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If you remotely do any road riding, you will hate it. Spin out within a few pedal strokes. Cant cover any serious distance. Riding to trail head took forever. Changing to a 14 cog helps, but it is really not practical for offroad.

If you only ride offroad, and you have hills, great. If there is a flat section, its super no fun.

I did this for about half a year while waiting for a geared bike to come in, and gave up riding road for exercise.
 

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Gigantic Hawk
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I have 3 ss's. They were my only bikes for years, and I never had any issues. Eventually my body got tired of getting beat up so I bought a full squish (now 2 fs's).

Single speeds have their place. They are great to learn on. You will develop better skills riding them. My riding became to varied to continue down that path.
 

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If you remotely do any road riding, you will hate it. Spin out within a few pedal strokes. Cant cover any serious distance. Riding to trail head took forever. Changing to a 14 cog helps, but it is really not practical for offroad.

If you only ride offroad, and you have hills, great. If there is a flat section, its super no fun.

I did this for about half a year while waiting for a geared bike to come in, and gave up riding road for exercise.
I have 4 road bikes and 1 MTB. My MTB is singlespeed, and I love it. I get spun out over 14mph, but it's not really a big deal for me because I don't ride that bike with the intent to be as fast as possible. The challenges and demands of riding a SS in the dirt feed my soul the right way.
 

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Agree fully. As long as there are other bikes, or you have another mean to exercise. 18 t on the bike path is not going to do it at least for me.

As an only bike, there are just days where it is nice outside, but timing is too short to drive to the trail head or the jumps.
 

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Combat Wombat
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I did this for 13 years, but as others have posted, it really depends on the situation as to if this is a good idea for you. All the local trails I ride are far enough away, that I drive to them. I also never had to deal with long flat sections or fire roads and have a dedicated road bike for riding on the street.

While my rigid SS is my favorite bike and what I ride most, there are times and places my geared HT is more fun.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Is it a good idea to have a singlespeed bike as your only bike.
That, my friend is entirely on you to answer. If it checks the boxes, go for it!
I spend more of my ride time on my pithy ass little dirt ripper cause it just leads to entertainment due to trials elements that are a staple.

Gearing and you... As you log more miles in earnest, you shall become stronger and able to push taller gears regardless of topography. Suddenly, you scratch your head and ask yourself, where did all these cogs and chanrings come from.

Frankly, not a lot of folks would be happy with a sone speed automatic as their only bike. That is the soul search you need to really do, objectively.
 

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SD"special delivery"Jones
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Is it a good idea to have a singlespeed bike as your only bike.
In my experience, the answer is Yes. After awhile you might find that your body wants something less harsh, at which point you might consider acquiring a geared, full suspension bike.

Bringing all the skills you've gained on your SS to your full squish will make you understand the benefits of playing the long game. You'll know how to actually ride a bike instead of letting technology compensate for a lack of technique.

Of course, there are plenty of others ways to hone your mtb skills without riding a SS, but few ways are as fun!

Good luck!
 

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My Salsa Fargo is set up as a Dingle speed. 55 and 70 gear inches with similar chain length. I can turn the bike over and switch it by hand, just have to move the tensioner over with an allen wrench. I dont remember offhand what chainrings and cog I used to get it there, but can check if anyone is interested.
 

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psycho cyclo addict
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I have two SS's, two geared 29er's and a rigid steel gravel bike.

Having bike commuted ~40 miles round trip on the SS's, I can say gears are helpful at times lol

I've also pedaled up to 90 miles on mixed surface SS when everyone else was on gears and enjoyed that as well. Some depends on the terrain, length of ride, how I'm feeling, etc. as to which weapon I choose...
 

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I rode SS only for quite some time and loved it. People would ask me where I ride my single speed and I was like “everywhere“. Ignorance was bliss. I had a blast riding my ss on every trail possible without complaints, it’s so much fun. I would power up the longest climbs blowing by all the guys sitting and spinning, oh how I love doing that. These days I do have a ripley hanging in the garage that I take out from time to time, mainly because I feel bad not riding it. I am 48 and do find my FS helps the body on certain days when I have aches and pains.

Honestly, I prefer riding my SS. I feel like it’s the most fun you can have on a bike. If I had to chose and could only own one bike, it would be a single speed hardtail.
 

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It depends on your goals. I rode my bike 8 miles on the pavement, one direction, to the trails and did fine. You have to adjust expectations when you're on the road on a SS. If you're strong enough, you can have a bigger gear and push a faster speed to the trails.

One issue that you may run into with a single speed is group rides. That's why I went away from it for a bit. Fast guys on terrain that varies insanely, 3 mph climbs to chasing the fastest racers in the state down gravel roads, will lead to some gearing issues.

If I rode my local trails and joined SS races then a SS as an only bike would be fine for me. Fyi, recovery rides on a SS can be very hard.
 

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I have 2 single speed bikes and one geared bike. The geared bike gets ridden the least. My two SS bikes are geared a little different. One 39/17 w/180mm cranks and the other 44/22 w/165mm cranks. Both can climb, but the 44/22 climbs easier.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
 

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aka "SirLurkAlot"
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628 Posts
I'm in my 50's and have been riding single speed only for 18 years. I just built up a geared bike to take to the mountains with my son. I rode it for less than a minute in the backyard and sold it. I just prefer single speed in either hardtail or full suspension. YMMV

Whatever you do, just ride!
 

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sofa king awsm
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641 Posts
This really depends on where you live and what your ride (and your personal "suffer" limit.) I love how single speed bikes look and love the challenge and simplicity of riding them. But my main bike? Wouldn't work for me sadly.
 
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