How fast are you on a singlespeed?

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  • How fast are you on a singlespeed?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas

    over the course of a ride ‘about the same as a geared bike’.

    Just a blur.


    Overall about the same, more tired at the end but feeling better the next day.


    Some days I beat my mates, some days they beat me.

    What does that say?

    Premier Icon cardo

    Quicker than my other geared bikes… and have spanked a few KOM’s

    Uphill – quicker, as you can’t help but pedal hard
    Allong the flat – slower, as you can’t pedal hard
    Downhill – about the same, as you’re not pedaling so gear is irelavent

    Overall – a bit slower, but not by much if there’re enough hills.

    Premier Icon mattjg

    It depends on the terrain – on a flattish ride where I’d spin out, I’m slower than on gears. On a steep grind up, plummet down ride, I’m slower if I have to walk on the up.

    But most of my rides are hilly undulating XC (climbs here are either steep or long but rarely both), I reckon I’m maybe a tad quicker on SS.

    I also find on singletrack, I ride with more flow on SS because the mental jingle-jangle of gear management is silenced, and I ride the terrain, rather than ride the bike riding the terrain. More flow = faster, probably.

    I also find on singletrack, I ride with more flow

    I think that’s true. You have to maintain your momentum.

    Rode the Big Dog (Brighton) XC course last night on my SS. Will do a proper timed run for comparison soon but despite being very new to SS I reckon there’s very little difference in my lap times between hardtail geared and rigid SS.

    It’s interesting to see that, despite years of marketing to the contrary, gears don’t make that much difference and neither does suspension.

    Premier Icon jam bo

    because the mental jingle-jangle of gear management is silenced

    do you struggle to tie your laces too?


    So fast my friends don’t want to ride with me anymore, well, that’s what I tell myself 😥


    Depends on how I feel on the day. Last night was one of those rides where you just feel invincible. Untterly spanked it 😉 still buzzing today 😉

    Generally I find myself faster running singlespeed but then my local trails are fast flowing forest trails rather then steep up and down rocky terrain. Trouble is most of my mates are even faster but that just give me something to aim for.

    First real ride on the new exotic carbon forks too, really impressed there.

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    Quicker on the SS over the course of a ride generally, though that may be because the SS is a 25lb hardtail and the geared bike is a 35lb 160mm full sus. 😕


    Never mind the fastest, which is more fun ?
    SS for the win 😀

    Faster than your geared bike?
    Faster than everybody else?

    On the climbs I think I’m probably faster as I can’t chicken out and go for an easier gear.

    Escaped earths gravity the other day but luckily hit relativisitical speed before leaving the atmosphere and was pulled back down to earth due to my near infinite mass (or more accurately the earth and space was pulled back toward me)

    Premier Icon mattjg

    oh we do enjoy these self-congratulatory elitist SS-beats-gears threads. don’t we?

    (our nightride tonight is looking like it will be long, fast and flattish, I’m contemplating taking some gears!)

    Not sure!

    I have gears on my mountain bike because I ride it up and down hills.

    I have no gears on my road bike because I only ride it around Manchester and there are no hills.

    I suspect that on mildly hilly terrain I would be faster on a singlespeed because I would try and smash the hills flat. I would also be more tired.

    On very hilly terrain gears would win out.

    Never mind the fastest, which is more fun ?

    I’d have to agree. I’m really enjoying my SSing at the mo. To quote Sir Dave Brailsford, My new wheels aren’t just round, they’re really round.


    It’s interesting to see that, despite years of marketing to the contrary, gears don’t make that much difference and neither does suspension.

    difference to what?


    Slower than the same bike with gears.

    If I was faster, it would be a strong indication I was doing it wrong.

    However I do go SS over winter as it makes the bike less effort to clean and maintain and keeps me strong-like-ox.

    Hopefully I will never have to find out


    Faster than a Chav cashing there giro.



    Much faster on my 29er with 32:18 gear set up than when I had gears 5 years ago

    On a flat xc ride I average around 14.5 mph (14.4 mph avg on my first 100 mile ride at the weekend), on a hilly ride I will do about 11.5 to 12.5 mph average (over 30-40 miles. Up hills I try and hold 9 mph and can stand and slog hard for 2-3 miles up hill no probs.

    I never get passed by anyone on a ride and I also have lost all riding buddies 🙁

    I love the simplicity of a single speed and the silence , gears seem to just be an excuse to go slower, my fitness is so much better these days, I am doing 150+ miles and don’t really feel it all

    Thinking maybe I should start racing?

    That video is very funny

    Andypaul: Lap Times

    Ah, so that’s what matters is it? What if I don’t ride around in circles?

    Singlespeeded for years, I’ll always be faster with gears. If your faster with single speed its because your not using your gears properly,

    I’d have shaved around 10 mins off my mayhem lap times with gears. Nothing to do with the steep climbs but the slight downhill’s which I could have pedalled more and the slight drags uphill which took so much out of my legs.

    But I ride single speed because:

    I love the simplicity of a single speed and the silence


    My beard grows faster when I’m singlespeeding.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Slower, as I have to keep fending off the chicks…


    I’m brutally fast on a singlespeed when I need to be (as in racing and riding with very fast boys n girls) other than that just happy to bumble and watch the world go by.

    for short xc type races i will always be quicker on gears

    for longer enduros I’m better on SS as I don’t burn myself out in the first 12 hours. (that’s purely down to me being a tit rather than a gears thing though) 😀


    Never thought about it.
    I was always quicker climbing though, as to pootle wasn’t an option..

    Van Halen

    defo quicker uphill. also more ruined. overall speed – faster with a fs over a distance. for a shorter blast ss.

    its a good workout rather than practical.

    Thinking maybe I should start racing?

    Not where I do please

    Premier Icon ian martin

    I find that when your on form single speeding is one of the most joyous things in the world.
    But if you’re have an off day then it is a really miserable experience.

    Singlespeed for getting fit and gears for recovery.

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez

    I’m more interestedin flow than speed. I find SS is generally good for this

    Premier Icon mattjg

    For me, part of the equation of singlespeeding is letting go of the pressure (be it perceived or real, personal or peer group) to go as quick as possible all the time.

    The same for the odd push up a hill, or getting dropped. Not bothered. Let it go.

    Depends. As above faster uphill, slower on flat and depends on the steepness and rattliness of the downhill (ie once its too steep it doesn’t matter if you have gears as you can’t put any ‘meaningful’ pedal strokes anyway).

    Last night I left the ss at home and for first time in maybe 3 months I rode racey 100mm fs 3×9 bike instead (weighs maybe 2kg more than my suspension forked steel ss) on the same trails as usual: geary fs was clearly faster downhill and over long sets of big/rattly roots, but I think that is the larger tyres and bouncy rear end, and it was slower uphill because I am lazy and spin an easier gear if one is available. Faster on sustrans path to trails becuase I always spin out on a singlespeed on that.

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