Less obvious benefits of SSing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Less obvious benefits of SSing

    We've all heard the usual benefits of Singlespeed, what about your personal observations?

    I have come to love the balance of a bike that doesn't have weighty derailleurs and cassettes at the back. Or worse, hub gears - bleurgh.

    Or heavy, squidgy forks tilting the bike forward when picked up.

    Silent, friction-less bike with no chain-slap that can be picked up.and balanced in one hand, does it for me!

  2. #2
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    Less is more!
    Thats all I want to say

  3. #3
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    I am a faster hill climber on my road bike. I can get out of my saddle and just mash my way up the mountain.
    Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.

  4. #4
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    singlespeeding forces you to learn to ride more efficiently. this then helps in all your other forms of riding. much the same way learning to ride rigid does.

    combine the two and it's like peas an carrots... if you learn to ride a rigid singlespeed well i guarantee it will teach you to be faster on any and every bike you own.

  5. #5
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    It's taught me to be more racially tolerant of other bikes. I don't belittle or look down on "lesser" bikes, such as klunkers, 69ers, u-brakes, 26ers with 1.9" tires, 26ers, Recumbents, super shiney fixies permanently attached to Yakima racks, belt drives, and Trek bikes.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    singlespeeding forces you to learn to ride more efficiently.
    This.

    My favorite part though is the stealthiness when going downhill. On the right trail, you can be almost completely silent.
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  7. #7
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    Riding singlespeed has made me less anal about gear choise on my geared road bike.
    Before I started riding SS, I absolutely hated to ride my 12-25 'hill' cassette on flat courses, because it lacks the 16 and 18t cogs, so it has bigger jumps between gears.
    Now I care a lot less.
    Ride more!

  8. #8
    "singlespeed outlaw"
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    does anybody say "wow you ride a geared bike".............nope.

  9. #9
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    Works better than the Swedish Penis Enhancer.


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    you only need one speed, fast!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by oaker View Post
    does anybody say "wow you ride a geared bike".............nope.
    ^this. I get a lot of "you're a beast!"

  12. #12
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    it'll grow your left nut by 5 grams

  13. #13
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    Racing and/or riding a geared bike is just as hard as riding single speed but it is far more static. I mean you basically are like a hamster on a wheel generating maximal watts at 90 rpm and keeping your heart rate in an optimal range of near hell. Geared riding is just a different kind of hard.

    On single speed I go just as hard but have more fun. I like that I get to ride out of the saddle more and feel more active with my body moving around on climbs. Mashing at 40 rpm or spinning at 110 lets me work my full range. Walking and/or run a bit in races keeps things interesting and gives my body more range. Single speeding is loads of fun.

    It was not obvious at first but I find I actually like walking occasionally.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    Racing and/or riding a geared bike is just as hard as riding single speed but it is far more static. I mean you basically are like a hamster on a wheel generating maximal watts at 90 rpm and keeping your heart rate in an optimal range of near hell. Geared riding is just a different kind of hard.

    On single speed I go just as hard but have more fun. I like that I get to ride out of the saddle more and feel more active with my body moving around on climbs. Mashing at 40 rpm or spinning at 110 lets me work my full range. Walking and/or run a bit in races keeps things interesting and gives my body more range. Single speeding is loads of fun.

    It was not obvious at first but I find I actually like walking occasionally.
    That is my big realization. Riding geared is hard, but I usually sit and spin a climb in the little ring until my hip flexors would give out. Standing on rough, loose terrain is challenge for your whole body. I feel it a lot in the abs--and the shoulders and triceps. When you have to stand, and your big spins, you have use your whole body to maintain the bike, or you have to get off (or fall). I have noticed the power and core stability has really helped my TT time on the road.

  15. #15
    The need for singlespeed
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    Comaraderie with other singlespeeders.

  16. #16
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    Lack of complications... It's kind of like trail running for me. I don't have to worry about shifting, cadence, drivetrain maintenance... Just pick a good line and go like hell. The mental clarity is what makes it worthwhile for me.
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  17. #17
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    Another side to the mental clarity thing: what I think of as the "just get on with it" aspect of single speeding. Since you are rarely -- if ever -- in the perfect gear, you just have to get on with it.

