Will SSing improve my geared riding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    SSasquatch
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    Will SSing improve my geared riding?

    Probably been beaten to death before, but search seems to be hosed this morning, so here is my dilema: I had an unschedule SS conversion in November when my rear der. broke off in the middle of a night ride and a good distance from trailhead. While I was lamenting the loss of my X.0 rear der, I realized that I was having a good time with my accidental SS. Fast forward a few weeks and I replaced my rear der. and decided to build up a SS out of an old Cannondale frame I had lying around. Installed a Gusset and Singleator and was on my way. I haven't ridden the geared bike since I converted mid December; not because I don't want to ride geared anymore (I do), but because I was switching to disc brakes and building a new wheelset on the sly (wife just doesn't understand).
    I do love the challange of SSing but I have been riding snowmachine trails that wouldn't be considered technical during the summer (especially on my geared bike). So when spring finally rolls around I want to get back on my geared bike, but I am becoming concerned that whatever I gain in leg strength will be negated by my loss of shifting skills (anticipating shifts, correct gear, etc...).

    Any thoughts on whether or not SSing will hurt my geared bike skills?

  2. #2
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench
    Will SSing improve my geared riding?
    In my experience, no. For me, the exact opposite happened. Forgot how to shift properly, kept downshifting when I needed to upshift and vice versa.

  3. #3
    Misfit Psycles
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    it did improve my geared riding for a short time.
    the improvements stopped when i stopped riding it...
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  4. #4
    SSasquatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    In my experience, no. For me, the exact opposite happened. Forgot how to shift properly, kept downshifting when I needed to upshift and vice versa.
    Thats my concern, my bro-inlaw had the same thing happen to him...

  5. #5
    Wandering not Lost
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    it's not that big a deal...I agree I tend to push a geared bike harder...instead of using my gears...but I get used to it and just enjoy the ride...

  6. #6
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    so how long does re-learning to shift take? a minute???? you'll walk your first couple climbs cause you f-up the shifts maybe?

    i think your improving your motor riding singlespeed and that is the most important part of the ride!

  7. #7
    No Justice = No Peace
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    It helps me a lot

    When I ride my SS I tend to ride smoother, think about my pedalling, choose better lines, and maintain more moomentum in turns and short hills. This is especially true when I use the fixed gear side on my Flip Flop hub, and I think overall, these habits have made me a better, smoother, faster rider overall. I know I ride faster than my girlfriend, who used to be able to keep up, at least in the technical climbing areas.

    I am another guy who has left the FS geared bike on the wall a lot more than I had expected to, but when I get back on it, I think I ride better and smoother than I did before. That said, I also admit that when I am not paying close attention, or when I am really tired, or somehow off my usual thoroughbred pace, I tend to take advantage of the low gearing and soft saddle on the Turner. I can't claim it makes me faster, but it gets me home, no matter how tired/sick/beat/downtrodden/defeated I am feeling.

    As far as forgetting how to shift....? Maybe you should switch to gripshift.
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  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Riding a SS should help you learn to maintain momentum better. How to use the brakes more effectively. That low gears may actually be less effective in some situations.

    These help improve your riding on any bike.

    If you ride nothing but the SS you may "forget" how to shift. Just ride you gearie part of the time to keep in practice.
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  9. #9
    SSasquatch
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    Good points... After 1 month or so riding 2-3x week on the SS I definately notice the change in flow, I really feel more connected to the trail, but the thing that keeps me from foresaking geared bikes altogether is my inability to make it up every hill on a SS... It just drives me crazy. Granted, riding in the snow makes some hills impossible with or without gears, but even though my legs are much stronger now, I know there are some places that I won't be able to clean even in perfectly dry conditions.

  10. #10
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench
    ... I know there are some places that I won't be able to clean even in perfectly dry conditions.
    If you "know" you can't, you won't.

    I have ridden many "unrideable" climbs on my SS.
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  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench
    Good points... After 1 month or so riding 2-3x week on the SS I definately notice the change in flow, I really feel more connected to the trail, but the thing that keeps me from foresaking geared bikes altogether is my inability to make it up every hill on a SS... It just drives me crazy. Granted, riding in the snow makes some hills impossible with or without gears, but even though my legs are much stronger now, I know there are some places that I won't be able to clean even in perfectly dry conditions.
    Only 1 month and you're much stronger, how much stronger will you be in 2 months?
    Any hill that I've ever done geared I've been able to do SS and these are tough hills.

  12. #12
    Reviewer/Tester
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    [

    Any thoughts on whether or not SSing will hurt my geared bike skills?[/QUOTE]


    Nope. Quite the opposite, imo.

    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  13. #13
    I dig trails!
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench
    Any thoughts on whether or not SSing will hurt my geared bike skills?
    It made me really love standing and mashing on the FS geary, for better or worse. Seems to fit my body better than 143 rpm spinning.

    The challenge is that a FS is generally not really a stand and mash machine. I was lucky enough to already have a VPP frame and platform fork so it takes it in stride.

    SSing has opened my eyes to possibilities, and that is enough to improve ALL my riding, including road.

