To be or not to be a SS'er?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    cojones inside
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    To be or not to be a SS'er?

    OK, This is what I'm wondering. When you first got started with SS'ing did you find it hard or impossible?, but persisted and eventually succeded. Your legs got stronger your technique got better?
    I'm hankering to try this SS thing... I'm also curious are there any 6' 180 pounds (like me) guys out there which have succesfully mastered SS'ing?. Most guys I see out there have smaller frames and look pretty light to me.

    Cheers,
    Kley

  2. #2
    Rollin' a fatty Moderator
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    I still find it hard (haven't ridden SS as much as I wanted) but is a great workout. Comparing the way I run a trail on the gearie or the singlespeed I ride better on the SS. I'm still having problems with climbs but that's no surprise, I'm not a climber anyway. Going down I prefer the gearie, on the SS I tend to spin to much.

    My SS is a cheap (Supergo Access) converted geared HT frame built with leftover parts, no the best or lightest parts, weight isn't a big deal for me.

    Conclusion: Try it and determine if you like it before you commit serious $$$. In my case I loved it.

  3. #3
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    If you're in pretty good shape, I'm sure you won't find it impossible. I have always been a pretty good climber, but I was shocked at myself for being able to clear every hill at my normal trail the first time I rode SS. So it might be easier than you think- try it!
    --- FeelsGood

  4. #4
    Out spokin'
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    Hated it

    I'm 6'3"/190# and took up SS a few years ago in order to train for a 100 mile off-road race. I hated SS so bad I gave it up and swore at my accomplished SS friends (Gen'l Coonskins and shiggy at the time).

    I did the big race anyway after training on my gearie. Once I'd become strong enough to finish a race that hard, I picked up the SS again with a fresh attitude. This time I loved it. Been riding SS 99% ever since. Much prefer it these days, and that's saying something -- I have an bling bling FS rig that is almost as light as my SS.

    There's something about the challenge of SS... the purity... the rewarding feeling it provides.

    My advice: don't begin singlespeeding for the first time in winter, if you're not in shape.

    --Sparty


    Quote Originally Posted by Kley
    I'm also curious are there any 6' 180 pounds (like me) guys out there which have succesfully mastered SS'ing? Cheers,
    Last edited by Sparticus; 03-15-2004 at 05:56 PM. Reason: lost the coin toss
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  5. #5
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Frankly, I was overwhelmed by the silence, and couldn't give it up. All my bikes are SS now, and I can't concieve of a gearie as being easier anymore--just complicated, loud and fragile. Really, it's just mountain biking, and you'll learn to adapt. ...and climb without grinding and descend without chatter!
    Last edited by SDizzle; 03-15-2004 at 07:29 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kley
    OK, This is what I'm wondering. When you first got started with SS'ing did you find it hard or impossible?, but persisted and eventually succeded. Your legs got stronger your technique got better?
    I'm hankering to try this SS thing... I'm also curious are there any 6' 180 pounds (like me) guys out there which have succesfully mastered SS'ing?. Most guys I see out there have smaller frames and look pretty light to me.

    Cheers,
    Yeah, but it was 40 years ago, and the first bike was a used one my father fixed up and my older sister's which probably didn't help. My father was 6' 4'' and weighed more and he had no problems riding single speeds from the 1930's - 1970's. My new one is easier to ride, but I still ride my Typhoon. I can also find my many speed dualie trail bike hard and impossible to ride, so just don't worry.

  7. #7
    wait a minute....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kley
    OK, This is what I'm wondering. When you first got started with SS'ing did you find it hard or impossible?, but persisted and eventually succeded. Your legs got stronger your technique got better?
    I'm hankering to try this SS thing... I'm also curious are there any 6' 180 pounds (like me) guys out there which have succesfully mastered SS'ing?. Most guys I see out there have smaller frames and look pretty light to me.

    Cheers,
    i rode some hardtails and being used to suspension it was hard. since i had a giant nrs that i didnt ride much,i decided what the hell and put a singulater and spacers,32t x 16t,8 speed chain,and have taken it for my last 6 rides.it works great.i dont want to get off it.as far as ss i say get one.i am 45 years and am not a racer.i have ridden 5 years and am 180#.after ride six the cramps arent so bad anymore.i am really enjoying brakes,pedals and handlebars,with nothing else to think about.as far as full suspension thats just my soft ass.every ss rider i know rides a hardtail.

