Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Single Speeding myths exploded

Posted by Colin | December 30, 2008 | 1 comment so far

Colin pushes up to Holmbury
There are a number of myths surrounding riding a singlespeed mtb. I reckon I’ve blown two of them out of the water.

Firstly, having organised the Muddymoles Festive ride, I was like a dog with two dicks in the morning, champing to get out and burn off some of the Christmas excesses and also to ride in my fave conditions—dry trails in bright, cold and frosty conditions.

It all started so well—11 of us (including some new faces Toby and Terry) met at Holmbury and headed off for a few hours riding to be followed by lunch at the Wotton Hatch. Normally we ride, share a few grunts and jokes during the course of, and then head off home, not speaking until the next outing.

It all started so well but here comes singlespeeding myth number 1. “They are so reliable, no drivetrain issues, no maintenance, blah blah blah”.


How about your 1/4″ built–to–pull–a–tractor chain breaking? After climbing to the viewpoint it was all looking so good as I led down Yoghurt Pots, until I tried to get a wriggle on near the end, when the chain snapped. I count myself lucky not to have the Thomson stemcap logo embossed on my gonads (how do you spell that?).

Having been brainwashed into thinking this would never happen, I never bothered getting a spare 1/4″ link—big mistake (normal links need not apply). So, thanks to SRAM and yet more components that embarasssingly fail to have any sort of useful life, I rolled back to the car, a forlorn figure.

The others carried on to ride Surfer Rosa, BKB etc and we met later for a fine lunch. It was great to enjoy the company of fellow moles sans lycra—we are normal really!

Myth number 2 is that singlespeeding ruins your knees. Oddly, and perhaps it is just me as I know I am odd, I have suffered quite a lot of knee pain since starting riding, but this has more or less gone since I started riding a singlespeed bike!

Having been cheated on Sunday, I am heading up to Holmbury again tonight to try and sign–off 2008 properly and to test out my upgraded iBlaast (more on that later).

2009 will see me riding my new dialled bikes Alpine. The Prince Albert frame has made way for this beasty, donating its parts and I’m really looking forward to riding this and improving my skills on some of the whoopy bits in the coming year.

It will also be great to get back to riding a bike with Britneys (gears) again.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and thanks for your company during our adventures this last year.


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  1. Matt says:

    Colin, mucho bad luck on Sunday, you ended up missing a great ride considering the wide range of riders, fitness levels and experience. Great fun.

    Also, thanks again for sorting out our get together. I think everyone enjoyed it and as you say, its weird seeing each other without the lycra!

    Roll on 2009

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