Singlespeed-a-Palooza Race April NEWBURGH, NY, US (each year)

What wheel for Singlespeed-a-Palooza?

I’ve been thinking what wheel to ride in the race. I did a test ride of three laps around a local course with my 2 options for the race.

  • 29" with 135 cranks (TGR 2.73)
  • 36" with 150 cranks (TGR 3.05)

The course I rode was a 2.5mile lap with an elevation change of about 100ft/mile, which is a bit more than the race in past years (70ft/mile). I figured ahead of time it would be a bit more of a 29"er course, and given that the elevation change was more, this might not be a totally fair test for the race, but, anyway…

I did three laps at near race-pace:
1st on a 29" in 23:40 with 6 UPD’s
2nd on the 36" in 23:19 with 6 UPD’s
3rd again on the 29" in 23:18 with 7 UPD’s

I was surprised how close these times were, and also how similar the # of upd’s were. I felt a lot faster in some streatches on the 36", but guess that evened out on the slower parts. I did notice that the 36" felt pretty damn heavy when I started out, and so am leaning towards the 29’er for this 20+ mile race where wheel weight might have an effect by the end of the day. But there’s still time and more training to be done - I might look for another course with less elevation gain to get more ‘data’.
-Empirical Ro