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Old 04-29-2013, 11:53 AM   #28426
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nephron View Post
Just started with the singlespeeding last fall and really like it, but I got to wondering. . . . lots of 1x8 drivetrains, etc around. anyone ever seen 2 or 3 rings in front with a single cog and a chain tensioner?
I think that would take more chain takeup ability than the typical tensioner meant for single speeds will provide.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:01 PM   #28427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nephron View Post
Just started with the singlespeeding last fall and really like it, but I got to wondering. . . . lots of 1x8 drivetrains, etc around. anyone ever seen 2 or 3 rings in front with a single cog and a chain tensioner?
Ever hear of a DingleSpeed? Double-Single:



http://www.psyclestore.com/pages.php?pageid=14

The trick is to have the same number of teeth total for each combo. If you run a tensioner you could move away from that a bit.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:16 PM   #28428
Ridge
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Waking up Saturday morning to thunder rolling in the distance was not exactly great motivation to get out of bed for a bike race. In an attempt to stay positive for a good day, we stuffed our faces with oatmeal, pineapple, bananas and almond butter. Loading the bikes in a downpour along with other racers at least gave some solace that we would not be alone in our struggle. All the racers filing out of the hotel tried to maintain a good attitude by making jokes about needing sunscreen later and casting off the layers of arm and leg warmers throughout the day. The rain paused briefly as we entered the event parking and prepped for the race. The parking lot was abuzz with riders desperately trying to choose the correct apparel and warm-up.

I had neglected to grab my cycling rain jacket in my haste to get on the road, so I donned my very well worn-in everyday rain jacket and cinched it down as best I could to mitigate its wind-braking properties. Luckily, wearing the Camelbak kept everything snug to my core for warmth. I’ve always been a strong believer in the properties of wool apparel and today’s choice was no exception. Smartwool arm warmers, socks and knee covers were the perfect choice as a base under my bibs and jersey. That’s just one less thing my mind has to deal with for the rest of the day. I chose to install my Revelate Tangle frame bag for easy access to my food and chamois cream. My tires are setup as tubeless with Stan’s sealant so I opted to carry only a single spare tube and one canister of air. Sunglasses with a persimmon lens heightened the contrast of the overcast sky and protected me from the spray of other riders as well as my own front tire. As an afterthought, I believe I will invest in one of those down-tube mud boards for future races that will replicate these conditions. The mud spray was relentless and overwhelmed my glasses on long bombing runs down the gravel and mud mixed descents.

The race organizer thanked everyone for braving the elements and, without any standing on ceremony a shot was fired. We were set free and thrown immediately into a two mile climb along highway 64 that would shatter the entire field. As we crested the climb, the packs were directed into a right turn and given our first taste of single track. My teammate and I had ridden this section the day before and knew what to expect but that was in the dry and everything was now completely saturated. A whole new challenge emerged of not only maintaining my own pace but also keeping a safe distance from the rider directly in front of me. An error in speed or sudden course alteration would quickly send me hurling down an intensely steep mountain side strewn with trees just waiting for their next victim. The single track sections were narrow, off-camber and slick with mud. This was no time to lose focus or take in the scenery. I was steadily taking pulls from my bite valve in hopes that my timing would be sufficient for the contents to last me 36 more miles. Everything seemed to progressing as well as it could, given the circumstances. My body and bike were responding exactly as I’d hoped and I was in good position to keep pace with my goal of 10 hours.

As we exited the single track, the pack began splintering rapidly. I would pedal alone for a few miles and swap positions with the same rotation of about five other riders. We five would jockey from front to middle to back and never see all five at once. Wishing each other well and jokingly calling out that we’d cross paths again a few miles down the road was just our way of dealing with the elements. The rain would come and go in small bursts. Sometimes falling steadily and completely obscuring the trail while low-lying clouds and fog banks filtered through the trees and valleys of the course. By mile 20 or so I bailed on my glasses as they just would not stay clear enough for me to accurately see and process all the obstacles passing close by. This would bring about a new challenge of trying to see with all the mud spray relentlessly streaming from my front tire. I believe my frame bag caught the biggest brunt of it but my eyes remained squinted and head cocked to one side or the other on every descent. The forestry roads were so badly rutted in many places that led to some alarmingly butt-puckering moments at full boogie down a slick hill of mud and gravel.

My core stayed relatively dry and warm-ish throughout the first half of the day. The bike was steadily accumulating mud and grit along every mile. By mile 30 I desperately wanted to wipe the mud from my eyes and face but my gloves and hands were covered in the same and only made matters worse. As I entered aid station #3 my butt was sorely relieved to pry from the saddle and take a break. I shoved half of a PB&J sandwich in my mouth, refilled the Camelbak with my Tailwind powder and re-mounted for the next leg. My pace and timing were still on track according to my goal but mother nature was playing dirty (literally) and would partner with the infamous Murphy later on…
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:26 PM   #28429
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Damn Ridge, that's a badass way to spend a Saturday!
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #28430
Ridge
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I had staged drop bags for stations #3 at mile 36, #5 at mile 60 and #7 at mile 85. In hindsight, I should have skipped station 5 and doubled up at #3/#6 since they were at the same point on the course. This would have timed my hydration refill much better and prevented me carrying extra weight (powder and food) from station 5 back to 6.

Leaving station 3, I jumbled in with a new set of riders and we exchanged positions as I had with the other five in the first leg of the race. With so many racers on the same course, I was rather surprised at how long I would ride without seeing anyone at all. Occasionally a rider would pass me and I would then pass a few riders myself. Sometimes I would go five or ten miles without seeing another soul, house or sign of civilization. Very eerie at times and humbling to be that alone in the wilderness.

