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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i keep seeing all these posts basically saying "wow after going SS im now dusting all these riders, and just went from slowest to fastest in my group" blah blah blah as if it's some sort of magical change that will transform the rider into an elite machine or something.

well no duh, of course you are going to mash past people that are pacing themselves uphill at a lower gear ratio, why would you expect otherwise? it's a simple trade-off, just like you can choose to hike uphill, or jog/run uphill, one requires more energy expenditure overall than the other and will surely get you there faster, but you pay for that with higher fatigue and energy drain. these are not new concepts.

i just don't get this aura of "revelation" that some posters seem to be relaying. honestly to me it seems like more of a fad than anything else, something a few riders came up with to cure their MTB boredom and have something else to buy and build up. i also think some people just like being part of an exclusive club where only the "hardcore" dare go.

don't get me wrong, i agree that

1) simplification is good in general, and
2) 27 gears is ridiculous considering the amount of redundancy

but going from one extreme to the other does not seem like the best solution either. although you eliminate several problems you are just replacing them with other problems. i understand that not thinking about gears helps clear your mind, etc, but surely there must be a middle ground here that does not make such large sacrafices as SS clearly does...
 

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Wow. I could never fully explain my draw to single speeding, but I assure you it isn't just a "fad" for me. Since I bought my single speed years ago I have sold my geared bikes as they weren't getting pulled from the rack anymore.
All the reaons as to "Why SS?" should have been covered in this thread above:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=82461

It's been viewed 2,700 times and it has 236 replies.

Is it magical? I can't say that. Do I feel like a kid taking my somewhat simple machine into the woods? Yep. There is a warm place in my heart for single speeds that I can't explain. I wouldn't expect everybody to understand. I don't understand how some people can watch golf on TV, but I don't doubt their love for the game.
 

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salimoneus said:
i understand that not thinking about gears helps clear your mind, etc, but surely there must be a middle ground here that does not make such large sacrafices as SS clearly does...
Like not thinking about some gears will partly clear your mind? :thumbsup:

Aren't gears just a compromise between riding your bike and an uplift / shuttle service? ;)
 

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salimoneus said:
i keep seeing all these posts basically saying "wow after going SS im now dusting all these riders, and just went from slowest to fastest in my group" blah blah blah as if it's some sort of magical change that will transform the rider into an elite machine or something.
I don't dust anyone! With only one speed, I'm now slower on the flats and slower up the hills than all my friends, I get passed often and regularly in Central Park, and I couldn't keep up on a brisk club ride to win a bet.

But I ride my single-speed bike almost all the time, as I have for a year now, because I love it so much. It's simple, it's fun, it's like being a kid again. I just "ride bike!"

Gears are really a kick after lots of single-speeding. I always think, "Wow! Who invented these?! It's so easy to climb. It's so easy to go fast!" But after a geared ride or two, I go back to my ss, and it's like coming home.
 

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For me SS is definitely not a fad, I did it because I was sick of my gears going wrong, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I'm now faster uphills, but slower on the flats.

When I get on a geared bike I ride better, and can use the gears more effectively, changing down a lot later than I used to.

I'll definitely always ride SS, I sold my geared and suspension bikes because of it, but I can still see a place for them in my armory and will probably get a geared bike at some point in the future for those play rides, and rides where I'm with my geared friends, but right now, I'm happy peddling like an idiot everywhere! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
unclenorm said:
Like not thinking about some gears will partly clear your mind? :thumbsup:
exactly =) to be more precise, i think that there is definitely a point of too many being a hindrance, but if the number of choices is kept low enough it becomes almost a subconscious decision requiring no real thought. say for instance somewhere in the 3-5 gear range, where if laid out properly the top and bottom would be rarely used with most of your time spent somewhere in the middle few.

that's the typical gear spread for most all autos and motorcycles, why not for bikes too. like on my offroad rig (Jeep) i only run in 1st on very steep climbs (rare), and only in overdrive (4th) on long distance road travel, and spend most of the time in 2nd or 3rd.

many of you are using tensioners in the rear which result is about as much weight and frictional drag on the driveline as a rear deraileur anyway.
 

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salimoneus said:
i just don't get this aura of "revelation" that some posters seem to be relaying. honestly to me it seems like more of a fad than anything else, something a few riders came up with to cure their MTB boredom and have something else to buy and build up. QUOTE]

It is like you trying to explain your passion for biking to a bunch of 4-wheelers...Until they try they are just not going to get it...Get it?? SSimple. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
miSSionary said:
It is like you trying to explain your passion for biking to a bunch of 4-wheelers...Until they try they are just not going to get it...Get it?? SSimple. :D
not really sure how that compares. how about this, why not tell the 4-wheelers to mod their rigs so they only have one gear, would be very curious to see how they respond =)

to me trying to explain SS would probably go something like "yea well i took my mountain bike and did a BMX conversion on it because i like pedalling my ass off on flats and blowing my wad on uphills (the ones im not forced to walk)"

so i guess what this comes down to is just wanting to feel like your young again? yea i think there's a name for that....isn't it called a midlife crisis? ;)
 

