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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-26-03, 10:19 PM   #1
thbirks
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too much hype!

I've been riding a singlespeed MTB for three years now. It's great but I've begun to think the whole SS thing is getting overhyped. To me it's just a bike. I'm not going to make a big deal out of the fact that I'm only using one gear ratio. I'm not gonna get one of those stickers that say "one f...ing speed" I mean it's a bike, a simple one but still just a bike. I ride onespeed because it fits my needs. it's simple, inexpensive, low maintenance and fun. Plus it's flat where I'm at. I don't feel superior to other cyclists because I ride the onespeed. Okay, what do think? Are people making too much of a thing out of the singlespeed trend?
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Old 01-26-03, 10:44 PM   #2
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At first, I did.

However, I have come to accept my bike for what it is; a single-speed.

I won't go into detail about my ss history, but I do agree. There are many people that make more out of it than what it is. I know I did.

However, there are people out there racing single speeds and they're beating the pants off of many mnt bikers. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I imagine that for those select few, the ss is not hype.
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Old 01-27-03, 02:41 AM   #3
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i agree... for me it's just a cheap salvage to my old mtb frame. its not even a high end steel frame like what most other owners boast of having. but indeed i think people who ride 1 speeds should deserve some props because it does take more energy to ride with only 1 gear. as for me, i just think it's so much fun not having to worry about shifting and just focussing on riding.
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Old 01-27-03, 09:06 AM   #4
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The thing that attracted me to singlespeed mountain biking was the same thing that attracted me to mountain biking in the mid 80s. It was fun and the and the instant comaraderie with others out on the trail doing what you did.

Mountain biking (multi geared) lost it's appeal to me when it became more about the bike and less about the riding. I still enjoy mountain biking (even multigeared) but the simplicity and fun of singlespeed riding is where I still find mountain biking's soul.
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Old 01-27-03, 02:06 PM   #5
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It does get a little hyped. But I think that that hype is mostly because of the love we SS riders have for our way of cycling. We brag about it, tell our buddies how fun it is, and so everybody starts talking about it. Not everybody who talks the talk is a SS rider, but the ones who are keep the hype fueled by our love for the sport. How did MTbing get started? The guys who did it loved it and they told everybody about, and soon enough MTBing was popular and, hyped.

I love my SS becuase it's built out of junk I had to dig around to find, and it's taken time to tweak it just right. Plus, it takes me back to when I got my first ride. When I used to ride around the block, and then ride around it twice, and then ride around it all day, then I started wondering what was on the next block, and the next block, and down the street...I just rode rode rode. With my multi-geared bike, it's all about what parts are on it, and how fast I can go. But with my SS, I just ride, seeing how far I can ride, can I make it up that hill? Can I do that 40 mile route that I usually do on my road bike? Since I have had my SS, I usually get up at 5 on saturdays, ride 15 miles out to the trail, do the 10 mile trail, and then depending on what time it is, I go home or do another lap. I never did that kind of stuff on my other MTB, I don't know why, but I didn't. Maybe it's because the parts I put on it cost me(me) so much, or it takes so much time to keep everything tuned. My SS is always ready to go. I guess it's the simplicity, the fun,and trying to ride as far I can that makes SS the greatest.
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Old 02-02-03, 07:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by JustsayMo
The thing that attracted me to singlespeed mountain biking was the same thing that attracted me to mountain biking in the mid 80s. It was fun and the and the instant comaraderie with others out on the trail doing what you did.

Mountain biking (multi geared) lost it's appeal to me when it became more about the bike and less about the riding. I still enjoy mountain biking (even multigeared) but the simplicity and fun of singlespeed riding is where I still find mountain biking's soul.
I agree. I was at a singlespeed rally this summer and felt that comaraderie. I started to wonder why the rally was only open to singlespeeders though. Do you think we could have that comaraderie between all MTBers or even between all cyclists? Or are there just too many differences between the different cycling displines?
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Old 02-02-03, 08:57 AM   #7
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I'm not sure why cycling is so secular. There has always been division between the disclipines in my experience. I guess it's just human nature.

Not long ago I rode by a ~14 year old kid, decked out in full body armor, pushing a full suspension bike up the hill. I said 'howdy' and all he said was "Rigid forks? Cheap bike ..."

I doubt he even noticed that I was on a singlespeed .

"You label me, I'll label you..." -Metallica

I'm not sure what label I wear. I have road bikes(4), mountain bikes (4), a tandem and a track bike. I enjoy all forms of cycling.
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Old 02-03-03, 08:21 PM   #8
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Cycling rocks....the other day I was out riding the trail, and I was trying to hammer. But it seemed like around every turn there was someone I knew......
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Old 02-04-03, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by thbirks
I agree. I was at a singlespeed rally this summer and felt that comaraderie. I started to wonder why the rally was only open to singlespeeders though. Do you think we could have that comaraderie between all MTBers or even between all cyclists? Or are there just too many differences between the different cycling displines?
I definately think there could be. I have never ridden a ss, but just decided to come in this forum to check things out. I don't think it is very popular in my area. I just don't understand these barriers between different things. And its not just cycling; import vs. domestic. I guess it is just the way of man.



