"You can't ride a singlespeed bike offroad"- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    (Ali)
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    "You can't ride a singlespeed bike offroad"

    NO, NO, I didn't say that!

    I was at this bike shop in Mountain View, CA. When I pointed at the SS 29'er (I think it was a Raleigh), the guy said "you can't ride it offroad; it's more like for riding around town, more like a trick bike..."

    Why did I break my promise of not going there ever again? Again?

    Ali

  2. #2
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    eek! whoever told you that doesn't know ow to ride. a trick bike? I can do tricks...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by begeta50
    I don't think a single speed were made for the mountain trails. I think a single speed is more for urban riding.
    he's not alone.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  4. #4
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    Ha! I used to work at a bike shop and had a "customer" (term used lightly since he didn't actually buy anything I know of) that wanted to argue with me that mtb ss isn't really possible when I showed him a couple options after saying he wanted a reliable bike for mtb that would be low-maintenance; talked about a 1x9 option(s). He was very passionate about his stance that I'm crazy (he may be correct about that, but on other points) and that anyone that rides SS is insane. He went so far as to say he thought I was talking down to him and wasting his time with such foolish bikes (Peace9r $ 1X1). "Cool, there's a bike shop down the street. They have some sweet 7" travel freeride rigs that will look great hanging from the ceiling in your garage..."

    You 2:1 guys are nuts though...

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  5. #5
    (Ali)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaKlyde
    You 2:1 guys are nuts though
    Phew! 32:17 here...

    Ali

  6. #6
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    The hell they say. Some of us ride fixed off-road... not really a big deal.

  7. #7
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    I was once sneered at a trail while taking a rest by a geary. I was leaning against a tree, geary coming up a hill and stopped. I muttered to him "nice day for a ride huh?"

    d-bag said: not if you're riding a single speed!

    I almost choked on my water. I had passed him earlier. Maybe he misunderstood me or something, but I meant no ill will. Weird.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisket
    Phew! 32:17 here...

    Ali
    Newly 34:18! Its tough.

  9. #9
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    I find this attitude baffling. I find it's just the opposite...have a hard time riding a gearie, off road. Can be done, but it's too damn distracting, always wondering whether I need to shift or not. I have to have a SS, for offroading....way simpler.

  10. #10
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    34x20,19,18 and some times 21 if there is sustained climbs. On a 29er that is.

    SS is insane, that is exactly why we do it!

    The other day there was a steep climb that I clear no prob. But this time there was a guy with a ventana fully squish bike on semi granny 32x34 I think, so I was behind him and I stalled. I dismounted and ran the my bike up as I was passing him.... then, never saw him again...

    One SS racer once told me "I can walk faster than granny..."
    Sit and spin my ass...

  11. #11
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    I've never had someone tell me that singlespeeds are no good in the mountains in real life. Actually, quite the opposite. When I'm on the mountain people are usually pretty encouraging. Everyone loves an underdog...

    I understand why some people would be hostile though. If you can do what they can do but with less gears it makes them feel like less of a man. At least thats what I assume is going on in the minds of the haters.

    edit: Im surprised that someone in mountain view told you that. I split my time between san jose and santa cruz. From my observation we have more singlespeeders per capita compared to most other places. When Im at ucsc it seems like all we have is singlespeeders and dh guys.
    Last edited by wes m.; 12-29-2008 at 11:32 AM.

  12. #12
    Making fat cool since '71
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    Yep Wes, on trail everyone has been super stoked (or whatever) when I'm on my SS (versus when on my squisherized geary) and given props for being a fat boy with one gear so this cat at the shop caught me way off guard, but whatever. Maybe it was my good looks and charming personality.

    Keep the rubber side down.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  13. #13
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    Anyone who gets butt hurt and talks down to you for riding a single is amusing really...these people have been brainwashed with convention their entire lives and look at the world with the skewed idea that everything has a specific way of being done and thats the end of it. I look at those people and laugh at their "give me convenience, or give me death" way of thinking. Riding SS is fun, plain and simple, If you want 75 gears...more power to you, for me its more fun to stand up and MASH on the SOB. Just MY skewed perception of life... Ant
    Broken ankles = bullshit!

  14. #14
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    yea it depends what gear ratio you have that guy probably had a really high one so he couldn't pedal off-road which sadly happened to me
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  15. #15
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    36-17 29er and love it

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisket
    ...the guy said "you can't ride it offroad...
    ROFLMAO!
    ===============

    Mark

  17. #17
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    This has been my experience as well. People either think you're a crazy strong MTBer (not in my case, LOL!) or they think you're crazy but in a good way. I have yet to meet someone who hates the SS.

    Quote Originally Posted by wes m.
    I've never had someone tell me that singlespeeds are no good in the mountains in real life. Actually, quite the opposite. When I'm on the mountain people are usually pretty encouraging. Everyone loves an underdog...

    I understand why some people would be hostile though. If you can do what they can do but with less gears it makes them feel like less of a man. At least thats what I assume is going on in the minds of the haters.

    edit: Im surprised that someone in mountain view told you that. I split my time between san jose and santa cruz. From my observation we have more singlespeeders per capita compared to most other places. When Im at ucsc it seems like all we have is singlespeeders and dh guys.

  18. #18
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    What do you expect from The Off-Ramp? That's one of the least knowledgeable shops I have ever visited.

    One time I rolled up on my road bike and asked to use their pump. I had to explain several times that I needed to use a floor pump to get 110psi, not a compressor.

  19. #19
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    You know, I kept reaching for a shifter last year at the 24hrs of Moab but there was nothing there. HHmmm. I guess I really wasn't there. Good to know. Thanks customer.

  20. #20
    (Ali)
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    What do you expect from The Off-Ramp? That's one of the least knowledgeable shops I have ever visited.
    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

    I went to their Santa Clara Store today. The same guy was there so I walked right out!

    Ali

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    I had to explain several times that I needed to use a floor pump to get 110psi, not a compressor.
    I don't get it. Why are you not able to reach 110 psi by compressor?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    I was once sneered at a trail while taking a rest by a geary. I was leaning against a tree, geary coming up a hill and stopped. I muttered to him "nice day for a ride huh?"

    d-bag said: not if you're riding a single speed!

    I almost choked on my water. I had passed him earlier. Maybe he misunderstood me or something, but I meant no ill will. Weird.

    Wow. I usually get stares of amazement and "wows"...almost as if they wish they were strong enough to run SS...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fogerson
    Wow. I usually get stares of amazement and "wows"...almost as if they wish they were strong enough to run SS...
    Yes, the guy took off, only to be passed by me on an uphill. I did say a polite "on your left," and he was just emanating with apathy.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    Yes, the guy took off, only to be passed by me on an uphill. I did say a polite "on your left," and he was just emanating with apathy.
    'Never have understood why some folks feel the need to be jerks on the trail, or road, for that matter. Oh well, people making negative remarks about the SS is better than being broken on the trail (or road) and having people whiz by and not asking if you have everything you need to get rolling....or even acknowledge your presence. I just don't get it...

  25. #25
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    A good rider can ride damn-near anything damn-near anywhere, it's just some bikes work better than others in particular places. Being from the PacNW I always found 1-gear riding of any kind pretty fun. The climbs are generally long and not too steep and quite up or down with not much flat. Gearing for that is not too difficult. After moving to the east and finding that most of the climbs are quite short, but quite steep with long ridgelines at the top. I found my outlook changed a bit. Getting the gearing right around here so that you don't have to walk up everything makes riding the ridgeline at the top slow and dull. It's not that it can't be done, but now I'm starting to see the virtues of a dingle-speed or some other kind of minimalist multi-speed option.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisket
    NO, NO, I didn't say that!

    like a trick bike..."


    Ali
    Tricks are for kids
    29er 34x16

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by croscoe
    The hell they say. Some of us ride fixed off-road... not really a big deal.
    I just got back from a fixed mtb ride.
    I don't work in a shop, so I don't have to explain the merits, or short-comings of various kinds of bikes, I just ride and have fun.

  28. #28
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    Nothing but good comments on the trails here. The SS movement is big and growing.

    34:14 Chromo HT build from Trek 970

    Love it.

  29. #29
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    Last year, after my wife broke her collar bone (on her ss) we were hiking a local trail and passed two dudes granny gearing. The funny part was how hard it looked to ride that slow.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright
    I don't get it. Why are you not able to reach 110 psi by compressor?
    In our shop the compressor only reaches about 100 psi. If your compressor can pass that, it might be a good idea to use a pump because you run a better chance of blowing apart your tube with machine help.
    We all get it in the end.

  31. #31
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    I used to think the SS guys were tough, insane die hards.

    Guess what, now I'm one of them. They will one day come to the greener grass. I still have geared bikes, but prefer my SS 70-80% of the time.

    I bet he thinks you can't ride rigid offroad either .
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  32. #32
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    I think there are just a lot of people that haven't tried it. I went into a bike shop in Greenville, SC and asked a guy if the shop was involved at all with singlespeeds. I guess he assumed I hadn't done it yet so he asked where I was going to be trying it at. I told him I wanted to try Paris Mountain State Park which is just outside of Greenville and he proceeded to tell me that the trails I'd been singlespeeding on for about 3 or 4 months were just too steep and rocky for a rigid singlespeed. He said even if you could make it down you'd never be able to climb anything out there on one without a rediculously low gear. I rode it Sunday on a 34/18 (I think that's a decent gear).

