "small" gear ratio once, so it's pretty much singlespeed for me now. I never use the small ratio anymore, I just hammer on hills.




    I haven't taken off the second cog and chainring because it's a nice backup if I bend a chainring on a long ride, and it will be nice when it snows again.

    Even though it's August, I just put the fat tires back on. Currently running a Husker Du in the back for not-miserable performance on pavement (this is my daily driver) and dirt, with a big chunky Van Helga up front for grip when cornering in rough, soft stuff. This will probably be my combo for the winter, unless I spin out in the back too much.

    I didn't expect to like fatbikes or SS, but I have found I love my Pugsley, and I ride it everywhere over my other, more practical bikes. It's just a great time! Singlespeed makes it even more fun, and totally bomb-proof for touring and exploring.



    Good stuff!
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  28. #28
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    I was going to for a long time, but the terrain I ride on is so varied, and I take a week or 2 off sometimes. I wouldn't work for me.

    I did train single speed for about a year before getting the fatty though, and it changed the way I ride. So I ride my geared bike more like a single speed if that makes any sense. I don't shift much compared to other riders, and it's more like I have a collection of single speed cogs and I choose the appropriate one for where I'm at.
    I tend to pick a taller gear and stand rather than sitting and spinning now...I hate spinning.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Not like you to confuse the issue.

    Gear inches is a hangover from Penny Farthings (ordinaries) when a bike was assessed by wheel size. When safety bikes came along with geared cranks they needed a comparison, hence a 26" wheel bike with a 2:1 ratio (32/16) is 52 gear inches.
    Ha! Yep. Boned that one. I'm going to edit it.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    I was going to for a long time, but the terrain I ride on is so varied, and I take a week or 2 off sometimes. I wouldn't work for me.

    I did train single speed for about a year before getting the fatty though, and it changed the way I ride. So I ride my geared bike more like a single speed if that makes any sense. I don't shift much compared to other riders, and it's more like I have a collection of single speed cogs and I choose the appropriate one for where I'm at.
    I tend to pick a taller gear and stand rather than sitting and spinning now...I hate spinning.
    Haha, I feel this. I have about 18 gears on my road bike and I use three of them.
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  31. #31
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    Love it!
    However, the fat tire tends to provide so much traction that hubs don't last very long Blew another one up today! Time to look into a DT or Sprag clutch hub...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Pressure View Post
    I think it's bad for your knees and I would not recommend it.
    That's not what my daughter's physiotherapist said. She was been treated for dancing injuries to her knees and I asked him if she should give up riding singlespeed. He believed it strengthened the knee.

    So I would be interested in evidence that it does cause injury.

    I suspect this is one of the anecdotal myths of the geared world.
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