Anyone go from SS back to geared?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    dmo
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    Anyone go from SS back to geared?

    I built up a SS bike (Trek Stache) this year as my first attempt at riding without gears. It's been fun and definitely has made me into a stronger rider. The simplicity of not having gears is great but sometimes I miss having gears.

    Has anyone given up the SS and gone back to gears?

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  2. #2
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    Yeah I do it often. As fun as SS is I get burnt out on it. I'm on 1x9 now. Usually I do SS in fall winter and then for spring summer the gears go back on

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  3. #3
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    I went from SS to gears and now back to SS. I missed it and now realize SS > gears for fun factor. There's a place for gears I suppose. I know I'm not strong enough to ride SS in a lot of areas but there's a lot of folks that SS is the only way. Maybe someday I can get there but until then...I'll always have at least one bike with gears or the ability to put gears on my bike.
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  4. #4
    more skier than biker
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    Yes....well, I switch between SS and geared weekly, switching between bikes from one day to the next.

    Was primarily a SS rider & racer for many years. Now have two geared MTB's (a Trek Top Fuel for XC and a Remedy as the all-mountain fun bike) along side my dedicated SS. Ride them fairly equally which is quite a bit.

    I still race quite a bit and do a bunch on my SS and a bunch on my geared bike each year.

  5. #5
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    I go back and forth because I can't make up my mind. I'm very indecisive and probably have ADHD.

  6. #6
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    All the time. Old knees can't grind the big gears anymore.
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  7. #7
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    different horses for different courses.

    I have 1x11, 2x10, 3x10, and 1x1 MTBs

    on the road I have 2x10, 2x9, and 1x3

  8. #8
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    I actually just sold my last geared bike and now have 3 different singlespeeds. One thing that helps me is having them set up differently.

    The bike I train and race on has fairly tough gearing and is more for going fast than fun.

    I have another bike though with a steel frame, big tires, and significantly lower gearing for the days I just want to go for a ride and don't care so much about going fast. It's great for group rides.

    The 3rd ss is for pure fun. Modern slack geo, suspension fork, and a dropper.

  9. #9
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    My bike (hardtail, my only mtb) changes every other ride sometimes. SS is fun for solo rides, flat-ish terrain, and big groups. When riding super-tech terrain, or with a small group, it's a hassle to keep up or even clean the chunky stuff. Switching from 1x to SS takes less than 15 minutes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    My bike (hardtail, my only mtb) changes every other ride sometimes. SS is fun for solo rides, flat-ish terrain, and big groups. When riding super-tech terrain, or with a small group, it's a hassle to keep up or even clean the chunky stuff. Switching from 1x to SS takes less than 15 minutes.
    How do you do that? Do you have to pull the cassette and the derailleur?

  11. #11
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    Switching to SS on the trail can take no time at all... don't shift! Easy to go back and forth.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hah72215 View Post
    Switching to SS on the trail can take no time at all... don't shift! Easy to go back and forth.
    Tried that. With the shifter right there...I don't have the discipline to not use it once and a while.
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  13. #13
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    Only for a short time. Then went back to SS again. I use gears in the winter to maintain some sort of traction.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    How do you do that? Do you have to pull the cassette and the derailleur?
    pull the cassette, install cogs and spacers (I keep the spacers and cog together with a twist tie so I don't mess up the spacing.)
    remove derailleur and shifter. leave them connected by cable.
    remove long, shifty chain, install shorter SS chain.

    sounds complex but it only takes a few minutes to do. I keep the cassette and shifter/derailleur assembly together in a box.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    pull the cassette, install cogs and spacers (I keep the spacers and cog together with a twist tie so I don't mess up the spacing.)
    remove derailleur and shifter. leave them connected by cable.
    remove long, shifty chain, install shorter SS chain.

    sounds complex but it only takes a few minutes to do. I keep the cassette and shifter/derailleur assembly together in a box.
    Cool! That's kinda what I figured. I'm way too lazy for that, tho. I've only got one good set of pedals right now, so I usually just grab the bike they're on so I don't have to move them, lol!

  16. #16
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    I converted my SS to 1x10 after I started having some hip pain. Knees held up fine though.
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  17. #17
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    I ride my SS 99% of the time. I still have a geared bike, that I ride maybe once a month, just so the wife doesn't say "ride it or get rid of it".