  8. #8
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    your first problem is ...

    your too skinny! Many of us SS'ers are over the 200lb mark.

    Honestly, I have loved my SS since the first ride. Sure, I had to change my technique alot, but I like this way of riding much more. One solid benefit...you will get much stronger, and you will become a climber, its enevitable!

    MC


    Quote Originally Posted by Kley
    OK, This is what I'm wondering. When you first got started with SS'ing did you find it hard or impossible?, but persisted and eventually succeded. Your legs got stronger your technique got better?
    I'm hankering to try this SS thing... I'm also curious are there any 6' 180 pounds (like me) guys out there which have succesfully mastered SS'ing?. Most guys I see out there have smaller frames and look pretty light to me.

    Cheers,

  9. #9
    Back of the pack fat guy
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    tiny!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kley
    OK, This is what I'm wondering. When you first got started with SS'ing did you find it hard or impossible?, but persisted and eventually succeded. Your legs got stronger your technique got better?
    I'm hankering to try this SS thing... I'm also curious are there any 6' 180 pounds (like me) guys out there which have succesfully mastered SS'ing?. Most guys I see out there have smaller frames and look pretty light to me.

    Cheers,
    It was hard for the first couple of rides, but after that I was hooked. It will make your legs stronger. If you're 6' 180, you're just a little ol' thang. I'm 6'1 205 and have been ss'ing for 3 years. My Superlight mostly just collects dust these days...

  10. #10
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    just do it

    ...that's the only way to know whether you will enjoy it.

    and if it's too hard at first, pick another gear. Even though it's SS, you <i>can</i> change gears, just not on the fly. You'll get stronger, but it also depends on how hard you ride.

  11. #11
    Not me
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    But my knees...

    I'd like to try it too. I'm just worried if my knees can take it. some of the other forums seem to suggest that SS is good for your knees but everything I've read recommends high candence for knee health, especially on hills. although climbing out of the saddle should be good for them as well.

    Any thoughts?

  12. #12
    Out spokin'
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    Don't prejudge your knee health

    Give it a try on a cheap converted SS and see how it goes. I honestly don't believe SSing is any harder on my knees than geared riding. If you find you love SSing, whip out Mr. Wallet and give 'er.

    --Sparty


    Quote Originally Posted by Surfpriest
    Any thoughts?
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  13. #13
    SS Grrrrrrrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfpriest
    I'd like to try it too. I'm just worried if my knees can take it. some of the other forums seem to suggest that SS is good for your knees but everything I've read recommends high candence for knee health, especially on hills. although climbing out of the saddle should be good for them as well.

    Any thoughts?

    Right on... if you start having pain, either stand up more frequently, or set up your SS with an easier gear and continue spinning.

  14. #14
    (was) Big in Japan
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    Good job! fat guys rule!

    I am 5-10, 180 (at least!). I guess that qualifies as pretty solid for my height. I think you need more allover strength for SS, it takes a lot of upper body strength to get up steep stuff, IMO. I think we (barge-asses, that is) are at less of a disadvantage when SSing. Those whippets with Mr Puniverse upper bodies just cant stand the heat!

    Goferit!
    Ride.

  15. #15
    KRN
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    I love my SS

    I used to ride BMX as a kid... & I've rode here & there on geared bikes I was in a vry bad car wreck 3 Yrs ago broke 3 ribs my wrist & knocked 4 front teeth out my weight went from 190 to 280Lbs I bought my Mono-cog in Dec & I've gotten down to about 230 plus I'm re-learing everything I forgot but this time with no gears to worry about I'll be a better riderI plan to keep going untill I get back to 180 or 190. I think one of the biggest thrills of a SS is it makes U feel like a kid again... ok maybe not at first.. but give it some time I do plan to have a FS bike one day but I also plan to keep my SS forever just think of how powerful your legs will be your lungs the idea of being a kid again.. that right there means alot

  16. #16
    Steamroller
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    SS works for big guys

    I started SS about a year ago and it was real hard at first, I'm 6'2' and 245# (270# a year ago) It brought me back to my BMX roots. I pedal fast to go fast, stand to go up hill, and walk when all my weight and all my muscle pushing down still won't make me go up the hill. Maybe the best part is not having to think about shifting, and the silence, I love the silence! My knees only hurt if I try to climb seated, which isn't often on the SS.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  17. #17
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    ... and if we just ...

