Shenandoah 100 mile

Posted: September 9, 2015 by bobmoss1971 in Uncategorized

Another great race report from Bob Moss!


Shenandoah 100 mile backcountry mountain bike race in Virginia’s George Washington National forest, my new NEU favorite course, I finished 2nd Single Speed at a total time of 8:11; 11 minutes behind Don Powers. Awesome race, great course, 6 mountains using paved roads, dirt roads, double track and single track with rugged long gnarly descents.

This race seemed to pull away from me much faster than most of the other NUE’s this year. Usually I can hang with the front pack up to about 20 miles, and then I fade back a few spots maintaining a pace that allows me to sometimes outlast the competition. After about 10 miles into the race I was solo, dropped from the first 2 packs, with Gordon, Don, and another SS’er ahead of me. At the first hike a bike the 3rd pack of about 20 caught me, this section of trail did not have enough room to pass and it was pretty step, so if you were walking, as I was, you had to step aside and let riders pass. This is the section that I ran into Gordon not feeling well at all, he had jungle bug from Costa Rico.


Big relief for me, to get past Gordon; in previous NUE races I have been able to real back in the rest of the SS field later in the race. Going into this race Gordon had 4 SS wins, due to him transitioning back and forth between geared and single speed throughout the series, and for me I had 2 SS wins and 1 second. So if I could win this one, It would have been my only shot at the series win, then I would have to win the final at Fools Gold. I was chasing with all I had, no issues just enjoying the day, thinking everything would just fall into place.

I caught 2nd place somewhere around 50 miles, and continued to chase Don, but I never even got within sight of him. When I crossed the finish line Chris Scott announced I was the 1st SS, I was very excited for about 10 seconds until Don came over and let me know I was not. Great race Don and congratulations on the win.


Really looking forward to Fools Gold, even though the best I can do for the series is second that is not a bad place to be. Big thanks to all of my sponsors Farnsworth Bicycles,  Industry NineEndless Bike CompanyParagon Machine WorksTorrenti CyclesReynoldsCrank Arm BrewingRouler Sportswear for sticking with me through a sketchy year of recovering from last year’s injuries.

29er Plus

Posted: August 30, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized

I recently completed a 29er+ build for a customer (and friend).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

29er+ is an interesting tire format to supports riding in a wide range of conditions. It’s still a pretty new concept, a lot of people really enjoy this style of bike. The rims are the same size as a 29er but extra wide. The tires are also wide. It seems like the perfect thing for winter training. The frame can also be run with normal wheels so the setup provides a lot of flexibility. Eventually, I am going to build a 29er+ for myself.


This is my second NUE win for the season and both were very similar in regards to my strengths, I’m not as fast as I used to be, but I have learned to endure and ride at a slower pace. I really like to get the hole shot in my category at the start, that is the only way I can attempt to try to keep up with who is in front, when they pass. This race was very similar to the Mohican 100 for me. I jump ahead for about 20-30 miles, then fall back and settle in (cruise control) in about 5th place, it is not planned; it just worked out that way in both races. I watch the others SSer’s surge ahead and I really want to, but I can’t, so I just settle in and hope for the best for the remainder of 60-70 miles.

Wilderness101action shot

Some where about 30 miles in we had a hard decent, Watts was pushing the speed fast. There was a big group and several SSer’s together packed tight we crossed a dip with a sharp rock I had just enough time for me to clear it. No time for me to announce the hole, Watts he hit hard bent his rim, his race was over. This was about the time when Matt Ferrari, pulled ahead, from there I mainly road with a SS’er wearing an US Army racing kit. Strong guy running 32×17 full ridged, he had a set of tree trunks, maybe not Quadworthey , but pretty stout to be pushing that gear.

We grouped up on the road with another SS’er Don Powers and a couple of geared riders had a good thing going. Then a pack of  about 5 riders with Vicki Barclay rolled by and brakes our pack apart, Army guy was able to hold on to new pack, Don put in a lot of effort to regroup, I knew better. Too much effort at fifty makes for a hard hundred. At this point I was alone, settled into my slow and steady pace.

