Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I sold my last SS in 2012. Since that time, I moved on first to a 3x9, and then converted to 1x10, and eventually ended up with a 3x10 setup. Throughout this progression my relationship with my mountain bike became fickle, at best.

About a month ago, after a particularly frustrating ride during which I was entirely preoccupied with my bike, and not engaged with my surroundings at all, I came down with a sudden, strong compulsion to return to the basics. I remembered a time when my relationship with my mountain bike was not so tenuous. I knew I was missing the simplicity and certainty of singlespeed.

Even more compelling was the realization that gears had enabled me to become a lazy, slow rider. I was a stronger rider when I rode singlespeed, but with my 3x10 setup I was spending way too much time sitting, because I could, because it was easier -- but it was way less efficient. My slower pedaling resulted in lower momentum, which meant less stability, more deflection, and more wrestling with the bike -- rather than commanding it, as I should have been. I wished instead to stand and mash and engage, which we all know is just so much more satisfying on a singlespeed...

So I said **** it, and I converted my Ogre to singlespeed. (I even converted my XT hub to bolt-on for the purpose.)

And it has been beautiful. It was exactly what I was missing in my life.

Why is that?

Honestly, for me, it's really all about the climb -- the brutal cleansing burn of the climb.

Really, it's all about that moment -- when it's steep, and technical, at the very heart of the climb -- when every ounce of focus and strength must be summoned from within to conquer each individual apex. One after another, every bit of energy harnessed and exerted, with complete focus -- to move, gear inch by gear inch, revolution by revolution, ever over and upward.

At some point during the climb, when I've exhausted everything else, I tap into the darkness within. It is my most potent fuel, and when ignited it burns with blinding intensity.

When everything inside has been burned, and I finally, silently crest, I am left feeling clean and pure.

I know of no other outlet like it. It's like wrestling a ****ing lion. So glad to be back.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Nice writing.

I sold my last SS in 2012. Since that time, I moved on first to a 3x9, and then converted to 1x10, and eventually ended up with a 3x10 setup. Throughout this progression my relationship with my mountain bike became fickle, at best.

About a month ago, after a particularly frustrating ride during which I was entirely preoccupied with my bike, and not engaged with my surroundings at all, I came down with a sudden, strong compulsion to return to the basics. I remembered a time when my relationship with my mountain bike was not so tenuous. I knew I was missing the simplicity and certainty of singlespeed.

Even more compelling was the realization that gears had enabled me to become a lazy, slow rider. I was a stronger rider when I rode singlespeed, but with my 3x10 setup I was spending way too much time sitting, because I could, because it was easier -- but it was way less efficient. My slower pedaling resulted in lower momentum, which meant less stability, more deflection, and more wrestling with the bike -- rather than commanding it, as I should have been. I wished instead to stand and mash and engage, which we all know is just so much more satisfying on a singlespeed...

So I said **** it, and I converted my Ogre to singlespeed. (I even converted my XT hub to bolt-on for the purpose.)

And it has been beautiful. It was exactly what I was missing in my life.

Why is that?

Honestly, for me, it's really all about the climb -- the brutal cleansing burn of the gnarly climb.

Really, it's all about that moment -- when it's steep, and technical, at the very heart of the climb -- when every ounce of focus and strength must be summoned from within to conquer each individual apex. One after another, every bit of energy harnessed and exerted, with complete focus -- to move, gear inch by gear inch, revolution by revolution, ever over and upward.

At some point during the climb, when I've exhausted everything else, I tap into the darkness within. It is my most potent fuel, and when ignited it burns with blinding intensity.

When everything inside has been burned, and I finally, silently crest, I am left feeling clean and pure.

