Sunday, December 16, 2012

1 x 10 is the new singlespeed

143 days til Singlespeedpalooza. For the record this is not my first rodeo singlespeeding. I still remember taking Maurice Tierney SS mtn biking in the Marin Headlands about 2 decades ago. I was on a hacked job Bridgestone MB-2. It lasted about half a summer before the headtube ovalized and I cracked the rear stays. He thought it was the stupidest thing ever. He was nice about it but he didn't mince words. Sort of funny looking back on it. Marin and Norcal are a whole other beast. What we do in New England is woods riding. Or rock riding. Its not mountain biking. There aren't really mountains. Its technical and hard and brutal on bikes and bodies. And its the perfect place for a ss. And a 29er SS is possibly the perfect bike for the NE. A steel Zank 29er takes this whole concept to 11. Its changed my whole riding. I rode SSpalooza last year on my converted Seven Sola. It was great. But it has 26" wheels. And is pretty much a clown bike compared to the Zank. I can't even wait to race the Zank at SSpalooza.

But there has been a lot of talk about 1 x10. All the cool kids are doing it. Sometimes you just need a few gears. I am sorry but its true. I know I will catch some hell for it but I want vengeance on Pats Peak. Last year I took a butter knife to that gunfight. Not this year. No way. Pats Peak I am coming for you...But I digress. On Saturday I rode with DD and The Wilcox at Russell Mill. We got out for 2 + hours. I was on my ss and they were on their 1 x 10s. DD may have a cobbed together 1 x 9. It was beyond fun. Deitch has been trying to get me out there all year. Glad I finally made the time as its one of the nicest places to ride around here. Perfect for singlespeeding. But I won't lie I started to crack hard. DD was doing his best Terry Tate impression. I sense he is on a mission. He was cracking the whip. I was keeping up fine. The two other them are vastly better technical riders. But there wasn't anything freak out worthy. But I had a revelation. You can fake a 40 minute cx race. You can not fake riding in the woods on a ss. All the little humps and walls started to add up. I started dreaming of bagel and egg sandwiches. DD offered me a peanut butter gu. I asked him if it was speculoos. He said no. I muttered something under my breath. Yeah the wheels were coming off the wagon. I found a gu with caffeine and it brought me back enough to enjoy the final plunge back to Great Brook

There was lots of 1 x 10 talk. Dave came up with that heckle. But the joke will be on him when The Wilcox turns my Zank into a 1 x 10. Z plan is to ride mountain bikes all winter. Start the Zank #GETINTHEVAN World Tour going early. SSpalooza, Stewart 6-pack, Pats Peak, 24 hours of great glen. Its going to be like when Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult went out on the Black and Blue tour...singlespeeding has ruined me. I just love to ride in the woods. Its a sanctuary for me at this point. Such a great way to get the mountain bike season going...


  1. I ran a 1x9 for a while to remember what it was like to ride a geared bike offroad.

    My latest geek out is me dabbling with a full suspension singlespeed.