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Retro Grouch
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How many of you put down singlespeeding or thought you wouldn't like it? Santa Cruz may be one of the founding SS towns, so even 10 years ago is was fairly common. I first tried riding a geared bike without shifting but didn't like it; I later realized, even without shifting, I had not adopted a non-gear style of riding. What finally pushed me over was a SS gathering race at Nisene Marks/demo Forest. Seeing so many singlespeeders at one time was enough for me. Nisene Marks used to be an annual stop in a singlespeed points race, but that ended years ago; anyone remember the name?
 

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PSYCHOLUST
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484 Posts
I'll admit that I am discovering the beauty of singlespeeding very LATE. ( this fall actually)
I am, for the most part, a live and let live kind of person...but... I participate in a 20 week race series every summer and have for the last 8 years. It is only in the last few years that SINGLE SPEED bikes started to show up and I just didn't get it. More that the idea that being a ludite for no good reason makes little sence, I was pissed every time I was climbing a steep hill only to find a singlespeeder WALKING up the trail , blocking my line. But this past season something happened that made me look at single speed bike anew.
Come awards night in september the winners of the MASTERS(40-49yrs) and GRAND MASTERS (50-59yrs) were both guys who rode SINGLE SPEEDS.
I stood in my garage looking at all the bits and peices, frames and wheels and bars/seats/cranks and realized that for a few dollars I could buy what little I needed to build a single speed and see what the fuss is about.
Of the 3 geared bikes I own, I rode one once since building my single speed.
 

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Only reason I ever tried it was because I had a Yeti ARC frame and a light set of wheels and decided to weight weenie it by dumping as much as I could from the driveline. I was still a bad rider and slow, didn't seem to change the bits I could or couldn't ride, plus now I had an excuse for my poor performance. After a while I put the gears back on.

Then, it finally made sense to me how clear my headspace had been riding the SS. But it took going back to a geared drivetrain before I finally "got it". (well, as far as what SS means to me, anyhow). Didn't take long before I was wanting to build up a proper SS on a dedicated frame.

I'm still not fast, still not skilled, (still not fit), but I can set a pace pretty close to my ride buddies nowdays and I'm having fun. Guess that's what counts.
 

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First time I tried it I gave up in frustration. I wasn't in good enough shape before I switched so I couldn't get past the threshold where it's actually fun for longer rides or more elevation. I had only tried it because the drivetrain on my 8yr old used bike wasn't working too well and I hadn't yet learned to choose gears well or predict the right one for a given climb. I gave up using that as an excuse and eventually bought a new bike with a modern drivetrain and learned to shift well. I put in lots of mile on my new 29er and got in much better shape, but within 4 months I was curious about SSing again and tried it on a whim. That was a year and a half ago and I've only used gears for a short 3 week period in between
 
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