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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Noob question.:D
Have anyone done All Mountain singlespeeding before? Is it possible?
If yes, what gear ratio are you using?
 

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noMAD man
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Though not my cup o' tea, there are quite a few folks riding some fairly serious bikes with one-speed setups. Some strong riders with good technique seem to be quite capable in many types of terrain. I think there's probably some serious compromise in some really big mountain riding, but some even do it there. On the 29'er board, there's quite a few who do this...and not just fireroading and such. Maybe some of them will chime in with some specifics on gear and bike setups. I believe in taking every mechanical advantage I can get...gears included...but some prefer minimalism and a different challenge to the ride.
 

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local trails rider
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Sure you can but it will not be the same because singlespeeds ... er ... only have one gear, and you need to pick it for the climbing. What gear you pick depends on you and your terrain, and to some extent your bike.
 

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Yup

I buit a SC Cameleon SS about 5 years ago w 5" fork - a "freeride SS", if you will. The stiff alu frame wrecked havoc on my spine, so I played with converting a 5" trave FS to SS, using an old rear d'er as chain tensioner. Never quite got it worked out.

But... MBA did a feature on FS SS in Nov. or Dec. 2007! It seems technology has arrved, and being that I have much of what's needed for a 5" Motolite SS, I'll be building one in a couple months - a good spring project.
 

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mbtr member
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depends on your definition of all mountain.

I don't think 'all mountain' bikes lend themselves to SS the way xc bikes do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Forget definition. I guess we each have an idea what it is. Lets leave that there.

baycat any pictures? Whats the gear ratio?
 

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lidless ascender
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Wouldn't want to break the fun here, but a SS all mountain bike is a bit of an oxymoron because it effectively disqualifies the bike for certain terrain.An all mountain bike is supposed to bo able to do anything, right (but the extremes, of course)?Climb steep techincal terrain, descend steep technical terrain, do drops, ladders,...Ok, descending, dropping, jumping,... shouldn't be a problem with a SS by default...until you get to a section where you need to pedal to pick up speed fast in order not to fall on your face, need to do a wheelie drop and you realise your gear ratio isn't all that perfect for this kind of stuff,...
But the main problem isn't the descending part, it's the climbing part.There are climbs where low RPM just won't cut it.There are also climbs that you cannot climb aboard a SS (but you can on a geared one) bike no matter how fit you are.Which reduces a SS all mountain bike to an all mountain hiking dead-lift.
Sure, you can use it on tamer terrain, but I think appropriate terrain (steep, techy, demanding) is an even bigger part of the all mountain definition than the appropriate bike.
Just my 0.02$
And I know a lot of people will disagree with this.

Marko
 

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I built up a Sinister Ridge SS with a Fox Talas last year and have been pretty happy. I run a 32/20 ratio and it works out well for most local terrain (Central Mass.). Yes I occasionally have to hike a bike up really steep long climbs, but what the hell, I built the bike up for having fun on not for winning races.

Would I sell my geared fully? Probably not- but its kinda fun to be able to clear 95% of the stuff I can do on my fully with my SS.....
 

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Master of None
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1,462 Posts
I have a 35 lb Banshee Morphine running 32/18. It works fine for most stuff here in N. CA. A nice fork makes a huge difference; large volume tires help as well.
 

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San Diego County
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1,475 Posts
I say no. Not "all mountain"

They look really cool to me especially the FS SS bikes.

For me it sucked. You can gear for climbing but that sucks for flats. Gear for flats then hike the climbs. That just don't get it for me.

You can answer the question for yourself by just picking a gear, don't shift and take your regular trail.
 

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aka baycat
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No pictures, the guy was running a standard 32 x 19, a la XC, on the Instigator. He just rode the bike very hard and wanted not to think about shifting at all. He rode it at Downieville, small free ride-ish jump/drops and more.

Best All Mountain SS I have seen is that Banshee, hardtail with the insane gussets. Single speed with a Manitou Dorado double crown fork. Rode the sucker hard at Annadel.
 

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Is that Bill rated?
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440 Posts
Singlespeed = all mountain

Sorry, couldn't resist the incendiary title.

Seriously though, I thought the idea of an all mountain bike was a bike that you use for everything while a singlespeed is one gear that you use for everything. Sounds pretty similar to me.

Having used a singlespeed for years I have to say that there is nothing that I encounter on the trail that I could ride, but that I can't ride because of the SS. Obviously there are no downhill situations where it is a problem, so most people would think that technical climbs and slow speed obstacles would be the two main deficiencies for a singlespeed.

Most of the people who I ride with have a preferred gear for technical climbs - something that is easy, but not so easy that lunges are difficult. For many of them it is 32x34, for some it is 22x26 or even 22x30, but the easiest gears (22x32,22x34) are just for bailout when they are tired. I have a similar 'feel' for a gear, one that is firm enough to lunge over the ledges and rocks, but easy enough to get into a rhythm for the long climbs. It's just a little bit firmer at the pedal because of the 32x20 or similar gear that I tend to use (mostly 28x19 on my 29er - you can do the math). The hills we ride on Vancouver island often give the folks on their 5" and 6" all mountain bikes difficulty, but I clean the same hills at least as often they do. It's just a question of what rpm you are used to.

As for technical obstacles, ie bridges, skinnies, lips and drops I am always in the same gear so I know exactly how hard to push the pedals to get the appropriate amount of speed. Just think about how many times you have blown something because your bike was in too easy a gear and you couldn't pull enough speed in a short space. That never happens on an SS.

To be fair there are still things that I encounter that some people can ride and I cannot, however these are the types of obstacles that I am sure everyone has on their respective trails - goals for a future conquest; proof that you have progressed to a higher level of technical prowess.
 

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AM SS is cool, but i think a AM 3 speed would be really money
 

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Master of None
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socalenduro said:
AM SS is cool, but i think a AM 3 speed would be really money
Yesss! I've been eyeing my options... I'll probably try the new Shimano Nexus Inter-3 with disc when I can buy just the hub.
 

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Master of None
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Duzitall said:
I heard they are not very strong. What ratios do you get wit dat?
I can't vouch for the strength but they should be pretty cheap. The ratios are 0.73/1/1.36.

Right now I have 32/18. The low gear would be like 32/25 and high would be like 32/13. A very usable range!
 

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conjoinicorned
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3,525 Posts


this bike is occasionally used as an AM hardtail, it has seen many different builds. is the best on the climbs? no, not as good as my SS race bike (it's 38lbs for crying out loud). is it best at fast rocky DH style sections? no, but it's rideable...

i really think it IS best on slow speed tech moves and stunts, i love being able to feel the back end and the SS gear is very predictable as presslab mentioned. SS is NOT the ideal AM setup, but it's very possible!
 
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