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Old 05-08-08, 02:52 PM   #1
macro
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single speed and fixed gear??

I dont understand why some people actually convert to single speed or fixed gear. I'm not bashing in anyways, I just cannot see any enjoyment having one speed to deal with. I am a shifter junky, and in forest trails I am constantly clicking away at the shifters. I don't like having to get off my seat to pedal, I like to try and keep the same pedaling pace through out my run. I recently read that some people convert their mountain bikes to fixed gear. That boggles my mind even more. Having all my gears allows me to use my bike on road and in trail, it allows me to climb up hills with ease and yet I can still go fast when I want to. Also it seems that a lot of 29er bikes are built with single speeds!. I so don't understand. I saw a video on youtube of a guy climbing a rather mild hill and the camera man is saying "feel the 29er pain!!!" It looked so hard for the rider. I grew up with hand me down bikes, bikes either to big, 1 speed, etc.. (x-mart bikes), and seeing the guy with the 29er, reminded me of the horrors I went through with the bikes I grew up with. I really am curious to know some of the benefits of single speed and fixed gear other then simplicity and cost.
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Old 05-08-08, 02:54 PM   #2
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Just something different.
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Old 05-08-08, 03:34 PM   #3
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...other then simplicity and cost.
This was pretty much it for me. I wanted a low cost but quality MTB to get into the sport. Also, the last thing I need right now is another bike to maintain. Seems like my Monocog 29er fits the bill quite nicely.

I figure I'll get something geared with suspension sooner or later (read: a couple years from now), but for now I have plenty of fun with what I have. YMMV.
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Old 05-08-08, 03:34 PM   #4
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I don't understand why people ride bicycles when you can climb on a motorcycle and twist the throttle. Having to pedal just seems like so much work.
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Old 05-08-08, 03:42 PM   #5
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well, imagine riding a bike when you never had to shift. you said you are a shifting junky, and i used to be too. and it SUCKS. seriously, the experience of riding single is completely different, and depending on the type of stuff you ride possibly better, than gears.
the terrain is the same and all that, but the way in which you ride the bike is different. if forces you to be a better rider by maintaining more momentum through the bends and on the run up to climbs because you dont have the security of the granny gear. you dont have to think about "oh **** am i in the right gear". if you need to go faster, pedal faster. simple as that. if you see a climb coming, you better get your ass in gear. you can focus more on the trail and the handling of the bike because you have less to think about.

it wont work everywhere or for everyone. any place thats seriously hilly would not be the best call for singlespeed. but here in manitoba, its peeerrrfeect.
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Old 05-08-08, 04:29 PM   #6
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I just got one. I got it for training though. I found on my full suspension, I was getting lazy; not getting out of the seat on climbs, counting on granny gear to get me up the hill, not standing over the rough stuff, etc. All of that changes on my rigid single speed. I'm forced to get out of the seat regularly, pulling back on the handle bars for climbs, getting in a good position for the climbs, etc. It is also a much better workout for the legs, arms and torso.

Not to mention the fun and challenge of it all. It reminded me of when I started and was learning stuff for the first time. It's always good to go back to your roots.

Oh, and for awhile there, I kept phantom shifting my first time out. I thought it was pretty funny.
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Old 05-08-08, 04:35 PM   #7
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I know a guy that races a 29er single speed. He just enjoys pain. That's the only thing I can figure. The weird part is, he's fast. Way faster than he should be, at least. His legs are like tree trunks and he says it's not uncommon to be going neck and neck against someone giving it everything he has and going 4 mph.

Sicko.
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Old 05-08-08, 04:50 PM   #8
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The advantage that I really like about fixed gear bikes is the traction control. You really can feel the trail when you can't coast, and it makes a big difference. On my ss road bike this winter it was almost impossible to get around Milwaukee without biffing it all the time. Using the same gear ratio but fixed instead of freewheel and I could go anywhere. It's an amazing difference, and worth trying.
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Old 05-08-08, 05:52 PM   #9
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I don't understand why people ride bicycles when you can climb on a motorcycle and twist the throttle. Having to pedal just seems like so much work.
Was this a joke?