    I "can" put gears on my SS...but I won't allow myself to do so.
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  18. #18
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    I have an Alfine 8 speed hub for those occasions.

    Sometimes I have to ride 30 miles to get to the particular trail I want to ride, and quite often when I get to the end of it there's a similar distance to ride. Can't take a car because I'm generally crossing passes and the end of the trail is a long way from the start. I used to do it on the singlespeed but it ate up too much of the daylight just spinning to get there and back for most trails.

    Anything reasonably close, ie under 10 miles and it's still the singlespeed.

    Now that Sturmey-Archer make a 3 speed hub with the gearchange within the chainstays, I may switch to that. It's lighter and its ratios are about right, set the direct to a slightly high SS offroad ratio and the high gear is ok for road transits. As for the bottom gear, well sometimes you get burnt out and appreciate it.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    Cool! That's kinda what I figured. I'm way too lazy for that, tho. I've only got one good set of pedals right now, so I usually just grab the bike they're on so I don't have to move them, lol!
    FFS Corn! if your so lazy, put a pry bar in your wallet and buy another set of pedals.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    FFS Corn! if your so lazy, put a pry bar in your wallet and buy another set of pedals.
    I can't decide on which ones! (see post #5)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    FFS Corn! if your so lazy, put a pry bar in your wallet and buy another set of pedals.
    I thought he could fix anything with a hammer, I figured he carried that around all the time, will he have room for a pry bar?

    OP: I switch back and forth between 2x9 and SS, with the exception of the fatty in the winter. The thing is... I stay in the same gear for the whole ride. So did I really go back to geared? IDK.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  22. #22
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    I switch one of my Single Speeds to 1x10 occasionally. Swap the dropout, install der and shifter, string cable, swap chains, install wheel with cassette. /soup

  23. #23
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    I have both SS and geared bikes for mountain biking and road.

    And I race short distances with gears and endurance events with SS (mountain biking only).


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  24. #24
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    Or try this - one bike with two sets of wheels (use same hubs for simplicity) such as:

    1) Enve m50 with Raching Ralphs (2.25 and 2.10) on C Kings - XC racing

    2) Stans Flow MX 29mm with Raching Ralphs (2.35 and 2.25) on C Kings - balloons! - everything else

  25. #25
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    Started SSing earlier this summer, haven't wanted to go back to gears yet. I have a road bike that... hasn't been used all summer, and it is geared, and I will definitely keep it, but I sold the geared MTB's, and bought a second SS... the simplicity is really awesome, and I love the workout if provides!

  26. #26
    dmo
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    Would gears be better as we get into fall and winter and conditions get worse...leaves, mud, maybe even snow.

    I know I can geared set up with out too much money or time. Is it worth the time? I'll have to try and find out

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    I built up a SS bike (Trek Stache) this year as my first attempt at riding without gears. It's been fun and definitely has made me into a stronger rider. The simplicity of not having gears is great but sometimes I miss having gears.

    Has anyone given up the SS and gone back to gears?
    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    Would gears be better as we get into fall and winter and conditions get worse...leaves, mud, maybe even snow.

    I know I can geared set up with out too much money or time. Is it worth the time? I'll have to try and find out
    i get the feeling your not totally in love with SS. what is the purpose of your thread? you sound like your really looking for an excuse to give it up. are you not happy with your current ride? it's not for everyone, in my experience most people either love it or hate it and nothing in between. if it's not for you, that's ok.

    do you still have a geared bike? I think for a lot of people (very dependent on who, where, why, when, and how) it makes a good/better second bike instead of a primary bike.

    not sure it applies, but could be worth a read. http://forums.mtbr.com/singlespeed/a...ss-992615.html
    Rigid SS 29er
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  28. #28
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    Usually if you don't like your SS bike you're geared wrong. Try 2 teeth different on the rear.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    what is the purpose of your thread?
    Yeah, I was wondering if the OP wanted feedback in making a decision, or was just opening up a dialogue. The decision to go SS or geared seems best made by each person depending on their needs. If you do all group rides with long climbs and you're constantly getting dropped, well, gear up! It's a decision each person must make for themselves. But I'm stubborn and rarely ask anyone's advice about anything. I constantly seek more info, but decisions are mine.

