Actually having read molgripes posts, I suppose its a bit like tattoos. Folks without them are desperate to tell how much they don’t like them and what they think of you and how stupid you are for doing it etc… Folks with tattoos could give a flying toss about the un-inked and just carry on happily existing.
But then Mrgrips does keep coming to a thread he doesn’t like with people he doesn’t agree with, to shout into a void, so actually with that high a tolerance for pain, repetitive humiliation and boredom, singlespeeding would be perfect for him 🙂Posted 4 months agoRob HiltonMember
I have nothing against singlespeeding. I’ve seriously considered it myself, for quite a while, but I just don’t think it’d fit for me and my riding.
Don’t consider it – just do it! Then you’ll know. It’s not a logic problem you can apply your brain to – it’s actually fairly irrational, but it can be mighty good fun.
You’d be surprised what you can make yourself climb when the alternative is the walk of shamePosted 4 months agofederalskiMember
Think the talk of going up that 17% hill kind of sums up peoples fears over singlespeed, the though you won’t be able to make it up it without stopping. If you do not make it up so what, try to get up further than you did next time and you might just do it some day.
I was put off for ages getting a ss mtb though I wanted one, for fear of not getting up hills, my local trails at the time were up the top of a 700 feet road climb and even after I bought a cheap one off this forum the first 8 – 10 times I used it I just farted about a few local bits and pieces before I plucked up the courage to go up the road hill to my proper trails.
Was delighted with myself when I go to the top of the road climb and have loved my ss mtb ever since.
ps, don’t think I could get up a 17% hill but I would give it a go.Posted 4 months agobenp1Subscriber
I like having two different MTBs for different purposes
Rigid SS for local stuff. Makes tame stuff more interesting and also makes my local, very flat area a bit more fun. It’s used for local rides with the dog and it is completely maintenance free
Geared hardtail is used for everything else
I took my rigid SS for a ride with a mate as I had the wrong tyres (at the time) on my gear bike, it didn’t necessarily feel quicker or slower, just different. And I walked a couple of bits that were too steep or slow (clay like mud and couldn’t turn the pedals). Still good. No washing afterwards!
The problem was that I couldn’t slowly spin up the climbs chatting, if it was either stand and pedal or walkPosted 4 months agotazzymtbMember
Lightest ss I’ve had was a 16lb scandium and carbon 29er. Climbed like it had a rocket strapped to it. Was a bit “flighty” in the peak district as it was well outside its design, but still great fun.
Lightest steel I’ve had was just under 20lbs. Depends very much on the bike though as something like a singular will always be a lighter starting point than a surly or on onePosted 4 months agoAndy RSubscriber
Well, about the only thing that I’m looking forward to, when I get back from Greece in about ten days, is getting out on my Ti Hummingbird. I’m certainly not looking forward to the cold and wet, that’s for certain.Posted 4 months ago
My singlespeed is about the only thing that I miss when I’m here.tjagainMember
federalski – Member
Think the talk of going up that 17% hill kind of sums up peoples fears over singlespeed, the though you won’t be able to make it up it without stopping. If you do not make it up so what, try to get up further than you did next time and you might just do it some day.What I find is on the SS its no slower – you ride as far as you can at a higher speed than on a geared bike then get off and walk the rest. total time much the samePosted 4 months ago
There’s 17% and there’s 17%. An isolated 50-100 metres of 17% isn’t that bad especially if you can carry some momentum into it but several hundred metres of 17% or a ramp at the end of a long gradual climb and it’s a different matter.
The surface matters too: really easy to put too much power down and have the back wheel spin out and you head for an OTB moment – uphill!
I find I brake a lot less as well as carrying momentum becomes much more important especially on rolling terrain, trying to kick on a short steep ramp is just hard work!
Weight wise my SS is embarrassing! It’s an old On-One Pompetamine steel frame and it’s in the 10.8Kg range.Posted 4 months ago
Don’t consider it – just do it! Then you’ll know.