    Frees the mind.

  18. #18
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    I use less chain lube
    It's a good excuse if I'm riding slow
    I can throw it farther

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I use less chain lube
    It's a good excuse if I'm riding slow
    I can throw it farther
    I've noticed I can throw mine farther as well . But the biggest thing for me is a free mind. Whether it be noise, reliability, or the fact that I don't have to think about shifting, I am more at peace when riding SS.

  20. #20
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    Being able to post in the "Are Single Speeders cut from a different cloth?" thread.

  21. #21
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    The smugness that comes from riding single speed.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I use less chain lube
    It's a good excuse if I'm riding slow
    I can throw it farther
    Ha good point sir.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    The smugness that comes from riding single speed.
    Love the feeling of stares burning into my back and the swearing tickling my ears from geared ride buds as I walk them on a climb. I am a biking god for just a time. Then, we point it down and... oh wait, I still leave them.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaskaranddriver View Post
    Comaraderie with other singlespeeders.
    Its kinda funny how this works. Most mtb races/rides are very friendly, but any two ssers seem to get along better than any two geared riders.
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  25. #25
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    SS has no obvious benefits but simplicity.

    If it had everyone would ride SS.

    All benefits of SS are discovered only when you ride it.

    And all those benefits come not from the bike but from the inside of the rider.

    But singlespeed bike is the door for the world of those benefits.

    It's up to the rider to open this door or not. If you do - you realize the advantages which SS gives you, if you dont - you see only limitations and disadvantages.

  26. #26
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    #1 benefit: It doesn't matter on which side I lay my bike down when I stop on the side of the trail to pee.

  27. #27
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    Less is more. Mountain biking need not be complicated. Simple and wholesome, the simplicity paradox.
    Simple, not easy.

  28. #28
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    Less obvious benefits of SSing:

    Propensity for facial hair and bad tattoos
    more money to spend on Beer
    chics dig SS'ers
    more exertion, more calories burned = more cheeseburgers
    exclusivity of races and race categories

    and last but not least: more fun!!!

    Is it just me but when I see a mountain bike from afar I look closer in intrigue until I see the derailer hanger in the back and say to myself......nevermind.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  29. #29
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    So do i take the red pill or blue pill to go down the rabbit hole?

  30. #30
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    Take the blue pill and put the red pill in your rabbit hole
    -rides bikes for fun.

  31. #31
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    Isn't the first rule of SS club "don't talk about ss club"?

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  32. #32
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    I like the "Luddite" feel to it...just one gear, no suspension. Reminds me of being a kid on my Redline 102b.

  33. #33
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    My slow speed balance is much better since drinking the SS koolaid

  34. #34
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    Using the Surly Tugnut, I have a bottle opener on my bike.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Whisperer View Post
    I like the "Luddite" feel to it...just one gear, no suspension. Reminds me of being a kid on my Redline 102b.
    Great and this about being a kid . . .

    Civilain Luddite is my first single speed and first rigid in a long time.

    I made my Civilian Luddite a 2 speed (or maybe half speed?) the other day by hooking the trail a bike to it.

    Other benefits I see already mentioned include strengthing lower back, knees, tris other areas I would use as much on the FS. This is the main reason I got the SS and think it will translate well to endurance races and rides nexzt year if I get a regualr regimen of SSing going throughout winter and Spring.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  36. #36
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    The benefit most liked by everyone is the ability to post in threads like this every ****ing time they pop up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  37. #37
    Shift less, Pedal more.
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    Singlespeed will improve your sex life.
    I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not......Dolemite.

  38. #38
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    Less is more, Harder but easier, the list goes on. I like it because I can just get on and ride.

  39. #39
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    I can be left the hell alone and enjoy my ride.

  40. #40
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    spending more time off the chair reduces chances of erectile disfunction!

  41. #41
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    I can save those other 8 gears for more productive things.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by hey_poolboy View Post
    the first rule of ss club "don't talk about ss club".
    qfe

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyes View Post
    spending more time off the chair reduces chances of erectile disfunction!

    Best reply so far!

