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First ever off-road ride on an SS!

Johnny NapalmJohnny Napalm Posts: 1,458
edited November 2009 in MTB general
I took the newly-converted ss out for a couple of hours today to see what I could muster. I've always assumed that I wouldn't have a chance climbing some of the hills I usually do...but I was wrong!

It was obviously more difficult, but I surprised myself by completing every hill that I tried. It's amazing what you can do when you have no choice. There is no doubt that had I had the choice of easier gears I would have taken it, but when you haven't got that choice...you either have to do it or push the thing.

The idea behind converting one of my old bikes was because a mate was interested in taking it off my hands. However, that now looks unlikely so I may keep it myself for that extra challenge every now and then, but I do like my choice of gears for the riding I usually do.

I'll have to see how I feel about it in a couple of weeks, but I thought I'd give myself a challenge and I'm happy with the results. :D

CIMG4721small.jpg
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Marin
SS Inbred
Mongoose Teocali Super

Posts

  • What ratios did you go with?

    I'm single-speeding my STP to make it into a low maintenance play/trail bike for short blasts (got a baby on the way so ride time will be limited). Going with 32-16 to start with, although the kit I've ordered also comes with a 18t sprocket.
    Less internal organs, same supertwisted great taste.
  • I've gone with 32-16 too, mate, and while it's not easy...it wasn't as hard as I'd imagined. That said, it does have its limitations...and there will be times when it just wouldn't be practical.

    It was pretty simple to clean after today's muddy ride too. :D

    Congratulations on the forthcoming birth...you're right about limited time, but it's well worth it!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Marin
    SS Inbred
    Mongoose Teocali Super
  • I've gone with 32-16 too, mate, and while it's not easy...it wasn't as hard as I'd imagined. That said, it does have its limitations...and there will be times when it just wouldn't be practical.

    It was pretty simple to clean after today's muddy ride too. :D

    Congratulations on the forthcoming birth...you're right about limited time, but it's well worth it!

    Ta. It's all pretty flat around here so hopefully I won't notice the lack of ratios. :)
    Less internal organs, same supertwisted great taste.
  • 32-16 is fine for flat stuff, but 36-16 is better for a play bike, so you can pedal it standing up more easily.


    Johnny, beware, this SS lark starts off with a converted hack, and before you know it you've got a hugely expensive tarted up ssxc bike, a jump bike and a cx bike in your shed.... trust me on this one :wink:
  • I've only took mine proper off road once and it was hard work! But then its a bit hilly round these parts.

    I've just put a 18t rear sprocket on now so we'll see if that makes any odds :oops:
    08 Pitch Pro
    14 Kona Unit
    Kona Kula SS
    Trailstar SS
    94 Univega Alpina 5.3
  • colintravcolintrav Posts: 1,074
    I took the newly-converted ss out for a couple of hours today to see what I could muster. I've always assumed that I wouldn't have a chance climbing some of the hills I usually do...but I was wrong!

    It was obviously more difficult, but I surprised myself by completing every hill that I tried. It's amazing what you can do when you have no choice. There is no doubt that had I had the choice of easier gears I would have taken it, but when you haven't got that choice...you either have to do it or push the thing.

    The idea behind converting one of my old bikes was because a mate was interested in taking it off my hands. However, that now looks unlikely so I may keep it myself for that extra challenge every now and then, but I do like my choice of gears for the riding I usually do.

    I'll have to see how I feel about it in a couple of weeks, but I thought I'd give myself a challenge and I'm happy with the results. :D

    CIMG4721small.jpg


    That is a souped up BMX in my eyes it has all the hallmarks of a BMX with Front sus forks that being the only difference
  • colintrav wrote:
    That is a souped up BMX in my eyes it has all the hallmarks of a BMX with Front sus forks that being the only difference

    Get some glasses then. It looks like what it is: A singlespeed hardtail and doesn't resemble a BMX in any way at all.
    Plus, I've never seen a BMX with discs
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Raymondavalon
    51k8GugZQ8L._SS400_.jpg

    and i did see a race one with Discs front and rear not to long ago.

    :wink:
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Ah, thanks Nick - that's a first for me!
    I still don't believe that Johnny Napalm's SS looks like a "souped up BMX" though
  • colintravcolintrav Posts: 1,074
    Ah, thanks Nick - that's a first for me!
    I still don't believe that Johnny Napalm's SS looks like a "souped up BMX" though



    Well that's where we beg to differ ,, Any person who lived through the 80's will say the exact same ..where you didn't so you'll find to hard to accept .
  • Well, if it helps...there's no way I'm capable of doing BMX-style tricks, so that's where the similarity will end! :wink:

    One thing I did notice is that I will need wider bars for a little more leverage. The narrow bars on the CB felt weird when it was 27-speed, after being use to wider bars, but it really was apparent yesterday.
    Johnny, beware, this SS lark starts off with a converted hack, and before you know it you've got a hugely expensive tarted up ssxc bike, a jump bike and a cx bike in your shed.... trust me on this one :wink:

    Oh, I hope not...I spend far too much on bike stuff as it is! :wink:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Marin
    SS Inbred
    Mongoose Teocali Super
  • CpsCps Posts: 356
    colintrav wrote:
    Ah, thanks Nick - that's a first for me!
    I still don't believe that Johnny Napalm's SS looks like a "souped up BMX" though



    Well that's where we beg to differ ,, Any person who lived through the 80's will say the exact same ..where you didn't so you'll find to hard to accept .



