All things equal - are you faster on a SS?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    All things equal - are you faster on a SS?

    Remember, all things equal (rested and recovered, same trail, similar environmental conditions) - in terms of average speed. I feel faster on my SS, but overall average actual speed is faster on my geared bike. I have a feeling it's all in the flats and very steep climbs. Even though I'm faster on the geared bike - I simply just like my SS better.

    Anybody do a comparison for fun? I guess we don't ride SS because it's faster overall, right? I know for some hills, I am definitely faster on my SS (because I'm forced to mash it).

    Sorry if a similar thread came up.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    I know for some hills, I am definitely faster on my SS (because I'm forced to mash it).
    For me, when riding gears, I tend to rely too much on gears and end up walking half the time. But since converting to SS, I know I have to mash, and I rarely walk hills because of the mindset before climbing the hill.

    On flat, I'm hopeless. I get passed by 12 yr old girls on Wal Mart bikes.

  3. #3
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    1x9 ?

    Don't own one but it brings the attitude with some good flats gearing !
    Suicide by single speed. Work in progress.

  4. #4
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    I tend to be faster on my ss on solo rides. When riding with faster riders I can pull in faster times with my 1x9. The trick for me on the geared bike is not to shift past my ss gearing. (hard to do by myself).

  5. #5
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    I haven't ridden a geared bike in so long I have no idea.

  6. #6
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    I only have a SS but when I jump on my friends bike I feel alot slower. But it isn't really apples to apples as they have all-mountain FS bikes, never tried a comparison of a geared HT back to back.

    The guys are that are comparing, are you comparing your bike in SS form and geared form or are you comparing two different bikes? And if 2 different bikes are they close HT/HT or FS/FS?

  7. #7
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    I'm faster on my geared HT than my rigid SS. However, not by that much. My HT has a set of crest wheels and Racing Ralphs and weighs about 3 pounds lighter than my SS with stock wheels and an Ardent 2.4 on the front.

    I think anyone who says that they are faster on a SS than a geared bike is just used to riding a SS and they have adjusted their riding style to it so that when they go to a geared bike they are slower.

    As someone has mentioned before and I have seen with myself. If I ride my SS dominantly then I get my SS skills and fitness pretty good but my geared skills and fitness goes to crap and vice versa.

    I will believe that SS is truely faster after I see WC racing dominated with SS bikes.

  8. #8
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    If its hilly then definitely faster on SS. Unless its *too* hilly then I'm pushing the dang thing.

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  9. #9
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    On the trails I ride my SS (rolling, no killer climbs, not a lot of flats), I'm faster on my SS because I can't get lazy. A friend calls the shifter 'the lazy button'.

  10. #10
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    Yep, until about mile 15-20 depending upon terrain. At that point my legs would be happier spinning
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooclosetosee View Post

    I think anyone who says that they are faster on a SS than a geared bike is just used to riding a SS and they have adjusted their riding style to it so that when they go to a geared bike they are slower.
    .
    Not so sure about this. There's time to be saved from not dicking around with gears... as well as SS being a more efficient drivetrain.
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  12. #12
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    I'm faster on a multi-geared bike if I'm either not very fit (no surprise there) or if I'm uber-fit. If I'm "reasonably fit", I'm limited by mentally whimping-out so a SS helps there -- it's easier to stay focused and go for it when I can't shift down. When I'm super-fit, my brain seems to be stronger too and I can climb just as fast and be just as aggressive on a multi-geared bike as when I'm on a SS (I don't whimp-out by gearing down on a tough hill) -- and I also have the advantage of being able to pound the flats in the right gear. So...for me it's all about where I am in my fitness curve. Right now I'm in the "reasonably fit" category...

    (p.s. - my multi-geared and SS are almost identical rigid 29ers. The multi-gear uses an IGH, so even the chain-line is the same. Hence, it's as about as close to "All things equal" as it can be. Since I'm usually "reasonably fit", I'm usually faster on the SS.)
    Last edited by Ptor; 07-19-2012 at 01:09 PM.
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  13. #13
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    I don't know about all things being equal, but I'm consistently faster on my SS 29er HT than my geared 26er FS. There are so many factors that play into it (not having a bailout gear, weight, 29" wheel, etc.) that it's hard to say why. An added bonus is the SS puts a bigger smile on my face.

    Right now I'm looking for a geared 29er FS to add to the stable. So far the ones that put the biggest smile on my face and give me the fun, nimble feeling of my SS are $4-5k. It's tough to justify to myself a 4-5x more expensive bike than the SS, but some of the rides I do just take gears to do and I prefer FS for rougher rides.

  14. #14
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    Depends on the terrain, if its gnarly terrain, I'm much faster on the geared bike since its a FS and I don't have to worry about losing momentum over the bumps. On smooth stuff that isn't crazy steep, def the SS.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooclosetosee View Post
    As someone has mentioned before and I have seen with myself. If I ride my SS dominantly then I get my SS skills and fitness pretty good but my geared skills and fitness goes to crap and vice versa.
    I am completely plagued by this, I immediately notice it on the first climb and it almost makes me not want to ride geared again to save myself the embarrassment.

    If I do a loop on the two bikes and compare it, I am +/- 2MPH faster on the geared bike than I am on my SS. But that's overall - I know for some short steep climbs without the lazy button, I can mash much faster than spinning.

    Long extended climbs? Not so much.

  16. #16
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    I have ridden a small local race on the same 7ish mile course with 3 bikes- a 3x9 HT, a 1x9 HT, and a rigid SS. This course has some flat, downhill, and climbs (0.7mile with 370ft elevation) that would not be considered a SS course. The first race i rode in was on the 1x9 with a lap time of 44:11. 4th and 6th race i rode my 3x9 and got times of 43:22 and 44:12. I rode my SS for 2 laps during my 2nd race with times of 43:58 and 45:20. Then rode the SS at races 3 and 5 with times of 42:10 and 41:42. I will say that my 2 lap times suffered because i knew i had to conserve energy, but, i will use the times anyways to correctly display my data.

    End result is- 1x9 is 44:11. 3x9 is 43:47. SS is 43:17.

    What does this data tell me? I ride my SS faster even when i have to conserve energy for 2 laps, even when i lose time spinning out on the flats, even when i have to walk part of the steep climb, and when i lose a good chunk of time on the open downhill section that can be taken flat out.

    SSucky as i am, i am an SS rider.

  17. #17
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    Double post.... Sorry bout that.
    Last edited by TreeFarmer; 07-19-2012 at 01:39 PM.
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  18. #18
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    I started using Strava recently and so far I'm faster on the SS than geared. SS is a Canny 1FG 29er ~24lbs, geared is a Salsa Dos Niner ~23 lbs. The geared bike feels faster but the times prove otherwise. I rely on the gears too much instead of standing up and mashing. I only recently started riding geared after riding a full rigid 29er SS for a few years and I find that I blow up a lot more than I did on the SS.

  19. #19
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    I only have one data point, but damn it was a wakeup call.

    I just built up a cross bike and decided to take it for a shakedown ride and work on handling skills at the same time. So I took it to one of the less technical trails in the area .

    Best time ever in two years of riding SS- 55:40

    On the cross bike, first ride - 48:12

    I was blown away by the difference. I then looked at the lowest effective gearing and discovered that my lowest gear is only a couple teeth easier than my SS! No wonder I was faster. Guess its time to put a smaller cog on the ol SS...
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  20. #20
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    I definitely tell people I am faster on my SS.

    But... I'm faster than people I'm faster than, geared or SS.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeFarmer View Post
    I only have one data point, but damn it was a wakeup call.

    I just built up a cross bike and decided to take it for a shakedown ride and work on handling skills at the same time. So I took it to one of the less technical trails in the area .

    Best time ever in two years of riding SS- 55:40

    On the cross bike, first ride - 48:12

    I was blown away by the difference. I then looked at the lowest effective gearing and discovered that my lowest gear is only a couple teeth easier than my SS! No wonder I was faster. Guess its time to put a smaller cog on the ol SS...
    Cross bike is a completely different monster. My average overall speed on my CX bike is 4-5MPH faster than my SS MTB on less technical trails. With that thing, I'll climb past MTB'ers all the time. Geometry, wheel weight, aerodynamics, etc. you will most always be faster on that. Technical, rocky, rooty descents? No way. Brakes alone will make you clench your butthole where with MTB disc brakes, you'll fly right through stuff.

    The 'cross comparison is a tough one. I'm always faster on my 'cross bike on fire roads and such. I had a SS 'cross bike one time, and it was pretty damn quick.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooclosetosee View Post
    I will believe that SS is truely faster after I see WC racing dominated with SS bikes.
    Not sure how relevant that is when talking about the majority of SS riders. If I had the mindset and fitness of a WC racer, I might be faster on the geared bike, but WC racing ain't ever happening for me.

    For me personally, I've got no idea. I haven't been back to geared to try it out. Too many variables anyway (rigid vs FS, 29er vs 26er, SS vs gears).

  23. #23
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    Pretty sure that on my regular loop I am faster on my SS.

    Much faster climbing (no choice with the bigger gear).

    Same speed descending (usually going as fast as I can anyway).

    and, my regular loop really only has one short, slight downhill section where I spin out on the ss.

    So overall, faster on the SS.

    Unless I need to stop and grab a tree here and there for a few seconds rest
    Which, on the ss, I sometimes need to do....


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  24. #24
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    SS doesn't seem makes me faster but indeed makes me happier. I am fast when happy.

  25. #25
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    Nope. But it's really up to the venue. On some trails a SS bike is less of a crutch than others.
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  26. #26
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    I'm slower on an SS, but not by much. I recently did a 14 mile ride with nearly 1400 ft elevation. I did the same ride on my geared bike a couple days later and I was faster, by 38 seconds. I enjoy my SS much more and if it weren't for group rides with a few miles of pavement b4 trailhead, it'd be my only bike.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtre View Post
    I haven't ridden a geared bike in so long I have no idea.
    ^^^this^^^

    I just got no idea. Probably faster with gears if I had to guess
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  28. #28
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    I am definitely faster on my geared bike. Not by much. Raced the SS 10 times this year and it is pretty consistent that I am about 1/2 mph slower then the year before on the geared bike.

  29. #29
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    I'd have to say I don't REALLY know, because I haven't been on a geared bike in years. I'm thinking about borrowing a geared bike to test on my local trails and see what it feels like, but I suspect if I did it, I'd be slower.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by stackwalker View Post
    I'm slower on an SS, but not by much. I recently did a 14 mile ride with nearly 1400 ft elevation. I did the same ride on my geared bike a couple days later and I was faster, by 38 seconds. I enjoy my SS much more and if it weren't for group rides with a few miles of pavement b4 trailhead, it'd be my only bike.
    That's really what keeps me from only having SS, too. On the group rides, I just can't keep up with he geared riders in many sections, especially steep, super technical climbs or long, boring steep fire roads. On flowing, rolling trails, I love my single speed.

    I may have to rethink this, though. On the next few group rides, I think I'm just going to subject myself to the suffer. I think it'll make me faster.

    I really do like the SS way more than my geared bike.

  31. #31
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    Not much in the way of "all else equal", but I did a 15 mile ride last night on my SS, rigid, on some pretty rocky and rooty trails. Average speed was 8.5mph, including a 10 minute delay to re-seat a front tire after a crash. 3 miles of the ride were on the road, 32-21 gearing, and I wasn't sprinting on the road sections.

    This morning I took the geared full squish bike out for a 5 mile ride. Average speed of 8.3mph. No crashes, about 1 mile of road riding, and one long climb. Granted, I was gassed from last nights ride, and my geared bike is a 26er, but with the higher speed on the road sections I was surprised to see my average speed wasn't much faster.

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    Technically, I only ride gears when going downhill at lift/shuttle parks.... so yes, my average speed is faster on my geared bike.

  33. #33
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    I have a 27lb 29er steel SS with a lock out fork and 28lb full suspended 2x10 29er, there is almost no place I am faster on the SS. I think it mostly has to do with lack of rear suspension than the lack of gears and around here most thing have enough chunk that even the best hardtail riders will eventually fall to a mearly medicore FS rider.

    I have timed loops from 1 to 20 miles long and every time going flat out the full squish is faster.

    I ride my SS because its more reliable, lots of fun, has taught me to hold momentuem and good strength training, and race it when there is a SS class. but if I want to go fast I chose my Anthem X9er.

    One of the downsides of riding my SS to much is I forget just how brazen I can be on my Anthem X and just point and shot though rough stuff at stupid fast speed.

  34. #34
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    I have found my rides to be nearly the same time geared vs SS on bigger loops overall. Typically within a few minutes, but I suppose if the ride was peaked toward the 'right' kind of climbing, then an SS would be faster. But in a mixed loop, pretty much even.

    It surprised me when I began to notice that. Not what I would have expected since I do not run a computer or do the silly strava thing.
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  35. #35
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    For me, the geometry of my rigid 29er SS promotes getting out of the saddle and mashing it. So when there is a hill, I am always out of the saddle. Whereas my 26" geared full squish bike's geometry is well suited for seated climbs. I have tried to get out of saddle but rear tire slip is too much a pain the ass.

    Based on these issues, I can say on short and or steep climbs my SS is much faster as I can mash it up. On longer sustained climbs, my geared bike wins.

  36. #36
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    Btw Dion, your avatar looks like her head is turned 180 deg. Kinda wierd. Maybe just me.

  37. #37
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    On a trail I frequent tuesday nights my geared rides seem to be at least 1mph faster on avg than my singlespeed rides. Thinking the gap would close with a smaller cog on the back of the ss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Biker View Post
    Btw Dion, your avatar looks like her head is turned 180 deg. Kinda wierd. Maybe just me.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    On a trail I frequent tuesday nights my geared rides seem to be at least 1mph faster on avg than my singlespeed rides. Thinking the gap would close with a smaller cog on the back of the ss.
    did you ever think that maybe accelerating out of places getting you bogged down would make you faster IE a larger rear cog?

    not syaing its the case with you, but really SS is as much about spinning as it is about mashing.

  40. #40
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    A friend of mine brought three 29ers to a recent endurance bike race: SS, 1x9 hard tail and 3x9 full suspension. He rode each one lap (alternating with a teammate in between each lap) and his times were just about same. It was a mix of terrain with one big climb that he walked the SS up.

    For me, I guess it depends on the terrain- if there are a lot of steep climbs with no option other than walking and/or long stretches where you would spin out, I'd say slower on SS. I'm happy on SS and geared bikes; particularly when I've selected the proper tool for the job

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
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  42. #42
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    It all depends on the terrain. If there is a lot of climbing involved, I believe the SS is faster. Most races are won on the up hills not the down hills.

    Observations:

    1. I am forced to climb faster because I can't shift and I need to maintain momentum.
    2. On the flats, if I want to keep up I must spin very fast. This actually burns my legs more than the climbing.
    3. On the descents it doesn't matter if you are geared or not. What matters is suspension (rigid vs sus.) also braking ability helps a lot.

    Also, I believe SS makes you a most aggressive rider. I must attack hills more aggressively to maintain the momentum. The geared riders just anticipate the hill and try to get into the proper gear. By the time we start climbing, I've already passed him because I went hard in anticipation of the hill climb in order to get momentum.

