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Single speed good idea?

MagentaGiantMagentaGiant Posts: 7
edited October 2016 in MTB general
Any single speed riders out there to give me some honest pros and cons, do's and don't's and general advice and comments on going single speed?
Specifically looking at converting my 29er. It has censored gears and the frame doesn't justify the spend for a big upgrade to deore or similar.
Completely new here but I'm going for single speed and not fixie. Don't even know if fixie is a thing for mtb

Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Fixie isn't a thing for MTB's!

    I ride with lots of people who ride single speed, best way to try it out is to lock it in one gear for a ride, 32 front 16 rear is most common, you'll need to learn to carry more speed in technical sections and you just have to either mash a steeper climb or walk!
  • Any idea of a shopping list for a starter single speed provided I go ahead for it?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Assuming you have removeable chainrings, a single speed chainring, a single speed rear gear conversion to replace the cassette and a chain tensioner. Plus shorten the chain and remove all the other bits you don't want.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,210
    On-One do a SS conversion kit plus chain tensioner.

    http://www.on-one.co.uk/c/q/components/ ... speed-kits

    Starting point for a 29er SS gearing is usually 32-18. However, as The Rookie suggested, I would initially use your existing gearing and see which gear suits your style of riding and fitness. Don't be tempted to cheat though. Going up will be an effort (usually out of the saddle) and going down or fast on the flat, you will be spinning out. The trick is to find the biggest gear that you can just make up the hills.
  • you must be joking, it would crucify me :)
  • Single speed setups mean never having the right gear for any situation. If you are happy with that, have at it.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Pros - lighter, quieter, less to go wrong.

    Whether they make you fitter or not, I think that is down to the mindset of the rider. You can't change down, but I don't think they force you to push harder when you are overgeared - you push yourself to push harder. But you can do that on a geared bike (on an even harder gear!), and you will be carrying more weight too. So depends how you look at it.

    Try one and see, some people love them, some hate them. Fixies though, burn them all! ;-)
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    Been looking at single speeds again X do happened across this thread.

    Why do people claim single speeds are lighter ... I suppose if you demonise your own bike it becomes lighter, but try to buy a "light" single speed, they are all 10-12kg

    I do fancy one though ... With bull horns ... Problem is my commute is either all uphill or sll down hill ... Think I am going to suffer in both directions
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    It will be lighter by the weight of a shifters, mechs and chain ring(s) and 90% or so of a cassette.

    I don't know of any (although I haven't looked) off the shelf single speed mountain bikes.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,210
    cooldad wrote:
    I don't know of any (although I haven't looked) off the shelf single speed mountain bikes.

    There are loads, just Google "single speed mountain bikes". Even more if you count frame manufacturers for self-build.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    hypster wrote:
    cooldad wrote:
    I don't know of any (although I haven't looked) off the shelf single speed mountain bikes.

    There are loads, just Google "single speed mountain bikes". Even more if you count frame manufacturers for self-build.

    OK, Charge Cooker, Kona Unit, maybe some others, On one comes to mind. Not exactly loads. Because for the vast majority of people, it's a rubbish idea, except maybe as a second bike.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Unless of course, you're a hipster.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I think they are a brilliant idea. I ride an old gary fisher ferrous which I have set up as a single speed. Did the south downs way all of on a 61.5" gear and over many on the climbs riding with gears. Single speed bikes climb like a scolded cat. Dont know why but what I do know is you adapt pretty quickly to squinting so the hill is flat then charge.

    With my 29er I use a 36/17T gear on 2.2" race king tyres. In winter I switch to slightly larger Vittoria barro mud 2.3" tyres.
    Mine is 9.5kg but I run it rigid. the frame alone is 2.5kg so pick a lighter frame for example a carbon frame and use a phil wood or trick stuff eccentric BB cups for 24mm axled cranks and a sub 10kg bike with a good front sus fork is easy.

    supersonic is right about you push your self harder on a single speed because you have to it is either that or defeat. you feel proper proud of yourself completing a big climb on single speed. For that feeling alone ride a single speed.

    Also they are so much fun and not slow.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Until you come to technical climbs like with switchbacks etc. For the majority of people they are rubbish, except as a second bike.
    For fairly gentle XC they are OK.
    Unless you are a superman type.

    I do have one, so I'm not talking out of my arris.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • unless your doing DH I don't get it. To have a gear that is doable for hills isn't going to be no where near good enough for going DH or on flat grounds.

    surely if you take two people equally able to a trail centre, one with a 1x11 and one with single speed I bet the 1x11 goes around atlas 20% quicker.
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,549
    unless your doing DH I don't get it. To have a gear that is doable for hills isn't going to be no where near good enough for going DH or on flat grounds.

    surely if you take two people equally able to a trail centre, one with a 1x11 and one with single speed I bet the 1x11 goes around atlas 20% quicker.
    It's not just about speed, it's about fun. I've not got an ss bike at the moment, but it will be the next one I build. The ability to just go without having to think about it is great. They don't work for everyone, depending on where you live, but if you're somewhere you can get away with it, it's good fun. They are faster than you may think as well.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Well actually you can do trail centres on single speed. I have been riding them for year. Back when I rode a 26" Orange EVO2 I converted that to single speed and I got round coed -y-brenin and whatever the long route at Cannock is called. I was not even that fit then. Got up the hills quicker than some with geared bikes.

    Single speed do climb well but tight switchbacks are problem but I find them a problem on a geared bike too. I disagree they are only for gentle XC says the man from suffolk but the really technical stuff is beyond my skill level on a geared bike too. I would say anything I find a problem on my geared 29er is an equal problem on my single speed. I am not superman (I dont win races) but there is nothing I can't ride on my single speed that I can ride on my geared bike at least all the places I have been.

    Best get a proper single speed with sliding dropouts or an EBB. The EBB is what I use and I have found the carver EBB to be useless. The Bushnell EBB is flawless. Got a niner one as well if anyone needs it. The bushnells is that good. You can use taller gearing than you might think as well. 1:2 ratio is good start even on a 29er.
    I use my SS alot in the winter. The geared bike more use when it dry.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Plenty of people ride everywhere on SS bikes, I know a lot of SS riders (popular in my previous club) and have ridden with Steve 'Doris' Day, Britain's unsung world champ (World Endurance Mountain bike championship - single speed category) who happened to beat all the geared bikes and most the geared teams at Mountain Mayhem. I also ride with Jack Monkhouse who is a hot promise and tipped to be the next Steve sometime in the future (Sponsored by Evans already).
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