    I don't think it's really that he thinks it's impossible. I think that the only bikes he'd ever ridden were the specialized epics and the giant trances that came through his shop. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. He knows his products but his shop didn't cater to singlespeed riding. I think it's more ignorance about what it's really like than anyone actually thinking that all singlespeeders are crazy/stupid.

  33. #33
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    This is a general criticism of mountain biking knowledge at the LBS. Many shops still think people are rolling around on 14cm stems, SID forks, and rim brakes with Salsa carbon arches.

    BTW, I had another one from the Off-Ramp. Diamondback sponsored a demo week of their new bike, the Mission, so I called the Off-Ramp, who is a Top 100 bicycle dealer to see what they had available.

    Not only did they not have any demos, they had not even heard of Diamondback's top bicycle!

  34. #34
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    I dont really think about it anymore.I have been riding singlespeed for about 10 or so years and when someone else makes a comment now usually i just shrug and change the subject.Its like having a conversation about the weather.??

  35. #35
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    how did I try it? I stopped shifting, then one day, I ordered a Matt Chester...

  36. #36
    The Unbeliever
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    how did I try it? I stopped shifting, then one day, I ordered a Matt Chester...
    Bit of a subject change, but I wonder if Matt Chester will ever build a frame with rear disc bosses.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Fool Seven
    Bit of a subject change, but I wonder if Matt Chester will ever build a frame with rear disc bosses.
    I doubt it.
    Let's get back on track.

    On long organized centuries like the Trek 100, I've been complimented on riding my LandShark. Not the one with all the funky colors, the steel one. On hills, I kick ass, on flats, I still do, and on downhills, I just let my weight carry the bike down while others on carbon frames put their brakes on.

    At the Tyrannea ride in October, a guy complimented my bike, and to have fun with it, he asked me what it was since my steel Shark doesn't have stickers. I told him it was an "Astroglide" made in the West Coast. He said: cool! those are cool bikes.
    I felt like a jerk, but I couldn't help myself. It was friendly banter.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    This is a general criticism of mountain biking knowledge at the LBS. Many shops still think people are rolling around on 14cm stems, SID forks, and rim brakes with Salsa carbon arches.
    I think you're at least partially right. Stuff is changing so much every season right now that it's kinda hard to keep up. The LBS down the street has some MTBs, but they're stock Treks and Specializeds and you're not going to get any shock tuning, etc. The next closest shop is 50 miles away. Lots of shops just have no interest in "keeping up with the Jones'."

    The concept that you have to keep $300 in random brake pads in stock just to say you service everything is pretty sad. Folks used to complain about all the variations of road bars was too confusing. If you want to be a well stocked shop you need at least 7-8 variations of straight bars, add Mary's and Midge's and carbon-fiber and steel versions of the above and it's getting ridiculous.

    As an extension keeping up with the 26" geared MTB world is tough enough. If you find a shop that caters to your little niche patronize it and help them keep growing, or they'll go back to what's easy and most people are easy.

    PS: I think Matt Chester has built at least 2 frames with disc mounts, but they were for very special customers. I haven't talked to him in years, so he may have built a few more. I can say he wasn't too happy to do the ones he did.

  39. #39
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    Singlespeeds are everywhere in Wisconsin.....they're like rats or deer or cute little bunnies......plentifull and multiplying like frisky wabbits. They sell them at the supermarket, right next to the beer isle. Some singlespeeds come with coupons for summer sausage and squeeky cheese curds.

    I'm riding my Chester today with studs and no discs.

  40. #40
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    I had a guy compliment me saying, "man you were flying back there, you would go a lot faster with a suspension fork you know." I said really thanks, I'll give that a shot once I get enough money to put some extra gears and shifters on this thing. They were shocked, and amazed I offered them a chance to ride my bike but no takers, oh well.

    Whatever dudes. Now get back to reading your latest copy of Full Suspension Mountain Bike Action.

  41. #41
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    An employee at my lbs is an avid singlespeeder, and nearly everyone there actually races/rides frequently. If it weren't for the lbs I would not have even known what singlespeed was. If you're in Central Wisconsin and need to get parts or tools, stop at Hostel Shoppe.

    EDIT: I forgot I used the search function and accidentally brought back a dead thread.
    __ o
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    Yes, the guy took off, only to be passed by me on an uphill. I did say a polite "on your left," and he was just emanating with apathy.
    And that's why I still love my old Monocog so much! Especially when most of the ones I ride with/catch/pass are 10 years younger than me...I like to demoralize em when they reach the top and they see me puffing away on a smoke,waitin for em
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
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  43. #43
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    32x16 26r here...... overheard a hillside conversation between two spectators during my race yesterday "why do some have more gears and he only has one?" "That's because he likes pain Honey" I had to laugh because at that moment in time, I was indeed in pain, off the back and hating life, but still loving my bike.

    The vibe around the tri-state area here in the North East is pretty SS friendly.
    The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.