    Personally, I think I'm done with geared hardtails. Gears mean lots of sitting, which makes me want FS (my terrain is super rocky). So I have a rigid SS, and a geared FS. No more half suspended bikes for me. Nevertheless, a geared hardtail is still the best one-bike bang-for-your-buck IMO.

  30. #30
    dmo
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    It's not so much that I feel like I don't like SS. I have a geared fs bike and my SS is a HT. Sometimes, mostly when I'm tired, I find myself missing gears. It's mostly a mental thing. I look at a hill and feel "uggh" as opposed to "bring it on!"

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  31. #31
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    My SS's get 95% of my riding. SS is a rigid hard tail. I only ride the geared FS where I need the suspension.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    ...It's mostly a mental thing. I look at a hill and feel "uggh" as opposed to "bring it on!"...
    Whereas I think "Woo Hoo!" and wonder how far I can get up it. You need to get your Woo Hoo back.

    And don't mind walking. My rule of thumb is jump off when you hit walking pace. Many is the climb I have walked up beside a geared rider who is gasping his guts out while I engage him in conversation that he can only answer in grunts.

    (Your bike is a tool, and sometimes the best tool for the job is your feet.)
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    You need to get your Woo Hoo back.
    [...]
    jump off when you hit walking pace.
    Both good advice, although when I have my "Woo Hoo" on, my psychic momentum usually prevents me from dismounting until I've clawed up every inch I can.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Whereas I think "Woo Hoo!" and wonder how far I can get up it. You need to get your Woo Hoo back.
    agreed. I seek out and hammer hills with enthusiasm till the bitter end. there is no more fun way to climb than on a rigid SS.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Both good advice, although when I have my "Woo Hoo" on, my psychic momentum usually prevents me from dismounting until I've clawed up every inch I can.
    Let me rephrase then. ...until you can no longer breathe enough air to utter Woo Hoo.

    (That's usually around tunnel vision and floating black spots in the eyes time )
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    And don't mind walking. My rule of thumb is jump off when you hit walking pace. Many is the climb I have walked up beside a geared rider who is gasping his guts out while I engage him in conversation that he can only answer in grunts.

    (Your bike is a tool, and sometimes the best tool for the job is your feet.)
    I agree with this. Sometimes you just are better off hike-a-biking instead of grinding it out. In the end you have more fun and will have more energy to complete the ride.

  37. #37
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    Depends on the purpose of the ride. You won't getting stronger by walking so if it's training and you aren't risking you knees...grind up that SOB unless you have lots more miles to go and that grind will take too much out of you. If it's a fun ride or race, sure...walk and save yourself for the rest of the ride.
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  38. #38
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    I ride both rigid SS and hard tail with gears (have FS too but hardly ever ride it these days). Tend to prefer SS for more rides; also do a weekly fast pace urban assault ride that is better suited to gears.
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  39. #39
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    To the OP, no. Ride SS or be lame.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    I built up a SS bike (Trek Stache) this year as my first attempt at riding without gears. It's been fun and definitely has made me into a stronger rider. The simplicity of not having gears is great but sometimes I miss having gears.

    Has anyone given up the SS and gone back to gears?

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
    i did exactly the opposite of you... got a geared stache after years of SS only.

    i only have one mtb so it was either gears or ss; and i can't say i am regretting the gears. 1x and a clutch rear derailleur make riding a geared bike "like a singlespeed" very easy now (you can MASH without worry in any gear you choose).

    eventually i'd like to get another stache frame to set up singlespeed so i can have a choice, but for now i am really not missing the singlespeed.

    I take it back; i do miss the forced effort of riding singlespeed sometimes; i can tell i am slowly loosing fitness as i just don't climb as fast when i have the choice to make it easy...

    what TOTALLY doesn't suck though is long flats where i can now just shift into a decent gear and cruise as opposed to the hampster flywheel spin routine i was so used to before.

    FOR YOU OLD FOGIES LIKE ME WHO DITCHED THE GEARS LONG AGO: derailleurs did suck back in the day but the new clutch ones are pretty amazeballs! it might be time to try the darkside again. to me at least it seems much sweeter than when i left.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    To the OP, no. Ride SS or be lame.
    I am lame, but I am working on it.

