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  1. #1
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    Any Singlespeed Clydesdales out there?

    I recently raced for the first time in about 12 years. I entered as a Clydesdale and rode a singlespeed. At the starting line, I couldn’t’ help but notice that none of my fellow clydes were riding singles, and none of the people in the singlespeed class seemed to be clydesdale-eligible.

    Then, just before the top of the last hill of the day, when I was puttin’ my full weight into the cranks, my chain popped like a gunshot and threw me over the handlebars and effectively out of the race. (no tools but flat-fixin’s—“what could possibly go wrong with a singlespeed?” I thought).

    I’ve ridden singlespeeds for a long time—and I’m a perma-clyde (There’s no way I could lose enough weight to get under 200lbs w/o donating some organs) . I’ve never broken a chain before, so this could just be an anomaly. But, still I have to wonder—is there a reason why there are no other single-speedin’ biggies out there?

    If you’re a One Cog Clyde—let the world (or at least this message board) know you’re out there. . .

  2. #2
    Cyclist
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    Clydes break things, that's what we do...

    220# happy single speeder and former professional beer drinker. It took me a while to outfit my SS to clyde proof standards and the regulars on this board probably remember all my posts about broken BB's, handlebars etc...

    I finally got it figured out.

    STEEL is your friend.

    3 piece steel cranks (stiff)
    1/8 BMX chain
    DH alumunim bars
    Thomson seatpost and stem
    CK hubs.
    Steel custom frame, extra strong

    The best upgrade for me was the three piece cranks followed by the 1/8" chain. I broke many 9-8 speed chains and wasted cash on stupid ISIS bottom brackets.
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    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    My cycling photos. Enjoy!

  3. #3
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    I thought Clydsdales were Scottish heavy draft horses ;)

    But if you are content with the analogy, I guess I would consider myself one of those.

    I weigh in at 230 lbs. and ride single speed bikes every chance I get. I run a standard 8-spd chain as there has never been a need to try anything else. Run a 34:18 off-road and 50:18 on the road. I am betting the chain breakage was an anomaly... although it could also be riding technique. Of course I have only been riding SS for 4 years, so maybe a more experienced 'clydsdale' could offer input.

    Next time carry a chain tool and some spare links so you can give the rest of the SS class some trouble.

    dd..''

  4. #4
    Am I getting too bulky?
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Last time I was on a scale I weighed 235. The biggest issue I have with bikes is suspension. There are few forks that have a high enough spring rate for me, so I go with air. Otherwise, I don't think I'm that tough on parts. I've broken a crank, but it's the same one many others have broken, and I've only ever popped one chain like you describe. I do use a DH stem, bar and headset though.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  5. #5
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    I hate to admit it...

    I hate to admit it, but I was 212lbs. the last time I got on a scale. I've had 1 broken chain
    & 1 snapped chainring (I think one of my bolts failed) in the past two years. Since then, I've been using SRAM single speed chains on my 3 rides without incident.
    You gonna ride that?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Yup. I haven't broken many parts on the SS but I have broken a chain (due to my own poor job at re-joining it) and had to walk out from a ride because I wasn't carrying spare links at the time. My camelbak now always has some 1/8" and 9sp links tucked away.

    I'm not super hard on parts but some things I do find...

    Thomson seatposts --- The only ones that don't bend easily.
    Old GT steel frame = Practically indestructible.
    Dimension disc rigid fork.. Not so indestructible...
    Old style freewheel hubs = broken axles.. don't even bother.

    I've broken a few chains on the gearie though...

  7. #7
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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    not a full-on clyde...

    at 6'1" & 175lbs, but i think my bike is probably clydeproof:
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  8. #8
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    my chain break . . .

    [QUOTE=Brandon]Yup. I haven't broken many parts on the SS but I have broken a chain (due to my own poor job at re-joining it)

    I've broken a few chains on geared bikes, but it's always been a failure where the pin goes thorugh--usually with the side plate bent away from the pin rather than having the side plate actually broken.

    My SS chain break happened at mid-link--that is the side plates on both sides snapped. I've never seen anything like that before.

    In general, I've never been much of a parts bender/breaker. For as big as I am, and for as clumsy as I am on foot, I'm pretty graceful on a bike. I "ride light" so to speak.

    But, with a single speed, there's no such thing as soft pedaling. . .

  9. #9
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    ok about the chain breaking

    so im no where close to becoming a clydesdale, but i have to put in my $.02 about chain breaking. Last summer i rode with a guy who was 5'3" and weighed in at probably 135-140 lbs and he could break chains no end, didnt matter which bike, i think chain breaking comes from mostly from having a lot of power in your legs, not necesarrily big guys only. Also, another reason that i just thought of could be flex in the frame, twist the chain, loosen the bolts, loose bolts=broken chain. As for advide i would reccomend getting a BMX chain, its what i run on my singlespeed and ive never had any breakages. And one more reccomendation for singlespeeders/clydes out there, try looking at danscomp.com, its a bmx supply store with fairly good prices and lots of parts that tranfer from BMX to mtn singlspeeding. (that wipperman pro at dans comp looks like it would be tough to break!)

  10. #10
    The Top Cap Guy
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    I'm a Clyde... 210lbs currently (down from 220-225). I've been pretty lucky on the parts breakage... about the biggest thing I get is bent saddle rails every so often when I land wrong on the bike and there's no suspension to make up for it. I've never had any chain issues but I'm more of a spinner than a stopmer - I'll run my 34/20 all day when others are running 34/17 or 18's... I race in a open club race once a month in Summer - end up mid packing it but then there are some seriously fast guys there as well as some newbies - so I'm happy in the mid pack.


    FF
    "If I'm leading, I'm bleeding."

  11. #11
    Probably drunk right now
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    Sure....

    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    I recently raced for the first time in about 12 years. I entered as a Clydesdale and rode a singlespeed. At the starting line, I couldn’t’ help but notice that none of my fellow clydes were riding singles, and none of the people in the singlespeed class seemed to be clydesdale-eligible.

    Then, just before the top of the last hill of the day, when I was puttin’ my full weight into the cranks, my chain popped like a gunshot and threw me over the handlebars and effectively out of the race. (no tools but flat-fixin’s—“what could possibly go wrong with a singlespeed?” I thought).

    I’ve ridden singlespeeds for a long time—and I’m a perma-clyde (There’s no way I could lose enough weight to get under 200lbs w/o donating some organs) . I’ve never broken a chain before, so this could just be an anomaly. But, still I have to wonder—is there a reason why there are no other single-speedin’ biggies out there?

    If you’re a One Cog Clyde—let the world (or at least this message board) know you’re out there. . .
    220 pounds of pure beer drinking love....

    I broke a chain while riding Slickrock Trail. I was climbing and torquing up a hill, my chest waaaaay forward on handlebars when the chain gave way. I wound up endoing going up hill.

    I ride with a SRAM chain. I'm a big fan of the SRAM link. I also carry a chain tool (as part of a mini-tool) in my ride kit.

    Ken

  12. #12
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    Clydes, you kidding?

    I'm 205, just over the clyde entrance weight, and ride a steel plowboy. Parts breakage: 2 cranks; pulled out one pedal; 2 stems and one rear wheel. Torque is such that I can never get my freewheel off unless two clydes put 500 pounds of beer behind the wheel to turn it on a vice... in fact have broken two vices. Other vices? Beer of course.

