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Thread: Pick a single speed because:

  1. #221
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    Do you singlespeeder ride to the trail ?

    I'm hesitating converting my MTB to flat pedal rigid singlespeed for the next two months. With the snow up in the mountains I'd most probably stick to the lower altitudes but that doesn't mean it will be flat. I'll just avoid the long dragging climbs and ride more short punchy ones.

    I'm more concerned about the 3 to 10km road/gravel ride to the trail potentially feeling long and boring with too short a gear.
    I don't ride to the trail. Road riding does kinda suck on a SS. Not so much by yourself (if you have the right attitude that you'll get there when you get there) but it's tough riding with geared riders.
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  2. #222
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    No practical experience yet but it’s 3 miles from where I work to MTB trails so I might hazard the three flat/boring miles in order not to get in a car at lunch. Will update if it royally sucks. But I imagine it’s a battle of the will. How much spun out riding can you mentally take?
     

  3. #223
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    Do you singlespeeder ride to the trail ?

    I'm hesitating converting my MTB to flat pedal rigid singlespeed for the next two months. With the snow up in the mountains I'd most probably stick to the lower altitudes but that doesn't mean it will be flat. I'll just avoid the long dragging climbs and ride more short punchy ones.

    I'm more concerned about the 3 to 10km road/gravel ride to the trail potentially feeling long and boring with too short a gear.
    You can always set it up Dinglespeed. Highway gear and trail gear. Simple and easy. Mine was on a fat bike, but I had it set up 30x18 and 26x22.
     

  4. #224
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    most of the riding i do involved riding less than 1/2 mile to the trails that connect to my neighborhood. I have ridden over five miles to get to another trail head with a 29er 32/20 gear. it's not as fast as it would be if had a taller gear, but I would not be able to ride trails in a gear much bigger than that. it's a tradeoff and it's not a big deal for a few miles. if I wanted to go on a long urban ride or commute to work on that bike, that would be a different story.
    Jonathan - Austin, TX
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  5. #225
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    In the late 90's I used to ride/race SS in hilly New England (NH, VT, western Maine). The races ranged from ski resort mtb races to non-ski resort mtb races to a few cross races. Always in the regular pro/expert category. No SS category at that time plus it was the bike I chose so I would have stayed in the regular category anyway.

    The ski resort races consisted of the typical...fire road to single track to big climb followed by a big decent. You NE folks know the drill. Any difference in race times when compared to years of doing the same race on a geared bike was mostly do to conditions or my own fitness rather than the bike.

    But the experience of the race was very different. Riding/racing the SS put a new twist on things. I had to ride much more consciously on the SS.
    The chatter in my head...make sure you build and carry momentum through the root and rock garden...be smooth and fast through the single track corners to keep momentum...don't scrub the brakes on the downhill because you can't pedal to regain the speed...hit the bottom of the hill with massive amount of momentum...grid that climb using every scrawny muscle...relax relax...etc...etc.

    I remember one ski resort race in particular that every time going up the long steep climb I would think, 'this pedal stroke is when these shoes* are going to rip apart' because I was pulling up on the pedal with all my might to keep from stalling out. ...I would catch a lot of guys on that climb...

    You can not be lazy on the SS and keep up with a geared bike. You learn where you inadvertently scrub speed when riding a geared bike because you can make up for it with mechanical assistance. The SS can teach someone a lot about where they might be constantly making up for things with the mechanical assistance. It points out how much effort is wasted covering up all those little momentum zapping things by relying on gears to get you out of it.

    As far as riding to the trail head. While not ideal, you just have to add in some extra time into your schedule. You can always play around during the ride to the trail. Ride on the shoulder, practice bunny hops or wheelies, see how high of a cadence you can sustain, whatever.

    *I am sure that most MTB shoe manufactures are going a great job now. In 1998-ish, Sidis were the only shoe I really trusted to put under this amount of stress and not have the cleats rip off the sole. Check those cleat bolts...
    Brian McLaughlin

  6. #226
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    One year we did the Ronde de Rosey and were often in contact with a group of single-speeders. We had a stacked team on CX bikes with slick tires, and we were laying it down on the pavement sections. 25-mph paceline, firmly in our biggest gears.

    I was flabbergasted at how quickly, and how many times, those jamokes caught us in the woods.
    Tödd Höllând

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  7. #227
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    So can others quantify their terrain?

    Here's a typical ride, 8 miles with 1000 feet of vertical, ridden at 5.6 mph average:
    What do your rides look like?
    Fair bit hillier. I average about that on a road ride around the house, but on trails there is more elevation change.

    My MTB skills are poor, and SS for me is an all out effort that exhausts me like nothing else. Especially core muscles.
    I should lower my gearing I guess.

    Having said that, I recently rode on a friends scalpel (enve wheels etc) and my uphill times where faster on SS as long as I did not walk.
    Could not believe how good FS has become.
    My buddy rides to win (vt50/vogp/gmsr etc), I just ride to clear my mind.

    I have more fun on a SS, just wish I would be stronger to ride longer.
     

  8. #228
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by CXinNH View Post
    I have more fun on a SS, just wish I would be stronger to ride longer.
    I've found forcing myself to ride my SS exclusively in the spring really helps build a base of power and snap myself out of my winter slumber that really translates to overall better fitness throughout the season. Over the course of the winter I'll be riding my fat bike, which is typically a more slow methodical ride with lots of slow speed spinning but because I'm often having to churn through fresh powder, I'm really building a base of endurance (so a more aerobic workout). Jump on the SS in the spring, ride more in the 10-12 mile range and I'm now adding another layer of strength and power (and a more aerobic workout). Come June/July I'll switch over to gears and then start going for much longer rides in the 15-20 mile plus range and then swap over every so often when the urge hits me to ride my SS. Gives my knee's a break and I tend then not to get over use issues with my calves and associated muscles below the knee's (which I had a handful of years ago from riding too much SS).

    The key for me was finding a gear combo that worked for my terrain. I was fiddling with 30 x 19 but I'd spin out on dirt roads to/from the trail however I kind of liked the feel on trail. Jumped to a 32 x 20 combo and that seems to be just the right balance while keeping the gear inch calc. about the same within one tooth count. Odd thing was even though it was a bit higher of a gear inch, I thought it was easier to pedal though and I think that has something to do with the chain wrap because of the larger cog/chainring?

    But all this discussion about "Why Singlespeed" had me thinking too. For me, it's the bare bones simplicity of it all and the increased challenge of the same old same old trail/line that now has to be timed perfectly with pedal strokes, speed, momentum and use of body english. But it's really the simplicity behind the whole darn thing. I'm only taking what I need out into the woods. That for me is the attraction.
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  9. #229
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    Default Re: Pick a single speed because:

    Quote Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
    But all this discussion about "Why Singlespeed" had me thinking too. For me, it's the bare bones simplicity of it all and the increased challenge of the same old same old trail/line that now has to be timed perfectly with pedal strokes, speed, momentum and use of body english. But it's really the simplicity behind the whole darn thing. I'm only taking what I need out into the woods. That for me is the attraction.
    Thanks Kris, some goo advice from on NewHamsterer to the other.
    Whipping myself into shape is exactly what I need every spring, so I will give this a go.

    BTW, any snow in the deep south of NH?
     

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