SSers...A Misunderstood Lot!!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SSers...A Misunderstood Lot!!!

    Alright, let me confess right up front that I am not really an SSer just yet...but keep reading. You see, I just got a new FS fully geared ride about 4 months ago, but have recently been exposed to A LOT of SSers and can't afford another ride right away.

    So my curiosity was finally peaked enough after doing an 85-mile combo off and on-road ride recently with an SSer who ended up leading the whole way...only problem, since I'm currently a student with a family, I don't have wads of cash around to set up another ride as an SS. And, truth be told, I wasn't quite sure what I would think about SSing in any case. So here's the good part...

    Now I'm sure this sounds real dumb to those of you that are dedicated SSers, but I wanted to get a feel for what it's like so on my last few rides I've been riding in a mid-range gear without any shifting. My last two rides have been completely on one gear and it has been a blast...a total different riding experience!

    One was through some nice singletrack trails in Minneapolis and the other was just today on a group 50 miler on crushed limestone paths on the historic Elroy-
    Sparta rail-trail (the first one in the country) in Wisconsin.

    The funniest part was at the beginning of the ride today when a guy riding with our group found out I was using just one gear and rode up to me and asked in a very concerned voice, "so do you not know how to shift that thing?". I had to chuckle, especially since I've been riding bikes for longer than he's been alive! You should have seen the look on his face after I explained SSing to him and that I was going to do the whole ride in one gear...he just shook his head as he rode away and muttered something underneath his breath that sounded like, "whatever you want to do man, I'm using ALL my gears!"

    So, I'd love to hear your stories where you experienced anything funny like this when trying to explain to non-SSers why you ride SS.

    PS I can feel myself slipping over to the dark side...I've got an old early-90's Reflex frame and fork made with Easton E9 tubing that I've been dreaming about building up as an SS. Somehow I've got to figure out a way to scrimp and save!

  2. #2
    smc
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    Wads of cash is not required. Just some basic mechanical skill and you can make your old bike single speed. Plenty of info on this forum on how to go about it. But the other option is sell your 4mth old bike to fund a bling bling single speed thing

  3. #3
    Out spokin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevadari
    ...I've got an old early-90's Reflex frame and fork made with Easton E9 tubing that I've been dreaming about building up as an SS. Somehow I've got to figure out a way to scrimp and save!
    No, you don't have to scrimp and save.

    Take the front derailleur, front & rear shifters, cassette, big ring and granny ring off the Reflex. Buy a BMX cog for $4 and some BMX/SS chainring bolts for $7 from your LBS. Also beg the LBS for some old cassette spacers (or, in lieu of old cassette spacers, purchase 6" of 1.25" ID PVC from a hardware store for a couple bucks. Cut to length.). Use the new, shorter chainring bolts to affix your old middle ring to your crank. Put the BMX cog and spacers on your freehub, paying attention to chainline. Adjust the limit screw on your rear derailleur to align the chain with the single cog; the der will serve as your chain tensioner. Shorten your chain.

    Presto, you're a singlespeeder for less than $20.

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    No, you don't have to scrimp and save.

    Take the front derailleur, front & rear shifters, cassette, big ring and granny ring off the Reflex. Buy a BMX cog for $4 and some BMX/SS chainring bolts for $7 from your LBS. Also beg the LBS for some old cassette spacers (or, in lieu of old cassette spacers, purchase 6" of 1.25" ID PVC from a hardware store for a couple bucks. Cut to length.). Use the new, shorter chainring bolts to affix your old middle ring to your crank. Put the BMX cog and spacers on your freehub, paying attention to chainline. Adjust the limit screw on your rear derailleur to align the chain with the single cog; the der will serve as your chain tensioner. Shorten your chain.

    Presto, you're a singlespeeder for less than $20.

    --Sparty
    Big time thanks on the quick and dirty SS conversion tutorial. Only problem (as mentioned in my original post) is that the Reflex is only a frame and fork...nothing else at this point. Good cuz it's totally clean, but bad since I'm basically looking at a build up.

    Perhaps when the time is right I can snatch up another used bike that has similar specs and switch the components over.

    Anyhow, thanks for the encouragement and ideas, I can't wait to get it set up...I finished the 2nd half of our 100 miler (another 50 miles today) earlier today and once again did it "SS" on my FS fully geared ride. Had a blast! It definitely keeps me on my toes and is pushing me to hone my riding skills.

  5. #5
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    your already doin it..

  6. #6
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    Full Susser SS

    Just convert your full susser to a ss! Take off the shifters, front deraileur, big and small ring, use the rear deraileur as a tensioner, and shorten the chain.

    Be sure to let the air out of the shock and cycle the suspension through the full travel to make sure the chain is long enough to let the suspension cycle fully.

    Buy a bmx cog and single chainring bolts, and get some cassette spacers from the LBS. I did this for a while with my Trek Fuel, and it rode well. I just got tired of all the maintenance and bought a Zion SS frame from Jenson USA for $230 and robbed all the parts off my Fuel to build up the SS! You'll find a way to embrace the dark side soon enough!

    frog

  7. #7
    "Mr. Britannica"
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    just wait 'til you ride a hardtail ss without a tensioner/derailleur

  8. #8
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    deleted content
    Last edited by 29Colossus; 03-22-2007 at 06:38 PM.