  44. #44
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    i HATE haters!!

  45. #45
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    People eventually catch on. When I got my first SS in 1997 all of my riding buddies laughed at me until I beat all of them at more than a few of our Texas State XC Races in the geared Sport class and in 2006 one of them was the Texas State Singlespeed Champion. I only race in the geared class (expert now) never SS because you start dead last so every person you pass is like a little victory. I Love saying "on your left", going by and ringing my bell!! FUN!
    My Bikes Kick Ass!!!

  46. #46
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    Maybe this is what he meant by city riding:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z19zFlPah-o

  47. #47
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    With the invention of the inter-webs I have stopped listening to most (I have one that I will swear by) LBS opinions and generally just walk in, point at the item I want to buy, pay, walk out... If you are really skilled you don't even need to speak.

  48. #48
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    It really is a shame that the LBS has gotten a bad rap. We try (and MOST shops who strive to be good advocates for cycling) and keep an open mind to everything. If a customer asks what I think about something, I will give them my honest opinion. But I have been doing the shop thing for a long time and spend a great deal of my time making sure I know as much about the industry as possible. Those who, like the guy at The Off Ramp, throw out wild stuff like that are usually, in my experience, the ones who are newer to the bike shop world and feel that they've got something to prove, or are some kind of prophet to the cycling industry . There is a certain amount of humility required in this career, or any in retail for that matter. And it takes time to learn that.

    We here in the Bay Area are lucky enough to have some truly great shops, staffed with super knowledgeable people! But there are always going to be a few bad eggs. Just don't let one bad experience turn you off of the LBS. I can guarantee the guy who owns PricePoint.com ate a better dinner tonight than myself or any of my co-workers did...then again he probably didn't get to spend the day climbing all over Joaquin Miller Park either : )


    And I guess I'd be an idiot if I got into the bike biz thinking I could afford nice dinners...

  49. #49
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    I feel really grateful to have a cool LBS where I live. We don't have as large of a market as some really large cities ( I live in Waco, TX) so they don't stock as much inventory but the staff is super knowledgeable. You walk in and feel like you're amongst friends. They've never been anything but helpful and more than willing to talk to you about anything bike related as long as they aren't really busy. They never look down at you for what you ride or the gear choices that you make. Being small their prices are higher than larger stores and online vendors but if it's only a matter of a few dollars then I give them my business which has been a lot lately.

    My brother in law rides a Raleigh ss 29er offroad to great effect.
    build a man a fire keep him warm for a day, set a man on fire keep him warm for the rest of his life.

  50. #50
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by croscoe
    Some of us ride fixed off-road
    impossible. can't be done.
    Last edited by monogod; 04-25-2009 at 04:13 PM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  51. #51
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by queevil
    I feel really grateful to have a cool LBS where I live. We don't have as large of a market as some really large cities ( I live in Waco, TX) so they don't stock as much inventory but the staff is super knowledgeable. You walk in and feel like you're amongst friends. They've never been anything but helpful and more than willing to talk to you about anything bike related as long as they aren't really busy. They never look down at you for what you ride or the gear choices that you make.
    thanks bro!
    Last edited by monogod; 04-25-2009 at 04:12 PM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    impossible. can't be done.
    The hell you say.

  53. #53
    meh... whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by croscoe
    Some of us ride fixed off-road
    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    impossible. can't be done.
    Quote Originally Posted by croscoe
    The hell you say.
    true story.
    Last edited by monogod; 04-26-2009 at 09:05 PM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  54. #54
    (Ali)
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbondus
    We here in the Bay Area are lucky enough to have some truly great shops
    Absolutely!

    Ali

  55. #55
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    I came across kind of the opposite the other day on the trail. I was riding my 29er geary with a bunch of mates on similar bikes. We all also have ss bikes and ride them regularly on the trails but this day we were preparing for a race so were all out on geared bikes.

    Anyhow my group hooked up with a guy on a ss. He was pretty quick but nothing amazing but he took every opportunity he could to point out that he was on a ss and he was keeping up with us (not really that hard). He seemed kind of peeved that we were not telling him what a hard man he was.

    I guess the upshot is ride what you like riding but it pisses me off when people ride ss so others will think you are harder for doing it. True for some of the hipster/fixie crowd too I think.

  56. #56
    mtbr member
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    Everyone I've met that rides SS religiously has been way cool. The only people I know who make it into a big deal are pretty new. It actually kind of gets under my skin when I get comments like "wow that thing only has one gear?!" and such...it's like it sort of takes away from why we all got into the SS thing. And then I forget about it and pedal away.


    -chris

  57. #57
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisket
    When I pointed at the SS 29'er (I think it was a Raleigh), the guy said "you can't ride it offroad; it's more like for riding around town, more like a trick bike..."
    Relax, he was referring to it being a 29er, not a SS. He is right, you can't ride those off road.

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