I just had my ASS handed to me....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I just had my ASS handed to me....

    Been riding SS for awhile, but nothing technical. In that regard, I'm a complete noob. It has always seemed to me that rolling hills is the best terrain for SS'ing, because about the time you're about ready to blow up, you've crested the hill, and can catch your breath while spinning madly on the downhill. So, that's what I've tended to ride. Only my favorite trail is now all torn up, because they're putting a rail trail thru there. It'll be a mess for the foreseeable future.
    So, I went to the Dale Ball Trail North. 2,000 ft of elevation gain.- pretty sustained climbing. I noticed everybody else there were unloading full suss gearies from their trucks. Felt pretty outta place with my dowdy rigid SS with 34/19. Soon found I was outta place. Badly. Managed to get to the top, but I was so gone, had to turn around and come back after only 4 miles. Couldn't do the whole 11 mile loop; I just blew up. So my questions:1.)How do you deal with sustained climbing, with a SS? Can't use momentum much. Do I just gear it way the hell down?(There was a one SS I saw, his bike looked like it was 32/22 or the like).
    2.)How the hell do you deal with hairpin turns on a rigid SS? I know this is a technical skill I've not acquired, and is not SS specific. But if I could drop it down to a grannie, it'd seem like it'd be way easier to slowly spin thru. I think sumbody should offer classes in the basics for dummies like moi...

  2. #2
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    Gear it down and work on your balance. Then you can recover between pedal revs.

    I ride 32:22. It sucks on flat terrain, but I think flat terrain sucks anyway.

  3. #3
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    Practice your track stands.

    You have to stand around the hairpins..and with a freewheel (as opposed to fixed) you can coast and bump.. Once you are through the fulcrum of the turn, stomp down on your inside pedal to bring you around.

    As for the climbing... practice, eat right and cranck up it. You can gear down a bit as well, but you pay for that on the flats if you have a lot of them. I run 32:20 on a 26" wheel'd bike. Lots of steep climbs here in So Cal.
    ...got chuck to join my Rock Racing SS team....

  4. #4
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    gearing and saddle time

    34:19 sounds too steep. I have 32-20 on my 29er and it gasses me on sustained climbs but I'm getting stronger! If I do have to stop, I am nice and rested by the time the guys cranking the granny gears get to me... then I am gone again

  5. #5
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    34:19 is a lot of gear inches. You might consider a flip-flop hub with a 19 and a 22 or something.

  6. #6
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    hairpins are tough.
    need to do them standing up. stay far to the outside. sometimes i'll do a little wheelie to get the front off the ground and sort of hop/skip/jump the front wheel around instead of trying to make the tight turn just with the bars turning.

    for sustained climbing, don't be afraid to take breaks. do a little track stand for a minute if it flattens out for a bit to catch your breath and get your heart rate back down. hop off and let yourself recover every now and then.

  7. #7
    Time flies...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Gear it down and work on your balance. Then you can recover between pedal revs.

    I ride 32:22. It sucks on flat terrain, but I think flat terrain sucks anyway.
    +2
    I'm running 32/22 also, and am looking for a 23T to try out.
    You need to gear for where you ride. More hills, more tech = lower gears.

    *read down to #9...good stuff...
    http://www.surlybikes.com/spew3.html
    ...every day sends future to past...

  8. #8
    NormalNorm
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    I ride 32:22. It sucks on flat terrain, but I think flat terrain sucks anyway.

    That might be the best advice yet about ss'ing.

  9. #9
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    Thanks gents for your responses. If somebody as hard core as PBB rides 32/22, then I don't feel quite so bad about blowing up with 34/19. I've got a flipflop, but since I'm running a tensioner, don't have too much range available. I may just swap out that front ring for a 32, and try 20 (which I already have as a backup on the flipflop) and 22. Prob is, this is also my street bike, and I know 32/20 will indeed suck on flattish stuff. Heh...this is a good excuse to put the 19T W.I. Eno on my wife's SS, so I can get another 22T Eno May look into a suss fork as well, since I was all over da place with my rigid. Hate to do that to a SS, though.

  10. #10
    What's "social pace?"
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    I have 34:16 on mine so sustained climbs are pretty much out of the question for me. That said, you could always do a Dos Eno for a few less gear inches.

  11. #11
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Some singletrack is just not very SS friendly...

    Were I just moved from 34x22 was too tall. Now I'm most of the singletrack I ride is flat, rolling at most, and am pushing a 34x17 with fat tires, and could probably go to a 34x16 when I get into fighting shape.

    Point is, be prepared to radically alter your gear ratio if you are making big terrain changes. And even with altering you ratio some terrian is just to steep. Sure you can gear down as far as you need to get up but once on the flats or downs a super low gear is no fun.

  12. #12
    "Its All Good"
    Reputation: Whafe's Avatar
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    I find it takes time and sticking power.... When have ridden Noble with Aqua and Co, first 2 times I was running a 34 x 21, was ok, tough but ok, but really tough when it came to the real tech climbing sections. Next ride at noble I borrowed a spare 22 tooth off of Aqua, was far more enjoyable.... Not so great on the flat sections, of which there is not many...

    In Barcelona at present, ride both days of the weekend with a 34 x 21, which is sweet, tough but sweet......

