Single and rigid, how far do you usually ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Single and rigid, how far do you usually ride

    I'm going to admit it, I'm a wuss. I always pull out the FS geary for "epic" rides. I worry that when the ride gets longer, I will wear out/get beat up more on the SS than I do on the squishy bike.

    That's not to say that I haven't done some longish rides on the SS, just nothing I would consider epic. I would say I have done around 3 rides over 20 miles on my Surly. None of those times did I actually plan on riding over 20 miles, but it did open my eyes to the fact that I could put some longer rides in on it without feeling totally beat.

    So, how far are you guys going on your rigid SS?
    What type of trails are you riding on?
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  2. #2
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    I think you are asking a pretty humble bunch to do a bit of bragging and none of us want to come anywhere near you're question..... So I'll start. I ride a SS29er rigid(carbon fork does help some). I rode a total of 90 miles at the 24 hours of Moab, Did a tough "Deathmarch" in the Colorado mountains this fall (5 hours, couple thousand feet of climbing), every ride as often as I can. I can't see riding gears or a susser for any reason. It just works for me. I know I did'nt really help, but it did take some hard earned time to get to this point but I'm glad I took the journey.

  3. #3
    Basha Felika
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    That's what she said...


    Can't say I've ever done anything that could be called "a death march" on a rigid singlespeed...but three or four hours of rocky fireroads are just fine. Or, well, let me rephrase that: three or four hours of rocky fireroads on a rigid singlespeed leave me no more tired, bruised, or aching than the same ride on a hardtail. Like the man said, it never gets any easier, you just go faster.
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  4. #4
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    55 miles around folsom lake in NorCAL
    Had to go slow on the G-outs as a pinch flat would slow me down enough to
    fall off the pack (2 others rode the same)

  5. #5
    Sweep the leg!
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    The only time I rode suspended last year was for my night laps at 24/9 when I swapped my Bontrager for the Reba. The Reba came off a few days later. The longest race I did last year was 36ish miles but wasn't bad. There was a rougher race later in the season but even the folks with suspension were *****ing about the rough trail.

    I've done 6 hr training rides on it but not at race pace. For me it's a matter of just not caring about having suspension.

    Although, when I do any endurance races longer than 3 hrs next season I'll be running the Reba.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  6. #6
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    Farthest I've ridden a singlespeed is 100 miles in the Cascade Cream Puff. But that doesn't count for the purpose of this thread because my bike wasn't rigid -- I ran a suspension fork (CCP includes ~16,000' of climbing/descending. Ugh.).

    Typically I run front suspension in the dry season due to control issues at high speeds. But I like running rigid the rest of the year when western Oregon is sloppy and slippery. A typical day ride is 15-30 miles; night rides are shorter, 8-12 miles. Bike is rigid as we speak.

    --Sparty

    P.S. Short Cream Puff video here. All vid shot on Alpine Trail near Oakridge, OR. Vid by Backcountry Productions. Friends of mine have ridden the CCP rigid... personally I wouldn't.
    Last edited by Sparticus; 12-09-2007 at 09:58 PM.
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  7. #7
    is buachail foighneach me
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    there are plenty of 24 hr solo and multi-day racers out there riding rigid singlespeeds.

  8. #8
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    I have done several 12 hour solo races where I have ridden 100+ miles and many other rides or races in the 6-8 hour range (with the requisite several thousand feet of climbing).

    Once you put your mind to it, you will be surprised how much you can do on a rigid s/s.

    In fact you will see how much the f/s has held you back.
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  9. #9
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    Furthest in one shot?
    Around 180 miles at the 24 Hour Worlds in Conyers (2006). Chris Eatough said it was one of the roughest/toughest courses he'd ever ridden (in an interview during the 24 Solo movie). I had some weird temporary hand damage that lasted a few months.

    Kent Peterson did the Great Divide Race (Canada to Mexico) on a full rigid Monocog a few years ago. He was also carrying an a$$load of camping gear and sundries.

    I've done a bunch of other stupid crap on my SS. You'd be surprised just what you can pull off. When my friend and I won a free trip to the Trans Rockies in 2006 he was no more than an average SS rider. He managed to do the entire race on a full rigid SS (with a little temporary hand damage).

