RL’s Pet Project: Full Suspension Single Speed Bike-Maiden Voyage

I think I’m done with my bike, meaning I don’t need to tweak it any more. I installed a KMC chain that I had in the garage, though its vintage, its brand new. I took the advice of Jack “Ghost Rider” Sweeney and use a 3/32″ 6-8 speed chain. Doing so actually eliminated my chain skipping problem.

What I like about the Yess PRO FS/SS chain tensioner is the adjustability of the unit. I tried out a 32/20t combo and found that it was way too low and found myself spinning like a hamster. So when I went to a 17t, I thought I had to break the chain again to change the length. But no! With the Yess PRO, I was able to adjust the spring tension because it uses a standard V brake/canti lever spring. Once the tension was set, there was no need to break the chain to accommodate the 17t cog…nice eh.

He’s a handsome bike.
full suspension single speed

Having just one gear naturally limits your climbing ability…well not really.

Today at the Fullerton Loop, Priscilla accompanied me on this daunting task of making sure the bike is legit. I had to test the integrity of all the components installed by mashing on the pedals, jumping and doing what ever I can to put stress on the bike. So far, nothing broke!

We rode about 10.5 miles of the Loop and I have to tell you, there were a few times when I dry heaved because I was exerting myself more than I normally do. On each hill, I was mashing each pedal stroke and to be completely honest, I thought something was going to snap on the bike. But like I said, nothing broke.

What surprised me most about this rig was the fact that I spun as much I did. Here I was thinking that I was going so frigging slow. But when I would look behind me, Priscilla was further back on the trail than I expected. She did compliment me though, she said that I was pretty fast…faster than I would be on my regular geared bike…huh? How could that have been? My only guess is that since all my options of having multiple gears was taken away, I made the best of what I had. Through out the ride, my legs were on fire! Lactic acid and I became really close.

On one of the hills I was trying to climb, I sped up to build momentum, I was standing the whole time and I pushed myself to clear that portion of the hill. Once I got to the middle section where I had to turn left to do more climbing, I stopped. I got dizzy and started gagging, and tried to throw up! While I’m doing that here’s Priscilla passing me on her bike and at the same time she’s saying…”C’mon! Get it OUT! Just throw it up! You’ll feel better!” I knew she was right, but I couldn’t get anything to come up! Bleh..I hate that feeling…

The nausea finally surpassed and I was able to gain some sort of composure through out the ride, but my legs were spent. By the time we got back to the car, I was was worn out. But this was a great feeling. Yes I was tired, but also pretty excited because of the potential I see in the bike. Sure the bike has less gears, but that’s the beauty of it, less is more. No problems, no hassle, and all the same pluses of riding a regular full suspension multi-geared bike.

I’m not going to lie to you, this was a brutal ride for me. Legs were burning, lungs felt like they couldn’t get enough air…but hey..it did provide a great work out. I do look forward to riding my new favorite bike. I figure if I can just ride this bike a minimum of 2 times a week, I’ll already be ahead in my fitness level than I would be if I rode a multi-geared bike with the same amount of saddle time.

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