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  1. #1
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    single speed racing

    who races a single speed?
    ive never been in a race and theres one coming up. i have a geared fs that everyones telling me i should ride, but i have more fun on my rigid ss. just looking for some reassurance that other people race ss.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.

  2. #2
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    I race SS and love it. You should do it!

  3. #3
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    I race SS, but before now, it was on a hardtail, now it's a 29er rigid. Next race isn't until Feb, but it's a 100km one with lots of hills, so I'm looking forward to it.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  4. #4
    SSolo, on your left!
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    Race the bike that you prefer to ride.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  5. #5
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    Do you know the course and have you the opportunity to pre-ride it or not?
    If you have, then that would give you a better idea of how it would work out for you on a SS.

    I think that the only places you'd really lose out on a SS is if there are any really long, smoothish downhills where you won't have the option to power on in a big gear. Going back up the same sort of trail you won't be at a disadvantage and on any really tight, steep and just snotty sections where you think that you might need a granny gear you'll be faster running and carrying/pushing anyway.
    It's a race, so no style points for staying feet-up or anything - whatever is fastest is the way to go.
    If it's your first ever race I'd just bite the bullet and dive in on your singlespeed - especially if you like riding it more than your geared bike. Everyone thinks that they'll finish last in their first race (I seem to remember that 20 years ago, I did just that...) but at least I finished, unlike the 25% who "jibbed out".
    That's my advice then - ride what you are happiest with, enjoy the whole experience and, barring huge mechanicals or injury, dig in and finish. Don't let your doubts defeat you.

    Then enter the next one and be amazed at how much better you are second time around ....

  6. #6
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    I race for allmost twenty years now. Since 08 on SS and it's great. I'm a victim to long distance races and in my opinion especially 24h-races are made for SS. You can (have to) push at the climbs and cool down at the flat sections because you are in no danger to overpower with big gear...

    Long distance racing is a mindgame and doing it on a SS helps you getting along with it

    PS: Please excuse my poor english, since I'm not used to writing in this language...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by exto
    I race for allmost twenty years now. Since 08 on SS and it's great. I'm a victim to long distance races and in my opinion especially 24h-races are made for SS. You can (have to) push at the climbs and cool down at the flat sections because you are in no danger to overpower with big gear...

    Long distance racing is a mindgame and doing it on a SS helps you getting along with it

    PS: Please excuse my poor english, since I'm not used to writing in this language...

    Your english is better than half of the posters on site .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by exto
    I race for allmost twenty years now. Since 08 on SS and it's great. I'm a victim to long distance races and in my opinion especially 24h-races are made for SS. You can (have to) push at the climbs and cool down at the flat sections because you are in no danger to overpower with big gear...

    Long distance racing is a mindgame and doing it on a SS helps you getting along with it

    PS: Please excuse my poor english, since I'm not used to writing in this language...
    There's absolutely nothing at all wrong with your English, my friend

  9. #9
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    Many races now have a dedicated SS class (in case you are worried about being handicapped by the lack of gears). And in many cases, the fastest SS guys are as fast as the geared guys.

  10. #10
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    I raced SS locally last year and was the only rider doing it, came second in my age group/class.

    The support I got from other racers was great, most of them think I'm a little strange for racing a rigid SS but there was always a supportive shout as I went past them.

  11. #11
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    If you're in a class with geared riders, my advice is to push really hard from the start line for at least 1/4 mile to get out ahead of the pack. Then, let faster riders pass you as needed. It'll kill your speed and energy if you get stuck behind someone with gears, as they ride completely different from a SS rider.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    If you're in a class with geared riders, my advice is to push really hard from the start line for at least 1/4 mile to get out ahead of the pack. Then, let faster riders pass you as needed. It'll kill your speed and energy if you get stuck behind someone with gears, as they ride completely different from a SS rider.
    +1. Made that mistake in the first race and the climbs were tough as I couldn't gear down.

    After that it was bat out of hell off the start and then settle into good rpms.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by flafonta
    Many races now have a dedicated SS class (in case you are worried about being handicapped by the lack of gears). And in many cases, the fastest SS guys are as fast as the geared guys.
    I am having a hard time believing this, but I have limited experience. The only time I ever saw singlespeeders in a race was the Road Apple Rally. Pro/expert had a mass start ...including SSers. John Tomac, still a pro xcountry racer at the time, was there and racing on a single speed. He beat my friends in the pro-expert category, but they were mid pack.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob
    +1. Made that mistake in the first race and the climbs were tough as I couldn't gear down.

