There is a rumour at Tweedlove Enduro of a 50+ year old riding a Titanium Singlespeed Hardtail... It ALL true.
In the exhilarating world of mountain biking, where cutting-edge technology and full-suspension bikes dominate the scene, there is one rider stood out at the recent Tweedlove event. Despite being in his 50s, Ian decided to take on the challenge with an old-school singlespeed hardtail mounted on a Titanium Ram frame. Join us as we delve into their remarkable journey, defying expectations against riders with modern gears and suspension.
Tweedlove, renowned for its challenging terrains and fiercely competitive participants, posed a formidable test. Most riders opted for the comfort and adaptability of full-suspension bikes equipped with gears, leaving Ian as an outsider. Undeterred, Ian is doing it for fun, not to prove that age should never hinder one's passion for the sport. Ian and myself both that simple setups still possess a place in the realm of modern mountain biking.
Who is this guy???
Ian purchased a Pinion Swan from me sometime ago and has been riding the Swan 12speed hardtail in the Tweedlove Enduro Series. Ian is on IG as @50.p.s.i and has some bike skills, which I can only dream of having. Ian helped me to develop the Ram. It was his idea to ride it single-speed.
The Ram is a Titanium Frame similar to the Swan, however it is designed for bigger 150mm travel forks. This frame has the same versatility, fitting two tyre sizes 27.5+ and up to 29x2.8". This frame has an aggressive "Trail geometry" with 64deg head angle, long low top tube, ready for a dropper seat post. The RocknRollout Dropouts split for belt drive and adjust for singlespeed.
At the heart of this story lies the hardtail that I developed with Ian's help. The Ram is a Titanium frame with a balanced trail geometry, not too slack and not too long that has stood the test of time. Despite lacking the flashiness and technological advancements of contemporary (full suspension) models, its simplicity, durability, and unique charm were undeniable. With its modern detailing, timeless design and elegant lines, it caught the attention of onlookers who couldn't believe how fast Ian was going.. Ian is determined to demonstrate that the Ram could still hold its own amidst a sea of state-of-the-art counterparts.
Gearing is set up as Dingle-speed (double single speed) 30T:26T for going up to the start line and 34T:22T for going down the Enduro course. Tyres are 27.5x2.6". Fork =150mm Wren upside down fork.
Against all odds, Ian found the rhythm on the trail. The simplicity of the singlespeed setup allowed him to focus entirely on the ride, immersing himself in the sheer joy of navigating the terrain without the distractions of gear changes. Remarkably, their trusty Titanium Ram frame responded admirably, gracefully absorbing shocks while delivering power with each determined pedal stroke.
To his own astonishment, Ian managed to keep pace with riders astride full-suspension bikes equipped with gears. Fuelled by an unwavering determination and a genuine love for the singlespeed setup, Ian pushed his limits, pedalling and pumping the corners to descend treacherous trails with unwavering resolve. And as the finish line approached, Ian crossed it, not in first place and last place, but with an overwhelming sense of achievement, all while having a laugh.
I am glad that Ian has shared his experience with me. This is something that I have thought for a while....
The experience at Tweedlove served as a profound reminder that sometimes, it's not the latest gadgets or flashy gear. There are others doing it for themselves , like the FAF guys in Whistler and Aaron Gwin who wins on chainless...
Photo Credits = Digital Downhill & C Jarman