What's your SS rider view on cycling technology?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 79 of 79
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875

    What's your SS rider view on cycling technology?

    What do you think about single speeding in the face of cycling's ongoing technical innovations?

    I'll give a couple of examples and some opinions of my own.

    Today media outlets purveyed the advent of the Fox Live Valve system. FLV uses accelerometers to detect bumps to open and close both front and rear suspension systems. It is expensive and effective.

    FLV is impressive. Others have tried, such as Specialized's Brain shocks, and LaPierre's Zesty system.

    This new product had me scratching my head because as a long time rigid single speed rider, I ostensibly have no pony in this technology race. Do I?

    Well, maybe. Do you?

    Products like this, I expect, will become cheaper to manufacture. It may be possible to make suspension designs that could work as a single speed.

    Could the hardtail become obsolete?

    I seriously doubt it. But it's a question that will be asked.

    What I see here is a divide that is not only technologically delineated, but a philosophical one as well.

    Obviously besides profit motives, the drive is toward faster rides over technical terrain. Lighter equipment, better suspension, more capabilities, and intelligent designs appear each year.

    Rhetorically, at what point does the rider (let's put cost aside) surrender to a bike that makes them a mountain biking cyborg?

    I know already, when riding one of my rigid single speeds, from riding with guys who have long travel full suspension bikes, I cannot keep up with them on technical downhills. It's in unsafe for me to keep up with their velocity. Eventually I get to the bottom, maybe dead fycking last, but happy to have negotiated the terrain anticipating every obstacle in a most direct way.

    A bike that absorbs the hits and opens and closes valves for efficiency will take some of the thinking and coordination out the equation. But I'm willing to concede, add new dimensions of thought and coordination to a ride as well.

    It's similar when we think about ebikes as well. A ebike single speed would be ludicrous right? Yeah, well what about say, a CVT drivetrain ebike, like a Nuvinci?

    Many of us have a lot of different bikes and do not always ride SS, for sure. And so we are able to empathize with the other side of the fence directly.

    Also, most of us are probably interested in the technology.

    There are a lot of new things happening. Lighter materials, better bearings, different geometry, and so on.

    What are your views on these things from a single speed R's perspective?

    Sometimes I wonder if SS riding is a bit of a strong (and Quixotic) statement and declaration of Independence from the endless onslaught of technology on society.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11,732
    I get what you're saying but I need to keep up with my friends.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  3. #3
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,328
    My SS is a steel 26er with V-brakes. I think about maybe someday updating to a 29er with disc brakes (I do have a 29er full suspension as well). But I'm plenty happy with a basic suspension fork, I'm not looking for a "cadillac" ride nor just bombing over everything; like you, I like having to pick a line. The way I see it, going faster and faster just means it's going to be worse when I crash. Perceived speed is more important than actual speed unless you are racing. And that is just as fun.
    By continuing to browse my posts, you agree to send me cookies.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968
    Interesting post Jack. I just wrote out 6 different responses and didn't keep any of them.

    So I guess that means I have no idea.

    Technology has had a massive impact on our culture in the last decade or so, and I would say that a fair amount of it has not exactly been positive.

    However, resistance is futile and so even though I haven't unfurled my sail, I'm adrift among the rest of the boats.

    Singlespeeding is one of the outlets that I have to fly in the face of the mainstream.

    Technology doesn't bother me so much in cycling as it does in our society, but it all kind of starts to blend together at some point.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sage of the Sage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    426
    In this era of technology that thinks for you, I am firmly in the Luddite camp when it comes to bikes. I like my singlespeed, because it frees me from choice. Singlespeeders are the survivalists of the MTB world, dedicated to making do with less. Itís refreshing.

    And cheaper.
    Salsa Timberjack SS
    -Gears give me headaches

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7,167
    Ah, the technology honey pot! Draws us in like flies and sucks the money out of us.

    By the time you have all the technology loaded on your bike to assist you, then maybe it's time for the question "Why spend this much on a bicycle when a motorbike will do the job cheaper and with less effort?"

    After all, the point of all the technology is to make it easier, isn't it? And what could be easier than a motor? Motorbikes are faster, faster is more fun, isn't it?

    I must admit to having similar thoughts as I get older and find rides a bit harder.

    On the other hand this is a gift, now there's lots more challenging rides out there for me, stuff I would have turned my nose up at a few years ago..

    And that is also the gift riding a singlespeed gives you - challenges.

    -------------------------------
    I have a suggestion though.

    As we age and the hills get tilted a wee bit steeper, eBikes start to look attractive. As a singlespeeder, I don't want a battery assist, I just want my energy conserved.

    So how about an eBike with just a large capacitor instead of a battery? There's lots of hollow spaces in a bike. Charging to happen while pedalling on the flat or on the braking over run (obviously a suitable dynohub would be needed) so that you can draw on your previous expenditure of effort for an assist. That would be pretty close to the ethos of singlespeeding, and similarly trouble free, with no battery to deteriorate and a brushless motor incorporated in the BB axle. Ideally no more weight than a decent hub gear.

    Or even with a small battery/capacitor assembly - we would only need about 5 minutes of assist at a time if it was set to come in only when there was a heavy effort needed.

    Maybe a TdeF bike has already been using such a system - otherwise why introduce X-ray vans to check for mechanical doping?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,027
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post

    Sometimes I wonder if SS riding is a bit of a strong (and Quixotic) statement and declaration of Independence from the endless onslaught of technology on society.
    I have been thinking about this for a long time. In fact, I have been writing a long blog entry in my head for a few weeks. I am going to visit my favorite philosopher friend next week, hopefully go on a bike ride with him, and then it will all spew out of my head and onto the screen.

    One way to ask this question is: if Plato and Neitzche agreed to meet up for a mountain bike ride, what bike would each rider bring?

    I've tried gears, suspension, and a dropper post. Never FS though. When I ride the "mellow" sections of my local trails, other riders are 90% FS bikes. There's a dedicated cadre of SS folks with just a few on rigid forks. So riding a rigid singlespeed is not a matter of "the right tools for the job" because it's actually the wrong tool.

    I take an Amish approach to riding: does this new technology add to my experience, and at what cost? I find that the complication and price of modern wunderbikes is not worth it. I want a challenge. I don't want a bunch of space age technology to do the work for me. The only tech I accept are things that make maintaining my bike less hassle and riding without interruption a joy: 29er tires, tubeless, hydraulic brakes, oval chainring, high POE hub, etc.

    I think I have a sort of Platonic ideal of what a bicycle should be in my head, and rigid singlespeed is the only thing that fits the bill. Blame my Protestant upbringing for this need to self flagilate with my bicycle choice.

    Go read "What Technology Wants" by Kevin Kelly.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    78
    Going with a short answer for now. I like that SS isn't driven by mid year updates in technology that has you going back to the shop constantly for a new carbon do dad to keep pace with the on going arms race.

  9. #9
    Go faster!
    Reputation: tkrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    203
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post
    What do you think about single speeding in the face of cycling's ongoing technical innovations?

    I'll give a couple of examples and some opinions of my own.

    Today media outlets purveyed the advent of the Fox Live Valve system. FLV uses accelerometers to detect bumps to open and close both front and rear suspension systems. It is expensive and effective.

    FLV is impressive. Others have tried, such as Specialized's Brain shocks, and LaPierre's Zesty system.

    This new product had me scratching my head because as a long time rigid single speed rider, I ostensibly have no pony in this technology race. Do I?

    Well, maybe. Do you?

    Products like this, I expect, will become cheaper to manufacture. It may be possible to make suspension designs that could work as a single speed.

