Another First Impressions sorry-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Another First Impressions sorry

    About me. I have been Mtn/rd riding off and on since the mid 90's. Teenager to college to married and kids and now back to my first love.(still happily married to a woman who also enjoys cycling of all types). I love suspension and technology for the most part and never rode a real mtn bike without a front sus fork. My first mtn bike was some cheap Trek, but I sprung for a cheap fork that was no more than sanction tubes with some springs stuck on the bottom of it. That fork didn't even have seals, but I thought I was something. I later moved to a Manitou 3 then Mach 5 and so on. I also believe in the formula of x+1 is the perfect amount of bikes one should own, and this leads me to a desire for a SS. I don't know any friends that ride a ss much less a rigid ss, but that doesn't detour me from wanting one. I currently have several different types of Mtn/rd bikes and I like each of them. I can take 1 trail and ride it several different ways depending on what bike i am riding, (at least that's the reason I give my wife, it works so far). Ok so I picked up my rigid ss on Friday and it was pouring the rain (of course) so no ride until Sunday. I got a Spec Crave SL. Here is my Pro's and Cons'

    +Light, the bike weights just over 20 lbs with a carbon seat post I had taken off a Rd bike
    +Quick, the bike accelerates like a rocket but stalls (con section)
    Precise, Although my Fat bike is rigid it isn't nearly as precise as my ss is
    +Comfortable for what it is. I wouldn't ride my ss on a known rooty rocky trail. Thus far i put 73 miles (3 rides) on it which have been on mostly groomed trails. I have been very happy for the most part.
    Didn't loose my Ave loop times, but didn't gain either.
    +Not hard to climb, yes it is tough but very do able.
    +Simple, Simple, Simple. Now I am not one who hates to work or maintain bikes, but this thing is crazy simple.

    -Limited flat and DH speed. I love speed and I top out around 14-15 mph pedaling on my ss which is bad.
    -Gain one you lose one. I know you can swap gears and better your top end but what happens to your low end.
    -Although I came close, I haven't walked yet, I am sure I will especially if trail conditions make me spin out on a tough climb. I Hate pushing my bike for any reason and in a geared bike if i fail to clear something I always go back down and do it again unless it is just to mudding etc. I just Hate the idea of walking a bike.
    -Rigid, Now I don't have any plans to put a sus fork on this bike, if a trail I am going to is rough I will not be riding this one, but blurred vision is never a good thing on a tough section of trail.
    -Not faster. I read over and over how you will pass geared bikes on climbs etc. Well I always pass geared bikes on climbs no matter the bike, I didn't need a ss for that. Although the ss may have increased my climbing speed out of need, I know I have lost alot of time on the milder sections of the trail and downhill sections because I pedal all the time on a geared bike if the trail allows (jumps, rocks, leans etc). I could be going 22 mph on a tough DH section and I still pedal every chance I get. If you don't then this want bother you.

    So should you buy a SS if you are on the fence and not sure about it?? 4 Questions

    -Do you pedal every hill with a crazy high cadence but only move at about 3-4 mph? If yes then I would wait on a SS
    -Do you climb every hill in the highest gear you can and typically pass your buddies anyways? If yes, then Get a SS
    -Do you want to sharpen your riding skills and get out of the saddle to climb? If Yes, then get a rigid SS
    -Do you want something different and challenging that might give an old trail new life? If Yes, then get a SS

    Over all, I am very happy with my decision and my bike of choice, but I have 0 plans to move bike to the number one spot. As I told my wife "I added another concubine to my Stable".

  2. #2
    Wanna ride bikes?
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    welcome to the club. nice write up of first impressions. although, pics always make it better.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I posted a pic earlier on another tread but here goes . Another First Impressions  sorry-uploadfromtaptalk1426730613024.jpg

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Single speeding renewed my love for mountain biking ten fold. It made me realize what I hated the most about geared bikes was going to the granny and spinning. With a Single Speed you just do it and take the ride at the pace it gives you. In turn you learn to use your momentum and end up riding least for me.
    One Gear Under God

  5. #5
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ahha! We have a rider who attacks the climbs even on a geared bike

    I sometimes call my SS bikes "constant speed bikes" because there is a somewhat limited speed range. I don't time my rides, so the flat parts are usually recovery sections between the bumpy areas and climbs. The fastest I get on flats seems to be a result of alternating between furious spinning and coasting. For downhills, a sprint at the top can help with overall speed. Negotiating the more bumpy trails on a rigid can be either a pleasure or a chore. Depends on point of view. I take it as a challenge, and am happy just to make it, regardless of it being slower and more tiring than with 5" of suspension at each end of the bike.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KevinGT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Having just built a new, dedicated singlespeed, I'm riding it about half of my rides (vs. once a month on my old one). I find myself standing on my geared bike WAY more than I ever have before.

    Strangely, I also find myself sitting on my SS more as well. on variable climbs, with steep sections separated by more gradual sections, I'm standing to attack the steep parts and immediately sitting to recover on the gradual parts.

    I wonder if, over time, I'll get to the point where i'm riding both bikes identically. Where the two bikes separate themselves is on the steepest climbs. I still can't stand on really slick switchbacks due to loss of traction. My geared bike is far superior to spin up those without losing traction. As posted in another thread, my local ride has a section of 6 switchbacks in a row with a 10% grade. I clean those switchbacks 100% of the time on my geared bike and 0% on my SS.

    The video below isn't mine but it shows those switchbacks under dry conditions. The guy in the video is descending, not climbing but you get an idea of where I struggle on my SS but not on my geared bike. I always ride this trail to climb these switchbacks!

    The switchbacks start at 0:15. Climbing them when the Georgia clay is wet and slick is a challenge.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I actually had the same thought about how I will ride my geared bikes differently after riding a ss. Old school teachings said to sit and pedal up tougher sections of trail for traction and this is true, but if the trail allows it I love to stand and pump those sections as well.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    I just built my first one as well. I feel like a kid again when I ride mine. Simple simple simple....

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnum Ti View Post
    Single speeding renewed my love for mountain biking ten fold. It made me realize what I hated the most about geared bikes was going to the granny and spinning. With a Single Speed you just do it and take the ride at the pace it gives you. In turn you learn to use your momentum and end up riding least for me.

    Nothing left to be said. This nails it.

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