How tough is it to single speed?

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  • How tough is it to single speed?
  • 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 πŸ˜‰

    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 πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    The girls love the Jones.

    They think it’s a girly shopping bike…

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    When you stop to think about it, it takes the same amount of work to shift the weight of yourself and bike up a hill in a given time, regardless of whether you use multiple gears or a single ratio.

    rogerthecat
    Member

    I have been riding SS for just over 2 years, it certainly changes the way you ride and I am fitter because I get out more and enjoy it more. Also, spend more time enjoying the trail and the ride because I’m always in the right gear.

    Running 32:16 on a 26″ in the Peak ok on most stuff, some of the really long rubbly climbs are a no, but most other stuff is ok.

    Best thing to do is convert an old, cheap bike and give it a go for a few weeks, it’s addictive.

    DrP
    Member

    It’s impossibly hard – that’s why only me and pete Poddy can do it…

    DrP

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    It’s true.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    High five bud! πŸ˜›

    DrP
    Member

    Kapow!

    DrP

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Subscriber

    my fixed gear commuter has a 48×16 gear on it – and I sometimes have a child seat on it as well πŸ™‚

    you have to be prepared to muscle the gear round and carry as much speed as you can, keep relaxed when you are seated trying to get the gear round as much as you can because that stops the bouncing on the saddle when spinning

    Haven’t used gears for over a year now. Fun bike is 32:16 with zocchi rc3 ti 44s on it. Commuter is a ss cross bike with a cold seat for half the time.

    Miss gears? No. Have a full saint set up in the shed. Never even tempted to use it.

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    When you stop to think about it, it takes the same amount of work to shift the weight of yourself and bike up a hill in a given time, regardless of whether you use multiple gears or a single ratio.

    Yes. This is why most people find it just as easy cycling up a 1 in 4 using the 53×11 gear as they do using 39×25. Can”t think why they bother to change gears at all really.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    As a very fast ss riding (as in wins events and is faster than sponsored gearie boys) mate put it “I’d rather shovel wasps up my arsehole than go back to using gears”.

    Ss isn’t that hard..you just need to be a simpleton with a high pain threshold πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    It’s especially noticeable on the road bike just how much difference gears make, as everyone else spins away into the distance on the steep climbs, or clicks up into the big ring on the long gentle tail-wind descents and heads off at 40+km/h. Leaving you slogging away on your own having been comprehensively dropped off the back.

    SS MTB is more practical but even then there are limits. I don’t imagine there are many SS bikes in the Alps.

    Duffer
    Member

    When you stop to think about it, it takes the same amount of work to shift the weight of yourself and bike up a hill in a given time, regardless of whether you use multiple gears or a single ratio.

    An interesting thought. I’m sure an Engineer / Mathematician / Physicist / STW Keyboard Warrior could shed more light on the situation.

    I rode a fully rigid SS exclusively for three years – it was hard at first, you use very different muscles from riding a geared bike and spend lots more time out of the saddle. After the first ride, you’ll feel like you spent a whole day in the gym. Arms, shoulders and lower back/butt will ACHE! It massively improves core strength and overall fitness and I think improves your technique considerably. Momentum becomes your friend and you learn to keep it by riding better – balance and coordination will improve and you’ll ride much more smoothly.

    Geared riders will outrun you on the flat, fast pedalling stuff (you’ll soon learn how to spin smoothly at 140 rpm), but when it comes to the climbs, they’ll be eating your dust!

    There’s also never a “wrong gear” moment on a SS – you can bask in the glory of your own awesomeness when you float past a geared rider who’s spluttered to a halt in a gear he can no longer turn :mrgreen: and when it comes to the British winter mudfest, your bike will keep going when everyone else’s derailleurs have packed up.

    Try it, it might be the most fun you’ve ever had without breaking the law…….

    When you stop to think about it, it takes the same amount of work to shift the weight of yourself and bike up a hill in a given time, regardless of whether you use multiple gears or a single ratio.
    An interesting thought. I’m sure an Engineer / Mathematician / Physicist / STW Keyboard Warrior could shed more light on the situation.

