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Cross Country Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am a Cross Country beginner, and I am planning to buy a new bike, I was recommended to buy a 29er single speed, so I wanted to know what are the advantages and disadvantages does it have in comparison to a 26in full suspension 24Speed MTB.?
 

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pros: lighter weight, less parts to break, never having to think about what gear to be in, 29" wheels have more contact area with the ground which means more grip

cons: 29" wheels and tires are less common that 26", 26" wheels can do anything a 29" wheel can, you only have one gear which might mean you'll be doing more walking

i say if your only gonna own one bike your better off with more traditional geared 26" bike.
 

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Cross Country Rider
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I currently have a Mongoose Wing Comp Full Suspension 21Speed. This one is the botton line of the Mongoose pro line. I know is the best stuff for racing, that is why I am starting to search for a better quality bike, even though I have not race with the Mongoose. but I want to make sure that next bike that I buy will be good for XC race.
 

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I don't know that I would recommend you race on a single speed unless you're used to riding one. Not that it can't be done, but you'll be limiting yourself on climbs, etc. until you feel strong enough to be able to ride most hills. I'm sure there are many SSers on this board that could kick my tail on pretty much any trail, but as a self-described cross country beginner, you may want to look at a geared bike. Some XC folks ride hartails (myself included), so you don't NEED a full suspension. But a FS geared compared to a 29er SS, is a pretty big difference. If you can try a SS before buying one, you can get an idea of what your in for. I use my SS for training only, but maybe in the future I'll be strong enough to race it. Also check out the Single speed board and the 29er board for more info if you really want to go that way. Those folks would be glad to help.
 

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If you want to get into racing XC, get an XC bike. 26 or 29" wheels depending on your size, but get gears. I would definitely get front suspension. Your budget will determine if you get rear suspension. If you aren't spending a lot, just go front suspension.

There are people out there who swear no suspension and one gear are the only way to go. That's fine for them. But it's not for everyone. Geared bikes are popular for a reason. So is suspension. Once you ride a while you may want to try single speed or rigid forks or whatever, but for now I'd just stay with a "standard" mountain bike.
 

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I think you really need to decide what type of riding you will be doing, and what you are looking to get out of your bike. Just because someone suggests you buy a 29" singlespeed, doesn't mean it is the best thing for you.

As others have posted, you should check-out both the 29er board as well as the singlespeed. Advantages/disadvantages can be so personal, it really is difficult to make a decision without knowing what you are looking for.

I have been riding for around 5 years and have a very nice geared dual suspension bike gathering dust in my garage. My singlespeed bike did around 1800 miles last year, and will do more this year. For me, I decided that singlespeed is the way to go, and I like it for reasons that "I" find important.

I got into because I thought that it would make me a better rider (it did) and it would be a great training tool (it is). I can climb most hills, and those I can’t, I can probably run faster than most people can climb. My main reason for liking it is just the simplicity. I dont have to worry about setting shocks/forks, adjusting derailleurs, or spending hours cleaning my bike every time I ride. I get on it and ride and then put it away.....period. Just me against the mountain and I have to figure a way to get up and down it on not rely on technology.

I would definitely try it before I went ahead and made a big investment. Try riding your local trails without shifting (or disable them if you are tempted to cheat). Work on carrying your speed into hills/corners, and try to pick the smart line so you don’t lose momentum by impacting rocks/logs etc. After a while it can really become fun, and you realize how better a rider you are.

The people who like 29" wheels think they roll better over obstacles, as well as handle better accelerating and in corners. Lots of people are starting to make the switch, so there is probably something to the claims. I have never tried them so cant comment. Wheel/tire options are somewhat limited at this time, but are getting better all the time.

Hope this helps, and good luck.
 

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Yeah. I have a 26" single speed, and I love it. I do have to walk some climbs, but I do that no matter what I'm riding.

However, I wouldn't suggest that someone just starting out riding get a single speed as their first bike. Single speeds do have their place. I just don't think their place is as a beginner's bike.
 

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Cross Country Rider
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for the advice, I am going to ride my bike with out switching gears for a while to see how it feels, so I can make a decision, in base to my experience. Of whether or not I am going to buy the 29er single speed.
 

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I ride a SS (albeit 26") and also have a full sus geared bike. The SS is great for having fun on. The geared bike allows you to take advantage of the terrain better. Here is my tip. Single speed for training (just convert an old and/or cheap mtb into a single speed with a cheep kit from Performance or Bike Nashbar). This will show you your weaknesses and make you a stronger rider. Geared bike for racing. This gives you the best of both worlds. If only one bike is possible, go with a geared bike. But that is just my 2 cents.
 

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Cross Country Rider
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, that is a very good advice, I was talking about the same thing with one of the guys from my lbs, since thy sell old frames and most of the bikes they rebuilt are SS.
 

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for what it is worth - I ride SS 90% of the time, but I am faster overall still on geared bike. (less recovery time on steep long climbs/able to spin on flats and downhill) and would never give up having a geared bike as well.

If you are planning on only racing SS class then get a SS. If you are planning on racing XC get gears. If you ever plan on taking this bike to riding at altitude definitely get gears.

26 vs 29 - that is up to you. I ride both. Pros and cons of both. It depends on the terrain you intend to ride. Parts and stuff for 26ers are much more available, so if cost is an issue that might sway you that way.
 

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I would think that if you are a mtb beginner the 29er SS would be too much of a challenge. I have both and while the SS is a lot of fun I agree that if racing and all around riding are what you intend to do the geared 26" is the way to go. Just my two cents.
 

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albertf15 said:
Thanks guys for the advice, I am going to ride my bike with out switching gears for a while to see how it feels, so I can make a decision, in base to my experience. Of whether or not I am going to buy the 29er single speed.
What a great idea.

32 teeth in the front and 20 teeth in the rear is a fairly common gear for single speeders on single track. Try pedaling that around and see how it feels.

You could always compromise with a 1x9 drive train. Meaning 1 gear up front and a standard 9 speed cassette in the rear.
 
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