    I lived through the 80's

    Your talking rubbish (yet again)

    And I've never ever seen a BMX made with 26" wheels
  • Well, if it helps...there's no way I'm capable of doing BMX-style tricks, so that's where the similarity will end! :wink:

    One thing I did notice is that I will need wider bars for a little more leverage. The narrow bars on the CB felt weird when it was 27-speed, after being use to wider bars, but it really was apparent yesterday.
    Johnny, beware, this SS lark starts off with a converted hack, and before you know it you've got a hugely expensive tarted up ssxc bike, a jump bike and a cx bike in your shed.... trust me on this one :wink:

    Oh, I hope not...I spend far too much on bike stuff as it is! :wink:

    found (dare i say it) bar ends a godsend with SS....


    there i said it. now i feel dirty. :oops:
    {insert smartarse comment here}
  • colintrav wrote:
    Ah, thanks Nick - that's a first for me!
    I still don't believe that Johnny Napalm's SS looks like a "souped up BMX" though



    Well that's where we beg to differ ,, Any person who lived through the 80's will say the exact same ..where you didn't so you'll find to hard to accept .

    Erm, I am not some snotty nosed, acne pocked teen. Yes I did live through the 80's and still continue to live.
    Cps wrote:
    I lived through the 80's

    Your talking rubbish (yet again)

    And I've never ever seen a BMX made with 26" wheels

    +1 on that and especially the "talking rubbish (yet again)" point
  • *AL**AL* Posts: 1,185
    Cps wrote:
    I lived through the 80's

    Your talking rubbish (yet again)

    And I've never ever seen a BMX made with 26" wheels

    +2
  • scale20scale20 Posts: 1,300
    The whole singlespeed thing has had me thinking for quite a while now and I've been reading the various posts with interest. I would love to give it a go.

    While at Cannock Chase on Friday the bikeshop there had a new Genesis S/S outside that was reduced down to £400, I was chattin to a bloke about it and it was on its way to being part of my collection but he refused to let me have a quick spin on the car park to try it on for size and get the feel for it. Said if I got on it the bike would no longer be 'New'. For the sake of a 2 min spin that attitude lost him the sale.

    Shame I didn't get to try it out but I'm still in the market 8)
    Niner Air 9 Rigid
    Whyte 129S 29er.
  • Said if I got on it the bike would no longer be 'New'.

    He'll be wondering why he's got so much stock at the end of the year! Some retailers really do seem to go out of their way to deter you from making a purchase. :?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Marin
    SS Inbred
    Mongoose Teocali Super
  • scale20scale20 Posts: 1,300
    I couldn't figure out his way of thinking, certainly lost out on a potential £400.
    Niner Air 9 Rigid
    Whyte 129S 29er.
  • It's a pity that someone who doesn't choose to ride one sort of bike should find it appropriate to criticise someone else's choice by making an unfavourable comparison to another sort of bike they don't like either. I've always thought of cycling as a friendly hobby.

    I wouldn't choose a 27 speed twin suspension mountainbike, but I don't criticise those who do.

    My own roadbike is single speed. I bought it as a fixie and found it great fun except on steep hills. If I found a ratio low enough to get up out the valley where I live, I had to ride back down with the brakes on - which is clearly silly. So I converted it to single speed, and it's great for journeys of many miles.

    So on this single speed roadbike with 700c x 23mm tyres, I was riding some gentle off road today (and fell off!) and know what? It's fun seeing what you can do with the bike I've got, rather than constantly fiddling with levers to see if I can find the bike I think I'd rather be on for that stretch of my route. If I want easy, I'll ride the motorbike.

    If I could afford it, I'd have a single speed mountainbike, and a more general purpose bike with a small number of gears. In the old days, clubmen rode huge distances on 3 speeds, and enjoyed it.

    The original poster may want to look at singlespeed.net for inspiration.
  • Darra8Darra8 Posts: 721
    I bought my SS with a 32/16 ratio, but soon swapped it for 32/18 to make it just that little bit easier on the ups...it worked too :)
    40 year old censored who "still" hates the thought of falling off!!
  • zedheadzedhead Posts: 106
    colintrav wrote:
    Ah, thanks Nick - that's a first for me!
    I still don't believe that Johnny Napalm's SS looks like a "souped up BMX" though

    Well that's where we beg to differ ,, Any person who lived through the 80's will say the exact same ..where you didn't so you'll find to hard to accept .

    Errr, no.
    I saw BMX's come in at the tail end of the Seventies, and that bike looks nothing likeany BMX ever made... you need your eyes checking mate! :wink:
    And it's not just the wheel size, there's the frame size and the bar height / width / style etc.
    Not that it matters - who gives a toss what anyone else's bike looks like - it's whether you;re happy with your own bike that is really the issue... 8)
    Early Orange 5, Felt Z85, Scott Thicko, modified Giant full suss (both nicked)- beat-up single-speed rigid 1992 Saracen, and various 2-wheelers with big engines
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