    Could the hardtail become obsolete?

    I seriously doubt it. But it's a question that will be asked.

    What I see here is a divide that is not only technologically delineated, but a philosophical one as well.

    Obviously besides profit motives, the drive is toward faster rides over technical terrain. Lighter equipment, better suspension, more capabilities, and intelligent designs appear each year.

    Rhetorically, at what point does the rider (let's put cost aside) surrender to a bike that makes them a mountain biking cyborg?

    I know already, when riding one of my rigid single speeds, from riding with guys who have long travel full suspension bikes, I cannot keep up with them on technical downhills. It's in unsafe for me to keep up with their velocity. Eventually I get to the bottom, maybe dead fycking last, but happy to have negotiated the terrain anticipating every obstacle in a most direct way.

    A bike that absorbs the hits and opens and closes valves for efficiency will take some of the thinking and coordination out the equation. But I'm willing to concede, add new dimensions of thought and coordination to a ride as well.

    It's similar when we think about ebikes as well. A ebike single speed would be ludicrous right? Yeah, well what about say, a CVT drivetrain ebike, like a Nuvinci?

    Many of us have a lot of different bikes and do not always ride SS, for sure. And so we are able to empathize with the other side of the fence directly.

    Also, most of us are probably interested in the technology.

    There are a lot of new things happening. Lighter materials, better bearings, different geometry, and so on.

    What are your views on these things from a single speed R's perspective?

    Sometimes I wonder if SS riding is a bit of a strong (and Quixotic) statement and declaration of Independence from the endless onslaught of technology on society.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk
    Can you please post a picture of your single speed?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    A 2013 Jamis Dragon 1 29er, and an Airborne 26er, also have a couple of other SS mtbs.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,492
    The tech advancements on SS might not be as noticeable, but they are still there. Here's some examples on my bike:


    29+ rims that have an internal width of 40mm and only weigh 435g.

    216 point, light weight, low drag, and quiet hubs

    light 3" tires that roll like an xc tire, but corner like a dh tire.

    Carbon seatpost with an layup that allows a lot of flex

    Superboost rear and 83mm BB to help with bigger tires

    Brakes that are both better modulating an more powerful than older versions

    Very light carbon cranks

    Light carbon stem

    Light carbon fork with amazing ride qualities and boost spacing

    Crazy light titanium spd pedals with sealed bearings.

    Slider design that is very simple and silent

    Slacker geo for more stability

    Shorter stays

    Tubeless systems that work

  12. #12
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
    Reputation: chuckha62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,520
    I now ride solely SS.

    My first SS was rigid and while I loved the challenge of climbing on it, I hated being beat up on rocky trails. I switched back and forth between it and my geared bike for about a year, but after updating it with a light suspension fork, I started riding gears less and less.

    My next SS was a ground up build hardtail, which I never even considered building rigid. That build came in at a little over 19 lbs. and has been my go-to ride for around 4 years now.

    A year and a half ago, I built a full squish SS out of an old ('98) Schwinn URT Sweetspot. It came in at right at 24lbs. Out of the saddle, it climbs like my hardtail, but it beats me up even less than my hardtail does. After converting it to 27.5, it's becoming my go-to.

    At this point I'm not even considering going back to a multi-geared bike. I ride SS because it is hard. As much as it's hard on the legs, it may be just as hard mentally. In that difficulty, lies the reward.

    I'll embrace technology which keeps me in the saddle, to a point.

    As for an eBike... Just, No! That's a bridge too far.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,492
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I now ride solely SS.

    I'll embrace technology which keeps me in the saddle, to a point.

    As for an eBike... Just, No! That's a bridge too far.
    My wife solely rides her rigid singlespeed, except for the times she chooses her full suspension ebike with with 150mm of travel and a dropper

    Definitely no overlap between her bikes.

    I own a full suspension geared bike that rarely gets ridden. There are times though I just want to take it easy, and I've also gone through times when recovering from injuries where no suspension and only 1 gear wasn't feasible.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11,732
    Quote Originally Posted by JPL65 View Post
    Going with a short answer for now. I like that SS isn't driven by mid year updates in technology that has you going back to the shop constantly for a new carbon do dad to keep pace with the on going arms race.

    The only difference between my hardtail and many ss bikes is a shifter and 9 extra cogs in the back, and lots of single speeds have more tech than my bike.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    Some things that enhance my rides which are newer technology include dropper posts, carbon posts and bars, tubeless tires and technology, LED lights, and lock on grips.

    What we ride is hopefully a choice we make for ourselves.

    The responses are very interesting. Thanks

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,095
    Hmm I have multiple bikes and ride the one that brings me the most fun for the day.

    I have steel frame SS with 29" wheels. The only carbon on it is the handle bars. I do have new fancy fox 32 factory step cast fork with remote lock out. Love it because it is light works so well. Love the remote lock out on the fork so I can stiffen it for smoother steep out of the saddle climbs. I love my SS due to overall simplicy and I like grinding up climbs the way a SS rides. The way you need to approach trail features on SS is very different from gears. Plus I have group where we all ride SS so that is fun too.

    But I also have two FS bikes. One carbon and one aluminum. My carbon bike is new XC race bike and it has all the bells and whistles on it. No expense spared is not quite true, but I did decide to break open the piggy bank for the best or nearly the best through out. I am rewarded with a sub 22 FS geared bike. it is Specialized epic with the brain in the back and I am really surprised with how well it works. Yeah it is more complicated, but it does work too. My other FS bike is more of a trail bike complete with dropper post and new fangled 2.6 tires on 35 mm wheels.

    So I don't ride SS as "anti technology" stance or because I am too cheap. I ride SS for the change of pace from the other bikes. It is fun in a different way and while technology comes and goes SS will survive because it is one gear. Gears came along many years ago and SS survived because people liked it. Some like low cost or simplicity, but in the end if riding SS were "no fun" nobody would do it. SS ride is fun and that is why we do it. 95% of the people I ride SS with could ride gears or have ridden gears or have geared bikes. They choose to ride SS because it is fun for them.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KevinGT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,867
    I laugh at so much of it because so much of the latest technology brings imperceptible gains to the vast majority of riders. And it has nothing to do with being a SSer other than the fact that SS has taught me how little the bike really matters.

    But today's marketers are so amazingly skilled at convincing people that imperceptible gains are actually bigger and more relevant than they really that I can't fault mountain bikers for falling for it.

    Reminds me of a time back in 2013 or so, sitting at the bar in the original Hub in Brevard and listing to some guy rave to the mechanic about how great the 27.5 bike he just demo'd rode. "amazing...best of both worlds...best bike I've ever ridden...rolled over everything like a 29er but as light and nimble as a 26...geometry designed around 27.5...blah blah blah." He regurgitated every bit of marketing rhetoric there was around 27.5 wheels.

    After he left, the mechanic turned to the 4 of us at the little bar and said "I didn't have the heart to tell him the bike he demo'd was a 26."

    So, yeah, Fox Live...buy a new bike just for that, and spend an extra...grand? And then pretend you can feel the difference while dragging your brakes down your local 6 mile flow trail. LOL.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,027
    To be honest, I ride SS because I am cheap.

  19. #19
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
    Reputation: chuckha62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,520
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    To be honest, I ride SS because I am cheap.
    I told myself that. Then, I totaled my receipts for my hardtail. Shit! How in the hell did I spend $2800 on a one-speed bike?!?! ...and a 2001 aluminum framed one, at that??

