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  1. #1
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    observation about gear riders spinning on a climb

    This is just an observation.....I have found I really enjoy standing and hammering up a hill on the SS....don't know why and can't even explain it.....I just know I like it.....I find myself thinking how different guys look sitting and spinning at high rpms on the geared bikes. It has been looking weird to me. Not that there is anything wrong with that (spinning), It has just been an observation. I feel like saying "get in a bigger gear and pedal damn it"

    Ruzz

  2. #2
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    1. It's not about the looks.

    2. That's what gear shifting is for: Exchanging strength for frequency.

  3. #3
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    I've noticed SS riders tend to take more aggressive (direct) lines when climbing- straight up and over stuff, instead of spinning and riding around everything. Whatever works
    Check out some of our local hills: CDRC (Capital District Road Climbs)

  4. #4
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    What about SS riders sitting and spinning at a low cadence on a climb?
    Hiking is just walking where its okay to pee... Sometimes old people go hiking by accident. -Demetri Martin-

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hoefer
    What about SS riders sitting and spinning at a low cadence on a climb?
    If they are pedaling at a low cadence it is not "spinning."
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    If they are pedaling at a low cadence it is not "spinning."

    What if they are twisting fiber into thread while they climb at an oh so slow cadence?

  7. #7
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    I meant spinning at a high cadence....It is not a negative and was ot intended to be a negative observation. Now that I have been riding my SS exclusively I simply have noticed the different riding styles that someone on a geared bike uses to climb hills. One poster said"whatever works". Absolutely, if you are riding and having fun that is all that really matters.

  8. #8
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    oops, i didnt say "low cadence" But yes, I suppose for a geared rider the SS style of grinding it out at a low cadence could be viewed as "why would someone want to do that" I realize this observation is very obvious but it is something that I had never really thought about until I picked up the SS.

  9. #9
    JRA
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    Low Cadence

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    If they are pedaling at a low cadence it is not "spinning."
    I prefer to refer to my "style" of climbing as RPH (revolutions per hour). I guess thats why I liked my 180mm cranks so much. I seem to be more slow twitch than fast.

  10. #10
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    I recently switched from the high cadence "spinning" of a geared bike to a single speed "stand up and pedal" cadence. I found that with my SS I feel better when I reach the top of any hill (Colorado Springs area). When I rode my bike with gears, the repetition was hell on my knees. I know where you are coming from, ruzz.

  11. #11
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    After a couple years of SSing, I no longer wimp out on my geared bike and spin on all climbs. I am more aggressive about the gear I select and don't shy away from standing on my geared bike when climbing. But I will gladly spin when dead tired or if traction is better if seated.
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  12. #12
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    Oh yea I agree! I did some riding in Tahoe and Washington state a month ago and I rented a geared bike for each trip. Big fire road climbs....I was spinning my ass off! I cannot claim to have the legs for that kind of riding yet....The very few times I have been on gears since I got my SS i also ride it way differently than I used to.

    Ross

  13. #13
    mudnthebloodnthebeer
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    If they are pedaling at a low cadence it is not "spinning."
    I'd argue that spinning stops when the stroke breaks down and you're not pedaling in circles any longer. We've all seen riders turning north of 100rpm who definitely weren't spinning......
    Last edited by quaffimodo; 08-30-2007 at 03:31 PM.
    Also, the streets are full of horizontal dropouts...

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  14. #14
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    My favorite is staying ahead of gearies when I am walking my SS and they are spinning in their granny gear. I try not to walk but, walking happens in Pisgah Natl. Forest. I think I will trade my 4x4 truck in for a 2 wheel drive one. Naaaah!

  15. #15
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    "What if they are twisting fiber into thread while they climb at an oh so slow cadence?"

    Now that would certainly be spinning, and something I'd like to see more of on the trails. Yes, lets try and multitask whenever possible!

  16. #16
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    I have 180's and I like to hammer up the hill as much as possible. I must admit that I was always a mosher with my geared bike anyway and it just made sense to stand on my new SS.

  17. #17
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    i just try not to laugh at all their silly gears and big, mushy bikes.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruzz
    This is just an observation.....I have found I really enjoy standing and hammering up a hill on the SS....don't know why and can't even explain it.....I just know I like it.....I find myself thinking how different guys look sitting and spinning at high rpms on the geared bikes. It has been looking weird to me. Not that there is anything wrong with that (spinning), It has just been an observation. I feel like saying "get in a bigger gear and pedal damn it"

    Ruzz
    I ride both a rigid (for now) ss and a geared 5" FS. It's they are two different animals when climbing. When I first got the ss I rode it a lot and as I got stronger I thought that standing and hammering was the real deal..... until I got back on the fs. It just does not work the same. Stand and hammer on a most big squishies and you are waisting a lot of energy. I never really understood this until I hammered on a rigid. In fact, after riding the ss for a while I got weaker on the geared fs because I had not spun in so long. I think this is why some people who ride ss most of the time find fs gearies so inefficient; they lost their spinning strength. My solution in to split my riding between the two bikes.

