Single Speed vs. Geared Bike-
26 Inch Wheel Bike vs. 29 Inch Wheel Bike-
last night I ran a little test by racing my Geared Karate Monkey with Suspension
on a course that I raced two times previously on my Rigid Karate Monkey Single Speed
on this course there appeared to be no difference....
well.... no significance difference in finishing times
yet... there was a difference in how my body felt afterwards
my body last night did not feel as beaten up or exhausted as it had on the two prior races

granted this is a difficult test to hold up in any real world of science
there are a number of variables
there is the heat of the day
conditions of the trails (wet/dry/etc)
the prior expenditure of the day which leads into the energy of the day
the traffic of other racers of the day
and there is...
the strength and stamina of the day
the phase of the moon
the amount of sleep that my two young boys granted me the night prior
okay.... these are sounding more like excuses than science
after all... I am man... not machine
but I will let the imperfections of my unscientific method remain and leave it at this

On certain courses I will be able to race at the same pace with the Single Speed as I would with a Geared bike with Suspension.
but... and this is a big BUTT
butt... this only works on certain courses
as it is clear that on some courses I love my gears
my legs love my gears
long flat sections and fast descents.... there are times where I like to push the bigger rings fast
on terribly long climbs I do not mind going for the granny gear

now after doing this little unscientific test I have now decided that I would like to conduct a similar test where I compare my performance on a 26 Inch Wheel bike vs. my preferred 29 Inch Wheel Bike
last Sunday at the Fairhill Classic I felt that I was a tad disadvantaged by not being able to get a fluid rhythm with the big wheels on the tight turns
it seemed to me that I would have been able to expend less energy if I were able to maintain speed rather than working such a herky jerky stop and go style of riding

this test has yet to be performed
I feel it is a valid test to perform
and if the 26 incher wins the game... I would most definitely race this bike again

that said....
Sunday at Fairhill was the first time in over 2 months where I rode the geared monkey at all
the conditions were a tad wet
and my confidence was a tad off
it may have been an inability for me to relax and lean into the corner of each turn
much of the turns had off camber roots
and I feared the crash with my yet still to recover index finger

1 comment:

Kurt said...


I came across this while doing a bit of research on this very topic - you were hit 10 in Google. Congrats. I think. :)

I'm ALL OVER 29ers. But Michelle is considering a 29er SS while we're living in Thailand - that's all I ride in Asia. She rides an Ellsworth Evolve in the USA.

The concern for her will probably be entirely size. She's 5'6" but all leg.