    But here's the thing... I built the exact bike I wanted. Since I built it the way I wanted it, there's been no need to upgrade. So just maybe there was an economy there, afterall.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5,095
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    ...while dragging your brakes down your local 6 mile flow trail. LOL.
    That is funny you bring that up. We don't much in the way of flow trails in Arizona. Mostly natural terrain. Hit some flow trails in Breckenridge and found they were the trails I needed the least bike. Rigid SS is probably ideal for flow trails. They take a certain skill to ride fast as I had a hard time not feeling really slow on them, but they don't much bike at all. They are all the new "rage" in bike trails, but somehow all the new cool bikes are just way too much bike for those trails. I don't quite get it. Well maybe I do. Seems like alot of riders don't want the chunky experience of yesteryear when all we had were blown out hiking trails to ride our 26" rim brake bikes on. That good most of my Arizona trails are still hiking trails and the chunk comes out even on smoother stuff after the rains.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,027
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
    I told myself that. Then, I totaled my receipts for my hardtail. Shit! How in the hell did I spend $2800 on a one-speed bike?!?! ...and a 2001 aluminum framed one, at that??

    But here's the thing... I built the exact bike I wanted. Since I built it the way I wanted it, there's been no need to upgrade. So just maybe there was an economy there, afterall.
    That is what people spend on a decent entry-level FS bike these days.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    519
    I have several bikes because I enjoy the variety of riding different types of bikes. I had two rigid singlespeeds, but converted one to hardtail rather than get rid of it because of my like of variety. Decades of being a roadie has left me with some lingering weight-weenieism which is probably partially why I wound up with two rigid singlespeeds in the first place. I couldn't resist buying a Superfly SS when I saw one at a nice price. That's the mountain bike I ride most. I'm not chasing downhill speed, and I just like the way the bike handles.

    I don't need the latest and greatest tech on any of my bikes no matter what the category of bike. Shifting from the brake hoods rather than the downtube on a road bike has probably been the tech advance that has affected the way I ride more than any other(didn't shift as often back in the day and was out of the saddle more), and that happened a long time ago.

    I wish tech would advance enough to produce a cheap, reliable dropper post, but other than that, I've been pretty satisfied wth MTB tech for quite a while.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    509
    Very interesting thread for sure. I never gave it a thought really. I don't do anything for any specific reason. Any change I make in my bike or set up is only to improve my riding and experience. I do have to say that every bike I build is a little better in some way than the last, and that is intentional b/c as I ride a bike I am evaluating what works and what could be improved on and that is what goes into my next build. So with that said I think I ride a fairly modern single speed and it is the fastest, best handling, & most comfortable bike I have owned. It is a new Pivot Les, with I9 Pillar Carbon wheels, Fox 34SC, XO Dub crankset and BB, and carbon everything else (les the stem), so very modern. But it is truly excellent!

    I only ride a single speed because I truly love riding a single speed. I buy and build geared FS and HT bikes and never keep them because I always would just rather be on my SS...

  24. #24
    WNC Native
    Reputation: nitrousjunky's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,669
    I'm not sure I much care for having all the electric controlled shifting, drooping, and suspension adjusting on my bike.

    Some of the Live Valve stuff kind fits with the " just ride without having to think about shifting or suspension lever flipping" mantra we like.


    It would be a damn expensive, but I could see a Lenz full suspension SS with the Fox Live valve system possibly being a sweet bike.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KevinGT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,867
    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Hit some flow trails in Breckenridge and found they were the trails I needed the least bike. Rigid SS is probably ideal for flow trails.
    Exactly. Someone posted a video of a flow trail on mtbr a few months ago and my reply was "is that paved?" It was so smooth, so manicured, and so hardpacked that I was sure it was actually concrete vs. dirt. I don't think you need 6" of travel and an electronically controlled suspension system for what amounts to riding a concrete bobsled track.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    That is what people spend on a decent entry-level FS bike these days.
    My latest singlespeed cost me over $3k. It was over $5k when the parts were totalled at MSRP. Titanium frame, carbon wheels, i9 hubs, Thomson cockpit, carbon cranks, Fox Step-cast fork...great parts but seemed outrageous for a singlespeed!

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    Innovation happens.

    There must always be a basic single speed bike available. I think every rider ought to ride a single speed at some point. Usually the first bike with a drive train is a single speed anyway.

    I wonder what the weight of the typical original safety bikes were?

    I'm not against carbon fiber bikes and parts per-se either. But I do have some questions about how used carbon fiber parts and frames are supposed to be disposed or recycled.

    I lifted this bodged photo from:

    https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com...g-fun.html?m=1

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  27. #27
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
    Reputation: chuckha62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,520
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post
    Innovation happens.

    There must always be a basic single speed bike available. I think every rider ought to ride a single speed at some point. Usually the first bike with a drive train is a single speed anyway.

    I wonder what the weight of the typical original safety bikes were?

    I'm not against carbon fiber bikes and parts per-se either. But I do have some questions about how used carbon fiber parts and frames are supposed to be disposed or recycled.

    I lifted this bodged photo from:

    https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com...g-fun.html?m=1

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk
    See? Riding SS does indeed make you a beast!
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    This photo also proves slack, long, and low geometry is vintage.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  29. #29
    aka "SirLurkAlot"
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    549
    I've been SS only for 15 years. I've been 29er SS only for 12 years. I have a HT 29er and recently picked up a FS 26er that I converted to SS.

    They aren't anti-tech as they have discs, one has tubeless, etc.

    But, the utter BS that the industry has been feeding folks for years now is a huge turnoff for me. I'm no Luddite but much of this incremental change is BS. For my riding, my bikes aren't holding me back. But, I also appreciate analog stuff and tactile feel. I've been looking at my next read and I think it will be a book titled "The revenge of analog".


    I think that this parody sums up how I feel.

    https://youtu.be/Jj0uBQ7j5c4

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    Thanks for the video link. It's hilarious. The guy's over the top laughter is infectious.

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MellowCat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    877
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I laugh at so much of it because so much of the latest technology brings imperceptible gains to the vast majority of riders. And it has nothing to do with being a SSer other than the fact that SS has taught me how little the bike really matters.
    This !

    The whole gear thing has gotten out of control with constant updates, and a drive to get people to replace their bikes at nearly a yearly clip due to some new innovation that is supposed to make their ride so much better.

    I've drifted from the singlespeed way to a full suspension carbon fiber, 1x, 5.5" travel, dropper equipped wonder bike. And now I almost never ride MTB anymore and have switched to mostly road riding out the front door. Nearly everytime I want to MTB the wonder bike needs something fixed or tuned. I miss my singlespeed - air in the tires, water pack filled, and go. So, I'm putting the KM back together, see if I can rekindle my MTB interest with the singlespeed again.
    "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind the times." Twain

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,027
    for some reason, I always identify with fictional characters like John Savage in Brave New World or the tragic, passionate life of Chris McCandless. Part of me wants to chase down every over-biked rider who passes me and shout "impudent strumpet!"

    I know that's BS because I rely on and benefit from the industrial world and indulge in all kind of technology and things that make my life easy, but it seems like cycling is one place where I can engage in a kind of voluntary poverty without major life consequences. Anyone have any idea what drives some people to be that way, while other embrace hedonism? What would Freud say?
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 08-31-2018 at 07:36 AM.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: socal_jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,382
    Take what you need/want, keep what works.
    Canfield Riot SS
    ROS9+ SS
    ROS9 SS
    GT Peace 9R SS

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    141
    It's funny, the live-valve release got me thinking about all this as well. I do have a couple bikes. One is what I guess is considered ancient (2009) FS, and the other is my SS. While I am not opposed to progress, one thing I do like about the SS is simplicity. I really have a hard time seeing myself on a bike with electronic shifting, electronic suspension, batteries hidden here and there. Everything is just getting too complicated for me to keep track of.

