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The SSWC is Near!!!

Convert to Melvinism. And prepare for the rapture.

Perhaps you aren't a full-blown heathen and therefore don't ride single speed, but SSWC 2018 is happening in Bend, Oregon on October 20th, and there's absolutely no reason you can't partake. Because lucky for you, we've invented a safe, affordable way for everyone to dabble in the dark side without completely losing their way: 

The Melvin is our single speed chain tensioner that converts any bike to single speed, including bikes with vertical dropouts where the chain line isn't normally adjustable. Proper setup is obviously important, so we've made a handy video to walk you through it. See, we're total saints...
Correction: Paul refers to a SRAM chain as a Shimano chain in this video. We do apologize. The guy running the teleprompter has been fired. 

Speaking of SSWC, we're definitely going.


This race, which is NOT to be confused with the CX version (this is the original mountain bike race), has been out of the country for a while, but now it's back and we're involved because we have a very important job of providing whiskey and bacon at our aid station.

Don't sleep through this one - it's the kind of debauchery memories are made of. See you there. 

 

And speaking of debauchery...


There won't be any at PAULOWEEN this year - only fierce, focused competition.

This is year three of our hometown race, so word has spread throughout NorCal, calling the best of the best onto the scene. The atmosphere is tense around here, as rivalry has peeked to new, unfathomable highs.

We've interviewed some of this year's racers to feed the frenzy (it's good for ratings) - here's what they have to say:
Sage Dust
Cat 5 Myles
The Gare Bear Stare

Seven Questions from Paul to Burnsey of Oddity Cycles

 
I met Burnsey several years ago at NABS in some far off eastern state and immediately admired what he was doing with bicycles and his ideas and innovations, which involved a lot of curves and different ways of putting a bike frame together, and always trying new things.

Turns out, we both shared the passion for the single speed mtn bike and someday I hope to attend one of his Thursday pirate rides in Ft .Collins, Colorado.

I own one of his bikes, a ti 29+ rig and it absolutely rules. There is a possibility I’ll be on the list for a steel Klunker this spring that I’m really excited about. I gave Burnsey the very last few sets of our single speed dropouts which he plans on welding into a limited run of Klunks.


I decided to catch up with Sean and talk single speed bikes and Single Speed World Championship. 
1. What was your first experience riding a single speed mountain bike?
       
I had a rock climbing buddy back in Kansas City who got me into mountain biking. He converted my old '93 Stumpjumper into a single speed.

From there I just tried to keep up with him on the technical singletrack, which was really fun for me. After that I just didn't know any better, it's just what we did. 

2. What are single speeds good for? They seem so dumb….
       
They're totally dumb Paul! But they also allow for the most pure riding experience that I've ever had. No buttons to push, no clankitty-clank of shifting gears and chain slap - just focussed riding on what's ahead of you on the trail or the view or chatting it up with pals.

You are thinking only about the riding, and not the gear. You can only blame yourself if you suck at riding. It is not harder or easier than a geared bike; it's just different.

3. Tell us about SSKC. I’ve never been, but it’s one of those races that come up every year and looks really fun, so it must be a good one.
       
It's a great one! The trails in Kansas City are some of the best, technical MTB trails around. There's so much good riding there. The 8Lumens crew puts on the event, which is similar to other SS events that end up being a weekend of bike rides, racing, drinking, lighting things on fire, crashing, and general shenanigans.

To sum it up, it's a weekend of fun with friends and bikes. No rules, no sanctioned bullshit, no one telling you how to ride your bike. Just raw awesomeness.
 
4. How many single speed frames have you built?
       
Oh crap...you know, I don't keep tabs on how many of this or that that I've made. At least not in my head (I'm sure it's on paper somewhere). Lets just say that I've built more Singlespeed bikes than any other style of bike. Mainly because you attract like-minded customers in this small world we call framebuilding.

5. Now that we have disk brakes and thru axles, what’s your preferred method of chain tensioning?
       
I'm still stoked on Paragon Machine Works Sliding Dropout as a standard. I also like the HACS (Horizontally Adjustable Chainstay System), basically a telescoping stay, that I use with permission of it's creator, James of Black Sheep.

6. I haven’t ridden a coaster brake bike since I was a kid. I’m going to be converting my Retrotec to one soon. Can you give me some tips on riding a coaster brake off road?
       
You the man Paul!!! Coaster brake mountain bikes are SO FUN!!!

My riding pal Corbin got me hooked when no one else realized he was riding one during our Pirate Rides - which tend to get a bit gnarly. I figured if he can do it, I should at least try. It really makes your local 'boring' trail 'like new' all over again. Like being that kid again.
       
As far as tips... I'm no expert. But here are a few things I feel helps you not die:

1) Know where your brake is going to engage at all times! Feather your feet back and forth when your typically level, so you know where and are ready to hit that coaster brake! Keep the braking below the level mark, or you'll have a harder time controlling a skid.

2) You will learn to just, not brake! Coaster brakes suck, and you'll just figure out really quickly that you've been braking way too much on your regular MTB. Just go for it!

3) Use a heat sink on your hub! Coaster hubs get hot, then they fail, then you die. Don't die Paul, get a Hub Cooler.

4)Upgrade your axle, grease and bearings (Coaster Culture). Makes a HUGE difference in a hubs performance. Especially since all coaster brake hubs currently in production suck for modern mountain biking. It is what it is.

5) Don't get hung up on a bunch of fancy parts. A coaster brake MTB should be a real piece-of-shit compared to your other bikes. A parts-bin-special for sure. You'll ghost ride the bike a few times during the learning stages. You don't want to care if things get thrashed on day one.

6) Have Fun! If it's not fun, do something else.
 
7. Morrow, Bendix or New Departure?
       
Those sound fancy. We've been using a modified Shimano CB110 with pretty good luck. We've also used unbranded crap that has made for a good time as well. I'm sure you will come up with something WAY cooler than I have. But damn... go do it, try hard, and keep smiling!
 

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