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  1. #1
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    single speed mountain biking for off season training?

    While looking for something new to do this off season, I came across this article by Chris Carmichael recommending the use of a ss mtb for resistance training.

    http://www.roadcycling.com/cgi-bin/a...view.cgi/4/915

    Have any of you good folks tried this? I can borrow my buddy's conversion, and it sounds like a nice way to stay out of a gym.

    I'm thinking my 42x17 fixed gear and ss mtb as my primary off season load...

    Thx.

  2. #2
    Mitcholo CrimsonKarter21's Avatar
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    It's awesome exercise. In Cleveland, we've got an indoor MTB park, and Saturday was the opening day. I borrowed my friends 15" Giant STP SS, and it's great for that. The only problem is that the gear ratio you think might work is going to be too steep. a 26x16 was too tall for me on everything except for down"hills", I couldn't even climb the smallest "hills" with it.
    Then again, the bike is a DJ bike, and it's more like a BMX bike than an XC. What kind of bike will you be using and where?

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    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    i havent read the article but ive been training and racing on a single speed (42x18) cross bike for like 6 weeks now and I have already noticed some improvements in my pedal stroke, power and overall fitness.

  4. #4
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    SSing is my plan for this winter. There's nothing like a single speed to build strength, power, and core muscles. The only drawback for me is the toll it takes on my poor knees.

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    Cat3.*....Cat2 asmallsol's Avatar
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    I bought a single speed 29er a few months ago for my first mountain bike. Its kinda cheap, but heavy as hell (28lbs10oz) Right now I am running 33x16, which is a 60inch gear for the 29er wheels, which is good for the climbs if you have a little goat in ya, but it kinda sucks on the downhills. Its a fun and good way to keep your endurance up.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I converted my main MTB to SS because it's so fun. It's not much slower than geared, and you'll surprise the hell out of some people out on the trails.

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    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    I used to do fixed gear training every winter for all the reasons described above. I had an old Merckx frame I converted. it was beautiful.

    we have a new velodrome in the city I live so I plan to get back on the track in the next few weeks. Wee Haaaw!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
    What kind of bike will you be using and where?
    It'll be an old Specialized something or another (don't know too much about these bikes) with an ENO hub. I guess I'll be tooling around the mountain bike trails we have around Boston. Gearing is 33 x 18. We have the Fells, Blue Hills, and Lynn Woods just a short hop from the city.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I love my ENO eccentric hubs (one road and one MTB). Very cool looking, and I can turn any bike in to a single speed

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    Cat3.*....Cat2 asmallsol's Avatar
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    I've raced mine in a normal geared class for my first MTB race ever, and finished 5th in sport class. Thing climbs just fine. In one of my races which had a decent size climb as the finish, I passed 3 geared bikes on the climb that passed me on the slightly downhill section right before the finish..

  11. #11
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    i pass tons of geared bikes when im on my single. i think part of the reason is you dont have much choice in what speed you are going to go so you end up just riding faster. I think I end up doing better in some races because I dont have any bail out gears.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Yeah, and it tempers your judgement on steep sections. Rather than considering dumping to the small ring, risking a chain drop, then failing anyway, you just get off at high speed CX style, run up the hill, and remount. You can run up a steep climb much faster than you can ride.

    There's also the efficiency. I think that a geared drivetrain averages around 5% power loss, and SS/fixed is 1% to 2%.

  13. #13
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    ofcourse on really long steep stuff you are just screwed while the geared guys go by.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
    ofcourse on really long steep stuff you are just screwed while the geared guys go by.
    Yeah, I've wondered what I would do if I had to MTB in CO, because I used the hell out of all three rings there. Loooong up, with loooong down doesn't add up to single-speed fun.

    No such animals here in Austin though. I can beat all my geared friends up the longest local climb: The Hill of Life (1/2 mile at 14%, technical/rocky ledges, 3-5 dabs). On the flats, I can peak at 205 rpm, and cruise at over 130 rpm, so I'm ok, but a little slower than the geared guys. I'm working a 32-18 most of the time.

  15. #15
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    i ride a 42x18 and i recently was in a race with lots of long steep fireroads and it was just too much. It looked painful watching the geared guys ride up but just walking up killed my calves so i dont know what hurt more.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitterken View Post
    I've been riding my ss mtb (Bianchi SISS) for the last 4 winters, and it's absolutely awesome. It's like someone has added another season to the year!
    I'm running hydro disc brakes which makes the set-up darn near bullet proof. Doing this has absolutley given me the strength workouts needed in the early season. I can feel it in the Spring/Summer.

    Outside is soooooooooooooo much more fun than inside. Go for it - you will not regret it for a second.

    ... Brad

  17. #17
    Senior Member johnybutts's Avatar
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    Bumping from the depths of hell because this is what I'm going to be doing all winter long.
    I'm sure when you were getting to the point of blowing nothing was obvious but making the pain stop...I don't know about you but after the fact I always look back at those moments and think 'why didn't I just keep going' but at the time there wasn't enough oxygen on the planet to make me take one more pedal stroke.

  18. #18
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    I commute fixed (39x18 - get those legs spinning) and ride SSMTB all winter. My MTB rides are so short that I don't get good endurance training but it does wonders for pure leg strength.

  19. #19
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Me too. Haven't touched my road bike for 3 weeks. Don't really plan to for at least another month. Just been riding my SSCX (knobbies and freewheel on the weekend, slicks and fixed cog for commuting). Loving it.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  20. #20
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    A regular MTB bike, provided the terrain is challenging, will give you plenty of resistance. And riding a fixed on the road will do the same thing.

    BTW, if you're going to go zombie thread, make sure the OP link works or start a new thread.

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    i don't have MTB, but I do plan on hitting the trails on my CX bike when it's too cold out to ride on the road which hopefully won't be too often

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