Singlespeed- how hard is it really?

Home Forum Bike Forum Singlespeed- how hard is it really?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 77 total)
  • Singlespeed- how hard is it really?
  • Premier Icon goldengus
    Subscriber

    Like the idea of rigid SS as a bit of fun, honestly though is it very difficult on climbs etc?

    Anyone ride a rigid SS on here?

    Cheers

    clubber
    Member

    Depends on your gearing, how fit you are, where you ride, etc.

    Premier Icon amedias
    Subscriber

    what he said ^

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    it’s as hard as you make it – best approach is to get out the saddle early and really attack the hill to keep your cadence up.

    if it gets too hard on a hill get off and walk.

    you can get up most stuff but there’s no denying it’s more effort on anything long and/or steep.

    biggest issue for me is always going along the flat on a group ride – you end up spinning away trying to keep up.

    Premier Icon goldengus
    Subscriber

    Nothing to dramatic in terms of terrain, reasonable climbs etc.

    Pretty fit but no super athlete.

    What gearing can you get them in?

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    I miss my crappy old rigid Kona SS, I went all over on that bike, Long Mynd, Real Ale Wobble, etc

    Was a bit fitter then, probably because I was riding the SS

    I used 32:18, you can “get them in” any gearing you want, 32:16 or 32:18 is “normal”

    VanMan
    Member

    It is surprisingly easier than I thought it was going to be ๐Ÿ˜› both on road and off.

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    You either go up a hill pretty fast or you’re pushing. It gives old trails a new lease of life.

    VanMan
    Member

    Should add it is an old Rock Lobster shawn of its gears and suspension. Now running either 42×18 or 32×16 bits, and advice, from Charlie the Bikemonger

    ajantom
    Member

    You will be puffing like a dirty old man on a beach at the end of each climb, and you will feel like someone has taken a crowbar to your forearms after most descents.

    But, the girls will swoon at your manliness, it’s ace fun, there’s a lot less to wear out/clean/maintain, and it it’s very good for your fitness.

    curlie467
    Member

    Much easier than you think, plus rigids are much easier to ride with uphill than bouncy ones.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Like the idea of rigid SS as a bit of fun, honestly though is it very difficult on climbs etc?

    I had rigid but went back to front boing, I actually find on root climbs a bit of give in the front helps prevent stalling.

    It’s as difficult as you allow it to be.

    Part of the joy of SS is letting go of the “must battle up every climb” mentality. We have a saying NSFW No Singlespeeder Fears Walking. So if you want to walk, get off and enjoy the moment, it’s all good.

    You’ll likely find that in practise you can ride almost everything the gearies can, and when you don’t you don’t care and won’t be much slower anyway.

    Premier Icon goldengus
    Subscriber

    Cheers for the responses, defo tempted by one.

    What Rigid SS would you recommend? Ive seen the Genesis Fortitude, Charge Cooker and Cannondale have one out. Any others I should be looking at?

    cheers

    ajantom
    Member

    Surly are good. 29ers lend themselves to rigid SSing quite well – bit more give in the wheels.

    I’m currently running my Krampus with 2.4 Chunky Monkeys for the winter. they come out massive on the 50mm rims!

    samuri
    Member

    Not hard at all. Sometimes you need to get up on the pedals but it’s surprising how quickly it becomes easier than geared riding in a way. Offroad you synchronise pedal strokes with terrain because you know how far a pedal stroke will take you.

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    any frame you like the look of with a tensioner. the method i use is a chain device on an iscg mount. works pretty well and the rear dropout works just as it should for getting the wheel in and out.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Can’t you just go out for a ride on your current bike using a gear ratio that you expect to use were you to get a singlespeed, then don’t change gear for the entire ride? Hey presto – singlespeed.

    If you are OK with it, go and get the single speed of your dreams.

    Singlespeed riding depends so much on fitness and local terrain, it’s probably best to try it for yourself.

    Premier Icon letmetalktomark
    Subscriber

    Firstly I need to start by saying I am the worst single speeder the world has ever seen …..

    That said I love it.

    I have a couple of single speeds but my current “fav” is my Skookum 29er. I run 34×16 around the flatlands that are Suffolk.

    I find that riding a geared bike now I tend to just leave it in one gear anyway!

    Sure there are limitations but they are more to do with fitness and sheer stubbornness rather than the bikes.