This time alone helped me recover, and then we started into some good steady climbs and solid nasty descents.  This is where I got my second wind and everyone stated getting pulled in. Road with Army guy again for a while on the gravel, he was on the inside in one of the fast gravel hairpins down hills and I announced motorcycle, Army guy took the MC on the left side head on, I couldn’t even look. It was real close he said it was a good thing he had cat like reflexes, glade it wasn’t this old bulldog on that side. Last one to catch was Ferrari on the some of the descents, we went back and forth a few times, he could see I was having a good day in the ruff, and he let me by on one the descents, and from there I was off on my own just watching over my shoulder.


My Farnsworth bike was awesome, 36×21 gearing, handles great, smooth, the steel to me just takes the edge off, not all the chatter like aluminum and titanium,  without the added weight of rear shock and the bobbing. Glade to run fresh rubber Maxxis IKON 2.2 30psi in the rear and Arden 2.4 25psi upfront and for this rocky terrain you have to have the side wall protection, the expensive ones with all the lingo on the side walls. If you can’t finish you can’t win, GO FAR.

Ikon2.2 Ardent2.4

Southern Endurance Series Race #2

Posted: June 14, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized

A highlight of the North Carolina 2015 race season is the Southern Endurance Series.  The series includes five races with each event featuring six and three hour events.  In each event the promoter has categories for individual riders, two person teams, and single speed bikes.

The second race of the series was a huge success for our riders.  Three solid wins in one race.  The top two overall individual riders were on Farnsworth Bicycles.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tom Boylan won the single speed and was the fastest overall individual rider.  Bob Moss won the open category and was the second fastest of the individual riders. Our single seed duo team of John Haddock and Mike Jarzomski won their category.  I finished second in the single speed and was third overall behind Tom and Bob.  Michael VandenHeuvel finished third in single speed duo category despite crashing and riding with a broken rib.

I managed to retain my series leadership in solo single speed.  Tom moved into second for the series ranking.  The next race in the series is July 18th on the Angler’s Ridge trail system in Danville, VA.

Berger Hardware Criterium

Posted: June 7, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized

My primary race focus is endurance oriented single speed events but I also like to mix things up. I enjoy building, riding, and racing many style of bikes. For the past few weeks, I have been spending a bit of time on my geared road bike.

In Raleigh, we have a nice criterium style road race on Sundays sponsored by Berger Hardware. I managed to get a 3rd place finish in the masters category behind some pretty fast dudes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many of the guys were on full carbon replica bikes that reflect the machines used at the Tour de France.  I was racing my own unique steel bike.  My bike is a little bit heavier than some of the other bikes but the frame really only weighs about 2.5 pounds more. When you look at the weight of the racer plus the bike, 2.5 pounds works out to be around 2% of the total weight. Basically, the difference between steel and carbon in terms of race performance is meaningless.

Where I think my bike had an advantage was in ride quality, fit, and handling.  The Berger race course has a few spots with nasty pavement.  I noticed some of the other guys having trouble with their wheels skittering around.  My tires run 28mm and my frame has a long wheelbase vs. “typical” bikes.  The long wheelbase combined with my relaxed body position gave me far more than a 2% advantage over bikes that I have owned in the past.  The steel bike felt stable around the turns especially in places where the pavement was cracked.

The race followed the same basic script that plays out in criteriums all over the world.  We road around for a while as a big group for 40 minutes.  On the final lap the pace picked up a bit and we came around for a sprint finish.  It was fun; criteriums don’t have the total soul crushing race experience that I seek when I race six hour mountain bike events. Then again, it’s nice to occasionally have energy after the race to enjoy the afternoon and not simply curl up in a ball. I’ll save that for next weekend when I do the 6 hour race in the Southern Endurance Series at Crabtree. See you there!

Mohican 100mile NUE Race

Posted: June 1, 2015 by bobmoss1971 in Uncategorized


Guest post from Bob Moss

I had a great race Saturday in Loudonville, OH at the Mohican 100 NUE. Fast start with a premium of $200.00 to the top of the first climb out of town, after the climb we regrouped, but started to spread out with 4-5 miles of pavement. Dropped into single track in 4th I believe, 1st Will Crissman, 2nd Peat Henry, 3rd Jim Litzinger, and me following in the single speeds, maybe in the top 30 off road. Peat, Jim, and myself probably road about 7 hours of the race together, the top 4 SS’ers were close throughout the entire race.