    Started geared years ago and the last year started "Simulated Single Speed" I just found a singlespeed ratio in my 3x9 and left it there. I did that successfully many rides, but now I have converted my old 26" HT to a singlespeed. Sure it needs a tensioner, but there is only one gear. I do still have 29erHT and 27.5 FS trail bike. I am not ready to go SS all the way yet. So yes I am still lame as for now I can only be cool in small doses... At least cstem let me ride with him...
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  42. #42
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    Ive been thinking about this. Im really into riding my steel SS, but I am going to need it for commuting to work and back, and would like to put a internally geared hub on. But I wonder about durability. Even 3 speeds would be enough, Id keep it SS but I need to be able to cover some ground...

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    I built up a SS bike (Trek Stache) this year as my first attempt at riding without gears. It's been fun and definitely has made me into a stronger rider. The simplicity of not having gears is great but sometimes I miss having gears.

    Has anyone given up the SS and gone back to gears?

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    I used to ride my ss almost all the time, now only in the winter.
    Love the simplicity and low maintenance.


    Quote Originally Posted by evad nosam View Post
    Ive been thinking about this. Im really into riding my steel SS, but I am going to need it for commuting to work and back, and would like to put a internally geared hub on. But I wonder about durability. Even 3 speeds would be enough, Id keep it SS but I need to be able to cover some ground...
    I found out I needed gears on the road, seems odd.
    Have a SRAM Automitix in my commuter. Had to adjust the internal spring a bit, to get the shifting at the right speed.
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  44. #44
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    I was SS 80% of my rides. The last 2 months however, have completely changed for me vs the last 4 years. Starting in June, tons of Downieville, Lakes Basin, Elwell, Hole In The Ground, and Full Suspension 5 SPOT is the shizzle. I will roll on Singlespeed the next 3 weeks, until Moab mid September on the 5-SPOT. I will be super strong, on a gear bike in Moab 4 days. Sweet. About 80% of the riding in the Bay Area, and some Tahoe is more fun on SS, so I will be doing that into the fall, winter and spring. It also depends on who I am riding with, as some of the younger guys ride days in a row, for 3 or 4 hours.

  45. #45
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    I pretty much ride SS 100% of the time when offroad. Every once in a blue moon I'll start thinking that I would like some gears but all it takes is one ride and I remember why I am a SS'er....On the road however I ride gears the majority of the time. Still prefer my track bike over my geared road bike but the gears help more so with recovery from riding hard on my SS.

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  46. #46
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    Currently ride SS cannondale but keep thinking of a 1x10 to have the gears to ride the 4-5 mile bike trail to get to the trail. My city bike is a marin with sturmey 2 speed but that would get really annoying mountain biking.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    pull the cassette, install cogs and spacers (I keep the spacers and cog together with a twist tie so I don't mess up the spacing.)
    remove derailleur and shifter. leave them connected by cable.
    remove long, shifty chain, install shorter SS chain.

    sounds complex but it only takes a few minutes to do. I keep the cassette and shifter/derailleur assembly together in a box.
    I bought all the stuff to do this this exact same thing for my single speed, with the addition of 4 chainring bolts that swap vertical dropouts for track ends. (On-One Scandal)

    There's a full unused 1x10 drivetrain that's been sitting in a box on my work bench for a long time now that's never been installed. LoL.

    I keep saying I'm going to do it someday just because I can, but I'm actually thinking I might rather have the money from selling it on craigslist instead.

  48. #48
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    Rode exclusively on SS for a handful of years when I never used my road bike. When I started road riding again between my dirt days to keep my fitness up mid-week my overall SS fun level dropped as my body had adjusted to a certain tempo and intensity range and run a 1x10 XT/XTR setup on my Crave (SS to geared capable so I'm free to switch back and forth fairly easily) and I'm crushing stuff more than I ever did with my SS setup.

    There are days that I don't feel fresh on the trail and with the few bailout gears available I can keep riding where I would normally just hang up the SS early on those days. Plus with the rocky, technical terrain of northern NJ I don't burn all of my matches on the first climb of the day so my rides are longer and I'm hitting some of my favorite trails deeper in the trail systems that I would skip due to exhaustion at the end of the ride.

    I do miss the SS feeling on occasion when I feel 100% and just want to crush a big ride, but those days are hit and miss and the almost-just-as-simple operation 1x10 setup is a great compromise. Of course there's big events in the region like SSaP or a few trail networks further away that are smooth and flowy that I'll happily throw on a single cog and go at it.

