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I am sure this has been asked a thousand times, but how do you do it? Everytime I ride I try to pick just a couple of gears to utilize, but I find myself jamming through all of 'em in my middle ring for both off and on road, and the granny off road and the large ring on road.

Now I just moved to Marin County (Norcal) and couldn't imagine riding roads SS here, haven't seen enough off road to determine, but I did a pretty long climb at China Camp all in middle ring b/c of chain suck in my granny and it didn't seem too bad. Back in NY there is no way I could climb the majority of the small climbs without a granny.

Is it just that I am a skirt or do I just need to pick one gear and see if I can ride a trail like it?

I like the simplicity of SS, the maintenance free issue, and the idea of different rpm's for each speed. Plus I would have the damn chain suck issues I have been having.

Jason
 

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King Pin
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You can do it.

Jason,

Give SS a try. You'll find the climbs much easier.

I converted several years ago, and will not go back.
 

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diiulio said:
I am sure this has been asked a thousand times, but how do you do it? Everytime I ride I try to pick just a couple of gears to utilize, but I find myself jamming through all of 'em in my middle ring for both off and on road, and the granny off road and the large ring on road.

Now I just moved to Marin County (Norcal) and couldn't imagine riding roads SS here, haven't seen enough off road to determine, but I did a pretty long climb at China Camp all in middle ring b/c of chain suck in my granny and it didn't seem too bad. Back in NY there is no way I could climb the majority of the small climbs without a granny.

Is it just that I am a skirt or do I just need to pick one gear and see if I can ride a trail like it?

I like the simplicity of SS, the maintenance free issue, and the idea of different rpm's for each speed. Plus I would have the damn chain suck issues I have been having.

Jason
I get on my bike and ride.

I know plenty of SSers that wear skirts - at least form time to time off the bike - and some of them are actually women.
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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oooooohhh....sage advice from Shiggy.
I find a similar approach works: pedal, pedal, pedal...
on a more serious note, don't listen to all those crazy norcalers that run a HUGE gear like 2:1 or harder...there is no reason to play tough, remember, you aren't getting paid.
Set up a gear that allows you to enjoy your normal terrain.
Down in socal, the hills are steeeeep and the downs are too..hardly any rolling or flat terrain.
Hence, gotta focus more on the up.
THe lighter dudes end up running like a 34x20, 34x19or18...us larger folks, couldn't push that gear out of the driveway.
To haul my meat up the hill I run 32x20 and it's just right for all our hills.
The wife runs the same gear.
At the sea otter this year, it was amusing to see many norcal riders cruising along the flats at quite a good clip then jumping off at the bottom of the hills not even attempting it and hiking on up. That's one approach....
or like the rappers say, "keep it real" and choose a wise gear not one that people will think is tough.
My legs are getting stronger though.... and a few months I'll likely experiment with losing a tooth out back. Ugh.

shiggy©®™ said:
I get on my bike and ride.
I know plenty of SSers that wear skirts - at least form time to time off the bike - and some of them are actually women.
 

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Cyclist
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Amen Father

Padre: To haul my meat up the hill I run 32x20 and it's just right for all our hills.

In some ways, riding the SS is easier compared to gears. You just pedal. Sounds like you really need to try it.
 

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An obvious questions is "Are you trying to make the climbs sitting down?". The first thing I noticed about riding with SS'ers is that nearly everyone stands on climbs and uses the handlebars for leverage. My adapting including getting calluses on my hands. It's hard to break gearies of the sit down and spin method, some would rather get off and walk than stand on the gears.

The "small" climbs you refer to could be done with momentum, approach with speed, crank hard and you can make things that throw slower riders off balance.
 

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pacman said:
The first thing I noticed about riding with SS'ers is that nearly everyone stands on climbs and uses the handlebars for leverage.
Not to be purposely contrary... I don't stand unless I absolutely have to. I find I can modulate my center of gravity better while seated (for traction). Also, I can make more use of different muscle groups during long climbs by adjusting my position fore and aft on the saddle. There aren't many hills I don't get up.

