My dirty little secret… Single Speed Mtb’ing

I am happy to announce I have re-discovered my love of a single speed mountain bike. I did go 29er this time, and I have to say my opinions of them have changed.

But this is more than just my newly re-found love of single speed mountain biking. In the last 4 years since I have owned a single speed mountain bike, I have learned much more about cycling training. I now realize just how good of a training tool a bike like this can be. I will tell you why for the following list of reasons.

A single speed (SS) is a combined workout for high and low cadence. At some moments on the trail your legs are going at some really high cadence as you rip down some sections of fast fire road or single track. Moments later you may be grinding slowly up a hill or over some tough roots. There are also slow high force starts to a high cadence sprint as you may come out of a corner getting ready to get some momentum going. All these situations are a benefit for neuro-muscular efficiency or for muscular force and endurance. These are the basic building blocks for season long fitness.

In my last few rides on a SS mtb I have really felt some progression in leg power and ability to alter cadences more readily. I more of a fan of a SS then a fixed gear for a few reasons. My biggest gripe I have with a fixed gear is despite what people say, it encourages a lazy pedaling form. The pedals push your feet through the circle instead of the muscles creating the circular motion of pedaling. Some similar benefits of high and low cadence exists on a fixed gear, but over a road course there is far fewer variations.

If you are tired of the trainer already, try getting a single speed mtb. You can make one out of an old mountain bike for fairly cheap. Just a fun idea, that I didn’t realize the full training potential with.

Ride Hard

Coach Jordan

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