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  1. #1
    Just a rider...
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    Which bike for Ohio

    Hey All,
    Got a question for those of you in central Ohio. I am coming to visit for a few weeks this summer and am trying to get a feel for which bike to bring with me.

    I can bring my Niner Rip or a hard-tail single speed. I am leaning towards the single speed just because of the lesser possibility of anything going wrong, but I am a little worried about the trails being SS friendly.
    I have done some poking around on the interwebs but haven't seen any elevation profiles for most of the trails in central Ohio. I went to OSU (Go Bucks!!) so I kinda know the area, but got into riding after I moved out west.
    I ride mostly in the Phoenix AZ area, so 15-18 miles at a times with about +-800 feet of elevation on most rides is what I am used to.

    Any insight would be great.

  2. #2
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    Alum Creek phase one and two are both very doable on a single speed. I'm not in the greatest condition so a 32 - 20 ratio works for me, but if you're in good shape an 18 or 16 rear cog would be fine. I vote for the SS. Check out www.spokejunkies.com for some trail reviews and locations.

    Also check out COMBO: Without Trails, Where Will You Ride? for trail conditions before heading to Alum Creek or Chestnut Ridge. The folks that maintain those trails prefer them to not be ridden when muddy to reduce erosion problems.

  3. #3
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    It really just depends on the trail system. I ride my rigid singlespeed on most of the trails, but if you're familiar with Caesar's Creek trails you know that you'd have to be crazy to ride SS there. For the majority of trails around here I run 32x18 or 32x17 and am fine...usually dropping a tooth on the rear cog when I get in a little better shape after the first few rides.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    It really just depends on the trail system. I ride my rigid singlespeed on most of the trails, but if you're familiar with Caesar's Creek trails you know that you'd have to be crazy to ride SS there. For the majority of trails around here I run 32x18 or 32x17 and am fine...usually dropping a tooth on the rear cog when I get in a little better shape after the first few rides.


    I ride SS at Ceasars all the time! I run 33-20 and love it, but it's not without some walking.

  5. #5
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    I rode Caesar's for my second time ever mountain biking on a singlespeed geared 33x18 in 90 degree weather and hated every minute of it Caesar's always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, trails are rough and very neglected. The second time I rode there was on my 2011 Stumpjumper FSR Comp, and my chain snapped about a half mile out, and I didn't bring the right link to fix it. I may try again this year, but probably not. Eastfork is worth the drive for me, even though unfortunately Caesar's is my closest trail system.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride have no legs...
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  6. #6
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    Thanks drifter136, I noticed that the spokejunkies site is a little dated, are the reviews pretty much still accurate?

    copsey- my schedule will be pretty much wide open this summer, wanna hook up for a ride? I would love to see the trails from someone who really knows them and actually rides them...

  7. #7
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    Will you be staying around Columbus? Alum Creek has two phases (trails) and is located just north of the outerbelt off I-71. Both of those trails are well maintained and get a good amount of traffic. Everyone I have met on the trails have been friendly as well. P2 dries out much faster than P1 after a rain. Both are roughly 6 miles long. Chestnut Ridge is a brand new trail system (opend last year) and is a little south of the outerbelt towards Lancaster. I have not had a chance to ride this trail, yet.

    Mohican is a little bit of a drive, but is a nice trail system with some good downhill sections and is ~26 miles if you do the whole thing. I tried it on a singlespeed and almost died, though. You may be in better conditioning than me if you're used to riding 15-18 mile trails. Dillion out by Zanesville is also supposed to be pretty good.

    There are a decent number of active members on the Spokejunkies Forum from all over the state. The review section is pretty out of date, but if you join the forum, I'm sure you could get any question answered you have about the trails and their current conditions.

  8. #8
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    I've ridden nearly every trail in Ohio on my rigid SS and never felt like I needed more bike except on 40+ mile rides where my fingers and wrists started to ache. A full suspension bike here is complete overkill in my opinion.

  9. #9
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    Hueston Woods rental

    Quote Originally Posted by bskarasek View Post
    Hey All,
    Got a question for those of you in central Ohio. I am coming to visit for a few weeks this summer and am trying to get a feel for which bike to bring with me.

    I can bring my Niner Rip or a hard-tail single speed. I am leaning towards the single speed just because of the lesser possibility of anything going wrong, but I am a little worried about the trails being SS friendly.
    Whatever you decide to bring from AZ, you can also head down to Hueston Woods near Oxford (Miami U) and rent a high quality Titus or Redline 29er, hardtail or full, Titus 26" full suspension, and sometimes a SS. Many locals ride SS only.
    Text 513 523-1316 for details. Trail map here:
    Blue Trail / Mountain Bike Trails / Hueston Woods State Park / My Master Site

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    I rode Caesar's for my second time ever mountain biking on a singlespeed geared 33x18 in 90 degree weather and hated every minute of it Caesar's always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, trails are rough and very neglected. The second time I rode there was on my 2011 Stumpjumper FSR Comp, and my chain snapped about a half mile out, and I didn't bring the right link to fix it. I may try again this year, but probably not. Eastfork is worth the drive for me, even though unfortunately Caesar's is my closest trail system.
    We are always looking for more help with Caesar Creek! I spend more time there with a chainsaw in hand than feet on pedals anymore. Where are you located? I'm in Wilmington.