    I don't dislike all of it, but I find myself getting tired when I think about it.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KevinGT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,867
    "Caution! Fox Live control software is out of date. You must update to version 3.4.1.0.0.7v2 to continue. Please log into Foxlive.com/update on your mobile device."

    "Thank you for updating your Fox Live system. Please enter your userid and password to continue. I'm sorry, that is not a recognized userid or password. Please enter correct userid or password. You have two remaining attempts."

    "ERROR 1003011: I'm sorry, your Fox Live account has been suspended due to excessive incorrect logins. Please contact Fox Live customer support at 1-800-555-1212 for assistance. Hours of operation are 9AM to 4PM PST."

    MEANWHILE...

    What's your SS rider view on cycling technology?-img_7655.jpg

    No batteries required.
    No charging required.
    No software updates required.
    No wires to route.
    No pivot bearings to replace.
    No chip to flip.
    No knocking.
    And faster than any bike I've ridden.

  36. #36
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    13,153
    I don't ride to be fast, or to keep up with others.

    I don't time myself, usually just want to be out as long as I can and to take in as much as I can.

    My last 2 SS bikes have had 140/125 travel front and rear, with a dropper, and 2.5" tubeless tires. Not for everyone, probably for very few. But given where I live and what my goals are, these have worked well.

    Currently don't own a SS. Next one will be 140/125, dropper, and 29+ tires. Just the right amount of technology, for me.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11,732
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    No wires to route.

    You do have a couple of brake hoses though.

    I have a pretty decent, relatively modern hardtail and as previously mentioned the main difference between my bike and yours is a shift cable and a few extra cogs. Additional maintenance is negligible.

    I get the ss passion and think they're great, just pointing out that lots of geared riders don't really have much more tech than you do, and some of them even less.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    372

    looking for bowling alley trails

    I don't get it! You get more technology so more of the trails feel and ride like a bowling alley. You need less skill to ride.

    How about just riding bowling alley trails on a hard tail ridgid bike????
    You would not have to improve your skill level either.........

  39. #39
    Always in the wrong gear
    Reputation: Impetus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2,368
    A long time ago, I bought a cheap aluminum OnOne ScandAl 29er as a "project" SS because it was vastly different than my 30# Cannondale Prophet with 26" wheels, 150mm of travel and a 2x10 drivetrain.

    I used my FS for the 'double black dumb stuff", and planned to add gears to my new hardtail for the 'smooth flat XC". I rode the bike as SS while Jenson shipped my new drivetrain. It never got installed.

    After only a few rides, I realized I really enjoyed not obsessing over:
    Is the LSC too slow on my rear shock?
    Is it balanced with the front?
    Are the both too fast?
    Should I be blowing through my travel this fast?
    should I be using more of my travel here?

    How worn is this cassette?

    Is my line choice endangering my rear derailleur?

    ..and about a thousand other things I thought of related to bike setup and performance.


    I like that I could kind of "unplug" my brain on an SS. I pedal until it's too hard, then I walk until I can pedal again.
    I've never found a "too rough" or "too steep" that could blame the bike. It'd be too rough or too steep on any bike.
    For all but the roughest stuff, I like a rigid carbon fork and a 3.0 tire. I really like my Reba, and it's easy to service, so I've been really lazy just leaving it on.

    I also like that I don't spend money on suspension rebuilds, or expensive new cassettes, chains or derailleurs. I don't lube pivots, or
    an 8sp chain is $10, found anywhere, a surly cog is $30 and will probably be handed down to my grandkids when they start riding.


    I'm slow, and ride because it makes me smile. I don't begrudge anyone their bells and whistles, they just don't help me ride faster, but do increase my frustration in periphery.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  40. #40
    Armature speller
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,022
    I love cycling technology, hell, ANY tech is cool.
    But I'm cheap and I enjoy riding my rigid SS.
    I'm quite happy riding to the conditions, I don't take risks, I've got to work tomorrow.
    I don't bomb through, or rail anything. Which is a bit of a bummer when I really enjoy racing
    The next tech I want compared to my current 2011 Kona Unit is a tapered steerer.
    It's getting really difficult finding a decent cheap fork with a straight steerer now.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    27
    29+ rims that have an internal width of 40mm and only weigh 435g.

    Wow! What i40 rims are you running that only weight 435g?

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7,167
    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    ...I like that I could kind of "unplug" my brain on an SS. I pedal until it's too hard, then I walk until I can pedal again...
    Couldn't agree more.

    I like to ride my bike - man and machine flowing as one. I don't know if Zen is the right word, but there's certainly a mental state achieved which doesn't happen on a technology* laden bike.

    I have no interest in operating it, continually having to make conscious decisions as to which little lever to press next and when.

    *Don't take that as Luddism - I'm perfectly happy to have any technology on my bike that allows me to ride unconsciously, eg carbon rims etc. I'd even consider an automatic transmission if it didn't weigh the bike down and need twiddling.

    As little bike as possible...

    PS The Scandals were a subversive bike - much better than their price would indicate. I bought mine as a frame for some experiments, and I still have it after all these years. It's in the process of a rebuild as a weight weenie SS gravel bike.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    11,732
    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I like to ride my bike - man and machine flowing as one. I don't know if Zen is the right word, but there's certainly a mental state achieved which doesn't happen on a technology* laden bike.

    For you, sure, lots of other people too, especially here! I understand that because I have friends who love riding but can't get along with gears, they cite the same as you and many others here that they are only a distraction.

    For myself though, no way. Cycling has always been somewhat of a "Zen" experience for me too and a good bike feels like an extension of my body. Shifting gears is a thoughtless process (for me) and honestly they have never distracted from the experience, only enhanced it.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  44. #44
    The perfessor
    Reputation: mr_chrome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    749
    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    The next tech I want compared to my current 2011 Kona Unit is a tapered steerer.
    It's getting really difficult finding a decent cheap fork with a straight steerer now.
    uh, yeah, what he said..........always wonder how long my 1-1/8 Niner CF fork will last......prolly rebuild my old CF Lefty Max to put on my bike, get a Project 321 adapter, and build a 29er wheel for the SS to keep moving.......
    Rigid 29er Ti SS
    KHS Solo One SE 29er
    29er SC Tallboy AL
    Paketa Magnesium Road Bike

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    371
    Most people ride bikes that are designed to do things they would never consider riding. We love the latest and greatest new designs and technology, but what do we need for the riding we actually do. I own several bikes including a full suspension 29'er (Salsa Horsethief). It is very capable and fun to ride, but I never push the limits of what it is capable of. That is true of most people riding modern bikes. I am so tired of seeing trails widened because people are afraid to ride over a rock garden. ...anyway I am getting sidetracked. Most people ride way more bike than they need. Some of my most fun rides are when my wife and I go out on our old hardtail singlespeeds and just RIDE. It's the trail, and the companionship, not the bike that makes the ride great.

  46. #46
    Always in the wrong gear
    Reputation: Impetus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2,368
    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    The Scandals were a subversive bike - much better than their price would indicate. I bought mine as a frame for some experiments, and I still have it after all these years. It's in the process of a rebuild as a weight weenie SS gravel bike.
    I sold mine to fund "then next bike". It went to a good home and is well-loved, but you're absolutely right and I often regret selling it.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: coke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,492
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacchus32 View Post
    29+ rims that have an internal width of 40mm and only weigh 435g.