    In New Zealand at our spot at Woodhill am best with a 34 x 20.... Could possibly go down to a 34 x 19 too.... Piss all long climbs...

    I do like the fact that a SS will deal to me big time, of which I wrote about in another thread...Weekend Riding & Surprises All about time.... And believe me I have a long way to go too....
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  13. #13
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    Keep at it...

    There is just no substitute for saddle time in challenging terrain. Your legs and lungs will adapt to your pegged heartrate and it will get easier with every ride. The next thing you know you'll be sitting in the saddle and grinding through areas that you used to have to stand up for. The advice you've gotten on switchbacks is all good stuff and you'll get the hang of it in no time. If you've got some extra cash you might consider springing for a 29er single speed. The larger wheels make technical climbs much easier IMO...

  14. #14
    crap magnet
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    Santa Fe riding

    Doggity, I ride the same trails you do and find 32/20 on my 29er to be a good compromise. Seems virtually every ride starts with a fairly sustained climb around here. At least the good ones do!
    Last edited by cdaddy; 07-20-2008 at 10:03 PM.
    When you find yourself on the side of the majority it's time to pause and reflect.
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  15. #15
    Mark
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    I have been riding 34x22 on a 26" wheel and just moved up to a 34x20.

    The nasty loose/rocky/tight switchbacks are really really easy... push the bike!
    Yes, heresy I know but it is true. No hairpin uphill loose rocky switchback has been victorious over me yet!!!

    Remember, it ain't a Single speed it is really a 2 speed! Sometimes that second gear is just so much faster. And oh yeah, walking is resting.

    Now, if you've got something to prove you can keep blowing yourself into the "red" zone and have to turn around

    On the subject of SS sustained climbing...

    1) Know your heart rate zones
    2) Spend as much time in the saddle as you can
    I notice a 10-15BPM increase just on an easy stand. Many more muscles involved.
    3) Stand when you can't turn the cranks
    Let your body weight help you.
    4) Stop before spend too much time in the red.
    Stopping 10BPM before your max makes life much much beter as the day goes on.
    5) Climb more & pedal circles not squares.
    ===============

    Mark

  16. #16
    smell my finger
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    climbs

    I've been riding a monocog 29er since May (32-20 gears) and love it. I started on a trail that was real technical and climbing through bony rocky areas. It felt as if my heart was in my eye when I got over some of the terrain. I then took it on some real challenging climbs to get to awesome singletrack and have already ridden the climbs that took me half the season last year on a geared bike. I am however slower than the FS gearies that I follow on group rides but that's no surprise after only 2.5 months of riding this rig. I have lost 10 lbs of weight and 3" around my waist, I've never been fitter in my life after riding the SS. I did start early on a new road bike I purchased so the base miles helped with some conditioning. It's all about saddle time, there's no substitute.... Keep your head down and look about ten feet in front of you when climbing, if you look up it gets discouraging.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lablover
    I've been riding a monocog 29er since May (32-20 gears) and love it. I started on a trail that was real technical and climbing through bony rocky areas. It felt as if my heart was in my eye when I got over some of the terrain. I then took it on some real challenging climbs to get to awesome singletrack and have already ridden the climbs that took me half the season last year on a geared bike. I am however slower than the FS gearies that I follow on group rides but that's no surprise after only 2.5 months of riding this rig. I have lost 10 lbs of weight and 3" around my waist, I've never been fitter in my life after riding the SS. I did start early on a new road bike I purchased so the base miles helped with some conditioning. It's all about saddle time, there's no substitute.... Keep your head down and look about ten feet in front of you when climbing, if you look up it gets discouraging.
    Your story is very similar to mine...I picked up a Gary Fisher Rig in mid June and I just can't get enough of the ss riding. I live in CO so we've got plenty of challenging terrain around here. My body is starting to feel like a machine and I'm riding faster than I ever did on my Yeti (except for downhill when pedaling is pointless). My first ride on the Rig and I was thinking "what the hell have I gotten myself into?" but after pushing through the initial pain and gasping for air I'm just getting stronger and stronger. Yesterday was my best ride yet...22 miles and 3500 ft of climbing in 90 degree weather. Not too bad considering I fractured my tibia snowboarding in January and was on crutches through March I can't wait to see my progress after a good year of ss riding...pure bliss.

  18. #18
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    Cascade Cream Puff....100 miles with over 18,000ft of climbing.....34-20 (26")

    Keep at it, you'll come around. Soon you'll be waiting for the gearies at the top.

    Doesn't get easier, you just get faster -some fat cyclist (did I say fat, I mean fast)

    Caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  19. #19
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    32/22 Pisgah

    I did coasty singlespeeding for a couple years before losing the freewheel. I told myself on those long climbs to just stand up straight,not hunkered over or more like stand up straight weighting the front as necessary and then just "hike" turning the pedals slowly and get in in your head that you are doing a steep hike up a trail...you are still turning the pedals though.This is probably easier on a fixie cause you do not have a dead spot on the pedal stroke.
    That works until you blow-up and then it`s just hike-a-bike for real. I consider hike-a-biking to also be a great physical conditioning tool.
    Several years ago we came out to NM and Dale Ball trail system was the first we rode after driving 24hrs...

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