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This is from a friend of mine relatively new to SS. I set him up with an Inbred 29er about 6 months ago, and he loves it. Came off a racy 26" FS gearie. He calls the 29er his Cartoon bike since the wheels look so cartoonishly huge.

He lives in the southern midwest in an urban area where a lot of the riding is multiple loops of various 2-6 mile trails. Seems to be a lot more rider interaction/"racing" out there than out west.

Some comments from a recent email:

Rode the single speed for a few hours today. Towards the end of the
ride I caught up to this guy on a nice fast full suspension rig...one of those racy
24 pounders.
Just like my friend used to have.

He hammered it when I got on his tail! I notched it up a little and rode "right" on his rear wheel. He was pretty fast...but nothing for the On-One. Half way through the 2 mile loop (I had already been riding 90 minutes and was a little worked) he said, "hey man, do you want to go around!"

In typical fashion I said..."no worries...I'm just spinning behind you."

He said "I feel like I am racing!"

He proceeded to ramp it up a little more. I hung with him...he was bunny hopping stuff and hauling...the cartoon machine rode effortlessly ;) behind.

We got to the last climb...he geared up high for the 400 yard climb...I powered slowly
behind him...wanting to fly by...but waiting...not wanting to destroy his psyche....YET!

We finished the climb and he hammered for all he was worth to the clearing...I was on him like flies on poop! We rolled into the clearing and I pulled up next to him...said "nice ride!" and I slowly rode away.

He was on my wheel quickly and said " hey.....YOU'RE RIDING A SINGLE SPEED! And what's with those wheels? Is that one of those big wheeled bikes?

"Yep...it's my favorite bike!"

As we approached a quick downhill that basically is all guts he said....with a tone of sarcasm and interest..."how does it handle?"

I proceeded to blow down this quick turny downhill way to fast, and climb a 75 yard hill at Mach five with my hair on fire! I turned around at the top...didn't see the guy for 15 plus seconds and thought he went another way...then he appeared in a small gear spinning. He reached me 35 seconds later and with a smile on his face said "I guess it
handles pretty well!!"

Inside I smiled...I wanted a FAST (those little creatures in the VW commercials) attached to my bike....and then I prayed to God for humility b/c I can be the biggest jerk in the world internally! My mind pleasures in such sick things like this!

Long live singlespeeds....shut up and pedal!

Thanks for initiating me into the fraternity of pain and singlespeeds!
I'm sure this sort of thing has happened over and over with many of you on this board. I just thought it was funny because riding a SS, whether we admit it externally not can lead to some pride, and an exalted view of ourselves, like somehow we are better than anyone else because we ride SS, or fixed, or whatever....especially when you beat up on a gearie.

Was my friend a jerk? Maybe, internally anyway, he freely admits it. Blame the SS for bringing out the competitive streak.

Sounds like both riders on this ride had fun, though.

"Shut up and pedal"....hope you enjoyed the story....and your rides.
 

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Oh man does that sound familiar!

Thanks for sharing....definately worth a laugh, as you say.

I think we have all been there to some extent. Using your "apparent" disadvantage to its potential, and showing someone else that it is possible to go faster without buying the latest and greatest "better" bike.

Everytime I go to the LBS, I see someone trying to buy speed. The only currency that you can buy speed with is good ole' blood, sweat and tears.
 

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Very common. I do not think your friend was being a jerk. If he he had been taunting the other guy ("Gee, you can't even drop a singlespeed?") that is a bit low. Just too fun to let other riders "discover" what you are riding then you casually say "it's just a bike."
 

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I think in 99% of such situations, the SS rider is simply stronger than the geared rider. And this makes sense since SS riders are usually strong, experienced riders who chose to challenge themselves a little more.

On a lighter note, did you guys notice that you never hear any stories of SS riders being dropped by geared riders. :D I suggest entering a race (chose a real technical course with tons of variety and no SS class) and see how many geared riders you can drop there. ;)
 

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serious said:
... I suggest entering a race (chose a real technical course with tons of variety and no SS class) and see how many geared riders you can drop there. ;)
Been there, done that.
 

