4.11.2006

gearing for Single Speeds off road...

there was a comment to a prior post where someone asked what gearing to use for a Single Speed Mountain Bike Off Road....

that is a question as complex as many other age old riddles
like...
why does the dog chase the cat?
or
how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop?

well...
the gearing for a single speed depends upon the rider, the terrain, and the bike
there are too many variables for just one answer

I have a personal rule for single speeds...

as I also ride geared mountain bikes
my rule is I will not race a Single Speed on a course unless I feel that my lap/course times will be equal to what they would be if I were riding my geared bike
I own two Surly Karate Monkeys; one geared with front shock and one rigid single speed
both bikes with 29 inch wheels
last season I think I raced 10 races... roughly five of those I raced on the single speed
including a six hour relay
next month I plan on racing the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms on the rigid single speed
the single works great for these types of courses... I feel that there is no loss of time
last year I race the Wednesday at Wakefield races on the Single within the Clydesdale Class
on one evening I brought the geared Monkey instead... my times were pretty much the same
that said...
the Single Speeders all changed their gears after the first race
I felt that I was overspinning on some of the flats
but did not want to go too big a gear to lose speed on the roller coaster climbs

that said...
the 32X16 with 29 inch wheels seemed to work for me
but.... that may not even be my gearing as I have not thought about that stuff since I built the bike a few years ago

perhaps....
you may want to consult someone else
there are many that will ride and race the Single exclusively
there are more Single Speeders at the Shenandoah Mountain 100 then I would have ever expected
to me that would be like trying to run a marathon in flip flops
to them it makes perfect sense
lucky for them they are not living by my rules

so...
pre-riding is for the pros
smaller gearing is better than too large
over spinning on the flats is better than walking on the climbs
unless of course... you are going to have to walk the climbs either way

does that fill in the blank on anyones's single speed gearing questions?
okay...
I am not that technical in my approach to my machines
I just love to ride

DT's RACE PAGE gets freaky on Wikipedia!
32sixteen Blog
a beautiful BMX Video I stole from 32sixteen
wonderfully shot... great musical score
take a look at all the things that you can not do on a bike

No comments: