Who's raced a 24hr solo on thier SS and what gearing did you run?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Who's raced a 24hr solo on thier SS and what gearing did you run?

    Bike setup
    Niner Air Carbon
    29" wheels (obviously)
    175mm cranks
    34t Q-ring chainring front
    20t Chris King cog rear

    After lurking around on here and other site/forums it seemed like choosing a 34t-20t gearing setup would be a safe choice to get started. I don't know if everyone makes their local trails climbs out to be harder then they really are or if most SS riders are on 26" wheels but my 34-20 setup is anything but easy. My cadence is in the teens, my handlbars feel like they could break at any second from the pulling forces and I'm waiting for the cleats on my shoes to strip from the thread.

    So I've got several rear cogs when I bought all the parts to build the bike(my first SS) but the 20t is my largest. I can't swap the front 34t since it's the only size SS Q-ring made so I can only go bigger it the rear. I was thinking of returning my 17t and picking up a 22t or larger cog for my 24hr race next week. I've never ridden the course(wiskeytown 24hr) and I can't pre-ride it until the day before since it's 4 hours away.

    The course has around 1600' of claimed elevation gain over about 8 miles so it's anything but flat. But I doubt it will be as steep as my local stuff since anyone I've ever brought out to my local stuff has always left complaining about how steep everything is.

    So for anyone who's ever raced a solo 24hr on a single speed.

    1. did you gear much lower then you normal would have to make it the full distance without frying your legs, or did you just hike a bunch of stuff and coast more to recover instead of spinning out?

    I know no one can tell me what gearing to run since it's a personal thing but any info, stories or insight would help. This is not my first 24hr race and I've always won or gotten on the podium overall on my geared bike so I'm not to bad at riding all day and night. I'm going to take all my spare gearing with me and probably use this first SS race as a learning experience and be prepared to change gearing mid race if it seems I made a mistake.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    1. I didn't race 24 hour events SS or geared.
    2. I raced several XC races and 1 XC marathon SS.
    3. I'm not the strongest racer.

    I used 32/19 gear (29er salsa el mariachi) in all the races. I think 34 Qring is actually not round so it may be a harder gear than with usuall 34 (not sure). An enteresting thing about SS gearing is that you can use any gear on the same course. As I can understand the race will have multiple laps so you can explore the course during the first laps and adapt your riding tactics. The advantage of higher gearing is much better momentum and higher speed but you can ran out of fuel before the finish. If there is much need for accelerations and deccelerations the lower gearing is going to work better.
    With lighter gear you can manage your energy well. Ex. working hard on the climbs and recover on other sections - the average speed will be OK. (Ofcourse you shouldn't work for 100% spinning on flats.) With higher gear you may have no (or less) chance to recover.
    In general I find it better to be a bit undergeared than overgeared. Especially during some endurance event.

  3. #3
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    I have done some 24 hour rides on my single speed but they were not true racing.

    My advice is use light gearing.

    If your cadence is lower then 50 rpm walk or pedal faster. Slow RPM is what kills legs. My general rule is that a gear is "good" if I can ride most stuff with 50+ rpm. I walk the rest of the stuff. For something long you want to keep your hear rate out out of the red zone so if you can't climb at 50 rpm or faster without going red just get off and walk.

    I think 34/22 or 36/22 are good combos. It depends on fitness, For most long stuff I use my 36 ring the 34 is only if it is silly steep.

    Especially when riding light gears I think the Q-Ring is a bad idea. Non-round rings give you an advantage at slow rpm but hurt your high rpm spinning. For single speed I think going round is better because it is better to have good efficiency across a wide cadence range of 50 to 110 rpm. With singlespeed an engine that is good at 80 rpm but falls off at higher rpm limits your virtual power band. The same goes for crank length. I find that at 5'11" a 170mm crank works well because I can spin or mash while a 175mm crank is really only good on the mashing side.

    Good luck; we look forward to the post race report.

  4. #4
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    You can only get so far with advice from others. In a 24h race you must know yourself and the bike thoroughly, and the only way to know learn is to try.

    If 34/20 feels heavy, go lighter. 34/20 is my go-to gearing for general riding on a 29er, for a longer race with lots of elevation I might go lighter. The longest I've done was 60 km (37 miles) with about 1,5 km (5000 feet) of elevation and 34/20 was a gearing I'd use again, but for a couple of extra laps a tooth or two more in the back would definitely be in order.

  5. #5
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    I always went one tooth easier in the rear than I would if I were just riding a few fun laps on the same course.

    But what do I know?
    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

    I get paid 3 every time I post on MTBR.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies so far and yeah my local 18 mile loop has 4800' of climbing so its ether up or down with almost no chances to spin the pedals. I'm shooting to break 200 miles in the 24hr, I doubt ill do it in the first or even second but that's my goal and I know I can do it if find the right setup. Honestly in all my past 24hr races I've always gotten quad cramps while spinning in the saddle around 4 hours into the race and it normally lasts for around 6 hours. The odd thing about it is I can stand and crank just fine, I just can't sit down. One of the main reasons I got a single speed was because I figured if I'm going to have to stand hours at a time then I may as well ride a bike that requires me to stand a lot.

    Its funny because if I was racing my geared bike I'd feel totally confident I'm my ability to race this race well. But with a whole new machine and needed riding style I feel like its my first 24hr ever. I think I'll try the 34-20 first and have a 18 & 22 on hand just in case I think it needs to be changed. Spending 4 mins in the lots changing gearing won't be that big of a deal if it saves me over an hour on course.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    I always went one tooth easier in the rear than I would if I were just riding a few fun laps on the same course.

    But what do I know?
    Says a former 24 hour world champion ss racer.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  8. #8
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    I would go 34x21 for a nice 47gi. That's the gearing The Lung used a few years ago in the SS nationals.

  9. #9
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    I'm on 32/21. Always mean to take it back up to 32/20 after the race but never do.

    - joel
    Cycling is Serious Business.

  10. #10
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    I'd stick with the Q-Ring, you'll need all the help you can get IMO. I don't have a problem with high cadence spinning with a Q-Ring either. I run 34/22 btw.
    I have been trying to get 33 and 35 oval chainrings from Goldtec in the UK, pretty hard when they don't reply to emails though

  11. #11
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    I used 34/21. Usually I ride 34/20 or 19. The lighter gearing saved my arse over 24 hours.

  12. #12
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    I used a conservative 32x22 on a 29er (2 teeth easier than I usually ride). It felt ridiculously spinny at the start, but by the end I knew I had made the right decision. This was my first endurance racing experience, and I had no goals of a podium.

  13. #13
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    I just signed up for the 24Hrs in The Old Pueblo, Solo SS.

    16 mile laps w/ 1200 ft of climbing per lap. Planing on running 32x19 and hoping for the best. FYI
    Marty

  14. #14
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    Wow 16 miles laps now that's my kind of race. Is the course tecnical and twisty enough to keep picky people like me entertained?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RojoRacing53 View Post
    Wow 16 miles laps now that's my kind of race. Is the course tecnical and twisty enough to keep picky people like me entertained?
    IMHO, it is one of the best 24hr courses and events in the country. It is not very tech, but there is enough there to keep ME entertained.

    Check out some of the videos to get a feel for the event and the course - Epic Rides : 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo : Video
    Marty

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