Is going SS that much of a challenge?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is going SS that much of a challenge?

    After a year comparing a SS and a geared 29er I would have to say no. I got an SS thinking it would be a real challenge and although it's made me a stronger rider it was not the butt-kicking I expected it to be.

    I was curious to see what others thought on the subject.

  2. #2
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    My experience was the same. I went from "what am I doing building a SS" to "why didn't I do this years ago." Not more difficult overall, IME.

  3. #3
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    I think it depends on the type of terrain you ride. Long steep loose climbs are hard on a ss and if your riding involves lots of these climbs then it will be challenging.

  4. #4
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    To me it depends on the trail and length of the ride. A typical SS ride for me as 1.5 hours and maybe 2,000 of climbing. A geared ride for me can be a lot longer and have 4,000 or more feet of climbing. While I can "survive" a long SS ride, the recovery time is a lot longer. Also trail steepness matters. A 10-12% grade (or steeper) for a mile or more isn't fun on a SS - shorter climbs and less steep climbs are much more fun. While it's possible to pick a lower climbing gear to make these climbs easier, then the flats become a whole lot less fun. I've done my share of carrying my SS up hills, and it's more fun to ride them on a geared bike.
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  5. #5
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    Pedaling 22x34 is much easier than pedaling 32x20. I'm no math whiz...just stating what should be obvious.

    So, unless you guys defy the odds of physics, gravity, and human ability... riding SS is more difficult given that you are going uphill.

  6. #6
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    I recently got an SS and it took 2 or 3 weeks to get used to-

    now though I am having the "this is way easier than I thought" thoughts...

    however, my reaction to that is disappointment-

    I don't "get" the guys who race in SS only classes at all now that I have been riding SS. It's not an excuse, it's a choice. compete with everyone or go home.

  7. #7
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    I psyched myself up for it as I built the bike, setting my expectations of difficulty in to the stratosphere.

    Then I got it. It weighs 3 pounds less than my geared bike. It has less drag in the drive train. It's a 29er. It looks cooler than my geared bike. It's more fun to ride. It's not as hard as I thought it would be.

    Now I ride it everywhere I ride, from the foothills of Tahoe, in to Tahoe itself. The longest ride I've done was 28.33 miles with 4100 ft of climbing (and later that day I did another 10 mile ride with about 1000 ft ). I love riding SS.
    :wq

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Pedaling 22x34 is much easier than pedaling 32x20. I'm no math whiz...just stating what should be obvious.

    So, unless you guys defy the odds of physics, gravity, and human ability... riding SS is more difficult given that you are going uphill.

    this assumes you ride your geared bike like a weenie...

    besides that- I'm no "super racer" but my SS 29er is geared 38x18, lol@32x20.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc
    I psyched myself up for it as I built the bike, setting my expectations of difficulty in to the stratosphere.

    Then I got it. It weighs 3 pounds less than my geared bike. It has less drag in the drive train. It's a 29er. It looks cooler than my geared bike. It's more fun to ride. It's not as hard as I thought it would be.

    Now I ride it everywhere I ride, from the foothills of Tahoe, in to Tahoe itself. The longest ride I've done was 28.33 miles with 4100 ft of climbing (and later that day I did another 10 mile ride with about 1000 ft ). I love riding SS.

    if it's "easy" why do you like it?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    if it's "easy" why do you like it?
    Where did I say it was easy? I said it's not as hard as I thought it would be.
    :wq

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Pedaling 22x34 is much easier than pedaling 32x20. I'm no math whiz...just stating what should be obvious.

    So, unless you guys defy the odds of physics, gravity, and human ability... riding SS is more difficult given that you are going uphill.
    Are, the voice of common sense. Thanks.

    A lot of it depends on where you live and who you are. If you are a very fit, gifted climber, you may not see it as a big deal. For most folks, the ones that actually live where you climb long and steep for a good part of the day, it is harder. Duh.

    To think otherwise is nonsense.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    this assumes you ride your geared bike like a weenie...
    The truth. Though I wouldn't use the word 'weenie.' More like, Padre's point was assuming a comparison between a SS riding hard up a climb and a geared bike spinning a smaller gear up a climb.

    I tend to compare a SS and geared bike both climbing at the same rate.

    If the goal is to ride slowly up climbs and expend as little energy as possible, the geared bike is probably a better choice.

