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single speeding

el rijidioel rijidio Posts: 23
edited May 2008 in XC and Enduro
A new thread for all who want to discuss everything that is single speed.

riding for sheer pleasure...bringing back the unfettered joy you experienced rising your bike as a child

Sheldon Brown
"You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"


  • I had a friend who built a maxlight into a single speed. Not convinced by it he persuaded me to have a has changed my riding for good.

    I bought a '94 Kona explosif pre converted into a ss. The experience of riding a light, responsive no frills bike is totally amazing.

    Now his top spec full sus and my long travel all mountain bike hardly see the light of day. I have never smiled do much riding a bike since I was at school.

    Anyone else believe single speeding to be the way forward. An simple antedote to our complicted lives?????
    "You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"
  • Nice work El Rijidio,

    Lets make this thread the home of singlespeeding anacedotes, points, comments and advice!!!
  • el rijidio, what about a picture of your kona?
  • orangechimporangechimp Posts: 1,335
    yep single speeding is most excellent.

    what gearing are you running? i'm using 34 - 18 and it seems to be fine for almost everything i want to do.
    my bikes and stuff

    it\'s only unethical if you get caught.....
  • I'm still experimenting with gearing. At the moment going 32 18 ....quite hilly round here....!!! But will go 32 16 soon. Would 34 18 be better?
    "You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"
  • orangechimporangechimp Posts: 1,335
    not sure, the guy i ride with uses 32-16 unless we go somewhere hilly or really rough, then he swaps to an 18, i just always stick with 34-18. if you're experimenting it's got to be worth a go though.
    my bikes and stuff

    it\'s only unethical if you get caught.....
  • souds good. Will try it out. you running a spring loaded tensoiner,? I've been looking, but they are quite pricey!!??

    I know its a bit sad but can you post a piccy of your ss?
    "You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"
  • sorry !! i see link now - nice Orange theme going on . P7 - great frame. No tensioner? Whast brakes are they - Hayes?
    "You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"
  • Nice bike!

    Are those fancy hope lights on the front?

    I ride 32-18, does 34-18 give you much more speed than your friend?
  • Hey El Rijidio,

    Did my first night ride of the autumn last night. Definately need some new lights though. It just makes all the old trails seem really exciting and tricky.

    You've got to try it!
  • have you looked at
    "You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"
  • orangechimporangechimp Posts: 1,335
    P7 One, they have sliding drop outs, they're bolt on jobbies, the whole drop out slides in the frame.

    Brakes are Avid Juicy 3's, they came on the bike, last years P7 had hayes, they're OK but i don't rate them as much as Hayes.

    Yes it's a hope light, got it as a 40 birthday present off my dear wife, i've used it loads, it's brilliant.......................... :lol: seriously night riding is fantastic with it fitted, the only problem is i have to lead everywhere, because if i follow anyone it just creates a big shadow.

    34-18 gives a little more speed but i have to work harder when going up, only a little though.
    my bikes and stuff

    it\'s only unethical if you get caught.....
  • p.3.riderp.3.rider Posts: 699
    My singlespeed trail bike is built on a dodgy. dented old kona frame, the fork has parts missing, the seat is too low, the xtr brakes are old n the pads wobble around and the rear hub is spaced wrong. I run a high gear (39/14) cos im big legged and manly.

    Singlespeeding is great! I also have a single speed urban bike and a breakless fixed urban bike so my geared connondale badboy, my geared full sus and my beutiful over spec'd geared ti 4x bike never see the light of day!
    NewBlender Ti
    East London Riders add dangerous innuendo David to your MSN: [email protected]
    Myspace </center>
  • I have a Giant Trance and since I built my single speed in the spring it has only been out on two rides!

    And now the nights are darker I have discovered the true joy of nighttime singlespeeding. It's a real leveller and the full suss people I ride with loose just enough of their advantage that at the end of a trail we are all together...and that means being able to gloat about how you did it with no gears, no rear suspension and V brakes. Ahh, the power!
  • RanklesRankles Posts: 144
    Everyone who's tried singlespeed seems to think it's the best thing they've ever ridden and will do it for good...

    Having not done it yet myself... really, what are the benefits?
  • paulf2007paulf2007 Posts: 341
    edited November 2007
    I use my zaskar le single speed for winter training and have been running 38/16 I am now trying 29/13 as I got hold of a middleburn duo inner ring and its smaller and so lighter[/img]Copyofzaskarle.jpg
  • Stu 74Stu 74 Posts: 463
    Everyone who's tried singlespeed seems to think it's the best thing they've ever ridden and will do it for good...

    Having not done it yet myself... really, what are the benefits?

    I too am curious about this single speed thing. I just can't imagine getting round the trials that I ride now without gears. Surely it must be much harder to get around without gears?

    However, it would be nice not to have to worry about the usual problems that come with gears - ghosting, cable tension adjustment etc.

    What about having a '3 speeder' by just using a front derailler - one gear for climbing, one for flat and one for downhill?!

    Come one single speeders, convince me!