    Wow! What i40 rims are you running that only weight 435g?
    https://www.kappiuscomponents.com/pr.../kr-29-xcw-rim

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    52

    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I laugh at so much of it because so much of the latest technology brings imperceptible gains to the vast majority of riders. And it has nothing to do with being a SSer other than the fact that SS has taught me how little the bike really matters.

    But today's marketers are so amazingly skilled at convincing people that imperceptible gains are actually bigger and more relevant than they really that I can't fault mountain bikers for falling for it.

    Reminds me of a time back in 2013 or so, sitting at the bar in the original Hub in Brevard and listing to some guy rave to the mechanic about how great the 27.5 bike he just demo'd rode. "amazing...best of both worlds...best bike I've ever ridden...rolled over everything like a 29er but as light and nimble as a 26...geometry designed around 27.5...blah blah blah." He regurgitated every bit of marketing rhetoric there was around 27.5 wheels.

    After he left, the mechanic turned to the 4 of us at the little bar and said "I didn't have the heart to tell him the bike he demo'd was a 26."

    So, yeah, Fox Live...buy a new bike just for that, and spend an extra...grand? And then pretend you can feel the difference while dragging your brakes down your local 6 mile flow trail. LOL.
    Hehe! Love it! I think new tech is crazy interesting much of the time. But, and the end of the day, I tend to agree with this guy!
    SIR 9 SS
    Fatboy

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    "Caution! Fox Live control software is out of date. You must update to version 3.4.1.0.0.7v2 to continue. Please log into Foxlive.com/update on your mobile device."

    "Thank you for updating your Fox Live system. Please enter your userid and password to continue. I'm sorry, that is not a recognized userid or password. Please enter correct userid or password. You have two remaining attempts."

    "ERROR 1003011: I'm sorry, your Fox Live account has been suspended due to excessive incorrect logins. Please contact Fox Live customer support at 1-800-555-1212 for assistance. Hours of operation are 9AM to 4PM PST."

    MEANWHILE...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7655.JPG 
Views:	74 
Size:	583.3 KB 
ID:	1214544

    No batteries required.
    No charging required.
    No software updates required.
    No wires to route.
    No pivot bearings to replace.
    No chip to flip.
    No knocking.
    And faster than any bike I've ridden.
    Haha!
    SIR 9 SS
    Fatboy

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    This concerns carbon forks for single speeding.

    Yes I tried one. It was a Mountain Cycle fork that cost around $100. The miraculous weightlessness and comfort was amazing. It never broke. I put it through some hard hits over many miles.

    But I took it off. There was always a gut feeling inside me against it that I could no longer ignore.

    I put on a steel fork and while the weight went up, I carry less to worry about.

    And that's one way to look at the tech. Single speeds are already at an advantage with weight anyway.

    Edited PS:

    Steel forks are not infallible. I crashed hard many years ago when one folded underneath me while hauling ass down a buff single track over grade reversals. That was a fork I had since brand new and had put on almost 2 decades of riding. So, I plan to replace them before they are 20 years old.
    Last edited by Jack Burns; 09-09-2018 at 08:55 AM.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    317
    Just put my rigid SS back together again, after 2 yrs of being on full squish exclusively, and am really enjoying it on my local rolling trails, probably more than the FS ( I felt over-biked) and I get a full body workout and more bang for my buck on those trails and when I just have time for a quick ride. For 4 yrs I rode that SS exclusively, from super rocky, steep stuff to smooth rolling singletrack. Never occurred to me that I couldnít do it. Now Iíve got two mtbikes, the SS for shorter, punchy rides and the FS for rougher, more elevation, all day excursions. Win-win. One of the reasons I put the SS back together is that I was beginning to obsess over forks and shocks and whether the tech on the FS was good enough or holding me back and just wanted to clear my head by getting back to something simple. Although I do wish the SS had a dropper post.

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    71
    Reasons for SS, very little to do with tech:
    1. I want my bike to be perfectly dialed every ride and can't justify the cost to get to that level on a geared FS.
    2. I like using the terrain and improving my skills to go faster downhill and on flats rather than pedaling.
    3. I don't like things that break and need maintenance.
    3. I don't like bikes that creak.
    4. I'm generally faster overall on SS since there is a bare minimum power level required to get yourself up every hill.
    5. More recovery time during hard rides and most races since you just can't hammer on every gradient.

    The only times I want something different are the super hard high alpine climbs, the super rough/big feature descents, and rides with road sections which together realistically cover 5-10% of my mtb riding.

    As for new tech, you have to separate the wheat from the chaff. Like continued geometry improvements, reliability, dropper posts, brakes, tires, wheels and things that make the ride feel better like some suspension tech. A lot of stuff isn't for me (Fox Live Valve...) but I'm glad it exists to keep the progression moving forward.

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SingleSpeedSteven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    527
    My biggest issue with full suspension is the fact that it gets antiquated so fast. A 2 year old full suspension is considered old these days, which is just too short of a shelf life for my taste. I have swapped my parts onto new SS frames over the last few years as necessary, and its still an amazingly solid build.

    It would be one thing if mountain bikes were super affordable, but when you could buy a car for what the price tag is on most of these things it needs to last me longer than 2 seasons.

  54. #54
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    13,153
    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    My biggest issue with full suspension is the fact that it gets antiquated so fast. A 2 year old full suspension is considered old these days

    The upshot to this is that you can buy a 2 year old bike -- which many would still be, and are, totally happy with -- for super cheap when those of us chasing the latest and greatest sell them to upgrade.

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SingleSpeedSteven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    527
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    The upshot to this is that you can buy a 2 year old bike -- which many would still be, and are, totally happy with -- for super cheap when those of us chasing the latest and greatest sell them to upgrade.
    Yea, I am definitely one of those latest and greatest type people. Which is why I try to stay away from full suspension as much as I can... the hardest part is that I have a group of friends who like to take a big out of town trip every year. This year they wanted to go to Angelfire, so I basically bought a new Specialized Enduro for one weekend, hated it when I got back home, and sold it. Stupid.

  56. #56
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    968
    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    My biggest issue with full suspension is the fact that it gets antiquated so fast. A 2 year old full suspension is considered old these days.

    It would be one thing if mountain bikes were super affordable, but when you could buy a car for what the price tag is on most of these things it needs to last me longer than 2 seasons.
    I beg to differ.

    A Santa Cruz Hightower is as relevant today as it was 2 years ago. Stay away from anything too fringe, and you'll be fine even in a couple years.

    Also, these bikes are only antiquated in the eye of the viewer. If you bought the geometry because you liked it in 2015, there is nothing else about the bike that wouldn't be cross compatible today. That bike is still boost, still has a 1.5" tapered steerer, still has a normal bottom bracket and normal seat post size.

    Again, if you like the geometry when you buy the bike, you should have nothing to worry about.

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    Let's keep the primary discussion about single speeds.

    Someone above said something to the effect of take what you need from the tech and carry on.

    Dropper posts, wide handlebars, wider rims and tubeless tires are probably the most popular items adopted by the SS community.

    Expensive sophisticated long travel suspension forks coupled with single speed long slack Boost 148 frames are becoming popular.

    No doubt, more carbon single speed frames with boost will trickle into our future. Titanium maintains a respectable permanent position in the market as well.

    Aluminum frames with suspension forks and dropper posts could appear as more reasonably priced complete single speeds with progressive geometries.

    Whatever happens, basic tig welded butted steel single speed frames will epitomize the soul of single speed mountain biking.

    Carbon seat posts and handlebars are sensible choices.

    Steel forks are relevant and elegant solutions. I hope options to support Boost 110 wheels on 27.5 and 29er frames will manifest to continue the process of integrating the rigid ride philosophy into the future.










