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Old 10-22-07, 03:50 PM   #1
bitterken
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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.
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Old 10-22-07, 05:19 PM   #2
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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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Old 10-22-07, 06:23 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-22-07, 06:26 PM   #4
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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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Old 10-22-07, 07:14 PM   #5
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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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Old 10-22-07, 10:19 PM   #6
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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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Old 10-23-07, 01:28 AM   #7
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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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Old 10-23-07, 08:16 AM   #8
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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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Old 10-23-07, 08:50 AM   #9
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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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Old 10-23-07, 04:15 PM   #10
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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..
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Old 10-23-07, 06:03 PM   #11
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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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Old 10-23-07, 06:32 PM   #12
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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%.
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Old 10-23-07, 07:25 PM   #13
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ofcourse on really long steep stuff you are just screwed while the geared guys go by.
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Old 10-23-07, 07:50 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 10-23-07, 08:04 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-24-07, 05:57 AM   #16
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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
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Old 11-01-12, 08:30 AM   #17
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Bumping from the depths of hell because this is what I'm going to be doing all winter long.
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Old 11-01-12, 12:14 PM   #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.
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Old 11-01-12, 12:25 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 11-01-12, 01:06 PM   #20
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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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Old 11-01-12, 04:21 PM   #21
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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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