A more on-topic and constructive post:
My rides are lots of steep tricky rocky climbs, and/or lots of road. A gear low enough to get up the steep bits would leave me spinning like a lunatic going nowhere on road. I like to put the hammers down on road flats, surely this isn’t possible in 32:16? You lazy SSers must all be taking a rest on the flats unlike us hard working geared riders 😉
^^ winky smiley
you ride as far as you can at a higher speed than on a geared bike then get off and walk the rest.
Yeah fair enough, but I come out to ride not walk. Especially on road, when I am wearing road shoes. I hate pushing my bike. Personal preference, of course.
When I did Trans Cambrian way with a much fitter rider I was glad when he got off to walk, cos that meant I did too (even though often I didn’t actually need to). Gave me a breather.Posted 4 months agothisisnotaspoonMember
I like to put the hammers down on road flats, surely this isn’t possible in 32:16? You lazy SSers must all be taking a rest on the flats unlike us hard working geared riders
Just try it.
People borrow them and seem surprised that the pedals actually turn, it’s as if they expect them to be 44:11 or something. Or that there’ll be some sort of back to the future moment as their legs disappear into trails of flames when they hit 120rpm on the road and find that actually it’s not much harder to maintain than 60-90.
You’ll be amazed how quickly your legs will spin and how slowly they can push when there isn’t a little button under your finger screaming ‘push me’.Posted 4 months ago
Just try it.
Why? Why spend the money?
I have SSed the El Mar on a ride when I broke my mech hanger. Yes, I was surprised that I got up some stuff, but I did have to walk, and I did find it slow on the downs. What I (re)learned was that standing up to pedal hard at low cadence is fun, and I do that much more now on the road and rigid bike, but I still use gears to do it.
I can ride it like an SS but I can change between 32:16, 32:18 or 32:14 on the fly 🙂Posted 4 months agonedrapierSubscriber
People talk bollocks about SS because it is bollocks. Gears should be faster – cadence, effort, watts, efficiency, etc.
Most people who come to SS as a “why not?” whim after riding a “normal” bike. They expect what you should rationally expect: that it’s going to be all sorts of work and no types of fun, but find the opposite, the work parts are fun and the fun parts are also fun. Most stick with it or at least keep coming back to it.
Then they come up with all sorts of reasons why it’s fun, from the sublime to the ridiculous, mostly bollocks, or rationalised bollocks at a push. It’s just more “bikes!” than a ride with gears. There’s always the comeback of “But it’s not as efficient.” to which a perfectly valid response is two fingers and a “Thhhhppppbb!!”.
Posted 4 months ago
Your mate on the TCW was Ian Barrington though! There’s some nasty climbs on that towards the end – let’s avoid this ridge and drop into the valley then back up again.
My SS is just making use of an old unused frame, it’s not a statement or anything fancy. It cost £10 for the singlespeed kit; £7 for the chain and £9 for some new brake cabling and outers as the old cables had seized. £26 for something to play about on isn’t bad.Posted 4 months agopeekaySubscriber
This thread has inspired me to dust off my old rigid 29er Inbred SS that has been sat in the shed unused since SSUK 2015 in Yorkshire.
Swapped brakes to some old SLX ones that have found their way in to the parts bin in the last two years. Have ordered a 27.2 dropper as I can do without gears and suspension, but can’t imagine riding without a dropper these days.
Hopefully will be sorted for a night ride this week.
Bring on the slop.
Cheers Molgrips and Tazzy!Posted 4 months agojonnyboiMember
I found riding the fixie on the roads and hills was a great training aid…I MUST get out more on that heap of junk…
I’m riding a hill regularly on my SS to see if I can hit the PB I got on my geared bike. Still off but getting closer. When I do then I’ll go ride it on my geared bike to see what the difference is.Posted 4 months agochalky765Subscriber
Well that has been an entertaining time whilst enjoying my soup at work! thought i would put my point in as well!Posted 4 months ago
my name is chalky and i am a singlespeeder! so what no one really cares! i was signed up with a coach last year sticking to training plans and now after 12months off the bike i am getting back out there and do you know what matters now is just the fact i am outside and on my bike, i may be wheezing and putting my lungs back in at the top of climbs but who cares! i don’t care if you are on the most expensive all carbon FS or on a cheap secondhand hand me down, if you are on a bike then that ultimately makes the world a better place! to quote “Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the human race.”. HG Wells.bigblackshedSubscriber
theotherjonv – Member
bugger. I really miss my SS now
Anyone got an 18″ / large frame either set up for ss (got chaintugs and kit already) or ss-able with a tensioner that Molgrips has convinced them they don’t need now? Not fancy, just functional……
I’ve got my Sanderson Soloist that’s about to be put up for sale. Frame is an 18″, ecentric BB, will include the Hope headset. Also a set of straight steerer Rockshox Revs, dual air, set at 120mm, 20mm axle with a long steerer tube. The frame has paint chips, the fork is still in good nick.
