EWS Tech Focus: Double or Single, Liaisons and Chain Rings - Video

Aug 31, 2016
by Enduro World Series  
Views: 13,764    Faves: 12    Comments: 1


Aside from the all important timed stages at the Enduro World Series, the riders have to make it between them via the liaisons in a allocated time. Dependant on the event, these can vary a lot, when there’s no lift assistance these can either be short and sharp or long drags. It adds another element to the racing and one that riders have to think about when it comes to bike setup. One of the big questions is whether to use a double or single chain ring up front. Richard Cunynghame talks to Katy Winton and Rene Wildhaber about their different setups.


MENTIONS: @EnduroWorldSeries



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58 Comments

  • 28 1
 1x or 2x??? I just want to know what to use!!!!! Hurry and tell us
  • 9 1
 1x, what's the worst that could happen? You get more fit?
  • 8 2
 @mrfitz424: You blow your knees. Muscles, lungs and heart get stronger by overloading them but joints don't. The strongest legs, lungs and heart get you no where without good joints to back them up.
  • 2 1
 @davemud: moderation is key with many things including exercise, sometimes you just gotta hop off and push... But with the size of cassettes these days I don't see anybody blowing out their knees on a climb.
  • 4 1
 @mrfitz424: Maybe not blow out but the stress increases the load and wears the joint out over time. The damage goes unnoticed until its a major problem making it a much bigger problem for people over time.

Sure huge sprockets reduce the load on the knees but at what cost? Longer chain, rear derailleur and more material in those huge cogs meaning more weight.

Top end cassettes have so much material removed flex and wear are issues. Unless you are paying top dollar for the best parts weight gains on the rear wheel are adding up.

If you want to be riding in your 50's and 60's better take care of those joints now... and if I wanted to walk in the woods I'd go for a hike and leave the bike at home.
  • 1 0
 2x its really nice for the xc races
  • 18 0
 I'm still lost on the fact they found a Richard Cunynghame. Before my dyslexia passed I thought I was going to see Richard Cunningham conduct this interview.
  • 2 0
 with ralph mouth and potsie?
  • 13 0
 "This year we introduce our revolutionary front-chainring-changer-system, the FCCS. It is going to help you reduce weight on the back, allowing you to run 7, or 8 speed cassettes. The trick is: 36t AND 22t rings up front! No jokes here, but future."



in loving memory of qr20 axles. never forget, never forgive.
  • 2 0
 2017, everything old is new again especially when the old was better than the new in reality.
  • 11 1
 Katy almost sold me on a double ring. Almost....
  • 15 1
 Was it when she got confused with the left hand, right hand cable thing?
  • 4 0
 @darkmuncan: Ha. Yeah...outside of that her pitch was pretty good.
  • 17 0
 @dirtnapped: Her justification is spot on, a race ring and a recovery ring.

It was sprinkled with some choice marketing words as well, I suspect her team manager whispered 'crisp shifting' and 'no compromise' in her ear before the interview.
  • 7 0
 Rene still has the second (smaller) inner ring on his XTR cranks, even with the chain guide
  • 23 4
 Off course, it adds like 70g with the bolts in the place of the bike where the weight least matters. You can quickly open the chainguide before the liaison put the chain by hand on the granny. Why on earth would anyone use the front mech is beyond any understanding of mine. Also gearing range depends greatly on your muscle structure percentage of fast VS slow twitch fibers. I don't crank a hard gear because I man up, I do it because it suits me while high cadence kills me.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Great point. I have often thought of using the same approach since I live in Colorado. I do like the security of a chain guide since I have dropped a chain with a front derailleur last year at the Keystone enduro.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Interesting you should mention this. A friend who also happens to also road bike told me that you should be going for high cadence. I told him my legs didn't feel great trying to do a high cadence but rather use a harder gear. Maybe its from my youth riding around on BMX bikes ha
  • 6 5
 @bman33: An FD is a chain guide. If you did drop a chain one pedal stroke should bring it right back on the big ring. I ride an FD full time and race Enduro and every other gnarly trail I can find and have almost never dropped a chain and if I did one pedal stroke and it came right back on the big ring. That's with normal chainrings and clutch RD. That's my experience, obviously you've had different results
  • 3 1
 @Jokesterwild: I was just reading about this in the Time Crunched Cyclist - higher cadence moves the load to your cardio system which doesn't fatigue like the skeletal muscles do. I know that's my experience, if I go trying to push gear on big hills my legs won't last all day. But an enduro race is a lot less work than a big day in the mountains as well.
  • 8 2
 After 130 km and 3500m elevation and u look at the next hill , a 24 tooth ring is your best friend
  • 3 0
 @preston67: makes sense, I've never cramped so badly as I did during a race where I tore my rear derailleur cable and had to do the last 25km in my 11t rear. I'd rather spin the climbs...a good 80-90 cadence is sustainable for a pretty long time.
  • 1 0
 @Jokesterwild: bike radar did a test on YouTube and your natural comfortable cadence is pretty much the best. That being said it was only with 1 or 2 people
  • 1 0
 @Jokesterwild: Roadies tend to try and keep a steady constant and high cadence, we tend to go lower cadence on climbs and variable everywhere else. Its like @WAKIdesigns says, depends on your muscle structure, I've always felt that on a flat sprint a roadie would have a mtb'r but that we output higher torque due to the nature of the terrain we climb.
  • 1 0
 @Jokesterwild: it was actually global cycling network here's the link
m.youtube.com/watch?v=-jh-5TYAtJI
  • 3 1
 I have a roadie from Bora Argon in my family. Him and another dude from the team often do podcasts together. I'll ask them how does it look with cadence across the whole team because I am sure the difference between fastest and slowest can be up to 20RPM. And yes the terrain and climate dictates a lot too. You can't spin 90 RPM through a rock garden but you also can't crank 1:1 ratio for 2000 vertical meters on a hot day in Italian Alps. I went up a 2000 vertical meter climb on 34t front 36t rear on Jekyll with Hans Dampf buuut temperature was 20C. Nooo bloody way in the regular 35C. I'd be dead at 1000m