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serious said:
On a lighter note, did you guys notice that you never hear any stories of SS riders being dropped by geared riders. :D I suggest entering a race (chose a real technical course with tons of variety and no SS class) and see how many geared riders you can drop there. ;)
more than you'd think. The best part is that you can finish 40th out of 70, and still say: i was faster than ~30 riders with gears - i rawk!!
 

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shiggy said:
I have won my age group against geared riders.
that's why you're rad and I'm not.

I'm usually pretty low key on group rides. I got schooled on last Saturday's mostly 29er ride, big time. Hugh, Endo and aosty left me in their dust, quickly.

Last Thursday my local LBS held a night ride that I joined, never having done it before. 10 guys showed, ranging from Team "We Travel Faster" I'll call them - 3 guys in lycra and matching jerseys, to a guy in cotton street clothes on a Motiv. With a kickstand. And me somewhere in between, lone guy on a singlespeed (and 29er). I didn't know anyone except for the shop owner.

One of Team WTF's guys is checking out my bike in the parking lot pre-ride. "Why would you just ride one gear?" he quizzes me. I detected a hint of "you're an idiot" subtext, but I could be wrong (his arms crossed, nose crinkled, etc.). I told him I've never really tried it before and wanted to try something new ( :rolleyes: ). He didn't get it. Neither did his 16" wide race handlebars.

Turns out Team WTF doesn't "do" waiting for the rest of the group. They had places to be apparently. Like the top of the hill before everyone else. On the last big climb up to the overlook (and turn-around point) I started reeling in riders. I really really wanted to catch Team WTF but since I waited for everyone else to catch up, they were too far ahead. But alas I made it to the top in 4th, the next one behind them. There was no discussion of "was that tough?" or anything. Just them being clique-ish and me being nice guy.

Well, until the ride back to the shop that is. One last dirt climb that's not too long but steep enough to get out of the saddle for. Team WTF guy goes sprinting up, out of the saddle. I hop on his wheel and sprint away. The guy who quizzed me is now on my wheel. The 3 of us are jamming up the hill single file, and I ain't about to give up, homes. Then from behind, lycra-boy lets out a gasp, clicks a few shifts and drops back. Just before we get to the summit, the last of Team WTF sits down and shifts.....which is about the same time I went by him, still out of the saddle. I turned the bike around at the top of the climb, just to make sure they all made it ok :D

I'm not really a braggart or think I'm Travis Brown or something, but sometimes ya gotta just put people like that in their place. It's competition, it's respect, and it's fun.

hw
 

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ahhh the SS stories... they are fun.

about a month or two ago, i pulled into the parking lot of a local ride. there were two guys, with matching jerseys and some nice blingy FS bikes who were about ready to ride to the trailhead, sitting in the parking lot. i got out of the car, took my SS off the roof of the car and turned around and said "hi". the one guy made eye contact with me, looked at my bike (it is a POS, but i love it) and didnt say a word, and the other guy just looked at my bike for a second, and looked away. they didn't even say hi...

needless to say... it was on.

so they took off to the trail. i quickly changed into my riding clothes and decided that i was going to catch them. so i took off on my SS as fast as i could to the trailhead.

well i caught up to them on a climb and rode their wheels for about 15 seconds. i politely asked if i could get by, they moved to the side and up the climb i went.

"have a good ride!!!"

man did i have a grin on my face.
 

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I was commuting home on my SS roadie (Bianchispeed). I had a full pack on the rack, and the bike isn't exactly superlight (I have a BMX chain on it so I don't break it). I roll up to a light on a nice, straight road with low rollers. A serious roadie (shaved and all) rolls up next to me. We both take off at the light and I hear him clicking thru the gears.

At the next light, when he rolls up, we exchange pleasantries and how-you-doin's.

This occurs 3 times more, when he suddenly realizes that I have dropped him everytime on a SS.

His comment "Oh man, that thing is a singlespeed! Crap, I ain't gonna try and hang with you anymore. I tried to catch you on the first couple of lights, but you just rode away from me"

After that, my feet were as light as feathers as I pedaled home.:thumbsup:
 
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