Two Sporto Racers Can't Shake The Single Speeding Clyde- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Two Sporto Racers Can't Shake The Single Speeding Clyde

    I was out on some of my favorite single track yesterday and came accross a couple on duallies. They were decked out in matching outfits, looking like a million bucks. They were on a trail parallel to the one I was on, and just as our trails were to converge, they picked up the pace as to not get stuck behind the big guy on a singlespeed. So there I was, riding at my pace behind them when I realized that they were actually slowing me down. Since singlespeeds are so quiet, the guy in front of me didn't notice I was there until I cut a nice turn behind him and he heard the dirt. Then I heard him say to sweety pie, "pick up the pace hun". That was better, but I was still sniffing their cheeks. So then Biff told Sweety Pie "let's lose this guy!" and they pushed faster. It then turned into an all out race, and in the end, they could not put ten feet between us. It was so much freakin' fun to ride like that and not be beaten by the beautiful people on dual suspension bikes.

    Is it just me, or do any of you go faster on your single speeds than on your springy's?

  2. #2
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    A lovely story. A lovely feeling. I ride SS becuase I like it...the flow, the focus, the work, etc. But I would be lying if I didn't mention how much I love it when a similar situation comes my way. I thoroughly enjoy destroying the beautiful people on duallies. I love the look on their faces when they see how little the ride has to do with equipment, and wonder if they ever think about how much the rider impacts the ride.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andythebear
    I was out on some of my favorite single track yesterday and came accross a couple on duallies. They were decked out in matching outfits, looking like a million bucks. They were on a trail parallel to the one I was on, and just as our trails were to converge, they picked up the pace as to not get stuck behind the big guy on a singlespeed. So there I was, riding at my pace behind them when I realized that they were actually slowing me down. Since singlespeeds are so quiet, the guy in front of me didn't notice I was there until I cut a nice turn behind him and he heard the dirt. Then I heard him say to sweety pie, "pick up the pace hun". That was better, but I was still sniffing their cheeks. So then Biff told Sweety Pie "let's lose this guy!" and they pushed faster. It then turned into an all out race, and in the end, they could not put ten feet between us. It was so much freakin' fun to ride like that and not be beaten by the beautiful people on dual suspension bikes.

    Is it just me, or do any of you go faster on your single speeds than on your springy's?

  4. #4
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    I really don't think anyone is faster on a SS than on a geared bike, unless they just don't put in 100% on the gears. I'm approximately 5% faster on gears with a bike set up exactly like my SS. However, if i dont ride a geared bike enough, i loose strength in a certain muscle group that hurts my in-saddle climbing on both bikes. I was actually fastest racing my singlespeed when i was primarily training on my geared bike.
    As for suspension, i would venture to guess that the vast majority of riders have no clue how to properly set up a suspension and ride around on a bike that handles like a pogo stick, so yea, it could very well be a hindrance.
    It also depends on the trail. Suspension has it's place on rocky descents and cow pastures, but on smooth flowy singletrack or fireroads, a stiff bike is the way to go.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding
    I really don't think anyone is faster on a SS than on a geared bike, unless they just don't put in 100% on the gears. I'm approximately 5% faster on gears with a bike set up exactly like my SS. However, if i dont ride a geared bike enough, i loose strength in a certain muscle group that hurts my in-saddle climbing on both bikes. I was actually fastest racing my singlespeed when i was primarily training on my geared bike.
    As for suspension, i would venture to guess that the vast majority of riders have no clue how to properly set up a suspension and ride around on a bike that handles like a pogo stick, so yea, it could very well be a hindrance.
    It also depends on the trail. Suspension has it's place on rocky descents and cow pastures, but on smooth flowy singletrack or fireroads, a stiff bike is the way to go.
    I concur. I guess its just that when I'm on the SS, I am always taking more advantage of momentum, especially in the turns. I'm thinking, "I had better keep moving around this turn, or get more momentum up this hill if I'm going to make it" I think that mentally, I am leaning on my gears to the point that I can simply gear down to make it up. Or maybe everything seems faster when your teeth are rattling around your mouth.

  6. #6
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    Also riding a SS can allow for more (forced) recovery, while a geared rider can burn themselves out in too large of a gear when they should be spinning an easier gear.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  7. #7
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    Probably one of the best rides I ever had was passing 2 guys on geared fullies going up a long semi-technical climb while riding my rigid ti SS. When the trailing rider saw the bike I was on as I drew ahead of him, he uttered an expletive and just stopped where he was.... pretty funny. Since the trail was a short 5 mile loop, I ripped by them again on lap 2 and found them huffing & puffing by their car after I finished lap 3. I was probably 10 to 15 years older than these guys too.

    I've ridden this same trail faster on my geared fully, but the satisfaction of absolutely ripping that ride on a rigid SS was just fantastic.

  8. #8
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    It's best to pass the beautiful people when descending the rocky, techy stuff.
    Trailwrecker at large

  9. #9
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    I confess that passing anyone on my rigid SS is a total guilty pleasure.
    Absolutely satisfying to have others question their manhood.

  10. #10
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    For some reason, I also manage to maintain momentum better on a ss than on a geared bike. "Being in the wrong gear" on a ss results in stalling or putting a foot down way less often than being in the wrong gear on a geared bike. I'm wondering whether it's a psychological, a physical or a mechanical thing.

  11. #11
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    Keep in mind that not everyone on a team races expert or elite/open and some members may not even race at all. We have a number of "club level" members and beginner class racers on the team I ride for. There are lots of reason people join a team, social aspects, support of a local shop, training/coaching support, team discount on merchandise. The shop I ride for offers such a good discount program I can't remember the last time I ordered something from Pricepoint, Jenson, ebay, etc.

    Point is, just because you were faster than someone in a team kit doesn't necessarily mean you're fast.

    I always have to laugh when I'm out on my road bike and next thing you know I have some Fred drafting off me or trying to pass me with his head down and hands in the drops thinking he's fast but the thing he doesn't realize is that I'm on a recovery ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut
    Keep in mind that not everyone on a team races expert or elite/open and some members may not even race at all. Point is, just because you were faster than someone in a team kit doesn't necessarily mean you're fast.
    Very true

    Admittedly it is nice to thrash other people who are on much more expensive bikes but (unfortunately) it usually has very little to do with who is on the geared bike and who's on the singlespeed.

    Some people are just better/faster riders and some people are just trying harder than others....

  13. #13
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    Some people like to dress in team kits even when they ride to work??? Not my cup of tea but for some....they always want to look the part. Even if they don't race

    I don't go out and try to dust team kit dudes specifically but if they don't want to let me pass because I am on a SS i thoroughly enjoy pushing the pace until they pull over because they have nothing left.

    I also like it when i ask to pass some one and as soon as they realize I am on a SS i hear them click up a few gears and try to keep my pace.


    On the other hand......When the geared rider can keep the pace or even push it, i get even more enjoyment because they will push me way past my comfort zone and when we get to the top of a climb i am destroyed and they are usually smiling and feel fine

  14. #14
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    I agree there is a guilty pleasure in picking people off, but I got that feeling even when I was on my geared bikes as well. Sold my full sus and geared hardtail last year and now only ride ss. My times are a little slower, 5-10%, than with gears but the satisfaction I get when I complete a difficult ride or increase my ratio's just to see if I can do it is worth it everytime. And usually if I do all that I don't even notice all the traffic on the trail that I pass up!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut
    Keep in mind that not everyone on a team races expert or elite/open and some members may not even race at all. We have a number of "club level" members and beginner class racers on the team I ride for. There are lots of reason people join a team, social aspects, support of a local shop, training/coaching support, team discount on merchandise. The shop I ride for offers such a good discount program I can't remember the last time I ordered something from Pricepoint, Jenson, ebay, etc.

    Point is, just because you were faster than someone in a team kit doesn't necessarily mean you're fast.

