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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering how many of you would admit to or agree with this statement:
"Single Speeding is really not that hard."
My point is this. Whenever you meet someone on the trail or elsewhere and they
realize that you ss they just can't seem to believe that it's possible. Mainly because
they have never done it. I feel that once someone actually tries, they realize it really isn't all that hard.
I suppose that I will pre-respond to some comments that I anticipate. For those that might
argue that "well I live in xxxxx and we have THE hardest ss riding in the world how, dare you say it's easy." Yes some places are harder to ride than others but each and every location is has its own challenges. Or "I ride the biggest the biggest gear known to man so of course it's hard" Well yes, that would make it harder but that is the choice you made with your gearing. Not everyone out there overgears there bike in an attempt to appear super tough. Some people actually just ride ss for the sheer fun of it. So to those people, what do you think agree or disagree?
 

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I found it very difficult the first several weeks, during which my head would spin and my chest pounded painfully. Now it's not so grueling. I can moderate my output a bit better these days.
 

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Time to go farther
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I rode Hall ranch today in my pseudo-SS with a 32x20. At first I didn't think I could do it but I did and it wasn't that bad. A LOT more standing up and a few sections I can normally clean I didn't today but it wasn't *that* bad. So my current opinion is that it's not too bad if you choose the right gear. 2:1 might be a nice round number but for me in the front range it's way too steep.
 

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Reviewer/Tester
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It depends on many factors.

Most find it very hard at first, then as you get stronger and fitter, it gets easier, so you change gears, and it gets hard again, then when you get stronger and fitter, it gets easier, so you change your gearing again, and it gets harder until you get stronger and fitter, then it gets easier, so you change your gearing and it gets....etc..etc..ad infinitum.. :)

R.
 

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igoslo
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polish coyote said:
Whenever you meet someone on the trail or elsewhere and they
realize that you ss they just can't seem to believe that it's possible.
I get this all the time. I always assumed people were making cracks about my weight, just kidding. It was a bit hard at first and still is sometime on steeper climbs but I'm still not going back to gears.
 

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Agree

I remenber seeing a guy on a SS at the 2000 24 Hour Solo World Championships pass me in the early morning hours on a rocky climb while I was pushing my geared Titus HCR. I put that image in my mind and considered him to be god-like at the time. I couldn't imagine riding a SS for 24 hours, and it was beyond my comprehension how he was still climbing like an animal after 18+ hours. I have now learned that it is just a matter of doing it. If I just shut off the part of my brain that says it is harder I just ride and everything just takes care of itself. Whenever I hear remarks about how hard it is to ride SS (esp. endurance racing) I tell people to try it, it's really not as hard as it looks. I wish I would have tried it 15 years ago and never picked up a copy of Mountain Bike Action.
 

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SS Chimp
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not really harder than a geared bike just different. Seems no one believes me though but I do run 4 to 1 on the Front Range so I appear bowed up all the time. :D
 

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just have fun!
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I agree; it really isn't all that difficult. You just have to know when to say enough. If I fall on a steep rocky ascent, it's practically impossible to get started again, so I have to know I just have to pick up the bike and start jogging until there's a good spot to get going.

Other than that, the climbing isn't too bad. I got used to having to stand up out of the saddle fairly quickly.
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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We've all developed fitness and perspective to adjust to the rigors of SSing.

Regardless, SSing is inherrently more difficult.

While output can be somewhat managed, it's really just on/off. Moreso regarding heart rate stuff. You basically have to throw it out on the SS...since it's pegged all the time!

While another could "rest" and ride an SSer must stand and deliver during those moments.

Finishing an Ironman is "normal" for some. That doesn't make it "not that hard."
 

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Padre said:
We've all developed fitness and perspective to adjust to the rigors of SSing.

Regardless, SSing is inherrently more difficult.

While output can be somewhat managed, it's really just on/off. Moreso regarding heart rate stuff. You basically have to throw it out on the SS...since it's pegged all the time!

While another could "rest" and ride an SSer must stand and deliver during those moments.

Finishing an Ironman is "normal" for some. That doesn't make it "not that hard."
"Stand and deliver." Nice application of a historic phrase! It's very fitting for what we do.
 