    After that it was bat out of hell off the start and then settle into good rpms.
    This was always my thought racing with gears. Redlining at the beginning always came back and bit me at the end. A few races I was trapped in the pack and had to ease into the race. Each time, I was flying at the end and had my best finishes. You would think I learned a lesson, but I didn't.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R
    There's absolutely nothing at all wrong with your English, my friend
    Thanks for that!

    There are few opportinities to proove that over here in Germany.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    It'll kill your speed and energy if you get stuck behind someone with gears, as they ride completely different from a SS rider.
    That's my expirience too. But you can use it as an advantage: When you are pushing in the climbs (you don't have to tell your competitors, it's to avoid falling off yor bike ) and leave them behind, they try hard to close up to you in the flat. They just don't want to get beaten by "this strange guy" who isn't even able to affot a "real Race Bike" and to shave his legs ( bad racer-habbit over here). When they finally pass you, you are still rolling down the track on 120 Heatbeats per minute, humming or whistling (again they don't know, you have no choice). Doing that, they overpower. At the latest in the middle of the night, they are done

    As I said before: Long-distance-racing is a mindgame and a SS can help you doing it

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R
    Do you know the course and have you the opportunity to pre-ride it or not?
    If you have, then that would give you a better idea of how it would work out for you on a SS.
    i think thats why in not sure, ill have to find out the route and check it out. ill ride my fs geared bike on any thing and with my rigid ss im limited to hiking here n there. im still pretty sure im gonna do it on the ss. i just swapped my bar and stem from a longer thompson with mary bars to a shorter ritchey with ritchey risers and it feels like a mtb again
    p.s. i put my odi lock ons back for rain season, nothing worse then hopping a curb and having your grip fly off.

    thanks for all the advice everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.

  18. #18
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    the race is the 12hrs of temecula. im for sure doing this on my ss. its a 12hr endurance race on a 9.3 mile course.
    i know its a bit soon but the weather says:
    AVERAGES
    Hi 66F
    Lo 37F
    i cant wait for this!

    edit: there is a ss categorie.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    I am having a hard time believing this, but I have limited experience. The only time I ever saw singlespeeders in a race was the Road Apple Rally. Pro/expert had a mass start ...including SSers. John Tomac, still a pro xcountry racer at the time, was there and racing on a single speed. He beat my friends in the pro-expert category, but they were mid pack.
    In the 2009 Texas Fall Cup (http://www.tmbra.org), the Single Speed class (part of Cat2) was always faster than any other Cat 2 groups for the same distance. I think they run a staggered start, so SS guys would start together.

    The Cat1/Pros did not have an SS specific class, but I assume most of these run gears.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloreality
    the race is the 12hrs of temecula. im for sure doing this on my ss. its a 12hr endurance race on a 9.3 mile course.
    i know its a bit soon but the weather says:
    AVERAGES
    Hi 66F
    Lo 37F
    i cant wait for this!

    edit: there is a ss categorie.
    nice!....GREAT race from what i hear....and since you're goin' rigid for a 12 solo i'd make sure you had a big squishy tire up front to help reduce hand/wrist fatigue.....IMHO

    PS - i raced all '08 SS.....good times...good times....
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by flafonta
    In the 2009 Texas Fall Cup (http://www.tmbra.org), the Single Speed class (part of Cat2) was always faster than any other Cat 2 groups for the same distance. I think they run a staggered start, so SS guys would start together.

    The Cat1/Pros did not have an SS specific class, but I assume most of these run gears.
    Interesting. I am not arguing really, but I have theories based on my experience with riders and race series. Here are my thoughts ...
    1. If SS were faster, there would be Pros racing them in pro races. There are not.
    2. In categoried races, there is always the gray area between categories. There are the sandbaggers who would prefer to win instead of move up. I would imagine that their are those who are strong enough to be really good in the next category but would rather dominate a lower category ... a Cat1 rider who races cat2 geared or SS.
    3. I think ultimate performance is predicated on maximum effort at/or near threshold. Singlespeeding redlines you on steep climbs, which I personally never could fully recover from. The idea that to peak on climbs and recover on downhills and fast flats seems similar to computing RMS values for SIN waves. I have a hard tme believing that a SSer can generate an RMS value greater than he could be riding consistently at his threshold.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    I am having a hard time believing this, but I have limited experience.
    Believe it - around here, the expert SS category is as fast (and big) as the pro geared class.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    Believe it - around here, the expert SS category is as fast (and big) as the pro geared class.
    In each race, how does the fastest SS time compare to the fastest Pro (non-SS) time?

