Page 1 of 11 12345678910 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 219

Thread: Pick a single speed because:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,170
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Pick a single speed because:

    Not to start any turf wars here, but I would love to hear what your reasons are to pick a SS MTB over a geared.
    Looking at the chain thread there are many of you here.
    I've been blown away many times seeing how well the top SS racers performed in both XC or longer races / rides , which made me think "if you only had gears on that thing".
    Background: Where I ride (NC mountains) I find myself running out of gears on any 1x10 setup.
     

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Oakland CA
    Posts
    344
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Seems like it makes people stronger riders because, well... you have nowhere else to go.
     

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,180
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    I will play along...
    I first rode/raced a single speed in 98'. I did it because I wnted to do something different after many years of racing. My days of consistent top 3 were passing. There was no single speed category. No special treatment. It was me against all the geared guys on everything from ski resort courses to park courses. It wasn't easy but it sure was fun. You learn a lot about momentum and sheer gut wrentching turning of the pedals. There was a ski resort race where I was certain my shoes were going to rip apart grinding up the long climbs.
    Entered a few cross races on single speeds back then also. Again, no single speed category.

    Everyone has their own reason for doing what they do, mine was simple to try something different. I did not make a big deal about. Didn't shout it from the roof tops, wear sarcastic tee shirts about it, tell people I was better/colder than them. Most people did not know until they looked at the bike.
    I just thought it was fun.
    Brian McLaughlin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Heartlandia
    Posts
    2,947
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Life is complicated and my bicycle shouldn't be.

    SS category is stupid.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    29
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    There are pragmatic reasons (you will get stronger) but if I really try and encapsulate the attraction things start sounding hokey pretty quick.

    MTBing is my release valve and I just want less. Less to maintain, less to listen to, less to think about, less intermediation between me, and the effort, and the woods.
     

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Colombia
    Posts
    320
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    less bicycle, more nature
    its good until its not and then its time for gears
    two wheels, all good
    un abrazo,
    Henrique Tono

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Chocolatetown, USA
    Posts
    1,886
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    I honestly don't think I'd be much faster, if at all, on gears. I race MTB and CX exclusively on a singlespeed. For MTB, I race the SS class......seems there is always an SS class. For CX I usually mix it up with the gearies.

    Not sure why I do it. It's simple. It's quiet. I just need to pedal.
    Will Neide (pronounced Nighty, like the thing worn to bed)

    Webpage : : Flickr : : Tumblr : : Facebook
    Instagram: wilco_cycleworks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,148
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    For myself, I really liked the idea of shedding all that extra "stuff". The challenge of doing the same lines with only one gear really got my attention. I mix it up a lot with both gears and single speed alike during a given week. However sometimes I do find myself riding certain bikes in streaks. I was on a geared streak, but just pulled the SS down for the last ride.. Maybe tomorrow that will continue.

    But riding a single speed will make you a stronger and a more efficient rider. It really teaches you how to carry your momentum and keep off the brakes. I ride it more at certain times of the year. Riding it too much though and I start to have some over use issues so that is why I try and mix it up a lot.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4,719
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
    But riding a single speed will make you a stronger and a more efficient rider. It really teaches you how to carry your momentum and keep off the brakes. I ride it more at certain times of the year. Riding it too much though and I start to have some over use issues so that is why I try and mix it up a lot.
    This. Teaches you how to flow and how to pick lines.
     

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Lake Mohegan, NY
    Posts
    1,536
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    I've been on single speed for the third year now and it is basically all I ride in the woods.

    Yes...simplicity, quiet, etc. But what I love is the way my body automatically gets off the saddle the way a geared rider is automatically going to hit that thumb shifter. There is no thinking about it...it just happens, right when it's supposed to...

    Just to throw this in, riding a rigid fork AND ss is ideal, as the no-nonsense ability to climb and not feel suspension movement is awesome. And the rigid fork WILL teach you to either pick good lines or deal more pro-actively with the tech.

    With singlespeed and rigid, you have to focus on the ride. Forces you to push aside all the BS spinning around in your head. Else you dab.

    Credit to converting me...the bottle ride...told me I could when I thought I couldn't, and have never looked back.

    SPP
    My name is Peter Miller.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Middle GA
    Posts
    5,040
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jace View Post
    There are pragmatic reasons (you will get stronger) but if I really try and encapsulate the attraction things start sounding hokey pretty quick.

    MTBing is my release valve and I just want less. Less to maintain, less to listen to, less to think about, less intermediation between me, and the effort, and the woods.
    ^THIS!!

    As far as being faster with or without gears, here's the thing: I'm faster on my SS, until I'm not. It forces you to climb harder and faster than you do with gears. Yes, you give up speed on the downhills and flats, but typically the terrain is the limiting factor there (if you're riding singletrack that is), not how hard you can pedal. I've done several races with and without gears, I'm faster without. The more up and down, the better for SSing - as long as you can stay on the bike. Once the climbs get too steep and/or too long, you just have to go with gears. But if you're strong enough....

