On the face of things, mountain biking appears to be a peaceful sport, accepting of rules and enjoying a harmonious co-existence with nature. However, under that calm exterior lays a world full of divisions and splits.
There will be some who subscribe to both sides of every split, but the majority of bikers have their own personal allegiances whether they realise it or not.
XC or Downhill? Shimano or Sram? SPD or Flats? QR or Bolt Through? Rock Shox or Fox?
And my personal favourite – Geared or Singlespeed?
I’ve been biking for around 2 years now and I’ve always ridden with gears. The thought of riding a single gear bike had never before crossed my mind. The first time I saw an SS rider on the trails, he had calves of steel and an apparent superhuman ability to climb, as he breezed past me while I puffed along cursing the difficulty of my granny ring!
However, a few weeks ago, I got an unexpected introduction to the world of SS riding. I was on the trails at Gisburn and my gears decided they’d had enough of my incessant shifting, hence, I was relegated to using solely the middle front ring and a middle rear sprocket – and surprisingly, I enjoyed it.
The removal of the option to shift allowed me to adopt a more aggressive riding position, and the lack of gearing options freed my mind to concentrate more exclusively on riding.
Hence, in a feat of spontaneous crazyness, I have just sold my bike and I’m converting fully to the world of SS riding. Mechanically they’re easier to maintain. Physically, the selection of a single ring will (hopefully) improve my fitness levels dramatically.
So bye-bye gears, hello singlespeed.
Viva la Revolution……