What possessed me to get a SS?!?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What possessed me to get a SS?!?

    Man, my butt hurts, my quads sting, my calves burn, my arms are sore

    WTF was I thinking?!?!

    What gearing are people running back here?

    Mine is currently setup with 32x18. Should I go 32x20 to help with the hills?
    Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    what possessed you?
    the single speed fairy - looks like the tooth fairy, maybe even the fart fairy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    what possessed you?
    the single speed fairy - looks like the tooth fairy, maybe even the fart fairy.
    Thats a hole lot of fairies!! Is this one of your dreams again ernesto?

    man I wish the I need a new Ti frame fairy would talk to my Wife!

  4. #4
    nothing to see here
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    htfu fairy

    All those things you complained about hurting are good for you. Shows you how unfit you were. Persist and this will fade to a distant memory.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  5. #5
    I'm just messing with you
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    Quote Originally Posted by djump
    Mine is currently setup with 32x18. Should I go 32x20 to help with the hills?
    Recommend you give up on the "how can I make this easier" line of thought, and start thinking "how can I make myself stronger". There is no hope of singlespeed success if you're looking for an easier way to do it.

    32x18 is better than a 2:1 ratio ,,, you should be able to get around handily on that. Maybe you could change where you ride to a more rolling than hilly terrain, and expand your choices as you get stronger. A big part of it is just getting used to it, learning to plan ahead, and how to carry as much momentum as possible.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  6. #6
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    For a 29uh, 32 20 its the best for average terrain. It will still make you work.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    Recommend you give up on the "how can I make this easier" line of thought, and start thinking "how can I make myself stronger". There is no hope of singlespeed success if you're looking for an easier way to do it.

    32x18 is better than a 2:1 ratio ,,, you should be able to get around handily on that. Maybe you could change where you ride to a more rolling than hilly terrain, and expand your choices as you get stronger. A big part of it is just getting used to it, learning to plan ahead, and how to carry as much momentum as possible.


    you must not have any steep long hills where you ride. yeah new single speeders need to buckle up and get stronger, but in baby steps, not all at once. 32x20/22 if perfectly acceptable for the budding ss'er on a 29er
    Out riding, leave a message

  8. #8
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    Each ride with my ss got easier. After about 3 rides it wasn't a struggle. I have muscles now I never had riding a geared bike...

  9. #9
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    Thanks Guys and Gals.

    My wheels have no problem picking up speed, and I am TOTALLY out of shape.

    I was thinking of going 32X20 or 32x22 and then switching back.

  10. #10
    nothing to see here
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    29 or 26?
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  11. #11
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    Definitely gear down. Just don't go nuts on a super sexy 22t cog because you'll soon want a steeper gear and you'll never go back. Its silly to set it up to be too difficult with a really steep ratio. If you hate it you'll eventually quit. We don't want that!

  12. #12
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    Don't gear down; stick with it! Took me about a month of riding to adjust to SS but once you do you'll never look back.
    Stache 7 --- Rigid Surly 1x1 B+ --- Dirt Drop CrossCheck

  13. #13
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    Riding a 29er Rigid

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    29 or 26?
    29er

  14. #14
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    Niner Cog?

    Quote Originally Posted by donmeredith74
    Definitely gear down. Just don't go nuts on a super sexy 22t cog because you'll soon want a steeper gear and you'll never go back. Its silly to set it up to be too difficult with a really steep ratio. If you hate it you'll eventually quit. We don't want that!
    Was thinking of getting a Niner cog. I'm currently running a Misift Build with one of their COD Cogs.

    I probably need to find some easier trails to get in shape first as some suggested above.

    And definitely not quitting!

  15. #15
    Out spokin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    ... average terrain...
    There is no such thing.

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  16. #16
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    32x18 on a 29er is roughly equivalent to 32x16 on a 26er. That's a tall gear if you are doing lots of climbing.

    Buy yourself a couple cheap cogs and experiment.

  17. #17
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    Good for you, Djump!

    Once you're used to riding SS, go ride fixed in the forest and enjoy!