EDIT: Also a set of Hope Pro2 hubbed SS wheels to fit the F&F, if the price is right. 20mm front, SS / Trials rear, both with Sun Singletrack rims.Posted 4 months agoepicycloSubscriber
Hills and singlespeeds:
I’m old, bald, tending to a potbelly, but I have ridden my singlespeed Pompino up the Bealach na Bah. I admit to walking in the same places the geared folk were walking (it was the first Bealach sportive – about 90 miles).
I have ridden a 1935 upright gents rod braked roadster (4 to the ton) on a day ride round Wester Ross (Dingwall, Ullapool, Ledmore, up the Struie), a total of just under 125 miles.
If I can do it, any of you young guys should have no problem. Take 2 weeks to get used to a singlespeed and then It’s really all about the attitude of don’t stop until it’s time to walk. *
Plus you get to talk bollocks about geared bikes. 🙂
*Guideline: once it’s below walking pace.
How do you know you have it right? Engage the gearie puffing away up the hill beside you in an interesting technical discussion about the differences between tooth profiles on his cassette.
If he can’t talk in coherent sentences as you amble up alongside him, you have it right. 🙂Posted 4 months ago
Some of those weights seem incredible! My Ti road bike weighs more than 8kg. How hard would it be to get a Singular Swift (large) down to about 20lbs? I guess it would have to have some carbon on there, which is of course another controversial topic where sides are taken, and weapons are drawn. I’m not worried though, as the carbon weapons will just shatter into tiny splinters and the steel weapons will prevail, despite their heft! Discuss.
Oh, and hills, I said it before and it’s scientific fact as my FIL is a trained scientist and I’ve got a physics A-level, that it takes the same energy to move the mass of bike up the same slope, irrespective of what gear you are in. Conservation of energy and all that. Yes, the human body maybe works more efficiently in certain circumstances, but standing up and using more muscles to offload the energy requirement of the legs balances it out.Posted 4 months ago
If I can do it, any of you young guys should have no problem.
Age has nothing to do with it – it’s about fitness. Not all young people are fit.
It’s really all about the attitude of don’t stop until it’s time to walk
Seriously though – why can’t a geared rider have that attitude?
I’ve got a physics A-level, that it takes the same energy to move the mass of bike up the same slope, irrespective of what gear you are in.
Shame you haven’t got a corresponding A-level in biology. Try standing still holding a bag of cement under each arm. Total work done will be zero, but see what happens to your arms after a while 🙂 If it made no difference it wouldn’t matter what gear SSers used would it?
but standing up and using more muscles to offload the energy requirement of the legs balances it out.
Yes but you can still do that on a geared bike.Posted 4 months ago
Cement under arm is quite a lot of work done – gravity is a constant force. Quite strong too.
I wasn’t really comparing it with geared bikes, as of course the same physics apply, just commenting on the hills posts really. I often get the same thing, where I think I can’t get up a hill, and it just disappears after a bit of grimacing. I could do it if I changed down on a geared, or just blasted up – same energy used, just over a different time frame and using different technique. I like the geared fat bike as it can do that spinny, crawl up vertical cliff face thing, but really enjoy the rip-it-up nature of SS!Posted 4 months ago
Once things get past a certain gradient it’s easier to stand up than sit and spin. Alpine style climbs that are a constant 8% or so are, for me, sit and spin but hit the steep stuff in the Dales and it’s time to stand. This is regardless of how the bike’s geared. There’s no way I could sit and spin up Park Rash or Fleet Moss for example.