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salimoneus said:
not really sure how that compares. how about this, why not tell the 4-wheelers to mod their rigs so they only have one gear, would be very curious to see how they respond =)

to me trying to explain SS would probably go something like "yea well i took my mountain bike and did a BMX conversion on it because i like pedalling my ass off on flats and blowing my wad on uphills (the ones im not forced to walk)"

so i guess what this comes down to is just wanting to feel like your young again? yea i think there's a name for that....isn't it called a midlife crisis? ;)
I just meant until you try it no, you probably won't get it. mid-life?? I'm young at 32!! ;)
 

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I'm 29 so at least 15-20 years away from a mid-life crisis yet I'd say! ;)

If I wanted a BMX I wouldn't have given my Raleigh Mag Burner away or I'd just go out and get one.

Have you tried SS? Some people love it, they're generally the ones who post on this board, some people hate it and they just usually go and ride geared and forget about it! ;)
 

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Ss.

salimoneus said:
i keep seeing all these posts basically saying "wow after going SS im now dusting all these riders, and just went from slowest to fastest in my group" blah blah blah as if it's some sort of magical change that will transform the rider into an elite machine or something.

well no duh, of course you are going to mash past people that are pacing themselves uphill at a lower gear ratio, why would you expect otherwise? it's a simple trade-off, just like you can choose to hike uphill, or jog/run uphill, one requires more energy expenditure overall than the other and will surely get you there faster, but you pay for that with higher fatigue and energy drain. these are not new concepts.

i just don't get this aura of "revelation" that some posters seem to be relaying. honestly to me it seems like more of a fad than anything else, something a few riders came up with to cure their MTB boredom and have something else to buy and build up. i also think some people just like being part of an exclusive club where only the "hardcore" dare go.

don't get me wrong, i agree that

1) simplification is good in general, and
2) 27 gears is ridiculous considering the amount of redundancy

but going from one extreme to the other does not seem like the best solution either. although you eliminate several problems you are just replacing them with other problems. i understand that not thinking about gears helps clear your mind, etc, but surely there must be a middle ground here that does not make such large sacrafices as SS clearly does...
To understand single speeds, you must ride one yourself. Not just for a day or two...but for weeks...months.

After doing this, you may then begin to just start to see the reasons why we love single speed bikes so much.

There are many answers to your question, but only after riding a singlespeed yourself for a while will you be able to answer it....for yourself.

R.
 

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There are compromises. Yes. Hills are harder, flats may be slower, and you run out of gear on downhills from time to time but, it is the challenge of it all that makes the SS fun. You find more power in you legs as you continue to challenge yourself to get up longer and steeper stuff. Your body adapts. You find a way to spin faster and smoother to get speed out of the down slopes. The revelation for me was that the body is a far more adaptalbe, and flexible engine than the bike companie's marketing departments have led me to think over the years. Riding is about riding more than ever and much less about the money I need to spend on gear or maintenance. That is fun.

Try if you want, if you don't that is OK.
 

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salimoneus said:
i keep seeing all these posts basically saying "wow after going SS im now dusting all these riders, and just went from slowest to fastest in my group" blah blah blah as if it's some sort of magical change that will transform the rider into an elite machine or something.

well no duh, of course you are going to mash past people that are pacing themselves uphill at a lower gear ratio, why would you expect otherwise? it's a simple trade-off, just like you can choose to hike uphill, or jog/run uphill, one requires more energy expenditure overall than the other and will surely get you there faster, but you pay for that with higher fatigue and energy drain. these are not new concepts.

i just don't get this aura of "revelation" that some posters seem to be relaying. honestly to me it seems like more of a fad than anything else, something a few riders came up with to cure their MTB boredom and have something else to buy and build up. i also think some people just like being part of an exclusive club where only the "hardcore" dare go.

don't get me wrong, i agree that

1) simplification is good in general, and
2) 27 gears is ridiculous considering the amount of redundancy

but going from one extreme to the other does not seem like the best solution either. although you eliminate several problems you are just replacing them with other problems. i understand that not thinking about gears helps clear your mind, etc, but surely there must be a middle ground here that does not make such large sacrafices as SS clearly does...
A bit harsh but some truth to your comment... My draw is, after riding and learning mtb on 4" xc susser, riding rigid rear end with fixed gear gave me that new learning how to ride mtb feel when I was stoked about riding everyday as I progressed. Plus, when I ride my other geared 4" susser, it seems so much easier when climbing and I spin a larger gear than I use to. Definetely not a "fad" since I truthfully look foward to riding my ss more than my susser. But I can't take my ss every terrain since it has limitation...unless you enjoy "dabbing" and walking your bike a lot. So riding ss is definitely harder when compared to riding geared bike when cleanning every section is mandatory. So I agree with you when people say that it's easier riding ss, they are not being truthful. Maybe around one hour ride time it could seem that way but go on a 2-4 hrs epic ride with ton of climb with a lot of techy sections, the truth will be revealed. But cyclist in us may prefer that infamous "suffering", however.