  13. #13
    Steamroller
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    Bending and stretching

    I'm 6'2" and 245# and have not broken anything on my SS. I have bent pedals, bent seat rails, and stretched chains on the SS. A key to not breaking parts may be keeping an eye on them. I notice a chain stretching and replace it before it breaks. I still carry extra links and a chain tool in my Camelback just in case, because like others say we break stuff.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  14. #14
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    But, still I have to wonder—is there a reason why there are no other single-speedin’ biggies out there? If you’re a One Cog Clyde—let the world (or at least this message board) know you’re out there. . .
    I wonder where you live? I've seen a few around.. and, Lord, I know, I'm one.
    Here's all 240lbs of me cruising on my SS....
    <img src="http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/04VQErik1.jpg" border=3>

    Like Striker said.. I've kinda got it figured out too...
    steel is my friend
    the 3 piece steel cranks are pretty cool but my RF Turbines seems to be fine so far.
    1/8 BMX chain is a must.. PC-7X... we will mourn it's passing...
    DH alumunim bars...No way, too heavy.. DH CARBON.. saves us Clydes hundreds of grams.
    Thomson seatpost and stem. Is there another choice?
    CK hubs.
    Steel custom frame, extra strong. Mine is almost 9lbs of strong...

  15. #15
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    You can call me Clyde

    I go about 6'3" and 215-220# . I have had quite a few issues with breakage on my bikes. 2 cranksets (one was a 2003 XT crankset). I snapped the non-drive hubflange on my PAUL hub (he replaced them and was really cool about it). Two chains on the gearie, none on the SS (knock on wood). Two h-bars and 2 saddles.
    Some of these things broke as a result of a crash others just went. I make it a policy to get the most strength for my money and don't obcess about weight. My parts spec (check my profile) may be a little heavy for an XC rider but they haven't failed yet. I would rather carry a few extra pounds than walk home.
    You will eventually break parts if you ride enough but you can minimize breakage through good parts choices.

    Winky

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    I'm a big boy

    5'8" 230lbs never broken anything on my bike but I have flatted a million times. Knock on woooooood.

  17. #17
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    1/8 chains

    are all of you who are running bmx chains running bmx chainrings? Can I run a bmx chain on a suffering?

  18. #18
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    I'm down to 210 as of this morning, from 235, and ride an ultralight aluminum hardtail SS with a Black Comp coil fork. Well, ultralight for the day: it's a Manitou HT with SweetWings external BB cranks, a White Industries-based wheelset and whatnot...we guess around 23lb with a 25.25" top tube.

    I don't break parts often, and don't buy stuff that I think will break. I run Sachs 8-sp chains and have had not problems I didn't cause myself.

  19. #19
    Witty McWitterson
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    I count as one too. 240 and been doing this ss thing from 'bout '96 or so. Long time lovin'! I've only broken one BB, and a few chains. Nothing else, I'm not a jumper or hard on parts.
    Just a regular guy.

  20. #20
    gentle like
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    me too

    205 - down from 235. aiming for 190 ... maybe 195.

    relatively new to single speeding, but i understand what it's like to feel large in the ss line up at races. well, at a race ... i've only done one. i came in last in open ss ... but had i entered beginners (which i am, and no clyde categories were available), my lap times would have been good for second in my age category. you climb fast when you can't make it easier!

    i'm pretty easy on equipment, and kinda believe the 'some folks mash, some float' theory. but be proud and enter the ss cat as a clyde!

  21. #21
    Am I getting too bulky?
    Reputation: Bikehigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Thomson seatpost and stem. Is there another choice?
    Well, with regard to the seatpost, not really. Her's my option for the stem though.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  22. #22
    Dain Bramaged
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    Yo Marty

    Clear your PM inbox & send me a message. I'll be in Rochester next Friday and am thinking of maybe bringing the shiny new 1x1 along. Gimme the shout.

    rlieberg at jlgarchitects dotttt commmm

  23. #23
    Drinkin' Buddy
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    Looks like there's a few more of us than you thought

    I am usually 210-220 (primarily due to my close relationship with the local brewery) and like everyone says, steel is your friend. I have a Vulture that is super strong and not flexy at all. My first singlespeed was a beautiful converted 90s Kona team frame made out of columbus Nemo tubing. It was nice and light, but I could not run more than a 1.85 tires in the back because I would rub the paint off of the chainstays with the knobbies on climbs. I have RF seatpost, Azonic DH bars, RF turbines and so far they have been good to me. NOT the RF BB, though. Broke that in three months or so. I try to swap chains at least every year to keep from hurting myself.
    Got Beer?