For one thing, there is no fun in having somebody's technology which you don't understand all that well do the work for you..
Second thing, you don't end up needlessly destroying the atmosphere, and causing us canadians to having even more screwed up weather next year for winter..
Third thing, its exercise so you don't get fat like a biker you see in a bar
Fourth thing, its ****ing fun.. and relaxing
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Old 05-08-08, 06:05 PM   #10
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Was this a joke?

For one thing, there is no fun in having somebody's technology which you don't understand all that well do the work for you..
Second thing, you don't end up needlessly destroying the atmosphere, and causing us canadians to having even more screwed up weather next year for winter..
Third thing, its exercise so you don't get fat like a biker you see in a bar
Fourth thing, its ****ing fun.. and relaxing
No, he was serious. That's why he belongs to BF.



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Old 05-08-08, 06:15 PM   #11
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It's awesome watching the SS cat start at races. You automatically see who's geared for what.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:18 PM   #12
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I actually turned my older Mountain bike (1994 Gary Fisher Wahoo) into a singlespeed. My main mountain bike (Trek 6700) is still geared. I just wanted something fun to kick around on when I am not "seriously" riding. The singlespeed kind of reminds me of my old BMX days.
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Old 05-08-08, 06:53 PM   #13
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No, he was serious. That's why he belongs to BF.



lol alright ;p that's what i thought
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Old 05-08-08, 07:22 PM   #14
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Was this a joke?

For one thing, there is no fun in having somebody's technology which you don't understand all that well do the work for you..
Second thing, you don't end up needlessly destroying the atmosphere, and causing us canadians to having even more screwed up weather next year for winter..
Third thing, its exercise so you don't get fat like a biker you see in a bar
Fourth thing, its ****ing fun.. and relaxing

Why do people still buy sailboats? Seems like an awful amount of work to re-configure the boat everytime the wind changes.

Why do people attend college to gain skills and knowledge when they could become a unionized dock worker and earn a six figure salary?

Is the easiest way always the best way?

Try single-speeding, you'll like it.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:41 AM   #15
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It seems that SS has piqued your interest for some reason. Maybe you should get a cheap kit and try it out.

I never though I'd be able to ride SS and keep up on the gnarly, hilly trails around here, yet I saw other people doing just fine. Then my cassette began to wear out and I thought, "Hmm, before I get a new one maybe I should give this SS thing a try." I dialed my limits screws to lock my deraileurs and went for a ride. The first time out I was amazed at how well I kept up. As I got my gearing dialed, my technique improved, and I got so much stronger. I believe that now I am actually a faster rider that I would have been had I stayed geared. At some point I decided to buy a SS wheel set and move my cassete wheels to another bike, thus commiting to mountain biking exclusively SS for the immediate future.

Anymore I don't even think, "How cool, I'm on a SS." I don't even think about my bike being SS at all. It is what it is and I just load it up and go ride, same as I always have.

As far as fixed goes, I'm putting together an old road bike that I may set up with a flip flop hub in order to give it a try. Though, I believe in the woods it would be very difficult to deal with logs and rocks without being able to freewheel to control pedal position.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:44 AM   #16
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Why do people try and land 50 pound fish on 10 pound tackle?

Oh, yeah, Its more sporting!
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Old 05-09-08, 07:57 AM   #17
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Every time I go out riding, I do a combination of both street and trail. On the street I will go as fast as I can without burning myself out, and in the trail I will find as many steep inclines to climb then go down them again. Dont get me wrong, I do get off the seat to accelerate hard, and I work my ass off while I ride, but sometimes there are forest trails where I like to go fast through, and I have more control while sitting so I can continue to pedal hard. I guess I have to actually go out and try a single speed or fixed gear. But I still think if I did, even when geared properly, I will end up having to get off the bike more often cause I couldn't make certain inclines.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:51 AM   #18
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I don't think I'd like to ride fixed off road, but singlespeed is a blast. You just get on and ride. Fast. I think you definitely need to try it before you knock it.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:58 AM   #19
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My next dirtjump rig will be SS. Maybe even a second STP.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:11 AM   #20
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Why do people try and land 50 pound fish on 10 pound tackle?

