- Riding Single Speed …..
Stronger and faster – you are turning a bigger gear so inevitably you will tend to go faster [ uphill at least]
It is not really proper training though just harder than normal riding
Do you think if you never use your granny you will get stronger?Posted 4 years ago
Fitter is realative but you will get fitter at using harder gearssamuriMember
Hasn’t made me faster or stronger (I was already awesome in both respects) but it has made me lazy about changing gear on a geared bike. I rarely do it (change gear) nowadays. I will do a 50 mile road ride and never change gear. I ride 30 miles a day on my commute and never change gear.
So I guess it’s made me stupider.Posted 4 years agoKevaMember
I rode SS a few years ago and my times were always the same as what they were on geared bikes so certainly no improvement in speed. I guess climbs are quicker but on the flat it’s slower. I did learn better peddaling technique at higher cadence though because when I first started spinning fast I noticed I was bobbing up and down in the saddle so that had to stop. I got bored with it in the end though and built a 1×9 but have been thinking recently I might build another SS for short fast summer blasts.Posted 4 years ago
reckon it possibly makes you better at thrutchy stuff, maybe improves pedal mashability and certainly gives your arms/shoulders/back a workout if you ride steep stuff. But this thread shows it affects everyone differently. When I ride geared I’m quite happy to sit and twiddle a tiny gear, change gears a lot and spin slowly up hills I’d normally charge up SS. On rolling woodland singletrack where I’m incessantly flicking the shifters like an obsessive I do miss my SS, pedal brake steer, nice and easy.
It’s a different sort of riding and therefore good, how useful a training tool it is, no idea.Posted 4 years agonbtMemberfuzzhead wrote:
riding the singlespeed encourages me to find flow and not use the brakes which has made me faster on the geared bike
this, more than anything. riding SS has helped with fitness – it’s a proper full body workout – but more than anything on the riding side, it;s the fact that you learn to conserve momentum so you don’t have to pedal to gain speed. pick the right lines, stay off the brakesPosted 4 years agonbtMemberPaul wrote:
Got passed by a singlespeeder on the Brechfa Black on Sunday – the guy was going like a *ing train!
I suspect it’s that it’s the fitter riders who go SS, rather than riding SS making you fitter.
nope. I bought a singlespeed years ago and I’m certainly not the fittest or fastest in our gang, but I love riding it. if I ride geared for a while, it hurts when I come back to SS, but fitness comes back quickly enoughPosted 4 years agoStefMcDefSubscriber
Recent convert to singlespeeding and haven’t ridden my geared bike all that much since I started it. Have done a bit of road riding. Think it raises your pain thresh-hold, the point at which you feel that nip in your legs and start moving down through the gears, so it makes you quicker up hills. Also think it smooths out your pedalling technique when spinning along. Also, if I’ve been out for a long, hilly ride on the singlespeed, I feel like my arms, shoulders and trunk are a bit more achey and feel like I’ve had more of a whole-body workout.
However since I started it I’ve been on a diet, lost a bit of weight and have been going out more often on the bike what with the lighter evenings and all, the singlespeeding is only one aspect of why I might feel fitter.Posted 4 years ago
I suspect it’s that it’s the fitter riders who go SS, rather than riding SS making you fitter.
Not so, I think any moderately fit rider can do SS. I love it and am absolutely no race whippet.
It’s as much attitude as fitness. Anyone who loves to ride and doesn’t mind putting a bit of grunt in should give it a go.
Hilly rolling XC, as we have here in Surrey, is great terrain for SS. It would be harder on flats, or somewhere where the riding is big winch up big plummet down.Posted 4 years agoSprocketJockeyMember
Takes me a while to adjust to riding a geared bike if I’ve been out on the singlespeed a lot, and now find it really uncomfortable to sit and spin a low gear. I have to get out of the saddle.
I think the flow thing is the main thing in terms of speed – it teaches you about maintaining momentum and laying off the brakes.
On the fitness side you definitely get more of an upper body workout in hilly terrain but not sure it means you’re necessarily fitter. As others have said its more about technique, attitude and sheer bloodymindedness. I ride a singlespeed on Dartmoor and am definitely no gym-bunny.Posted 4 years agoir_banditoSubscriber
When I was spending a lot of time on the SS and fixed bikes, I found my climbing speed improved on my geared bike as I wouldn’t drop the gears and spin, I’d power up most stuff.
