Thank you single speed peeps - you changed the way I ride.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thank you single speed peeps - you changed the way I ride.

    Although I didn't end up going SS on my Farley 7 (there's just terrain that is too steep for me to manage SS) I did train single speed for a year after posting here saying how scared I was of it. This was a year riding a crappy 90's 26" bike, while saving up for my Farley 7.


    I had just decided to get back into riding after a hiatus, and you all convinced me to consider SS. So I rode that crappy bike for year, never shifting out of 32/19 once, even though all the gears were there. There was some 'hike a bike' obviosly, but I mostly just rode what I could manage SS.

    Although I ultimately decided to leave the rear derailleur on my Farley, I now ride more "single speed'ish"...I'm not so "shifty" and more likely to stay the gear I was riding on the flat and just stand up and grind. I now can't stand sitting and spinning up a hill most of the time...it's more like I have a collection of single speeds back there if that makes sense.

    So just wanted to send my regards for changing the way I ride.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Glad to hear the SS experience helped you, maybe add a single speed to your collection for those particular days and/or trails that are more SS oriented. Riding SS definitely helped me learn to maximize speed, minimize braking, and anticipate climbs with more speed in reserve and crank up early.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
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    SS changed my life over a decade ago I couldn't and didn't ride a detailed bike in one ratio though. A guy was selling a Soul Cylces Hardline for cheap he won at a raffle that fit me, not him, and i was ready.

    I still have that frame and ride it.

    I am about to ride SS today and tomorrow; the last day of 2016 and the first day of 2017, just to keep it real.

    In 2016 I almost killed myself in an SS accident. Survival and recovery are amazingly instructive and entertainments of a profound variety. Prevention is important, safety etc, but doing something is prime.

    Do it well and no regrets.

  4. #4
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    SS taught me that hills are to be attacked, back when I rode gears I would laze out in very low gear.

  5. #5
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    I'm also grateful for having tried and still use singlespeed. I rode my HT i only three gears for 5-10 rides, finding out what would be a good gearing for "everything" (which in my case is mostly trails and some very slow commuting, occasionally).

    Put this little cheat sheet on my bar to know what gear I was using at the back (with 34T front), before ditching the cassette and finally go SS for real.

    Thank you single speed peeps - you changed the way I ride.-dsc01634.jpg


    After converting to SS, I soon found out that I was going faster than with gears. I also had a lot more fun since there was one less distraction to deal with.

    When using my other bike(s), I now run much tougher gears uphill and do a lot less shifting. And most importantly, my singlespeed HT is still the most fun bike to ride!

  6. #6
    EXORCIZE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    I now can't stand sitting and spinning up a hill most of the time.
    No doubt. Once I discovered the joy of climbing on a rigid single speed in 2006, the "sit and spin" method of climbing immediately became some sort of absurd joke. I've purposely set up my geared FS (Mach 429T) to climb well out of the saddle, but have been wondering how much I might like a geared rigid bike. I really need to get some time on a Krampus or similar.

  7. #7
    eri
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    New Year's Day, great time to express thanks. Only riding SS for 4 months.

    From outside SS seems so dumb. I could just not shift. Sheesh.

    Fast friends recommended it, said it would change how I ride. Less maintenance for winter.

    At first my standard rides were scary and traumatic, how can I climb at a cadence of 15? Serious leg strain.

    Eventually though I relaxed into the bike, improve my posture and climbing is now a relaxed negotiation, limited by my breath. Pace is now the same as my normal bike. My back and knee pain is gone.

    On the flats I ride the speed I ride, enjoy the silence and scenery. I feel like a trail runner.

    Happy new year!

  8. #8
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    As it happens, the last two SS rides on NY eve and NY day were shared with heated riders over wet and sometimes muddy conditions.

    All of the geared bikes required some TLC before and the rides. The SS was unfazed. Makes me realize how much maintenance a geared bike needs.

    SS is a good choice in muddy areas. I know from experience how a Drivetrain performance degrades and becomes less reliable over a single ride in pasty conditions. Shifting choices are limited when things sound gritty, and even if it's not recognized, efficiency is sometimes greatly reduced. Combined with the extra weight of mud encrusted tires and frame rub, and even rear suspension compromises due to mud packing, a rigid single speed makes more and more sense.