At mile 51, the course turned downhill… and stayed that way for a 12 mile descent. Now, normally I love a good bombing run down steep, fast descents but when you factor in rain, mud, graveled ruts and baby head rocks to that scenario; it makes for a seriously nervous experience. The course dropped from 3500’ in elevation to around 1900’ in just about 12 miles. The entire time I’m descending this, all I can think about is having to climb it on the turn back to start/finish. My arms, legs, core and neck ached and screamed in pain as I finally bottomed out at aid station #4 and entered the outer loop. Just prior to finishing the descent, I started meeting the leaders on their return leg. This was about 4 and a half hours in to the race so I figured I was sitting in a pretty good position by counting the riders coming out of the loop.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #28431
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...at least they're supporting the industry.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:28 PM   #28432
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Congrats to 2whl-hoop and Ridge.
Way to go.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:05 PM   #28433
Ridge
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As I passed the aid station and entered the loop, I could feel the toll of the cumulative miles wearing me down. My body and mind were not as sharp or responsive as they were just a few hours prior. Suddenly, small errors would lead to over corrections and I’d take a spill in the mud or graze a tree just a little close for comfort. The final loop of rooty single track finally signaled that I needed to back off pushing my current pace. I could sense myself spiraling down to an inevitable meeting with an immovable object that would have no mercy on my transgression. This would mean abandoning my goal of 10 hours but I felt it necessary to avert any prideful attempts at grandeur and settle for simply finishing the course in one piece. Mother nature had plotted against us from the very first moment and I wasn’t about to challenge her any further…

Exiting the single track and outer loop gave me a veiled sense of relief as I could finally sense that I was on the return leg. At every aid station I would see riders sitting along the sidelines or loading up in vans as they had reached their breaking point. It was so tempting to simply stop pedaling… roll to a stop and dismount. Hang the bike on the rack and bask in the warmth of a dry van with heat and other like-minded souls weary from the day’s onslaught. No… I cannot bring myself to stop spinning. My legs ache, my back screams in revolt and my mind roils with every turn of the cranks. The hill seems to go on forever as I pedal squares at every turn. I stand to relieve my backside, then sit to ease my thighs and calves. Nothing is comfortable, nothing is enough to mitigate the ache that permeates every fiber… every muscle and tendon. Every rider I encounter shows the same grimace of determination and sheer mind-over-body willpower that can be called on in a time like this.

The hill finally eases off to a flat-ish road and we are immediately directed left into an overgrown, grassy and muddy descent into the bowels of a muddy hell. The path we are laid upon does not appear to have been traveled by anything for some time. It is not worn, has no evidence of use and simply degrades into a mixed slop that any pig would see as a veritable mecca of mud. It has the consistency of peanut butter and every revolution of the tire packs it thicker and heavier on the bike. Every component in the drive train is crushing and grinding through the muck. At the bottom of every hill lies a swamp of mud that grips the front tire like Velcro and attempts to wrench the bars from my hands. It is draining what energy I have left to maintain control and direction of the bike while slipping and spinning the rear tire through the mire. Habitual body English from years of riding motorcycles is keeping me upright in the bogs and low spots. Finally, I crest a hill and splash through a river that rises to the hubs. The mud almost rinses clean but the damage has been done and my legs are groaning worse than ever.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:22 PM   #28434
ImaPoser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
Dude! WTF?!


M
Fuck. After watching that, I can't BS myself any longer. I need to buy a helmet.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:43 PM   #28435
zippy
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go ridge go !
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:00 PM   #28436
YakSpout
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go ridge go !
+1

Really appreciating the race report.

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Old 04-29-2013, 03:01 PM   #28437
YakSpout
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Originally Posted by ImaPoser View Post
Fuck. After watching that, I can't BS myself any longer. I need to buy a helmet.


Please.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:58 PM   #28438
Chisenhallw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridge View Post
The hill finally eases off to a flat-ish road and we are immediately directed left into an overgrown, grassy and muddy descent into the bowels of a muddy hell. The path we are laid upon does not appear to have been traveled by anything for some time. It is not worn, has no evidence of use and simply degrades into a mixed slop that any pig would see as a veritable mecca of mud. It has the consistency of peanut butter and every revolution of the tire packs it thicker and heavier on the bike. Every component in the drive train is crushing and grinding through the muck. At the bottom of every hill lies a swamp of mud that grips the front tire like Velcro and attempts to wrench the bars from my hands. It is draining what energy I have left to maintain control and direction of the bike while slipping and spinning the rear tire through the mire. Habitual body English from years of riding motorcycles is keeping me upright in the bogs and low spots. Finally, I crest a hill and splash through a river that rises to the hubs. The mud almost rinses clean but the damage has been done and my legs are groaning worse than ever.


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Old 04-29-2013, 04:13 PM   #28439
bogieboy
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Got the mtb out for 20 mi today... Man am i outta shape on the mtb......LOL
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:20 PM   #28440
Gummee!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaPoser View Post
Fuck. After watching that, I can't BS myself any longer. I need to buy a helmet.
The new ones are very light and very vented. Unlike what I started riding with in the late 80s.

I've been riding with a helmet on so long, it feels weird to not wear one.

Oh, and no matter what your Mom sez, your head is NOT as hard as a rock. I've got the scars to prove it.

M
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