Anyway this is STW, when folk on here get to a hill they just call out the uplift company 😆Posted 4 months agorickonwheelsMember
If I had room for
one moretwo more bikes, one would definitely be a singlespeed for local winter slop low-maintenance purposes.
Rode my 29er hardtail as singlespeed for a couple of weeks and loved it, but now converted back to 1 x 10 as I didn’t fancy taking it anywhere with proper hills – my skateboarding-destroyed 44-year old knees really did feel like they were going to pop out of their sockets!Posted 4 months ago
Cement under arm is quite a lot of work done
Work done = force x distance moved. Force is constant, distance moved is zero, work done is zero. So how come your arms get tired?
If you leave the bags of cement on a table for 100 years, how much work does the table have to do to hold them up? Where would the energy come from?
Once things get past a certain gradient it’s easier to stand up than sit and spin.
To an extent. I’ve read before that standing up delivers more power but is less biomechanically efficient. However I’ve discovered that it uses somewhat different muscles, so I sometimes like to stand up and mash a big gear for a while then shift down three or four gears and sit and spin for a bit, whilst going at constant speed. The change seems to help keep going for longer.Posted 4 months agoepicycloSubscriber
molgrips – Member
‘If I can do it, any of you young guys should have no problem.’
Age has nothing to do with it – it’s about fitness. Not all young people are fit.
That’s why I said 2 weeks on the singlespeed first. That’s usually enough for a regular cyclist to get the basics sorted unless they are morbidly obese or have other problems. (Add another week or two if you like)
‘It’s really all about the attitude of don’t stop until it’s time to walk’
Seriously though – why can’t a geared rider have that attitude?
Absolutely no reason at all. Unless they’re frightened their goollies will drop off if they walk, or something like that.
When are you getting your singlespeed? We can’t keep meeting like this… 🙂Posted 4 months ago
Ok, so “work done” is to do with distance, but I did use the term “energy” in my post. It might not be mechanical energy to hold the bags, but chemical energy is used to stop them falling to the ground due to gravity – it’s not free. It’s still energy being used and it hurts. Jeez, why am I arguing about something I studied 25 years ago, and I never, ever, ever ride with bags of concrete under my arms – that would be mad.
Its fun, I like it. 9.81m/s2 is great on geared or SS. Wish was a little less sometimes though, but then we’d get giant insects!Posted 4 months agovelocipedeMember
OK, stealth advert time…..
no, wait, it’s not stealthy at all!!
I’ve got a nice Pace 104 853 bike for sale in the classifieds at the moment, with a SS build option – it’s got slidey dropouts and the SS kit includes a v nice Boone Ti cog to make it even more niche….. 😀
I’m selling it to fund an even more niche build!!!
(I wish I hadn’t sold my Curtis 29er singlespeed last year BTW – it was a very high-end sub 19lb build and absolutely beautiful – I’ve already tried to buy it back but the new owner won’t budge!)Posted 4 months ago
A gear low enough to get up the steep bits would leave me spinning like a lunatic going nowhere on road
The road sections when running a 32:16 on 26″ wheels are a complete drag which led me to just ride as few road sections as possible which turns out a positive.Posted 4 months ago
Moved back to fixed gear a few years ago and running a higher gear than I would a single speed but still low enough for off road hills and it is much less frustrating on the road sections but still not fast.
Having one gear is clearly a compromise and if you don’t want to make the compromise then don’t ride single speed…
It’s still energy being used and it hurts.
The point I am trying to make is that you can’t say it makes no difference what gear you’re in because the energy output is constant. The way your body works has a massive effect – as demonstrated by the bags of cement thought experiment.
Wish was a little less sometimes though, but then we’d get giant insects!
No, insect size is limited by how much oxygen they can get into their bodies which is dependent on oxygen concentration in the air. Because they don’t have blood.
That’s usually enough for a regular cyclist to get the basics sorted unless they are morbidly obese or have other problems.
I’ll take some photos of my local trails. There’s no way anyone other than an absolute hero is clearing them on an SS. And I’m not that hero. Maybe I’ll try leaving my bike in 32:18 and see how I get on.
Incidentally, since you can choose different gears on an SS in the workshop, does it matter what ratio you choose? Do you have more fun in 32:16 than 32:18?Posted 4 months ago
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