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Old 09-09-09, 10:46 PM   #1
Bikernator
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Single Speeds and 1x9s.. Educate me..

First off, for something that i just wonder about, what is the deal with single speeds?? I've been waiting or someone to ask this so i don't look like the idiot, but I suppose I'm about due. Are you guys just using it to cruise easy trails, downhill trails or just as a pavement pounder? Because a ton of the climbs i do require the low gears, and the same ones would be worthless on flat or any downhilled trail. Maybe you're at some level of off-road awesomeness I can only dream of?? So fill me in..

Second Part: 1x9s. Do people go 1x9 just to dump the extras parts for weight? I've noticed I only use my center chainring on the local trails, but I've only ridden on the 4 local trails and one in my hometown. Is this an extremely popular thing to do? Anyone ever regretted it? You know, pros, cons, etc... Thanks for the lesson...
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Old 09-09-09, 10:57 PM   #2
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First off, for something that i just wonder about, what is the deal with single speeds?? I've been waiting or someone to ask this so i don't look like the idiot, but I suppose I'm about due. Are you guys just using it to cruise easy trails, downhill trails or just as a pavement pounder? Because a ton of the climbs i do require the low gears, and the same ones would be worthless on flat or any downhilled trail. Maybe you're at some level of off-road awesomeness I can only dream of?? So fill me in..

Second Part: 1x9s. Do people go 1x9 just to dump the extras parts for weight? I've noticed I only use my center chainring on the local trails, but I've only ridden on the 4 local trails and one in my hometown. Is this an extremely popular thing to do? Anyone ever regretted it? You know, pros, cons, etc... Thanks for the lesson...

SS is just different. I've ridden most of the same trail systems on my SS that I've had my geared bikes. The require a bit different handling. All about learning when and how to pedal, coast. brake more efficiently to help conserve momentum. You'd be surprised to see what and where you would be able to ride on one.

1x9 or whatever is similar, but not the same. A lot of a normal gearing setup is sorta' redundant. Find the gears you like/use the most for your terrain, and set your drivetrain up accordingly. Hell, my three mtbs with gears are only running seven cogs out back, and two of them are single front ring. All three are using nine speed parts, just with extra bits removed.

Pros and cons vary depending on where and what you ride. Less weight. Better front clearance. Simplicity. Less clutter on the bars. Maybe not having the right gear.

I rode with a couple groups over the weekend. Mixed, with strong and not as strong riders. No trouble keeping up or being up front sometimes, on very up and down rolling trails. Done some rides back west on my SS with ****loads of climbing and had no trouble staying with the groups there either. It's just a different thing. Try and see if you like. Some days I like gears, some days I want the SS. Some days it's the geared and extremely squishy bike. OR the fully rigid cross bike. Whatever floats your boat, man. Try lots and lots of different setups and bikes, ride shop bikes, ride your buddies bikes. All towards the learning of what works best for you.
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Old 09-09-09, 11:04 PM   #3
Hot Rod Lincoln
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First off, for something that i just wonder about, what is the deal with single speeds?? I've been waiting or someone to ask this so i don't look like the idiot, but I suppose I'm about due. Are you guys just using it to cruise easy trails, downhill trails or just as a pavement pounder? Because a ton of the climbs i do require the low gears, and the same ones would be worthless on flat or any downhilled trail. Maybe you're at some level of off-road awesomeness I can only dream of?? So fill me in..

Second Part: 1x9s. Do people go 1x9 just to dump the extras parts for weight? I've noticed I only use my center chainring on the local trails, but I've only ridden on the 4 local trails and one in my hometown. Is this an extremely popular thing to do? Anyone ever regretted it? You know, pros, cons, etc... Thanks for the lesson...
As far as off road fitness, that ain't me. I weigh 270lbs at 5'11" but on my Independent Fabrications 29er SS I can climb most anything soemone with gears can. I use a 34/20 cog set up and find that it is just low enough for most situations. One thing I learned quickly was the value of momentum. You learn to conserve momentum when you can. I enjoy it more than any other bike I have and I do not ride easy trails at all. Rocky, rooted up Southeastern singletrack with lots of short bursty climbs. Here is my baby



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Old 09-09-09, 11:37 PM   #4
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Because a ton of the climbs i do require the low gears, and the same ones would be worthless on flat or any downhilled trail.
You answered your own question right here.

If you're curious what its like.. just select a gear.. go ride and don't shift.
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Old 09-10-09, 12:40 AM   #5
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...Independent Fabrications 29er SS...
BLING! I love those frames. How do you like those H-bars? Aren't they SUPER expensive?

Yeah, sometimes I wonder what the deal is with my SS... it just seems easier to ride sometimes. Can't wait to try fixed gear MTB in a few here. I ride a fixed on the road sometimes and I love it... it's gonna be neat to see how technical I can get on the trails.

I don't think I'd want to get rid of my geared bike for an SS, but I really like riding mine. And like I said... I don't know if it's in my head or what... but the SS seems very easy at times, easier than granny-gearing it.
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Old 09-10-09, 06:58 AM   #6
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I ride SS with my sons. We switched them over to SS because the 27 speed drivetrains had become a distraction on the ride. Which frt ring to use, which rear cog, need to shift before the climb, know the right gear, and hit it. Not easy for a kid. Then as we started riding more technical trails derailliuers started catching rocks, mud build up, broken chains...After the first SS ride my son told me he never had so much fun riding. He really appreciated just riding and concentrating on skills.

- SS builds riding skills. Forces me to keep my speed up and riding hard to the bottom of the hills. Teaches me to lay off the brakes and keep my momentum up.

- SS is quiet and fiddle free. When I ride, there's three bike to maintain, now we never have bike issues.

- SS is great for kids. Lets them learn riding skills quickly.

One final point, we're almost 10 minutes faster on the local trail (Kettle Blue), now we always finish in less than 1 hr.
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Old 09-10-09, 07:28 AM   #7
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Yeah...I think people would be surprised what they can do on a SS after 2 wks or so...I didn't think I would be able to climb squat. I didn't have a problem at all.
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Old 09-10-09, 08:32 AM   #8
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It's all do-able....there may be a bit of walking here & there.



scrubs - recognize the area in the pic?
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Old 09-10-09, 09:04 AM   #9
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I ride SS with my sons. We switched them over to SS because the 27 speed drivetrains had become a distraction on the ride. Which frt ring to use, which rear cog, need to shift before the climb, know the right gear, and hit it. Not easy for a kid. Then as we started riding more technical trails derailliuers started catching rocks, mud build up, broken chains...After the first SS ride my son told me he never had so much fun riding. He really appreciated just riding and concentrating on skills.

- SS builds riding skills. Forces me to keep my speed up and riding hard to the bottom of the hills. Teaches me to lay off the brakes and keep my momentum up.

- SS is quiet and fiddle free. When I ride, there's three bike to maintain, now we never have bike issues.

- SS is great for kids. Lets them learn riding skills quickly.

One final point, we're almost 10 minutes faster on the local trail (Kettle Blue), now we always finish in less than 1 hr.
My brother bought my nephew a gear Specialized (he's 7) and that bike basically weighed more than him. They sold that bike and he rides his coaster brake Specialized all day, every day.

He rides trails, hucks it off jumps I build (hey, he has a BMX uncle... what else is there to do during a family BBQ?) and he loves it. The thing he likes most? Coaster brake skids. My brother and I were going to build him a mini racer, but he insists he has "foot brake".

I believe all kids should start off on BMX bikes, and early.

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