Tuesday, June 15

Nothing... seems to kill me...

The upcoming Shiver at the River event got me thinking about gear selection.  With its three steep, difficult climbs (or is it four?), technical bits, and potential for temperatures in the 90s (what??), mebbe a survival gear would be in order.  The plan last week was to mount up a 32 X 21 and give it a whirl at Rocky River.  I thought this might be my "secret weapon," my slightly sharper than a butter knife that I'd bring to the gun fight.

Then I hurt my hand.

Then I agreed to do that SStrifecta ride that included Rocky River but like a billionty miles of road also, so I mounted an 18 tooth cog to keep the miles tolerable... and to assure that the climbs would be hernia-inducing.

Then on Sunday, I dug around for my 21 tooth from back in the day when we all thought using bigger rings and cogs would save noticeable amounts of wattages...

And it's a very worn out and non-flippable Misfit cog.

But I do have a 22 tooth that a nice guy named Joe gave me for taking my garvel bike to the mountains... and how much difference can one tooth make anyways?  Why not?

Well perhaps the fact that I needed to add a link to the chain... and I needed longer tensioner bolts... and I needed to want to go out for a ride in the jungle-like conditions at Backyard purposely looking for the shittiest climbs to test it out when all I wanted to really do was give my hand and tired legs a break.

The good?  I found out pretty quickly that I wasted my time swapping cogs, adding links, and changing bolt lengths.  The bad?  I found out that my brain is limited to three gears.  If it's not 32 X 18, 19, or 20, my brain can't comprehend what's going on back there (the 16 I use for shart tarck doesn't count because that's not "mountain biking").  This might explain why riding a geared bike is so, for lack of better words, fucking awkward.  To ever get my brain going that way again, I'm sure I'd have to put the SS away and ride gears only for quite some time... which I don't know if riding a tarck bike five days a week would just plain ruin.

When Boone re-launched their titanium cogs, I started wondering if mebbe I could just run a 19 tooth everywhere on the Vertigo Meatplow V.7.  TBH, it's not quite enough if you're tryna "get it" on a local Charlotte trail, but that's not really something I wanna do most of the time anyways.  I'm not the rider who knows my PR on any trail in the area.  The 20 tooth is reserved for things like Pisgah races, Breck Epic, and... dunno?  I use it because I think I need to, but mebbe it's just what I do because it's what I've done before.

Two steps forward, two steps back, right back where I started, but at least I burned all those calories taking four steps.  I'm not saying I'm never gonna buy another full squarsh and single speed it tho.  Again.

Oh well.  Shiver at the River will most likely be a race of attrition... except for the SS field... which is somehow stacked for what one would consider a local race... in an area where we can't  normally get enough SSers for an endurance race to have our own class.  My only goal is to finish with zero hernias.

In reference to the title of today's blerhg:

In an interview with Chris Cornell back when the video was released (1996), the interviewer asked him, "If you could blow something up on the outside world, what would it be?"

Chris replied, "stupid people, mini malls, racists, and hardcore religious rights people."

Not sure what Chris had against mini malls, but otherwise okay.


Paul Shin said...

The last thing I read about using bigger chainrings/cogs was from someone at FE bikes saying using 36x22 or whatever was noticeably smoother, which = efficient. So naturally, I took it as gospel based on the fact it was on mtbr posted by someone I’ve never met.
Are you saying this is bunk?

hellbelly said...

It seems like you've more than ample time to procure a 21t cog prior to August 1st if you so desire. Hell, I might have one I could send you since I geared up my Honzo recently.