Okay, so I like single speed riding. Alot! Many others dig it too. Why? Well, I'm not going there. This isn't about that. This is about gearing, and mental states of riding, and beer. (Well.......not really "beer", but it sounds good in this story. You'll figure it out!)
So here I was last year riding most of the time on my OS Bikes Blackbuck with a gearing set up of 34 X 20. I was spinning well all summer and it worked great for me. I could climb, I could go fast as I thought was fun, and I could limit my off the bike hikes. Good. Well........so I thought.
It was all good until Captain Bob and I had our "Sponsorship Summit" with Twin Six back last November. Ryan and Brent have had me as a "member" of the Team for awhile and it was my time to thank them, ride, and hang out a bit. I was spinning my gear on the Blackbuck when Brent says, "What gear do you have on that thing?" Well, a conversation ensued on the single track of Murphy-Hanrahan park as Brent expounded on the virtues of his "Rule For Single Speed Gearing"
Basically, "The Rule" states that you should not get too comfortable on the single speed with the gear you are running. This leads to stagnation in the performance department, lethargy, and a propensity to drink the cheapest Pilsner you can find. Not good! So what you should do, is put on a gear one to two teeth less in the back than you are running now. Performance will pick up, you will have more energy, and you will drink cool beer, like Pabst Blue Ribbon.
I said that sounded pretty painful, and that would most likely only increase my hiking time. Brent retorted with something like this: "Well, at first it sucks, ya know? You go out a few times at first, your legs are killin' ya man! You say, "This sucks!" Then you go out a few more times. Then you say, "Meh.....This isn't so bad." Then the next thing ya know, you're flying man!" Uh-huh.............riiiight! That's what I thought at first, but Brent took more time with me, ya know he is a Team Leader and all, and technically my Director Sportif, and I listened because of that. I think I finally came away with an understanding, and promised my DS that "next year" would be different!
So, we're into next year and what has happened? Well, I gave the idea a try on the Misfit diSSent. I set it up with a 34 X 18 and went out to ride. Well, it was fast, hard to deal with for awhile, and it made me want to buy imported beers. I decided that Brent must be a genius and that this was possibly going to work out for me. Then a day came that I hate to admit to. Captain Bob had something to do with this one...........
I had the Misfit at the shop, as I used it to commute into work on. Well, we were talking about this single speed gearing rule, and Captain Bob got down on a knee and said, "What have you got on hear for a gear?" (Why is it everyone asks me about "my gears"?) Anyway, he counted the big rings teeth.......36! Wow! I was pushing a 36 X 18? This was almost like doping, and it made me want to run out and buy a premium imported beer for sure! (late edit: Captain Bob says it is a 38 X 18!!!- He has the bike right now)
So, here's a public apology to Brent of T-6 saying that I'm sorry I ever doubted ya man! I hope you can still consider me as part of the Team. Thanks for the "Rule of Single Speed Gearing" I guess the most important part about it is that you just have to be blissfully ignorant of your higher gearing, mash away, and don't buy cheap beer.
Jeny and the Race: Happy feets.
7 hours ago