How tough is it to single speed?

Home Forum Bike Forum How tough is it to single speed?

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 69 total)
  • How tough is it to single speed?
  • thomthumb
    Member

    it’s different but not that much harder IMO.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Not as tough as you probably think. Anyone moderately fit has enough to start and enjoy.

    A lot of the adjustment is mental. It’s OK to walk and enjoy the view. It’s OK to spin out and enjoy rolling along. And it’s good fun to let rip and steam into climbs to see if you can get up them.

    IanMunro
    Member

    It’s pretty hard.
    If you see someone on a SS remember they’re probably awesome.

    Roter Stern
    Member

    You soon get used to the fact you can’t change into an easier gear. And you soon realize you can absolutely mash the pedals without the worry of a gear slipping. Hardest on the lower back and the upper arms IME. They really get sore after a tough day climbing on the SS.

    MrSparkle
    Member

    Just do it. Too hard? Lower the gearing. Enjoy. ;0)

    Not as hard as you might imagine. More of an all body workout. I wish my left knee was up to SSing offroad because it was fun.

    _tom_
    Member

    It’s not as tough as you might think, and so much fun.

    samuri
    Member

    The hardest bit is when you find you’ve chosen a gear that’s too low. Then you’ll find yourself spinning like a loon.

    acehtn
    Member

    That Highland 400 race during the week had a few singlespeeders.

    Think they fall into the “awesome” camp 🙂

    dickydownes
    Member

    Looking for a bike I can keep at work that I can just hop on and go for a ride – whether that be on the road or on the trails (if I can make it that far!). Just how fit do you need to be to enjoy a single speed?

    lee170
    Member

    It’s addictive!!!
    I ride to work on a hybrid SS and its ace, not that hard but enough to make you put the effort in!!
    I have now bought a SS for the trails to

    gears_suck
    Member

    If you want one which will serve both disciplines, you will probably find one is compromised as choosing one gear for road and off road will result in one or the other being either to easy or to hard.
    Unless of course you can spin like a top, mash like a Russian power lifter, or both.

    emac65
    Member

    Don’t believe any BS about how hard it is,it’s just a bike with no gears & that’s all it is.Some like the simplicity of it,I find it a bit boring(like most the ardent SSers) so tend to only use it for quick blasts…

    The hardest part I find is growing suitable facial hair.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Just how fit do you need to be to enjoy a single speed?

    You need to be mental not fit 😉

    As they say it depends on the gearing and the hills
    It is a play off between being able to get up the hills and not spinning out at a low speed [ especially on the road] 32 :16 the standard SS MTB gearing spins out at circa 20 mph for example.

    I am not sure if it gets you fitter per se but it does get you stronger and more powerful as it is hard work labouring a high[er] gear up a hill.
    It is IME harder than geared over similar terrain for obvious reasons

    yossarian
    Member

    It’s boring to be honest. I’ve ridden ss on and off for years and it offers no tangible advantages other than niche bragging rights on Internet forums.

    eyerideit
    Member

    Your thumbs won’t know what to do with themselves on the first ride.

    drofluf
    Member

    If you have to ask then you’re not tough enough 😮

    Seriously though if I can manage it then anyone can. Start with 32:16 unless you’re somewhere really flat or really hilly and take it from there.

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez
    Subscriber

    I’m faster riding XC stuff around the Surrey hills on SS. I can’t really explain why but I am. It’s not that hard but it does encourage you to push yourself

    qwerty
    Member

    Sometime it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy.

    Premier Icon muddydwarf
    Subscriber

    I have one for commuting, 42/16 and skinny 700c tyres are ideal for the roads IMO, great fun on short distance runabouts etc.
    Doubt i would have one for off road duties though.

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    You could try sticking your geared bike in one gear and answering the question yourself.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    You could try sticking your geared bike in one gear and answering the question yourself.

    Doesn’t work.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    it’s just a bike with no gears

    [Pedant] its got one gear actually[/pedant]

    Premier Icon kennyp
    Subscriber

    I commute on a singlespeed and love it. As long as you don’t have too many steep hills around it is easier than you think. You adapt very quickly.

    It is also great to go on bike forums and start going on about “the purity of singlespeeding” and stuff like that as there are some folk who get quite wound up by it, and that’s as much fun as the actual singlespeeding! 😀

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    depends how stubborn you are really.

    hills, even the really steep ones, are pretty much about the balance rather than the grunt (if you can get up in the middle ring regardless of which gear at the back, you CAN SS it) and with a bit of determination you can get up most things. The flip side is slower on the flats and on the downs.

    I tend to do SS by myself in the autumn/winter, when a) conditions mean that speed is not an issue, b) you’re not constantly spinning like a loon trying to keep up with your geared mates, c) its maintenance free-(ish) winter MTB and d) you’ll be fit for when spring rolls around, and you’re re-geared.