  19. #19
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    spot on kapsta.

    I just raced geared last weekend and sucked. I did not even bring My S S to the race and missed it badly. My last 4 races were ss and ss w/ the gearies and did well. So I am still trying to figure out what the deal was with that. I blew up where I had gotten stronger on the S S during last 1/4 of the race.

  20. #20
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    You're either for us or against us....

    There's no way that there can be two styles of riding. There is only stand up and hammer.

    That worked really well for Ulrich in the TdF riding against Lance.

    There are different riding styles that benefit different people and different bikes.

    Ross W.: Riding a ss doesn't make anyone superior. It just means that you ride a bike with one gear.

    I get different pleasures out of ss and geared but at the core, what I really like is mountain biking.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wampuscat
    spot on kapsta.

    I just raced geared last weekend and sucked. I did not even bring My S S to the race and missed it badly. My last 4 races were ss and ss w/ the gearies and did well. So I am still trying to figure out what the deal was with that. I blew up where I had gotten stronger on the S S during last 1/4 of the race.
    Funny I have the exact opposite experience. When I get back on the geared bike I feel like I'm dropping the hammer! I was just commenting how funny SS riders are when getting back on a geared bike, most folks will say "I just stay in one gear". Not me, if I got gears I'll run through em all. 2 cents worth.
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  22. #22
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    I guess what people miss when they go FS/geared and is that immediate power from input,maybe thats' why people like road bikes. I have 3 mountain bikes and no road bikes but I was thinking of getting a cross bike. Anyway, I will ride my SS today and my FS this w/e. I'm still getting some parts for my old hardtail and then I will jump on that in between. It's nice to have choices.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC


    Ross W.: Riding a ss doesn't make anyone superior. It just means that you ride a bike with one gear.
    no way man, i don't even talk to people with gears

  24. #24
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    Call me biased.

    I ride mountain bikes hardtail, FS, geared and singlespeed and I'm the type wearing lycra shorts and racekit jerseys using water bottles instead of Camelbaks and going for the XC type terrain and pace.

    Now, what I see around me is a bit disturbing when the majority of riders are on FS bikes with baggies, Camelbaks, Fox style drab jerseys and forever are climbing in the granny gear.

    I guess nobody told them that could train on road bikes and climb hills on the road with a double chainring and get tougher. Somehow the salesperson or the bicycling magazine got them thinking how cool off-roading was without telling them the 22t/34t gearing was for extreme grades not just every hill they came upon.

    Fortunately, the SS thing has more mountain bikers getting stronger but for the most part the geared bike is being mis-used with the bail-out gearing.

  25. #25
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    Call me biased.

    I ride mountain bikes hardtail, FS, geared and singlespeed and I'm the type wearing lycra shorts and racekit jerseys using water bottles instead of Camelbaks and going for the XC type terrain and pace.

    Now, what I see around me is a bit disturbing when the majority of riders are on FS bikes with baggies, Camelbaks, Fox style drab jerseys and forever are climbing in the granny gear.
    You find this disturbing? Maybe they are pushing granny because have not been doing it long enough to be climbing in a higher gear. And by the way, it's got nothing to do with whether you have a camelbak (one of the key inventions for mountain biking IMO), baggies, and a wearing a jersey that does not look like a billboard.

    I guess nobody told them that could train on road bikes and climb hills on the road with a double chainring and get tougher
    Or maybe they have no interest in road riding. Maybe they are in this because its FUN.

    Somehow the salesperson or the bicycling magazine got them thinking how cool off-roading was without telling them the 22t/34t gearing was for extreme grades not just every hill they came upon.
    Or maybe they just like off road riding regardless of what anyone tells them, and they are figuring out what works for themselves.

    Fortunately, the SS thing has more mountain bikers getting stronger but for the most part the geared bike is being mis-used with the bail-out gearing.
    But if it were not for the bail out gearing, the sport would have gotten nowhere by now. People don't start out as strong riders. Unless one is coming from a road background, people start out weak and inexperienced, and a bail out gear gets them up the mountain until they are stronger. I don't know anyone that rides that does not up their gearing as they get stronger.

    Some people ride to have fun, and are not trying to prove anything with their gearing.

  26. #26
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    The immediate power from each pedal stroke is one of the joys of climbing with a SS. When I ride my geared FS I kinda miss that, but it's nice to take is easy and know I can downshift for an upcoming steep section or upshift for a descent.