  24. #24
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    A friend and I are both on SS bikes at about 230. Both ride Cameleons with Profile cranks with Kool bmx chains.Both use Salsa cromotto bars. I ride Thompson stem and seat post..He rides a Ti Moots seatpost for a little cusion.Rhino lite wheels with Phil wood hubs. Seems to work well

  25. #25
    Zippy, the wonder bike
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    I'm 230lbs, 6' and so far (knock on wood) haven't broken anything on my Monocog, I have downhill bars, odi lockons and a really rigid SC stem on it though, also a XT sqaure taper BB, I've had awesome luck with Shimano BB's, about the only good thing Shimano makes. On my two geared bikes I have broken a ISIS BB right in half, bike shop had a aweful time extracting the pieces out of the BB shell, tacoed a few wheels and just recently I snapped a chain on my XC bike, but I think that it was due to how it was put together more then anything.

  26. #26
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    Hmmm, more company than I thought possible!

    Well folks, I don't feel too bad now. I weigh in at 230lbs and 6' 2". I ride a Bianchi DISS
    which seems pretty strong so far. I have not broken any of the stock components so far.
    Then again I am not an abusive rider, although I do like to go uphill while standing and
    pedlaing. I also ride an Independent Fabrications Crown Jewel in steel with Chorus
    components and about 2,000 miles and that too seems to work well.

    I do try to maintain the bicycles as much as I can, clean the chain and the brakes in
    particular.

    And, I do need to break from tradition, while beer is OK, I much prefer a nice glass
    of Chivas on the rocks and some water on the side

    Kind regards,
    Dimitri

  27. #27
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Why go for such a heavy stem?
    People race DH using the Thomson.. I do.. and have run a 110 Thomson for 3 years on my Bullit when not racing.... it's bombproof and light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikehigh
    Well, with regard to the seatpost, not really. Her's my option for the stem though.

  28. #28
    Witty McWitterson
    Reputation: ~martini~'s Avatar
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    Right back atcha maing. PM's cleared.
    Just a regular guy.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by farley
    I recently raced for the first time in about 12 years. I entered as a Clydesdale and rode a singlespeed. At the starting line, I couldn’t’ help but notice that none of my fellow clydes were riding singles, and none of the people in the singlespeed class seemed to be clydesdale-eligible.

    Then, just before the top of the last hill of the day, when I was puttin’ my full weight into the cranks, my chain popped like a gunshot and threw me over the handlebars and effectively out of the race. (no tools but flat-fixin’s—“what could possibly go wrong with a singlespeed?” I thought).

    I’ve ridden singlespeeds for a long time—and I’m a perma-clyde (There’s no way I could lose enough weight to get under 200lbs w/o donating some organs) . I’ve never broken a chain before, so this could just be an anomaly. But, still I have to wonder—is there a reason why there are no other single-speedin’ biggies out there?

    If you’re a One Cog Clyde—let the world (or at least this message board) know you’re out there. . .
    Hey Farley,
    I just ran Sea Otter Classic in Clyde Class. It looked like I was one of the only ones on a SS. I run a weight weenie 18lb Spot....rigid, 34-18. Heaviest guy on the lightest bike is my motto.

  30. #30
    Am I getting too bulky?
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Why go for such a heavy stem?
    People race DH using the Thomson.. I do.. and have run a 110 Thomson for 3 years on my Bullit when not racing.... it's bombproof and light.
    Because I wanted a 75 mm stem, and Thomson's Elite doesn't go there. I had a longer stem when I first built the bike, and didn't like it. Within reason, I don't really care how much it weighs, and it's not that heavy anyway. With me honking on 28" wide bars, I think the Azonic is a good choice.

    Plus, I like being different ... and it looks cool. There, I said it!
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
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    6'1"- 225lbs Here's my clyde-proof SS




  32. #32
    Card Carrying Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikehigh
    Because I wanted a 75 mm stem, and Thomson's Elite doesn't go there.
    they make a 70.

