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Hey everyone-

I'm working on an article about singlespeed cx racers, so if you race 1 speed and want to help me out, chime in!

1. Why singlespeed?

2. How did you decide on gearing?

3. Toughest maintenance issue?

4. Do you still race in regular races, or only in SS categories?

5. Best part about racing SS?

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1. money reasons orginally, gears were way out of my budget

2. trial and error.. trail and error?

3. chain tension.. thats not really a tough issue though... maintaining my lower back

4.  Depends, the  SS races in north east ohio require at least 5 single speeders to show up. So with poor turn outs one will end up racing against gears. Ideally only single speed

5. peace of mind

1- I was already riding/racing mountain bikes as single speeds so it seemed natural.

2 - gearing was some trail and error. Settled on something bigger than my MTN but smaller than my road

3 - Maintenance? Double check the bolts once in a while and replace the chain now and then. No biggie.

4 - When I race (took last season off) I do the SS class on my single speed but a couple years ago added some Masters races on my geared bike.

5 - Its fun to watch other fumble with their gears

1. It was cheap way to get started.  I probably paid $300? for the bike.

2. After a painful trial and error period, I accepted the advice of an older racer and imagine that, his gearing was sound.

3. Cheap freewheels.  You'll destroy one in a single race.

4. Both.  The SS categories have a wider range of abilities and are a lot more fun.  They're not "all business" like conventional categories.

5. The simplicity, the rhythm of it.  Some days, the brutality.

1. ss-mtb,ss-cx, kinda like peanut butter & jelly.

2. coming to cx later, watched a few races, then tried it out, used to change reargear for terrain. Have read many printed articles and started talking to others on their choice.

3. Come-on, this is single speed. Wash you bike once in a whule. Keep your chain clean. Air up the tires.

4. Yes, two races a day. Still want to try three.

5. You and your bike, out racing others just like minded.

1. I kept breaking/destroying parts on my geared bike, and it got too expensive. I also had a beard at the time and felt obligated...

2. Doesn't matter what you pick, you're always in the wrong gear.

3. Maintenance? What's that?

4. Usually SS. We have a pretty big group 'round here. If not, regular group is fine. It's not like I'm winning.

5. More money left over for beer.

1. I neededwanted a pit bike and I got a great deal on a singlespeed bike. Riding it I started to really like the simplicity and low maintenance.

2. Trial and error, mostly.

3. Brakes (hey, it's a cross bike with cantis).

4. Both. Often on the same day. I use my SS bike as a pit bike for geared races, and sometimes when I can only bring one bike I race open classes with the SS. 

5. Dependability. Also the no-nonsense connection to the bike. It makes for more elemental racing.

1. Why singlespeed?

It's a blast...

2. How did you decide on gearing?

I have two gears, my race gear and my dirt road gear.  I don't think much about it on race-day.  It is what it is.

3. Toughest maintenance issue?

Freewheels are a pain.

4. Do you still race in regular races, or only in SS categories?

SS categories

5. Best part about racing SS?

Don't think, just pedal.

1-I wanted to get two races in each day since I have to drive 5-6 hrs for most of the races. Cx4 is early, SS was the last race. Otherwise I would have raced 35+ geared.
2- I had a 42 ring, and the SS cassette kit came with a 16,17, 18 cog. I picked the 17. Fortunately that first race was dead flat, and the gearing worked out. After that I started asking around, and preriding before choosing. Now I run a 39-18 mostly.
4-I race cx4 and SS
5-I may actually win a race this season on SS.

1.   I couldn't  get my road bike gears to index properly and in frustration vowed never to bother with gears  ever again.

2. Guess.  Largely 39 x 18 is pretty  good, develop a memory of all local courses to tweak that up or down.  Only once have I been hopelessly caught out on a hilly course that the organiser had previously told me was flat.

3.  Swapping up a gear, say to 41 x 18 - which i do maybe once a season and takes 10 minutes

4.   SS. 

5. I am kind of unique, in the UK there are almost no (there is one guy i met last season) other SS racers.  Its a bit of a talking point, wow no gears what the hell are you thinking kind of bike also cost GBP 200 and its cool whipping people sometimes on GBP 2k bikes.  It has a low-fi thing going on, the bike doesn't really matter, kit and carbon doesn't matter..its just playing in the mud when all said and done my friends. 



Good thread here from a couple years ago:

1) I first started, as some others on here, for financial reasons. I had a Bianchi Reparto Corsa as my race bike, and a Surly Cross-Check as my training/pit bike. This was in 1999, and Travis Brown was showing us up at some of the Boulder 'Cross Series races on his SS. It made sense to switch my "pit" bike over to SS to save money instead of replacing work drivetrain components. Soon after trying it, the Bianchi started sitting more and more. Eventually I sold it for much needed rent money (which I kinda regret to this day...) because I loved SS so much. 

It became a gateway drug, and I haven't owned a geared CX/MTB in 11 years, and still love it!

2)Based, originally, on Travis' recommendations and then slightly modified by experience.

3)I've worked as a bike mechanic for about 20 years. Maintenance issues are negligible.

4)I've always raced in "regular" races, but will be open to racing SS category as the opportunity presents.

5)Best part? Passing guys with iced-up drivetrains!



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