Am I being sucked in? How'd it happen to you?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Am I being sucked in? How'd it happen to you?

    Aside from a couple of converted old school rigid mountain bikes I rode on campus I have not been much of a singlespeeder. I have always loved the look of the simple drivetrain, but have not been willing to make the plunge into riding one of these things on the trail.

    Funny thing is last time I went out on my full suspension bike I kept finding myself not shifting enough. It wasn't that I was trying to stay in one gear for the challenge. I simply was having a hard time concentrating on shifting while I was going up and down, up and down.

    Later on I got to thinking about this. I spent way too much money buying all XT parts (the Deore stuff worked nearly as good I admit) and it seems that I don't even need it. Anyway, I realized that I might be just as well off pushing one gear and not having to think about shifting.

    I realize I am preaching to the choir here, but I am interested to know how everybody else got sucked in?

  2. #2
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    I wanted to be different. Just like all the different people I wanted to be like.

  3. #3
    Hi!!!
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    Curiousity

    I read about SS on here and saw one or two out on the trail. I belong to the Idaho section and several guys on there have SS and a combo of all of that really piqued my interest. I was fortunate enough to pick one up earlier this year at a bike swap and liked it even though going up hills was a PITA. Last weekend I had one of the Idaho guys convert my HT into a more XC friendly SS and once again I'm hooked and am soooo looking forward to riding it again tonight.
    Idaho Biking Yahoo! Group
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  4. #4
    Expert Pushing SSer
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    Simplified steps to suck-cess:
    1) Stolen main ride (insurance brought in).
    2) Convert olde bike with parts from parts bin.
    2B) Receive nice geared bike from order funded by insurance. (scan down to step5)
    3) Sell convert, cuz you see a "need" for a bike with horiz d/os.
    4) Sell horiz d/os bike cuz you see a "need" for a bike with an EBB and disc brakes.
    5) Start scavenging nice parts from nice geared bike to create "ultimate" (in my clouded eyes).
    6) Realize you use the "other" bike for one trail and the rest of the trails you adapt to, push if you must, stop and catch your breath if you must. It flat does not matter. It is a blast.
    Tuff Schist

  5. #5
    Medium?
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    One second

    Around Sept '99 I got on CalTrain with my bike. I had to move another guys bike because I was going further than him. I picked it up. It was light. It was steel. I looked down, and it had only one gear. I knew <i>immediately</i> that I had to have one. It was a Voodoo Nzumbi.

  6. #6
    just have fun!
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    1. I got sick of the maintenance of a full-suspension rig.
    2. I got tired of always having stuff going wrong with my shifters/derailleurs.
    3. I only used 4 or 5 speeds most of the time, so why not just one? Besides, shifting is annoying.

    Basically, being cheap and lazy got me into it. What really hooked me is the pure fun of the ride without all the complications that come with a 'high-tech' bike. My converted ride is worth about $200 total and I still smoke guys on $2000 bling bikes (not knocking their decision to ride what they like at all, though). I just like fun XC riding, and the singlespeed is the way (for me) to achieve that.

  7. #7
    Hoopy Frood
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    Spare Parts

    About a month ago, I was cleaning up the basement and realized that, short of a fork and frame, I had enough components to build another bike. I had shifters and derailleurs but decided to build up a rigid singlespeed since I wanted to improve my fitness and technical skills. Plus, with the season of snow, ice, and mud approaching, derailleurs would just be a hassle.

    Bought a new Surly 1x1 frameset on eBay and built it up. Since then, I've ridden my geared hardtail three times and the singlespeed about fifteen times.

    I'll always have a geared bike in the stable but I'm definitely hooked. on the ss.
    Last edited by khill; 11-04-2005 at 01:30 PM.
    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    The devil is an angel too
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    When I first heard of singlespeed mountainbikes, they seemed silly to me -why would you ride a bike with one gear if you can have 27 to help you climb hills??? Then, after one too many a fight with my drivetrain -and living in pancake flat land- I thought about just getting rid of the gears to save me the hassle. I didn't do it then, got my drivetrain issues fixed and was happy with gears, but still atracted to the simplicity of singlespeeding, no derailleurs, clean lines... and it just seemed to fit what I like to do. After riding my wife's new full suspension, I realized that, while I appreciate the suspension, I actually enjoyed more riding a hardtail. After that, I knew I wanted to go rigid. I had been eyeing the Surly 1x1 for a while by then.