    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    317
    After riding the FS Iíve adopted a shorter stem and wider handlebars for my SS and am having my front wheel rebuilt with a wider rim, going from 25mm to 35mm, to take advantage of some of the 2.6 to 3.0 tires. I donít think I can fit a dropper in my Karate Monkey, the bend in the seat tube probably doesnít allow for it.

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,027
    Anyone studied personality types like Meyers-Briggs types or Enneagram archetypes? I recently started exploring Enneagram and I am finding a lot of ways that my personality affects my riding, especially my advoiance of newer technology and my insistence on making riding harder. I highly recommend the Enneagram theory, it's endlessly fascinating.

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Anyone studied personality types like Meyers-Briggs types or Enneagram archetypes? I recently started exploring Enneagram and I am finding a lot of ways that my personality affects my riding, especially my advoiance of newer technology and my insistence on making riding harder. I highly recommend the Enneagram theory, it's endlessly fascinating.
    MT, Hold on there, this is heresy!

    Just kidding...

    Scientology and single speeding is outlandishly devious. I'm one who views Scientology as a malevolent cult.

    However, upon reading your post, i subsequently took a Meyers-Briggs evaluation correlated the results.

    The results intrigue me - but I don't realize how it can relate to single speeding exactly.

    The notion deserves it's own thread. And I would expect few to participate in it. But it would great if my opinion is proven wrong.

    Hmm, perhaps having fewer bike gears is equivalent to having more mental gear? I hope not.

    Happily I do not ride "fixed".

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9,027
    Is enneagram theory associated with Scientology? It seems like a pretty neutral but I can see how Scientologists would find it useful for all their weird stuff.

    yeah, i figured that was pretty left-field suggestion that will get little traction. but I think that one's personality might say a lot about their adoption or aversion toward complex or simple bike or certain riding styles. could be useful to anyone who is interested in knowing the self better. for me, riding is a very personal and significant part of my life, so how I set up and ride my bike is an extension of myself in ways that it might not be for others.

  62. #62
    EXORCIZE
    Reputation: Ryder1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,174
    I'm not familiar with Enneagram, but like the Myers-Briggs personality test since it sums me (INTP) up nicely. I've got a good grasp on Nietzsche and other modern philosophers, eastern philosophy, psychology, Plato (less so), but I'm not sure I see correlations between riding styles and personality/philosophy. What would Nietzsche ride, health permitting? Well, he definitely wouldn't shuttle, nor fuss too much over the latest tech, but other than that, I don't know. He'd ride hard, maybe take too many risks, and crash often.

    For me, the critical aspect has always been achieving and maintaining a state of "Flow," which is simply the psychological state corresponding to being fully engaged in a relatively challenging task; being neither under challenged (leads to boredom, straying thoughts) nor over one's head (leads to anxiety and trips to the ER). Nothing gets me into Flow as much as trail riding on a rigid SS.

    I'm a very poor multi-tasker and what some call ADHD-Inattentive (not a disorder, just a description!). Gears, droppers, lockouts, etc. may make no difference to some people's ability to attain Flow, but these things are never completely unconscious for me. It's not just the operation of these accessories, but all the options they provide, which means more decision making. In contrast, riding a rigid SS calls for the least engagement of my frontal cortex, which helps me to maximize Flow. Your Flow may vary.

  63. #63
    hispanic mechanic
    Reputation: sslos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,516
    Ahhh..the technology trap. Itís a slippery slope.
    The drive for the latest and greatest isnít always (or maybe even usually) about going faster, or bigger, or whatever. Itís about cultural capital, and that is one thing most cyclists fall victim to.
    Whether itís Fox Live Valve on your new Bronson, or a gorgeous White Industries headset on your Retrotec singlespeed, there are much cheaper ways to get the job done. But weíre drawn to the shiny penny, arenít we?
    I started riding singlespeed after a crash presiding a downhill course almost killed me, with a low-tech, cheap, but functional set up. This was in the fall of 2000, using an underutilized hardtail frame, rigid fork, and an old Shimano 600 derailleur as a tensioner.
    As time went on, I wanted newer, cooler stuff, culminating 12 years later with a bliglespeed (well, fixed...) custom frame/Phil Wood-White Industries-Chris King everything beauty. While I had continued to say that my adherence to single speeds came from a couple of decades of working on other peopleís overly complicated, overpriced stuff, I had fallen into the same conspicuous consumption that they had, just with a Ludditeís accent.
    After an almost 4 year hiatus from singlespeed MTBs (always had a SSCX) Iíve gotten back into the Cult of the One True Gear this year, and have been enjoying the hell out of it. Well, maybe not always. Definitely not on some of the climbs.
    I traded for a sweet, locally built beaut of a frame, put a 14-year-old Karate Monkey fork on it, and have had a hoot.
    Sure, it has a Chris King headset on it (but it came with the frame,) and I just ordered a carbon fork for it (well, I have Boost spaced front wheels that I want to use,) but Iím not going to chase the tech or bling rainbow anymore.
    Right after I upgrade the wheels.
    No, wait- then thereís the cranks...

    Los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

    dongerparty.com

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Anyone studied personality types like Meyers-Briggs types or Enneagram archetypes? I recently started exploring Enneagram and I am finding a lot of ways that my personality affects my riding, especially my advoiance of newer technology and my insistence on making riding harder. I highly recommend the Enneagram theory, it's endlessly fascinating.
    I thought I closed all personality forum tabs but it seems to be that even in the cycling world, there's no avoiding personality theory.

    Well, my personality type is ISTP (With strong INTJ traits), When I'm on a bicycle, I'm always seeking the thrills, taking risks and completing stunts which feed my Se. When something breaks, I go head over heels to fix it even better than it was before so I can have even better experience next time (Ti-Ni and also Se).

    You can see how it quickly gets very very addicting. Sometimes it feels that I'm riding the bike only that I get to fix it again.

    That's why I do my trials/street trials riding on an XC bike.
    Trials & Error

  65. #65
    Keep on Rockin...
    Reputation: Miker J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,927
    Rode and raced SS for quite some time, mostly rigid. Trails where I had lived made it very practical and fun. It was nice to be a bit of a Luddite.

    Now I'm in a different region. The stuff I ride is not SS friendly. And now only rarely ride SS.

    Most tech has really improved the mtb experience for me. Biggest leap were dropper posts. Mtb is stil in its infancy in terms of R&D.

    The SS was not as trouble free as many would think mechanicals for me were not infrequent.

    Today's drivetrains are great. I probable needed to tinker with my SS drive more than my current 11 speed.

    Todqys forks work great.

    About the biggest hassle is rear suspension. Dampers and all the monkey motion can be finicky.

    As much as I loved SS, from a practical standpoint, a HT with gears and a sus fork (given their advancements) make the 1x1 almost obsolete.

    Also, tech has made the FS bike extremely capable. So much so that the style of riding on rugged terrain is like a different animal compared to riding a SS or HT. I pride myself on being a good SS climber. But there is no way I could come close to riding most of the uphill tech I now do on my dually.

    As always, it's mostly about the trail, and picking the right tool for the job.

  66. #66
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    452
    INTJ here. And this does pretty much sum me up. I most likely got into SS because I thought it would lead to a goal, like better bike handling and climbing strength. My son is an INFP, and basically, he just digs it...

    And I think this sums up my actual enjoyment of the SS ride:
    For me, the critical aspect has always been achieving and maintaining a state of "Flow," which is simply the psychological state corresponding to being fully engaged in a relatively challenging task; being neither under challenged (leads to boredom, straying thoughts) nor over one's head (leads to anxiety and trips to the ER). Nothing gets me into Flow as much as trail riding on a rigid SS.