    However slimy conditions are bad for high torque SS climbing. On a particular climb, difficult enough when dry, called Two Quarry, I decided to walk a few Rocky step-ups, rather than risk a fall. Had I been on a geared bike, these areas would not have been difficult at all.

    Riding in a group of geared bike riders is a challenge in itself. On descents I must put myself midpack. With my SS and skills I can't spin up to geared bike high speeds and I have to moderate my speed going into technical sections and be cautious not to over speed beyond reaction times for surprises.

    Socially I have to slow down on the climbs if I want to join in on conversations. This is fine. If I were the kind to ride for KOMs, which I am not, social rides and SS would not mix.

    The temptation to hammer is always there though. If a rock garden is anticipated I might spin up ahead so as to get in a good momentum to ride, or fall back and let the section clear before I go into it.

    I just hate to stall the SS in a rock garden because the full suspension rider in front of me is flummoxed.



    Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by socal_jack View Post
    SS taught me that hills are to be attacked, back when I rode gears I would laze out in very low gear.
    So true. I started SS by leaving my geared bike in SS ratio for about a year. I did not SS every ride, but I did learn quite a bit. Today I still have my geared bike, but I also have proper 29er SS now. Love both bikes for different reasons and I do believe that SS riding is improving my overall geared riding. Attacking short hills is just one aspect of that. Low speed balance is another.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    So true. I started SS by leaving my geared bike in SS ratio for about a year. I did not SS every ride, but I did learn quite a bit. Today I still have my geared bike, but I also have proper 29er SS now. Love both bikes for different reasons and I do believe that SS riding is improving my overall geared riding. Attacking short hills is just one aspect of that. Low speed balance is another.
    Yeah, the low speed balance and crank ratchet skill improved immensely. I read a lot on this site that guys don't notice a difference between high and low POE hubs, but when I got my ROS9+ it came as an 1x11 with a POS Stan's 3.3 hub with a pretty low POE compared to my Hope SS Trials Pro EVO2. I rode the 1x11 SS style but really noticed the POE difference in the tech/rocks, success rate on some moves plummeted. Have a Hadley SS hub on it now, much better.

  11. #11
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    I've ridden a rigid singlespeed for the last ten years (well, actually two different ones in that time) and it hasn't so much changed how I ride, rather I give it credit for keeping me riding, when otherwise I probably would have called it a day years ago, probably when I reached 60 anyway.
    If I'm out with other riders then they're always on geared bikes and that's no problem - no-one takes any notice of what I'm riding, they've seen it often enough and it's just what I ride.
    I don't ride singlespeed exclusively - I have a LiteVille 301 160mm trail bike too but 75% of the time I'm out on the SS. I must just be one of those people that it suits, I'm not bothered about absolute speed descending, I prefer tricky, steep and techy to balls-out stuff, I like climbing and around here there's not much flat fireroad stuff, which is fine with me.
    A regular riding mate of mine says that if he sees me get my Singular Hummingbird out of my van his heart sinks a little because he knows I have a tough ride planned.
    And I'm not super fit or super strong but I seem to have found my "sweet spot" in my riding life and long may it continue.
    Sorry for rambling on too......

  12. #12
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    ^ That's cool Andy R. I hope I'm still going strong in my 60's.
    2018 commutes - 26 days, 542 miles

  13. #13
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    Gambit21- Just go ahead and convert the Farley to SS. You can thank me later.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    New Year's Day, great time to express thanks. Only riding SS for 4 months.

    From outside SS seems so dumb. I could just not shift. Sheesh.

    Fast friends recommended it, said it would change how I ride. Less maintenance for winter.

    At first my standard rides were scary and traumatic, how can I climb at a cadence of 15? Serious leg strain.

    Eventually though I relaxed into the bike, improve my posture and climbing is now a relaxed negotiation, limited by my breath. Pace is now the same as my normal bike. My back and knee pain is gone.

    On the flats I ride the speed I ride, enjoy the silence and scenery. I feel like a trail runner.

    Happy new year!
    Aside from all the other benefits of ss, I too eradicated knee pain and some lower back/hip pain, when I switched from spinning up climbs in a granny gear, to standing up on a ss and powering myself up (feels almost like hiking, or trail running as you say). Spinning up almost seems absurd to me now.
    Now I own two bikes--MTB and road/cross--and they're BOTH ss. I live in a pretty darn hilly region too. Sure, there's some walking involved, but I actually think that's a hidden benefit believe it or not. It's variation of movement for your body which is always a good thing.

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