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What's all this SS noise about

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What's all this SS noise about

Old 11-24-09, 10:56 AM
  #1  
4evrplan
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What's all this SS noise about

I always thought single speed was just for BMX and kid's bikes. I could definitely see switching to 1x9, but I use like 4 gears just on the relatively flat 1/2 mile between home and work and 7 of them on the trail (I never shift the front). However, I've read more than enough about people's SS bikes to make me wonder. Is it really that good even on a fair mix of up and down? I noticed even the TransAM comes in SS flavor. Do you folks with SS bikes ever ride all mountain?
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Old 11-24-09, 11:59 AM
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I tried out single-speed for a while - - was building up a hardtail from spare parts and didn't have money for gears yet. I thought it was interesting but a pain in the ass.

I ♥ moar gearz.
And moar shimz.
and more cowbell.
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Old 11-24-09, 12:11 PM
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gears are for sissy's! I am heading home for thanksgiving today and will go out and ride Walnut Creek which is like my home turf you could say and has a lot of climbing. Ill let you know how it goes...most of the stuff around here is really flat like 50 feet elevation change total so it's not much of a challenge. I rode fixed gear before building my mtb though so i guess i was used to it a little bit.
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Old 11-24-09, 12:31 PM
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the only time i really shift is going up a hill. i would go 1x9 first to tell if it makes a difference.
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Old 11-24-09, 12:40 PM
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i haven't really tried SS. i do not think it is for me. i am sure it would cause too much stress on my knees and lower back. i have found i do much better with a higher cadence. i cannot imagine doing some hills without my gears. i guess i have a sense of entitlement. i am entitled to gears.

however, it is a great excuse to build up another bike! so i am sure i will do one in a year or two since i now have a justifiable reason for another bike.

maybe i will really enjoy it and not get joint pains. who knows. probably something i would have to ease into though.

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Old 11-24-09, 12:55 PM
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I thought about doing a SS but after finding new trails with a lot more climbing I have found that a 1x8 (current bike has an 8 spd cassette) would be a lot better. I never shift out of my middle COG so losing the other two chain rings wont bother me. Just need to find a bash and chain guide and get it done.
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Old 11-24-09, 01:00 PM
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Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't
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Old 11-24-09, 01:07 PM
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SS hurt my knees.

I'm still recovering.
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Old 11-24-09, 01:18 PM
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Now that you mention it, I remember you talking about that. Hope you get better soon.
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Old 11-24-09, 02:01 PM
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Anybody ever try a SS, fixed rear hub, brakeless MTB ?
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Old 11-24-09, 02:08 PM
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You wouldn't want to do that. Your only brake would be rear and you'd be skidding all over the trails. Thats bad, m'kay?
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Old 11-24-09, 02:19 PM
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My one SS experience showed me that I was typically pushing too low a gear on my regular bike. After that, I didn't like it. I like my gears.
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Old 11-24-09, 02:26 PM
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I have liked options since my 2 speed Stingray in 1964. I have thought that 24 "choices" was overkill years ago. Now, up to 33, it has to stop somewhere. But a single speed. Maybe for a Donut run and putting a basket on the handle bars. Granny Gear and I spend a lot of time together.
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Old 11-24-09, 02:31 PM
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I rode SS all summer, about 1000 miles. I've ridden it on everything from easy trails to stuff at 8000 ft of elevation to a 2 mile sufferfest @ 8% and up to 30 miles with 4000 ft of climbing. It's fun. It's a lot of fun.

Here's why I like it:

* I started riding it in April. I rode less this year than in years past. I dropped about 15 lbs and built a bunch of muscle in both upper and lower body. Now if I ride my geared bike, I'm SO much faster than I ever thought I could be.
* Now I know what true pain feels like on the bike. And that I can keep pushing through it.
* The simplicity is super fun, and the feel of the bike/ride is much different. Going downhill with no chainslap is awesome.
* The "holy crap you're riding a single speed out here?!?!" comments are awesome.

It's as hard or as easy as you want it to be. If you think you have a ton of climbing, run a bigger rear cog, if it's mostly flat, run a smaller one. You can find the best cog for your riding conditions and style. I've been happy with the 32x19 on my 29er, but thinking of trying out a 17t pretty soon.
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Old 11-24-09, 02:33 PM
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Riding a SS is kinda like drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.. was unique, became hip and trendy.. but the simple fact is.. it tastes like crap and always did.
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Old 11-24-09, 02:36 PM
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the trails around me are super buff single track that go up and then go down. Lots of climbing outside of the valley. My trail bike is a 3x9 and i can typically do all the climbing in the middle ring. When i commute to work, i ride a single speed. I like having a couple of bikes, and durring the winter a simple drivetrain is highly appreciated.