    Give it a go.

    Premier Icon letmetalktomark
    Subscriber

    Oh and this ……

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Can’t you just go out for a ride on your current bike using a gear ratio that you expect to use were you to get a singlespeed, then don’t change gear for the entire ride? Hey presto – singlespeed.

    Not the same, heavier drive train, more drag through the drive train, psychological knowing you can change gear

    Hiajck:
    Is there any reason you couldn’t run a BMX freewheel sprocket on either side of a double sided fixie hub i.e. two ratios but not fixed? I like the SS but getting anywhere on it on the road is infuriatingly infuriating.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Its like any bike, pick a set of compromises that best suit your needs…

    Obviously you only get one gear, so pick one that allows you to do the type of riding you plan on, not everyone knows what that’s going to be so the starting point for most 26″ SS MTBers seems to be 2:1 (32-16, 34-17, 36-18, 38-19, 40-20… you get the idea)
    or the 29ers equivalent ~1.8:1 (32-18, 34-19, 36-20, etc…)

    Like I say that’s a starting point, you may find it too tall or too spinney, you can always change sprockets to vary the ratio, if you’re using a Cassette hub with a spacer kit, it can be worth hacking up an old cassette for the different sized sprockets and using those to find your ideal gear, put bravado aside and pick one that suits you…

    The main thing is to get a gear you can spin on the flat, get up most of your local climbs with, and simply live with spinning out/coasting on descents…

    In terms of how “Hard” it is, I’d say its not as tough as some people think, a Rigid SS MTB weighs a fair bit less than it would with bouncey forks and gearing, and absorbs less of your energy bouncing suspension components about those little savings offset the lack of low gearing, if you can graunch out the bigger climbs in a taller gear than you’d normally use on a geared bike, or live with getting off and walking now and then, and put up with feeling a few more bumps through the bars then it can be very rewarding and fun to ride one.

    SSing helps to makes you look at your lines, where and how to conserve some momentum and be efficient with the bike to make the most of your energy, its not all about many grunting up hills and beard growth…

    My own primary reason for owning one is general cheapness and maintenance reduction during winter (and the N+1 rule of course) and for the most part it’s met those needs, Rigid SS, winter, night rides are great fun… Do it!

    Can’t you just go out for a ride on your current bike using a gear ratio that you expect to use were you to get a singlespeed, then don’t change gear for the entire ride? Hey presto – singlespeed.

    Doesn’t work, you will bail out or shift up a gear on the flats. Part of learning to SS was learning to take flats easy and storm up the hills. Theres also the reliability of it, I’d feel wary of riding my geared bike like the SS, you can really jump on the pedals when you stall on a climb to get it going over a root or rock, no worry about whether the chain can take it, no wory about anything slipping, or it jumping gears etc. To climb at the same pace as a geared bike you might be using 2x the torque, at a peak i wouldnt be supprised if its 10x a nice smooth riders torque, which is why you dont want ramped chainrings or weak chains.

    Hiajck:
    Is there any reason you couldn’t run a BMX freewheel sprocket on either side of a double sided fixie hub i.e. two ratios but not fixed? I like the SS but getting anywhere on it on the road is infuriatingly infuriating.

    Yup, but unless the road sections are 10miles long youll lose more time faffing, and adjusting the chain tension. Surly and WI do dinglespeed sprockets and freeewheels which have a 2t difference, so 16-18 hub and 34-36 chainrings, just set it up for the tightest combination as theyre not exact and live with the slack chain in the other.

    Premier Icon goldengus
    Subscriber

    Like the idea of light weight and low maintenance. Now time to research possible rigs…

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Subscriber

    it’s a piece of piss.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t work, you will bail out or shift up a gear on the flats. Part of learning to SS was learning to take flats easy and storm up the hills. Theres also the reliability of it, I’d feel wary of riding my geared bike like the SS, you can really jump on the pedals when you stall on a climb to get it going over a root or rock, no worry about whether the chain can take it, no wory about anything slipping, or it jumping gears etc. To climb at the same pace as a geared bike you might be using 2x the torque, at a peak i wouldnt be supprised if its 10x a nice smooth riders torque, which is why you dont want ramped chainrings or weak chains.

    Amen, SS emulation on gears never worked for me, I was always convinced I was about to snap the chain.

