Yes, it has happened. I rode gears, but unlike Katy Perry kissing a girl, I didn't like it.
Finally got the SIR9 somewhat tuned up with a new rear BB7 brake (still a Juicy Carbon front), a new front tire (RaRa 2.4 tubeless), bar ends, and a manual lockout Reba RL (formerly a pop-loc Reba RL..ooh, big change!).
|Other than a different rear tire, rear brake, bar ends and a shorter steer tube and no pop-loc, this is how she looks.|
Alright, now I need to know how this Steel framed, front susp., geared (1x9) bike that weighs ~6lbs more than my SS would perform on a real ride so that night I took it to a 'Hammerin Wheels' group ride at Granite Bay. Though I was riding with the front group, dang, I felt slow. Had to walk up a climb I cleaned last week, due to being in the wrong gear (this happened twice), and on any incline, I was definitely slower. Oh, but those flowy flat sections...I was able to fly, and the few miles of fireroad? Fuhgetaboutit! I was hitting speeds over 20 mph...speeds not doable on my SS (unless pointed down hill). Ultimately, I ended up being much faster over most of the course with gears.
So, I learned a lesson most everyone already knew. Gears are faster...most of the time. I will still argue (based on evidence/personal experience) that on rides with long steep climbs, the SS is faster. It is lighter than many road bikes (at 19.4lbs) and I often can keep up on climbs with advanced riders...only to be dropped on the fast, flowy tech stuff, but the point is the SS is a crazy climber, just not crazy fast elswhere. Now if I could just get strong enough to drop a tooth or two in the cog I just might bridge that gap a bit with the gearies, but for now 32:20 will remain my endurance gear of choice.
Now I am off to bid on a rigid fork for the SIR9 so it can become my rigid winter SS bike. Booh-yah!
*Through sheer determination, I set a new PR on Manzanita two days later on the SS. Yeah baby! Steel might be Real, but Scandium is lighter and faster!