  67. #67
    eri
    eri is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: eri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    625
    The ss is more fun on my local trails, I must plan ahead and manage my cadence. I have a 120mm fork, a dropper and climb at roughly the same rate as my geared bike until about 550ft/mile where I must walk.

    I've got no issue with technology on my ss. Where I ride suspension fork is essential, and even more essential are disc brakes.

    A few times I did rides with some significant flats and never again. Not cool to be spun out for an hour at 12.5mph. Need gears for flats.

  68. #68
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7,167
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post
    Innovation happens.

    There must always be a basic single speed bike available. I think every rider ought to ride a single speed at some point. Usually the first bike with a drive train is a single speed anyway.

    I wonder what the weight of the typical original safety bikes were?...
    I can answer that - back in the late 1890s it was hard to sell a bike that weighed more than 25lbs to a bike enthusiast. That would get you a stripped down fixed wheel bike with no brakes, but suitable for gravel roads.

    It was all the ancillary stuff that weighed down old bikes, eg steel fenders, chaincase etc.

    In the 1920s when roads out of the main towns were mainly still unpaved, single speed bikes could be bought in a weight range of 20 to 28lbs.

    In the late 1920s you could buy a Laughterweight, an all steel bike, which weighed 17Ĺ lbs

    Obviously for full on mtb use we need a bit more material in our bikes. I reckon about 25lbs is on the mark for a decent steel singlespeed these days.

    ------------------------------------------

    For comparison, a full on British roadster with all the trimmings would weigh close to 40lbs, and these were being built basically unchanged right up to the 1960s, eg:





    That basic style was perfectly capable and handled well on gravel and rough roads, and virtually bulletproof.

    (That is a 70+ year old bike on a 150km day ride and a large part of it was on rough gravel tracks, but I cheated - it had a 4 speed hubgear )
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  69. #69
    psycho cyclo addict
    Reputation: edubfromktown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,609
    A French company began working on computer controlled MTB suspension a year or two ago IIRC. That tech, along with DI-2 and other electronic gadgetry is of zero interest to me on any bike.

    I still have two SS's, plus to geared bikes: full suspension and hard tail. The hard tail is semi-mothballed and used primarily for bikepacking at this point. The extra moving bits on the geared bikes have been very reliable (over nearly a decade of bashing in the case of the hard tail). I typically ride the FS bike on very technical/rocky terrain and most urban assaults, otherwise I'm on one of the SS's.

    My big technology upgrades on the SS's are:

    1. Running 3" "plus" tires up front (with rigid forks)

    2. Built up a new cushy "geared"/SS-able wheel set with Berd Dyneema spokes that provide some cool dampening effects (at a lofty price of course). Sort of feels like I am riding on thin carpet...
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  70. #70
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Klainmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    "Caution! Fox Live control software is out of date. You must update to version 3.4.1.0.0.7v2 to continue. Please log into Foxlive.com/update on your mobile device."

    "Thank you for updating your Fox Live system. Please enter your userid and password to continue. I'm sorry, that is not a recognized userid or password. Please enter correct userid or password. You have two remaining attempts."

    "ERROR 1003011: I'm sorry, your Fox Live account has been suspended due to excessive incorrect logins. Please contact Fox Live customer support at 1-800-555-1212 for assistance. Hours of operation are 9AM to 4PM PST."

    MEANWHILE...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_7655.JPG 
Views:	74 
Size:	583.3 KB 
ID:	1214544

    No batteries required.
    No charging required.
    No software updates required.
    No wires to route.
    No pivot bearings to replace.
    No chip to flip.
    No knocking.
    And faster than any bike I've ridden.
    ^this! that is such a perfectly put post.

    Funny, I always felt a SS was the one bike to always have because no matter the trail/conditions, you could always find a way to make it challenging. If I take my enduro bike on most local trails, i'm pretty bored. SS makes me focus on one thing: the trail. What's coming next? How will i have to adjust? do i need to pedal more?

  71. #71
    EXORCIZE
    Reputation: Ryder1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,174
    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    ^this! that is such a perfectly put post.
    Yep, one of my favorite posts ever. Can we make a sticky out of just one post?

  72. #72
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CCSS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    360
    Wow, great post! Bummed to be so late to the party. Anyway, here's my take on the OP's questions...

    What do I think about single speeding in the face of cyclingís ongoing tech innovations? Well, back to that and your final question, Jack, for ME, riding SS is not a statement and declaration of independence from the endless onslaught of technology on society.

    I dig technology. I work in technology. I spend way too much money on Apple products. But my only mountain bikes for the last 5 years have been rigid single speeds. (And for the record, Iíve spent way too much money on them, too!)

    Will the hardtail become obsolete? Again, IMO, nope. If so, the acoustic guitar would be obsolete. The sailboat would be obsolete. Like being an acoustic guitar player or a sailor, being a single speeder, and especially rigid single speeder is a thing. A genre. A passion. An identity. Market share and popularity may ebb and flow, but for the foreseeable future itís going to be ok.

    And fortunately, applying the latest tech to your bike (or sailboat or acoustic guitar) isnít a partisan proposition. If I want to, I can spend exactly the same dollars on carbon fiber, titanium, top-end brakes, cranks, forks, droppers, bottom brackets, headsets and other blingy bits as my geared/squish friends. And I do. Well, except for the suspension forks and droppersÖ

    The objective benefits of single speeding will probably always remain.
    • More value for the dollar. A complete, top Ďo the line full squish geared bike will always cost more than a complete, top Ďo the line SS. At least from a given builder/manufacturer. At the very least, you donít need a shifter, cable, derailleur and cassette.
    • Less to break/creak/maintain. Again, at the very least, you donít have shifter, derailleur, cable and cassette, and you probably donít have pivots and a rear shock. And if youíre like me, you donít have any suspension to worry about.
    • Less weight. All things being 100% equal, you can subtract the weight of the shifter, derailleur, cable & cassette.



    The subjective benefits of single speeding are, well, subjective.
    • Less to think about on a ride (bike related) and MORE to think about on a ride (line choice and technique)!
    • The smug satisfaction of knowing you cleaned something on the SS or finished a hard ride that folks on geared/squish bikes didnít.
    • A more beautiful bike Ė I think my two, custom steel single speeds are rideable art.
    • Makes easier trails more of a challenge, and for me, takes some of the biggest features off the table, which likely preserves my health.



    Of course, there are both objective and subjective benefits to geared/squish bikes. But you know them already.

    Net/net, I have more fun single speeding. I also have fun putting great ďnew techĒ components on those sweet, rigid, steel frames. Proud to be a single speeder!

  73. #73
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    The seat dropper is a piece of technology that I like. In practice, however, I don't use one on most SS rides.

    If the terrain calls for it, I'll put one on, or take the one SS that has one on it permanently.

    All 4 of my current single speeds are 27.2 seat tubed.

    If, or more like when, a new SS comes into my life, I would look for the ability to run a deep dropper post.

    One of the concerns I have is that a lot of the long slack geometry bikes have curved seat tubes that might interrupt a dropper post.

    The most modern bike I have is a Spot Honey Badger. I hadn't anticipated (though I could have) the interrupted seat tube, via a time trial like tube cut-out, which made most droppers too long to fit me. I had an old 27.2 Gravity Dropper that works perfectly, so I got lucky. But the venerable Gravity Dropper is kind of clunky.

    Technology doesn't rest does it.

