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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who's the odd man out on SS on group rides where majority has gears? How do you fair?

I did a ride. I was on a full rigid 26" and had a hard time keeping up with the geared riders on the flats. Do you normally just avoid these rides on your SS or do you not mind being dropped a little?

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Most of my usual training buddies are on light carbon geared bling. They will go past you on flat fire road stuff - that will never change.

This does not really bother me as we try to limit fire road riding (to me it's a necessary evil to get to where it's at on the single track) and focus on single track. We are lucky to live in an area where there is plenty of Single Track to be ridden.

I would expect there to be little difference in pace between you and your geared friends once on single track assuming similar fitness levels. Probably the SS will be a bit faster if anything.

Most average weekend warrior geared riders are just left in the dust whether it be single track or fire roads though ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah on the tight single track areas I was def. keeping up but once we got to those longer drawn out flat sections I felt foolish pedaling so fast. Made me wonder if SS should just be left as a solo training thing or if you guys generally ride with geared folk.

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Try changing gearing? I normally run 32 by 18, but will go as low as 32 by 20 for serious climbing. If your area isn't too hilly maybe go with 32 by 17? Will help you on the flats. I find that 32 by 18 is fine to keep up - but you will always spin out on prolonged flats especially if there is a slight decline.
 

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Last night I was the only SSer in a group of 10~15 riders. And yeah, any time we hit some flat / smooth trails, I have a hard time. When I am in a good shape, I switch from 18T to 16T and minimize the damage.
 

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1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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yeah, we SSers wait patiently at the top of every hill, and don't curse loudly whenever a geared rider cuts in front and starts spinning. They try hard to keep up but we are big about it :) Really, mostly on the hills we may be in front but I am often completely shagged after a big climb and really need to wait...either that or they spin past me happily while I recover. If I know a long flat section is coming I will detour and meet up later, or just HTFU and spin like heck or drop back. Luckily here those are far and few...mostly its up or down. I went on a SS only ride recently, and it was damn fast. It was just the riders were strong, and there was no let up on the hills, but the other groups rides also have strong riders, it is just more social. More stops for everyone on mixed rides. What is your gear ratio?
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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Depends on the day and the ride. Sometimes our "Saturday Social" has as many or more SS riders as geared riders, other days I'll be the only one, and some days I'm on a geared bike while someone else riding is on a SS. Pretty much everyone on SS around here rides 32/18. On the flatter trails, I can spin that fast enough to keep up with even the best of our geared riders because flat doesn't mean straight. Once we get to hillier sections, most of the SS riders will get a chance to practice track stands or super low speed riding at some point, while down hill stretches tend to spread everyone out a little, because none of us has any desire to run over anyone else or get tangled up in the event of a spill. I've heard a lot of people talk about how incompatible SS and geared riders are, and while I'm certain some of that has to do with terrain, around here we haven't found it to be that big a deal. Part of the reason though is because we have so many SS riders. Nearly all of which started riding SS as a result of me telling them how much fun it was.
 

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My rides are mostly solo, but when I ride with others I am usually the only one (or maybe one other rider) on ss, and definitely the only one riding rigid.

SPP
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On a 26 I run a 34/20. I couldn't imagine making it easier than that honestly. It was just right right on the more difficult areas and if it were easier I'd really spin out. It's not a big deal though I was just curious how you guys faired when you rode with your geared friends.

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Birdman aka JMJ
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I only ride with 1-2 other guys at lunch, mostly singletrack but some fireroads thrown in from time to time. My fellow riders are on a 2x8 hardtail and a 3x8 fully and are intermediate riders (guys younger than me riding for 1-3 years).

I'm on a steel hardtail 26er, geared 32:16 and I lead every ride. Only on the fire road flats do I suffer, making up for it in the climbs and downhills. If we decide to ride for best time on the fireroads, I'll drag out my geared fully, but otherwise prefer my steel SS.

Its tougher when I ride my rigid ti SS, but I'm not any slower.

I think the key for me is that I've got gearing appropriate for this terrain, and over 20 years of MTBing under my belt, half of that on SS. I do a lot of coasting and "active rest" while riding so I'm always ready for the next climb.

JMJ
 

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I find that fitness seems to be more of a factor rather than the bikes, and no one really hammers the fire roads between single track sections, people usually relax and BS.
 

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^ This + the group dynamic.
Never fails that 2-3 guys turn a group ride into a hammerfest that soon becomes a fox & hound chase with people getting stretched out, and missing turns. Once I learn who these players are, I avoid their rides, or pick the casual group.
Oh & yeah, regardless of gearing, when SS I expect to get dropped on the long flats.
 

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Fire roads are for shootin' the **** and relaxing. Nobody should be hammering a fire road on a group ride, especially when an SSer is in the group. That would be like an SSer smoking everyone on a climb and not waiting for them at the top. There are two solutions though. Get faster and run a bigger gear so you can keep up better on the flats, or ride with a different group.
 

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Only single speed on a group ride, and only rigid as well. They drop me on the flats and tell me to get gears, I catch them in the twisty singletrack and tell them to stop worrying about gear ratios and compression settings.

It's always good natured. Sure my legs burn on the flats but so what? No pain, no glory ;)
 

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Fire roads are for shootin' the **** and relaxing. Nobody should be hammering a fire road on a group ride, especially when an SSer is in the group. That would be like an SSer smoking everyone on a climb and not waiting for them at the top. There are two solutions though. Get faster and run a bigger gear so you can keep up better on the flats, or ride with a different group.
I agree with these completely, flat section is a place for everybody to yap and recover. I am the only SS rider in the group and never had an issue riding with them. They let me go first on climbs, I let them pass when I get burned out halfway and all meet at the top. Going down is a free for all.
 

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SS Pusher Man
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Guess it is who you ride with.

I am faster on the climbs with my SS.....but can back it off if I choose to do so for the social aspect.

I am usually at the front on the DH's....even on the SS, because I know how to keep off the brakes.

I usually fall off the back on the really long flat sections....but have no problem catching back up as soon as the grade starts back up.
 

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Around where I live I have lots of steep and long fire road climbing. I can normally do a combination of walking/standing to keep up with the slowest rider in the group but I burn a lot of matches and am pretty clobbered by the end of the rides.

Probably doesn't help that I ride with some pretty tough dudes.

But riding SS is about having fun and getting a close connection with my bike and the terrain. If I want to drop dudes and go fast I just jump on the road bike.
 

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I rode a few group rides at a local bike here and we split into two groups at the start- beginner and advanced. the advanced guys were really dialed, fast, racer types, so I stuck with the beginners, most of whom were pretty intermediate. I was able to keep up with them for most of the time, but this trail does not have any huge elevation changes. everyone looked at me crazy when they saw me riding a rigid SS, but I didn't think anything was impossible because of it on that trail.
 

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Most of the geared guys I ride with understand that I have to hit the climbs hard and will spin out the flats. Luckily, east coast single track is very up and down, there really isn't a lot of flats, so I just end up towards the front with the stronger riders. The group naturally sorts itself out normally.
 
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