    Also, here's a tip most non-SSers don't get: it's not as hard as you think. Check out this post I put together for Singletracks a few years ago, I lent my bike to several folks to try, they all loved it. Of those 5, two converted old bikes to SS, and two have bought dedicated SS's, and one has almost pulled the trigger on a SS a few times.

    Riding is believing. My SS is my favorite ride in the woods, and my go-to choice unless the ride will be really really long and/or hilly.

    EDIT: Horses for courses of course. If I lived in Asheville, NC I seriously doubt a SS would be my main ride.

    Also, +1 for a rigid fork. In that article linked to above I had a squishy fork, but I didn't keep it long. Rigid just works best on a SS.

    Dustin Gaddis
    Instagram
    Southern Wheelworks: Website - Facebook

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    7,112
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    My geared bike still has 3 rings in front and 9 in the back, that's crazy for Fla. The single speed just works. Our mildly undulating off-road terrain is single speed heaven.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Middle GA
    Posts
    5,040
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    My geared bike still has 3 rings in front and 9 in the back.
    Ha! Mine too. And, when I go to the mtns for long rides where I need gears, I use the full range too!
    Dustin Gaddis
    Instagram
    Southern Wheelworks: Website - Facebook

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    20,561
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Just another way to have fun. I'm with Kris and some of the others here.

    My 29'r SS is light as a feather, quiet and a blast. Because it is single speed I am getting a very different experience than riding gears in the woods. Other than that it's a huge PITA riding to and from trailheads ;)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    1,105
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    I have more fun on my singlespeed but I don't really know why. I think that act of selecting gears - the thought that goes into it, the changing of cadence, the inevitable wrong gear all play a part. I think the fact that there is no bailout gear on a single helps. I think the fact that I am forced to attack climbs, to keep momentum, the lack of clutter on the bars... the list goes on. There's a lot of reasons that I could type here, but frankly, they don't even sound credible when I put them into words. I can't explain with any certainty one way or another, nor can I offer a compelling argument. I have a really nice geared bike and it's great... but its not my singlespeed(s).

    As for being faster on gears, I think to each their own. I've said it on this forum before, that SS isn't nearly the handicap that people think it is. Personally, I'd bet that on most courses here in the mid atlantic, I'm at least as fast if not faster on the SS. There's no feasible way for me to test that though and I'm not dorky enough to go TT my bikes back to back. If you're racing an SS, picking the right gear for the course goes a long way. Knowing when to swallow your pride and come off the bike to run a climb can gain you a lot of ground (if you're reasonably quick on foot). Really the only time I feel like I'm at a disadvantage is on the typical fire road starts. I'll be at the back of the pack spinning my ass off trying to hold a wheel while guys with big rings walk away. A lot of them will come back in the woods, but racers all know that positioning can play a big part in the outcome of a race.

    Even if I lived in the mountains (in the east, anyway) I'd still ride my SS... I would just gear down for the climbs. Once the trail turns down hill, your gear ratio doesnt matter.
    Bill Showers

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    1,105
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Other than that it's a huge PITA riding to and from trailheads ;)
    This does suck. I live a couple miles from some trails and this is the main reason I ride my geared bike anymore... If you're gonna do it, you just need to accept it for what it is. It's better than driving to the trailhead, no?
    Bill Showers

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    724
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    Once the trail turns down hill, your gear ratio doesnt matter.
    Ain't that the truth...


    Neko Mulally NO CHAIN RUN to 4th!! UCI World Champs 2014 Hafjell - YouTube
    Neil

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Puyallup, WA
    Posts
    3,127
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Currently my only MTB is a single speed. With drop bars. Maybe call it a SS monster crosser. About the only time I ride it is on my lunchtime rides. I work at a manufacturing plant with a couple hundred acres of woods laced with service/fire roads. Max elevation change is about 80 ft. No need for gears here. Plus, I need to be able to just grab it and ride. Much like a commuter, it just needs to be reliable. Less stuff to go wrong (no derailleurs) means more reliable. And there's an attraction to the simplicity.
    DT

    http://www.mjolnircycles.com/

    Some are born to move the world to live their fantasies...

    "the fun outweighs the suck, and the suck hasn't killed me yet." -- chasea

    "Sometimes, as good as it feels to speak out, silence is the only way to rise above the morass. The high road is generally a quiet route." -- echelon_john

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    497
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    I ride SS because I don't know how to shift well when I'm drunk.
     

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    Posts
    9,220
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    I cut 45min off my CCP100 time by switching to 1-speed.

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

Similar Threads

  1. Is single speed worth it?
    By velo_guy in forum VSalon Pro-Bicycle Tech
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-22-2013, 06:09 PM
  2. Anyone here sport a 29 single speed?
    By acotts in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 80
    Last Post: 10-12-2012, 03:21 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •