To One-Up or Not to One-Up? Is That the Question?
So I’ve been checking out the One-Up 42T and thinking about how wonderful it would be to chug up a hill, merrily, without grunting and worrying about how perhaps I’m not using the correct muscle, is this exacerbating my hernia, am I going to tip over from not pedaling and staying clipped-in, am I having a heart attack.
Surely, my Salsa Vaya was just made slightly imperfectly.
I stared at the bright green sprocket. I imagined it on my bicycle. I watched tutorials displaying how easy(!) it is to install. I could see myself spinning up a mountain, Carson’s Pass, thanking Past Lizzie for adding this beautiful granny gear. Well, maybe one day I’ll look back and thank myself for the new addition, but that day is not today.
It is raining this afternoon and I really wanted to put off training until tomorrow. But the vision of myself flying up the mountain with a smile got me out the door and seriously considering the $80 price tag — IT MUST BE WORTH IT. I went to my local bike shop and talked it out with my new cycle therapist, Brian. “Surely, my Salsa Vaya was just made slightly imperfectly. It’s a ‘light’ touring bike, so it must not be designed to handle The Rockies.” Brian assured me that my current ratio of 1:1 (32T front and back) is basically most granny gear ratios. This cannot be!
Turns out, maybe I’m the problem.
I looked down at my legs and thought WTF. Why do I use my 1:1 ratio to ‘climb’ the ‘hill’ in the park? Do I have terrible lung capacity? Do I need iron supplements? Am I just lazy?
At that point, the decision made itself.
- DO YOUR TRAINING, YOU JERK. A trip to the Palisades Parkway is in order. With actual climbs. Get up those hills, figure out how to change your brain, and blast your Sia or whatever needs to happen.
- By the time Colorado comes around, any bike shop can add a shiny new cog to change up the ratio of my gears. I can decide then if I want to get an $80 bail-out gear, change up my entire crank/shifting system for a triple, or I can look at my legs and think, Well Damn, We Got This.
Lizzie is kind of a brave weenie. Only in the last year has she been able to bike to Manhattan from her home in Flatbush, Brooklyn (~6 miles) and now here she is: about to embark on a cross-country tour with a packed front fork of Gatorade.