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View Poll Results: I do my mountain biking:

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  • Exclusively on singlespeeds.

    16 21.05%
  • Both on singlespeeds and geared bikes.

    21 27.63%
  • Exclusively on geared bikes.

    39 51.32%
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    SS mountainbikers, let's be counted!

    I have seen this thread, but I don't think the poll there works quite well, and besides, I'm not asking about "backup" bikes.

    I am really curious how many people out there MTBs with singlespeeds. Thanks in advance for participating in this poll.
    Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 08-22-07 at 06:02 AM.

  2. #2
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    I had to choose the geared bike option as I do not have a SS. But I sure would love to hear from some folks about their experiences with it as well as some equipment and gearing choices. I've always thought SS mtn. bikes were really sexy bikes, but I've just never built one for fear that I would ride it once or twice and then it would just sit in my garage. I've seen a SS Motobecane on fleabay, rigid front and rear, for less than 300. Anyone ever ride one of those? I live in Fruita, Colorado...so we have mostly dry rock and sand out here. Lot's of singletrack and rather rolling terrain.

  3. #3
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtires View Post
    I had to choose the geared bike option as I do not have a SS. But I sure would love to hear from some folks about their experiences with it as well as some equipment and gearing choices. I've always thought SS mtn. bikes were really sexy bikes, but I've just never built one for fear that I would ride it once or twice and then it would just sit in my garage. I've seen a SS Motobecane on fleabay, rigid front and rear, for less than 300. Anyone ever ride one of those? I live in Fruita, Colorado...so we have mostly dry rock and sand out here. Lot's of singletrack and rather rolling terrain.
    Is that a Motobecane Outcast? I have plenty of SS bikes (all self-built) but not an Outcast. As far as I know, they come with a 42T chainring, which is really tough for the intended purpose of the bike - everybody who got it, changed the 42T to something more reasonable. Also, it doesn't have diskbrake mounts - I'm not quite sold on diskbrakes myself, but in wet conditions, you need them.

  4. #4
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    there are quite a few serious SS MTBers in WV - check out the point series standings for the single speed folks on www.wvmba.com - these folks race expert & many are faster than those racing the sames courses with gears..........
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  5. #5
    Should be riding Bike Lover's Avatar
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    I do plan on getting one for next year and for training. I may be getting the "Solo-one" by KHS (no surprise there right?) which has a rear D hanger, disk tabs, flip-flop hub and is a 29er. Of course, the flip flop hub means that if I want disk brakes, I at least need a rear wheel for it. Oh well, there are always trade offs.

    The bike is also a fully rigid bike. I don't know how much I'll like that so a Reba may be on the order list as well. Don't know yet though. I figure I'll at least try it rigid and go from there.

    I'm hoping next year, it'll have a slightly better spec on some of the components but really for $550 MSRP, you can upgrade here and there and still have a hella fun bike.
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  6. #6
    It's not easy being green FatBomber's Avatar
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    I currently have both a full-suspension geared (Giant NRS C1) and hardtail SS (On-One Inbred 29") MTB.

    I switch between the SS and the geared as I see fit, mostly based on how I am feeling that day. Currently I am spending more time on the SS, but I did take the Giant to NC for a week of riding and didn't regret it.

    The SS is a blast to ride, but there are a few drawbacks:
    1) Climbing can be tough without a bailout gear
    2) Limited top speed
    3) Leave home with the wrong cog on the rear and you are stuck with it all day

    But there are some positives:
    1) Awesome strength workout
    2) Nothing much to break/adjust
    3) You will pass geared bikes on long climbs when they are in the granny
    4) You look cool on a SS

    SS Setup - This bike started as a cheap commuter ($450), but I cannot help myself and added about $1,000 in parts to make this bike a fun-tastic singletrack monster.
    21" Inbred Frame
    Reba Race 100mm fork - recently installed to replace rigid folk (LOVE IT)
    Easton EC90 Monkeylite DH handlebar / Ergon grips / Thomson stem
    Avid BB7s F/R / Avid SD-Ti levers / Flak Jacket cables
    CC Thudbuster seatpost / WTB Rocket Race saddle
    32T front ring / 20T White Brothers Freewheel
    Crank Brothers Mallet M Pedals
    Never trust a limping dog or the tears of a woman.

  7. #7
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatBomber View Post
    4) You look cool on a SS
    I'm afraid it would take more than that in my case!

  8. #8
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    Man I don't see how they make some of the hills in anything but a granny geared bike. I'll definitly have to go to some races and see these guys. Its been a long time for me though and I am way out of shape so I am dropping gears on anything above flat.

  9. #9
    Bike rider Elisdad's Avatar
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    I ride a SS mtn bike and a geared CX bike. The SS is way more fun and I get a better workout when I use it, which is a LOT.