    -- Oirad

  18. #18
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    Just keep riding. I started on 32x20 on my 29er, i'm now riding 32x17 in central/western nc, and upstate sc. Been ss-ing for a little over a year.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by djump
    Was thinking of getting a Niner cog. I'm currently running a Misift Build with one of their COD Cogs.

    I probably need to find some easier trails to get in shape first as some suggested above.

    And definitely not quitting!
    I think Dimension cogs run up to 22t, and they're around five bucks. Gear down for a while and then work your way back to the 18. There's no way around it...getting used to an SS is tough.

  20. #20
    I want to ride
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    I find I'm never in the "right gear".

    I run 32 X 20 and for the terrain around here it works out great. I wanted a gear ratio that would allow me to ride my bike most of the time and only have to push on the steepest of climbs.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteMe
    32x18 on a 29er is roughly equivalent to 32x16 on a 26er. That's a tall gear if you are doing lots of climbing.

    Buy yourself a couple cheap cogs and experiment.
    i do lots of climbing... i have 32/16 on a 33lb 26" bike it works fine, you really have to learn to keep your momentum though

    i was thinking i might try 32/18 cause theres this stoplight that you have to accelerate pretty hard out of if you want any chance of getting through within the next 10 minutes (you get stuck on an island)

    hell i might throw my 20T cog on just for fun

  22. #22
    nothing to see here
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    Go 32/20 for sure. Persist with it then go back to 32/18 when you're ready.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  23. #23
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    I got a Santa cruz chameleon, what gear comb should I run, there are many good climbs where I ride??
    Right now is geard. with a 24/34/44, and 11-32 in the back, I try to use the middle ring with the 3-4th back ring

  24. #24
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    start at 32/16 (2 to 1 ratio) and if ya don't like it, change the rear cog

  25. #25
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    I ran 32/18 for a while until my Surly 20t cog came in.

    Oh joy!!!!

    My trails have lots of ups and downs and very technical. Yeah, I survived the 18t. But I ended up leaving everyone for dead except the 20y/o's. The 20t allows me to be more sociable and just pull ahead now and then.

    Actually, it makes the riding a lot more enjoyable and relaxing as opposed to feeling like I'm on some mission to beat the crap out of everyone (and myself.)
    Just get out and ride!

  26. #26
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    Crank length makes a diff too!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    htfu fairy

    All those things you complained about hurting are good for you. Shows you how unfit you were. Persist and this will fade to a distant memory.
    Yes!

    26" wheels = 32:18
    29er = 32:20 imo.....

    Quote Originally Posted by OilcanRacer
    you must not have any steep long hills where you ride. yeah new single speeders need to buckle up and get stronger, but in baby steps, not all at once. 32x20/22 if perfectly acceptable for the budding ss'er on a 29er
    Yes, here too!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexJK
    Crank length makes a diff too!
    Yes, I'm a tall guy and running 185mm cranks....seem to be a good match...

    Quote Originally Posted by MaineSara
    Each ride with my ss got easier. After about 3 rides it wasn't a struggle. I have muscles now I never had riding a geared bike...
    Me three!

    Quote Originally Posted by donmeredith74
    Definitely gear down. Just don't go nuts on a super sexy 22t cog because you'll soon want a steeper gear and you'll never go back. Its silly to set it up to be too difficult with a really steep ratio. If you hate it you'll eventually quit. We don't want that!
    Yes, gear down for now and ride where ya want....don't kill yourself with the ratio, fitness will come if you keep riding at least twice per week. Start easy, have fun and work your way up when it's time.
    Get off the couch and ride!

  28. #28
    I'm just messing with you
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    Quote Originally Posted by OilcanRacer
    you must not have any steep long hills where you ride. yeah new single speeders need to buckle up and get stronger, but in baby steps, not all at once. 32x20/22 if perfectly acceptable for the budding ss'er on a 29er
    Sure there's steep long hills here, I just avoid them on the SS unless they're paved
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  29. #29
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    In preparation for MT Snow Trail of Two Lakes, I had slapped a 22 on the rear (34x22x29"=44.8" gear) which is kind of small for me; I usually run a 49", or 52". I wanted to ride the day before and didn't want to be swapping cogs around for just one ride, and because I'm superstitious, I left the MT Snow gear on and hit some local trails. I was pleasantly surprised with how fast my overall speed was, as I wasn't really pushing it; I was racing the next day and all. Close to my route record.
    So I guess I learned although I can push a larger gear, it might not always be the fastest way to go.
    Here's a pretty picture of the race:

  30. #30
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    How about 32:19? Not sure why everyone jumped from 18 right down to 20.