About 10 miles in Mike Montalbano a SS’er out of NY, caught me and I was struggling to maintain his pace, he know who we were chasing so I wanted to stay with him. He let me know about the F’in road, F’in rocks, F’in roots; then he F’in left me. Re-grouped with Peat and Jim, we had a good pace, they were faster on the gnar, and would quickly walk away on the hike-a-bikes; heel to toe isn’t what it used to be yet on the right foot. Ankle is doing much better and healing fine, I just have not had enough time on it to build it up yet. Taken it easy on the beat down trails, I do not want any more down time to recovery from injuries, I would rather push harder were I have less chance of crashing.


Mike bonked somewhere around this time (DNF), we passed him. Aid station at mile 50 ran into Gordon Wadsworth and Cory Rimmer, they missed out on some nutrition and blew up, front group was running a fast pace. When we got to 60 miles I was really feeling drained and I had my own concerns of finishing in the top 5, Peat told me he was surprised to see me close the gap, after some of the hike-a-bikes.  Then at mile 70 we on a rail trail, I got my second wind and pulled away from Peat and Jim for the last time.

2015 MOHICAN 100 MI SS

Mile 80 I finally caught Will, he was at the top of hill looking down and hollered down “are you single speed or geared” I really wanted to say geared, but I told him I was SS. He turned and started to move as fast as he could at the time, which was not very fast, he was in pretty bad shape. Passed Will shortly after, with Peat still in pursuit, last 20 miles was good for me with plenty of road and nice rolling trail, finishing time for me was 8:07 and Peat was 8:11.


Big thanks to sponsorship, Farnsworth Bicycles for providing frames that handle great, climb like a goat, and positioning second to none when you are throwing down the hammer. Industry Nine (beauty, durability, performance) , Endless Bike Company (Kick Ass Cogs and The One Ring), Paragon Machine Works, Torrenti Cycles, Reynolds, Crank Arm Brewing (best Beer ever), Rouler Sportswear (All day comfort, that hold up to GO FAR). Thanks Photoglyphix, for all of the great photos.

New Road/CX/Gravel Bike

Posted: May 20, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized


The new road bike is similar to my last one but includes a number of refinements plus a nicer paint job.

I start the design process with a target position.

For this bike, I have my body position with bars a little lower and further out vs. my last road/cx bike. The following is a drawing of my new position while riding in the standard positions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With an understanding of the body position, I moved on to design aspects of the frame that impact how it rides. I really like how my recent mountain bikes feel and wanted to capture this on the road bike while still supporting the low bar position.

My knees, heels, and calves track very close to the center line of the bike. On most normal road bikes often find that my knees brush the sides of the top tube. When climbing, I have occasionally been annoyed with my knees brushing the sides of the headtube near the stem. Part of what I like about my mountain bikes is that the top tube is low and out of the way.

I went with an extremely sloping top tube that puts the bike down low. I also decided to keep the chainstays long enough to prevent my heels from brushing them when pedaling. I also happen to like the feel of my mountain bike with a relaxed head tube angle. In addition, I used an oversize 38mm Reynolds 853 downtube for rock solid stability when climbing or when bombing down nasty gravel roads. The result is a road/cx bike that looks a lot like a mountain bike.

The normal way that I will ride the bike is with an ENVE CX fork that has 395mm axle to crown and 47mm offset. I have the option to swap the fork to an ENVE road model to change the geometry for handling that is more traditional. This will require me to use a set back seat post but otherwise have minimal impact on my body position. In addition ENVE will soon release a gravel specific fork to provide a third option.

I do not include the traditional “effective top tube length” measurement. The ETT is 588mm with the CX fork but I prefer to think about bikes based on the front center measurement especially because in many cases the top tubes on bikes that I build are not level.

I have ridden the bike with both the road and CX fork options. Currently I prefer the more relaxed geometry and larger tire clearance using the CX fork.

The bike is finished with rich emerald green sparkle powder coat finish. Components are a mix of old and new stuff with TRP hydro brakes and Duraace nine speed. I run the cable routing under the top tube and down the seat stays using enclosed (no zip tie) guides.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.