    So I guess the answer is: it depends on various factors. When we chose SS, we made a decision about what trade offs we were will to accept. Spinning fast in the flats was one; mashing hills was another.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Google "Soya Suicide Girl"
    Whoooaaaaaa


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    Quote Originally Posted by wjphillips View Post
    It all depends on the terrain. If there is a lot of climbing involved, I believe the SS is faster. Most races are won on the up hills not the down hills.

    Observations:

    1. I am forced to climb faster because I can't shift and I need to maintain momentum.
    2. On the flats, if I want to keep up I must spin very fast. This actually burns my legs more than the climbing.
    3. On the descents it doesn't matter if you are geared or not. What matters is suspension (rigid vs sus.) also braking ability helps a lot.

    Also, I believe SS makes you a most aggressive rider. I must attack hills more aggressively to maintain the momentum. The geared riders just anticipate the hill and try to get into the proper gear. By the time we start climbing, I've already passed him because I went hard in anticipation of the hill climb in order to get momentum.

    So I guess the answer is: it depends on various factors. When we chose SS, we made a decision about what trade offs we were will to accept. Spinning fast in the flats was one; mashing hills was another.
    This is exactly 100% right on. Racing a geared bike makes me lazy on the climbs, sit and spin vs stand and hammer. If you aren't faster on a SS then you're not in SS shape. I feel it is just a mental crutch that you need gears to be fast in a typical hour to hour and a half race.

    Let's keep this a secrete because I'm having a blast beating everyone in my class and then some, on my SS.

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  45. #45
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    Equally slow on both.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Man View Post
    This is exactly 100% right on. Racing a geared bike makes me lazy on the climbs, sit and spin vs stand and hammer. If you aren't faster on a SS then you're not in SS shape. I feel it is just a mental crutch that you need gears to be fast in a typical hour to hour and a half race.

    Let's keep this a secrete because I'm having a blast beating everyone in my class and then some, on my SS.

    Mojo
    if SS were faster than geared bike why dont world cuppers use them to win. Yes I know adam craig used one in New york. but untill SS bikes start always beating geared bike in open categories regularly then really they are not faster. the only overall win in a 'big" race I can think of is Pflugs win at Lumberjack a couple years back. So thats one race out of thousands where a SS won overall?

    People in this forum may be faster on a SS bike, but that just means they do not know how to ride a geared bike the right way.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    i
    People in this forum may be faster on a SS bike, but that just means they do not know how to ride a geared bike the right way.


    Ouch.

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    Equally slow on both.
    Maybe that's what I should've said...

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  49. #49
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    I'm funner on my SS...

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob1035 View Post
    I'm funner on my SS...

    You beat me to it... My "real" mountain bikes (as opposed to old school mountain bikes re-purposed as rough tourers) have all been SS for a long time now, I'm faster on my geared 'cross bike of course.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    People in this forum may be faster on a SS bike, but that just means they do not know how to ride a geared bike the right way.
    In my case, you are correct. Back problems makes standing once in a while better for me than spinning though. And, i wouldn't say i know how to ride my SS the right way either. I'm just faster on it. As well as, happier on it.

    I'm also faster on my rigid compared to my front suspension HT. I don't know how to ride suspension either unfortunately.

  52. #52
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    "all other things being equal"?
    absolutely not faster on my SS. no way no day.
    now add a mechanical breakdown or two and things even right the hell up.
    I was once riding my cove stiffee, snapped a sram derailleur in half, so ended up jury-rigged single speeding it out of there.
    same day, same conditions, same bike. that's as "all things equal" as I can use for a reference for my comments.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Man View Post
    This is exactly 100% right on. Racing a geared bike makes me lazy on the climbs, sit and spin vs stand and hammer. If you aren't faster on a SS then you're not in SS shape. I feel it is just a mental crutch that you need gears to be fast in a typical hour to hour and a half race.

    Let's keep this a secrete because I'm having a blast beating everyone in my class and then some, on my SS.