I know of no other outlet like it. It's like wrestling a ****ing lion. So glad to be back.
:thumbsup:
 

·
Robtre
Joined
·
706 Posts
Nice writing. To each his own, but SS only for me. A couple years back there was a Surly/Salsa demo day at my local trail Lake Norman State Park so I decided I would try out all the bikes that were opposite of what I was riding, a SS Steel 29er. I rode both FS Salsa's at the time one was a Horsethief, and the other was a Spearfish. I did a 3.5 mile loop on both bikes and almost immediately did I want off the bike. In my opinion, FS for XC is just too much. Of course I was riding the bike like a SS, standing and mashing, which just doesn't work for FS bikes at all. I tried sitting and spinning and there is just no thrill there for me riding like that. Maybe when I am too old to ride SS, (hopefully never) I will get one. Lastly I rode the suite of fat bikes offered by Surly, and those bikes were really fun but the whole time I was thinking man if this thing was SS I could enjoy this better. I just don't like geared bikes. For me its SS. I like the challenge. When I am in shape I can make 99% of the climbs in NC, and 1% is failure of skills, not legs or lungs. This year I committed to riding rigid for an entire year, and I can say that my skills are sharpening. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
I agree with most of your points OP. Plus there's the satisfaction that you did it in the hardest way and still came out on top when you crush a technical and/or steep climb. There is an extended 30%+ grade climb at the beginning of our Wednesday night ride and I got it for the first time today on my singlespeed. That climb is a son of a gun on a geared bike, so when I made it up to the top, even though I was too shattered to outwardly express it, I was ecstatic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
Completely agree and feel the same - I ventured into 1x9 for about two months and just hated the gears. So SS only as well .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Welcome back back mate - good choice ;-)

I always read about SSing being hard before I got a Singlespeed. The thing is though it doesn't feel hard at all. Climbs aren't harder than they were on a geared rig either - the technique is just VERY different.

To me SS is just more fun and less hassle. Faster up and down. Just pedal and enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Thank you OP (and other contributors). You've saved me from making a horrible mistake.

I've been thinking of putting a few gears on the back of the SS for a while now but just couldn't convince myself I'd like it. Reading your thoughts has made me step back from the ledge.

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I am just now getting back on my bike, work, family, life I just didnt have the time. I knew something was missing, I realized i missed that moment of just being with nature. To be able to ride a trail in complete silence. I like things to be simple. My converted Trek 6500 may be 13 years old but it still does it job 100%......... And beer taste better after a ride ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
Word up.

On a group ride while we were waiting for others to catch up we kept doing this short steep ascent over and over to stay limber I guess. Before on previous rides I had not mastered it and on this ride I had failed 2 times and on the third try I got to the top. I was feeling foolish for zapping my strength at the beginning of the ride but it had to be done and the feeling I had at the top made it all worth while. Anyway I still made it through the ride and I'm a stronger rider now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ever think about going up a frame size? Sure looks like that Ogre is a bit too small for you...
You know, it's almost not tall enough, but the length is just right. I'm running a 100mm stem with a sweep bar and wouldn't want to be any more stretched out. I guess my legs are out of proportion with my torso or something. I get by fine running long seatposts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Regarding simplicity and suffering -- don't let the suspension fork fool you. I run 180psi, and it's always locked out. There's nothing to adjust, nothing to think about, nothing to distract me. I hardly even notice it's there, but it does take the edge off. (This is a difficult concession for me after 10 years of riding rigid... but I'm coming around.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
Well put. I know exactly what you mean. I have sold my SS on three different occasions and always find myself coming back to it. I think everyone rides differently and the fact that we are mashers rather then spinners makes SS more attractive to us. That being said, I respect geared riders who can crush it. Like you, I find myself taking the easy way out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
I love my singlespeed because of it's beautiful simplicity, and I can do all my own mechanics on the bike with minimal tools. No problem keeping it in perfect running order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
I love my SS because there are absolutely no decisions to be made, I just ride and enjoy.
:thumbsup:
I get on it and go. If I can't make a section, I hike it...I'm still outdoors, and loving it...and I've got a little more incentive to push harder next time, or not. Either way, I'm all goofy grins.

I'd say it's quieter too, but my Hope SS hub is far from quiet.;)
 

·
Just Ride
Joined
·
1,738 Posts
Welcome back!

I just started riding again after 5-6 months of not, thanks to our lovely weather. And the burn, OMG, the burn! But it's a good burn and after kicking my ass for several rides, will again become very enjoyable! Nice analogy with the lion!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top