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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the advantages to riding a singlespeed other than not having to worry about derailer problems? It seems silly to me. I'd rather have to adjust the derailer from time to time and actually have the choice of switching gears when it's necessary.:thumbsup:

I don't want to stereotype you guys, because everyone on the forum seems pretty cool, but in NY, I run into mostly hipsters wearing skinny jeans that ride single speeds in NYC, sometimes fixed gear.:madman: I really don't get it.
 

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Personally, I like the way the bike pedals. On a single speed the bike feels more comfortable and smoother when I'm pedaling (especially uphill). Single speeds climb very well. Also, the bike is stealthy; all I hear are my tires and nothing else (no chain slop). Lastly, when I stomp on the pedals the bike responds much better, because I have a direct connection to the rear wheels. A lot of your energy is lost between the pedals and the rear wheel on a geared bike.

However, for flat out speed, you cannot beat a geared bike. If a single speeder is racing against a geared bike, the gears will win every time (especially on the flats but on the hills it's a different story).
 

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I'm no hipster and I like pants that fit me. I've been riding ss for years now. First it was my ooold bmx bike when I was little. Then geared bikes. Then I decided to experiment with SS. I found more freedom not shifting. Tried it with mountain biking and fell in love with cycling again. Tried it with road bikes and again, fell in love with cycling.

Not all of us here fit the stereotype you painted. Most of us don't, and most of us like the simplicity of riding this way.
 

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What are the advantages of riding a mountain bike anyway?
Staying at home, lying on the couch is much more comfortable.:sleep:
 

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local trails rider
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Riding a bike on trails is silly.

If you are going to do silly things, you might as well go all the way.
 

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Drinking the Slick_Juice
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perttime said:
Riding a bike on trails is silly.

If you are going to do silly things, you might as well go all the way.
yes
turn into a ****:D
 

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You're in a the wrong gear half the time, you have to push harder, you may have to give up and walk up some climbs, you will have difficulty riding as long a distance as you normally did with gears, and you finish a lot more sore.

Oh, advantages? :p It's the most fun I've ever had on a mountain bike :D Go ride one; you'll see. To get all philosophical: it is mountain biking stripped of extra details and boiled down to fundamental elements. There are no unnecessary pieces between my legs and bike, so everything about my progress on the trail is controlled directly by my legs. If I need to go faster I pedal faster, if I need to climb a steep hill I stand up and pedal harder. I'm smart enough to use gears well but this just feels so much more natural. I do appreciate how much simpler and cheaper maintenance is on a singlespeed, but that's not why I ride one.

Speaking of stereotypes, the SSers I've seen on trails and at races were not even close to hipsters. Most were not in the hipster age range and many were much older, most didn't wear spandex like all the other racers, many showed up on bikes that were already dirty, and they were all oddly excited about the excruciating task ahead of them.
 

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local trails rider
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boomn said:
You're in a the wrong gear half the time, ...

Oh, advantages? :p
You always know what gear you're in.
 

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boomn said:
........many showed up on bikes that were already dirty,..........
Are you implying some riders clean their bikes?!?! :eek:

Mine were all clean once......and only once.
 

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lubes17319 said:
Are you implying some riders clean their bikes?!?! :eek:

Mine were all clean once......and only once.
for a race, yes, lots of people did seem to have broken out all the cleaning supplies and frame wax. You just gotta show off your shiny race bike and make sure the other racers can read the XTR lettering and cower in fear
 

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perttime said:
You always know what gear you're in.
little OT here, but I changed ratios for the first time in 2 years and was surprised by how much my legs were used to the other gear ratio. I expected it to hurt more but I didn't expect it to feel weird and confusing. Maybe I just have a singlespeed brain
 

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openwound
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The comparison of a mtn ss rider to the tragic, urban hipster riding in his sister's jeans just doesn't work. Not that I'm hatin' on the hipsters -- hey, they're riding bikes so they're brethren. Can't say much for the practicality of their clothing choice, but hey, I'm not wearing those things so they can go on with their bad selves...

You've just got to try it to see if it's for you. I can't/won't speak for others here. I ride one because it's, all at the same time, both easier (simpler) and harder. Yep, you're always in the wrong gear. Yep, you gotta either MTFU and hit the climb or get off and walk. But it's nice to just get on a bike and ride (period).
 

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It's not a fashion thing.

Gears are for people who are too old and frail to ride a proper bike.
 

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balance_fit
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SS...just advantages?

piston honda said:
What are the advantages to riding a singlespeed other than not having to worry about derailer problems? It seems silly to me. I'd rather have to adjust the derailer from time to time and actually have the choice of switching gears when it's necessary.:thumbsup:

For me, it's not just about the mechanical simplicity (which is by itself a strong enough reason to go SS). It's about the physical challenge and the strong stimulus for adaptation. Once on a gear, always on a gear.
The SS rider will develop leg strength and speed :madmax: which would never be reached while shifting gears to stay within a "window of efficiency" while pedaling. The stimulus when climbing steep will develop strength as the stimulus when on the flats will develop speed.

Technical abilities? Try to negotiate steep, twisty and rooty or loose terrain on one gear. It's very easy to sit and spin while acomodating gears to situations. SS will force the rider to develop capacities well beyond imagined, becoming a better, happier and more complete rider in the process.
Take it from me. Dumped FS, 26er, and gears. Will never go back.
 

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good for you.
the fact that you don't understand how it works or have tried it is the PERFECT reason to never bother.
how's it like being a virgin?


what? you're not a virgin!? so that must mean that you decided to try something you never tried before... and it was good.
hrmmm... trying NEW things.
 
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