    Quote Originally Posted by bskarasek View Post
    Thanks drifter136, I noticed that the spokejunkies site is a little dated, are the reviews pretty much still accurate?

    copsey- my schedule will be pretty much wide open this summer, wanna hook up for a ride? I would love to see the trails from someone who really knows them and actually rides them...

    You probably would be better served riding with someone else, I'm a slow fatboy riding single speed so you can do that math on that, but I do know the trails pretty well at CC!

    Also, do yourself a favor and go see BikerBob and ride at Hueston if you can get down there!

    Go Bucks!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bskarasek View Post
    Thanks drifter136, I noticed that the spokejunkies site is a little dated, are the reviews pretty much still accurate?

    copsey- my schedule will be pretty much wide open this summer, wanna hook up for a ride? I would love to see the trails from someone who really knows them and actually rides them...
    I'm always down for a ride...I have days free and ride Alum Creek through the week, and Dillon, Mohican or whatever out east. Drop me a PM any time.

    I've only ridden Chestnut Ridge once, but I didn't like it at all. Hills with no payoff, not a good flow IMHO...but I know others like it. I mean, I'll ride it, but it's last on my list.
    "Wait, this thing doesn't have a motor?" - Socrates

  12. #12
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    Ok, so I need to ride Hueston Woods with BikerBob, I need to check the website before riding the Alum and Chestnut Ridge trails, copsey is a, and I quote, "a slow fatboy riding single speed", and swingset is always down for a ride. Did I miss anything?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bskarasek View Post
    Ok, so I need to ride Hueston Woods with BikerBob, I need to check the website before riding the Alum and Chestnut Ridge trails, copsey is a, and I quote, "a slow fatboy riding single speed", and swingset is always down for a ride. Did I miss anything?
    I think you nailed it. I'm down for a ride but I'm no racer!

  14. #14
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    Same here. I'm down for a ride most days of the week, but I'm no speed demon either.

  15. #15
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    although I ride a full suspension geared bike, I have ridden with quite a few guys on ss hard tails. Many are on 29in as well and have no trouble. I am old and heavy, so I need all the help I can get! I just was at the Mohican race on saturday and there were a ton of guys on single speeds, and they killed it. You will do fine with whatever you bring!
    Ride first, drinks after!

    @endo_2011

  16. #16
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    SS at Mohican makes my quads seize up just thinking about it. Those guys are animals!

  17. #17
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    Dillon is a lot of fun, perfectly doable on a single speed. It's about 1:15 from Columbus. It's pretty well marked, although I still seem to get turned around every time I go there. But you can't get lost, just keep the lake on the same side as you ride and you'll end up at either end of the trail, where you can turn around.

    Lake Hope (about 2 hours from Columbus) is fast and flowy and fun on a single speed. I haven't been there in several years, though, so I can't speak to the condition.

    Caesar's Creek is fine on a single speed, although there are a few tough hills where you may have to hoof it.

    And as mentioned, Alum Creek is almost made for a single speed, but please check the trail conditions first.

    I live just outside Columbus. My full suspension bike is for sale. Enough said?

  18. #18
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    Anyone up for alum tomorrow, monday, in the am? Like 7 or so. Gonna try it out for the first time.!!

  19. #19
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    I might ride Alum tomorrow, but 7 is pretty early for me. Although, getting out before the 90+ temp hits would be a good thing. I ran Alum P1 this past Friday and it was it really good shape. I rode my SS and I think I might be selling my virtually brand new F/S bike here soon. I just have more fun on the SS.

  20. #20
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    Check joinomba.org for a pretty up-to-date trail report listing. Joinomba.org/trails is a mini wiki for the majority of trails in the state. Most of the picture links are dead on the Wiki but the info and directions are still accurate.

    Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk 2
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  21. #21
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    ^^^ That, and they've got a great buy/sell/trade forum...so much better than anything in Ohio on Craigslist. A little off topic, but if you're on their site, check it out.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride have no legs...
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  22. #22
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    So i rode p2. I would have been dissapointed if i had brought my fs. That trail is perfect for a ss. I thi k i might even try a different gearing. 32 x 20 on my ride felt a little undergeared. Maybe 32 x 18 might work. Anyone else ride ss 29 and have a gearing suggestion???

  23. #23
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    I rode P1 on Monday morning. Both trails at Alum are great for singlespeed. I'm still on 32x20 gearing, but hope to step it up soon. Feeling stronger with each ride. I'm also on a 26er, so I can't help you with a gearing suggestion.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bskarasek View Post
    So i rode p2. I would have been dissapointed if i had brought my fs. That trail is perfect for a ss. I thi k i might even try a different gearing. 32 x 20 on my ride felt a little undergeared. Maybe 32 x 18 might work. Anyone else ride ss 29 and have a gearing suggestion???
    I ride 32x18 on a 29er pretty much all over the state, so you should be good. This includes Mohican, but it was definitely the hardest ride I've done in Ohio on SS.

    Hueston Woods is a great place to ride 32x18, but that Biker Bob guy... I dunno... he's kinda evil...

    Much love BB, hope to see you again soon and get my shirt!

    bskarasek, head to HW and hook up with the locals there like Bill, Dave, and some others and you'll have a great time. They know how to connect the various trails together for a great experience. I was just there a week or so ago and the trails are in great shape with lots of work going on trimming the weeds.

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