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  1. #1
    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    Single Speed Cyclocross

    Well, I searched through all the cyclocross threads and I didn't see anything on this subject.

    Singlespeeds seem to be popular in cyclocross now (I don't know about the Pro or Elite ranks).

    What are the advantages, besides lighter weight and simplicity (less stuff to damage)? Single speeds seem to make a whole lot more sense since, having dabbled in the sport myself, not much shifting is done anyway. I only used two gears on the whole course when I 'crossed and I never used the large chainring. Are they even legal in the upper ranks? I have found the sport so intense that there doesn't even seem to be time to shift, so why bother? I'm sure it would depend on the course, however.

  2. #2
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    I've raced my CRB a few times, and it's a bit of a challenge to find the right gear. Some courses are really fast, some are real twitchy. Frankly I like to race my Litespeed mtn bike with a rigid fork instead. You may only use one or two gears in a race, but which ones? I hated trying to figure out what my gearing should be before each race. If you race on 1 or 2 courses - or all of the courses had a similar layout you may find one gear that works for all. The courses around here vary too much - and I'm too lazy to fiddle with my setup before each race.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SS_MB-7's Avatar
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    I've been racing my SS MTB for 3 yrs (Vet Expert XC). I'm now 1 race away from finishing my second season of 'cross on my SS....with a strong finish this weekend, I can claim 3rd overall in Vet A. I find that SS really helps in 'cross.

    First, conditions are usually terrible (mud, snow, ice, etc.) and you can hear drivetrains suffering. With only 1 ring in front and 1 cog in the back and no derailleurs, shifters, etc. to worry about, the drivetrain just keeps spinning along with zero hesistation.

    Second, yes, there is a slight advantage due to the light-weight of the bike. With no derailleurs, shifters, cassette, etc., the bike will be lighter....comparing similar set-ups, that is. This definitely helps as the race wears-on and the barracades seem to become taller.

    Third, momentum is everything! I find a lot of racers/riders are too busy shifting or mis-shifting and loose a lot of natural momentum. SS'ing has taught me to savor every ounce of mo' and to use it wisely.

    Fourth, just hammer! No need to worry about the optimum gear. You'll also learn to be much more agressive in passing, etc. since you have to conserve all of your momentum and to take advantage of opportunities gearies usually give you.

    Fifth, for most 'cross races, you are going to be forced to dismount just prior to a big hill where you may not have the right gear. So, everyone is off the bike anyway.

    About the only negative to SS'ing (in 'cross, MTB or road) are the flats.

    BTW, I'm using 42x18 for 'cross. For MTB, I use 36x18. For road, I'll use 48x16 for fixed-gear riding and 48x17 for freewheeling.

    To be honest, I've become a much stronger racer in all disciplines (MTB, 'cross and road) since I became 100% SS.

    Try it, you've got nothing to loose (with the exception of all that shifting junk) and everything to gain.



    Ride Hard,
    Mike B.
    http://www.one-speed.com

  4. #4
    [Tak962]
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    Web site/bike specs

    SS_MB-7,

    I checked out your website. I noticed the specs for your SS MTB, but didn't see any specs for your Road and cross bikes. Can you fill me in?

    thanks, -Tak

  5. #5
    Bike Shop Girl Arsbars's Avatar
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    Mike B.

    I was also wondering what frame u use for Cross for SS..
    Thanks
    BikeShopGirl.com : Helping women find their way in cycling
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  6. #6
    Senior Member SS_MB-7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tak962
    SS_MB-7,

    I checked out your website. I noticed the specs for your SS MTB, but didn't see any specs for your Road and cross bikes. Can you fill me in?

    thanks, -Tak
    I've been meaning to update my site to include my SS 'cross bike specs and my Bianchi Pista specs.

    Here are the specs:

    Frame: Seven Cycles Ti, 47cm (c-c)
    Fork: True Temper Alpha Q, 1-1/8" carbon steerer
    Headset: King
    Stem: 3TTT Zepp
    Handlebar: 3TTT Prima 199
    Bar Tape: Cinelli cork
    * Brake Levers: Dia-Compe 287V
    * Front/Rear Brakes: XTR V-brake
    Cranks: Dura Ace, 170mm
    Chain Ring: Dura Ace 42T
    Chain: SRAM PC68
    Bottom Bracket: Dura Ace, 118.5mm
    Eccentric BB: Bushnell
    Rear freewheel cog: ACS 18T
    Pedals: Shimano 959s or Crank Brothers Egg Beaters
    Saddle: Sella Italia SLR
    Seat Post: Thomson Elite
    Front/Rear Tires: Michelin Cyclocross Mud
    Tubes: MEC Inline
    Front Hub: Phil Wood KISS-OFF
    Front Rim: Mavic Open Pro, ceramic 32H
    Spokes: DT Revolution
    Nipples: DT alloy
    Rear Hub: Phil Wood KISS-OFF Flip flop
    Rim: Mavic Open Pro, ceramic 32H
    Spokes: DT Revolution, 294mm, 32
    Nipples: DT alloy, 32, 2.0x12mm
    Front Skewer: Campagnolo Record

    Weight is about 18.5 lbs.

    I've switched-out the Dia-Compe 287V levers and XTR V brakes in favor of a set of Campy Record carbon brake levers and some NOS Shimano Deore XT M732 cantis. I've never been a fan of V's (also used hydraulic discs on my MTB and find V's way too touchy and finicky) and was fed-up with them by the end of the '03 season. The M732s came highly recommended, so I thought I'd give them a try. I haven't yet made the cut-over, so I can't comment. If they aren't up to par, I'm going to go with a set of Paul's Touring canti or a set of Spooky carbons.

    Ride Hard,
    Mike B.
    http://www.one-speed.com

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