Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Just Might Do It (The Single Life)

Of course I’m talking about the bike again, and not some dopey bachelor action. This is a bicycling blog, after all (with occasional sprinkles of skateboarding and other crap.) What do I mean by single? Well, ever since I took the plunge and started riding big wheels, I’ve really been considering loosing my gears. Most of you have been around here for a while, so I’m sure you already knew that.

Why single speed? Is it for the simplicity? Is it because all of the cool kids are doing it? Is it because I idolize the MadSS, his basket-weilding Mrs., or Dicky? No, no, and not really (wink.) The main reason I’m even considering switching my 29er over to the dark side is because I think it might make me a stronger rider. That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell.

Well, the time has come to do what my Grandma always said, “Shit or get off the pot.” (I really liked sitting on the commode when I was little I guess.) Some of the parts I’ve been waiting for include some singlespeed-specific stuff, and most of them have finally arrived. The first logical step in this whole mess o’ mine is to lose the front gears. I never use the “granny gear” or even the big ring on my three speed crankset. I used to like the big ring when I had to haul ass during some of my races, but I’ve weaned myself off of it in preparation for the inevitable 1X9 setup (a precursor to singlespeeding I suppose.) After several months of using only the middle chainring, I decided to find a new crankset to go all the way. Check it:

Yup, it’s singlespeed shit alright. I originally considered just putting a new middle chainring on the front with a bashguard, but I found a helluva deal on The Bay that I couldn’t pass up (I’m a sucker for a sale.) I haven’t installed it yet, but it will be on there very soon. I just haven’t had the time, and R2-D2 can’t do any unsupervised work just yet. Also included in that auction purchase was one of these:

If you have no idea what that is, then you probably don’t spend much time reading about bike shit on the Internets like I do. That, my friends, is a chain tensioner. A chain tensioner is basically used on bikes that aren’t singlespeed specific, meaning that they were designed to work with gears. Understand? No? Well, I can’t make it any simpler. If you need further assistance, please consult the “experts.”

Hopefully I’ll have time to convert my bike to 1X9 really soon. I have a big ride this weekend in the mountains, and I’d like to get everything setup by then. If I get the cranks on, then it looks like I’ll be doing my “testing” on a real ride. Nothing like getting your ass handed to you on an epic ride while trying out new parts. It’s gonna be hard enough keeping up with the people I’ll be riding with, let alone doing it without a few extra gears. Maybe that isn’t such a good idea. Whatever, I can take it (I hope.)

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