Endurance rides on SS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Endurance rides on SS

    I am signed up for the Lutsen 69er and the Wausau 24 team events. I have a geared scalpel that i was planning on riding but i would love to have a go at them on my SS. couple questions:

    Has anyone done these events on a single speed?
    What gearing did you use?
    would you do it again?

    my biggest fear for the lutsen is the initial climb. it is a few miles of climbing followed by lots of down hill and flat. i don't want to gear down for the climb and then be screwed on the rest of the course. I don't have a chance to pre-ride either course.

    thank you for any help

  2. #2
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    I've never raced 24 hour on anything other than a singlespeed.

    If you're riding solo, reconsider your fears of gearing down. At stupid o'clock in the small hours, it's hard to get another ounce of grunt on a hill, but you can always manage a few more rpm.

    But don't be afraid to walk. It's more efficient than pedalling at walking pace and gives you a rest.

    If you're in a team you can treat it like a shorter race and gear on the high isde.

    But everyone differs.

    Our local 24 hour which is run in winter has been won by singlespeed riders about half the times.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I've never raced 24 hour on anything other than a singlespeed.

    If you're riding solo, reconsider your fears of gearing down. At stupid o'clock in the small hours, it's hard to get another ounce of grunt on a hill, but you can always manage a few more rpm.

    But don't be afraid to walk. It's more efficient than pedalling at walking pace and gives you a rest.

    If you're in a team you can treat it like a shorter race and gear on the high isde.

    But everyone differs.

    Our local 24 hour which is run in winter has been won by singlespeed riders about half the times.
    Good info here, I strategically walk on 24 hour events in certain places. It is all about nutrition and not stopping, just keep moving no matter what. They are so much fun, I wish I could find more within a days drive to me!

  4. #4
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    I 100% agree with everything mentioned above.

    Something I do when choosing a gear ratio is to see if anyone uploaded their race or pre-ride to Strava. The elevation profile is helps a lot, as do any pictures or videos that show how technical the course is. I'm not sure why but for a lot of the races I've done the elevation profile/stats from the race organizers are often terribly wrong.

    And seriously, don't be afraid to gear down if you're racing solo. If you're having a difficult time deciding between a couple ratios just choose the lower one. You'll be glad you did 20+ hours into your race.

  5. #5
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    Another way of looking at it is the value of the gearing on different parts of the course. This is what convinced me to run lower gearing way back.

    Time yourself up a climb on one gear and then with another.

    Similarly time yourself on a descent.

    What i found that lower gearing allows a faster climb, and higher gearing does not contribute much to downwards speed because it only takes a brief period before you're maxed out of rpm on the descent on whatever SS gear you're using, so speed on that part of the course has more to do with not riding your brakes and picking a line.

    However none of the courses I have ridden have ever had significant amount of flat, if they had I'd consider going down a tooth at the rear. (Or if it was a rolling course)
    Last edited by Velobike; 05-14-2018 at 02:22 PM.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  6. #6
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    for the XCMs around BC I would need less than 1:1 or would be walking every uphill

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for the input. I will check Strava and see what I can find and worsts case just run by 20t.

    Thank you again

  8. #8
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    Good luck man, let us know what you decide to do and how the event goes for you.

    My advice is always to gear for the last hour or two, not the first. Your end of race legs will thank you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by evenslower View Post
    Good luck man, let us know what you decide to do and how the event goes for you.

    My advice is always to gear for the last hour or two, not the first. Your end of race legs will thank you.
    Yes, and whatever you do, keep moving, even if you're crawling with your bike on your back.

    I've walked almost an entire lap once when I was so knackered I was desperate to stop. It was great, I watched the sun rise, chewed on a few Snickers bars, hopped on for downhills and flat bits, but got all the way round. Strangely I was able to ride the next laps. If I had stopped I would have never restarted.

    They count your laps, not how you did them.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  10. #10
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    So an update. I ended up going 34 oval with a 19T in the back on 29+ tires. i slaughtered people up the big initial climb but probably burnt too many matches. I made it all the way but the last 1/3 mile gains about 250 ft with 20% grades. needless to say i was walking but i was not alone.

    Talked to a few of the other SS riders and they were running 39x20. i think next year (already signed back up) i will run 34 oval with a 18 or maybe 17. i got murdered on the gravel and there was not that much steep stuff other than the end.

  11. #11
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    My "claim to fame" around my circle of friends is that I did a 55 mile endurance race on a fixed gear 29er. I very much prefer SS for endurance racing, it seems to be the perfect tool for a guy like me. It sort of puts a governor on so I don't blow myself up, and it's what I ride 99% of the time so it's what I feel most comfortable on.

    I tried to do the same race that I did with the fixie on a full suspension bike last year. I had to drop at mile 45 because my knee locked up. Sit and spin for that much elevation kills, I need to be out of the saddle more.

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