    Hmmmm...I'm typing the phrase "temporary hand damage" a lot. I guess you can go just a little too far, but you'll never know how far that is for you till you try. I see lotsa guys rocking the rigid at hundies, 12/24's, and lately stage races, so there's plenty of people out there who don't necessarily think it's a bad idea.

    Get a FAT tire, some good grips, a nice bar, and pull a .38 Special (Hold on loosely, but don't let go).

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    Furthest in one shot?
    I had some weird temporary hand damage that lasted a few months.

    He managed to do the entire race on a full rigid SS (with a little temporary hand damage).

    Hmmmm...I'm typing the phrase "temporary hand damage" a lot. I guess you can go just a little too far, but you'll never know how far that is for you till you try.
    That phrase is a bit disconcerting. What type of damage was it?

    I did a ride on one of my local trails last summer that absolutely tore my hands to shreds. I had large blisters in both palms and found myself holding onto the bars with my finger tips as much as possible. I actually started looking at suspension forks after that ride, but I like the way the bike rides and handles rigid. I did decrease the air pressure up front, and that helped out a lot.

    Most of the trails I ride in ND are shared by cattle so they can get pretty chewed up. It's not the big stuff that gets to you, it's the constant vibration from small irregularites in the trail. On longer rides on trails that are not shared with live stock, I've had few issues.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes
    That phrase is a bit disconcerting. What type of damage was it?
    Towards the end of the race squeezing my water bottle was virtually impossible. I didn't go see a doctor, but I would venture to guess it was a nerve thing for me. I couldn't ride my MTB for months without dealing with some amount of pain that made it hard to hold onto the bars. I did the Swank 65 over a month later, and I was at my limits as far as pain goes for most of the race. I had to back off on aggressive riding for a few weeks (months?) to let my hands heal.
    That was at the extreme end of the spectrum Swapping to 29" wheels has made a HUGE difference in comfort. Conyers was about as nasty as you can get, braking bumps and slick rock sections that would shake your fillings loose. My hands have toughened up, and blisters are pretty much a thing of the distant past for me.
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  12. #12
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    I just did my death-epic yesterday (just posted a topic about a mechanical that happened to me). It was about 42-miles with anywhere between 3,500-4,000 feet of climbing. About 3,000 of climbing was on a paved road, and the rest was brutal, BRUTAL rocky, twisty, nasty (fun) stuff. I admit I hike-a-biked much of the initial rocky climb. I just don't see how anyone could do it... but the backside was a blast!

    I'm dead tired today.
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  13. #13
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    Getting back to more earthly achievements (teamdicky you scare me ) I did an 8 hour solo race this summer where I covered 110km (almost 70 miles) in 7h22m. This was on a rigid SS 26er bike.

    I have to admit that my wrists have troubled me for weeks after the race. I am not sure I want to continue to do this. I am 45 and the "damage" is a real concern and recovery slow. I think a 29er wheel and/or suspension is in my future - especially for endurance type of racing.
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  14. #14
    mvi
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    I rode my rigid for 21 miles single track every week. I had to ask for help Sunday afternoon nailing deck planks down, because I couldn't hold the hammer anymore. Now have a Reba on the geary, which does make a big difference, two rigid projects in the making though.

  15. #15
    AOF
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    I only have a rigid SS, though it is a 29er, and is quite different than a rigid 26er, just saying.
    I sold my geary squishy bike to buy a Ti frame, and haven't looked back.
    I did a 65 mile race this summer and lots of 20-45 mile rides to train for it.
    A fat front tire, some Oury grips (or the ESI Chunky's that I'll be trying soon) and you will be surprised.
    Your body gets conditioned to it.
    I found that the On One Mary bars put my arms and hands in a natural position to absorb shock as well, it just works for me.
    Oh, and my local trails are rocky and rooty New England singletrack.
    The .38 special reference is hilarious BTW, it will be added to the mental playlist.

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  16. #16
    Jesus Freak
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    I typically do/did 20+ miles on most rides(26er). I say 'did' because I took about 4 months to play around on a dirt jump/urban bike. The dj bike has a marz dj fork but it is still a SS

    I rode ~25 miles the weekend before last on the rigid SS and was fine though I had a leg that kept trying to cramp.