    A lot of it depends on where you live and who you are. If you are a very fit, gifted climber, you may not see it as a big deal. For most folks, the ones that actually live where you climb long and steep for a good part of the day, it is harder. Duh.
    What about those who are fit and live at altitude where the climbing is ample and steep?

  13. #13
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    I have a geared 26" and a SS 29'er (among other bikes). I unhang the bike that is most suitable for the ride that day.

    I'm I'm going squirrel hunting, I'm taking a .22. If I'm going elephant hunting, I'm taking an elephant gun.

  14. #14
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    That's pretty stiff ... might be a "mn" thang.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    this assumes you ride your geared bike like a weenie...

    besides that- I'm no "super racer" but my SS 29er is geared 38x18, lol@32x20.

  15. #15
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    No

    Singlespeeds coast just as fast downhill as geared bikes

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    That's pretty stiff ... might be a "mn" thang.
    yeah, definitely is.

    we don't have any climbs that take more than 2-3 minutes (at least not with consistent grades).

    I've ridden elsewhere and some endurance races- go to 36x20 for endurance mtb around here

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    yeah, definitely is.

    we don't have any climbs that take more than 2-3 minutes (at least not with consistent grades).

    I've ridden elsewhere and some endurance races- go to 36x20 for endurance mtb around here
    Cool. I can't imagine pushing that gear in the foothills around here. I did my first single speed 29er ride on sunday, and I was on a 33/19. It was an easy climbing trail. I could easily see walking on many of the other trails I ride. I am about to get my first SS 29er, and I will probably go 32/20, as that seems to be where many similar riders are settling in.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    The truth. Though I wouldn't use the word 'weenie.' More like, Padre's point was assuming a comparison between a SS riding hard up a climb and a geared bike spinning a smaller gear up a climb.

    I tend to compare a SS and geared bike both climbing at the same rate.

    If the goal is to ride slowly up climbs and expend as little energy as possible, the geared bike is probably a better choice.



    What about those who are fit and live at altitude where the climbing is ample and steep?

    No, that assumes you use the gears you paid for and are hauling around. Like most folks do. If you are a very fast rider, very strong, then maybe you ARE in the 32/20 on your geared bike while most others are in the 32/34. So what?

    What the gears allow for is shifting to an easier gear as you tire. Most folks tire. I do.

    I suppose the very fit that live at altitude where the climbing is ample and steep are able to overcome the difficulty of pedaling one gear where ever they want to go. I have ridden with folks like that but I don't see how that changes things. If you keep increasing the grade, the SS will get harder to pedal no matter how tough you are.
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  20. #20
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    Yeah, I really don't see your point but it's clear that this discussion really is moot given various fitness levels, riding styles, terrain and perceptions. All I can say is that for me, I was telling my wife I was dead meat when I was building my first SS but on the first ride I found I was wrong. Riding the same trails as I always have here, at the same speed and for the same duration is no more difficult on a singlespeed.

    Peace-

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    Yeah, I really don't see your point but it's clear that this discussion really is moot given various fitness levels, riding styles, terrain and perceptions. All I can say is that for me, I was telling my wife I was dead meat when I was building my first SS but on the first ride I found I was wrong. Riding the same trails as I always have here, at the same speed and for the same duration is no more difficult on a singlespeed.

    Peace-
    No worries. For me it was a lot harder, not everywhere, but uphill was. I wish I was you!

    See ya.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    yeah, definitely is.

    we don't have any climbs that take more than 2-3 minutes (at least not with consistent grades).
    2-3 minutes???

    Ahhh, glorious perspective.


    The shortest climb I can think of around here is 5 minutes in the local parks. The longer ones are 20+.

    In our national forest parks, the climbs start at 8 and go to 12...MILES. That 38x18 would be a fun 3 hour walk!

  23. #23
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    The hardest part of learning to ride a SS is learning how to use your momentum and keeping your speed through techy parts of the trail. That's why people think it's "so hard" to ride a SS, cause they're not used to the technique.

  24. #24
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    my "perspective" respects the rest of the world- I've been up and down many climbs in colorado and utah as well. Although mostly many years ago before I was in very good shape and when I was on a very old/heavy bike.

    the 38x18 though- that can def. be explained by the MN aspect



    I still say- SS is a choice you can make (and I like it) I just hate those who use it as some sort of an excuse to be slower than someone else... ie, race in an SS only class.

