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  1. #1
    tarck as ****
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    convince me that geared racing is faster than singlespeed?

    i've been trying to convince myself that racing this fall is going to be faster if i build up a geared build, at least a 1x9, maybe 2x9. i raced last year and did satisfactorily, but i really don't know if a bike with more than one speed is going to make me do that much better in a race.
    also, i'm concerned that a derailleur might be too fragile since i took a few tumbles last year.'

    anyone make a similar move and care to weigh in?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I don't race, so ignore my biased suggestion-
    Rode a single speed bike for years during all seasons and just about every possible surface condition;
    it was fine- but there was often a time I could have used a lower gear for an especially mucky spot or
    when there was a strong head wind. Plus there were a few down hills, not real steep; i could have pedaled down faster with a higher gear. Go for the 1x9 set up, it is a highly effective pragmatic choice.

  3. #3
    Senior Member EatMyA**'s Avatar
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    1-5 here. more than enough gears.

  4. #4
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    rear derailleurs are pretty hardy. if anything it's the derailleur hanger that gets ****ed up when you crash it into stuff. probably best to concentrate on not doing that.

    not really sure what you're getting at regarding convincing you. if there's any doubt in your mind i'd recommend you try riding one and make up your own mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  5. #5
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Ask your self this, how many pro's do you see on a single speed? There are a few but by and far most pro's are on a double. I like the single ring, last year I was on a 1x8 but this year I will be on a 2x10 at least to start. I'm not sure if I really will like it. 10 speed is ridiculous for cross. Really you only need like 4 or 5 gears but you will need some gears to be faster. Especially on long paved sections where you will just spin out the SS and of course if you ever find your self in a sprint finish the gears are necessary.

  6. #6
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Last season was my first racing cross and I did it single speed. I rode a pretty big gear, 42x17, so I never really found myself spinning out on flats. A few times I wished I had a smaller gear but in the end I am glad I didnt because it forced me to finish off stronger than I might have given a bailout gear. I found that later in races and on false flat sections I was consistently able to either pull back and pass or pull away from other riders by grinding out a tempo I was forced too by my single gear.

    I also firmly believe that racing SS will make you a better racer and bike handler faster than racing gears. To me the biggest handicap racing a single gear is all the stopping and starting. Going through corners poorly where you have to try and jam on a big gear to get going again, aproaching a steep run up that you may or may not be able to ride up, etc, are things that you can compensate for on a geared bike since you can drop down a few gears to make it easier. On the SS rig you really have to be almost perfect on the bike as to not lose any momentum. This should make you better faster.

    As much as I want a geared bike I think I am going to stay on the single until I truly believe I have hit the limit on whatelse I can improve. I am pretty confident I can get all the way to cat 2 before I need gears to go any further and if that is the case imagine what happens when you do have extra gears to use?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Sounds like knee injury waiting to happen grinding out gears. I've never raced but logged my fair share of miles on and offroad. If you want to be riding fast, strong, longer, and with less injury to your knees, use gears.

  8. #8
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    ive been skateboarding for well over a decade and have no knee problems from that so i doubt a little SS cross racing is going to hurt me.

    there is a lot more to racing than simply riding fast.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
    Last season was my first racing cross and I did it single speed. I rode a pretty big gear, 42x17, so I never really found myself spinning out on flats. A few times I wished I had a smaller gear but in the end I am glad I didnt because it forced me to finish off stronger than I might have given a bailout gear. I found that later in races and on false flat sections I was consistently able to either pull back and pass or pull away from other riders by grinding out a tempo I was forced too by my single gear.

    I also firmly believe that racing SS will make you a better racer and bike handler faster than racing gears. To me the biggest handicap racing a single gear is all the stopping and starting. Going through corners poorly where you have to try and jam on a big gear to get going again, aproaching a steep run up that you may or may not be able to ride up, etc, are things that you can compensate for on a geared bike since you can drop down a few gears to make it easier. On the SS rig you really have to be almost perfect on the bike as to not lose any momentum. This should make you better faster.

    As much as I want a geared bike I think I am going to stay on the single until I truly believe I have hit the limit on whatelse I can improve. I am pretty confident I can get all the way to cat 2 before I need gears to go any further and if that is the case imagine what happens when you do have extra gears to use?



    ...you dont know when to shift effectively

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassplayinbiker View Post
    [/B]


    ...you dont know when to shift effectively

    I found this to be the biggest change when moving to a geared setup last season. The SS was sweet. I set mine up 39x17 and pedaled as fast as I could, all the time. There was no thought involved. It took almost the whole season before I could truly take advantage of all the gears available to me, shifting at the right spots to maximize speed. Initially, I was a little put off by being forced to think during the race, but as the season went on, I noticed that it actually heightened my awareness of what was going on, kept my mind engaged and I became a smarter racer as a result.

    Just my USD 0.02.

  11. #11
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassplayinbiker View Post
    [/B]


    ...you dont know when to shift effectively
    possible but i dont think thats going to take very long to master especially when I am racing road and mountain geared.

  12. #12
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinb View Post
    I found this to be the biggest change when moving to a geared setup last season. The SS was sweet. I set mine up 39x17 and pedaled as fast as I could, all the time. There was no thought involved. It took almost the whole season before I could truly take advantage of all the gears available to me, shifting at the right spots to maximize speed. Initially, I was a little put off by being forced to think during the race, but as the season went on, I noticed that it actually heightened my awareness of what was going on, kept my mind engaged and I became a smarter racer as a result.

    Just my USD 0.02.
    I did one race geared last year right after racing single and I found the biggest change to be in torque. That and having to worry about my chain dropping after crashing

  13. #13
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    Why not go to a internal 3,5,or 7 gear hub. No derailer to brake and it gives you a few extra gears. This is how i'm building up my bike now. I'm a big fan thus far.

  14. #14
    tarck as ****
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    my experience with an internal hub makes me think that it would be way way heavy.

  15. #15
    Lotion/Basket/Hose Doctor Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bw286 View Post
    my experience with an internal hub makes me think that it would be way way heavy.
    Lighten up with a set of good wheels. The weight argument's kinda a wash anyway, because the extra pound or so an internal hub adds is kinda offset by the lack of derailleurs and brifters. An internal hub is actually a great choice if your races are run mostly in the muck or the wet, as the ease of maintenance increases greatly.

  16. #16
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    I think there is a certain art to shifting during a cross race. Into a portage you want to be in the correct gear for the remount, so for example coasting into a run-up you probably want to downshift. Nothing worse than remounting and finding yourself in a too-heavy gear, you lose all kinds of momentum.

    When pre-riding the course, add gear-shifts to all the other little mental notes you make.

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