SS to geared - insanely twitchier I just suck or is there something else?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    SS to geared - insanely twitchier I just suck or is there something else?

    So against my instinct (and my multiple MTB usernames and SS riding for well over 7 years on a variety of bikes) I decided to convert my Specialized Crave SL which I alternate between the carbon Chisel fork and a Reba solo-air remote lockout to a 1x10 XTR/XT setup with an AB oval N/W ring. It was a super easy conversion and was easy to tune and trail-ready so I set off for a few days of riding a combination of rocky/technical trails and smooth/flowy...

    Now the interesting part:

    It felt like a completely different bike geometry-wise!! It felt like I took an already fairly twitchy bike and make it twitchier by a significant difference. The front end was very lofty/light:
    • Going uphill - cog size didn't make a difference when pedaling. It made it easy to lift the front wheel over rocks and logs, but also caused the wheel to drift side-to-side whenever pedaling.
    • Downhill - unstable to the point where I had to shift my entire body weight forward and down into the bars while descending to get the front wheel to track moderately which destroyed my elbows and hands.

    The Crave has an EBB so I noted the position when I converted to the geared setup and set it back to its original position to keep my saddle position the same. I then played with the entire rotation of the EBB and saddle position and the feel of the bike never changed back to normal (still very twitchy).

    Tonight I gave up and swapped back to SS and tried a short ride in the neighborhood with both the chisel fork and the Reba and the original ride has returned and feels amazing..Super stable, tracks dead-straight..just like the first day I rode it.

    So, WTF was going on here? Did the extra weight of the rear der/cassette shift the balance point of the bike back and I need to adjust to it? Was it a core strength or technique issue with the easier gear ratios while pedaling, even though descending was just as sketchy as climbing? Was it a sign that I should never betray my ride and keep it SS and primarily rigid???

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by njSS
    Was it a sign that I should never betray my ride and keep it SS and primarily rigid???

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Ok you are freaking me out!

    I'm in the process of adding some gears to my rigid single speed for some select rides. I usually ride single and rigid but am currently putting together an XT/SLX setup for the back end of my bike. XT shifter so I can put it on when I need to, without destroying my ESI grips, SLX shaddow Mech on HG50 cassette and X9 hub. I can't see this affecting the handling, other than on steep climbs where a lower gear make keep me in the saddle so the back wheel doesn't break loose. I don't see gears changing everything, although I have been wrong before. Probably the changes to the front end of the bike are the part that are bugging you or now you may be carrying more speed into sections of trails that are making you uncomfortable. Sadly you might have to hit the brakes.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I think it's all in your head. Adding 1lb to the rear of the bike isn't going to shift the center of balance far enough that you'll feel it.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    I'm thinking (hoping) it's all in my head and my technique for riding with greater speed into sections I normally was coasting into is the culprit. In SS mode I could seamlessly transition from riding the rigid carbon fork to the Reba but I also spent the least amount of time with the geared/rigid setup. I may try that next ride and see if there's something funky with the Reba and start ruling out what setup combinations are yielding the ultra-twitchy response. I'm 99% certain it's me...or some voodoo curse. Especially since the frame is identical to the geared Crave models with the exception of the EBB and no front derailleur.

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