Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    I LOVE ME A GOOD FOIGHT octopus magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
    My Bikes
    Van Dessel Country Road Bob (the old curvy kind!), Fuji Track Pro, Look 555
    Posts
    795
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Single Speed CX racing tips with the geared guys.

    So yeah, I got the cross racing bug after converting my commuter (Van Dessel Country Road Bob) into a full out CX bike, but I have a pretty small problem. Or make that a really big problem: I am slow. Like unbearably slow when I'm mixed in with my geared Cat4 brethren. Some courses with a good section of back single track I can hold on to, but today at Lowell CX (A fast, very smooth/straight course) I was a moving chicane for everyone (Especially the 35+ Masters). I am tired of being a DFL turtle!

    This is a very big disappointment when I know for a fact how my fitness is to another racer, and I can utterly stomp on him be it on the track, or on the road. Yet on cross, with his gears, he's gone and I'm huffing, puffing and ready to blow that house down.

    Yes, I did read the single speed cross page on ole Sheldon's site. I want more stories on how to really mix it up there.

    One of my own problems that I think I have is that I end up staging in the back, and like most races, they start off on the straight, hard pack that I have very little chance of keeping up with (I have a good spin, but it isn't that good). But as time goes on as I ride, they just keep edging away. Then I'm stuck in my own little world and end up cruising half the time as I have no real incentive to catch anyone.

    I train at least 3-4 nights a week on a fluid 2, gym it twice with free weights/squats/lats/pulls, run for an hour three times a week, and dudes on gears who drink all day are like "See ya!". I'm running a 38x18 gear ratio, Conti Twisters, and cheap Shimano brakes. Nothing out of the ordinary for a SS cross bike.

    So tell me if you run SS Cross with geared guys, and how you are successful (or not) at it.

    (BTW: thankfully next week they have a SS cross class. I am very much looking forward to it.)
    I ride with pants so tight that they're spandex.
    http://velospace.org/node/2114 - CROSS CROSS CROSS
    http://velospace.org/node/10792 - TIME TRIAL TIME TRIAL TRACK
    http://velospace.org/node/10550 - TRAIN RACE TRAIN

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    ABQ, NM
    My Bikes
    Neuvation F100, Surly Cross Check, Van Dessel Holeshot
    Posts
    1,152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    have you run cross with gears? Cross is very dependent on skill and equipment choice so just saying you have fitness does not necessarily help you. I know dudes who are ok 3s on the road, but are unholy terrors at cross.
    For Sale:
    Dugast Rhino 30c, previously glued and needs new tube, but lots of tread left $35+ shipping

  3. #3
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,917
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have separate ss classes here so it's not an issue. If you want to be competitive against geared racers then you probably need to race a geared bike because you're always going to be dropped in the flats.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  4. #4
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    1,146
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TimJ View Post
    We have separate ss classes here so it's not an issue. If you want to be competitive against geared racers then you probably need to race a geared bike because you're always going to be dropped in the flats.
    This.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you have the fitness, can you run taller gears? That gives you more speed on the flat bits, but might require you to run some hills that the geared guys are riding, but might result in faster overall laps.

    Also, who are you trying to compete against? What Cat are you? If you're a new Cat4, I'm not surprised that you're being dropped by experienced Cat3 Masters. Masters races (in just about any sport) are FAST and competitive.

  6. #6
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Media PA
    My Bikes
    too many now
    Posts
    596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    it's been discussed alot here and there...but i remember hearing somewhere that SS is best on muddy, off-camber, twisty, off-your-bike-alot courses...avoid the flats and nice weather races...!
    .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang

    2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
    2010 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--medium
    2004 Bianchi Axis 1x9 (cyclocross)
    1993 Giant Avonni (mutantcross)
    2009 Giant Defy 2 (cobblecross)
    1990 Schwinn Caliente (medicinecross)
    2009 Giant Yukon FX (root/rock/mudcrosscountry)--recent addition: RockShox Revelation U-Turn

  7. #7
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    5,420
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    if lowell is as i've heard it (and as you've described), then it's about the worst possible terrain for ss against geared folks. robot won northampton last year on an ss - the course featured lots of turns and accelerating out of them. there were some big long drags, and some paved areas, but lots of twists, too.

    don't forget that cross takes skill. like, more than you think. last year i placed 4th in my first cross race, at the end of the season. "cool," i thought. "i can be good at this." this year, i hopped on my cross bike and went out to race and started piling up a list of stuff i really, really needed a lot of work on, as i realized i was not very good at this. barriers, cornering, gauging appropriate tire pressure, ride-ups, run-ups, and running can all determine your place in a race more than your gearing.

    but, if it comes down to how fast you're going on the flats and straights and fast, then you're not gonna be able to compete with the gearies. like i said, though, that's course-specific. half the handful of races i've done this year, i don't think i would have missed my gears.

    and also, staging - that's pretty important for placing. you start at the arse and play the "did i pass more people than passed me?" game, or you can try to stage and holeshot well and aim for a result. each is fun, but it's hard to do both.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  8. #8
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    mabra
    Posts
    4,528
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    dudes in my district win regular races against geared guy on there SS. you just need to develop the strength, handling, and fitness.

  9. #9
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    4,645
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
    dudes in my district win regular races against geared guy on there SS. you just need to develop the strength, handling, and fitness.