    The bikes I already have are quite satisfactory.

    A long slack plus tired single speed with a long travel fork would enhance single speed downhills. It wouldn't be as light as my old titanium 26'er, probably, no matter how much money is thrown at it.

    I suppose if anything turns up in carbon that one could SS with an eccentric bottom bracket, and a straight seat tube, that fits, i would be interested in it. But I'd worry about the bottom bracket creaking.

    Perfection in single speeding is found not in the contemplation of technology, but in the actual moment of riding a single speed accomplishing nothing more than a happy instance of successful riding.






    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  74. #74
    EXORCIZE
    Reputation: Ryder1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,174
    Quote Originally Posted by CCSS View Post
    [...] being a single speeder, and especially rigid single speeder is a thing. A genre. A passion. An identity. Market share and popularity may ebb and flow, but for the foreseeable future itís going to be ok.
    So my identity is dependent upon SS's market share? Crap!

    Is this why some say "Americans are continually reinventing themselves" - they must piecemeal an identity together from what's commercially available at any given time? Should I be worried that my avatar is an ale that was only briefly available in 2007?

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    452
    "Perfection in single speeding is found not in the contemplation of technology, but in the actual moment of riding a single speed accomplishing nothing more than a happy instance of successful riding."

    Well said. I guess I've been rolling into a little bit of tech to support my aging body. Just so I can realize the above statement.

  76. #76
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jack Burns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,875
    I probably spend as much time thinking about cycling as I actually ride. That includes a lot of time thinking about the technologies involved.

    What really blows me away, is what can be achieved with simple and relatively inexpensive equipment. Of course, it takes some regular spirited riding to build up strength and technique as well.

    My wife already knows I'm nuts, but she is impressed by the climbs I've cleaned on a single speed and I hope that helps make the SS habit more tolerable.

    As long as I ride all of the bikes I have, and she rides hers, we can keep them. So that's an incentive for me right there.

    Given the plethora of used single speed -able frames out there it's not difficult for the curious to try it out.

    SS racing is a special discipline in itself. I've only tried one solo 8 hour, and it was fun. I would have thought that the single speed class would be packed with high end bikes, but I saw mostly modest yet practical bike builds, and lots of steel.

    For me, mountain biking SS, it's mostly about the climbing, more than the descent, and more than the equipment.

    But when I'm not climbing, I avoid brooding about the climbs. They can be so brutal.

    This evening I was able to get out and pound up a hard grade. At one point I focused on my deep panting, the sheer harsh sounds coming out of me, and the scratching of the rear tire seeking traction.

    You know the moment where you are getting close to the 90% effort feeling and you know that you have to keep this level of effort up for a period of time on order to make it to a summit or recess I'm the trail. And you just keep going, and do all kinds of things to make the moves up the trail.

    At that point thinking about bike technology is almost never on my mind (unless the bike is not working properly, in which case SS perfection is unobtainable).

    LOL, I'm way more likely to think about sex, which I do sometimes, because there's some powerful incentive there for sure.

    I don't know, but to me there's something quite intimate about cranking hard, as if there's a barrier of inhibition that must be passed. As well there's a sort of soul baring honesty in it. You make it or you don't. There's no option of clicking into easier gears and carrying off the climb seated and breathing through your nose.

    Like anyone else, I like to rip the downhills. But my SS bikes are not exactly DH machines. Preferring rigid forks, my wrists can potentially be over-punished.

    Therefore I'm looking for smoother lines 14.

    I find that when I get on full suspension, the focus is more on the DH, and the climbs are tamer, and the pace is more relaxed.

    Well, I like the drama and struggle of the SS ride-style.



    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  77. #77
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    317
    An article by the Bike Snob on single speeding.

    https://www.outsideonline.com/236759...gn=onsiteshare

  78. #78
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    546
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burns View Post
    I probably spend as much time thinking about cycling as I actually ride. That includes a lot of time thinking about the technologies involved.

    What really blows me away, is what can be achieved with simple and relatively inexpensive equipment. Of course, it takes some regular spirited riding to build up strength and technique as well.

    My wife already knows I'm nuts, but she is impressed by the climbs I've cleaned on a single speed and I hope that helps make the SS habit more tolerable.

    As long as I ride all of the bikes I have, and she rides hers, we can keep them. So that's an incentive for me right there.

    Given the plethora of used single speed -able frames out there it's not difficult for the curious to try it out.

    SS racing is a special discipline in itself. I've only tried one solo 8 hour, and it was fun. I would have thought that the single speed class would be packed with high end bikes, but I saw mostly modest yet practical bike builds, and lots of steel.

    For me, mountain biking SS, it's mostly about the climbing, more than the descent, and more than the equipment.

    But when I'm not climbing, I avoid brooding about the climbs. They can be so brutal.

    This evening I was able to get out and pound up a hard grade. At one point I focused on my deep panting, the sheer harsh sounds coming out of me, and the scratching of the rear tire seeking traction.

    You know the moment where you are getting close to the 90% effort feeling and you know that you have to keep this level of effort up for a period of time on order to make it to a summit or recess I'm the trail. And you just keep going, and do all kinds of things to make the moves up the trail.

    At that point thinking about bike technology is almost never on my mind (unless the bike is not working properly, in which case SS perfection is unobtainable).

    LOL, I'm way more likely to think about sex, which I do sometimes, because there's some powerful incentive there for sure.

    I don't know, but to me there's something quite intimate about cranking hard, as if there's a barrier of inhibition that must be passed. As well there's a sort of soul baring honesty in it. You make it or you don't. There's no option of clicking into easier gears and carrying off the climb seated and breathing through your nose.

    Like anyone else, I like to rip the downhills. But my SS bikes are not exactly DH machines. Preferring rigid forks, my wrists can potentially be over-punished.

    Therefore I'm looking for smoother lines 14.

    I find that when I get on full suspension, the focus is more on the DH, and the climbs are tamer, and the pace is more relaxed.

    Well, I like the drama and struggle of the SS ride-style.



    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk
    Totally sums it up! Love my ss! Makes me stronger when I ride my carbon full suss bikes too. I find I use the big cogs a lot less to climb after riding the ss even just one rode per week.

  79. #79
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,039
    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    The way I see it, going faster and faster just means it's going to be worse when I crash. Perceived speed is more important than actual speed unless you are racing. And that is just as fun.
    this is exactly why i don't need no squish. well that and my terrain has no long continual jackhammering descents for the most part so to me a rigid bike is very enjoyable.

    i really enjoy riding rigid and having to pick lines; definitely not because i think it is the fastest or best way to cover terrain efficiently.

    but you couldn't pry my xt discs i got outta my cold dead hands. carbon now makes up my frame, rear rim, bars and fork; full on in camp plastic bike; after not trusting it for YEARS then eventually beating the shit out of it myself long enough to trust it; i firmly believe it is incredible for bikes.

    i DO like technology just not all of it???? but yeah trying to articulate why i LOVE my hydraulic disc brakes but don't want a suspension fork on my bike is kinda hard! i know most of my friends think i am probably a little nuts.

Similar Threads

  1. How Low-Income Commuters View Cycling
    By Straz85 in forum Commuting
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-17-2014, 07:39 AM
  2. So...how does your spouse-partner view your hobby?
    By Mr5150 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 09-12-2013, 06:36 AM
  3. x-post--NORCAL rider view of Oahu
    By ArmySlowRdr in forum Hawaii
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-11-2005, 09:14 PM
  4. New Cycling Technology??
    By fourbarman in forum Intense
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-16-2004, 09:27 AM

Members who have read this thread: 8

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.