    I always have to laugh when I'm out on my road bike and next thing you know I have some Fred drafting off me or trying to pass me with his head down and hands in the drops thinking he's fast but the thing he doesn't realize is that I'm on a recovery ride.
    very true, but dont even tell me that you dont make the pass a little more impressive than needed when you lap a cat 2 or 3 (assuming you're cat 1 or higher).
    I know i did. It keeps those cat 2 guys who take it a little too seriously in check.
    I mean really, you're never going to make a living out of it, so drink a beer and relax.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andythebear
    Is it just me, or do any of you go faster on your single speeds than on your springy's?
    No. Probably because one of my single speeds is older than most of you, I'm older that it, and the other one doesn't have any ti, carbon or 29 inch wheels.


  17. #17
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    I do this on the road all the time. Pass roadies up hills.
    But some times, they pass me because I don't have a 53 11 combo.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450
    Some people like to dress in team kits even when they ride to work??? Not my cup of tea but for some....they always want to look the part. Even if they don't race

    There could be several reasons why someone would wear their kit.
    for starters, it could be their only riding gear. Why go buy a $40 jersey when you can wear the one they gave you, or at least gave you at a discount?
    Even though he's been closed for years, I STILL wear my old sponsor's jerseys because they're comfortable, and the only other one i have is a California State Champion jersey, which makes me look even more like a tool


    Also, they just might be really loyal. They get deals in exchange for being a ambasador for the sponsor's business. They really should be wearing their kit as much as possible.

  19. #19
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    I have burned plenty of gearies up the hill, but I have also had my clock cleaned plenty as well. It's not the bike, it's the rider. It's really fun overtaking someone that takes themselves too serious though!

  20. #20
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    You are all badass....

  21. #21
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    While I did not get to ride with these guys yesterday, I hit a section of trail where it is basically a climb for about 1/2 mile. Nothing special but it does have its steep sections that are quite rooted with a couple of switch backs that always slow you down. I cranked up the hill as usual (I say usual, cuz a month ago, I was dieing going up this little section) but the day was different. I did not make it out to my group ride so I was determined to ride hard by myself since I didn't have anyone to chase. I was 5 miles in and had not stopped to take any sort of break what so ever when I hit this climb so I was fairly tired but determined to go all the way to my turn around point without stopping (6.5 miles). I hit the top of the climb and saw three guys there that had been moving debris off the trails from a storm we had a day ago. When I was about 3/4 up, I heard one of them tell me to keep going and don't stop. My legs were burning but I was holding a decent speed. When I crossed the top, I heard one of them say, "holy Shi7, he's on a single speed!" Pretty funny. That alone made it worth all the work. In the end I made it my entire ride, 12.74 miles with only one stop coming in when I was on the road about 1 mile from my house at a traffic light. I feel more blown today than I normally do when I do my group ride so I am quite pleased.

  22. #22
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    As SS and FS geared rider the SS makes your strong, but makes absolute no sense for outright speed.

    I am much faster on my FS geared bike everywhere than my SS and I am faster on that because of my SS.

  23. #23
    CB2
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    So let me get this straight, you were able to keep up with a girl?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    So let me get this straight, you were able to keep up with a girl?
    Sweetie Pie none the less

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
    As SS and FS geared rider the SS makes your strong, but makes absolute no sense for outright speed.

    I am much faster on my FS geared bike everywhere than my SS and I am faster on that because of my SS.
    Very well stated.

    IMO most people find themselves to be faster on their singlespeed because the single gear forces you to exert a certain effort level. The only possible way they could be slower on a geared bike is if they allow themselves become either mentally or physically complacent because of having gears to rely on. If they are disciplined enough to put out the same effort on their geared bike as they do on their SS I don't see how the geared bike could be slower. It makes no sense to me how the mechanical advantage of having gears could possibly be a hinderance to additional speed.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    Sweetie Pie none the less


    Of course, we're assuming that "Sweetie Pie" is a girl - who knows, however......

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut
    Very well stated.

    IMO most people find themselves to be faster on their singlespeed because the single gear forces you to exert a certain effort level. The only possible way they could be slower on a geared bike is if they allow themselves become either mentally or physically complacent because of having gears to rely on. If they are disciplined enough to put out the same effort on their geared bike as they do on their SS I don't see how the geared bike could be slower. It makes no sense to me how the mechanical advantage of having gears could possibly be a hinderance to additional speed.

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