Why are you SSer's so fast!!?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    77

    Upset Why are you SSer's so fast!!?

    I am not racer but I hold my own on climbs and descents. I have a trailbike that weights in the neighborhood of 35lbs and am usually the one passing other riders (politely, of course).

    However, time and again, singlespeeders pass me! With fully rigid bikes and no gears, they (you guys) make me feel like an idiot when I am huffing and puffing up a climb. I know SS-ing makes one a better all-around biker. This makes me wanna give SS-ing a try.

    Was the transition hard for you? I am afraid to I will miss my gears and fall behind in group rides. But is this a necessary evil a newbie SSer must endure?

    I bought a Fetish Decipline frame and have all the parts to make it into a geared bike. Am considering getting a SS converter for the rear hub and a chain tensioner. What else do I need?

  2. #2
    beer *****es n' bikes
    Reputation: seely's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    663
    I just bought a geared bike after not having one for a few months and riding it now after riding my $20 SS is a pain in the ass. Build a cheap crappy one to get started. Mine like I said has about $20 into it and it rides and handles great, and got me into the sport cheap with little commitment.
    bike dude, velocity employee (this is my personal account)

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EBasil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,122
    You've got all the parts you need. Build one up, you'll like it a lot, although it can be a pain to ride among derailleur'ed bikes from time to time.

    The SS riders are "fast" for three reasons:

    --Their bikes are lighter than yours.
    --They have gotten strong from reason #3
    --They actually have two speeds: medium and stopped. To keep moving at medium, one has to maintain momentum and speed. The riders passing you are pushing a bigger gear than you, usually close to your mid-ring and middle cog, and they either ride that "fast" or stop. Gear up to match them, and you'll be just as fast, but on a heavier bike. Now THAT's tough!

    The reason it can be a pain to ride with gearies is that the SS rider will maintain momentum or surge at the base of hills, while many gearies will hunker down into a low gear. If you're behind the gearie and there isn't room to pass, it can make for some slow pedaling, bulging veins and rubbed tires.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    136

    Do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by psychojylo
    I am not racer but I hold my own on climbs and descents. I have a trailbike that weights in the neighborhood of 35lbs and am usually the one passing other riders (politely, of course).

    However, time and again, singlespeeders pass me! With fully rigid bikes and no gears, they (you guys) make me feel like an idiot when I am huffing and puffing up a climb. I know SS-ing makes one a better all-around biker. This makes me wanna give SS-ing a try.

    Was the transition hard for you? I am afraid to I will miss my gears and fall behind in group rides. But is this a necessary evil a newbie SSer must endure?

    I bought a Fetish Decipline frame and have all the parts to make it into a geared bike. Am considering getting a SS converter for the rear hub and a chain tensioner. What else do I need?

    I was a single speed newbie last year, I bought a converted schwinn Moab on Ebay for $300. I figured I'd start with a small investment and try it out. I actually never thought I could keep up with my riding buddies on it so my first few rides were solo. My thought was it would be a good bike to play on when not riding with friends. I was having a blast on it from the get go. Little did I know that it would soon become the only bike I wanted to ride! I finally decided to break down and ride it with the group, and after a 3 1/2 hour early season death ride I was still standing (and actually leading sections!). Just do the new ride up single speed!! Its not like its a big expense, and I have had zero problems with the singulator (if thats the way you are going to go). Now I have converted my "nice" bike to single speed and that is now the only bike I have. I do have a 120mm Manitou Black on the front end so I'm not fully rigid but that is your own choice, Maybe start with a shock so everything is not completely new to you?

    As far as the speed goes, how often do you stand up and push a 32x18 gear uphill on your regular bike? Its not as hard as it sounds and it is FAST! Everything just flows when you are riding 1 gear. Nothing to worry about but the trail in front of you.

  5. #5
    Gimme dat!!
    Reputation: Menny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    423

    Do the math...

    The gear ratio demands a quicker pace and makes a rider stronger to get there...there are no crutches. I ride with a group of SSers and seldom do gearies we encounter keep the pace on the climbs. There are drawbacks of course in that the prolonged climbs can overcome even the strongest SSers and the steepest of climbs are also a problem.

  6. #6
    The man who fell to earth
    Reputation: Ziggy-Stardust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    335

    Convert that thang...

    One of the reasons SingleSpeeder's appear to be faster is that they must stand up and mash those pedals hard on hills. When you only have one gear, it has to be a compromise and this necessitates having to hit hills with some momentum, and to keep that momentum up all the way to the top. I pass geared guys all the times on hills, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm in better shape...I have to pass them or I'll grind to a halt.