  33. #33
    Am I getting too bulky?
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by kitchenware
    they make a 70.
    Really? If so, I haven't seen it for sale on any web site, and I sure as **** ain't paying list at the lbs. Anyway, I like what I got.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  34. #34
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    To answer Padre's Q

    The Azonic Shorty is so much stiffer than the Thomson. I thought that the Thomson was stiff until I got a Shorty. It is awesome man! The only downfall is that I cut the crap out of my knees on the stem when I fall. I have solved that problem with a pad though.

    Give the Shorty a try you won't regret it,
    Winky

  35. #35
    NormalNorm
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    235+ and riding a steel Thin Blue Line. Using a 34X20. My SS weighs in at 23lbs. I have broke chains, pedals, destroyed rims, bottom brackets, and cracked a frame in 10 years of riding.

  36. #36
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    240lbs Dekerf Implant (Steel), rigid Tuning Forks, lots of Thomson, Chris King, Jones H-Bars, Avid Juicy 7 Carbon 185mm discs f+r, Mavic XC717 rims running 32/18T.

    Broke a few frames in my time, and a few wheels but nothing serious (touch wood!).

    Oh and I use RF Deus Cranks which have been great, I've broken a lot of chains on my geared bikes, and it weighs 24lbs with pedals.
    Last edited by Just J; 07-25-2006 at 01:17 PM.

  37. #37
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    most recent break(s)

    was 215lbs. now 180 since crash.i ride a roshambo ridged with king hubs, delgado 29ers and exi tires- no issues yet
    and these are the first pieces of ti i own
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  38. #38
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    here's my 220 lbs (want to reach 200 by the end of the year but the guinness is killing it) and 186 cm clydesdale ass. Guess that 200 is the absolute minimun. Luckily I do al lot of walking/squash/biking so I think I am pretty nimble on my feet.

    Nice to know that almost everyone is having trouble with the beer..

    My ride:


    GF RIG, on one fork, XT wheelset with mavic A719 rims and HS33 brakes.

    I have never broken anything because of my weight. Only chains seem to wear out every 500k's (about 300 to 400 miles). But I change often because I do not like stretched chains. I think I am a smooth rider on the trails (knock's some solid oak)

  39. #39
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Remember, ti is your friend.

    I'm 215lbs down from 245lbs last year.

    I've broken numerous frames, all steel, and some cranks, and a few wheels, (all 26" wheels.)

    I'm happy with 29" wheels now and my new ti singlespeed.

    The shot of me on the Vulture is from when I was fat(er).
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  40. #40
    large member
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    I'm 210 currently, down from 260 just last January. I'm aiming for 199 right now but would love to hit the 180 range eventually. I have broken many parts but have seemed to have found some good stuff through my trials. My SS is a very light build, but I have been riding the components for some time now (frame is new, first ride was today which was great). The frame is a Kona Explosif 20" and it rides like a dream. My FS Ell's will be seeing even less action now. I run a Sram SS chain which weighs a bit more but is supposedly bomber. This is one of the only new components so only time will tell. I run Thomson seatpost on all my rigs and they have never given me trouble. I run a RF Dues XC riser bar on my FS and a Easton EC carbon riser on my SS. I run a White Industries ENO crank and a Chris King rear cog on a Mavic free hub. I have no issues with any noticable flex.
    #1 NORBA elite singlespeed toolbag 30-34 age group

  41. #41
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    I am roughly 270lb and 6'6" and ride a singlespeed. Actually, I have three and another one needs wheels. I ride an XL Surly Karate Monkey SS with a WB BW.8 that tips the scales at a light 28lbs (bomb proof wheels). I also have a Van Dessel Buzz Bomb (XL old orange one) set up as a fully rigid fixed geared dropped barred dirt roader (see monster cross thread for a pic on page 3). I also have a mid 1960's Falcon San Remo road bike converted to fixed gear (Reynolds 531). And, last and certainly not least is my newest addition a 1976 Schwinn Paramount P14 track bike. The Paramount doesn't have a wheelset yet. I am looking for something quality enough for it (campy 36H track hubs laced to some 700c rim?).

