Saturday, January 23, 2010

3:30 singlespeed moutain bike

Just got back from a gnarly 3 hour and 30 minute ride on The Meatsaw. After doing a hard 90 minutes yesterday, this was a toughie. I struggled for the first hour, but, as usual, I settled into a pretty steady effort as the time went by. My Garmin is on the fritz, but I'm guessing (based on rides done on the same trails in the past for roughly the same time) that there was around 4000-5000 feet of climbing. There's a lot of twisty singletrack with short, steep climbs that really shred your legs on the singlespeed.

If anything, riding a rigid, singlespeed 29er has made me into a sick rider. It allows you to go big on the declines and build a lot of power and technique on the climbs. It's easily one of the best purchases I've made. I have so much fun on this thing I can definately see an Xterra race in my future.

Tomorrow is another 4-5 hours in the saddle. I'll definatey be doing this on the road with my GEARED bike! Boy is that gonna feel easy!!!


  1. Yeeeees! 29er SS. That's the shit. What gearing do you have?
    Massage your calf and keep it loose. There are many tendons than run from the lower leg in to the foot and tight calves can cause foot pain, particularly plantar facitis. Hit the tibialis anterior (the muscle on the front by the shin) and also the peroneus longus and brevis (the muscle that run down the outside of the leg. Use a good massage tool and start gently and slowly increase the pressure. You might feel a knot in the gastroc... get rid of it!

  2. I know right! My 29er SS is easily my favorite bike. If I could ride one bike for the rest of my life, it would be this one! I love it. I have it at 32/16, but will occasionally go bigger in the front when I'm riding flat. There are a lot of short but very steep technical climbs here, so for just about everything the 32/16 is perfect.
    You hit the nail right on the head. I have a knot right on the outside of my calf-never even realized it was there! I have the stick and a foam roller, but do you think I should use a tennis ball on the knot directly? Also, should I still massage the tibialis anterior?
    As usual, thanks so much for all the help!
    By the way, took a look at Tim Deboom's website from the link on your blog and it rocks! Thanks!

  3. Trigger point works on a lump or knot. I'm only familiar with the VERY basic idea of it. But what you want to do is warm-up the muscle well with friction massage, even a little heat on the spot helps. Then dorsiflex and stretch the gastroc tight, dig your knuckle or a fairly pointed "thing" (lol) into the knot. Something hard like a golf ball. Hold hard pressure on the knot and then slowly release the muscle out of the stretch. This should KILL! Do it once or twice more and then friction massage deep over the spot and try to go with the grain of the muscle to realign the fibers. I would tell you to massage in the morning and then the evening. Keep it loose!
    Tim's a cool dude. One of the most humble guys ever. Pretty much the entire run we talked about bikes. He has a Felt 29er and said he got rid of ALL of his 26" bikes. He just finished a month of fixed gear riding and said that is brutal. No coasting! So his cadence would hit 130+ revs.. My legs would go flying off I think.

  4. Thanks, I'll definately do that.
    A month of fixed gear riding!!! Wow, I couldn't imagine that. My legs would definately fly off as well! I've tried riding a fixed geared bike once and it was the toughest thing I think I've ever done on a bike. Flats were ok, but the downhills...damn! I guess that's why he is who he is!
    I couldn't imagine going back to a 26 inch bike. I used to ride them all the time as a kid, but the 29er's are just so smooth and really rail on twisty singletrack. Sure they're a little slow to get up to speed, but I think the ride more than makes up for it. I've even taken mine on the beach! They're like the monster trucks of bikes!

  5. Where I live it's ridiculously hilly and I've been tempted to gear my 29er. Travesty, I know. But I think this summer I would like to do some long rides on it (it's steel and comfy).

  6. Nooo! Don't do it! Haha, just kidding. I love singlespeed, but it's definately not practical for every application. I've had that thought too.
    Steel Rocks! Mine is aluminum with a Surly steel fork, but I really really want a steel frame. I've looked at Surly and a couple others, but haven't decided on anything. Any suggestions?