  25. #25
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    It's different, no hard, no easy

    just different.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    besides that- I'm no "super racer" but my SS 29er is geared 38x18, lol@32x20.
    2nd place in our XC series tends to roll 34x22. I'm currently at 33x21. Other guys are 35x21, 32x19, 32x20. It's all about your spin. I find as long as I can burst to 20 mph (150 rpm)& stay at 16-17 mph (120-130 rpm) I can keep up with the group on the flats. Some guys like to grind, I like to spin.

  27. #27
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    Mike, I think you've heard Hairball discuss this issue. IIRC, he's done training rides where a SS had a comparable time w/r/t gears, but with less overall wattage output. Something about variable torque cheating the rules of physiology.

    For a lot of courses, and if you've got the guns, I think one gear is easier. Purely anecdotal on my part, but I've done several 12+ hours races on both single and geared bikes. The problem is when lack of fitness and especially difficult terrain conspire to require too much power that is too close to your threshold. Then you burn, crash hard, and end up walking a lot. I'm thinking of rides I've done with tons of loose climbing, or at altitude, where my fitness was dulled just enough to seriously put me in the hurt locker.

    And then there are those gentle downhills...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lubes17319
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2xPneu
    The Village People just called, they want their Dad back.
    :wq

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2xPneu
    The Village People just called, they want their Dad back.
    The Michael McDonald/salt-and-pepper-beard look p0wnzes.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    What the gears allow for is shifting to an easier gear as you tire. Most folks tire. I do.
    I find that gears allow for faster riding in the flats.
    Idaho

  32. #32
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    I think the original post was not asking whether or not single speed is harder, but whether it is as hard as you thought it was going to be. Even though single speed has become almost mainstream now, there are still lots of people who think that it is masochistic and wouldn't even consider trying it. When I went single speed back in the old days of 1999 (pre 29er!) on my Voodoo Nzumbi in Colorado, it was as hard as I thought it would be but then I got used to it.

    Much later, I thought I wanted to go back to gears and built my first 29er with gears (a Voodoo Dambala). I changed my mind and went back to single speed. The funny thing is that I did the same race (24 Hours of Adrenaline at Laguna Seca) on the same bike, geared one year and then single speed the next and I was faster on the single speed. My guess is that it is because I am lazy and couldn't sit and spin my way up the long climb back to the finish line.

  33. #33
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    Single speed hardness depends on your gearing. Gear it difficult enough and it can be excruciating.

    For me, geared low and spinning like a squirrel, it is simply lots of fun and builds a little muscle on the climbs where I usually bail to the teensy weensy gears.
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  34. #34
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    I feel that I climb faster on a single speed. i mentioned this to the local fast guy and he said the reason why I climb faster is because I dont have a choice when I ride single speed. I disagree, durring last weeks group ride I rode a friends single speed up a climb danceing on the pedals almost effortlessly compared to rideing the same gear on my geared bike. My oppinion is that the single speed is more efficent
    reasons why

    Weight straight chain line, no deraileaur pulleys

    But I also feel there is a time and place for single speeds

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloppy second
    But I also feel there is a time and place for single speeds
    Any time, and Any place
    :wq

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruiserman
    I find that gears allow for faster riding in the flats.
    Another big picture argument (of Hairballs) for one gear: the effort-reward curve while climbing a bike is fairly linear. The same curve on the flats is exponential (wind resistance).

    That is, a single speed obliges you to spend your efforts in a more productive manner.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    I think the original post was not asking whether or not single speed is harder, but whether it is as hard as you thought it was going to be.
    Correct. I know there are advantages to gears, I have just been surprised that the margin is as small as it is. My fitness level is not great but the local up and downs are easily handled on my SS and the handful of 2-5 mile climbs were not as grueling as I anticipated.

  39. #39
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    I have never ridden a single speed but I have a paritally built up ss in the garage and so far it doesnt seem any more of a challenge..

    You're welcome.

  40. #40
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    SS can be as much or as little of a challenge as you make it. If it's too easy for you change gearing.

  41. #41
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    SS is the short bus of the bike world.
    It's easier most of the time for me.
    Depends though how I stack up my days. Huge loop on the SS one day and the next, I might go a bit lighter. Huge loop on the gears, and I'll do another the next day.
    But that's my skinny legs that perfectly match my fat gut and anorexic lungs.
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  42. #42
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    Personal example.
    Avid SSer last 4 years in MN, thought I was good.
    Moved to last month to CO, now living on the granny gear.