  10. #10
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Gears for me from now on.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  11. #11
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Actual advantages of SS mountain bikes, compared to gered:


    1. 2.5 to 7% higher transmission efficiency, compared to even the most efficient derailleur systems.
    2. No chain slap.
    3. Lighter than a geared bike (no deraileurs, no shifters, no cassette, no additional chainrings, shorter chain.
    4. No junk to remove from the derailleurs at the end of the day (or, sometimes, during).



    I also like the fact that I don't have to think about shifting. You don't even realize how much brain-real-estate that takes, until you get back to a geared bike. So, at least for me, singlespeed bikes have been even more relaxing than geared.
    Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 08-23-07 at 05:45 AM.

  12. #12
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    My Surly 1x1 is pretty consistently the funnest bike I've owned, however I do love my bighit as well for dorking around on. I'm also hoping to do some light bikepacking on my SS xtracycle.

  13. #13
    It's not easy being green FatBomber's Avatar
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    "Funnest"?

    I believe that the appropriate term is "most funnest".
    Never trust a limping dog or the tears of a woman.

  14. #14
    Should be riding Bike Lover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatBomber View Post
    I currently have both a full-suspension geared (Giant NRS C1) and hardtail SS (On-One Inbred 29") MTB.

    I switch between the SS and the geared as I see fit, mostly based on how I am feeling that day. Currently I am spending more time on the SS, but I did take the Giant to NC for a week of riding and didn't regret it.

    The SS is a blast to ride, but there are a few drawbacks:
    1) Climbing can be tough without a bailout gear
    2) Limited top speed
    3) Leave home with the wrong cog on the rear and you are stuck with it all day

    But there are some positives:
    1) Awesome strength workout
    2) Nothing much to break/adjust
    3) You will pass geared bikes on long climbs when they are in the granny
    4) You look cool on a SS

    SS Setup - This bike started as a cheap commuter ($450), but I cannot help myself and added about $1,000 in parts to make this bike a fun-tastic singletrack monster.
    21" Inbred Frame
    Reba Race 100mm fork - recently installed to replace rigid folk (LOVE IT)
    Easton EC90 Monkeylite DH handlebar / Ergon grips / Thomson stem
    Avid BB7s F/R / Avid SD-Ti levers / Flak Jacket cables
    CC Thudbuster seatpost / WTB Rocket Race saddle
    32T front ring / 20T White Brothers Freewheel
    Crank Brothers Mallet M Pedals
    Hmmm, sounds like you're a big full suspension fan.

    I just put Flak Jackets on my FS and love them. Some of the best shifting I've experienced. Although, I do hear that Nokons are even better. Oh wait, this is about single speed. Ignore that.

    How do you like your Ergons. I've been hearing mixed results from those who have used them. I guess there're a try them to see if you like them sorta thing.

    Edit: When getting a single speed, do they normally have more than one cog available or do you have to by a cog set seperately? I imagine there are multiple manufacuters are some reportedly better than others?
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  15. #15
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Lover View Post
    Edit: When getting a single speed, do they normally have more than one cog available or do you have to by a cog set seperately? I imagine there are multiple manufacuters are some reportedly better than others?

    if you are getting a stock singlespeed bike, it will come with either a freewheel or a cog for a singlespeed cassette hub (depending on the hub). one size is all you get.

    Singlespeed freewheels are all about the same except for White Industries. White Ind. are pretty indestructable (especially the trials version) . Other brands (Shimano, ACS, Dicta) are pretty much disposable, and a whole lot cheaper.

    Cogs - Any cog will work. you can get a whole set to try out pretty cheap. After you figure out what you want you can go for the bling - chris king cogs. surly also makes a bulletproof cassette cog now. the better cogs are made out of steel (because of the realness)
    Last edited by C Law; 08-23-07 at 12:21 PM.

  16. #16
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    Curt Kurt hit it right on the nose although it is notable that Dicta and a few others I think lack the splines to easily swap freewheels, so may be good to avoid if you are experimenting with different ratios.
    Also to some extent different freewheels/cogs will wear differently, giving them a shorter or longer effective life. At least that's what I keep hearing on the ss/fg forum

  17. #17
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    I do 90% of my riding on a fixed gear track bike (mostly commuting) and the rest of the time I am out in the woods on a Redline monocog ss mtb. I love the simplicity. I've never had a breakdown that I couldn't fix on the road or trail and very few of them. I love the lighter weight, the lower cost, and not having to deal with derailleurs. The handling and acceleration of the pista in traffic is worth the effort of descending steep hills without a freewheel. Up to about 8-9% climbing is actually easier.

    One of the nicest things about riding a single speed is that most people think it's harder and give you points for being a mad dog. Most of the time I find it easier. The exceptions are during group rides on the road and gnarly, rocky, rooty climbs in the woods.

  18. #18
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    I gave it a shot with a Kona Unit that I found cheap on ebay. It started stock with the rigid fork. Didn't like the vibration so added a fork. Still didn't like it so added disk brakes. Still didn't like it and sold it. My main issue with it was that I found the slow speed on flat terrain frustrating. YMMV.

    I could see myself using a SS as a commuter bike, just not for mountain biking.

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