The people have spoken and we, your people at BRAC, are listening.
BRAC believes in expanding and developing the sport of amateur bicycle racing in the Rocky Mountain region while ensuring quality experiences for all involved. We want our members to try new opportunities…yeah there are rules, and rules serve a valid purpose in bike racing. We’ve recently heard that this zen-like Singlespeed racing is kinda cool, and want our members to try something new without a lot of hassle.
So, the Board of Directors came together and evaluated the pros and cons of modifying geared bikes to use in Singlespeed races. There are a lot of moving parts, so to speak: The Race Directors, Racers, and Referees all have valid issues why this is great, and what problems can arise. In the end, we found a way to reconcile a seemingly endless list of viewpoints. Hopefully it will work!
The net result is that if you can find a way to SAFELY modify a geared bike to only use 1 gear, you can race that bike in a Singlespeed race (except any and all Championship events). One might ask just how does this happen?? Well, the most common approach is to zip-tie the shifters, and this article offers up a variety of ways to convert a geared bike into a Singlespeed bike. This is on you and your mechanic, though, don’t ask us. ?
Allowing this exception and managing it will be up to each individual Race Director; they will need to work closely with the Chief Referee to ensure there is no possible way for the racer to shift while on course during competition. And it must operate safely, that’s paramount.
Towards that end, we have reached out to USAC and asked them to grant us an exception to the rule that states “A Single Speed is any type of bicycle possessing only one rear cog and only one front chainring and with no means of altering the gear ratio in any way during the race.” We are not anticipating any issues, so if you’ve got that whole Singlespeed thing on your mind, we say DO IT! Enter up, have some fun and who knows, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself adhering to Rule #12 that states that the proper number of bikes to own is N+1.