What I assume is the case here is that particular RPM cannot be linked to the most optimum effective cadence for all humans. The problem is that certain uneducated coaches (I have one popular one in my town, a roadie and thrathlete who holds MTB clinics... The sht he told my boss Oh My Gawd) tell people that 90-110RPM is the sht and you should keep it this way wherever you can. Considering the bouldery and twisty nature of our trails this is absolute bollocks.

I personally crank 36t-42t ATM (160 bike with 175 cranks, 950g tyres) and sometimes if it's wet drop to 36t back for grip in technical sections. I crank 80-90RPM on gravel/asphalt or flatter bits after steep climbs to "delactate" my muscles (if I'm not Strava-ing). But then you have guys like Ryan Leech who seem to crank quite high cadence for most of the time but can immediately adjust the gearing to tech bits (and leave others carrying their bikes Smile )

It's very arbitrary so saying 90-110RPM cuz Mount Ventoux is plain stupid. I actually believe that it's the main reason why people complain on rock strikes and opt for shorter cranks.
  • 1 0
 What is also interesting is the way people pedal. There are huge differences in pedalling style Eg. with flat pedals you will be usually going in lower cadence because you cannot power through the whole revelation. Top roadies almost exclusively do "circular pedalling" with higher rpm. But many mountain bikers coming from flat pedals still pedal the same way even when clipped in (and use the clipping mainly as a better connection with the bike during downhill).
  • 1 0
 @bman33 don't think he has, its the lower section of an ethirteen lg1+ back plate you can see.
  • 2 0
 High cadence worship is a roadie thing. It is more efficient and allows you to pedal slightly longer and faster. However pedaling efficiency is not the only goal in mountain biking. Higher gears allow you to put down more power in a shorter amount of time. Spinning isn't always an option. For example, you may only have time for a pedal stroke or two between turns or riding through gnar. Higher gearing / lower cadence allows more acceleration during those limited time periods. Also, when crawling through rocky terrain that can hang the bike up, sometimes a lot of power in a single pedal stroke is needed to regain momentum and get over the next obstacle. Spinning doesn't work for that.
  • 1 0
 @dfiler: harder gear allows you to generate more power per revolution of the crank but not necessarily over the distance and that's the beauty of it because it means power modulation which is key on slippery techy climbs. While you may climb a steeper pitch on higher cadence than on low, as long as grip comes in abundance. But when grip is limited it is the hard gear that rules simply because it offers more power modulation. High cadence generates short bursts of power that are hard to control, because it moves the most powerful spot of pedal stroke further down the circle, otherwise you would not be able to generate as much RPM. Slow cadence puts the power zone into early pushing over the top generating max available power. That's why hard pushers benefit little from clipless pedals as far as raw pedalling is concerned since the focus of their pedal stroke is on pushing over the top and down. Off course when you pedal on rough bits on descents clipless come to play but still as long as you know what you are doing because as I learned lately it's better to focus on being smooth and light through a bit of rocks and roots, instead of pedalling like an idiot and ramming the weighed bike into them. Then there's bike handling issue with flats vs clipless, but that's another can of worms.

I believe that a smart rider can identify his body profile and adjust his riding to the characteristics of his pedalling predispositions/ habits/ terrain and environmental requirements. The most stupid thing is to read how everybody should pedal and focus on applying that to own unique environment.
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: totally disagree with that. Harder pedal strokes make it more difficult, not less, to modulate power and grip. A high cadence allows you more fidelity to apply that power, just like a lower leverage ratio improves shock performance. A higher cadence/lower gear also allows you to spin up and burst out power easier when you need to as most tech moves are up and over accelerations. I think a higher cadence even makes it easier to avoid pedal strkes even though the pedals are obviously coming around more often because you are able to spin through the strike and or have more opportunities to time or ratchet (again, sometimes because you can afford a slight pause because you can accelrate again so quickly). A lower gear also lets you rest a bit in the short easy segments linking tech. If we are not talking about anaerobic redline tech climbing then maybe all of that doesn't apply. I respect that a different approach works for you but I see this same idea peddled often and I think its totally wrong. And I've seen everyone else end up walking, especially the 1* drivetrain guys who "don't need lower gears".
  • 1 0
 @preston67: you may disagree, but I know bettah Big Grin It is undeniable that harder gear provides more grip because it spreads the power over longer distance. And I tried it over and over again. There's enough tough spots in here to see how it works when the only way of clearing a section (without some trials moves like hopping, pedal kicks) is shifting to one gear harder. I discussed it with best guys around here and even skill coaches. I know bettah.

