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  1. #1
    gmx
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    single speeds and vancouver

    Hi ..new to the site. I am considering buying/converting a ss. Are there any other ss riders in Vancouver? If so what trails do you ride? Is there a racing scene?

  2. #2
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    I have a SS, but don't get out on it too often. The trail selection is pretty limited. Pacific Spirit park at UBC is good but all very easy trails. The Delta Watershed has fun singletrack, but isn't that big an area so you end up doing lots of laps. SFU is possible but be prepared to suffer/push on the way up.
    The best stuff is up at Squamish. The Alice lake trails are great, and the link down to the garibaldi highlands (test of metal route) is good too.
    Right now I'm busy thinking about turns on the white stuff..
    Paul

  3. #3
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    I've never run into another SS rider on the trail, although lots of dirt jump guys out here run SS.

    I've experimented with a lot of different gearing etc. because riding the shore a 2:1 just doesn't work.

    I was running a Balfa MM w/ a 34-21.

    Now I've got a two speed setup. 19t in the back and a 26t and a 36t up front. All the gear I need to climb and descend.

    No racing though.

  4. #4
    ups and downs
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    Pacific Spirit Park at UBC at least gives you lots of trails to ride on an SS, and an SS keeps you down to a speed that won't have the hikers and dog walkers cursing at you. The SW Marine trail is likely the most fun on an SS, riding in the southeast (counter clockwise) direction, mostly downhill. If you start from Spanish Banks you're likely pushing up the first bit of trail (or you must have huge leg muscles) and then working hard on the climb up to Chancellor Blvd. From there to the south end it's not bad. If you climb up from SW Marine towards 16th Ave, it's a bit of work, but not too bad. There's only a couple of climbs on the south side that might require standing on the climbs. I have been running a 34:18.

    Coquitlam River Trail is SS friendly, not much elevation change and usually just a few short sharp ups/downs.

    Fisherman's Trail in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve is also SS friendly but getting there usually involves a climb up Riverside Drive, or a 120m climb back up to the LSCR parking lot if you start from there, or a 100m climb at the Mid Valley Lookout back to the paved recreation road to return to the LSCR parking lot. If you ride from Cap College north along the pipe berm to the LSCR, that will give you a a serious workout on an SS.

    There's not many trail areas that don't involve a lot of elevation change in the Lower Mainland.

  5. #5
    wpg then, van now
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    I sold my SS when I moved here, to a bandwagoner - I just wasn't putting the miles on it.

  6. #6
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    Not many of us... Not much of a race scene either, unless you want to race BC cup. There are toonie races (www.toonieracing.com) that can be fun as well.

    I ride Seymour (Bridal path/ Baden / Neds etc..) and Fromme (7th etc) mostly in Van. Also decent trails in Port Moody and Burnaby.

    Don't forget: 45 mins away is Squamish (endless singletrack, all SS friendly) and Bellingham (big SS contingent). Whis also has wicked trails, and none anywhere near the bike park ...

    I don't understand the mentality of "oh, you can't ride that on a SS". If you can ride it on an XC bike, you can ride it on an SS. Just gear it right. No reason NOT to ride SS around here, in fact, we need more!

  7. #7
    gmx
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    ss in vancouver update

    Belated thanks for the info. Finally got around to buying a ss at the beggining of the summer. So far I've done Mels and Nicoles (Bby Mountain), test of metal course(squamish) and neds (north van). All a blast & doable. Neds really beat me down and there may have been a few incidents of a crapped out spleen and some walking on the others. It definately puts a different spin on trails that you've ridden before.

  8. #8
    ups and downs
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    What are you running for SS gearing? I was running 32:18 on my SS which definitely is too tall for long steep climbs.

    I find there's so many climbs where I get down to 1:1 gearing (32:32) and a 32:24 seems to be where I end up riding many of the more technical trail sections on a gearie, both of which spin out on anything that points down or runs toward the flat.

  9. #9
    gmx
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    I run 33:16 (came stock). I am considering tweaking the ratio a bit to see if it will improve the climbing - either that or put on some more muscle. Usually pretty good at the hills if I have a run in and right now I'm using the downs to recover on the downs so not too many spin outs. Climbing techical sections especially the longish rooty/rocky kind that I can't power up and over give me grief as they suck my speed/momentum but I think its a learning curve.

    Have you tried playing around with the ratios?..I'm curious as to what others have had success with around here.

  10. #10
    ups and downs
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    My knees are obviously too old to cope with ratios that tall on the uphills, there's already half a century of wear and tear on them. I find the biggest issue is trying to maintain traction on loose or muddy surfaces if I have to resort to standing on a climb in a tall gear. 32:18 and 34:18 are about as tall as I've managed and those hurt a bunch on the steeper climbs.

    I switched from a Kona Unit to a Kona A FS SS and I did find that it allowed me to maintain momentum better on rough surfaces, and the bit of suspension give on the hard uphill pedal strokes took a bit of the peak load off the knee joints, so even though I lost some efficiency in standing or mashing seated, my knees hurt less.

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