  24. #24
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    I think adam craig ran a SS at either sea otter or WC or some sort of big race a few years back.



    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    Interesting. I am not arguing really, but I have theories based on my experience with riders and race series. Here are my thoughts ...
    1. If SS were faster, there would be Pros racing them in pro races. There are not.

  25. #25
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    I raced the SS division at the recent Mellow Johnny's Classic. It was my first mtb race and was quite fun. Exhausting and grueling too. They actually had the SS start first and you only had to deal with the fastest geared guys catching us until we got into lap traffic.

    I finished 25 out of 28 (not including the DNF guys) and met my goal of "not last".

  26. #26
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    SS can be as fast as a geared bike but it depends on the course.

    It seems to work for some pretty fast pro's out in Wisconsin, for example, who take the top honors with only one gear.

    Most of the time though you don't see pro's racing on SS because they aren't as fast a geared bike if there is much time spent in the big ring, which is most courses.

    Here in California at least, the top CAT 1 SS's would also be on the podium in their respective age groups.

  27. #27
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    We have a Cat1 SS category, but I raced my age group.
    What has been said about a good start is very true; my worst race of the year I hit the singletrack 21st out of 28 and only made it up to 13th. After that I went for the holeshot (although in a 12 hr, I can't imagine it being all that important).

    Holeshot!
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  28. #28
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    I've only been XC racing for about 2 years...and it's all exclusively been on single speeds. First on a 26in, and then this past year (and currently) on a 29er. It's been really fun, and I can't imagine switching to gears now. I just want to keep trying to get as fast as I can on a single.

    In my local races, I usually race in SS Open class, and it's pretty competitive and well attended so it's a great scene. And all of us SS racers have come to know each other and respect each other. For example, there were a bunch of us in SS Expert class in a local race in September and it was a 28 mile race which equalled about 4 laps on this particular course. Usually for this course, our SS class does 3 laps for about 21 miles, but this particular race tacked on an extra lap. Since we all pretty much knew each other, at the start of our race, we all made a "gentleman's agreement" to make the first lap a "neutral lap" or just make like a sort fast fun group ride. So first the Expert geared guys go off hammering and we are next to go 1 minute behind them. When the start gun goes off, we all s l o w l y creep off the start line laughing talking and just cruising. Everyone is looking at us like "WTF are these guys doing?". It was super fun and we had a blast. The Sport groups starting behind us eventually all caught us and passed us. It was fun yelling "Rider back!!!" and heckling the hell out of them and making fun of them for "racing" and getting out of the way and waving them through. One guy had a mechanical so we all stopped and waited. We took some photos . But once we finished the first lap, it was go time, we all started hammering, and we were all instant enemies until we reached the finish line

    Instances like what I just described is what keeps me racing single. It just seems a bit less serious than the other Expert geared classes.

    And for what it's worth, the top Expert SS guys in my area definitely hold their own against the Expert geared guys. And there are 2 or 3 guys that jump to mind that race in the Expert geared class once in awhile and regularly podium...or win their age group. I can link to actual race resuls with lap times if anyone is interested.

    for another higher level example, reference John "Fuzzy" Myline (spelling?) who races for Ergon/Niner exclusively on a single speed. I might be wrong, but I believe he won the National title for short track XC this year on a single speed against the geared riders. EDIT: yep, he got 5th in the XC riding a single against the gears, and then he won the short track. see here: http://fuzzyjohn.blogspot.com/2009/0...surprises.html
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  29. #29
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    You can see an XTR rear derailleur peeking out from behind his foot in those two pics.
    Nevertheless, I race my singlespeed in the clydesdale class because fast singlespeed guys are fast and I am not.

  30. #30
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    I raced XC for the first time last year on a FS in the Beginner >35 category. This year, for the endurance series (6 hour races) I decided to go with my SS. The only reason I own a SS is because I thought it would be a great training tool so I could become a stronger rider. Now, even though I have never driven a car 6 hours, I am riding my SS that length of time (two 6 hr races completed) and loving it. As far times..interestingly I am still faster than the geared guys I was racing in the much shorter XC series, but I am sure I would be a faster on my geared FS. I can say that here in NC, the top SS guys are nearly as fast as the expert division riders. In the endurance races the 1st SS guys are finishing top 5 overall (unfortunately, I am not one of those guys).