    E (potential energy in Joules gained) = m (mass in kg) x g (gravitational constant ~ 9.8 m/s2) x h (height gained in metres) = energy expended x fudge factor (coefficient of friction, modulus of elasticity of tyre rubber, human engine efficiency etc. etc.)

    Premier Icon notmyrealname
    Subscriber

    Ss isn’t that hard..you just need to be a simpleton with a high pain threshold

    Cool, I’m halfway there already then πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon gonetothehills
    Subscriber

    It’s daft, a lovely idea but flawed, yet it works. Sometimes. Tried it on a number of occasions (for the simplicity of it – both mechanically and mentally) but can’t get on with it.

    tazzymtb – Member

    As a very fast ss riding (as in wins events and is faster than sponsored gearie boys) mate put it “I’d rather shovel wasps up my arsehole than go back to using gears”.

    (as I head off to the shed to look for shovel / wasps nest. πŸ™‚ )

    Aidan
    Member

    On the “negative” side, SS raises the threshold of effort (compared to a geared bike) below which you end up walking. So if you’re on a very long ride, or on hills that you’re not strong enough for yet, it can be a bummer to end up walking.

    When I had knee surgery, I rode a geared bike for a couple of months before going back to singlespeed because I didn’t want to walk every little climb.

    But for someone who can already ride geared MTB, you’ll not lose that much switching to SS and pretty soon you’ll develop in the places you need to (beard, general manliness), to be able to SS up nearly everything.

    On the positive side: no chain slap, no expensive dangly things close to pointy rocks (ask Phil Simcock about that on the Highland Trail :wink:), you brain can focus on the trail not selecting the right gear, and so on, and so on….

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Aidan – Member
    On the “negative” side, SS raises the threshold of effort (compared to a geared bike) below which you end up walking. …

    I forgot to mention the walking bit. πŸ™‚

    But when you’re walking the geared rider is generally only going walking pace anyway.

    cycleoptic
    Member

    As for single speed, a few years ago when I was training I had a S&S with a cog each side of the wheel, when tired or retuning through heavy traffic just turn the wheel around to get different gears. ( need chain to be tight on both, using movement in rear drops) I believe you could get a Ss freewheel for one side?

    Anna B
    Member

    I agree with all the positive sentiments here! Easier than you think, strangely addictive (no idea why), great knowing you can power up a hill (ahem) without gears slipping. Have just started riding SS on a borrowed bike, now getting my HT converted to SS. Makes your legs stronger, and changes the way you ride up hills on a geared bike. I love it. And this from someone who thought for years that riding with one gear was silly. Gears were invented for a reason, duh πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    So if you’re on a very long ride, or on hills that you’re not strong enough for yet, it can be a bummer to end up walking.

    Three speeds: standing, sitting, walking πŸ˜›

    Premier Icon StefMcDef
    Subscriber

    Who’s that roadie fella that has a “shut up, legs” decal on his top tube?

    There’s a bit of that in singlespeeding.

    My legs have a great deal less to say for themselves since I started riding singlespeed, no matter which bike I’m on.

    The actual pedaling bit isn’t too bad, the hardest bit was learning to carry speed through stuff and make the most of momentum, for example short steep hills you couldn’t normally pedal up SS can be done by sprinting like a loon into it and the conserved momentum carry’s you up quite a long way.

    As for gears, go low, I’m on 34:20 (29er)and it’s enough to average 12mph off road. Yes it’s ‘low’ on flat bits but can be maintained for all day rides, and rarely requires walking up hill. Going downhill you just learn to maintain speed and generate it from pumping stuff rather than pedaling.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    Who’s that roadie fella that has a “shut up, legs” decal on his top tube?

    That would be the legend that is Jens Voigt.

    It’s a little know fact that Jens no longer has a shadow because he dropped it repeatedly until it climbed into the Radioshack team car claiming a stomach ailment and retired.

Viewing 29 posts - 41 through 69 (of 69 total)

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