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I have only seen a couple of full suspension singlespeed bikes. I am looking at trying mountain biking out. I came from BMX racing and I like the idea if SS, but I am wondering why there are not very many full suspension vs hardtail? I dont mind hardtail because its what I'm used to, but Im seeing a lot of multi geared bikes with full suspension, whats the difference? We tried suspension in BMX but it took the handling away and soaked up too much power, is it the same here?
 

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jason cassidy said:
We tried suspension in BMX but it took the handling away and soaked up too much power, is it the same here?
In a word, yes. With a SS, you spend much more time out of the saddle hammering than with a geared bike, and that is very inefficient with a suspended bike. In addition, the gearing inefficiency of a SS is offset somewhat by the light weight of a SS. Suspension generally negates that advantage.
 

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since the distance between the bottom bracket and rear cog are always changing on a full suspension, you have to tension the chain with something spring loaded. and for the most part, those options suck.

it also soaks up that quick acceleration that's so desirable when riding SS.
 

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Most FS designs have variable chain length as nomit mentioned, and this unfortunately includes the designs that actually do pedal and accelerate very well without wasting power (these good modern designs are likely light years ahead of what was tried in BMX many many years ago). There are SS FS bikes out there with a fixed chain length though, and reviews are generally good. These are generally more likely to bob a bit and that is usually solved with a platform on the shock

Second is that many turn to SS to find a simpler way of riding that has less fiddly things between you and the trail. Rear suspension is another thing to tune and maintain and many SSers aren't interested in that.

Third is price. Many are attracted to SS bikes being a bit cheaper, especially the rigid ones. FS bikes are always quite a bit more expensive than similar quality hardtails

Also, a lot of SS bikes are converted from geared bikes and this is more complicated and expensive on most FS frames.
 

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A long-time bmx rider, I have found myself to be right at home on a rigid single speed. Rigid and one cog go well together because of that quickness and ability to put the hammer down out of the saddle that makes bmx really work. After some good experimentation, I don't even prefer a suspension fork on my bike. Money is an interesting point to raise -- many ss'ers such as myself are riding rigid Ti or something else handbuilt that costs more than many fs rigs. I think it is a passion for he purity of it all, feeling the trail and feeling your input.

But Kona has made a nice looking fs ss in the past. Does anyone recall the name? Was it just a full suspension Unit? It had a fixed chain length. I remember checking it out on bikeman a few years back and it looked good. I can imagine that such a bike deserves a place in the world. Why is it no more?
 

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boomn said:
I think the problem with those is they just aren't good FS bikes when you point them back down the hill
That's they're weak spot, sure, but you need to compromise somewhere, and for for SS XC I think they're best compromise. Personally, I hate having bike bob under me when I'm trying to grind up a hill, and I flat refuse to use a sprung tensioner.
 

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I always chuckled at the thought of a FS SS. Seemed like an oxymoron.
It appears i was the moron!!
I raced the single speed world championships in durango and a number of guys were running chain tensioners on FS bikes, including Ross Schnell who won the race, Travis Brown was also running the same setup.

The course was super technical so i think thats what made them run FS but either way they killed it on the FS. They would of killed it on any bike they were on so i guess take that with a grain of salt.

I guess if you have a super light carbon frame with pro-pedal and a fork that locks out it can be a great ride.

If you have an unlimited budget.... Why not???
 

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There's the Kona Bass and the Lenz Milk Money. Both have the swingarm pivot around the bottom bracket so that no tensioner is necessary. The Bass is a slopestyle bike and the Milk Money is an XC 29er.

I think URTs are just plain stupid. On a single speed you are standing up most of the time which means you are part of the sprung weight. Lame. You might as well just buy a Thudbuster.

Although hardtails make more sense for single speed, I would still be interested in an all mountain 29er full suspension single speed. Something with 100-120mm of travel. Why? I just don't like gears very much, so it would replace my RIP9 for the gnarlier stuff. I don't want to deal with a tensioner on the RIP9 and the Milk Money is designed for 80mm of travel, which is too little.
 

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Kona A SS works

Sparticus said:
I built up my Kona A SS frameset this Summer and have put in many a fun day on the trails here in AZ and the SW,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I run a 650B upfront and a 26" in the rear with a Fox 100 fork,,,,,,,,,,,raced it in Durango at the SSWC's and it kicked A$$ on the course,,,but it is a bit heavy, 25 lbs in it's current build. it would be easy to knock off 1.5 pounds with some lighter cranks, wheels and seatpost. It climbs very well seated or while standing, the Fox Pro Pedal works sweet. The bike really shines on the trails in Sedona, with all the ledgy dropoffs, short steep climbs and techy moves found on many of these trails. I have 6 other SS bikes to choose from but lately I've been grabbing the Kona A for most rides
 

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Thor29 said:
I think URTs are just plain stupid. On a single speed you are standing up most of the time which means you are part of the sprung weight. Lame. You might as well just buy a Thudbuster.
My "Plain Stupid" FS SS:



There are a lot of misconceptions about URTs and sprung weight. Nothing like a Thudbuster.
 

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Sparticus said:
That's a matter of personal opinion & depends on where & how one rides.

--Sparty
Yes, of course.
I kinda figure it goes without saying that I was expressing my personal preference.
Since Lenz is practically a custom frame maker, I wonder if he would be willing to build a Behemoth with a concentric bottom bracket pivot and sliders? That would be really cool.
Oh well, I can't even afford to ask.
 
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