  9. #9
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    Well I don't have a great story like yours as most of the people around me a mostly just curious of the SS thing and not really against it. I just started SSing about 6 months ago on my converted Tassjara and I just recently bought a Soma steel SS.

    Some of the most common things I've heard in a past 6 months:

    I'm too old for SSing
    I'm too old and my knees wouldn't take it
    My knees wouldn't take SSing
    You rode the entire trail on that?
    What gear are you running? Which one is that on my cassette?
    Riding behind you is making me want to stand a lot!


    The best one was said to me by a 12 year old at the trailhead:
    "Hey man, nice bike!" as I was putting it back in my truck!

  10. #10
    Just hit it with speed
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    My SS stories

    I recently got a job and decided to upgrade my bike. After testing a friends '05 Rig SS I felt in love with it. I was overwhelmed with the sense of..........just riding. So I bought an '06 Rig and I adore just the same.

    The very short story involves my dad. He knew I was into the biking thing but is still of the mindset of, the cheaper the better. So when I told him I was going to be spending around a grand for a bike he was rather blown away. He eventually warmed up to the idea when he knew how serious I was about it and began to ask questions. What is so good about it? Does it have those shock things in the front? Is it lightweight? What does it do better than your old bike?

    The best part and the climax of our conversation came when my dad asked.......so how many gears is it........to which I smirked and muttered one. He didn't take it so well at first and quickly went on the offensive.....aw [Insert my name] your getting ripped off, your paying more for less(which ended up being part of the reason I bought it).

    Pretty much everyone else I tell who doesn't know much about mountain bikes(I have a few road friends) kinda look at me funny when I tell them its a singlespeed. My hippiest of hippy college roommates called me a yuppie when I told them I was getting a SS. So that was rather funny as well.

    Enough typing I gotta get in a ride today b4 the ball and chain requests(demands) my attendance.

  11. #11
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    sell the fs , buy a sick ass single speed and have enough beer money left over for a year

  12. #12
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    Good job! Keep on one

    We know that shifting does not make a man happy.

  13. #13
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    Two years ago on a long ride with eight riders, we lost three: One had a major shock failure - his fork bottomed-out, something popped out of the top of one of the fork legs, and it started leaking oil. Another rider got a stick thrown into his spokes, and ripped his rear derailleur clean off. The third just couldn't get her chain to stay on the cogs; they were skipping and grinding on every shift, forcing her to walk every climb. Of the five of us that finished the ride that day, four were on singlespeeds, three of them fully rigid. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
    "America is the greatest country in the world, but that's a lot like being the prettiest waitress at Denny's."

  14. #14
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    Great story! Yeah if you have an old derailiur hanging around (pun intended) jsut use it as a tensioner... woprks fine for me! We got billions of old cassetts lying around so I dont even buy spacers or cogs.. I jsut use the cogs off of the cassets i take apart to get the spacers too! works great even though they are Sh*t for cassetts cuz theyr worn out ive managed to find some 16T and 17T cogs that were pretty good! using the spacers (metal are better but i have a mix) i converted mycasset hub to SS and took the shifting cabels and housing out... its pretty sick! haha... cant wait until my avid bb7's come in with levers and all.. ill take off the shifter/lever combos and jsut have brake levers itl be awesome! i find it satisfying to ss on a modified bike... i think many can vouch for that.
    Even though this involves no cocky geared person (hey i still like gears too haha so i dont think is bad to have gear either!) its still something that gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside haha. I was at my local trail and riding SS 32T to 16T ratio for the first time cuz i changed it form 20T in the rear to 16T. theres this huge hill thats fairly steep... its not amazingly steep but its loos sand and pebbles mixed together so you tend to just slipp and get stuck. i punded my way up and even though i was totally wasted afterward i made it up without slipping at all. usually ill use the granny gear to get up and slip a little and sometimes no make it... but NO slip! im sold on SS soo much fun! hey I still want my epic marathon w/ gears and all haha but i think ill try and always have a SS around!



    p.s. LBS should have no problem giving you old cassets to take apart... if they recycle metal a lotta times they have to pay to get rid of it... same with old tubes and cardboard...

    my 2Cents!
    Bryce S.

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
    Electrical Engineering 2012!

  15. #15
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    I was up @ Keystone this weekend walking through the resort after a ride when some chicka yells out, "nice S.A.S.S.". Took me a minute before I turned around and see this young lady sitting in a bar looking at me and the bike. I didn't think of it until later (of course) but I would have loved to respond "you like my S.A.S.S.? You should see my Unit!" I also ride a Unit. Maybe it's just funny to me.

    At anyrate the most bothersome thing about riding a SS is all the comments, hell they're generally supportive too. I'm just ridin' man, just like you.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  16. #16
    Expert Pushing SSer
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridindog
    sell the fs , buy a sick ass single speed and have enough beer money left over for a year
    And a BOB with a cooler full of beer on it.
    Tuff Schist

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