  49. #49
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    My full sus. is geared. I ride it from time to time, but the bike I pull off the wall 99% of the time is my SS. I like the grind on climbs. I guess that's one reason I'm anti-eBike. I want my ride to be harder, not easier.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Whereas I think "Woo Hoo!" and wonder how far I can get up it. You need to get your Woo Hoo back.

    And don't mind walking. My rule of thumb is jump off when you hit walking pace. Many is the climb I have walked up beside a geared rider who is gasping his guts out while I engage him in conversation that he can only answer in grunts.

    (Your bike is a tool, and sometimes the best tool for the job is your feet.)
    A very wise man in Delaware always used to say "There is no shame in walking a singlespeed".
    Last edited by Manicmtbr; 09-15-2016 at 05:46 AM.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  51. #51
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    Just converted my ROS9 from SS back to geared. I just wasnt having any fun pushing that beast up hill anymore. I would get 10-12 miles(1200-1600ft of climing) in and just would be so tired that the DH just wasnt fun it was dangerous. Still have my XC bike SS.

  52. #52
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
    Reputation: chuckha62's Avatar
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    Rode my Superlight yesterday for the first time in about a year. I've always loved that bike, but yesterday it felt heavy and clunky compared to my Homegrown Hardtail SS.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  53. #53
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    Ive been riding diff terrain as of late and Im starting to see as much as I love the SS there are places Gears just makes more sense. Plus I believe working the body every way possible should make you stronger on both bikes.

  54. #54
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    I like to climb and fight it out on the SS. I have hardtail geared bike too, and when I do race (like once a year the last few years...) I like to ride that one. Ran into an interesting situation: while doing some really super steep climbs on my hardtail (going all the way down to 22-34), I fried my hips my spinning that little gear. It was like a had plenty of power to push the gear around, but my hips just got super tight, and now they are very sore and I am going to take most of the week off to get them calmed down. Curious if anyone else has run into that situation spinning a little gear going from their SS??

  55. #55
    Yeet so hard
    Reputation: tims5377's Avatar
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    I converted my misfit to geared for a week when my pugsley went under the knife. It was ok... It is a SS again, and feels more 'right'
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF
    Smash

  56. #56
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    "Variety is the spice..." is an old adage. True or not, it applies to my bike riding.

    My primary SS is a fully rigid 26" dingle Dos Eno. I ride that most of time. Saves the other bike drivetrains and suspensions etc.

    The second SS is dingle-speed with a fixed gear flip flop option.

    Yes these 2 bikes offer gearing that suit my local condition of riding flatter placement to the dirt, and then switching to a lower gear for the terrain, so not true SS.

    I have an old triple hard tail 26'er I use to pull a BOB trailer for camping, that is still worthy.

    Then there is a late model full suspension plus bike which is for rough trails and shuttle trips.

    And there is a rigid fat bike which has been languishing. That bike is going to be made 1x11 soon I hope for the next season. The inner ring on it always rubbed the rear tire sidewall with the chain slightly. One ring is all that is needed on that bike. I think about making it a single speed, but actually for the terrain I take it to, i like the way it climbs almost anything if i have a low gear.

    But my main ride is the SS. I enjoy the dingle option. I used to ride pure SS, but the Eno Dos system makes sense to me.

  57. #57
    EXORCIZE
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    Quote Originally Posted by slohr View Post
    I have hardtail geared bike too, and when I do race (like once a year the last few years...) I like to ride that one. Ran into an interesting situation: while doing some really super steep climbs on my hardtail (going all the way down to 22-34), I fried my hips my spinning that little gear. It was like a had plenty of power to push the gear around, but my hips just got super tight, and now they are very sore and I am going to take most of the week off to get them calmed down. Curious if anyone else has run into that situation spinning a little gear going from their SS??
    What part of your hips? Up high in front? Did they get "super tight" while riding or after? Suddenly or gradually?

    Myself, this year I've been relearning how to climb with gears: tall saddle, max hip flexion, keeping the front wheel on the ground and tracking. So much less natural (and less fun, but has its place) due my long legs and short torso. Anyhow, maybe you cramped up some portion of your hip flexors? I got some of that when relearning to climb with gears. Desk job doesn't help. I started stretching the hip flexors and strengthening my glutes/abs.

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