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Old 02-05-03, 06:52 AM   #10
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A bike is a bike, is a bike, is a bike, There are no bad bikes, Each and every one of them have a character all its own, They are all fun to ride, They all can take you where you want to go. When I see a bike on the side of the road that has been put out to trash, I take it home re-hab it and give it to a kid. They are all worthy of being ridden and being taken care of. High end bikes are nice but everyone cannot afford them, inexpensive bikes can be tuned and ridden regularly. I own many bikes, some expensive high end and some inexpensive ones, I ride them all. Once in a while I stop at K-mart on the way to an organized century and buy a bike for 49.95, tune it in the parking lot, slap on a set of cliples pedals, ride the century on it and have a great time, then I give it to the first kid I see after I'm finished. The whole thing makes for a fun day and great conversation. My point, they are all bikes, they are all fun, they are all worthy of a good ride.

Ride your bike, have fun: That's the hype.
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Old 02-05-03, 07:24 AM   #11
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question : when you talk about single speed does that mean a fixed or freewheel single speed ? i dont know much about mtb,s but would,nt a fixed be dangerous with trail riding ?
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Old 02-05-03, 07:33 AM   #12
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greywolf, in general it means freewheel, but a few people have fixed.
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Old 02-05-03, 07:39 AM   #13
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thanks for the info fubar5, that interesting , do you just use a freewheel cluster &select what ever gear suits for the day or get a single freewheel ?
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Old 02-05-03, 09:20 AM   #14
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Greywolf, do a search on sheldon browns web site. He explains the whole concept in depth,
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Old 02-05-03, 09:45 AM   #15
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Greywolf, you can pretty much do whatever you want. You can get SS specific wheels, where you use a BMX freewheel. I have a freehub on my bike, so what I did was bust apart two cassettes, took all the spacers and set it up so that there is only one cog in the back, everything else is spacer. I had to mess around for awhile to get the chainline just right, but it didn't take to long.
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Old 02-05-03, 10:04 AM   #16
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sound not too hard ,i,ve got heaps of old part out bak i may give it a go !
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Old 02-05-03, 10:19 AM   #17
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It's nothing really, except fun....
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Old 02-05-03, 03:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by greywolf
i dont know much about mtb,s but would,nt a fixed be dangerous with trail riding ?
Dangerously fun!

My MTB is set up w/ a flip-flop hub: free on one side, fixed on the other.

63xc.com - the fixed gear off-road site
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Old 02-05-03, 06:29 PM   #19
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thanks for the site , good one! i can make one of those !!
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Old 02-06-03, 09:13 AM   #20
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I've never really understood why cycling was so secular either. It seems like roadies hate mountain bikers, downhillers hate XC geeks.... it's just the way people are I guess. Not everybody likes the same thing. I'm not particularly into road riding, but that doesn't mean I diss everyone who is. If that's what you like, go for it... it's not hurting me any. To me cycling is about having fun, and if that's what you consider fun, then who am I to harass you about it? I'm personally not into singlespeeds, but I think the concept is rather intriguing. But to me it isn't really practical.
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Old 02-08-03, 06:25 PM   #21
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all i have to add is that it frees up a lot of concentration when i dont have to think about shifting. hills can be a pita though, but then i could always get off and push =]
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Old 03-09-03, 04:43 AM   #22
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I don't think of the hype. I do talk about it, and pretty much do ride fixed so I can brag. But when you do a century on a fixed (52x20) in the slush and ice here in MN, you can brag. And as much as I hype it I can't get any converts.
One of the attractions is the simplicity of the ride, and the feeling of oneness with the bike and the ride. It is also way fun.
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Old 03-09-03, 07:23 AM   #23
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SHHhhhhhh! The whole bike industry is run on hype. Don't tell anyone.
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Old 03-09-03, 08:19 AM   #24
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Singlespeeds IMHO are way over-hyped. They're good for some people but not for others. The thing I'm sick of is the "singlespeed superiority complex" Which boils down to <Hans and Franz voice> "Listen to me now and believe me later girlyman. The only way to have pumpatude is ride a rigid singlespeed over a cliff while crushing puny boulders between your legs like grapes"</voice> I personally am a Free Rider- free to ride what I want, how I want, where I want (mostly), and when I want. So nyah!
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Old 03-09-03, 09:03 AM   #25
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howdy, i only ride singlespeeds (and a fixie sometimes) nowadays... sold my multi-geared to a friend so I could work on the fixie. Building up a new surly 1x1 from new parts and selling my old ones so I only have to travel with one cycle... anyway... I didn't think there was all that much hype... I don't see anyone bragging about it... but I don't hit mtn trails or races or anything. I commuted in Boston and of couse the couriers mostly had fixed's or SS's... but they kept to themselves. I like SS for the mere simplicity of it, I view the bicycle as one of the most efficient and elegant forms of transportation ... so whatever I can do to make it simpler and more elegant (ie, ditching the derailluer or whatever that word is) I will do that. As for steep hills.. nothing wrong with gettin' off and walkin'... I can usually heff it up a hill with the cycle faster than I see most people peddaling up. Anyway, I think SS is just simple and elegant... to a more extensive degree and a hell of a lot of fun to just get on and ride. I don't hype it... but I tell my friends about it and let them hop on and try and check it out for themselves. Whatever... I don't think what I said had ANY point to it... BUT I had a question for the last caller... poster... whatever -- Ok, I think I know what downhill is now... XC I kinda get... but now I've been seeing "freeriding" -- uh, what exactly is freeriding technically defined as? Cause.. I feel like i .. freeride when i ride my cycle where-ever... so what is "freeriding"? (and I know what it is in a political sense, thank you -- if that were the case in cycling it would be tandem where the person in the back doesn't pedal ) Thanks.

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