Friday, October 8, 2010

I went soft

As you may have read, I built a rigid single speed for the sswc10.
What I may not have mentioned was that I had been researching turning my Mojo SL in to a single speed. Well, a week or so after the rigid was built all the parts I needed had arrived and the Mojo was converted.
I had read about YESS tensioners and it didn't take me long to decide that if I wanted to turn my fully in to an ss I could do it properly. Then the MRP Lopes chain guide turned up. I didn't want to take any chances and I wanted a chain guide for after the SSWC when I turned the bike in to a 1x9.
I stripped the shifters, chain rings, grips and the cassette off and proceeded to put all the new bits on. Even for an average bike put-togetherer everything was simple to install and once I had decided on the chain length and adjusted the tensioner accordingly I was ready to go.
The first test ride was awesome. I rode the grand loop of Makara Peak, including Ridgeline. I wanted it bumpy. The ride up was a bit harder than I expected. Running a 32:16 probably was a good place to start, however, my fitness level soon told me a higher gear was in order. I certainly got around okay, but I want it to be a bit more fun.
I ran slightly less sag on the rear but that turned out to be unnecessary. The bike rode like a dream. Subsequent rides have been just as much fun.
This week the 17 and 18 tooth sprockets arrived and when I get some time I'll fit the 18 and give it a whirl. There's only 2 weeks to go until the event so I need to get out and have a few more test rides.
And will I keep the frame, forks and other bits off the hardtail? Hard to say just yet, I just can't imagine ever wanting to ride it. But I don't like selling bike stuff..... I only like buying it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Is It Hard Going Rigid?

A few weeks ago I noticed that there were still entries available for the SSWC10. Karen and I had booked time off to go up and watch and I thought since I was going up I might as well ride.

So I spent a brief amount of time online and found a frame and wheels. I then purchased a single speed kit, "borrowed" Karen's cranks and brakes, borrowed Josh's bars, bought a seat post and forks and with a few bits and pieces lying around I had put a bike together.
At first, the tensioner didn't tension enough and the half link didn't hold and during the bike's first outing I found myself half way up Aratihi with no chain. I pushed to the top of Makara Peak and no chained it to Lazy Fern and down to the car park.
Now, I hadn't been having fun up to that stage anyway. I was used to very plush full suspension bikes. I hadn't ridden a rigid mountain bike for a number of years and somehow the memories I had of those early days on a non suspension bike all seemed to be of fun times.

What the hell went wrong? My memories had played a nasty trick on me and was laughing all the way to the car park. I moaned and bitched. I told people that that ride sucked. I treatened to sell said bike. And then I fixed it and rode it again.

What happened next is I hardened up. The ride wasn't great but it wasn't that bad either. There were times I wanted at least front suspension but it wasn't for long. I'm going to ride the bike again, soon. I want to get used to it, I want to tame it, I want to feel like I can smile when I ride it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Single girls get dirty

Ok, so they may not all be single, but my good friends and riding buddies Rachel, Marjolein, Ashley, and their friend Natasha did get down and dirty (well, muddy really) on their singlespeeds at the Wainui 6 hour race a couple of weekends ago. Of course, Ashley couldn't let them just ride around; there had to be a dress-up involved, and the results were pretty attention grabbing. Pity I wasn't there to see it first hand, but the pictures tell a story, as does Rachel, who penned the following. Enjoy. (Brett)

Brett once told me about a couple of blogs that I ought to check out. This was one of them. That was back when I first started to ride a bike with one option of gearing, and there has been no new posts here since! So I suggested to Brett that I could write some words.

These words are about last weekend when Marj, Ash, Natasha and I went to ride around at the Wainuiomata Winter Weekender 6hr Worldz. Our team was sufficiently niche enough; female and on SS's. (We would have been niche with gears). Our original plan was to find a generator and a TV so we could attach Ash's X Box and play 'Rockband' the game. Three of us would be ripping it up vocally, drum padding and windmilling the power chords. The rider would tag team one of the band out. Disorganisation got the better of that idea. So we did the next best thing by dressing up as roller derby girls.

There is a lot of crossover in outfits between cyclists and skaters, so we blended in seamlessly. Marj got us off to the greatest start imaginable, she hurtled in for a smooth transition and saw us waving goodbye and good luck to Ashley on her trusty 1 full inch of travel, V-braked beauty. Natasha, or 'Naughtasha' to those who get it (Marj), caught me in idle and in the need of a hunt through the tent for necessary equipment.

The course was beautiful. Just the right amount of ups and downs and gaps in-between. The amount of cleaning to be done was substantial, but a whole lot less than what would've been necessary with a fully geared and suspended bike.

Winter is definitely a time for singlespeeds to shine. Brett's even talking of getting his one back from a garage somewhere in Aussie and I spied Marj eyeing up potentials on TradeMe (but not in work time).