Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Singlemindedness: Sampling the pure life

Once I began riding again (see previous post), I began poking around to see what was new. Sure, I bought some mags, etc, but these days the internet is the place to check the pulse of the cycling community.

I found something that caught my interest. Seems like a few crazies had decided that one gear is really all you need so they had tossed all that shifting stuff for the simple and pure vibes of riding single speed. Huh! Ya don't say? I really cannot remember anyone even thinking of doing this back when I was paying attention to trends and riding a lot. I really never stop riding when I get pulled into other interests, but I just ride like I live under a rock as far as being on the latest wave of cycling stuff. So, somehow I had missed the revolution. Must have been on the late news.

Always wondering if one can really have too many bikes, this SS thingy kind of coincided with my desire to cut my commute over to the martial arts studio in town. I was teaching rather than training, but my 10mpg truck never even warmed up before I got there and back. Still, I hated to ride my 5" travel bike over there SPDs and all.

So, I reached up into the rafters of the garage and resurrected an old flame, my mid 90s era Curtlo Mountaineer/Action Tec. $150.00 later and a few conversion items mixed with stuff out of the box-o-parts I had laying around, I had this:

Tell ya what, I have seldom had so much fun for so little money. Frustrating at times, difficult in others, but strangely appealing, SS'ing is very cool. I have it geared to work well around town (34x18) but I can really get moving on a moderate dirt grade. In fact, I hammered a buddy into the ground on a recent hillclimb and he was a comparable rider on a $3K+ fully sus bike. As long as I can pedal it, it is really fast. I had forgotten how fast a good steel hardtail can be. Also, how bumpy, so an old suspension seatpost was installed and the Action Tec fork gives 2" of de-bumpness up front. 24.25 lbs of WHEEEEeee. Cool stuff, but I am not kidding myself into thinking that I can ride this everywhere. I really gotta admire the guys/gals that can pilot a rigid SS as there main squeeze, especially if they live west of the Rockies. 24 hours solo on an SS? Wow.

1 comment:

zeanut said...

Sorry to dredge up an old post like this, but I love your Curtlo. A couple of friends of mine still have their action-tec'd Curtlos from way back, and they're one fine riding bike. Who needs more than a couple of inches of suspension? OK well, I don't. If I ever find one I'll snap it up in a heartbeat.