One speed is all you need?


Took the singlespeed to Soquel Demonstration Forest, for what would arguably be the most serious test I could put my singlespeed aspirations to. I had been working on the bike for some hours the days before since it turned out that the bearings of the bottom bracket were shot (cause of a horrid creaking noise) – so I bought and installed a new one (goddam’ Ebay sellers); I also tried fruitlessly to install a 17 teeth sprocket (got one online but it turned out not to be compatible with my hub). So I would have to turn 32:16. And, hurray, I did clear most of the climbs, also the 3 mile fire road at the end, where I even managed to mercilessly smoke the (geared) riders around me. This inflicts of course a very good feeling – a God-of-the-Trail sort of feeling, and I guess that’s a big part of the singlespeed lure. On the singletrack it ran great (the light Giant XTC frame handles beautifully), on the rocky/technical/steep downhill stuff I was missing my rear sus – the rear wheel bouncing all over the place is a property of hardtail bikes I had forgotten about! – going slower helps here.

Instead of the Saw Pit trail we usually do (featuring truly fearsome sections that make me always wear my protective gear whenever I wander into the Demo Forest), we went on the Braille trail – there were tons of logs, drops, jumps, etcetera and Markus of course had a great time, executing a mix of skydiving and mountain biking. I chickened out on most of the stunts – even on a suspended bike many of them would have been a bit much to take. Did take pictures of the flying Swiss though:


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