    Oh, some people are worried about how they might get beaten up by the hardtail (I know I was). I can honestly say that my back DOES NOT hurt more after riding my SS than on my FS. Others may have different experiences, but that is mine.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by half_squid
    You can see an XTR rear derailleur peeking out from behind his foot in those two pics.
    goddam it. WTF next your going to tell me that Santa Claus isn't real too
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  32. #32
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    My fastest times on our local mtb climb have been on the single speed. I would pre ride the course and choose the right gear. You can loose a lot of time being under geared or blow on the climbs being over geared.
    milesW

  33. #33
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    I just finished my first full year racing SS. Did our local MBA series as SS novice and got 4 podium spots so I can move up to advanced next year. Had a blast racing the series and like others have said met some cool fellow riders and we all stayed competitive throughout the series but also had fun with each other as well. Advanced is going to kick my butt though and our local fast riders will keep me off the podium I think!

    I ride rigid for the most part, but might put on the reba for one real rocky course.

    Just did a 10 hour race last weekend and took 5th in solo after finishing 8 15 mile loops. Had a blast and looking to do more endurance type racing.

    Sold my S-works Epic this year and down to just my SS!!!

  34. #34
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    I built up a 24lb old shape heckler 2 years ago for racing on - i only ever rode it in short course xc

    bought a gary fisher rig 29er (didnt everyone?)

    Rode that in some 10 hour events - first race i sat back and just rode finished 13th outa 180 soloists - given the guffaws of laughter from my other soloing team mates before the race about how id never finish

    they dont have long memorys though because that was 2 years ago - i still ride predominantly SS but have used gears for racing this year due to injurys preventing predicatble SS riding .

    Turned up to a short course on my carbon SS last week to be told it was a waste of a nice frame and how i didnt stand a chance against the geared guys.

    5mins up on second - as above its quicker to run the short climbs. - in endurance events it is good for the body to change position now and again for climbs by walking up them - i tend to pinpoint one steep hill and walk it everylap so i dont A blow up and B to stretch out my back

    Just getting ready for a solo singlespeed attack on the Strathpuffer here in scotland.

  35. #35
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    to the OP...

    do it!

    I raced SS first time last year and I had a blast! It does depend on the course though. This course was perfect for SS. 4.5-5mi laps 800-1100ft ele per lap @ 4 laps runs about 1hr 30min race. single track mixed w/ double track and a really small spot of pavement.The SS'ers were send out one minute before the 30-34yr geared which allowed us to get out on the course ahead of the bigger group. After four laps, only about three or four geared riders were mixing it up with us SS'ers. Great fun!

  36. #36
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    wasnt the chequamegon 40 won by a ss in 07 http://twentynineinches.com/2007/09/...-on-a-29er-ss/

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigE610
    wasnt the chequamegon 40 won by a ss in 07 http://twentynineinches.com/2007/09/...-on-a-29er-ss/
    wow impressive ... 36x17 ... is that mountain bike race or a race on mountain bikes?

  38. #38
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    Listen to AndyR and give the track a test ride. If there are long flats that lead to spinning out you will not be as fast and put yourself at a disadvantage. I ride both and I am always faster on a geared bike - if there are extended flats. On twisty and hilly courses I am faster on a SS but mainly do to aggressive riding since you have no choice on SS. Oh, racing on SS is also more fun IMHO.

    Good luck.
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  39. #39
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    [QUOTE=gjenkins@]Interesting. I am not arguing really, but I have theories based on my experience with riders and race series. Here are my thoughts ...
    1. If SS were faster, there would be Pros racing them in pro races. There are not.
    2. In categoried races, there is always the gray area between categories. There are the sandbaggers who would prefer to win instead of move up. I would imagine that their are those who are strong enough to be really good in the next category but would rather dominate a lower category ... a Cat1 rider who races cat2 geared or SS.
    3. I think ultimate performance is predicated on maximum effort at/or near threshold. Singlespeeding redlines you on steep climbs, which I personally never could fully recover from. The idea that to peak on climbs and recover on downhills and fast flats seems similar to computing RMS values for SIN waves. I have a hard tme believing that a SSer can generate an RMS value greater than he could be riding consistently at his threshold.[/QUOTE