    Mr. P

  14. #14
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    Shifting

    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    In my experience, no. For me, the exact opposite happened. Forgot how to shift properly, kept downshifting when I needed to upshift and vice versa.
    And I thought it was just me

  15. #15
    Nat
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    You know, when I tried a geared bike again after many months of solely singlespeeding, I found I was beat tired! I think that I trained myself standing in the higher SS gear, but neglected seated spinning. When i got on the geared bike and tried spinning a low gear, I felt winded and weak so easily. My seated-spinning muscles were weak. If I got tired spinning, I'd stand up and mash just in order to get a rest! Counter-intuitive, no?

  16. #16
    Not because I'm fast.....
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    Not me

    Riding SS didn't help me ride geared bikes better at all. I suck on a geared bike. I like to push a bigger gear, and when I get on a geared bike I frequently spin myself into exhaustion in the smaller rings. Quite pathetic really.

  17. #17
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2farfwd
    Riding SS didn't help me ride geared bikes better at all. I suck on a geared bike. I like to push a bigger gear, and when I get on a geared bike I frequently spin myself into exhaustion in the smaller rings. Quite pathetic really.
    Shift, man, shift!
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  18. #18
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    I think it helps my geared riding but I have no measuring stick
    I ride a geared bike on charity rides with some geared friends of mine, it takes a minute to remember to use them gears. After that I'm fine, spin spin spin same as my SS. But I'm a spinner, mashers may find gears less intuitive. I've got my gearing at 48/16 or 48/18 depending on which wheel i use, spinning that on city streets everyday is probably good for any kind of cycling though

  19. #19
    Duckin' Fonuts.
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    Not in my world...

    I don't think it really hurts anything but riding gears just isn't what I like anymore. My body has definately adapted. I spin, mash, and stand more efficiently, and feel my legs have a better power band but it works best on one gear. I like killing myself up hill, spinning flats and spinning and coasting to recover only to kill it on the next climb. It breaks things up. With gears you pedal at a relatively similar rpm and effort and constantly flick through the gears, my body and mind now finds that maintaining that constant more taxing than it used to be. It does force a change in style that focuses on conservation of speed and momentum in order to keep you pedaling that damn gear. I used to be a competative runner which is sort of a one speed experience, maybe that is part of the attraction. One bike, one gear for me. Simplicity is nice too.

  20. #20
    high plains drifter
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    I'll let you know

    if and when I ever get back on the geary

  21. #21
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    If you "know" you can't, you won't.

    I have ridden many "unrideable" climbs on my SS.
    There are several climbs I can't do on my SS that I used to do on my gearie. Por ejemplo, places where the approach won't allow me to carry my mo' on the SS, or where the hills are too long (I'd get tired w/ the SS), or it's too technical/rocky and I can crawl along in a really low gear...

    Long technical climbs are the only thing I miss doing with my gearie.
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  22. #22
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    The long term test will be this upcoming season, but I generally found throughout the fall of '05 that SS riding helped me ride my geared bike. I was switching from SS hardtail to full susp. (RM Pipeline), so I'm sure that hardtail riding pushed me to find better lines balanced with keeping my momentum high (versus plowing over everything with the RM Pipeline in an easier gear). I found myself consistently riding 2 gears up from normal.

    In turn, I also found that riding my SS also helped my DH racing. It helped with my momentum on the classic east coast rock/root combinations and helped my sprinting (I always forget to shift anyway when I race, usually because my forearms are about to explode!).

    I just finished building up a Steelhead that tips the scales at a "lean" 33 lbs and plan on doing most of my XC riding on it to keep testing the above theory that it will generally help my "geared" riding/racing.

  23. #23
    Over the Hill
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    I am spoiled riding a 23 lb rigid Niner. When I ride my 5-Spot and get up out of the saddle it feels like an unresponsive pig. My New Years resolution was to force my self to ride the Turner more often.

    Since SSing, I am stronger grinding out a climb on a geared bike, but to spin up a hill…I suck worse than before SSing.

  24. #24
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    If I can learn to spin smooth circles at uber high cadence on my new single speed project bike (I still kinda bounce up and down at certain higher RPMs), I suspect that will translate over to my FS/geared bike. I also believe that the extra power and explosiveness gained from SSing will serve me well on the geared bike as well. Good line choice and maintaining momentum are other skills that will be enhanced and transferrable as others have noted.

    Shifting is too engrained to be forgotten.

  25. #25
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    They still make bikes with all them gears?

    Honestly, didn't think it improved my gear riding, just made me realize how simple riding can be.

  26. #26
    Got A Lust for Life...
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    I think there will be more of an advantage for riders that started on a rigid, moved to fs geared, to SS, then back to FS geared. I haven't started riding my heckler yet but I cannot wait(being overhauled). You guys have me scared shytless that I won't like it. I am one that went from rigid to FS so picking lines is something I never got out of my system. I think the strength I pick up from SSing will help on the heckler later for obvious reasons. There are soooo many sections of trail that have me longing for my heckler. Maybe I am a weirdo. As far as climbs...I have cleared the last climb that I was really worried about on the SS the other day. Shiggy is right about the mind...ya gotta be like the little engine that could...not the one that knows he/she cannot!

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