Of course, as we all know quite well, to each their own.

dd..''

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Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
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diiulio said:
I am sure this has been asked a thousand times, but how do you do it? ...

Jason
How we do it is unimportant. The fact that we do it proves that it can be done. And if we can do it, anyone can.

Attitude is everything. Believe.

Now you're there.

--Sparty
 

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USB Rep'n
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You can soooo do it!

The thing with SS'ing is that when you only have one gear, you figure out how to make it work. Thats the reason everyone will tell you that running a gered bike in one gear just ain't the ticket since you'll inevitably switch gears when things get stupid (thats when we stand and hammer). I ride east coast (Ohio, Y, PA, and WV mostly) on a SS and it can totally be done. Gice a try and see, its the only way youll know for sure!
 

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Sparticus said:
How we do it is unimportant. The fact that we do it proves that it can be done. And if we can do it, anyone can.

Attitude is everything. Believe.

Now you're there.

--Sparty

Reminds me of the wisdom spoken by Noam Chomsky.

"Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you
believe that the future can be better, it's unlikely that you will step up
and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there's no
hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there
is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things,
there's a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice
is yours."

Words to live by.

dd..''

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It's not as hard as you might think. . .

I think there are a lot of miconceptions about single speeding out there. Don't get me wrong. The climbs, the long rides, etc, are harder, but not as much as I thought they would be, and not as hard as non-SSers seem to think it is when they talk to me about single speeding. I'm certainly not much of an athelete. I'm not fast. I kind of strong, but that's outweighed by the issue of my weight. I'm the classic example of "if I can do it, anyone can do it."

He's a little parable:
My wife, an on-again/off-again rider, is recently trying "on" after a couple of years "off." She's trying to get back in shape by doing a little gravel road loop near our house. The loop climbs for about a mile-and a half at what I think is a little more than 10% grade. She did it the other day in her middle ring for the first half and then shifted to Granny for the second half. At the top she was pretty much fried (and ate most of my M&M's to recover :( ) . So last night we were doing the same loop and she opted to do the whole thing in her Granny. Afterwards she said "it wasnt' really that much easier--it was just different."

This sort of fits my experience in single speeding. I have one gear--roughly the "middle one" when compared to my former geared mt. bike. When I climb, my feet go around slower, I go up a little faster, and it hurts about the same.

Bottom line is; find some way to give it a try. Give yourself some time to get used to it, but because it is different. It requires different techniques, and more importantly a different mindset. For me it's the different mindset I like the most.

No pressure, though. Riding is supposed to be fun. For me singlespeeding helps make it fun. If it doesn't make it fun for you, then by all means, don't don't do it! But, I'd be suprised if you didnt' like it!
 

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well im a newbie ss`er but an old mtb`er

Or should i say geared mtb`er. My usual ride is a 38# RM7 that is the typical 22/34 with 32 middle and a bash guard.
I think overall the ss is less tiring than the big squishy, but some inclines are a real grunt standing and turning over the pedals. I find that i do not have to stand as much as i thought i would, maybe pedaling a 38# bike uphill builds some strength.
The much lighter weight, minimal rolling resistance and instant pedal response and silence make it much easier than i thought it would be. There are some hills i can not climb that i can on a geared bike but like has been said i can walk it just about as fast as grinding up it in the granny.
Im a 50 yr old, live in WNC(Pisgah area) and i started my gear selection at 33/22, i may even go lower to 32/22. This is much lower than the ratio`s other folk here talk about. I spin out easily on the flats, so i have to really pay attention to my flow so as not to slow my momentum( stay off the brakes).This part of ss is also very appealing.
I think that i will hardly ever ride the gears again...its that much fun.
It will also make all your old familiar trails new again, cause it ain`t the same.
 

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Each area is different.

Welcome to So Cal where the Angle of Repose and big rocks make "have to" occur often. :D
 
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