    -I race 25 races per year in western new York. There are 2 guys who dual it out in expert and nobody can touch them. Pat Wallace and Dennis (idr his last name) they both race ss most of the time, and when they race with gears their lap times go up by like 3 or 4 minutes. Their ss times are around 19 or 20 minutes for 5 miles on a pretty technical course. Ask them if ss is faster or slower =] and they do it on multiple courses. All that technical crap about thresholds goes out the window for these guys...ride until you puke and then ride harder! When my heart pops out of
    my Chest I'll know I pushed too hard lol

  40. #40
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    To the OP.... the 12 hours of Temecula race is a perfect singlespeed course! There are a few short hard climbs, but even walking you are going faster than 90% of the geared guys. I am not sure which route is being taken thin January, but any one that they come up with has been fun. I have raced 4 or 5 of these over the past couple of years and the SS lap times are always up there with the fastest riders... so it is not a handicap at all on this course!

    You will have a blast... just do the SS!!

  41. #41
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    To OP - 12 at Temecula is a great race for SS. I race it on a full rigid 69er. Try to go up Friday and preride one lap to pick gearing. Rumor I heard is the big hill climb is out in Jan race.

    Tamen00 knows what he is talking about. Just don't ask him for gear selection advice

  42. #42
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    i've been racing ss exclusively for the 4 years. it's a blast. the ss guys are more fun any way. we have 2 different ss classes with pretty decent sized groups.

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    SS Racing

    I did 10 S/S races here in New England this year, my first year S/S racing. I can tell you that on some courses, yes the geared bike would be a little faster, courses with flats or fire roads. But I can also tell you that on all the races I finished in top 5 or less in the mens sport categories. I also did a 12 hour two man single speed and finished 2nd, based upon our laps and times we would have placed 4th out of about 25 3 man teams on geared bikes !!!! The bottome line for me is that the experience is way more satisfying knowing you did the ride with minimal technology, and it is amazing how well the bikes perform. If you are out to WIN, some courses are better run with gears.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Mac
    I did 10 S/S races here in New England this year, my first year S/S racing. I can tell you that on some courses, yes the geared bike would be a little faster, courses with flats or fire roads. But I can also tell you that on all the races I finished in top 5 or less in the mens sport categories. I also did a 12 hour two man single speed and finished 2nd, based upon our laps and times we would have placed 4th out of about 25 3 man teams on geared bikes !!!! The bottome line for me is that the experience is way more satisfying knowing you did the ride with minimal technology, and it is amazing how well the bikes perform. If you are out to WIN, some courses are better run with gears.
    EFTA or Root 66?

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    EFTA, and Bradbury

  46. #46
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    My opinion, SS is faster. But that is me. There is a part to it that is determined by course but also rider. I raced sport for 3 years with mid pack results on gears. This year only SS and my times were faster by a lot. My style is go as hard as I can until I cramp and tip over. SS is my governor. You pick a gear you can push efficiently the entire race not the fastest at the moment and pay for it later. Sometimes slower in a section is faster overall.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces
    for another higher level example, reference John "Fuzzy" Myline (spelling?) who races for Ergon/Niner exclusively on a single speed. I might be wrong, but I believe he won the National title for short track XC this year on a single speed against the geared riders. EDIT: yep, he got 5th in the XC riding a single against the gears, and then he won the short track. see here: http://fuzzyjohn.blogspot.com/2009/0...surprises.html
    yeah, and he didn't get 5th at nationals either:
    http://usacycling.org/results/index....&info_id=18836

    nor did he win the short track:
    http://usacycling.org/results/index....&info_id=18835

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    In each race, how does the fastest SS time compare to the fastest Pro (non-SS) time?
    This is from a race down in Texas, where the SS category races the same distance as the Cat 2 Racers:

    SS times:
    http://tmbra.org/results/spring_09/warda/ssm1.html

    Cat 2 19-29:
    http://tmbra.org/results/spring_09/warda/2m19.html

    Cat 2 30-34:
    http://tmbra.org/results/spring_09/warda/2m19.html

    I don't know how to compare them to the Pro's, since they are racing different distances.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by locobaylor
    yeah, and he didn't get 5th at nationals either:
    http://usacycling.org/results/index....&info_id=18836

    nor did he win the short track:
    http://usacycling.org/results/index....&info_id=18835
    His time was 25th in the non-singlespeed category.

