14 April 2011 - 7:12Things to Consider
With less than a week to go before my first “official race” of the season, I am stuck in a terrible quandary. Which bike to run? Well, it should be pretty obvious, as the event is none other than the legendary Singlespeed-a-palooza held by Dark Horse Cycles. That means I will be grabbing one of my 3 singles that are ready to ride.
Well, actually, the choice has been narrowed down to 2, as T-Hom is going to be rocking out with Shredward. He expressed an interest while he was up at the Grinder over the weekend, and well, it isn’t often that someone of his sort of speed and agility wants to ride one of my projects on what is essentially a dare.
So that leaves Rambo, and the yet-to-be-named orange bike. And here in lies the issue, it’s how I am going to run either that is causing me most strife. See, the weather is going to be not that awesome over the weekend. The possibility of rain is infinitely probable, which means it will be the same slick and slimy conditions as last year. Woohoo!
I’m not that concerned with tires, as anything I switch to will be a mistake. I ran on Michelin Wild Race’rs last year, and they actually did a surprisingly good job of handeling the muck. I know I’d hate the Nevegals, too heavy, so I’m just going to run what I brung. I know the AKAs on Rambo do alright in the snowy gritty mud of Albuquerque, and the Aspen did pretty good in the wet while I was visiting Bradbury, ME last year. The Ikon is the only unknown for me at this point. Whichever bike, will keep the tires it already has on it.
Gearing. Well, 34-19, or 34-21. It’s a flattish area, but it does have climbing. 21 would be too spinny for the flat road sections, which I have heard are numerous. 19 would be too churny for the mud. I’ll likely split the difference and try a 20.
The big debate in wether to race rigid or squishy. I don’t think I’ll be especially fast in the wet, although I can sometimes find my zone and get into a groove in foul weather. I have not spent a lot of time riding rigid, and I don’t know if 26 or so miles in April is the right time to find out if I can. But, that Stuart mud gets everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Past seals, into forks, bearings, frames etc, and I’m not sure I want to have to perform an overhaul on my Reba XX so soon in the year. I’ll have to do a total teardown of the bike after anyway.
It’s funny, because a week ago, I was going to do the race on a full suspension. Now I’m considering going full rigid. Oh well, I guess I still have some time to figure it out, and if I do get a chance to pre-ride on Saturday, I can alway make that call after a mellow lap. It will literally take me 3 minutes to put the squishy fork on either bike.
Regardless of how it all shakes out, I’m really excited to see George and Hawaiian Mike. And I know there will be a few other characters down there who I’m looking forward to seeing again too. Dark Horse and crew put on an amazing event, so good, that not even crappy weather will deter me from going.