Last year I saw some singlespeed riders who were consistently on the podium while entering geared events. This last weekend I had a much better race/result riding the SS for the first time. When I raced a geared bike later in the day I kinda floundered. So I was wondering how many riders out there strictly use a SS regardless of the event?
i have not strictly used a ss, but have often raced a ss in geared categories. this year less so, but I find riding a ss to be tons of fun, and not that much slower on most courses. there's something about pedaling a bunch of different cadences that saves your legs in a way... of course on the flats/pavement you might spin out but that can keep your legs fresh for the power sections, and being a bit over-geared may make you faster on those sections. of course with gears you could always emulate this anyway.
any chance you were floundering because it was your second race of the day? two a days are tough...
I ride and race SS mtb's and do fairly well with that. I've tried SS cx in the past and sucked donkey nuts at it. I could have had the wrong gearing, but it just wasn't that much fun. There's just something not entirely fun about mashing a too tall gear through soft terrain lap after lap. It'd be better in dry conditions for sure.
I race 'cross and MTB exclusively single speed regardless of the event or categories; I've only got one of each and they only have one gear each. I'll probably build up a geared cross bike eventually but I'm happy with what I have right now. I do have a geared road bike but I gave up road racing ~20 years ago.
I use to race on only and singlespeed/fixie in cross and mtb events. It really paid off on the days when the rain came down and turned the earth into adobe. And the fixie set up was great with all the clearance for the rear tire, though I do admit to peeing on my front to try to dilute the mudpack. At this point I just use them for everything from commuting to trail riding.
i have found if the course is just slightly hilly, i rock!!! if there are lot of runups....my bike is so light, it's effortless to pickup and run. if there sections after a dismount that's steep or you definetly need to be clipped in to get the power to go....well then it sucks!! or being geared wrong. i have a flipflop, so if it's flat, i can switch sides b/f the race.
now if i can just figure out how not to crash, but that would happen if i had a geared bike.
i also ride a fixie, but not in cross....how do you dismount....i've done a cx dismount by mistake and was almost flung off, right in front of my lbs.....but then i have rep for being a dork anyway.....
ohhhh.... forgot...being a girl....the races i go to don't have separate races for ss. i could race with the guys...yeah right!!! So i always am racing against the geared gals...which is ok, as sometimes the one gear is an advantage, but i don't tell them that.
so this year i'll try my luck at the WCSSCX in PDX... should be fun?!
fixed cross dismounts aren't really any different from regular cross dismounts, the timing just has to be more precise.
1)when left foot is a 12:00, start to unclip right foot
2)as left foot hits 9:00, approaching 6:00, swing right leg around like you usually do
3)after left foot starts coming back up from bottom position twist your hips and unclip, the upwards motion of the pedal will actually give you a little push forward for running momentum.
It took me about 1/2 hour to get it down smoothly and a couple of races to adjust for exhaustion induced miscalculations (none involving crashes).
That said, unless you are amazingly strong, riding fixed in cross is fun but no where near as efficient and competitive - I gave it up several years ago when I decided I really wanted to win.
Have fun at SSCXWC, it was a blast last year, definitely worth the 16hr drive it took me to get there. I unfortunately won't be able to attend since I have other racing duties that weekend in SoCal.
I've used anywhere from 40:16 to 40:19, I even have a 20t freewheel in my toolbox but have yet to find a course for which I needed it. 40:18 is the default and then I make adjustments after pre-riding the course.