    Sounds like they're sandbaggers in the wrong class to me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    Sounds like they're sandbaggers in the wrong class to me.
    Nah, I'm in the same district as Lithuania. Those guys just aren't much slower on a SS than on a geared bike. And I don't think it's happening in the elite races - the guys I'm thinking of are in the Men's B and Master's B.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by UBUvelo View Post
    ...avoid the flats and nice weather races...!
    Not totally true. A truly flat, dry course can be great for SS - you just have to gear appropriately.

    It's the truly mixed courses that are the worst. Long climbs and downhill pavement? That's a conundrum for SSers - gear for the climb and you get shot off the back when you reach the pavement - gear for the pavement and you're walking the climb.

  12. #12
    I LOVE ME A GOOD FOIGHT octopus magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
    My Bikes
    Van Dessel Country Road Bob (the old curvy kind!), Fuji Track Pro, Look 555
    Posts
    795
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the tips guys, I'm going to close out the year on SS and maybe run next season half SS, but see what I can dig up for some brifters/9 or 10 speed rear/derailer hanger if I can get around to it.

    I do like the reliability of SS though (other than my first time out when I dropped my chain from piss poor tension), as I dragged about 8 feet of caution tape that got all caught up in the drivetrain and still finished like it was never there.
    I ride with pants so tight that they're spandex.
    http://velospace.org/node/2114 - CROSS CROSS CROSS
    http://velospace.org/node/10792 - TIME TRIAL TIME TRIAL TRACK
    http://velospace.org/node/10550 - TRAIN RACE TRAIN

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    16
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I run ss against geared guys. There are two ss classes where I am at but the timing of the races never works out for me so I just run with the geared since I find it more fun to run in big groups. First race I did I was intimidated and started in the back, then I realized I wouldnt be much slower. I would second the above suggestion for running bigger gears. I run 38x16 and am not the strongest guy. Also, I always tell myself that there are sections you need to make up time such as technical sections and remounts. With that being said, I might move to a geared bike.

  14. #14
    astrositupataphysicyclist UBUvelo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Media PA
    My Bikes
    too many now
    Posts
    596
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Crack Monkey View Post
    Not totally true. A truly flat, dry course can be great for SS - you just have to gear appropriately.

    It's the truly mixed courses that are the worst. Long climbs and downhill pavement? That's a conundrum for SSers - gear for the climb and you get shot off the back when you reach the pavement - gear for the pavement and you're walking the climb.
    yeah, i can't say i know at all from experience...i think this was the article i had read that gave me the impression:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlecross.html
    .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 after the big bang

    2008 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--small (goatcross)
    2010 GT Peace 9er singlespeed--medium
    2004 Bianchi Axis 1x9 (cyclocross)
    1993 Giant Avonni (mutantcross)
    2009 Giant Defy 2 (cobblecross)
    1990 Schwinn Caliente (medicinecross)
    2009 Giant Yukon FX (root/rock/mudcrosscountry)--recent addition: RockShox Revelation U-Turn

  15. #15
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    mabra
    Posts
    4,528
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    in my experience flat course have been the worst for SS. i can deal pretty well with courses that go up and down but flat just wears me out. The hilliest race in the district was one that a SS guy ran away with.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    My Bikes
    Custom Custom Custom
    Posts
    5,104
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Maybe you should add gears to see if you can keep up?

    Cross is a balance between power and skill. You gotta have the power but if you don't have the skills to put the power down, you are useless. If you have the fitness/power you say you do, you should be able to catch back up on the flats. You can tell roadie converts because they blow past you on the flats and you pass them back in the technical sections.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Okay, I know I am late to the party, havent' been on this forum much since the season ended for me. I race SS in a geared class, and I am pretty confident that where I finish is not the bike's fault. Locally the courses tend toward muddy and technical, although there were two this year with killer hills. I actually had one of my best races of the season on a flat course. Without knowing anything about the OP beyond what he has written hear, i would suggest some skills clinics, and then try to stage closer to the front.

    Two other observations: around here, most of the SS class racers are animals. I will probably race the SS class next season, but not without some fear and trepidation.

    Second, I've watched Trebon "warm up" by embarassing the field in the SS class, then go on to win the A class still on his SS bike. Admittedly, not too many of us on this forum ride like Trebon.

    I would say don't give up on the SS, you should at least beat the geared guys who are carrying their bikes across the line with a broken derailler/hanger
    Thom

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    My Bikes
    Cannondale CAAD9 4
    Posts
    20
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I know this thread is a little old, but if you are starting to look forward to cross season (as I am!), don't give up on singlespeed. A few quick things: Definitely up your gear ratio. I often use the same as winebelly: 38x16. Even 38x17 would be much better. But for a flat rolling course, I've even run a 38x15 and ended up finishing top 3. Gearing totally depends on the race and your comfort, but undergearing is a quick way to be in the back unless you can spin like a mad man. One good way to boost your rpms is to ride your singlespeed in the city during the week. It pretty much sucks because you are riding so slow (compared to anything with gears, or geared for the road), but I've noticed a huge boost to my cadence after riding my 38x16 cross bike on the road for 30-40 miles a week.

    Part of the reason i love singlespeed cross, is because I can keep up with so many cat 3 geared racers. I love starting a minute behind them, and then catching a lot of them within the first lap. And the second lap. A little twisted, but it is quite fun. I hope you get to try singlespeed out again, and have a little bit more fun in the pack this year.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •