/ Single speed mountain bike?
Well, I'm contemplating switching my hard-tail mountain bike to a single speed. I was wondering if anyone has done this and has any experience of it?
I think because I used to go bmx-ing and trials biking I'm leaning more towards doing it.
If you actually go offroad up decent ized hills be prepared for pain,pushing,knackered knees unless you are superhuman would be my advice.
You may find a ratio that suits but it will be a challenge would have thought owning a single speed road bike was hard enough on a lumpy commute
Yeah, did it with my old MTB, steel frame, rigid fork, V brakes and one speed. Great fun for mucking about on short rides, but I wouldn't like to have done a full days riding on it - neither knees nor butt would have survived!!
Sadly the frame died (chainstays rusted from inside).
Thank you for the info, I shall have to have a think!
Quite a few guys completed the Kielder 100 on single speeds, so it's definately do-able, but too much like hard work to me. Plenty of them beat me, but I did overtook a few on quite gentle hills towards the end.
Going for a Alfine or Rolhoff hub I could understand, but single speed seems like masochism to me
As an ex-BMX'er I have no idea why anyone would think single speed was a good idea for travelling any distance over 400 yds. IMO Single Speed is a triumph of marketing over sense.
the exception is fixed wheels under the right conditions
I'd rather have a coaster brake!
The usual UKC no-knowledge comments and prejudices getting aired again. Most people on here know nothing of climbing let alone cycling. Do it. Best form of cycling there is.
How bitter! I used to ride a single-speed steel hardtail. I had 38x16 for commuting (mostly on road) and would switch down to 32x16 for off-road rides.
It is amazing how much stuff you can ride up as your legs get stronger - you have to really attack the hills, but do it regularly and you get loads better very quickly.
Part of the joy of singlespeeds is the simplicity, no faffing with gears, just pedal. They're also easier to clean and maintain. Plus, it's adds a different dimension to the same old trails. Plus, it's fun.
This all said, I have now converted the bike back to gears. A change is as good as a rest!
BTW One nice halfway house is a single front chaining. I would guess that most riders spent 90% of their time in the middle ring anyway!
I would ignore the advice of both extreme camps above and instead think about the kind of riding you like to do before going SS.
This might help:
If you are all about going fast then SS may not be for you. Although people do ride them very fast most people feel a SS slows them down.
SS is harder work as there is no bail out gear option so good basic fitness is required (you'll build it pretty quick anyway)
Not ideal for really big hills although it is surprising what you can ride up SS.
Not ideal for large distances.
Not as versatile. People do use them for all sorts of stuff but...
It's the cheapest way to get a light bike.
It makes you think about how you tackle climbs so it makes riding more interesting and makes you a better rider.
Simplicity is appealing.
It isn't nearly as hard work as some might have you believe.
You will get stronger.
IMHO SS is great but if I could only have one bike it wouldn't be SS. I don't personally know anyone who only has an SS but I know several people who have them predominantly for local jaunts.
Once you've gone SS and had a play with that finish the job and go fixed wheel...
I bought a SS dirt jumper at a car boot sale this morning. I bought it for the kids, of course(!) Peddling around the block was alarmingly hard work. I'm thinking of putting on slicks and drop handlebars for eccentricity value
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