Well one summer day I busted a couple of spokes on my trail bike but i still wanted to go out riding. So i took my SS to the trail! I had a pretty good time actually. Most of the riding i did was out of the saddle high caddence type stuff. I found myself carrying much more momentum than i normally would on my geared bike. After fininishing a long not too steep climb, i took a break waiting for my riding partner to catch up. While she was catching her breat, i likened riding the SS on the trail to running. You can't really ever slow down on the thing, it's a much more an aerobic workout at speed and you can never fall back on an easier gear. I know neither of thsoe two things really have anything to do with running, but i just felt like i was running when riding my SS on the trail. Maybe its because the constant spinng to stay at speed. Who knows? On a SS, you pretty much know what your in for and how hard you can mash and how fast you can spin. When we started doing some other mildly steeper climbs, i had to walk the bike a few times.

That being said, i had to overhaul the hubs on my SS and rode my trail bike to work for three days htis fall. My 1/2 mile commute was about 2 minutes faster on the geared bike.

I much prefer geared bikes, but SSs can be super fun on the right trail network. Also, it's hard not to argue the beauty in simplicity.
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Old 11-24-09, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by mcoine View Post
Riding a SS is kinda like drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.. was unique, became hip and trendy.. but the simple fact is.. it tastes like crap and always did.
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Old 11-24-09, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
I rode SS all summer, about 1000 miles. I've ridden it on everything from easy trails to stuff at 8000 ft of elevation to a 2 mile sufferfest @ 8% and up to 30 miles with 4000 ft of climbing. It's fun. It's a lot of fun.

Here's why I like it:

* I started riding it in April. I rode less this year than in years past. I dropped about 15 lbs and built a bunch of muscle in both upper and lower body. Now if I ride my geared bike, I'm SO much faster than I ever thought I could be.
* Now I know what true pain feels like on the bike. And that I can keep pushing through it.

* The simplicity is super fun, and the feel of the bike/ride is much different. Going downhill with no chainslap is awesome.
* The "holy crap you're riding a single speed out here?!?!" comments are awesome.

It's as hard or as easy as you want it to be. If you think you have a ton of climbing, run a bigger rear cog, if it's mostly flat, run a smaller one. You can find the best cog for your riding conditions and style. I've been happy with the 32x19 on my 29er, but thinking of trying out a 17t pretty soon.
Plus, all the money we save on shifty bits we get to spend on sideburn grooming, which is nice.
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Old 11-24-09, 03:37 PM
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I just sold my SS bike to help fund a new geared bike, and so far for me the jury is out on what I prefer. I'm still new enough to mountain biking that it doesn't matter which bike I'm on, the skills are missing regardless.

The SS was fun, though, and if funds/space allow I may build up another one down the road.
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Old 11-24-09, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by C Law View Post
You wouldn't want to do that. Your only brake would be rear and you'd be skidding all over the trails. Thats bad, m'kay?
The hipster messenger crowd do it................
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Old 11-24-09, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by zeo_max View Post
The hipster messenger crowd do it................
on the street is one thing. On the trails is another.

Go fixed with a front brake in the woods.
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Old 11-24-09, 04:58 PM
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SS biekz rox d00d.
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Old 11-24-09, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by C Law View Post
on the street is one thing. On the trails is another.

Go fixed with a front brake in the woods.
So that makes me wonder, when MTB'ers talk about SS, are they fixies or not ?
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Old 11-24-09, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by zeo_max View Post
So that makes me wonder, when MTB'ers talk about SS, are they fixies or not ?
No.

I have a SS playbike. It's fun for the novelty value, but I wouldn't want to make it my main ride. I take it on flat trails when I feel like it, but sometimes find myself wishing I had a geared bike anyway. Mainly I use it for DJ and stuff, where I don't need the gears and know I'm going to fall a bunch and don't want to mess up a rear derailleur.
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Old 11-24-09, 08:39 PM
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sold my geared full xt s-works and bought a ss 29er.
don't miss the gears one bit.
as a matter of fact, a guy i rode with today was having shifting problems because of the mud getting caught in the rear derailleur.
me and my buddy running ss just kept on sailin'.
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