  43. #43
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    Good observation on the threads original question. SO was it as hard as I expected? yes and no. Long, unrelenting climbs, like an hour or so, are killer since there is no rest for the weary.

    But some stuff is fabulous on the SS, especially winding singletrack and rolling stuff.

    There is a 20 mile loop I use for training and an overall fitness gauge. It is one big interval workout and I am within a couple of minutes overall between the SS and the FS geared bike. In some places I am faster SS and others not, but it evens out. Frankly, I prefer to do it SS as the workout is more intense.

    I find myself taking the SS more and more places these days. But as ionsmuse mentioned, if the grade is tough and the surface is loose and you are shelled...or any combination that goes with pooped... it can be a lot of walking. Which is OK, but it is what it is.
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  44. #44
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    SS is hard
    cannot seem to get enough cash to finish the bike
    I think once it is done it should be more fun

  45. #45
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    Totally depends on the terrain. A steep 2 mile climb on SSs will separate the sheep from the goats.

  46. #46
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    Hm, a lot of our local trails have minor elevation (like 200'). We do have one that has a 600' climb right off the bat. This is where I kept my place in line. But I had to stop 3x on the climb. I could only stay in my anaerobic zone for so long. Then I stop, pound up the hill, then stop then pound.

    Once on top of the plateau, I proceded to kick some ass on the fast guys since we were riding at night and vision limitted speed. On my rigid 29-er, I was able to outpace many of the fast guys. Of course this came at a price. Once I started to fatigue, I fell apart technical-wise. w/o a front fork, any little mistake was NOT forgiven.

    But it's all good.

    With more elevation, I ride my FS/geared bike. It's all about having fun, right.

    To the OP, it was as hard as I anticipated. But relieved that I was actually close enough in fitness and skill to really take off on the whole rigid ss thang!
    Just get out and ride!

  47. #47
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    BTW, if I were in S.Cal, I think I would not have as much fun. Climb, then bomb down bumpy runs. Meh....

    In the PNW, we ride a lot of forest trails that are super tight and twisty with rocks and roots everywhere. We ride wet or dry. The wetter it is, the better it is for me!!! Those guys used to 5.5" of front suspension are in for a surprise when they try to bash into the wet angled root!!!! LOL. Meanwhile, I'm used to being light or picking up my front on the same sections.

    On one ride, one of my FS buddies told me to bring my geared FS bike so I can ride slower and he can have an easier time keeping up.
    Just get out and ride!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    I still say- SS is a choice you can make (and I like it) I just hate those who use it as some sort of an excuse to be slower than someone else... ie, race in an SS only class.
    What does racing in the ss class, being slower, and excuse have in common? Two posts in a row you've bagged on the SS class. Last week I had the fastest overall lap time, overall time, and won the SS class (which was the largest class at the race). Chill on your judgments and classifications.

  49. #49
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    My SS hub looks funny

    Somehow, I think it's not gonna be too much different than my other bikes. Now the question is: Single or double up front?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is going SS that much of a challenge?-5speed.jpg  


  50. #50
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    the hardest part is pedalling.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    my "perspective" respects the rest of the world- I've been up and down many climbs in colorado and utah as well. Although mostly many years ago before I was in very good shape and when I was on a very old/heavy bike.

    the 38x18 though- that can def. be explained by the MN aspect



    I still say- SS is a choice you can make (and I like it) I just hate those who use it as some sort of an excuse to be slower than someone else... ie, race in an SS only class.

    why do you post on SS forums? mtbr has 4.500 forums: ss w/ beers. ss w/ wine. gears w/ gray t shirts, gears w/ socks, gears without socks, 650B. 650C. 650E. 650 a,b,c and D.
    it's an american disease...
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  52. #52
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    My fitness level is about a middle of the pack expert (which is now stupid cat 1) rider. Now, having said that, we have a climb here in Ft. Collins that climbs about 1400ft in 1.5 miles. On my geared bike, I could climb it in my middle ring, occasionally dropping to the baby ring for the 2 or 3 really steep sections. On a good day, I could get to the top in about 27 minutes. Now on my SS, I'm running 46/28 and I don't have a prayer of ever getting to the top without getting off to walk parts. I can make the first couple pitches then I need to get off and walk a bit. I've noticed that most of the places I walk I would probably have been in my little ring on my geared bike so I'm not losing that much time. But, on my SS, that climb works me, arms, legs, everything.
    So, I guess it depends on what kind of terrain you are riding and what gear you are trying to ride it in.
    Just my opinion here but if you have switched to a SS and it doesn't feel any different than your geared bike, you are either riding your SS on a bike path that moms push strollers on or you need to run a stiffer gear.