    It’s fun, a different challenge, can make you think about MTB in a whole new way, and people that don’t know ‘owt will be impressed. Girls knickers literally fall off at the mention of it (true story)

    gears_suck
    Member

    Apparently those recommending 32-16 are assuming you’re on a 26er. Besides, there is no set standard. You push whatever you can depending on you and where you’re riding.

    Premier Icon shortcut
    Subscriber

    It depends on a number of factors.

    Who you ride with.
    What your buddies ride.
    How fast your buddies ride.
    Whether your riding buddies like you.
    Whether you are leading or not.
    How hilly it is.
    What gear you have.
    Whether there are lots of flat bits that you can tear down with gears.
    Whether you are in the mood.
    How strong you are.
    How quick your legs can spin.
    How long you are riding for.

    Riding single speed in the local woods for an hour or two is great.
    Long rides with mates who are quick and like to see you suffer are less fun.

    So it is hard and yet easy. Sometimes it is cool sometimes you look and feel like an idiot with the wrong bike.

    There.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    i commute on a ss, i weigh 21.5 stone (used to weigh 23 stone)
    gearing is key ie selecting the correct ratio.
    with hills there is a choice between hammering it or walking, but the bike is lighter in ss mode and you can safely mash the pedals.
    i use 32:16 on 26″ wheels, a comfortable cruise at about 12mph, you would need to spin pretty fast to hit 20 with that ratio imo.
    my ss has probably been my most ridden bike this year, but i wouldnt choose one as my only bike.

    belugabob
    Member

    32 :16 the standard SS MTB gearing spins out at circa 20 mph for example.

    You need to check your speedo – my absolute limit, using 32:18, is 23.5 mph (and I’ve really tried to go faster)
    I would have expected 32:16 to get you up towards 30mph – if you can make your legs spin like Fred Flintstone 😉

    GiantJaunt
    Member

    I would recommend it. It’s great having something lightweight that requires minimum fuss and maintenance. I built one for commuting and doing local xc type trails and have ended up riding it most of the time. I’ve gone for an easy gearing (32:20 I think it is, so I can get up the steep hills round here) and I still get all the chicks. Just don’t let me see you with one on my patch.

    Duffer
    Member

    I would have expected 32:16 to get you up towards 30mph – if you can make your legs spin like Fred Flintstone

    On 40″ wheels, perhaps… Try this calculator. 120rpm on 26″ wheels with a 32:16 ratio gives you 18.6mph.

    To the OP – Singlespeeding is the single most difficult thing the human body can accomplish; if you have the honor of seeing a SSer out on the trail, you can die a happy man. Ever wondered why there’s no SS rider in the Tour De France? They’re not good enough! Remember, anyone can be fit, but you’ve gotta be hard to be hard.

    (it’s actually really easy, just don’t tell anyone – lets keep up the air of mystique)

    stumpynya12
    Member

    Your legs will become power pistons, your mind will be free to experience all that surrounds you, you will drink real ale and eat strong cheese…..you will become a man my son. 😯

    Candodavid
    Member

    Don’t forget the facial hair explosion from the grunting up climbs.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    If an antique like me can do the Bealach Mhor on a singlespeed, anyone can ride one.

    It’s 2 or 3 weeks adapting muscle memory and learning technique.

    By the time the beard has grown in you’ll have mastered it.

    And if you’re a lady, sorry about the beard comment, but your bum will definitely look good…. 🙂

    plus one
    Member
    Duffer
    Member

    On a more serious note, singlespeeding is no more difficult than any other kind of riding. It does, however, necessitate a change in mindset.

    By riding singlespeed, you are conceding that you’ll never be the fastest anywhere, so you may as well just enjoy the ride. If you have to push, it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re enjoying yourself.

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    By riding singlespeed, you are conceding that you’ll never be the fastest anywhere,

    Better tell the guys that won this years Strathpuffer and Highland Trail 400, both SS riders.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    I find it quite hard beating of all the female attention when they find out i’m a singlespeeder. It kind of helps when i carry a shitty stick around with me.

    belugabob
    Member

    On 40″ wheels, perhaps… Try this calculator. 120rpm on 26″ wheels with a 32:16 ratio gives you 18.6mph

    Well, I guess Sheldon Brown doesn’t lie – gonna have to get a cadence metre 😉

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Better tell the guys that won this years Strathpuffer and Highland Trail 400, both SS riders.

    And the guy who won the Brass Monkeys series down south on a rigid SS Singular Swift.

    Candodavid
    Member

    It kind of helps when i carry a shitty stick around with me.

    That’ll be that common Jones thingy that you ride 😆

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    The girls love the Jones.

    They think it’s a girly shopping bike…

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 69 total)

The topic ‘How tough is it to single speed?’ is closed to new replies.