  50. #50
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    I have never raced with gears, so I don't know what I'm missing
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  51. #51
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    heres the course:
    http://www.geoladders.com/gps_route_...route_id=30617
    it seems like its meant for ss!
    definatly doing it ss. if anything i may change out my ratio if its not suited as i dont think ill have a chance to get a preview run in before hand.

    one last race newbie question: does anyone do partner catagories on endurance races? how does that help you guys with stamina and... im inbetween doing the ss or partnering up with a friend. (im most likely doing ss alone becuase im not sure if hes for sure going)
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    Interesting. I am not arguing really, but I have theories based on my experience with riders and race series. Here are my thoughts ...
    1. If SS were faster, there would be Pros racing them in pro races. There are not.
    2. In categoried races, there is always the gray area between categories. There are the sandbaggers who would prefer to win instead of move up. I would imagine that their are those who are strong enough to be really good in the next category but would rather dominate a lower category ... a Cat1 rider who races cat2 geared or SS.
    1. I tend to think that is more marketing. What company wants their pro's not riding that new expensive bike that they are trying to sell.

    2. So, if they are fast and riding SS, then they are a sandbagger?

    I agree that the course makes a big difference on how fast either bike would be. It also depends on the rider.

    There is a rider in our state series that only rides rigid SS and is always a contender. He has finished in the top 6 overall (not age classes) in cat 1 for the last 10 years.

  53. #53
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    it's all about the course, but i've raced both geared and SS (and at the 12 hours of temecula), and i'm about 5% faster on gears. I raced mostly SS though. However, we were top of the expert SS class at the time, and we were on par with the top geared experts. I'd say it's pretty close.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatman
    1. I tend to think that is more marketing. What company wants their pro's not riding that new expensive bike that they are trying to sell.

    2. So, if they are fast and riding SS, then they are a sandbagger?

    I agree that the course makes a big difference on how fast either bike would be. It also depends on the rider.

    There is a rider in our state series that only rides rigid SS and is always a contender. He has finished in the top 6 overall (not age classes) in cat 1 for the last 10 years.
    I tend to think pro riders are going to ride what is fastest. On mountain terrain courses, I think gears are needed. As they flatten out, a single speed becomes more attractive.

    I am impressed as hell with the single speeders who's times would finish mid-pack of the pro/expert category. The SS'r who won the race in Wisconsin is a monster.

    My comment about sand bagging was not if/then. I was just pointing out that some people prefer to win races in other categories than to compete in a faster category they can not win. I imagine most SS'r are not like this. I imagine they do it simply because they like SS'ing. I am new to it, but If my knees hold out, I hope to be in that group.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    ...On mountain terrain courses, I think gears are needed. As they flatten out, a single speed becomes more attractive.....
    ....flat courses kill me on the SS.....spinning like a seizing epileptic hamster butt pogoing down the trail with a spit laden grimace....

    all the while a gearies float on by mumbling "left"..."left"...on your "left"......

    fuggers....


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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    ....flat courses kill me on the SS.....spinning like a seizing epileptic hamster butt pogoing down the trail with a spit laden grimace....

    all the while a gearies float on by mumbling "left"..."left"...on your "left"......

    fuggers....


    Wouldn't that mean you need a bigger gear for that course? Of all the examples given, I saw only one SS'r winning a race against gears in the top category. The guy was pushing a huge gear. I am speculating the course was relatively flat.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    I tend to think pro riders are going to ride what is fastest. .
    Only if they are paying their own way. When it comes to the high dollar rider, they don't always get to choose what they do.

    I am not saying at all that gears are not faster then SS. There are a lot of other things that play a factor in who is faster. Some guys can win on any bike.

    At one time there was a pro bmx racer who won on a walmart frame. But, these stories don't get told much

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    Wouldn't that mean you need a bigger gear for that course? Of all the examples given, I saw only one SS'r winning a race against gears in the top category. The guy was pushing a huge gear. I am speculating the course was relatively flat.
    like 44X11 (hi gear on a 3X9).....damn.....i have never seen a course that flat....

    i raced a series SS on a flat course.....20 miles only around 2K' ascent and was pushing 2:1 (sometimes 32X15)...and there was no way i could push a bigger gear w/out blowing up half way thru....

    but...of course...i'm really not strong or fast....
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    Wouldn't that mean you need a bigger gear for that course? Of all the examples given, I saw only one SS'r winning a race against gears in the top category. The guy was pushing a huge gear. I am speculating the course was relatively flat.
    Problem with that is you can't have too big a gear for when you are in the technical sections. There is a fine line between big enough and too big.
    My worst races have been the flatter ones. But after a season of competing against geared riders, I can fine tune gear choice, and strategy.