    For the most part I think your body will build up and get used to longer and longer rides as a persons fitness level grows.

    Like posted above, get a fat front tire, ESI grips, and +eleventybillion on the 38 special analogy teamdicky posted!!!

  17. #17
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    Yesterday I did about 29 miles mostly singletrack with 3,000 ft or so of climbing on a rigid 29" SS. Nowhere near as long as some of the psychos on these forums, but a good long ride for me nonetheless. Earlier this year I could not have done it - yesterday I felt pretty good, but at one point on a long climb I could feel the start of a tight leg that might have developed into a cramp if I hadn't copped a couple of Enduralites from my friend. While I have geared bikes sitting in the garage, I decided a couple of months ago that I would only ride the SS for the rest of the year - maybe through the winter into...? I feel stronger, but know that I could go farther if I was running gears. I used the same bike with a 2x9 for the Hut trip this summer, and it was fine for up to 42 mile days - 2.3" tires and some ergonomic grips/bar-ends helped a lot with the comfort for me. Just keep at it - it seems to get easier, or you just get stronger. A little of both as your technique gets better and your legs and lungs build up to it.
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  18. #18
    meh... whatever
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    20-40 mile rides regularly on my rigid 29er ss. also do lots of 60-80+ mile rides as well. ive ridden long, extended rides everywhere from smooth flowing single track; to gnar-gnar stuff in moab, new mexico, colorado, and arizona; to womble, et. al.

    dont worry, your body will get used to it.

    regarding gripping the bar, early grayce gave some great advice in kalifornia... "ya gotta hold it soft, like yer pecker." let the bike float under you. stay loose at your wrists, elbows, knees, and shoulders.

    death grip the bar and you will get tissue damage, bone and deep tissue bruises, and can easily develop guyons canal syndrome.

    +1 on the oury grips. ive been using them for years and years. fell in love with them back when i was motocrossing. they are cushy but not sloppy and have great feedback and tack.

    titec hell bent carbon bars also help a lot and are hella strong.

    lastly, if you are not riding tubeless... CONVERT! AT ONCE! you can run greatly reduced pressure resulting in much more comfort and traction.
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  19. #19
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    Usually ride between 20 and 80 miles.

    I have never really felt at too much of a disadvantage since alot of geared riders start in the big ring and wear down to the granny in no time anyhow. The rigid fork is a climbers friend...

  20. #20
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    30 mile rides would usually bring me some amount of pain in my hands and back....As much as I enjoyed riding rigid, I had to demote my Raleigh XXIX to Winter Ride duty and bought a new bike with some suspension....My ride is much more comfortable and painless now.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for all of the encouraging words. I guess that I should have made things a bit more clear.

    I have been riding and racing (sport class) mountain bikes for almost 9 years. This question is (as TeamDickey assumed) about how far one can ride before experiencing real physical problems from riding rigid.

    When I started riding rigid SS, I looked at the bike as a novelty. I thought of it as something to ride on local trails and short rides to make them more interesting. As my Surly becomes the 1st bike I reach for much of the time, I find myself considering things like doing endurance races and EPIC rides on it.

    There are still places that I would not choose to ride it over long distances though. The Maah Daah Hey trail is a prime example. The tread of that trail gets so much traffic from horses and cattle that riding without suspension would most likely prove fatigueing and quite possibly be damaging in the TeamDickey sense of the word in a relatively short period.

    On the other side of the coin, I wouldn't hesitate to do 30+ miles on the Surly in Pisgah or Dupont. The trails there are much more buff (even though they have more roots and rocks to play with).

    I do really like the 38 Special theory of riding though
    Last edited by Frozenspokes; 12-11-2007 at 07:10 PM.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  22. #22
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    try a suspension fork with a lockout for an endurance race. you can ride what you like but have some relief if it gets painful and prevent some damage. I know, I know, thats probably like the geary saying "just dont shift". It works well for me. good luck w/ endurance racing!

  23. #23
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    i usually ride 20-30km when i am lazy....on an organized trip with friends we do around 40-60km.....occasionally we go touring on the weekends for around 180km per day.

  24. #24
    Really I am that slow
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenspokes
    Thanks for all of the encouraging words. I guess that I should have made things a bit more clear.

    I have been riding and racing (sport class) mountain bikes for almost 9 years. This question is (as TeamDickey assumed) about how far one can ride before experiencing real physical problems from riding rigid.

    When I started riding rigid SS, I looked at the bike as a novelty. I thought of it as something to ride on local trails and short rides to make them more interesting. As my Surly becomes the 1st bike I reach for much of the time, I find myself considering things like doing endurance races and EPIC rides on it.

    There are still places that I would not choose to ride it over long distances though. The Maah Daah Hey trail is a prime example. The tread of that trail gets so much traffic from horses and cattle that riding without suspension would most likely prove fatigueing and quite possibly be damaging in the TeamDickey sense of the word in a relatively short period.

    On the other side of the coin, I wouldn't hesitate to do 30+ miles on the Surly in Pisgah or Dupont. The trails there are much more buff (even though they have more roots and rocks to play with).

    I do really like the 38 Special theory of riding though
    Everybody is different you have to find your own limits. Thats true with any bike =)

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  25. #25
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    rigid

    I have been riding rigid exclusively for a few seasons. I have done some epic trail rides and races and never really had issues with the hands or arms. Certain sections and trails will obviously turn your arms to rubber for a couple minutes but it always comes back.
    Keeping you arm strength up is good training to compliment your riding. Use those hand grippers/strengtheners a few times a week if you feel like your arms are loosing their grip on rides. They will help you gain forearm strength.

    I ride mainly in CO and surrounding areas and have done all day rides and races on the rigid and have no regrets.

    I learned how to ride bikes on a rigid fork so once I got back into the swing of things, it was second nature. BMX, touring bike, my first mtn bike, all rigid forks. Suspension can be fun for sure and I am not knocking it but for now, I am enjoying my carbon rigid forks.

  26. #26
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    I did the Moab Rim Ride and Kokopelli Trail Race this year on this rig:



    The former was 12+ hours, the later 20+. After both I had some hand pain and superficial bruising. The real issue was heinous foot pain and numb big toes after the Koko, though better shoes fixed that.

    I ride a geared fully a lot, but the Surly is an invaluable training tool, and still fun and rewarding to race.

  27. #27
    rip the line
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    "single and rigid" Marriage won't help

  28. #28
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    [QUOTE=ionsmuse]


    QUOTE]

    MMMM, Karate Monkey.......I sometimes find myself lusting after big wheels. I'm riding a 1X1 right now love the way it feels. But for longer rides, big wheels could start making more and more sense. Now to convince my wife of that, She seems to think that 5 bikes is more than enough
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  29. #29
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    back in the day, lots of guys like this rode pretty damn far....

    Maurice Garin; Paris-Roubaix, Tour de France winner:


    don't be afraid to push your boundaries,
    we all have different concepts of "epic".

  30. #30
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    I just started down this road on a rigid (Mary SS) and after a few rides and some minor tweaking I am very surprised at how comfortable this type of setup is. I had to ditch the Mary bars though in favor of some flat bars with 10 degrees of sweep.

    I know people rave about how natural the hand position feels on Mary's, H Bars or whatever but they all just feel awkward to me. My wrists were sore and applying the ".38 special theory" when riding through rough terrain caused the the bars to feel like they were being pulled out of my hands. Mary's were better than most but I still ran out of patience trying to adjust. None of this is an issue with "normal" bars and I feel much less fatigued now after a ride.

    Sorry, I do have a point: Now that I have the rigid more dialed in I feel like I can ride it just as long as my FS rig. It's still new but I rode it 20+ miles yesterday and felt fine after. My average speed the rigid is about the same on the local trails too.
    "You can't discern by calculating in your mind how it will work. You have to feel how it rides differently to understand."

  31. #31
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    24 hours of Great Glen, about 180 miles in 24 hours.

  32. #32
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    normally,around 11-25 miles,but thas mainly because no more miles than i get to put in per week since i'm outta retirement (see username and sig.),i run outta lungs/legs anyways.besides,after that ride,i hafta start decidin which trail i wanna reride to get in more ridin,and 7-8 outta 8 of my riding buds start wussin out.i did a 43 miler on it,but that wuz back in the skinny tires/commuter fase of my monocog's history
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