Singlespeed World Championships 101

This weekend (qualifying events on Saturday, main event on Sunday), Portland (actually Estacada) will host the first ever Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships.

Organizer Dani Dance has some advice for would-be competitors and spectators. Below, she shares a few easy steps to convert your bike to a single speed, issues a call to all the ladies, and offers some encouragement for spectators and hecklers.

A few easy ways to convert your geared bike into a Short-term Single Speed

The absolute best way to convert your geared bike to a single speed is to drop into one of the many fine bicycle stores in the area and pick up a dedicated Single Speed Cross bike for the weekend. Chances are good it will be the bike you end up using the most for other reasons besides racing. Single speed cross bikes start at $550 and go up from there. Think about it…

The easiest way to quickly convert a geared bike to a single speed is to buy or borrow a 15t-19t cog available and freehub spacers. With this, you can put spacers behind the cog so the chain will line up nicely with the front chain ring.

The quickest way to convert geared bikes is to pick which gear you prefer, most likely small ring up front, 34-39t and 15-19t cog in the cassette. Once chosen, mechanics will be on hand to either zip tie or tape your shifting cables in place so that no shifting can occur. Check the cross crusade chat for good advice for gearing. Brake cables will NOT be affected, of course.

The final easy option involves cable cutting. Cut your shift cables, or simply remove them from the derailleurs and adjust the rear derailleur limit screws to the appropriate gear. Mechanics will be on hand to perform this operation. ALLOW YOURSELF LOTS OF TIME BEFORE HAND FOR THE SWITCH! Assume there will be several riders with the same idea.

A Call To All Women
It seems strange that this cross season boasts the largest attendance of woman in Cross Crusade history, and perhaps in the nation, but so far only 5 have signed up for the World Championship title. This is a truly unique event that will be talked about and remembered for many moons. If the opportunity to participate in history and potentially become a World Champion (WORLD Champion) doesn’t prompt you to run out and sign up, here’s some different motivation: do you really want Wendy Williams to feed her ‘cross ego even more? The insider hint is that she is so dependant on gears that this single speed venture will probably break her. Now, we all love Wendy. (The writer considers her a very good friend but has run out of ideas to inspire registration…) She is a great racer and a wonderful person but she needs challenge and this is the opportunity.

Spectators and Hecklers

For those of you still on the fence as to whether you will be attending the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships, think no more. There is NO acceptable reason not to go. What is more important or more entertaining than a FREE PBR beer garden (other beer also available for the microbrew palettes among us), insane single speed bike acrobatics just to qualify for the actual race, mud, free beer, Portland’s favorite past time (cyclocross and beer) and a World level event? Nothing. Already confirmed at the race are Cyclocross and Mountain bike national champ Ryan Trebon, Mountain bike national champion Kona Pro Barry Wicks, 9 time National Champion Giant Bicycle pro Adam Craig, National Road Champion and Pro Mountain biker, Giant’s, Carl Decker, local hero, and with a fan club all the way in Belgium, Kona pro Eric Tonkin and of course the single speed masters and belt holders of Molly Cameron, Matthew Slaven, and Solomon Woras. Women’s Master’s National Cross champ and local heroine Wendy Williams, and rumor has it, Snoop Dogg! (Snoop’s ‘Cross skills are highly under rated…) An after party will occur Saturday night at 7pm. The location will be disclosed at the event, if not sooner. At 9pm, a pub-crawl ensues throughout inner Portland from the party location.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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16 years ago

Jonathan we missed you there and you missed a really fun time, too bad the conflicting schedule and at the opposite side of town. Hope for next year, it was a blast, check out some of the pictures from the event.