  53. #53
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    [QUOTE= your SS on a bike path that moms push strollers on/QUOTE]

    That's true, but it's not a problem, I don't mind pulling over when they need to pass.

    By the way, I miss Fort Collins, lived in Loveland about 10 years back but didn't have a bike then.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Cheswick
    Now on my SS, I'm running 46/28 and I don't have a prayer of ever getting to the top without getting off to walk parts.
    If you change to 32/20 you'll probably drop enough weight to clean some more of those climbs

  55. #55
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    i was so giddy and excited my first ss ride off road. i was so unsure of the ratio i went with and it ended up being perfect and i was able to take on everything on the trail and actually got through stuff i never could before.
    its scary at first(mentally) but once your on the bike your in love.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes475
    I think it depends on the type of terrain you ride. Long steep loose climbs are hard on a ss and if your riding involves lots of these climbs then it will be challenging.

    welcome to socal. I want a SS but we are all up or down
    Why are there so many threads about cheap ass bikes?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    yeah, definitely is.

    we don't have any climbs that take more than 2-3 minutes (at least not with consistent grades).

    I've ridden elsewhere and some endurance races- go to 36x20 for endurance mtb around here
    2-3 minutes, minutes? MINUTES?!?

    flatlanders.............

    My Garmin almost puked on the bars on this one.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior
    If you change to 32/20 you'll probably drop enough weight to clean some more of those climbs

    Just for your info I'm about 5'-10" 155 lbs. not much weight to drop. But I appreciate the effort. I often resort to fat jokes when I have little else to offer, too.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Cheswick
    Just for your info I'm about 5'-10" 155 lbs. not much weight to drop. But I appreciate the effort. I often resort to fat jokes when I have little else to offer, too.
    I don't think he was talking about your wieght. I think he was talking about reducing the weight of your chainring and cog ... 42 + 28. Those are big. Most people keep them smaller and get the same (or similar) gear ratio. 42/28 = 1.5 ... 32/20 = 1.6

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by cross4
    What does racing in the ss class, being slower, and excuse have in common? Two posts in a row you've bagged on the SS class. Last week I had the fastest overall lap time, overall time, and won the SS class (which was the largest class at the race). Chill on your judgments and classifications.

    Then why bother riding in the SS class?? Why would SS bikes need a separate class unless they're considered a handicap? I say ride in the appropriate class for your age and ability. Having a separate class for SS serves no other purpose than to be a spectacle.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Cheswick
    Just for your info I'm about 5'-10" 155 lbs. not much weight to drop. But I appreciate the effort. I often resort to fat jokes when I have little else to offer, too.
    gjenkins has it right, I was referring to your large sized rings. You'd be close to the same gear ratio with 32/20 and drop a bit of weight with the reduction of mass.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior
    gjenkins has it right, I was referring to your large sized rings. You'd be close to the same gear ratio with 32/20 and drop a bit of weight with the reduction of mass.

    plus you will have a weaker drivetrain: less chain/cog engagement, less conection w/ the bike.
    but it will be "lighter" and you will be able to post on "show your lightweight SS!"
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    plus you will have a weaker drivetrain: less chain/cog engagement, less conection w/ the bike.
    but it will be "lighter" and you will be able to post on "show your lightweight SS!"
    I never thought of that. I am now looking for a 84/56. I want only the strongest most engaged connection with my SS.

  64. #64
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    I started 2 weeks ago, I love it, not as much of a challenge as I thought, but it was tough. I'm on a 29er, and did the 32-20, and found that an 18 was better for me as i could get going faster to hit the hills.