    And that's not to say SS'ers only *appear* faster, in many cases they really are. As you can imagine, your fitness level usually goes up a notch or two when you ride an SS. Plus there are other advantages that help...like a single speed can be built up very light (under 20 lbs if you put a few bucks into it). And an SS drivetrain is usually a few percent more efficient than geared bikes. Derailleur pulleys and out of alignment chains eat up a bit more energy than a perfectly aligned SS chain with no derailleur.

    However, I must say that for myself I live in an area that is well suited for SS (fairly flat riding with moderate hills). But when I go on a road trip to a place with long sustained hills, and then maybe even some long sustained straightaways, then I'm crying for my geared bike. However, if I actually lived in those hilly areas, I would learn how to adapt with an SS. There are lots of mountain goat SS'ers out west/east that love the challenge an SS brings to their hilly areas. You just have to shuffle your gear ratio's and get physically and psychologically conditioned for it.

    The transition wasn't hard for me, but thats mostly because like I said I happen to live in an area that's very suitable for SS-ing. Plus I noticed I was pulling away from my old geared bike buddy very shortly after starting riding exclusively SS (before we were always neck and neck). Really, as a kid all I ever had was an old heavy steel single speed bike with sissy bars and a coaster brake. So when I first started standing up to mash those hills, it awakened those ancient, forgotten memories of my youth and what it was like to ride my bike everyday after school. Heck, when I thought about it, I'm a born and bred SS vet!

    If you're going to do it, just grab a cheap old frame (or a nice one) and convert it or use a dedicated SS frame. Don't put a lot of money into it at first, because it's not for everybody. But if you're hardcore, love simplicity, efficiency and enjoy the purity of riding with one gear, then don't be surprised if you get smitten!


    Quote Originally Posted by psychojylo
    However, time and again, singlespeeders pass me! With fully rigid bikes and no gears, they (you guys) make me feel like an idiot when I am huffing and puffing up a climb. I know SS-ing makes one a better all-around biker. This makes me wanna give SS-ing a try.

    Was the transition hard for you? I am afraid to I will miss my gears and fall behind in group rides. But is this a necessary evil a newbie SSer must endure?

    I bought a Fetish Decipline frame and have all the parts to make it into a geared bike. Am considering getting a SS converter for the rear hub and a chain tensioner. What else do I need?

  7. #7
    paintbucket
    Reputation: wooglin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,825
    Its the beer....
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    25
    My theory is that singlespeeders are faster than the average mountian biker because SSing weeds out weaker riders, and because SSers are generally more experienced than average.
    Think about it. Most SSers are experienced mountain bikers looking for a new challenge or who are frustrated with their gears and are strong and confident enough to go without them.
    --- FeelsGood

  9. #9
    Out spokin'
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    9,661
    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    The SS riders are "fast" for three reasons:

    --Their bikes are lighter than yours.
    --They have gotten strong from reason #3
    --They actually have two speeds: medium and stopped.
    Years ago couple of my best friends took up singlespeeding. I knew they were idiots. Singlespeeding was strictly for natural-born bicycle-obsessed freaks with a few parts left over when God assembled their brains. I laughed inside to think of how poorly they'd do on our group rides -- especially when the going got steep.

    Within a year they were kicking my ass on their singlespeeds. When the going got steep (too steep to SS), they'd get off and run up, passing me as I twiddled my granny gear. Sure, I had the comfort of knowing I'd "cleaned" the hill, but that didn't get me to the top the fastest.

    These guys are still two of the best riders I know. Regulars on the SS Board know them as shiggy and General Coonskins.

    Three years ago I tried singlespeeding. I admit that at first I hated it, but once I got strong, I came to love it. I have a high-dollar FS bike that is almost as light as my SS, but I rarely ride it. Singlespeed is not just bicycling, it is a discipline. It is an attitude. It is a lifestyle. It is a belief. It is a religion.

    Simply believe you can -- and discover you truly can.

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

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

  10. #10
    Bikes not Bombs.....
    Reputation: SS Jerry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    508

    Not all of us SS'ers are fast.....

    I just enjoy the riding and maybe pass novice riders and elderly couples. But I do like the feeling it gives me to dust those 70 year olds........

    Crappy knees, but living with what I got.

    JS
    Thanks to all of you for your friendships on this board..... -

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    77
    Thanks for the info! I am geting pretty stoked about getting in SS. What are some common gear ratios for beginners?

