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SoCal singlespeed off-roaders - where do you ride?

Old 09-30-22, 10:05 AM
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SoCal singlespeed off-roaders - where do you ride?

I usually ride my geared gravel bike as I live up near La Canada/Altadena, and all the good riding near me involves lots of climbing. But occasionally I take my singlespeed gravel bike out for fun and a different workout. My locale isn't too ss-friendly, and even though the bike is geared pretty low, I'm probably not gonna climb Mt Lowe on it. For example, down Gabrieleno out to the dam by JPL is great fun on the ss - that's usually where I go.
Just curious where other singlespeed gravel or mountain bikers in the LA area ride, especially if you're up near my neck of the woods.
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Old 10-02-22, 08:43 PM
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The only other trail I can think of that would be worth doing on a SS is the Fullerton Loop. Though, both my gravel and my road bike are geared for climbing and I've given up on the idea of doing any substantial off-road riding that doesn't include climbing in this part of town!
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Old 10-03-22, 09:53 AM
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Chino hills state park has some flattish stuff on the outside and some hills in the middle. Can get allot of miles and vert there if you want. Some hike a bike maybe require if you go into the middle trails.

My old singlespeed was geared 32/20 for ref
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Old 10-03-22, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone
Chino hills state park has some flattish stuff on the outside and some hills in the middle. Can get allot of miles and vert there if you want. Some hike a bike maybe require if you go into the middle trails.

My old singlespeed was geared 32/20 for ref
Cool, thanks, never been there but I do drive out thataway from time to time. I had ss 29'r MTB that was 32/20 as well. Currently a gravel bike that's 34x18 so it's even tougher, but I do have fun on it (and do some hiking for sure when I take it out).
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Old 10-03-22, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
The only other trail I can think of that would be worth doing on a SS is the Fullerton Loop. Though, both my gravel and my road bike are geared for climbing and I've given up on the idea of doing any substantial off-road riding that doesn't include climbing in this part of town!
Yeah, man, it is just steep everywhere near me!
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Old 10-03-22, 05:10 PM
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Brown Mountain. Cherry Canyon. The Glendale Sports Complex loop is good (clockwise is easier), but if you try to link to Cherry Canyon on the ridge road, there are parts you will be walking. I'm running 32x19 on 26" wheels.

What I found was that there was a progression in my SS riding - a brute-strength kind of fitness. At first, I would have to stop and recover multiple times on the major climbs. As my strength improved, the stops got less, until I was doing the climbs non-stop. I learned a lot about regulating my efforts.
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Old 10-03-22, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Brown Mountain. Cherry Canyon. The Glendale Sports Complex loop is good (clockwise is easier), but if you try to link to Cherry Canyon on the ridge road, there are parts you will be walking. I'm running 32x19 on 26" wheels.

What I found was that there was a progression in my SS riding - a brute-strength kind of fitness. At first, I would have to stop and recover multiple times on the major climbs. As my strength improved, the stops got less, until I was doing the climbs non-stop. I learned a lot about regulating my efforts.
Heya--I think we've chatted before about this in the singlespeed forum. I ride my geared gravel rig all around there all the time(I live down Chevy Chase). But those are tough climbs on a singlespeed! I had a 32x20 mtb but now my ss is another gravel rig set up 34-18. I took it up Cherry recently, and I was walking a lot (I still had fun of course). The most fun I have on the ss bike nearby are Gabrieleno as I say, and also that Flint Canyon trail that connects Cherry to over by JPL. Just nice flowy stuff like that is hard to come by around here!
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Old 10-03-22, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass
Heya--I think we've chatted before about this in the singlespeed forum. I ride my geared gravel rig all around there all the time(I live down Chevy Chase). But those are tough climbs on a singlespeed! I had a 32x20 mtb but now my ss is another gravel rig set up 34-18. I took it up Cherry recently, and I was walking a lot (I still had fun of course). The most fun I have on the ss bike nearby are Gabrieleno as I say, and also that Flint Canyon trail that connects Cherry to over by JPL. Just nice flowy stuff like that
is hard to come by around here!
Yes. We’ve talked 👍

Doing the Cherry climb, take the right turn for Liz’s loop near the start. It is a little longer, but bypasses some of the steep pitches on the lower half. The top half, is just suffering between the plateaus. I found that stopping to recover for as long as needed, and then tackling the tough parts on the bike is good for building towards improved strength. Some stuff is just too much, however.