    Like the idea of light weight and low maintenance. Now time to research possible rigs…

    You don’t need an SS specific frame. Any frame plus a tensioner well do. (Here’s my Yelli Screamy with a tensioner).

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    Not hard – just different. Rigid is good – lighter and nicer on the climbs.

    Race-winning for Terrahawk! Well done and congrats btw.

    waveydavey
    Member

    I’m not fit and I found it easier than I thought. You’ll be surprised how easy it is up hills. Certainly worth a try.

    The pure simplicity of it must be like a Zen moment.

    DrP
    Member

    You need to be a hero.
    I’m holding out for a hero ’till the end of the ride…
    You’ve gotta be strong
    You’ve gotta be tough etc etc

    DrP

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    Depends on your gearing, how fit you are, where you ride, etc.

    nah, disagree, SS can be done anywhere, just amend the gear ratio to where you ride. Simples.

    Momentum is the key and knowing when to get off and push!

    cheers TINAS, for 2 teeth difference i’m probably beyond the cost benefit curve as my SS is more hack than niche, hadn’t givent the chain tension any thought, pah. spin faster/grunt harder it is then!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    You need to be a hero.
    I’m holding out for a hero ’till the end of the ride…
    You’ve gotta be strong
    You’ve gotta be tough etc etc

    You’ve got to buy a Scandal
    With some lovely forks
    and brilliant wheels
    and not fit silly shaped bars.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I miss that bike sometimes. Mostly when I look at your strava times ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    It’s hard. Really hard. ยฃ)(;ing REALLY HARD!!! Toughen up princess!!!

    It’s not actually. As above, pick a gear ratio and give it a try. After a bit of riding I went 33:17. Short sharp hills are just out of the saddle honking, long draggy hills are the killers. The sort where standing and honking will have you spin out, but sitting and grinding will set fire to your legs.

    I’m still faster on the downs than the geared mincers I ride with. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    A mate once said, and he pinched it of someone far more interesting, “it’s really got three speeds, sit, stand and walk”****

    **** Tazzy will be along in a minute to tell you to “TOUGHEN UP PRINCESS,”

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    Mike @Dialled Bikes is selling off some Love/Hate frames dirt cheap at the minute..

    Awesome Frames IMHO.

    Love mine.

    Premier Icon colin9
    Subscriber

    Up until 1937 they used to race the Tour de France on single speeds – if they could hammer up the Alps then the rest of us can grit our teeth and climb a few mild hills!

    http://hizokucycles.bigcartel.com/single-speed-history

    waveydavey
    Member

    Mike @Dialled Bikes is selling off some Love/Hate frames dirt cheap at the minute..

    Awesome Frames IMHO.

    Love mine.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    riding…with only one gear ratio……Fork off…..sounds bloody stupid to me…I bet its just attention whores who are crap at riding gnar and just do it for the “look at me” status…even worse…I Bet they have events where they gather and act all superior and stuff (right I think that’s just about covered the usual haterz stuff)

    TBH its piss easy, and makes you strong like a bear, although that terrahawk fella is only little, so in his case a particularly hardcore and scary little koala bear, rather than a full on chest beating grizzly ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    Still love my single speed – had it for 6 or so years, rigid usually. Have to get off, but not as much as you’d think. Mine’s a converted Kona Kilauea, run 32:16 or 32:17 if I’m less fit..

    Definitely feel the fitness boost, also rigid will ah concentrate your mind on line choice ::)

    go for it.

    Premier Icon cardo
    Subscriber

    Some of the below is subjective and may not be true but just my experience of Singlespeeding over the last 18 months.

    You will learn to blow out of your arse,
    You will ache in some funny places,
    Your legs will look like a blur on occasions,
    Gurning and swearing on climbs is normal,
    Your upper body and legs will develop new bumps in them called muscles,
    Girls could become pregnant when you ride past them,
    Growing a beard will feel natural and be a good idea despite what the missus thinks,
    You will be quicker than your friends with gears,
    Real Ale will taste better after singlespeeding,
    You will get fitter!
    You won’t want to ride much else.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Those folks are right about the Love/Hate if a 26er is what you’re looking for. I sold mine as I prefer a 29er, but it was a beautiful ride.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 77 total)

The topic ‘Singlespeed- how hard is it really?’ is closed to new replies.