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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:26 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8222
Location: New Forest, UK
@shogun
I carefully said like for like on rider input, NOT two bikes the same weight. :roll:

The point as was about climbing, per the question raised.

Of course a singlespeed is slower on mixed country, especially long gentle descents where geared bike snick onto the big ring and power away, long seated climbs in low gears or ultra-sharp climbs. It would be very strange if a singlespeed wasn't slower!

What is surprising is that the singlespeed is not as much slower as people would think.

Regardless, the fitness and skill of the rider is a far greater determinant than the bike. It's what's on the saddle that counts.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:56 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
It's a lot slower than people think! I'm not disputing this mine isn't a larriff in the right environment, and that the ease of maintenance is appealing, but except at one specific speed you're always in the wrong gear and the impact on ride time is immense - I'm not one for trying to beat the clock, but it serves to illustrate how handicapped they are when even the slightest opportunity for some V Max opens up.

Fitness and skill is all well and good, but the fittest of us can still only spin so fast, and the lightest of us can only exert a finite amount of pressure in the pedals.

It has It's upsides, but any talk that they're no slower, or that it's all in the rider etc are just guff.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
I like being able to throw it around. Not out on a ride, but literally in and out of the wagon, and I can throw another bike on top without worry.

Of course I could just be a little more careful but that is never my style!

The only place a SS is going to be as fast as a geared bike is where a fixed speed is desired that matches the gear and only once it is achieved, there or thereabouts.

Even Chris Hoy, the amazing and wonderful keeper of the faith, would accelerate faster with the option of gearing.

There is a reason SS are in a separate class in most racing.

Put a very fit rider on a SS and then on a geared, on most tracks they would go round faster on the geared.

It is not the point though.

SS are cute and if the lack of gears makes people happy it is no worse than people enjoying a nose up saddle.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
Well summed up by my fellow countryman. It has its own feel, style and merits, and all this trying to compare it favourably to geared bikes serves only to highlight its failings, but that's not what It's about.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:21 am
Posts: 794
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Yeah look I have no problem with singlespeeds, I just have a problem with all the make-believe guff that gets spouted about how much 'better' they are.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:36 am
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Location: Northwest USA
In my area we don't have separate classes for Single Speeders, so we just mix it up with the geared boys and girls.

Earlier this year I competed in a open (semi-pro, 20 miles) class, something like 35 riders were geared, 4 of us were ss'ing, I was the only one riding full rigid on a ss.

Race went like this. Off the line I shot to the front then put a gap on the group at the 1st climb, then was passed by numerous gearies on the flats. Next climb I once again passed most and ended up near the front, then was passed again by the gearies. That's how it went the entire time, I ended up in 13th of 40ish riders and was happy with the result because I basically had to coast most of the flat trails which helped me recover for the climbs. BTW, another ss rider finished in the top 5 which was very impressive, all the local roadie pros race this series and they are stupid fast.

I also raced a 24 hour this year on a 2 person ss team (in open class) and was destroyed after about 100 miles. Rigid fork in a 24hr race is far more painful than pushing 1 gear!


Last edited by Mr.Toad on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:24 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8222
Location: New Forest, UK
Absolutely agree that there is no magical properties. The fact that the thing is hard to ride does make most of use fitter. Sure, the guy with an HRM, Power Tap and shedloads of motivation will ride his geared bike just as hard. For most of us, an easier gear is too tempting. :oops:

A singlespeed has the effect of a Marines PT Instructor: when the only alternative is more unpleasant (walking) then you dig a little deeper.

What surprised me about riding singlespeed is it made me corner better - braking scrubs of momentum that cannot easily be regained, so I learned to brake less and instead to take better lines...the effect of laziness used positively!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:37 pm 
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100% true Hamster. I've noticed my fitness dramatically improve once I made the full time switch, my skills have as well mainly because i've been forced to ride smoother to maintain momentum.

Although riding one gear works for me I have never tried to convince others to make the switch. It's a personal issue, some people get it, others never will.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:09 am 
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Location: UK Southwest
hamster wrote:
Absolutely agree that there is no magical properties. The fact that the thing is hard to ride does make most of use fitter. Sure, the guy with an HRM, Power Tap and shedloads of motivation will ride his geared bike just as hard. For most of us, an easier gear is too tempting. :oops:

A singlespeed has the effect of a Marines PT Instructor: when the only alternative is more unpleasant (walking) then you dig a little deeper.



Couldn't have put it better myself.

I did a 24 hour race (relay team) and took my geared hardtail and my SS hardtail. Typical lap times were 53 minutes on the geared bike and 58 on the SS. Under race conditions though I rode the geared bike as hard as I could. The SS I ride as hard as I can whether I'm racing or not.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:53 am 
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By what mechanism does singlespeed riding improve either cardiovascularor anaerobic fitness?


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