    The guys who beat me with gears this year would beat me no matter what I (or they) were riding and vice versa. I'm pretty satisfied with my results.

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    I remain a skeptic that SS is as fast as gears ... but geez, you guys racing SS impress the hell outta me. I am new to SS. One of my training rides is a 1 1/2 hour climb ... approx 3500 feet of climbing. I am just hoping to SS it by May or June. there are some steeps, so i don't know if i will ever clean it ... unless I grab a lower gear.

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    2009 Leadville Silver Rush 50 mile. Dan Durland in the top 6 on a singlespeed. Two SS'er in the top 20. 50 miles/8500 ft of climbing. Travis Brown and many other pros in Colorado regularly show up on the SS and kick major a$s. Charlie Hayes will also destroy most everybody on a SS in either class. SS is no different than a geared bike. You just do your shifting before you start and just give'r

  62. #62
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    Here's a sampling of gears vs SS

    SPORT SINGLE SPEED (900-999)
    1 925 4 laps @ 1.24'18'' Michael Martin SCCCC Santa Cruz
    2 932 1.26'03'' Tony Calcagno Seabright Brewery Aptos
    3 910 1.29'40'' Vincent Kurtis Brown Hwy 68 Hillbillies Moss Landing
    4 911 1.32'01'' John Lukasko Hwy 68 Hillbillies Salinas
    5 933 1.43'24'' David Wise Concord




    SPORT MEN 35-44 (500-599)
    1 547 4 laps @ 1.23'40'' Shane Flynn Hwy 68 Hillbillies Salinas
    2 549 1.25'06'' Tim Keller CCCX Salinas
    3 559 1.25'43'' Oliver Souza Motion Sports Martinez
    4 546 1.26'28'' Bryan Berry Scotts Valley Cycle Sport Boulder Creek
    5 562 1.27'57'' Scott Barrett San Jose



    SPORT MEN 45-55 (800-899)
    1 846 4 laps @ 1.25'05'' Jim Werle Sterling Sports Group San Jose
    2 875 1.26'05'' Michael Urbina Team Wrong Way Morgan Hill
    3 860 1.29'38'' Matt Gregory Info Vista Cycling Escalon
    4 847 1.30'30'' Talbott Houk(Tick) Team Linear Monte Sereno
    5 865 1.31'31'' Richard Jacinto San Jose

  63. #63
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    In the UK, Apart from SSUK, there are no SS dedicated races so if you want to race SS you HAVE to race against geared bikes, which i actually prefer.....

    Although for next season, there is a series in the UK which is having a dedicated SS class, but will be run within the Sport cat, so will still be against geared racers.....

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by locobaylor
    yeah, and he didn't get 5th at nationals either:
    http://usacycling.org/results/index....&info_id=18836

    nor did he win the short track:
    http://usacycling.org/results/index....&info_id=18835
    Well, he got 5th in Open Singlespeed in Nationals and 1st in Masters Short track.

    I got my information from Fuzzy's blog, which obviously left alot of details out.
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  65. #65
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    I just recently got my first SS bike (29er rigid) after my 09 season was over, so I've never raced on it. But in general, it feels faster than my geared fs race bike on courses where the laps are mostly steep climbing followed by steep descents (which are a lot of course I race on). And in any case, I have more fun on it and I only race for fun anyway. So I am planning to switch to racing an ss in geared class next season. (In general, I don't love the idea of ss racing category - seems silly to create categories based on bike choice. Of course, I also hate categories based on age group - I wish I was fast enough to just race pro, but I doubt that will ever happen.)

  66. #66
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    The biggest race in the midwest, Chequamegon Fat Tire, was won on a rigid SS in 2007 by the guy who dominated the top level of the Wisconsin MTB series for a few years on the same ride. In that Fat Tire he and his brother (4th on a rigid SS) beat Steve Tilford, Travis Brown, and 1700 more geared riders.

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/31930444.html

    He doesn't see SS as a disadvantage -- but of course WI is a far cry from Colorado...

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    To the OP.
    Last year in January I rode the 12 Hours of Temecula on my geared bike and reached the podium in the Beginner class. This year I will be riding my 29r ss hardtail. See you at the race. Look for a green ss Sycip with a white Fox fork.

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