    Oh HELL YEAH!!! Go for it. It's all good. I'm 45 years old- Just bought a Redline Monocog and I am DIGGING it.

    Sure I ain't the fastest guy in the woods-but who cares :-)

    Been wanting to get into it for about a year-don't know why I waited so long.

    ~George

  18. #18
    Glutton for punishment
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    I am 6'1" and over 180 and just love my single speed - I do believe it is the fastest way to improve bike handling, strength and aerobic conditioning. That is the way it has worked for me - YMMV - Just give it a try and know that somewhere I am agonizing up some trivial hill muttering under my breath that just ONE more gear would make a lot more sense...... ;-)

  19. #19
    Master of the Obvious
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    5'11" 205 lbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kley
    OK, This is what I'm wondering. When you first got started with SS'ing did you find it hard or impossible?, but persisted and eventually succeded. Your legs got stronger your technique got better?
    I'm hankering to try this SS thing... I'm also curious are there any 6' 180 pounds (like me) guys out there which have succesfully mastered SS'ing?. Most guys I see out there have smaller frames and look pretty light to me.

    Cheers,
    Last summer when I acquired my solo-one I was 205 lbs at 5'11" I took to it quickly, my original intention was to use the bike as a training tool so I wouldn't muck up my Klein before races, But I found that SS'ing and a rigid fork actually made me a better rider. so Good in fact that in my last race of the year I parked The Klein and raced The Solo-One. I got second in Sport Clydesdale my highest finish of the year! Unfortunatley that won't happen this year, as all winter SS riding has gotten my weight down to 190 and dropping fast.
    I have since sold my geared Klein and have bought a Sweet Surly Karate Monkey! anyone want a good Deal on a Solo-One?

  20. #20
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    Give it a whirl

    Once you try it the gear bikes seem obsolete. Sounds weird but I just started SS'ing recently. I am 6'2 and weight in @ 210. Climbing is the best feeling on these bikes, when you get to the top of a hill and look back at your buddies spinning away on their gearies your gonna want to laugh. They look at you like your nuts. My FS is in pieces and probably will be on E-bay soon to fund another SS project bike. They are just too much fun and really easy to maintain. Which is the best thing about it.

  21. #21
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    Do it! run a 32x18 and don't look back. I take that back, Look back and look at your friends expressions as you dust them! I like a longer stem for leverage when I'm out of the saddle (which is most of time). I had knee reconstruction years ago and feel like I can do no wrong on the SS. Just make sure the bike fits and have a blast!

  22. #22
    artistic...
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    i'm on the same doubts:

    is it for me? am i going to sc%^$ up my knees? i'm pushing 48 so there's a lot of wrecked stuff in this ol' skeleton.
    another point is: the actual trails here are steep. woods. i'm afraid i would walk a lot of it on anything taller than 32 x 30.
    on the positive side: i ride a steel hardtail(and a road bike). it would be just a matter of taking off stuff from it..
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    is it for me? am i going to sc%^$ up my knees? i'm pushing 48 so there's a lot of wrecked stuff in this ol' skeleton.
    another point is: the actual trails here are steep. woods. i'm afraid i would walk a lot of it on anything taller than 32 x 30.
    on the positive side: i ride a steel hardtail(and a road bike). it would be just a matter of taking off stuff from it..
    You won't know til you try. Get in cheap - buy a monocog or get something used - and see if you like it. I suspect you will. I'm 35, in not so great shape, and also live where the trails are pretty steep (I thought that most would be unrideable on an SS - I was wrong). Try it and see for yourself - all the the reading in the world isn't going to let you see what it feels like.

    Cheers,

    -Andrew

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Give it a try on a cheap converted SS and see how it goes. I honestly don't believe SSing is any harder on my knees than geared riding. If you find you love SSing, whip out Mr. Wallet and give 'er.

    --Sparty
    100% agreed! I have congenitally bad knees (hiking with even just 500-1000 feet of descending can cause me pain), but generally I'm fine SSing. The only times I've had trouble (and it's never been very bad) have been on longer climbs when I sat down and should have been standing.

    The conventional wisdom is that pedaling hard at low cadence is tough on your knees. That's both right and wrong. What I've found is that it's only tough on my knees if I'm pedaling hard at low cadence while seated. If I stand up I'm fine, because my knees aren't bent at anywhere near the same angle as when seated.

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