  65. #65
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    my bad fellas. I thought it was kind of weird some dude I don't know would just assume I'm fat from the git go. I am a complete idiot.
    Having said that, I'm riding a belt drive Spot. The rings are Carbon and pretty light and there are not that many to choose from to begin with.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Cheswick
    my bad fellas. I thought it was kind of weird some dude I don't know would just assume I'm fat from the git go. I am a complete idiot.
    Having said that, I'm riding a belt drive Spot. The rings are Carbon and pretty light and there are not that many to choose from to begin with.
    Lucky bastard! I was thinking about getting a longboard, but I decided I couldn't wait for one, so I ordered a Jabberwocky a couple of days ago.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Cheswick
    my bad fellas. I thought it was kind of weird some dude I don't know would just assume I'm fat from the git go. I am a complete idiot.
    Having said that, I'm riding a belt drive Spot. The rings are Carbon and pretty light and there are not that many to choose from to begin with.
    Ahh... that makes more sense now.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    I recently got an SS and it took 2 or 3 weeks to get used to-

    now though I am having the "this is way easier than I thought" thoughts...

    however, my reaction to that is disappointment-

    I don't "get" the guys who race in SS only classes at all now that I have been riding SS. It's not an excuse, it's a choice. compete with everyone or go home.
    First off I do think it's slightly more difficult then being geared for the shear fact that as the incline increases you don't have the choice to gear down to increase your cadence and therefore be more efficient. I feel fast when I ride single speed because I have learned to better control momentum changes (keep them to a minimum). I have a FS Rocky Mountain ETSX 70 that is a dream to ride and climb on but for the last two years I have ridden my Cannondale 1FG 26" bike almost exclusively except two times where I went out to check my times around favorite loops to see which one was faster.
    With that being said however I am definitely faster on my full suspension bike without question. There is just no way someone is going to keep up with a fully suspended bike in 44-11 gear ratio flying on the flat or clear downhill section. You would need to have superhuman leg speed. Sure it's a choice to ride single speed but in my opinion it's a choice to lose if you try to compete with geared FS.
    Now I am ready for someone to post race results of someone who beat out a bunch of FS geared bikes on their SS 29er.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    welcome to socal. I want a SS but we are all up or down
    i live in socal... and i ride a SS, it's somtimes a PITA but the fact that i complete my loops about 20 minutes faster (if i'm REALLY moving) on my SS is awesome.

    i also dropped about 2 pounds off my bike

    but i gotta agree, up by yosemite they call us "flatlanders" it's a crock of chit

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexJK
    i live in socal... and i ride a SS, it's somtimes a PITA but the fact that i complete my loops about 20 minutes faster (if i'm REALLY moving) on my SS is awesome.

    i also dropped about 2 pounds off my bike

    but i gotta agree, up by yosemite they call us "flatlanders" it's a crock of chit
    I'm a flatlander - somebody who does tricks on a 20" BMX bike on flat ground. They don't know what they're talking about

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion
    I'm a flatlander - somebody who does tricks on a 20" BMX bike on flat ground. They don't know what they're talking about
    respect!

  72. #72
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    I'm new at it...

    ....but to be honest, I'm a little surprised at how easy (and satisfying) the changeover to SS has been. I'm not a racer. I'm more intrigued by good steady climbs, sorta fast downhills and technical stuff--love maneuvering rocks, stumps, etc. I own a currently bone stock rigid GT Peace 26er.

    I'm not in that great of shape, and am stunned at the hills I can climb on a SS. I would not have thought I could do it had I not tried.

    I love my SS bike and have my 21-speed K2 cruiser style bike for sale. I live in Colo Springs where there are plenty of hills. I'm 46 and in average shape.

    And I'm never going back to gears.

    -Eric

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexJK
    respect!


    Bicycle forums get really testosterone'y real fast. Sh*t... I roll a 32X22 on my 29'er. Perfect for everything around here - things can get steep. I don't feel I'm a weenie. I pass folks, I get passed... I don't give rat's ass who's faster on the trail. I try not to walk much, and there's no better feeling than clearing a climb that you've had to walk before. On the flat stuff, I just sit back and spin and enjoy the scenery - my life is a hustle, riding bikes is the only time I get to "stop and smell the roses". For me, not everythign has to be a race or competition - I have enough of that bullsh*t in my professional life that I don't need it to seep into my "fun" life.

