Monday, September 01, 2008

Fhead TT

Did two time trials at Fountainhead over the last few weeks, looking for irrefutable scientific proof that singlespeeds are indeed faster than geared bikes.

Short version:
Rigid 29er singlespeed: 45 minutes
Geared full suspension 26er: 58 minutes

Long version:
With my Dee-Salvoo still in FedEx limbo I hit the Bike Lane for a demo bike to tie me over and got set up with a nice GR Hi-Fi (geared, full suspension, 26er wheels-- yang to my yin). Got to Fountainhead for an early 7am spin with Pete, Mike and Mike (a few weeks ago it was with Pete and Pete. I've also been on rides with Joe and Joe. Parents: time to start thinking up some new names for your kids, like maybe Helbert. But that's another blog post, I digress). Amazing how a geared full boinger feels after riding rigid ss for a few years. Like riding a couch. I flew through rooty downhills with nary a shiver. On the hills, a magic flick of the shifter and the pain subsides. Climbing traction was also surprisingly good over the rough stuff and the "pro-pedal" setting worked like it should, keeping the bobbing to a minimum. When everything was working right, I felt I could climb just as fast on this bike as on my ss, maybe even faster. Ah, but there's the rub, and the reason I did away with gears a long while ago. Things didn't always work right, and I'm too stupid to fix them. I was reminded of this today when I was treated to some nasty episodes of ghost shifting and cassette grinding.

Still, the bike felt fast and I was curious to see just how fast it was compared to my ss. So after the ride I went back for some alone time. Noted the time on my car's clock and off I went. Felt really good after a couple of miles, good enough to start thinking that my previous 45 minute personal best was gonna fall today. Got to the "Dead-End" loop, blew out the back tire and realized I didn't carry a spare tube with me. Hmm. Walked the rest of the way out. 58 minutes later I'm back at the car. See, singlespeeds ARE faster.

Still trying to find the right words to do poetic justice to SSWC, but having a hard time rhyming something with "Merkin". Hang on a bit longer kiddies...