  44. #44
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    Women checking out my quads from having to use one ratio all the time

  45. #45
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    SShizzle

    no chain drag? - maybe imagined or real, I recall thinking that a similar gear on the SS seemed easier, maybe the derailleur adds a tiny bit of drag....

    forced resting - no sense in pedaling after spinning out; this resting goes well with mashing; when I switched from road SS to geared, I was super tired my first few rides. always having a gear to mash was tough, so I had to relearn gears.

    silent drivetrain - this adds zen to the ride, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, and increases muscle and mind mojo....for realz

  46. #46
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    Hah!

    Quote Originally Posted by chad1376 View Post
    #1 benefit: It doesn't matter on which side I lay my bike down when I stop on the side of the trail to pee.
    Too funny.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    I've noticed I can throw mine farther as well . But the biggest thing for me is a free mind. Whether it be noise, reliability, or the fact that I don't have to think about shifting, I am more at peace when riding SS.
    Yessssss.

    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    singlespeeding forces you to learn to ride more efficiently. this then helps in all your other forms of riding. much the same way learning to ride rigid does.

    combine the two and it's like peas an carrots... if you learn to ride a rigid singlespeed well i guarantee it will teach you to be faster on any and every bike you own.
    Yep yep yep!

    Quote Originally Posted by chad1376 View Post
    #1 benefit: It doesn't matter on which side I lay my bike down when I stop on the side of the trail to pee.
    O YA lol.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtcallahan View Post
    My slow speed balance is much better since drinking the SS koolaid
    This, totally. I don't mind anymore going along at walking speed when I'm on sidewalks with people, or track-sitting at lights (I don't think I can do it for too long standing up).

    I love the quiet. Okay, the tires are still loud but that's life. I just put Shadow Plus on my geared bike, but there's still noise when you shift, or when you're coasting over really rough stuff. I want a true precision hub.

    I love that you don't lose any power when accelerating because you're not taking it easy to shift.

    I love that if I forget to lube my chain for a week, I don't worry cause my chains are ten dollars and I can flip my 5 dollar steel cog around. The squeaking and roller noise is just annoying.

  49. #49
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    SS inspired screen names???

    But seriously folks.....I'll bet sspeeders suffer less bone density loss due to the stand and power style versus the sit and spin style of a multi-gear riders.

    Look up some articles on bone density loss in serious cyclists and you will see why I mention this. (sometimes your skeleton needs a little stress)
    Wha daur meddle wi' me?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssisyphus View Post
    SS inspired screen names???

    But seriously folks.....I'll bet sspeeders suffer less bone density loss due to the stand and power style versus the sit and spin style of a multi-gear riders.

    Look up some articles on bone density loss in serious cyclists and you will see why I mention this. (sometimes your skeleton needs a little stress)
    That's a very good point, especially for heavy sweaters who are sparing electrolytes. I think the dynamic battle your body has with the SS is just overall healthier, and it does spread out the stress over more connective tissue, creating more bone stress and healthier bones.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssisyphus View Post
    SS inspired screen names???

    But seriously folks.....I'll bet sspeeders suffer less bone density loss due to the stand and power style versus the sit and spin style of a multi-gear riders.

    Look up some articles on bone density loss in serious cyclists and you will see why I mention this. (sometimes your skeleton needs a little stress)

    Har har! I see you been dippin into the kool-aid!

  52. #52
    Will travel to ride!
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    I still keep up with my geared buds when I'm on my SS (their reactions are priceless!).
    Tidewater, VA is home - Eagle Rock, VA is base camp.

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  53. #53
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    ss puts on muscle in places that the geared bike doesn't.

  54. #54
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    I'm cheap and hate maintenance. Take the cost of 4 years of geared drivetrain replacement and apply it towards your ti SS frame. You also get more log hopping clearance.

    I also enjoy the quiet serenity of SS. My wife has a belt drive Spot and its quieter still (and even less maintenance).

    My dad taught me early on the merits of striving to win on inferior equipment vs the possibility of losing on superior equipment.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by fwinter View Post
    We've all heard the usual benefits of Singlespeed, what about your personal observations?

    Another thing, since I don't have to think about shifting I can smoke a lot mo better weed and not suffer the embarrassment of forgetting to shift before a hill or cross chaining.

  56. #56
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    ...and then there are the disadvantages to SS. Appeal to folks like ^this^ guy that give the impression that all SS'ers must get loaded to ride.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicroDrive View Post
    ...and then there are the disadvantages to SS. Appeal to folks like ^this^ guy that give the impression that all SS'ers must get loaded to ride.
    Does that change your ride? Many great musicians get loaded to write songs. Tell me you don't listen to those irresponsible musicians!

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneBadWagon View Post
    Does that change your ride? Many great musicians get loaded to write songs. Tell me you don't listen to those irresponsible musicians!
    edited: nevermind, not worth the argument for the 1% of us SS'ers that ride clean.
    Last edited by MicroDrive; 11-06-2012 at 10:36 AM.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Another thing, since I don't have to think about shifting I can smoke a lot mo better weed and not suffer the embarrassment of forgetting to shift before a hill or cross chaining.
    Although I recently stopped partaking, I found switching to SS allowed me to smoke more without the cardio disadvantages since I was in better shape from SSing.

    SSing solo under the devils lettuce during a night ride is probably the craziest/most zen experience I have ever had biking.

  60. #60
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    Devil's Lettuce. Stealing that.

    Another benefit is the air of superiority you get to affect when posting times faster than geared riders. And, as a bonus, you can snub all your friends with your built in 1up-me too abilities.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicroDrive View Post
    edited: nevermind, not worth the argument for the 1% of us SS'ers that ride clean.
    You're probably right. I'm uncertain as to what sort of argument you have that would make a bit of sense, other than their choice differs from yours.

    I'm ~%93 certain that the percentage of SS riders who smoke green is no higher than those who ride geared bikes.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicroDrive View Post
    ...and then there are the disadvantages to SS. Appeal to folks like ^this^ guy that give the impression that all SS'ers must get loaded to ride.
    C'mon, don't get all straight edge on me yo, you're harshing my buzz. Besides, I was only joshing, I would never use any illegal substance- usually only whiskey, oh and so maybe I huff a little paint now and then but for that I wait until noon. Usually. What the hell, must be noon somewhere! [sarcasm/humor]

  63. #63
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    I'm 76.3% certain that 99% of the 1%ers are happy being rich and only 1% of the 1% have rich people guilt. So like, two dudes. And the one isn't too guilty feeling. What does all this have to do with SS? Nothing, I just like making up percentage as much as the next guy. Now, can we please get back to discussing how much better we are than everyone else?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  64. #64
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    There's something about it. A friend and myself starting cycling at the same time both geared at the time. He constantly smoked me no matter how hard I tried, after the first year I went SS (from 1x9) I do not think he has ever come even close to passing me. He is physically in better shape then me (from the waist up), I have over 30lbs on him and he has never caught me even on an all out flat.

    EDIT: I do not think someone riding a SS bike spent any less then someone riding a geared bike though. For what they spent on gearing, we probably blew on brakes, carbon forks, chainrings, or hubs/wheelset.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneBadWagon View Post
    You're probably right. I'm uncertain as to what sort of argument you have that would make a bit of sense, other than their choice differs from yours.

    I'm ~%93 certain that the percentage of SS riders who smoke green is no higher than those who ride geared bikes.
    Simply, that I wish riding a singlespeed didn't lump me into a crowd which stereotypically smokes pot, drinks excessively and wears jean shorts.

  66. #66
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    That's it! I draw the line at the jorts. Nobody ****-talks my ****ing jorts! Ease up there partner.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  67. #67
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    For purely scientific reasons, I'd like to see new Strava categories for "Singlespeed", "Loaded" and "Jorts" so we can track the benefits.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicroDrive View Post
    Simply, that I wish riding a singlespeed didn't lump me into a crowd which stereotypically smokes pot, drinks excessively and wears jean shorts.
    I would venture to say that those stereotypes are largely in your mind. Have a beer, take the edge off, and go ride your bike. It'll help.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    SSing solo under the devils lettuce during a night ride is probably the craziest/most zen experience I have ever had biking.
    Hm, looks like something I should try.
    Ride more!

  70. #70
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    Thanks for the replies!

    Apart from the weed, this is the summary:

    - better balanced bike weight distribution

    - core stability

    - Lack of complications... It's kind of like trail running

    - I can throw it farther

    - I am more at peace when riding SS

    - smugness

    - Reminds me of being a kid

    - My slow speed balance is much better

    - spending more time off the chair reduces chances of erectile disfunction!

    - you don't lose any power when accelerating because you're not taking it easy to shift

    - less bone density loss due to the stand and power style

  71. #71
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    Simply, that I wish riding a singlespeed didn't lump me into a crowd which stereotypically smokes pot, drinks excessively and wears jean shorts.
    Couldn't agree more!!!

  72. #72
    balance_fit
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssisyphus View Post

    But seriously folks.....I'll bet sspeeders suffer less bone density loss due to the stand and power style versus the sit and spin style of a multi-gear riders.
    This is an excellent point. SS engages the whole body, period. The "efficiency" marketing blurb around gears and, excuse me, suspension, hides the fact that SS is an excellent workout machine.

    Call me an excessive purist, but, the human body is a very capable machine and a SS is a very apt machine to match it.
    Simple, not easy.

  73. #73
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    Keeping the stereotype alive...

    I plan to scrap the technical wear this winter and go with jeans while riding the SS. Plus I have some awesome tartan and plaid wool shirts. It may attract new riders in Western MD though. Or it may just get me shot in hunting season.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by balance_fit View Post
    This is an excellent point. SS engages the whole body, period. The "efficiency" marketing blurb around gears and, excuse me, suspension, hides the fact that SS is an excellent workout machine.
    I can't for the life of me understand this often made point. My body feels plenty "engaged" on my geared bike, as well as my SS. Not everyone simply sits and spins when they have the option of gears.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicroDrive View Post
    Simply, that I wish riding a singlespeed didn't lump me into a crowd which stereotypically smokes pot, drinks excessively and wears jean shorts.
    So, by using that bit of logic I guess I am automatically lumped into a crowd that stereotypically-

    Has large balls
    has large penis
    is very smug
    superior to other types of bike riders
    is more wholesome
    have better sex lives
    brags a lot
    attracts females

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, just that I don't necessarily think that because I ride SS I automatically have all these attributes. Follow your own trail.

    I do apologize for referencing an illegal substance, if I had known it was going to cause such a commotion I would have passed. Just trying to make light of an otherwise dreary election day!

  76. #76
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    One less obvious but not less important benefit of riding SS is an opportunity to speak to another SSers on mtbr. I'am the only SSer where I live so you guys are the only people who can understand my SS addiction. Your SS community really does good job! You are notorious for converting me into SSer (why singlespeed thread). I'm really greatful for that. That's why I've posted my new SS not on my local russian forum but here.

  77. #77
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    I guess I might as well chime in. For me - moving from full suspension to hardtail at the same time.

    Expected benefits:

    - Less noise
    - Less weight
    - Room for two water bottles on the frame
    - Incentive to stand
    - Better pump
    - Better full-body workout



    The unexpected benefits were:

    - Faster (!)
    - Improved concentration
    - Sense of accomplishment in meeting new challenges

  78. #78
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    Less maintenance, less things to break.

    There's just something playful feeling about an SS that makes you want to have fun and not focus so much about the technology.

    SS makes a great townie bike as well as singletrack shredder.

    For the SS fans in Colorado or just others who like to vote third party - you might want to pick up a Muststash bar end here:
    PENTABIKE

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    The smugness that comes from riding single speed.
    My last FS geared bike worked perfectly for maybe 4 rides a season. The rest of the time there always seemed to be something that needed adjusting, tweaking or that was about to wear out. With my Singlespeed I just jump on it and ride. All I need to do is point a hose in its general direction every couple of weeks.
    Strava made me do it....

  80. #80
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    It was obvious that single speeds would be more durable.

    What was less obvious was that with a single speed I could run a motorcycle chain for the ultimate in drive train durability.

  81. #81
    JRR
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    well my somewhat beginner wife who rides with me off and on and has rode some very nice fully 26 and 29ers in my stable and hard tails too , took my 2012 carve sl single speed out and now I'm answering questions about how much the bike cost. Well that sucks but the less obvious benefit is we can both ride for cheap and I can sell off some of the plush bikes I thought would make her biking easier.

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