Considering singlspeed......-
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  1. #1
    Reputation: skankingbiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Considering singlspeed......

    This is part rant and part question. Over the winter, I refurbed an old hardtail and made it fully rigid. All brand new components, slx and XT. I love the way it rides, but I am having problems with the rear derailuer. It is an slx long cage, rapid rise. My problem is, I can't keep the fracking thing set properly. I've had it to 3 bike shops and adjusted after several attempts myself over the last 4 weeks. It stays on course fine riding on flat trails, but everytime I take the thing offroad, it goes out of whack and I spend 1/2 my climbs having to listen to my chain grind away at the rear cog. Then i have to stop in the middle of the trail and try and readjust the thing so i am not grinding the rest of the way.

    I just want to take my bike out and ride it--not spend hours playing with cable tension and barell adjusters. Hence my though to say screw it, strip off my nice new shifters and derailuers and just run it singlespeed. I have 2 fixed gear roadbikes I have been riding for about 7 years, so riding with one gear is not new to me. I have ridden my fixed gear bikes on a number of metric centuries and can definitely handle the hills (mostly). But attacking hills on the road and in the woods are two entirely different beasts.

    Due to my RD issues, I have been just keeping the chain in the middle and shifting up front. When doing singletrack, I never use the big ring, but switch between the granny and the middle a lot. I am concerned if I go singlespeed I am going to be at a severe disadvantage either on the flats or going uphill, as I use the granny gear a lot.

    It seems everyone who has gone singlespeed loves it....I just dont want to dump even more money into the bike and find out I don't like it. I find many offroad climbs to be quite difficult...the long straight ones are fine...its the climbs in the middle of a techie section where you have little or no momentum going into the climb that kill me. The older I get, the less my knees like mashing.

    So, i guess my question is how much of a fitness curve is there switching to singlespeed offroad? Given the fast and large changes in terrain, it seems like picking an ideal gear will be difficult.

    Thoughts/ suggestions to help with my decision? BTW, this is my only offroad bike..I use it for long rides on flat trails as well as singletrack.

  2. #2
    Bicycle Addict
    Reputation: J3SSEB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    I just dont want to dump even more money into the bike
    Converting to SS is fairly inexpensive, or in my case free. Just trade you derailleurs and stuff for a SS kit.
    The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates
    Bearded Women Racing

  3. #3
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
    Reputation: nuck_chorris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    well there is a way to align that stuff but too much of a hassle so I say sell your shifty parts and buy some nice SS parts. I sold a pair of shifters for 75 bucks!
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Personally I dislike long cage der's...seems like they are always more finicky. Why not try swapping to a med. and run a tighter chain....just stay out of big ring crossovers. Also have a shop check your hangar alignment. Only takes a few mins.

    Go singlespeed if thats what you really WANT to do. Doing it because you are forced to seems a bad move. Just MO.

    Also, if you want to try SSing ghetto style, just set your der's limit screws to put you in a set gear and try it out. It's not as efficient, but it can at least give you a taste. Then you have a better informed decision if you take it the next step.

  5. #5
    Did I catch a niner+?
    Reputation: Mr Pink57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    As long as you keep a decent starter gear 32:18 you won't spin out too bad on the flats. If your trails are mainly flat (I'm guessing not due to your issue) you could run a bigger gear. This gearing is usually cheaper since most middle rings are a 32 some are 34. I got a cog plus tensioner for $20 from someone on this site so pretty cheap conversion.

    I changed because I find myself in the wrong gear with 9 speeds so often, plus the loss of some much momentum shifting before an uphill. I will admit I am getting sore in new places (mainly my back and triceps) but the workout is insane, and brings new life to old trails.
    Mr. Krabs: Is it true, Squidward? Is it hilarious?

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