Oh, yeah, Its more sporting!
Well not really, it is actually very bad for the fish. When I use light tackle I am trying to land my name in the IGFA record book. Light tackle and big fish are really the only way to break any of those records. This is not something I do alot unless I actually think I got a shot at landing a cow and can sight cast to it.

To the OP, fixed on trails is stupid. It completely destroys the trails with the skidding and skipping. SS not so much and is a lot of fun. You say you are a shifting junky, well if you want to improve your skills and ride experience, borrow a SS from a friend if you can. Gears make you weak. SS and FG make the engine stronger because you have nothing to rely on except your own strength.
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so what if it's custom, are you suddenly NOT a jackass?
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Old 05-09-08, 09:23 AM   #21
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I can't begin to imagine riding fixed off road (and this coming from a fixed lover on road), but I can definitely see single speed. I'm riding full suspension fully geared MTB now, but I am jonesing to try single speed hard tail. Maybe next year.
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Old 05-09-08, 09:27 AM   #22
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Every time I go out riding, I do a combination of both street and trail. On the street I will go as fast as I can without burning myself out, and in the trail I will find as many steep inclines to climb then go down them again. Dont get me wrong, I do get off the seat to accelerate hard, and I work my ass off while I ride, but sometimes there are forest trails where I like to go fast through, and I have more control while sitting so I can continue to pedal hard. I guess I have to actually go out and try a single speed or fixed gear. But I still think if I did, even when geared properly, I will end up having to get off the bike more often cause I couldn't make certain inclines.
i live in pittsburgh and i found the same thing...i tried it and it was funnnn at first where the terrian was flat to rolling but there are some serious climbs here....so i had to do away with fixed gear
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Old 05-09-08, 09:29 AM   #23
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Well not really, it is actually very bad for the fish. When I use light tackle I am trying to land my name in the IGFA record book. Light tackle and big fish are really the only way to break any of those records. This is not something I do alot unless I actually think I got a shot at landing a cow and can sight cast to it.

To the OP, fixed on trails is stupid. It completely destroys the trails with the skidding and skipping. SS not so much and is a lot of fun. You say you are a shifting junky, well if you want to improve your skills and ride experience, borrow a SS from a friend if you can. Gears make you weak. SS and FG make the engine stronger because you have nothing to rely on except your own strength.

you can ride a fixed gear just fine on trails without skidding and skipping.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:13 AM   #24
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I dont understand why some people actually convert to single speed or fixed gear. I'm not bashing in anyways, I just cannot see any enjoyment having one speed to deal with. I am a shifter junky, and in forest trails I am constantly clicking away at the shifters. I don't like having to get off my seat to pedal, I like to try and keep the same pedaling pace through out my run. I recently read that some people convert their mountain bikes to fixed gear. That boggles my mind even more. Having all my gears allows me to use my bike on road and in trail, it allows me to climb up hills with ease and yet I can still go fast when I want to. Also it seems that a lot of 29er bikes are built with single speeds!. I so don't understand. I saw a video on youtube of a guy climbing a rather mild hill and the camera man is saying "feel the 29er pain!!!" It looked so hard for the rider. I grew up with hand me down bikes, bikes either to big, 1 speed, etc.. (x-mart bikes), and seeing the guy with the 29er, reminded me of the horrors I went through with the bikes I grew up with. I really am curious to know some of the benefits of single speed and fixed gear other then simplicity and cost.
Don't knock it 'till you tried it. Especially with an entire thread.

Most riders who get one, unless you are TRULY riding on a mountain, found that in the end they would ride the same run faster on a SS.
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Old 05-10-08, 07:03 PM   #25
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Here's the setup I've been riding lately.

.

All the pain of a singlespeed but without that pesky spinning out thing.

Last edited by cryptid01; 05-10-08 at 07:09 PM.
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