    Mojo
    First of all, you need to change your user name man, maybe to Moots Man or something like that. Second, you need to sell that abomination you are currently named after, small wheels and FS, meh. Third, I'm coming to town the weekend before the race and will most likely be riding at SB so maybe you can make it out for a ride and a beer or two.

    I am nothing but SS now. Sold the geary and went into this 100%. Right now full rigid on the Misfit, but I have an evil plan for a new rig in the spring next year. If it comes together, its gonna be sweet.

    As for being faster on the SS, I think I am about even to what I was on my Asylum 29......I am faster on the climbs on the SS, but lose on the downhills because the SS is rigid. I think the more I ride the SS (no choice anymore since its all I own) I'm going to get faster on it and right now I have no plans to turn back to gears.

    It is more fun! It is more of a challenge. It is lighter. I like just pedaling, and not having to worry about changing gears.
    RideMFRide

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    People in this forum may be faster on a SS bike, but that just means they do not know how to ride a geared bike the right way.
    That's probably true for myself. I find I don't swing nearly as hard of a gear on climbs on the geared bike as I can mash on the SS. Still trying to learn when it's better to carry a tougher gear vs. sit and spin, just like I'm still trying to learn when it's better to hike vs. stand and hammer my way up on the SS.

  55. #55
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    I'm faster on my 1x9, but happier on my SS.

  56. #56
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    I'm faster on my SS because I don't have the will power to stay in a higher gear on a geared bike. Also I don't know how to regulate my pacing/power output on a geared bike since I can peddle all the time, so i usually get tired sooner. Much happier on a SS also, lets me focus on the trail more.

  57. #57
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    Faster and happier on my SS!

  58. #58
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    I am faster on my ss for about 2 laps....after that my legs are blown.
    Veni Vidi Biki

    I came, I saw, I biked.

  59. #59
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    I was definitely faster round town on my Mongoose Maurice that I owned than on mountain bikes but I got to the point where I looked ridiculous not being able to get up a local steep hill without really standing and straining, so went back to gears, now going back to SS again. Each has its merits..

  60. #60
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    Faster on a geared bike overall, my line is better because of SS. The pleasure is my SS. I feel I'm in contact with nature, with myself, managing recovery, effort, energy.

    Riding full rigid 69er.
    Last edited by law29er; 08-06-2012 at 05:46 AM. Reason: add comment

  61. #61
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    Faster on my 1x9 FS, but I feel the SS is making a better rider quicker. After riding the SS for the last couple weeks...I swear it almost felt like I was cheating with how much easier it was to ride with gears and rear suspension on yesterdays ride.

  62. #62
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    I've had my SS for a month or so now and I've set a bunch of strava PRs on it so far. I'm destroyed after 15-20 miles on it though.
    The SS is going to make me fast as hell on the geared bike.
    Ride Bikes
    Drink Beer

  63. #63
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    My SS makes me faster, makes me stronger. Love it!

  64. #64
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    No doubt the ss is better for overall fitness. I was riding 2/3 a week on a 3X9 for a year before I got my first ss and it was night and day the fitness and skill jumps I was making that summer. Two years later the curve has flattened out. I see personal bests regularly on each bike (I time my self on a 12 mile loop I do regularly) So in reality It hard to determine which is faster.
    On a longer ride, the geared wins because I start walking hills I can climb in 32/36 on my 1x9.
    I cant seem to go more than 3 rides before I crave the other bike.
    No doubt ss = more fun.

  65. #65
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    Slower on SS, but much better workout--legs ache a lot more after riding.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Remember, all things equal (rested and recovered, same trail, similar environmental conditions) - in terms of average speed. I feel faster on my SS, but overall average actual speed is faster on my geared bike. I have a feeling it's all in the flats and very steep climbs. Even though I'm faster on the geared bike - I simply just like my SS better.
    Depends (not the diaper :-) on which trail I'm on.

