Posted by: RAHrider
Posted by: Vikb
Posted by: skooks
What exactly are the benefits of a single-speed mountain bike? Serious question. I sure don't see any down-side of having gears on my bike but I haven't tried going without them either.
3. more robust
4. weather proof
I mostly ride geared bikes so I am not suggesting SS is better like it's the holy grail, but it's definitely different and some of the differences are benefits if you care about them. I have also done a bunch of touring on IGH bikes which is sort of the mash up of SS and gears. You get the simple chainline and it's harder to damage that drivetrain, but you lose the simpler/lighter/cheaper part of the equation in exchange for being able to change gears.
When I switched to SS on my Krampus I expected it to be a short-term thing for a laugh and then I'd put gears on that bike. Surprisingly it was a lot of fun and I have done some long 100K rides with a lot of climbing that I thought would be hard and they were enjoyable so I never did put gears on that bike and can't imagine doing so now. That's got me wanting to setup a trail bike SS and do some SS bike touring.
Agree with above and would add that it forces you to ride differently. You have to be more engaged with the nuances of the trail. A hill is no longer a hill, it is a series of steeper sections with rest sections in between. Geared riders will think it is just one long hill all the same grade, but it's not. On ss, you power up the slightly steeper parts and recover when its less steep. Same goes for flats and downhills. You pump everything you can as you don't have a gear hard enough to be able to pedal to keep speed. I am often amazed at how much people pedal. I can often keep up or even pass other riders just working the terrain. Definitely the best way to make you a better rider and make riding even more fun!
Cool thanks. I am going to experiment with hartail bikes this year, but probably not SS.