  42. #42
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    So, I guess there's not really that many Clyde SSers.....NOT! I'm 220# now and lovin' the SS rigid! Are most of you out there riding rigid? Sometimes it kills me but usually only when I know I'm riding too hard. If thats possible!

    I know what ya mean about pulling up to the starting line being surrounded by a bunch of 5' whatever 145 pounder's. Been there, dont really care. I have a great time and thats all that really counts. Not like I'm riding for sponsorship! Unless its for a beer company...

  43. #43
    SSasquatch
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    6'5" 220lbs and ride a rigid monocog. Since switching to the rigid bike I have been going through bottom brackets and pedal spindles with at an alarming rate.
    I spoke with a structural engineer about this and he told me that clydes on rigid bikes tend to beat the snot out of pedal spindles and bottom brackets because without suspension there is no where to disperse the load except on the pedal or BB.

  44. #44
    large member
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    Oh yeah, I'm 6'0"... drink the hell out of some good dark beers. BOC is definitely Chimay Grande Reserve. When I drink too much, I suffer from severe dark brew poo's.
    #1 NORBA elite singlespeed toolbag 30-34 age group

  45. #45
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    6'5" 235# on a rigid Monocog 29er. 1 broken chain in 20 years. 1 broken BB spindle (on a roadie bike). Lotsa bent seatposts due to bad form on my part.

  46. #46
    large member
    Reputation: mud'n'sweat's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    1,845
    Here is my new rig all built up....

    #1 NORBA elite singlespeed toolbag 30-34 age group

  47. #47
    The man who fell to earth
    Reputation: Ziggy-Stardust's Avatar
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    Another way to effectively make your chain "stronger", is to increase the tooth count on your front ring and rear cog. If you like, say a 32:16 ratio (i.e. 2:1), and that's what you currently run - if you were to go up to 36:18 or 38:19 or even 40:20 etc, your riding/dynamic chain tension would drop substantially while preserving the same desired final drive ratio. This would increase the lifespan of the chain too because not only are you descreasing chain tension, you're also adding a few more links in there to help share the wear. It also probably increases driveline efficiency slightly by using a larger cog and ring. Only downside is a little added weight and decreased ground clearance over logs.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rumble's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    6'1" @ 235#s
    I break Sram and XT chains on my 9sp Rumble. Going to try Whipperman stainless next.
    Nothing breaks on the Loki.

    Soul Cycles Loki frame
    Marzocchi AM III with DJ II guts dropped from 130mm to 80mm
    Rhynolite XLs on XT hubs
    Gussett 1-ER 18t
    Blackspire single 34t
    Azonic Shorty stem
    Azonic World Force bars
    Azonic Hot Seat
    King HS
    Race Face Evole DH cranks
    Truvativ Gigapipe DH BB
    PC-1 chain
    410mm Titec Knock Rated post for trails(shown down for DJ/urban).

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: lane's Avatar
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    265 and counting down as of this morning. Currently riding an older Kona Unit, used to ride a Chameleon. The only frame I've ever broken is my old Rocky Hammer and it had seen a lot of abuse when it went. I eat Shimano chains for breakfast and have a habit of snapping bars on climbs. Oh, and I tend to go thru more brakepads cause when elephants are trying to be gazelles, gravity works with brutal efficiency.

  50. #50
    75% Mountain cycle
    Reputation: SanAnMan's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    321

    5' 11" and 224# - Monocog's been great

    I've had great luck with the monocog. I fluctuate between 219 and 224 and I'm beer-free. I can bench 315lbs too, any day of the week. Although - I have contemplated getting back down under 200lbs but every time I try I loose a lot of strength.

    I too do BMX chains, steel frames, and DH bars.

    Great to see such a Clyde following in the SS ranks.....
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