    I got a midyear bonus, bought a 1x1 frame, build it up with "budget" and leftover parts... and I haven't touched the geared bike ever since... A return to childhood and BMX type bikes? the lack of rebel derailleurs refusing to follow orders? the silence of it? not thinking about shifting? added challenge? a lighter bike? all and none of it I guess. It makes me happy. More smiles per mile.

  9. #9
    Fueled by Wahoo's
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    First SS I saw was at a 24 hour race. My team was on fully-suspended gearies and these guys were on fully-rigid SS. At the time, I couldn't even imagine riding the race without gears. Now, after riding SS for about a year, I would prefer racing on the SS.

    Besides that...the SS had a simple beauty to it that kept on seducing me to want to try it.

    D

  10. #10
    just like a speeder-bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    how everybody else got sucked in?
    I had Gary Fisher HooKooEKoo hardtail; then bought a nice dually.

    I was NEVER interested in singlespeeding, until I read some of the 'Why Singlespeed?' responses in this forum... sounded like I oughta at least give it a try.

    Then I realized hmmm, I could convert my Fisher, I'm not riding it now.... Then I did it.... (the process itself was pretty fun).... Then I rode it! Now, gotta have it. Both bikes, that is; I still prefer the dually for long or techincal off-roading, but the singlespeed is my local trails/muddy-rainy-no maintenance bombproof joy. And I love the feeling of clipping in to a bike with no gears; to me it's kind of like being strapped to an anchor on the climbs, but the challenge, pain and simplicty keep me comin' back.

  11. #11
    Reviewer/Tester
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    I needed to get back to the simplicity and purity of HT's and one gear after years of FS and geared bikes.

    I dragged my old steel SS'er out, dusted it off, did some maintenance and went for a ride on the same trails that I had been riding my FS bikes on.

    I suffered.

    I was humiliated.

    I sweated.

    I hurt.

    I experienced pain.

    I pushed.

    I walked.

    I puffed.

    I had a great ride.

    I was re-hooked.

    I purchased a One Niner SS.


    Now, my FS geared bikes are no longer used.

    I am HAPPY..



    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  12. #12
    10001110101
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    Moved to the mountains. Built up a geared hardtail after not having a mt. bike since college. Rode some, but infatuated with kayaking. Disliked climbing, was frustrated w/ my lack of endurance and abilities compared to excellent local riders and gradually all but quit riding XC. Boated constantly.

    Big drought during one summer, decided to revisit bikes. Discovered downhilling. Loved it, reminded me of a cross between running steep creeks and snowboarding. Built up a big bike w/ parts from old hardtail. Read about SS in DirtRag. Got curious. Decided to convert remaining hardtail frame into rigid SS. Loved the simplicity and contrast of riding rigid, no gears vs. 7 inch dually, but also the similarity (bashguards, fat tires, DH skills improving from line choices, handling skills).

    Local mountain closes for season, still wanting to ride. Finally decided there was no shame in pushing, swallowed my pride and started hitting local XC trails again. Starting to climb a little better, not minding them as much, but still pushing when I feel like it. Finally having the fun I didn't get from my intial stab at XC.

    That was two summers ago. Now, biking almost as much as boating, and riding the SS almost as much as the big bike. Getting ready to upgrade to a dedicated steel SS. Still riding rigid. Keeping up with other riders a bit better, pushing a little less. Still slow, but having progressively less pain, more fun every time I ride.

  13. #13
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    One day, my XTR shifter tanked on me and the seal on my suspension fork went south, both on the same ride. I went home, evaluated the cost of fixing/replacing these items, and realized that I had been on a never-ending binge-and-purge cycle of repair and replacement of parts that were only adding complexity to the riding experience, without really improving it. Next day, I went out and bought a Bianchi BOSS. That was 1998. Haven't shifted since.

  14. #14
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    I kept reading about SSing here and frankly I did not believe all the stories about the "triumphs" of SS bikes over geared bikes. I still cannot believe half of it. But there is only one way to find out, right? Besides I love riding and the thought of going from a high-end FS bike to a rigid SS is freakish enough to make me try it out. The thought of taking it on the trails I normally ride makes me ... wonder what the heck is wrong with me.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  15. #15
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    Years ago when I raced XC, I heard of a few guys that were riding SS. I thought, how fun can that be to have to walk or run up every hill?

    Well, a few years later and here I am back riding after a break. I go and pick up a new FS gearie. Well only a few months after I finally get the bike I see and here about this SS thing again. I origionally thought ok, it sounds interesting. I can see where those guy ride them on certain trails that don't have much climbing. So, I converted an old HT and could not get the grin off of my face!!!