I get such a kick out of cleaning sections that I never have been able to and my friends on their full susser geared bike who dab or walk. Don't we all?

STH
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rainman said:
To understand single speeds, you must ride one yourself. Not just for a day or two...but for weeks...months.

After doing this, you may then begin to just start to see the reasons why we love single speed bikes so much.

There are many answers to your question, but only after riding a singlespeed yourself for a while will you be able to answer it....for yourself.

R.
i don't need to ride a custom $$ bike in order to know what riding a single speed is like. just go out and pick a gear ratio and ride without changing gears, pretty simple. been there, done that, and i have to say it's not the right tool for the job.

i prefer to keep the engine in it's powerband, which results in more speed and better performance, and a better overall workout. if walking your bike uphill and coasting back down is "fun" for you, then hey man whatever works, i guess i just don't "get it"
 

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As Rainman says "Not just for a day or two...but for weeks...months."

You're not going to "get it" by putting your bike into one gear and trying to ride somewhere, it isn't going to give you the full experience.
 

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salimoneus said:
i don't need to ride a custom $$ bike in order to know what riding a single speed is like. just go out and pick a gear ratio and ride without changing gears, pretty simple. been there, done that, and i have to say it's not the right tool for the job.

i prefer to keep the engine in it's powerband, which results in more speed and better performance, and a better overall workout. if walking your bike uphill and coasting back down is "fun" for you, then hey man whatever works, i guess i just don't "get it"
Riding a geared bike as a singlespeed just doesn't work very well. It *may* give you a small 'taste' of the sensation of singlespeeding, but it will not show you what singlespeed riding is.

A single speed bike doesn't have to be an expensive custom bike. It's not about the money, it's about the singlespeed.

From your posts, it's very plain for us to see that you don't know what singlespeeding is about. The only way you will ever really know, is to do it. To make the committment yourself.

I have always maintained that singlespeed riding is much harder than riding a geared bike. I truly believe that to be so. You get a greater whole body workout on a SS.

You are correct in your summation though. You don't "get it".

You won't ever "get it".....unless you try it for yourself.

R.
 

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Wow!

salimoneus said:
i keep seeing all these posts basically saying "wow after going SS im now dusting all these riders, and just went from slowest to fastest in my group" blah blah blah as if it's some sort of magical change that will transform the rider into an elite machine or something.

well no duh, of course you are going to mash past people that are pacing themselves uphill at a lower gear ratio, why would you expect otherwise? it's a simple trade-off, just like you can choose to hike uphill, or jog/run uphill, one requires more energy expenditure overall than the other and will surely get you there faster, but you pay for that with higher fatigue and energy drain. these are not new concepts.
Just hopping on for a test ride? Sure you'll get fatigued. If you want to feel the magic you'll have to earn it.

The magic is called training effect. Ride hard and the body responds. I find myself climbing stronger and getting over the top with less fatigue. Work pays is not a new concept either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
SingleTrackHound said:
A bit harsh but some truth to your comment... My draw is, after riding and learning mtb on 4" xc susser, riding rigid rear end with fixed gear gave me that new learning how to ride mtb feel when I was stoked about riding everyday as I progressed. Plus, when I ride my other geared 4" susser, it seems so much easier when climbing and I spin a larger gear than I use to. Definetely not a "fad" since I truthfully look foward to riding my ss more than my susser. But I can't take my ss every terrain since it has limitation...unless you enjoy "dabbing" and walking your bike a lot. So riding ss is definitely harder when compared to riding geared bike when cleanning every section is mandatory. So I agree with you when people say that it's easier riding ss, they are not being truthful. Maybe around one hour ride time it could seem that way but go on a 2-4 hrs epic ride with ton of climb with a lot of techy sections, the truth will be revealed. But cyclist in us may prefer that infamous "suffering", however.

I get such a kick out of cleaning sections that I never have been able to and my friends on their full susser geared bike who dab or walk. Don't we all?

STH
i appreciate your candid reply.

in response to the main point you and many others have made, that being you find you are stronger when going back to the geared bike after riding SS.

well if resulting in being a stronger rider is one of the major benefits, it seems to me to be more a lack of discipline and not pushing yourself hard enough on your geared bikes to begin with. since the geared bikes can do anything and everything a SS can do, then it must be that the rider was not achieving their full potential before even making the switch.

there must surely be cheaper and easier ways to motivate one's self other than a full driveline conversion or completely new rig. in the end it's just a state of mind that makes the difference, and you don't need new hardware to make that happen :)
 

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I don't have a SS mtb, so I can't say for offroad specifically. I did however get a fixed gear recently for commuting, and after doing my hilly commute in 46x16 for 3 weeks it felt pretty "magical" climbing on my geared mtb. I don't think I have the genetics for SSing exclusively, but I would if I could. Who doesn't want a 20lb xc bike?
 
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