    P.S I do like the look of the new Trek 69er.
  • off-oneoff-one Posts: 155
    I live in Sheffield and could never understand singlespeed bikes, however after building one from parts I had laying around, its the bike I use the most despite all the hills round here. I cant really explain what it is maybe it brings me back to my childhood days hooning about on my Ralieh Ultra Burner, but the pure simplicity of it is addictive, and when I do go out on my other bikes I find my leg strength and stamina are much improved.
    You will be surprised what you can ride up and theirs no shame in pushing anyway ,nobody expects you to be able to climb so when you do pass other riders their faces are a picture especially out in the peaks.
    If you can build one cheep go for it, I use mine for shopping ,commuting and its great when the weathers bad just throw it in the shed and oil the chain every now and again It does'nt look cool so the local chavs are'nt intrested so you cant loose just give it a go.
  • unocogerounocogero Posts: 47
    edited November 2007
    Nice Zaskar by the way!!

    How does the new ratio compare??
  • Rankles wrote:
    Everyone who's tried singlespeed seems to think it's the best thing they've ever ridden and will do it for good...

    Having not done it yet myself... really, what are the benefits?

    Basically singlespeeding seems like a bad idea because we've all got used to using gears to maintain speed and momentum when the gradient changes...and it's hard to imagine not doing that...but...

    if you take away something that makes your life easy the result is that often it also makes your life more simple. Dodgy example...if you take away cars we all ride bikes, no-one can go as far as they did but there is no road rage, no-one dies in car smashes and we all get fitter. The upshot is that life is simpler and everyone is fitter and happier...

    So, if you take away gears you still ride as fast as you can and intially a little bit slower, but in no time your body adapts and you start to hill climb with more power, you learn to maintain/adapt your cadance to pre-empt hills/decents and becuase you no longer have to use 27.3% of your brain working out when to change gear and worrying if it will work you become a gnarly trail god (in your own head anyway :wink: ) on singletrack.

    In short, you become fitter, more technical in your riding and smug!

    It's also the cheapest thing to try out. I initally choose not to change gear on my full suss for a month as a trial. I chose middle cog on the front (32 tooth) and 19 cog on the back. This is a nice gentle starting point.

    Once I felt happy I dropped to 17 at the back and that convinced I bought a new maxlight frame, stuck lots of old parts on and singlespeeded it up with a chain tensioning and cog kit (£45)from Charlie the Bike Monger who lives on ebay.

    I tend to run 32 front, 18 back because I'm a lightweight and it suits where I ride (Sherwood Pines). ElRijido who started this thread runs the same, but on a rigid 1994 Kona which makes him the ultimate purist I suppose!

    The bike doesn't brake down, v-brakes still work well despite a world full of discs, and I'm the fittest I have ever been. There is no down side unless you live in a very hilly place and then maybe two bikes is a good idea...I certainly wouldn't want to do the full loop round Dalby forest on it, but for a couple of hours in the woods...there is nothing better!

    Hope this helps!

  • I have a rigid single speed that used to get much more use than my scott as i didn't have enough time to properly get out, but is currently without a saddle so not being ridden! It is a simple 32:16 and is great for town-work but if you're pig-headed you can get up a lot more than you'd think. For a laugh I started doing my 17mile each way commute on it this summer and my fitness has gone through the roof.

    I find it beats me up physically a lot more because hills are harder but i actually end up going faster because you have no choice but to grunt up hills in your preferred cadence and not slow down one jot, whereas on my geared bike I'd let myself slow down.

    I've taken friends off-roading and let them ride it and every one comes back wanting one of their own because it is such a joy to ride.

    Seriously just do it.
  • unocogero wrote:
    Nice Zaskar by the way!!

    How does the new ratio compare??
    thanks, had the bike for around ten years now, came polished and had it painted last year. Will let you know about the gearing after I ride it tomorrow. I dont think its going to be much different, 38/16 is 2.375 and 29/13 is 2.23. I will use it for a while then go to 29/12 as I get fitter.
  • paulf2007 wrote:
    I dont think its going to be much different, 38/16 is 2.375 and 29/13 is 2.23. I will use it for a while then go to 29/12 as I get fitter.

    They are pretty high hilly is it where you ride?
  • I only use it for training on the road, although some of the hills on my route are very steep, so I have to get out of the saddle and go for it and wait at the top for my mate.
  • I totally agree with all the stuff here. Rigid id the way to go of the many benfits I find of SS is the lightness of the bikes, taking away a suspension fork just makes it even lighter and FUN.

    I would seriously try it off road, the zaskar looks like a sweet ride. SS on road for training/communting is great, but off raod you really do remember the thrills of razzing around on your raliegh burner - bring back mag wheels!!!
    "You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"
  • P.3.rider have you got apic of your Kona?
    "You're not hardcore until you live hardcore"
  • el rijidio wrote:
    P.3.rider have you got apic of your Kona?

    Elrijido, you love Kona's too much!! Nice to see you back dude...have you fitted the gold brake levers yet??

    Night ride next wed?
  • Hi guys ss is a great idea and ive been using 1 gear for a while , except i still have gears!!! Does anyone know the magic gear ratio for this bike?? I would prefer it this way if possible? As you know this bike doesn't have horizontal drops on it :(

    My bike is a 2007 Gt Avalanche 1.0

  • JasonRwmbJasonRwmb Posts: 268
    edited November 2007
    It depends on the frame size as the chain stay length may vary.

    If you do a search on the net there is a program that can work out magic ratio from the length of your chain stay, however how stretched your chain is plays a large part in this too. Personally I would think you would be best to put a tensioner on there.
  • I have just looked and the program is called SSconvert, if you can't find it let me know and I will email you a copy.
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