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Padre said:
While output can be somewhat managed, it's really just on/off. Moreso regarding heart rate stuff. You basically have to throw it out on the SS...since it's pegged all the time!
Yes i agree with on/off...

i was gonna say you develop the idea that you can either ride it or you cant ...or you go so far and you quit and walk it....there are no other options.....

u have to lose a little ego to feel fine about just not riding some stuff (if you are runnin the wrong gear)....or we could all ride around in 22x34 all day :)

so in ways it makes the mental part of riding easier...unless you are super focused on picking the ultra clean lines....but where i ride those are the ones ya use anyways

I'Il say whats hard........... off road fixie ...53x11.... :)

-Boz
 

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Yep, dirty little secret

I only started mountain biking 5 years ago and rode only geared bikes, I-Drive, 02, 5 Spot, RFX, VPX. But I wavered and built up a 1FG with SnoCats for my snow bike (Maine). Well, I thought, why not take off the wide studded tires and mount some 32mm rims and 2.5's to see what the thing is about SS. Chit, it's fun. The only thing that I find difficult is the rooted, muddy stuff that gets me slowed down and then not able to accelerate up the next incline. I actually find myself choosing the SS for riding because it's so light and simple. Still have the RFX and the VPX but riding the 1FG more and more. Really nice to meet younger guys on geared bikes on the trail and know what they're thinking when they see no derailleurs. Oh yeah, I'm 59.
 

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Hills are harder. Flats are easier. Descents are the same. The bike is lighter, especially if you run it rigid, but then it's more punishing. All in all, I guess I've found that singlespeeding is generally more challenging , but in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that much more difficult. I'd gladly hike the gnarliest of the hills on a ride than futz around with derailleurs and suspension forks in my garage anyday. Singlespeeds are maintenance free, in my opinion, and that's a whole other kind of "easy."
 

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I thought

running gears was harder. I seemed to always be in the wrong gear, and all the shifting changed my focus from taking the right line, to 'gee, i sure hope this shift completes in time, and if this chain breaks/drops I'm in trouble'. Now that I dont even think about gears or shifting, it seems easier (mentally).

Most of cycling for me is mental. if you can deal with the pain you can accomplish amazing things. It seems that the less i have to think about, the more I can deliver. I guess I am just a pretty simple minded guy. Then again, that is why I ride...to clear my mind.

Physically....There can be no doubt, a SS rider has to produce a much wider range of torque than one with gears, but the *power* produced by either is the same, as is the *work* done. That said, your ability to acclimate to a wider range of necessary torque will determine what your perceived effort (PE) is. Given that most people tend to a limited range of cadence, they will state a lower PE when in that range, and a higher PE when forced out of that range due to conditions. SS riders are forced out of that preferred cadence range a bit more often....

Ken
 

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Out spokin'
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What?!?

Well I live in xxxxx and we have THE hardest ss riding in the world how, dare you say it's easy?

I ride the biggest the biggest gear known to man so of course it's hard!

So there!

--Sparty

:D
 

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Keep on Rockin...
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Sort of harder...

It's harder going up when you cannot gear down. It's easier than a gearie when you cannot gear up. Still, over all, it's much more challenging than riding a gearie.

Mike
 

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Combat Wombat
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Miker J said:
It's harder going up when you cannot gear down. It's easier than a gearie when you cannot gear up. Still, over all, it's much more challenging than riding a gearie.

Mike
I have not found that much difference when I'm feeling good, but where I really feel the difference is when I start to get tired. Never realized how much I had used gears to make up for tired legs, until I did not have the option to shift down. Overall, it has done wonders for my fitness level.

Brian
 

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single-speeding doesn't seem hard when you're used to it just like running 42.2 kilometre's at practice pace doesn't seem hard to a veteran marathoner. but just because you get acclimatized to single-speeding doesn't mean it isn't difficult in comparison to geared bikes. practice leads to results, and results leads to confidence-but let's face it, riding an SS is more difficult because of one simple fact- you can't cheat.
 

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I picked up a SS about 2 weeks ago.

I picked up a rigid Karate Monkey off of e-bay, and I've ridden it at all of the local trails that I hit (Schaeffer, Avalon, Gambrill for you MD folks) and by FAR the tougest thing for me to deal with was the lack of a front suspension. On my ride in Gambrill (lot's o rocks) I think I was experiencing kidney pain from the constant jarring. The SS part? Not so bad. In fact, I was quite surprised at how easy the SS part was, and I am by no means in fantastic shape.

Yeah, I missed a few of the really steep things that I normally make, but I rode >95% of the hills I normally do.

I'm really starting to dig my monkey; it's making the easier trails like Schaeffer and Avalon a lot of fun again. I think I'm going to keep my FS for the rocks though :)

One thing I have noticed is how much of a workout my upper body is getting on the steep climbs where I really have to work the bike. At the top of some of those hills my arms feel almost as tired as my legs!

Dave
 
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