    Need for Speed
    Distance/Endurance Trails = Without a doubt Geared
    Trails with lengthy, flat open, non-technical sections = Without a doubt Geared
    Short to moderate climbs with/without technical sections = SS
    Trails loaded with twists and turns = SS

    Fun Factor
    Without a doubt = SS

    Got rid of my Geared Cannondale Mtn. bike (standover height - top tube a tad tall) and was unable to get the next size down... So I thought I would try the SS route while looking elsewhere... The rest is history. I'm content with my inexpensive Nashbar SS (right size). Here is a photo taken on a road trip that my son and I took at Syllamo.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails All things equal - are you faster on a SS?-cannondale-flash-iii.jpg  

    All things equal - are you faster on a SS?-syllamo-mtn-bike-trail-july-12-2012-.jpg  


  67. #67
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    It depends on the trail but for the most part I'm faster on my 29er SS. My other bike is a AM beastly specialized enduro that is a cow for taking up hills. It's actually easier to ride my 29er SS up hills because the geometry isn't slacked out like crazy with a 160mm fork up front and a super active rear end that's eating all my energy.. When it comes downhill and on flats, I'm far faster on the enduro. I can descend fast enough on the enduro to make up for lost time on the climbs. I climb 1/4 slower on my geared bike vs the SS, but I descend half as slow on the SS. So according to my calculations my geared squishy is 1/4 faster. The enduro puts a bigger smile on my face so I ride it almost exclusively since I bought it.

  68. #68
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    For shorter XC races I'm typically faster with gears. When it comes to endurance racing the SS is the better option for me. I can pace myself much better on it and I seem to get stronger as it gets later in the race.

    Here's a tip for some of you who find that your legs are trashed after 15-20 miles. Try going up a couple of teeth on your cog. It may initially seem like you are losing a lot of potential speed but the energy saved on flats/false flats tends to pay you back later on. A lot of fast guys are running pretty spinny gears these days it seems.

  69. #69
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    I don't care, I just love singespeeds and don't want to use gears.

    Seriously, I think SS with perect gear ratio for a given course will be faster than a geared bike.

    The geared bike may be faster on a course with climbs of different gradients and long flats.

    What I like in SS - you can easily manage your energy. For example, when I did time trial XC race (not very technhical) on my fixed gear road bike (48/17 gear) I was having rest on flats and worked hard on climbs.

  70. #70
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    East coast New Hampshire rider here. Much faster with gears around southern NH. Don't ride up north all too much.

    When I had a geared bike I was always worrying about what gear to be in, now with SS I don't have to.

    Although after riding strictly SS for two years, I could easily adapt to a 1x9 or 1x10 around here, without needing to shift all that much.

  71. #71
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    Fast is Fast, regardless of drivetrain. We all know people that win or place high on a SS against the fastest geared riders in the region. Those guys/girls are not fast because of the SS, but because they are fast bike racers and have the work ethic and ability to be fast bike racers.

    Like many others, I enjoy riding and racing my singlespeed much more than my geared bike. Many reasons for this (cost, the challenge of it, mechanical needs, etc), but the biggest reason for me is the fun of doing it on a SS and the "no excuse" mentality I find on the SS.

    Good topic.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  72. #72
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    I'm in the boat of faster on my gears. I have 2 bikes spec'd damn near the same, one's 2x9, the other is SS. Overall I'm faster on the gears, but I'll say this, the workout that I get on the SS is making me stronger. That therefore is making me faster on my gears (both actually). It's a viscious cycle, but the SS is certainly more fun.

  73. #73
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    For me I'm faster on a SS. The reason is, I am forced to hammer out of the saddle on the climbs, thus climbing faster, and that’s where races are won.
    I proved this too myself at the last race series (again). At the start, a short climb followed by a long fire road downhill then a long step climb. Well to my surprise after the fire road downhill I was dead last on my SS. Every gearhead flew by me, but I passed most on the long uphill climb (as long as I don’t bonk). I passed the other half of the pack on the same climb, second lap. I was able to make up so much time on the climbs it didn’t matter if I was coasting on the downhill’s, or spinning out on the flats.