Haven’t been riding SS as much recently for one reason and another, and my thighs seem to have shrunk to weedy-strength. Dreading the fireroad climbs at Dyfi this year….Posted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
The thing it’s helped more than anything over the last few months is the simple act of getting out on a bike despite the weather, I’ve definitely done more miles over winter on the SS than I’d have bothered to do without it. The lack of maintenance and the sheer low cost, simplicity has taken away that excuse for staying in on shitty days, and meant the geared bike is still in working order now the sun is out, in that respect my current fitness is better than it would have been without an SS to get me out during the last few months of rain/mud
I reckon it’s also made me realize I can actually stamp some climbs out in a higher gear than I sometimes think, obviously an SS has 2 forward gears “Pedal” and “walk” and it’s only the self imposed shame of walking that makes me persist on the SS more often than not, transfer this to the Geared bike and I’m perhaps a little less prone to flicking it right down to the easier gears so soon, I’m not sure pedal mashing is always a good thing, certainly not as a constant technique.
It also forces you to read trails and pick lines better in order to maintain momentum on both ups and downs (especially if it’s a rigid bike), if you only have 1 gear (2:1 ratio in my case) and it’s either a bit hard on an uphill or largely spinney and useless for accelerating on most descents you’ll want to minimize any interruption to your momentum, unnecessary lost speed and the resultant need to put more energy in to get back up to speed. I think an SS MTB almost better as a skills/practice thing than fitness, filtering gearing out of your attention span and making line choice slightly more important…
As a sort of related aside, I’ve found that riding a fixed road bike for my commute over the last few weeks, seems to have smoothed out my pedaling technique a bit.
It’s very much a bike that want to carry momentum, put where a freewheeling SS MTB rewards mashing on some climbs, a fixed road bike only really works with smooth pedaling and consistent output from the rider, you can still get out of the saddle and up your effort on occasions for a short sharp climb, but “Mashing” isn’t really the way to do things, making smooth circles and working with that flywheel effect to keep things rolling as efficiently as possible, I’ve actually found my journey times are going down almost every time and the way it makes you manage your output is certainly part of that.
I’ve yet to really see how this transfers to my pedaling on geared MTB and road bikes, I’d hope it makes me less choppy and gets me using my energy more efficiently so I can travel further and faster without tiring so soon, we’ll see…
I’ve also found I’m quite drawn to nice simple bikes now, I still like fancy doodle posh composite machines with all sorts of suspension components, uppy/downy posts, clever gears with buttons and dials all over the shop, but there is something to be said for simple purposeful machines that do a job without much fuss or flourish…
I’ve just realized actually that if I count my BMX, fixie and DJ bike I actually have more single speed bikes than geared now… Should I be growing a beard?Posted 4 years agotrickydiscoMember
Most definitely stronger and faster. I had a singlespeed last year (standard 32:16). Started out i couldn’t climb some things in the mendips.. few rides later and i was clearing every climb. For me it forced me to push hard as i had no other choice. I know some idiots here will tell you you can still do this with a geared bike but with a singlespeed you have no choice (or the walk of shame)
I reckon it helped with my cadencePosted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
It’s an excuse for going slow if you’re slow though
I’ll give you that.
As much as they make you push hard on the climbs they don’t really punish you on the flats / downhills, get them up to a steady rolling speed and then your just putting in a bit of energy to keep things ticking along, no dropping down the cassette and upping the effort to chop along the flats…
very few rides are more climbing than flats / descending so it’s a pretty simply equation; approximately 2/3rds of your riding on a SS bike you put in less effort than on a geared bike, and 1/3rd you probably put in a fair bit more (climbs), I expect it roughly balances out overall.Posted 4 years agomessiahMember
“You’re all a bunch of slack jawed faggots! This stuff will make you a sexual Tyrannosaurus. Just like me!”
I like singlespeeding. It shows you another way to enjoy the trails and enjoy cycling. Some of the skills you learn on a singlespeed definetely help when your on a normal bike and for that reason alone it’s good to broaden the skills base… its fun. Enjoy!Posted 4 years agosoobaliasMember
SS makes you push yourself uphills, rather than bail into an easy gear, it also teaches you to spin the pedals faster than you normally would on flat or gravity assisted sections.
teaches you to use your momentum/brakes more effectively/efficiently
so fitter/better – yes (but moreso than would be gained by riding geared, marginal if at all)
as with a lot of posters above, it means that i dont use my gears to their full advantage……. but that is quickly re-learnt.Posted 4 years agoKeefMember
SS makes you far more attractive to the opposite sex (or the same if that’s your bag) this is a known scienifical fact.Posted 4 years ago
it also makes you more awsum,and a social wonder.
to say nothing of your beer drinking and cake eating capabilities.
any one who doubts any of these facts,may pop down to Swanage at the wknd,and see for themselfeses.leonidbrezhnevMember
SS makes you far more attractive to the opposite sex (or the same if that’s your bag) this is a known scienifical fact.
I’m afraid to say that my SO really gets off on my quads, which is the main reason for putting in the SS miles.
The only downside is not being able to find jeans that fit.Posted 4 years ago
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