    In the end, SS is just a fun ride. No gears to fiddle with, and if you either ride rigid or with a fork like mine (White Brothers Magic 80 with IMV) there's no dumb lock-out lever to mess with. As far as MTB's are concerned, I have three - a Ti hardtail XC bike, a Full Supension AM bike and my SS 29'er HT - the SS is ALWAYS my first choice - but again, it depends on the trail.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colo Springs E
    ....but to be honest, I'm a little surprised at how easy (and satisfying) the changeover to SS has been. I'm not a racer. I'm more intrigued by good steady climbs, sorta fast downhills and technical stuff--love maneuvering rocks, stumps, etc. I own a currently bone stock rigid GT Peace 26er.

    I'm not in that great of shape, and am stunned at the hills I can climb on a SS. I would not have thought I could do it had I not tried.

    I love my SS bike and have my 21-speed K2 cruiser style bike for sale. I live in Colo Springs where there are plenty of hills. I'm 46 and in average shape.

    And I'm never going back to gears.

    -Eric
    That's pretty typical, IMO ^^. Though lots of folks who want to believe we're all superstuds for riding SS like to argue about it. Even my wife, who switched to SS just a few months ago, has the same reaction. She can't believe how much better she rides (the same trails she's always ridden) now that she's on a SS. She loves it. She cleans MORE steep, technical stuff now than she did on the geared bike. I can't explain the phenomenon, but I can verify it.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent
    I recently got an SS and it took 2 or 3 weeks to get used to-

    now though I am having the "this is way easier than I thought" thoughts...

    however, my reaction to that is disappointment-

    I don't "get" the guys who race in SS only classes at all now that I have been riding SS. It's not an excuse, it's a choice. compete with everyone or go home.
    why cant we have our own class? it has nothing to do with being hadicapped. back when i was racing, the singlespeed class was as fast if not faster than the geared guys of the same ranking.
    Sorry, but i'd rather race with people who have a somewhat similar riding style to my own. I dont want to deal with getting passed on the flats only to catch up and have to weave my way through sit-n-spinners on the hills. It's the same reason why they dont let beginners start one minute before pros... it becomes a cluster**** and isnt fun for anyone.
    It has always started like this for most of my races: Pros, followed by singlespeeders, followed by experts (younger to older), sport, then beginner. Back then, it started with only expert and above single speed classes, so i'm not sure where the lower singlespeed classes fit in there.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    why cant we have our own class? it has nothing to do with being hadicapped. back when i was racing, the singlespeed class was as fast if not faster than the geared guys of the same ranking.
    Sorry, but i'd rather race with people who have a somewhat similar riding style to my own. I dont want to deal with getting passed on the flats only to catch up and have to weave my way through sit-n-spinners on the hills. It's the same reason why they dont let beginners start one minute before pros... it becomes a cluster**** and isnt fun for anyone.
    It has always started like this for most of my races: Pros, followed by singlespeeders, followed by experts (younger to older), sport, then beginner. Back then, it started with only expert and above single speed classes, so i'm not sure where the lower singlespeed classes fit in there.
    Yeah, I don't race but a SS class sounds viable to me.

  77. #77
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctorsti
    ... Sure it's a choice to ride single speed but in my opinion it's a choice to lose if you try to compete with geared FS.
    Now I am ready for someone to post race results of someone who beat out a bunch of FS geared bikes on their SS 29er.
    Check the results for 2009 Swank 65. Thom Parsons and Shanna Powell are both single speed racers for the Gary Fisher 29er Crew and EndlessBikeCo. 3rd place in men's and women's open class on SS Superfly's.

    SS has been harder and easier than I expected it to be, depending on the race/riding situation. SS can be just as fast as geared. Shanna took 1 hour and 15 minutes off of her ORAMM time from last year (on a geared bike) racing single speed this year and placing 4th.

  78. #78
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    Going SS isnt much of a challenge. A light bike with new parts... cleaner looks... its easy to get hooked to the idea at first.

    What i feel is that, staying SS is much more of a challenge.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenTwo
    Going SS isnt much of a challenge. A light bike with new parts... cleaner looks... its easy to get hooked to the idea at first.

    What i feel is that, staying SS is much more of a challenge.
    Concur

    Here in socal with all the sustained climbing I find it tough to want to hammer that hard every ride
    Why are there so many threads about cheap ass bikes?

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    Concur

    Here in socal with all the sustained climbing I find it tough to want to hammer that hard every ride
    you'll get used to it. I broke my geared bike frame back in 2006 and still havent replaced it. i still have a blast riding at nobel, san juan, SART, idylwild, and any other of our good rides. it just makes me feel like i accomplished something.

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