    One thing I always have, is my CamelBak and its full of water,tools,first-aid,spare tube,light shell,pump, and food. I don't go into the mountains unprepared, no matter how short the ride is. IMO going into the mountains with just a spare tube,water bottle,and CO2 as if you where on the road is irresponsible. FYI, I have no interest in road riding even if people say it makes you a better mountain biker.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4000psi
    My favorite is staying ahead of gearies when I am walking my SS and they are spinning in their granny gear.
    Usually, by the time I would be spinning on a geared bike, I'll be just as fast pushing the SS, especially if it is steep AND technical
    Living in the San Juans in CO, just about every ride is up a massive hill, so I have no shame whatsoever in walking

  28. #28
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    WTF is cadence?, anyways i prefer aggression and it works for me
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  29. #29
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    All fun points. I simply climb tech with more power on the SS. I have an internal hub right now but still climb like a SSer. It's all a choice. You don't have to shift down but gearies who have not spent any time on a SS tend to skip the middle stuff and go straight for the granny, There should be a clinic or something. Man I sound high and mighty. Whatever, we're just spit balling right?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by toaster
    Call me biased.

    I ride mountain bikes hardtail, FS, geared and singlespeed and I'm the type wearing lycra shorts and racekit jerseys using water bottles instead of Camelbaks and going for the XC type terrain and pace.

    Now, what I see around me is a bit disturbing when the majority of riders are on FS bikes with baggies, Camelbaks, Fox style drab jerseys and forever are climbing in the granny gear.

    I guess nobody told them that could train on road bikes and climb hills on the road with a double chainring and get tougher. Somehow the salesperson or the bicycling magazine got them thinking how cool off-roading was without telling them the 22t/34t gearing was for extreme grades not just every hill they came upon.

    Fortunately, the SS thing has more mountain bikers getting stronger but for the most part the geared bike is being mis-used with the bail-out gearing.
    That is some funny $h_t!! Like the frying pan of reality has smacked me in the face..

  31. #31
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    Well, on long steep climbs, when I'm having to stop and puke, and the gearies pass me by and give me odd looks as they pass, I can see the wisdom of winching yourself up in 22/34, spinning madly. But does that effect the kinda bike I chose? Nah, it's SS, or at worst, my 1x8 for me. Anything else, I don't feel like I'm trying hard enough... My next SS is gonna be a MC 29er, no doubt.

  32. #32
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    I think the people walking up look weird

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantheppes
    I think the people walking up look weird
    It's better than people walking down...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox
    It's better than people walking down...
    haha very true.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantheppes
    I think the people walking up look weird
    I think it's important to walk up with big, powerful steps. It looks weird to me when people (especially people in baggies) are walking up using little tiny steps at a high cadence.

    If you wear tighter clothes and spend more time walking in big, powerful steps on the road, it will improve your ability to walk uphill on trails.

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  36. #36
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    I've been riding SS exclusively for about 2 months now and it has been fun getting used to it. I fancy myself a pretty good climber. It is my favorite part of riding. I am a sit and spin kind of guy, but I like to spin a bigger gear than the guy behind me.

    The only thing I don't like about having gotten used to standing when climbing, is that now I do it on my road bike too. It just isn't as fast overall on a long climb. Not for me, that is.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeabout
    I think it's important to walk up with big, powerful steps. It looks weird to me when people (especially people in baggies) are walking up using little tiny steps at a high cadence.

    If you wear tighter clothes and spend more time walking in big, powerful steps on the road, it will improve your ability to walk uphill on trails.

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  38. #38
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    Prior to getting into mountain biking I rode singletrack trails on motorcyles. With that type of riding you naturally take on an "attack the hills" style of riding. So when I started mountain biking the spin method of hill climbing never clicked. Instead I always pushed hard and tried to carry momentum when ever possible to clear obsticles, even with a geared bike. Transitioning to the singlespeed was never a problem. It took about 5 minutes and I felt completely comfortable.

    It's really all about what works best for you, people are different and different things work better for different people. It just happens single speed works best for me.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeabout
    I think it's important to walk up with big, powerful steps. It looks weird to me when people (especially people in baggies) are walking up using little tiny steps at a high cadence.

    If you wear tighter clothes and spend more time walking in big, powerful steps on the road, it will improve your ability to walk uphill on trails.

    --Greg
    this is a joke

    HAHA

    You win the best post of the thread award.

  40. #40
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    I heard that a lot of SS'rs change gears at home, when nobody's looking. Isn't that a little hypocritical?

  41. #41
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    Whatever works for you. I ran a 1X9 for many years and one of my favorite climbs is
    at the Niagara Falls Gorge on the US side. Not too steep but nice and long. I sat and spun it
    on my 1X9 and it was a good work out. Then I built my SS 34:16 and tackled the same hill.
    WTF! Standing and hammering the whole way was intense. It was way harder but easier (if that makes any sense). The efficiency of a SS drivetrain is the cause of this I guess. I prefer the picking a line and hammering method. Pushing a bike uphill is still good cardio.

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