Mountain Biking, Single Speed Style

October 27th, 2011 by Athletic Mentors

By Craig Gietzen

I started mountain biking 26 years ago! Ive seen many changes in technolgy and styles. My first Race was at Pando Ski Area in Rockford, 23 years ago. I watched the first year, and knew it was something I needed to do! Ive raced every other year there except one year I was sick.
After many years of riding the same terrain, I needed a new challenge. I had heard about single speeds and decided to give it a try. After a few rides I was hooked. Shortly after I tried 29″ wheels and was vowed never to ride 26″ again. I loved the bigger wheels because it allowed me to roll over obstacles which seemed big on smaller wheels. I also realized I didnt need suspension with the bigger wheels. Riding a single speed has helped with my riding skills as well! It taught to use my brakes less, to carry my momentum into the climbs and to spin. One down fall is that occasionally you have to push your bike up a hill, but it seems if the slope is that steep, Im pushing as fast as the geared guys are riding! It seem that the less is more theory is working for me with the single speeds. Oh yeah, they are great in the mud when with no chain suck to worry about.