Why choose a single speed mountain bike

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Why choose a single speed mountain bike

Mountain biking is as fun as it is physically challenging. Once youíre hooked, thereís nothing to do but surrender to spending long afternoons fighting your way up rough inclines only to fly down on the way back. Itís only a matter of time before you begin taking notice of singlespeed (SS) riders.

Those wondering why choose a single speed mountain bike are probably used to switching gears constantly. Your first thought may be how in the world is it even possible to make it up a mountain in one gear? Not only is it possible, single-speeding has become a subculture for riders who prefer the simplicity.

The biggest drawback is the most obvious one: you only have one gear to work with whether going up or downhill. This causes many newbies injury at worst and severe cases of jello legs at best. Once the body adjusts to what it needs to do, SS mountain bikes give you an intense, highly satisfying workout.

Here are some of the top reasons for why choose a single speed mountain bike:

Purer experience

SS riders donít spend physical or mental energy concerning themselves with continuously shifting gears. You donít have to think when approaching a big hill because all you need to do is pedal harder. The energy you spend going up is directly proportional to the incline and your speed. The result is a pure connection between you and the trail.

Less work

In addition to giving you less to futz with while riding, SS mountain bikes require less overall bicycle maintenance because the mechanics are more basic. Store it on the ďdoesnít need much work everĒ side of the garage. This easy-breeziness means you can take off for a long ride on your lightweight bike without fretting about damaging parts on new-to-you trails.

Makes you better

Devoted single-speed riders swear they make you a better rider. Without adjustments to fall back on, youíre forced to grit through the most challenging sections and deal with the soreness later. You may question your own judgment in the moment, but afterwards you feel stronger, tougher and ready for any trail.

Youíll end up standing up to pedal out of saddle during many uphills and concentrating more on technique to navigate turns. Riders have to pay close attention to the trail ahead in a way they donít on geared bikes. 

The muscles

It wonít be long before you notice your quads and calves look like you spend hours at the gym. In reality, SS bikes render the gym redundant because they give you a full upper body workout as well.

The sound

This may strike fixed gear devotees as a minor detail, but the quietness of single-speeds makes a huge difference in the quality of each ride. No more chainslaps and constantly shifting noises. The only sound that's heard is your own breathing and tires on the dirt trail. 

They make an old sport feel new

Seasoned riders often wonder why choose a single speed mountain bike because they share the ďif itís not broke, donít fix itĒ mindset. For these bikers, the best thing an SS can offer is a change of pace. Take one for a spin and youíll experience how different the most familiar routes feel when you only have one speed. This fresh spin is bound to boost the enjoyment you get from riding.

The price is right

Itís worth noting the price tag is much lower for single speed than those with fixed gears. You get more for less money and thatís always a plus.

If you love riding, give single speed mountain bikes a chance!

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