Training with Only a SS- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    The Riddler
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    Training with Only a SS

    Got my geared race bike stolen and am now stuck with only a singlespeed. Anybody else ever try to race against geared riders (pro class) by training only on a singlespeed...? I wouldn't guess it would be any different but would be great to hear any insights from people that do it/good tips. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    It would probably be a good idea to switch gearing every couple of rides to mix up intensity levels of your rides.

  3. #3
    nothing to see here
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    Lots of hills (so you kick their @rse up 'em) and lots of flats (so you get used to spinnin' and don't loose too much ground in the races).
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renovatio
    It would probably be a good idea to switch gearing every couple of rides to mix up intensity levels of your rides.
    Agreed. Buy some other cogs and/or rings. I use 36x16 as a training ratio when I'm stuck with only roads to ride or when I want to really burn my legs on some flatter trails

  5. #5
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    I have both a geared bike and a singlespeed, and bought a singlespeed to train on in the beginning. Down the road a bit and long story short, I ride my singlespeed more than I do a geared bike.
    I will say riding singlespeed has helped me out alot when it transfers over to a geared bike. I tend to stay lower in the cassette in climbs and seem to get up them quite a bit quicker. The only place I really feel faster on with a geared bike is open areas, everything else is pretty close to par.
    I feel like I get more of a workout on my singlespeed than I do with my geared bike. If I'm on a long ride with my geared bike, I sometimes tend to get lazy on climbs and roll up it pretty high in the cassette, while on my singlespeed I don't have an option, and I hate the whole "hike a bike" thing so if I'm tired or not, I'm going to mash a bit.
    Just all in how you look at it, I guess. Can you train on one or race with geared bikes? Well, yeah. I ride with friends who race geared bikes on my singlespeed and haven't had a problem.
    Livin' the dream.

  6. #6
    Time to go farther
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    Have a geared road bike? Mixing up the cogs is good but that only gets you so far. The geared roadie gives me a lot more control over gear inches for training inside or out.
    On-One Lurcher SS
    Speedway Cycles Fatback Ti SS
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  7. #7
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    I've found that it's easier to overtrain when only training on the singlespeed.

    Generally speaking, many people don't go hard enough on their hard rides and don't go easy enough on their easy days. There should be vast disparity between the two. Specifically, easy days should be extremely easy (many riders get sucked into thinking -- more like feeling -- that they "should" go hard all the time).

    The singlespeed can contribute to this error, since it offers only one gear.

    Recovery is as important as hours in the saddle. With proper balance, the singlespeed is an excellent training tool.

    --Sparty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  8. #8
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    Or... just learn to hold momentum, and use the single speed. There are a lot of top level, single speed racers turning in better times than geared riders. Its easier to focus on speed, and momentum on a single speed. There is no lag time, in deciding which gear to be in, or shifting. Just you and the terrain..
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  9. #9
    Time to go farther
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    Anyone that races a SS already knows the hold momentum part. Training is different.

    I agree with Sparty, I forgot about that point. It's vastly easier to putt putt on easy days with my geared road bike and 39x27 granny gear. My only MTB is a SS but the roadie lets me keep the active recovery days super easy. Of course you can sort of do the same with a 32x20 on easy trails or the road but that's not quite as much fun.
    On-One Lurcher SS
    Speedway Cycles Fatback Ti SS
    1984 Trek 560
    http://slipangles.blogspot.com/ - It's supposed to be fun

  10. #10
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    Sorry... I forgot everyone knew that... pardon me, while I go shave my legs.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  11. #11
    CB2
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    I raced Cat1 40-49 on a singlespeed and won my series. I rode singlespeed exclusively offroad and usually commuted on a fixed gear.
    But on the Pro level these two guys, Thom Parsons , and Mike Montalbano have been very competetive on the singlespeed regionally, and usually train SS.

  12. #12
    Time to go farther
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    Sorry... I forgot everyone knew that... pardon me, while I go shave my legs.
    Moose it wasn't meant as an insult, the guy is asking about training to race pro class on a SS, I'm pretty sure it's not his first rodeo.
    On-One Lurcher SS
    Speedway Cycles Fatback Ti SS
    1984 Trek 560
    http://slipangles.blogspot.com/ - It's supposed to be fun

  13. #13
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    Simplicity is elegance, in its purest form. I just got the feeling from the op, that having "only" a ss is somehow a disadvantage. That depends on the rider IMO. Having the proper ratio, for a given course, is the best thing you can hope for. Take full advantage of experimenting with more, or less, gear inches. The only handicap, is the riders ability.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  14. #14
    SS or Die
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    Only advice I could give is make sure your out front on the longer climbs....geared riders are normally in the way during this point of a race and may slow your momentum down, make sure you train on these elements so on race day you smash em'.

    In most facets of XC Im faster on my SS, it is only on long drawn out flats that I cant hold it with geared bikes, oh and the long steep sections depending on my gearing of course but most short course XC curcuits dont have these.

    Good luck.
    "Be the Gear..."

  15. #15
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    Sorry to bring this back but I am planning to actually train this off-season for racing this year. I raced last year but didn't really do any focused training.

    Does anyone have any good riding workouts that they do? What about light weight training with your legs? Any ideas or advice would be great.

    I only have a single speed but we have a shop bike that is 1x9 I can use for some gravel road rides. This next season our series might have a SS class if there is enough interest, if not I will be racing CAT 2 against the gearies.

  16. #16
    Shred...it's the new drug
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    he's the man!!!

  17. #17
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    If you are just trying to increase your spin and fitness for your racing put a 2-1 gear ratio on your bike and mix some road riding in with your trail or mountain biking. I have trails that leave my house and jump on the road and connect back to the trails on my way home anywhere from 15 to 30 miles depending on how I feel that day. I warm up on the road for about 3/4 mile jump on the trails for 5-6 miles then to a gravel trail for a few miles then the road and reverse the course back home. If you have a training partner on a geared bike that will help you maintain a higher cadence as they will be cruising and you will have to spin. You will eventually be able to keep up the higher cadence longer. One more thing, when you think you are spun out at say 15-17 mph you should have no problem whipping that bike up to 20-25 mph on the road for short bursts that you will eventually be able to sustain for longer periods of time. I also have hills on my route of up to 20% grade for short blasts so it is no cake walk. These are fun rides but they will get you in good condition.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo
    Got my geared race bike stolen and am now stuck with only a singlespeed. Anybody else ever try to race against geared riders (pro class) by training only on a singlespeed...? I wouldn't guess it would be any different but would be great to hear any insights from people that do it/good tips. Thanks!

    Just get out there and have fun when you ride, switch it up!

  19. #19
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    If you train with HR or power, nothing should change, except you won't have a powermeter on the SS.

    Long days, easy days and interval days, same as before. Cutting out the science, go shorter on the long days, and harder on the interval days. You'll have no choice but to go easier on the easy days, which is almost certainly a good thing, as 90% of people who train without a coach go too hard.

    If you have a road bike, make your easy days on that instead. Especially if you ride rigid, you'll want to let your upper body recover.

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