    I run into a old buddy of mine that still races and see that he has switched to SS. Considering that he races in the expert class (finishes top 10 every year) I start thinking that maybe you can go fast on those things. Well after talking to him about what he walks made me think. He said that there is very little that he walks up. He races at my local trail and didn't walk anything. This race has the most climbing for the whole series too!!

    Well, now I have picked up a 1x1 and keep getting urges to get something better. My FS gearie has been given to the wife and sits with a flat tire. The more I ride, the more I can ride!! It is hard to believe what can be done.
    I can't wait to see what I can ride next year!!

  16. #16
    The Tortoise
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    Like many others, it was this blasted internet that swayed my thoughts. I always found myself reading the SS board more than the others. My bike is silly light and I live in the flatlands, so I thought I could shed even more weight and maybe enjoy it. I did some rides without shifting to get a feel for the gearing, then about 2 months ago bought the SS specific ring and cog and a Singleator. I love it! I got 10th of 22 at my first SS race, and have been rockin it on the local trail. Even suffered some on more technical trails recently.
    I'm begining to wonder if my fancy-boy shifters and deraileurs will ever see daylight again.
    Now I'm about to get some Mary bars and go in full-fledged weirdo! Everyone I ride with seems so stunned that I would ditch the shifting; maybe they will see the light...

  17. #17
    igoslo
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    A little over a year ago I walked into a bike shop looking for a specific bike and they didn't have it, saw a Unit in my size and asked to ride it on a whim. They cut me loose for a couple of hours and next thing I knew I was hooked.

  18. #18
    JLC
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    Well.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Barkdog
    I had Gary Fisher HooKooEKoo hardtail; then bought a nice dually.

    I was NEVER interested in singlespeeding, until I read some of the 'Why Singlespeed?' responses in this forum... sounded like I oughta at least give it a try.

    Then I realized hmmm, I could convert my Fisher, I'm not riding it now....
    I was a race volunteer at the E-100 Century in Park City, that's where I caught the SS Bug. I saw some amazing riders, some on singlespeeds. One singlespeed rider decided to stop at my spot and take a quick break and enjoy the view. I was admiring his bike and thought to myself, hmmm, I have a Gary Fisher HKEK steel hardtail hanging in the garage that might just work. I converted it, the magic gear is 32x19. Big fun ever since.
    Remember, If you're still in pain have another homebrew.

  19. #19
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    Hanging out with a bunch of Cream Puff veterans who have ridden SS for several years. I think they are silly, though I begin to get intrigued when I see what they can climb (the average ride around here has ~3000 ft of climbing. This summer I decide to convert my '88 Merlin HT, but can' t find anyone local to do the Ti welding to remove the U-brake bosses (remember those?). One night shiggy tells me of a Zion EBB frameset deal. I look, get out the plastic, and in a week there's a frame in the living room. That blows that month's liquid cash, so I wait a month to get a fork. It's all over now, as I have rims and spokes lying about, just need hubs and brakes. Between various bikes and parts boxes in the garage, and blowing the budget for the second month, the rest comes together.
    Now for the first ride, a night ride on the lower section of Alpine trail. Damn! I can climb more than I thought possible. The second ride was on Tire Mtn, not generally thought of as a SS-friendly route. Eight or nine rides later, and I think this is the training machine for the '06 Puff.
    Am I hooked?

  20. #20
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    Few years ago i had geared 29er for a trail riding and commuting. Winters here are pretty damn cold and snowy and looooong (northern Finland that is. Allmost at arctic circle next to Santa Claus). Gears just don´t work here in winter. I began to think why not convert my 29er to SS somehow. I tought it might be a good idea. Never used those gears in winter anyway. Never heard singlespeeders before and never saw a SS mountain bike before.

    I started to search web and was so amazed when i found this large worldwide family of same kind of nuts that i am. I went to a local bike shop and there it was: Cannondale 1FG. Fully rigid. That was love at first sight. I bought it. Geared 29er had to go. Those days i started "real" mountain biking too and noticed that my 1FG was bit too big for me and i started to search web for a steel SS frame. I popped in to a On-Ones pages and that was love at first sight, again. Then i find from Finnish biking forum a guy who lives allmost at my next door who was into SS riding too. Suprisingly he had this nice Inbred frame for sale. What is the odds for that? I was plessed i think. There is no other SS riders in our town but us.

    From that day i´ve been ride that Inbred. I also have fixed Il Pompino for commuting. Now i´m planning to convert my Inbred to a fixie too. I haven´t decide yet what will be my next project as a freewheeled SS. Maybe Ti or not. Dunno but journey continues anyway......

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    Aside from a couple of converted old school rigid mountain bikes I rode on campus I have not been much of a singlespeeder. I have always loved the look of the simple drivetrain, but have not been willing to make the plunge into riding one of these things on the trail.

    Funny thing is last time I went out on my full suspension bike I kept finding myself not shifting enough. It wasn't that I was trying to stay in one gear for the challenge. I simply was having a hard time concentrating on shifting while I was going up and down, up and down.

    Later on I got to thinking about this. I spent way too much money buying all XT parts (the Deore stuff worked nearly as good I admit) and it seems that I don't even need it. Anyway, I realized that I might be just as well off pushing one gear and not having to think about shifting.

    I realize I am preaching to the choir here, but I am interested to know how everybody else got sucked in?
    I had seen a few guys riding ss hardtails during my weekly group rides. I thought they had to be crazy until I found I couldn't keep up with one of them. That got the idea rolling around in my head and then one envening about a month ago a small stick removed half of the derailure of my 05 Dawg Primo. That was it. I quickly converted my old Fisher Joshua F1 FS (with rear lockout) to a singlespeed. The first ride I rode with a group of people and got a few comments about how if peaple kept getting those thing the group would get even more spread out and there would be more waiting. About 20 minutes into the ride that person started to think differently as I rode his ass the entire time and then passed him at the crest of the steepest hill of the ride. The rest of the ride there was a lot of waiting except, it was me waiting for them. It took about 20 minutes for me to learn how to ride SS and for the first 10, I was unsure. My Dawg has not been ridden since I put the old XT derailure off the Fisher (I just happend to have an extra now). I have since beefed up the SS with a Surly stainless steel ring and rear cog and Sram SS chain. Riding a SS will kick the crap out of you but the challenge makes it so much more fun. I'm hooked!

  22. #22
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    this forum got me curious about it (I don't know if I should curse or praise y'all!), now I love the simplicity and quietness of the ride.

    I've got a good buddy who's always riding around in his granny gear (just can't get him to stop dropping & spinning in there, even on pretty flat stuff) whom I recently let borrow my converted SS commuter (old steel stumpjumper -48x18 w/ fat 2.35 super-moto slicks). He came back after the ride going 'man, that's soo cool & fun just cruising around in one gear... so I'm trying to get him to drop his totally worn out drivetrain and let me set 'im up SS or 2 chainring stylie.


  23. #23
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    A couple friends were calling me a wimp because I wouldn't convert my old HT to a SS. One day I caved into the pressure. Quickly, I found that I was getting stronger and smother on any bike from learning to ride a SS.

    Now I am researching purpose built SS frames. The HT will be converted back to a geared bike for racing.

  24. #24
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    Well...

    ...Walked into lbs to look at road bikes...Walked out with a new Bianchi SASS!!
    Black Sheep...where it'ss at!!
    "I'm not known for my patience. Patience is a polite quality and often appropriate, but it rarely gets things done. Impatience, however, is the hunger for results and intolerance for excuses and delays." LA

  25. #25
    faster than a glacier...
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    peer pressure

    My bestest bud got into SS'ing as a courier in Columbus OH. I saw his sweet Surly 1x1 and I was hooked on the idea. I read up on it on the interwebs and decided it was something I just had to do. I built up my very own 1x1 in 2000 and never looked back. I sold my geared bikes one by one and now run a Surly, single speed only stable.

    No more broken chains, dropped chains, twisted derailleurs and most important of all no more f*cking chain slap. God I hate that when I ride with my geared buddies. ping, ping, clank, click, thwap.

  26. #26
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    Simplification

    One of my riding buddies was converting a trash bike (that he rescued from a dumpster) into a SS bike for a commuter ride. I laughed knowing he would be pushing the bike to work. As fate would have it, I start building a geared bike for my nephew. As I'm buying all these expensive drivetrain components I realize how much cheaper and simpler SS would be. Started riding my local trail without shifting to "get the feel." What I got was hooked. Just completed the conversion of my Trek 4500 to SS. Not the lightest frame to convert, but you work with what you have.

    Next steps: I've got a 2000 Trek OCLV frame that's going to get the treatment.

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