How do you start a car up a slippery slope? You put it into 2nd or even 3rd gear.

And I tend to crank 36-42 as soon as tough bit is gone, to regenerate and flush the muscles off the lactic acid. And please don't use that: " people who push bikes", I'm a climbing fetishist. I hate pushing bikes. The sole purpose of me learning trials skills now is to climb sht thought by most local guys to be unclimbable. When I come to Alps I look for a challenging climb first, what could be climbed without pushing the bike so... No... And all best local guys ride 1x, already from times before 42t cassettes, even when they go to Trance Provance. One dude broke his rear mech right in front of me, right before one of the most difficult climbs here. It got stuck on 17t rear. He climbed it, I managed to do it once in my life.

We are all different, and I personally see more people spinning like idiots coming to a stop as soon as rocky bit starts, either due to pedal strike or due to spin out on the edge of a rock/root. High cadence is the best is the single most dominant pedalling philosophy in all cycling, so sorry 1x is nische as hell. You can't say it's a common misconception because it's not common at all. And please consider than 1x with 11-36t cassette from 2010 has little to do with 10-42t and NOTHING with 10-50t Eagle Wink
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I also am a climbing fetishist, I appreciate that you also indulge in the sweet science of climbabilty. So with mutual respect we'll have to agree to disagree. What I see is people claiming they can climb anything with their 30/42 but when the stuff gets real they are walking, whether they can crush me on cardio climbs or not. Especially in hour 3+.

As far as cogs, it would help if people talked in terms of gear inches but I'm aware you can set up the gears how you like. So maybe being a die hard 2*11 guy has more to do with not wanting to lose cruising gears than whether 15-16 gear inches is achievable.
  • 1 0
 @preston67: yea we can agree to disagree but I think there's been a misunderstanding as well. 3h+ climb I'd totally get a granny and I said it in the very beginning that it makes perfect sense. I'd say for 2h climbing already. Especially in hot climate and/or altitude (Colorado?) Especially on heavy tyres. I doubt there are many people who climb a technical singletrack for longer than 2h and arguing over techy bits in such volumes is weird since whether you can climb it or not depends solely on what terrain throws at you. And yes I do push sometimes when riding becomes as slow as pushing on very long, steep ascents. But still, my cadence on a 2h+ climb is barely 90. I'd also stop for a breather a few times because I see no point of doing such a long climb in 1 go unless we are talking some competition. Even Martin Maes said those guys stop sometimes to stretch if liaison is long enough. Aaand these days I do such climb twice a year if God allows. I have small kids and live in place with 300ft hills made of granite and mud.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: It's called "the dirty finger" and I have a 26/34 chainrings up front with no mech. Some times I just don't need it. The times I have needed it, it was awesome that is was there. I generally only need it when a climb is going to be more than 2 miles with a serious grade.
  • 4 0
 They could try three up front....oh yeah that's been done already
  • 3 0
 The one thing that we can all agree on is that those jorts are epic.
  • 2 1
 I'm currently on 1x11, but I would love to try a single shifter 2x11 di2 setup. Possibly best of both worlds (apart from weight and cleaning after a muddy ride).
  • 2 1
 It's waterproof so it cleans just the same as a 1x..If u use a top guide on a 1x, i'd say the FD is easier to clean. Also, electric wire is lighter than a same-length steel cable+housing, so the added weight of an extra chainring, FD and battery, as well the weight savings from a 12spd 10-50 to an 11spd 11-40 cassette, does not differ as much as many people seem to imagine.
  • 1 0
 @Unscathed: Neg proped by mistake... sorry!
I get what you say and frankly, 2x looks more attractive than a 50t cog. If Di2 ever trickles down to slx level I'll be willing to give it a try.

1x is very convenient, but I only have 300km on it so I don't know how it's gonna wear over time, but I' willing to bet that 2x is easier on chainrings and cassetes.
  • 5 3
 Looks like Shimano's old 2x inventory is so huge, so this ad was created.
  • 1 0
 The video is password protected.
  • 1 0
 Password is "password"
  • 1 0
 Don't Trek have a steerer tube cutter for Katy?
  • 1 0
 rude..36t font, 40t rear.....nuff said
  • 1 0
 When you have Ponce-like swagger, you've got it.
  • 1 0
 Loving that red Feedback Sports Scorpion stand. Matches the Trek nicely.
  • 2 1
 Video is passworded
  • 1 0
 I need renes bike lol
  • 1 0
 I'd take his skills.
  • 2 3
 In the '80's, we would have called Richard "Ponce" instead of Richard.
  • 1 0
 Heartless bastard. Richard was still only a child in the '80's.
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