  12. #12
    (was) Big in Japan
    Reputation: TheSingleGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,008

    depends

    what kind of hills you usually ride. Without more info though, I would say 32:18 or 32:20. I started on 32:17, and it was a bit too tough here, but 32:18 was juuusssst riggghhhhht!
    Ride.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSingleGuy
    what kind of hills you usually ride. Without more info though, I would say 32:18 or 32:20. I started on 32:17, and it was a bit too tough here, but 32:18 was juuusssst riggghhhhht!
    Usually gradual fireroad climbs with technical downs. I dont know if this means anything but I can go on for 4 miles on a hill that gains an avg ~350ft/mile. My normal fireroad climbing combo is 32x34. I use the granny sparingly; usually only on techical ascents. My bike weights a little over 35lbs.

  14. #14
    (was) Big in Japan
    Reputation: TheSingleGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,008

    ok then

    Well then, I would start with 32:20, seeing you normally use a reasonably low gear to climb. BMX sprockets are cheap, so it is pretty easy to have a whole bunch. Also read the FAQ about chain tension, gearing etc, there is a link to a gear calculator to see if you can run without a chain tensioner. I prefer to go without, it is quieter and less hassle. I can still run a wide range of gears, and my bike looks so much cleaner.

    Enjoy!

    cjm
    Ride.

  15. #15
    KgB
    KgB is offline
    SNGLSPD
    Reputation: KgB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,034

    I try to be faster on SS to propel the myth

    that SS's are faster.And I feel like I would be letting all of my SS brothers and sisters down if I ever let a geared bike pass me.
    Start with an easy gear and work up to a harder gear.
    I've been inside too long.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ernesto_from_Wisconsin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,004

    I'm fast...

    ...because I am Mexican.

  17. #17
    Less yappin, more Brappin
    Reputation: geoffss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    788

    Its either go fast, or walk

    you gotta learn to spin. spin to win. learn how to maintain a smooth cadence, use rollers to really reinforce that you cant ride a bike smoothly and in a straight line. then when ssing, keep the cadence up when approaching a hill. you willjust glide up it no problem as long as your cadence is up.
    if that fails, then just f-ing muscle it up the steep stuff, and ice your knees later.

    thats why we drink so much beer, to dull the pain.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: gonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    372

    Pushing Higher gear

    When you ride a single speed your pushing a higher gear. You just get stronger. If you push your gear bike in a higher gear you'll get stronger thus faster.







    Quote Originally Posted by psychojylo
    I am not racer but I hold my own on climbs and descents. I have a trailbike that weights in the neighborhood of 35lbs and am usually the one passing other riders (politely, of course).

    However, time and again, singlespeeders pass me! With fully rigid bikes and no gears, they (you guys) make me feel like an idiot when I am huffing and puffing up a climb. I know SS-ing makes one a better all-around biker. This makes me wanna give SS-ing a try.

    Was the transition hard for you? I am afraid to I will miss my gears and fall behind in group rides. But is this a necessary evil a newbie SSer must endure?

    I bought a Fetish Decipline frame and have all the parts to make it into a geared bike. Am considering getting a SS converter for the rear hub and a chain tensioner. What else do I need?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    338

    2 reasons why SSers are faster...

    1) we have to pedal what we got to keep up the momentum. No gear choice = do or die. Sometimes I do, sometimes I die trying. But its max effort all the time.

    2) we have fewer parts on our bikes so we "look" faster. Full suspension gravity hogs "look" really slow to me. A fixed road SS with no brakes "looks" very fast.

    What the gearies don't see:
    - our heart rate redlining
    - our knees exploding
    - the hallucinasions induced by hyperventalating

  20. #20
    semi-evolved simian
    Reputation: Mine'sAPint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    330
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffss
    thats why we drink so much beer, to dull the pain.
    Me too, only it hurts even though I go slow

    I think I ride SS with the hope that it will make me faster, but in reality I'm just too lazy to think about what gear I should be in

Similar Threads

  1. SSers from Oz
    By NoWay Ray in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-19-2004, 02:13 AM
  2. Schwalbe Fast Fred tires question
    By Daniel in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-13-2004, 09:28 PM
  3. Fast Freds vs Twister Pro, what are your thoughts
    By Scott479 in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-09-2004, 04:04 PM
  4. Paging Fast Freddy...Fast Freddy?
    By Shiftless in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-04-2004, 08:23 AM
  5. ATTN: TucSSon SS'ers STUPOR BOWL!!
    By veelz in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-27-2004, 07:57 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

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.