Flint is a perfect starting route for SS, and a great dirt link between the areas.

There are a couple of others SS MTB’ers in the area that I have come across on Brown. One is almost always wearing a kilt, but sometimes can be found on other bikes (road bike, last time). The other will be riding a custom Esker. Both great guys.
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Old 10-03-22, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass
Yeah, man, it is just steep everywhere near me!
I feel you, I'm also near the area (ER, Mt. Washington, HLP) and no matter which direction I ride it's climbing! Besides lower gearing, I'm even using long crank lengths just to get more torque from my pedaling. One of the ride groups I roll with constantly does climbing and it's amazing how strong some of the fixed gear riders when it comes to the climb.

Though I wouldn't trade living in near the hills. Whenever I go to the OC or other areas that are predominantly flat, it just feels awkward for me!
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Old 10-04-22, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
I feel you, I'm also near the area (ER, Mt. Washington, HLP) and no matter which direction I ride it's climbing! Besides lower gearing, I'm even using long crank lengths just to get more torque from my pedaling. One of the ride groups I roll with constantly does climbing and it's amazing how strong some of the fixed gear riders when it comes to the climb.

Though I wouldn't trade living in near the hills. Whenever I go to the OC or other areas that are predominantly flat, it just feels awkward for me!
I know, the grass is always greener, right? If I ever moved to a flatter locale, I'd get bored with that pretty quick. Plus I'm 62, and all the climbing I do here is keeping me young!
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Old 10-04-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass
I know, the grass is always greener, right? If I ever moved to a flatter locale, I'd get bored with that pretty quick. Plus I'm 62, and all the climbing I do here is keeping me young!
I've come to embrace the climb! Maybe look into making your SS gearing a bit more climb friendly with a bigger rear freewheel or maybe convert it to fixed? I find the fixed gear riders I ride with are able to maintain good climb cadence since the pedals are in perpetual motion and also due to the straight chain line. One of the strongest fixed gear riders in our group is a woman and she's usually leading the pack!
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Old 10-04-22, 05:00 PM
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Cheseboro Canyon is pretty flat if you stick to the main trail along the floor of the canyon. 8 miles round trip to Shepherd's Flat and back.

Dirt Mulholland is fairly tame, but GPS mapping suggests it does get up to about 9% at places.
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Old 10-04-22, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathanf2
I've come to embrace the climb! Maybe look into making your SS gearing a bit more climb friendly with a bigger rear freewheel or maybe convert it to fixed? I find the fixed gear riders I ride with are able to maintain good climb cadence since the pedals are in perpetual motion and also due to the straight chain line. One of the strongest fixed gear riders in our group is a woman and she's usually leading the pack!
Funny, I just went to a tougher gear in the rear 'cause I was spinning out too much on anything remotely flat. I know, I know, with ss you're always in the "wrong gear"
Fixed is something I have never even tried.
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Old 10-11-22, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass
Funny, I just went to a tougher gear in the rear 'cause I was spinning out too much on anything remotely flat. I know, I know, with ss you're always in the "wrong gear"
Fixed is something I have never even tried.
What I found is that flat-ground speed is something you just have to sacrifice in order to have a gear you can manage when things get challenging. I'm spun out at about 14mph.
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Old 10-13-22, 10:04 PM
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Turnbull Canyon in Whittier should be ok with your SS. No shade at all though so don't head out there in the Summer heat.
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Old 10-14-22, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Cheseboro Canyon is pretty flat if you stick to the main trail along the floor of the canyon. 8 miles round trip to Shepherd's Flat and back.

Dirt Mulholland is fairly tame, but GPS mapping suggests it does get up to about 9% at places.
I ride Dirt Mulholland on my geared gravel bike - nice change from my usual La Canada/Altadena rides. My ss gravel bike is currently running about 53 gear inches, so while I might try it there, I don't think it'd be a regular thing! But I do deliberately take it "underbiking" at times, just for the ass kicking.
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Old 10-14-22, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
Cheseboro Canyon is pretty flat if you stick to the main trail along the floor of the canyon. 8 miles round trip to Shepherd's Flat and back.

Dirt Mulholland is fairly tame, but GPS mapping suggests it does get up to about 9% at places.
There's a section between Reseda and the Hub that is pretty tough.
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