    If you can ride MOST of your trails with an 18 cog now, I think that it's just logical to try and make your gearing adjustments in as small increments as possible. You may surprise yourself to find out 1 tooth may be all it takes to tough it out, instead of droping right to 20 or 21 right away.

    IMO, if you make it drastically easier and get used to it, it will be harder to go back to higher gearing later, rather than ease just a bit and work at getting stronger.

    Arek

  31. #31
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    Oilcan's advice about becoming stronger is well taken, as is Arek's about making small incremental changes in gear ratios.

    I ride a 26" (fixed gear) with a 38x16 because I use it also as an all arounder and ride out to the trail, too. It's too big for many long steep trails and I can get "hung up" sometimes on some of the real gnarly stuff. So I walk ... better ... I run, like mtb/cyclocross. On the other hand, you'd be surprised what you can climb when you've only got one gear and it's, relatively speaking, a tall one. It forces you to be more aggressive too.

    -- Oirad

  32. #32
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    ATM, I'm liking 32:15 (58 gear inches) fixed at the moment. This is on 700x38, and it's kind of amazing that I can ride almost everything I used to ride on my 34:18 (49 gear inch) coasty bike with the 26 inch wheels.

  33. #33
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    I am a bit surprised at the advice thrown about here considering the OP hasn't even mentioned what sort of terrain he rides. I would stick with what you like and try to ignore the 2:1 ratio- ride what gets you happily through the ride.

    I have a 34x20, which would suck if I had any longer, flat and straight sections. After climbing several thousand feet straight, I personally like to feel sharp enough to nail the return trip.

    Don't stop until you blow your knees out.

  34. #34
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    Thanks for all the differing view points

    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I am a bit surprised at the advice thrown about here considering the OP hasn't even mentioned what sort of terrain he rides. I would stick with what you like and try to ignore the 2:1 ratio- ride what gets you happily through the ride.
    I'm currently riding very easy trails and gravel roads. I've got a 45 deg hill at the end of my driveway and I managed to pound my way up it.
    I'm also in very bad shape just getting back into biking.

    Most of the terrain around me is fairly hilly and rolling, so there will be lots of climbing. I'm not terribly worried about top end speed as the wheels seem to roll and pick up speed like nobody's business.

    Hopefully I get stronger and my current setup (32x18) will be just fine. I'm thinking of going to 32x20 or 32x22. My build is a rigid 29er.

  35. #35
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    Burning thighs?

    Dude, whats wrong with dismounting once in awhile?

  36. #36
    No really, I am that slow
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    Don't listen to the evil voices. Gear down. I started at 32x23 and currently run 32x20. I have NO desire to go higher, thankyouvevrymuch. It's plenty hilly here.

  37. #37
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    If you want to become a better rider gear down. You will eventually build your legs to turn the gears and learn to carry momentum while not breaking. Biggest thing i learned on my ss is to not break in turns and instead pace yourself, use less energy and carry momentum. You'll learn to ride smarted not harder. But then again, the whole point is to have fun so ride whatever your comfortable with...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by djump
    Man, my butt hurts, my quads sting, my calves burn, my arms are sore

    WTF was I thinking?!?!
    Ain't it great?


    What gearing are people running back here?
    32/20 works excellently for Durango: rocks, steeps.....Is your part of TN anything like that?
    Misfit DiSSent

  39. #39
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    I got a Monocog 29er this summer. Very little riding in the previous years. My first ride about killed me. I am getting stronger know. Been riding the Monocog a lot on the trail last couple weeks. Upper body still gets hammered every ride from all the out of saddle climbing. Have a Surly 22 coming for it. 32x22 should be better. Everything I ride is up or down, not much flats. Hope to get stronger and go with the 20 down the road. Want to get the bike into the mtns before everything is designated wilderness around here.

  40. #40
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    You bet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwahe
    Ain't it great?
    Hell Yeah Baby! Everything is gonna get HUUUGE really quick.

    That's what she said!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwahe
    32/20 works excellently for Durango: rocks, steeps.....Is your part of TN anything like that?
    Where I ride is very hilly, rolling and a few rocks. I tend to stay away from those as I'm not very skilled. I'm close to the Appalachian Mts.

    Another Misfit rider? I'm deciding between a Niner 22 or getting a Misfit COD 20 & 22.

  41. #41
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Alright, djump. Hope you are squared away- turning an easy gear will make things better for now and maybe encourage you to tackle the tech stuff on occasion.

    My sister and her husband live in Nashville. Getting into the country in TN is wonderful. We go for hikes and all I can think about is mountain biking through the limestone.

    However, the freaking ticks suck.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by traffic002
    I ran 32/18 for a while until my Surly 20t cog came in.

    Oh joy!!!!

    My trails have lots of ups and downs and very technical. Yeah, I survived the 18t. But I ended up leaving everyone for dead except the 20y/o's. The 20t allows me to be more sociable and just pull ahead now and then.

    Actually, it makes the riding a lot more enjoyable and relaxing as opposed to feeling like I'm on some mission to beat the crap out of everyone (and myself.)
    I could've written this - one month in on my 08 Flight and this was my exact experience -
    running 32/20 now with a 33 surly ring waiting till my chain change...some day may put the 18 back on or get a 19....but it seems perfect now

    Just finished a nasty night ride with a regular group and on the nastiest climbs, by the time the pain made me stop and rest, i was far enuf ahead that it looked like i was just being polite and waiting for everyone else...when they would catch up i would hop on and take off again with fresh-seeming legs...a whole new kind of riding - made the grinding of the geared folk seem monotonous as i stood there panting, watching the snake of lights slowly plod up the hill....i'm not on a mission to beat the crap out of myself and everyone else...it just comes naturally with the single speed...and i love it

    uh oh...am i becoming a ss snob?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsord
    I could've written this - one month in on my 08 Flight and this was my exact experience -
    running 32/20 now with a 33 surly ring waiting till my chain change...some day may put the 18 back on or get a 19....but it seems perfect now

    Just finished a nasty night ride with a regular group and on the nastiest climbs, by the time the pain made me stop and rest, i was far enuf ahead that it looked like i was just being polite and waiting for everyone else...when they would catch up i would hop on and take off again with fresh-seeming legs...a whole new kind of riding - made the grinding of the geared folk seem monotonous as i stood there panting, watching the snake of lights slowly plod up the hill....i'm not on a mission to beat the crap out of myself and everyone else...it just comes naturally with the single speed...and i love it
    I haven't had this problem... but many of the guy's I've ridden with are singlespeeders themselves. The key is to convert the masses so you're all on SS.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsord
    uh oh...am i becoming a ss snob?
    I prefer 'extraordinarily handsome and skillful rider' to 'ss snob'.
    Stache 7 --- Rigid Surly 1x1 B+ --- Dirt Drop CrossCheck

  44. #44
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    Donít worry about the gearing, just get on and ride that sucker. If you canít ride certain hills get off and walk it until you can ride it. The more you ride your SS the more efficient you will become. In a few months, you will be climbing things you canít today. And, get some bar ends! Just the little ones. Cane Creek makes a really nice pair. They really help for climbing and will put a lot less stress on your elbows. I felt the same way when I first got my SS but now I want nothing to do with gears. I almost feel sorry for people with gears. I definitely feel sorry for people with gears and spandex but that is for a different thread.

  45. #45
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    Hey Everyone, thanks for all the feedback and comments.

    I'm going to chicken out and drop to a 32x22 setup for now. I placed an order for a Niner Cogalicious 22T at my LBS.

    I'm going to run that till I get stronger, and this will let me tackle the hills a little easier.
    Cheer's all....Happy riding. :-)

  46. #46
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    Wimp!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by djump
    Hey Everyone, thanks for all the feedback and comments.

    I'm going to chicken out and drop to a 32x22 setup for now. I placed an order for a Niner Cogalicious 22T at my LBS.

    I'm going to run that till I get stronger, and this will let me tackle the hills a little easier.
    Cheer's all....Happy riding. :-)
    Have fun!

  48. #48
    nothing to see here
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    Quote Originally Posted by justanotherbikegeek
    Wimp!
    lol
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by justanotherbikegeek
    Wimp!
    heh - he'll find out the hard way when he's playing hamster-in-a-wheel on everything but the hills

    IMO it's better to fly till you die, then rest for the rest, rinse and repeat.....eventually you'll find that you're ready to go again before the rest catch up to you...that's when the gap starts to widen.....and then you can take your time...or not and make them suffer
    I'm not on a mission to beat the crap out of myself and everyone else; it just comes naturally with the single speed

  50. #50
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    Maybe he doesn't know about the mystery liquid? Beer and 2:1 gearing is how we know God loves us. And pushing. Pushing and 2:1 gearing also go together well, but when you ride to the trailheads lower gearing is just so........low.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by blumarvel
    Dude, whats wrong with dismounting once in awhile?
    I run really heavy DH wheels/tires. Overall I'd much rather ride, than push my bike!

    Tom P.

  52. #52
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    Riding a Soul Cycles Hooligan (26er) that is just over 22lbs. On the trails of cental NC I run 32:18. I started with this gear thinking I would get stronger and eventually go to 17 and then 16. I did get stronger, but after experimenting, I have stuck with 18 for the last few months and find it the perfect gear for me. Sure, I may need a taller gear in the mountains, but unless a climb is really technical, I can climb anything with this gear that I can climb with my geared FS (which is getting ridden less and less right now).
    Recently did a 6 hr race on this bike and again, the gearing was just right.
    I no longer deserve a signature.

  53. #53
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    Practice spinning on the road and maintain a rather high cadence over a long time period for a couple weeks along with the trail riding and in know time you will be kicking ass up the hills without lowering your gear ratio too much. 32x16 or 32x18 should suffice. I live in Socal and it is hilly to say the least.

  54. #54
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
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    29er here, running 33x20 for almost a year now, and am cardio wise, in the best shape of my life, and im friggin 50, bro!! u want easy?? i will introduce u 2 my sister, but as far as mtb ing, keep on keeping on, u will have a blast, and be the better 4 it!!!!

  55. #55
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    Hilarious!

    Quote Originally Posted by razin cane
    u want easy?? i will introduce u 2 my sister, but as far as mtb ing, keep on keeping on, u will have a blast, and be the better 4 it!!!!
    Now THAT is funny!

  56. #56
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    It dried up enough to try out the 32x22. If it's flat, I'm spinning out. The roads to the trail head are flat, once on the trail it is up or down. Very little flat. I was able to clean more sections than before BUT- I was going all out to clean those sections which is more difficult than walking. So I got a huge work out. I haven't been riding as much so that works against me also. The wind was blowing about 30 mph today. The ride home gains elevation and busting the wind made for a tough day in the saddle. Out for 2hr 45 min. Will do it again tomorrow, but cut the length down a bit. Hoping to get way more fit and faster next year.

  57. #57
    ss= 800 lb. gorilla
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    133
    ugh, will the bad weather ever stop? it never rains on halloween, but 2009 has been absolutely awful, weather wise. i know i am gonna have to invest in some good foul weather gear, if i am to ride 12 months, like i did last year.

  58. #58
    one chain, two sprockets
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    300
    I've gone as low as 30x18, running heavy DH rims and tires. In this gear I avoid as much road work as possible, and hone in on a steady spin rate for flats. So far, for the really technical stuff and climbs, this gear works really well. While there is a huge penalty for the heavy wheels, this gear makes them easily tolerable, I just won't win any races. Plus there is no substitute on the downhill side of the climb!

    Tom P.

  59. #59
    Ride, Sleep, Work
    Reputation: MichaelW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    379
    I know why you got a SS. You have a death wish!!
    Click to save 15% off your 1st Hammer nutrition order
    http://www.hammernutrition.com/affiliates/50110

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