    For me, gears make me a lazy climber, and since I’m a poor spinner, SS is the way to go.

    Mojo

  74. #74
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    if SS were faster than geared bike why dont world cuppers use them to win. Yes I know adam craig used one in New york. but untill SS bikes start always beating geared bike in open categories regularly then really they are not faster. the only overall win in a 'big" race I can think of is Pflugs win at Lumberjack a couple years back. So thats one race out of thousands where a SS won overall?

    People in this forum may be faster on a SS bike, but that just means they do not know how to ride a geared bike the right way.
    I'm pretty new to ss and at the moment I'm definitely slower on my ss than on my geared bike because I tend to "run out of steam" after 5-6 hard climbs.

    I'm pretty amazed at how fast I make it up steep climbs that I didn't expect to be able to climb on a ss in a million years, it's hard as hell, but I fly to the top in a cloud of swear words. The downside is that my legs feel like rubber after those 5-6 climbs, but that's a matter of more training.

    Which brings me to your question of why the pros doesn't use ss bikes. In my experience it's much easier to conserve energy on a geared bike, when the legs start to feel tired, you can trade speed for an easier gear. On a ss you can't, if you slow down your legs just cramps up, so you have to maintain a certain speed, keep the cadence up - too low a cadence and your legs start to burn. My guess is the pros choose geared bikes because it allows them to adjust the workload depending on how long they have to ride, timing it so they run out of energy at the finish line. On a ss you have a limited number of miles and climbs before you run out of steam and if the race isn't over by then you're in a world of trouble.

  75. #75
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    I find myself to be faster on a geared bike after riding SS because I'll hammer it out in a higher gear then instead of taking a break or having a slow turn over I'll down shift and spin for a bit. Then when I'm rested I'll crank it out some more. I have a hammerschmidt crankset on my bike so I can downshift under maximum load with no issues, it RULES for climbing. If I built another SS I'd put a hammerschmidt on it even though it wouldn't make it a SS in theory, it would probably be the funnest bike of all time.

  76. #76
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    Slower overall. Doing much less work than with gears because there is so much time you can't pedal fast enough so you have to coast. For the uphill it's maybe faster. I think it's VERY dependent on terrain. Around here (Montana) the trails aren't really even ridable on a SS unless you run some ridiculous small gear. Miles-long climbs....and then miles long descents. Typical ride is go up for 1-2hrs, then down for .5 hrs. That's the worst part, you can't ever pedal to go faster on the DH sections....boring! I got a SS bike to see what the hype was about, and quickly realized there is a reason no one rides them around here. I can see where if you had lots of short ups and downs it would be fun....and probably faster.

  77. #77
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    So after nearly 2 months of riding the SS exclusively, I did a longish ride yesterday on the geared squishy bike. I use Strava, so I could compare one ride to the next. I rode the same location I had ridden previously on the SS. On the ride with the SS, it was raining off and on, so I had to be careful through the rock gardens and rooty sections since everything was so slick. Average speed over 15 miles on the SS was 7.0mph. Average speed over 17 miles on the geared bike was 7.5mph. I was TRYING to cover 20 miles on this ride on the squishy bike, so pushed pretty hard the whole time. The ride on the SS I was just out for a cruise and to see if I could clean all the climbs at this location.

    The SS is a 2010 Monocog Flight 29er, rigid fork, 2.2 Slant6, Thompson stem, RaceFace carbon bars, 32:21 gearing.
    The geared bike is a 2009 Stumpjumper FSR 26er, 2.1 Nevegal front/2.1 Slant6 rear.

    Ps. I think this is more a testament to how much better 29er wheels roll than 26" wheels. It's not a very apples to apples comparison, but until someone gives me a 29er Epic....
    Last edited by solo-x; 08-23-2012 at 10:49 AM.

  78. #78
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    Fast on my SS, but faster on 1X9. Trick is to only shift to bigger gears than your SS.

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