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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-11-11, 07:56 PM   #1
mburgess86
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gears or no gears?

Do you commute by single speed or or gears? I'm trying to decide on my next bike; right now I have both but the single speed gives me less problems I may sell the 21 speed not sure though...
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Old 05-11-11, 08:01 PM   #2
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You might want to consider a bike with an IGH... simplicity of a single chainline, but with gears. Best of both worlds.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:08 PM   #3
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right now I am commuting with a converted single speed. the shifting was a pain in the butt.
I would like a geared bike though!
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Old 05-11-11, 08:14 PM   #4
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I have 24 gears available, but only use like 5- the big chain ring up front and the 5 smallest cogs. And of the 5, I tend to heavily use just 3. I want a SS, but the winds lately make me hesitant.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:15 PM   #5
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both!
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Old 05-11-11, 08:25 PM   #6
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Single-speed here, I love the simplicity and durablity of a 1/8 chain (4500 miles so far on this one). But at age 66, a good headwind gives me pause on occasion. If I have to change, I've thought about getting a smaller chainwheel to make it easier.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mburgess86 View Post
Do you commute by single speed or or gears? I'm trying to decide on my next bike; right now I have both but the single speed gives me less problems I may sell the 21 speed not sure though...
Gears, with 2 rings and 9 cogs providing 15 distinct options of which I've used all but one on my commute.

Properly adjusted derailleur setups don't have problems. Apart from shifter rebuilds after enough years (Campagnolo G-springs wear out) mine have been problem free. The rear is getting worn out so it might not shift as fast as it used to, but 15 years of service isn't too bad.
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Old 05-11-11, 08:36 PM   #8
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Whatever you want. Be your own rider. I ride both, I like both. I choose when I get up in the morning. Simple
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Old 05-11-11, 09:44 PM   #9
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Both for me too. Fixed gear and roadie! If you don't have any massive hills to deal with (or many) then you probably don't "need" gears.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:14 PM   #10
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I am in a similar situation. Looking for a new bike and heavily considering single speed. I like the Masi Speciale Commuter, but am continuing to look around.
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Old 05-12-11, 12:32 AM   #11
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all flat for me i commute fixed
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Old 05-12-11, 01:20 AM   #12
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Far from flat, .. I really like my Rohloff hub ..
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Old 05-12-11, 03:01 AM   #13
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I use an 8-speed internal hub gear on rolling roads, nothing very steep or big.
Ive had my derailleur bikes set up with single, double and triple chainrings. Single chainring setups can be quite effective.
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Old 05-12-11, 03:26 AM   #14
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I'm very biased about this - consider a 1x9 [8 or 10] set up ? Simplicity of a SS is nice. A few gears are very nice - there are lots of commuting days when the wind is wrong, engine is running is little off, etc; for which a few gears makes the ride much easier. The 1x9 set up is pragmatic and highly effective for commuting.
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Old 05-12-11, 05:53 AM   #15
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Both. The only time that fixed/ss can be frustrating is during really windy days when a headwind forces one to mash but a tailwind has one pumping like a sewing machine.
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Old 05-12-11, 06:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mburgess86 View Post
Do you commute by single speed or or gears? I'm trying to decide on my next bike; right now I have both but the single speed gives me less problems I may sell the 21 speed not sure though...
Fixed is even less potential problems that ss. I pretty much exclusively commute by fg, but I have a tourning bike with lots of gears as a backup.

I would surely sing a different tune if my route was extremely hilly.
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Old 05-12-11, 07:05 AM   #17
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both. depends on what time I leave the house. If I'm running late, I take the road bike with 20 speed. If I leave on time, I take the single speed.
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Old 05-12-11, 07:05 AM   #18
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I ride on a SS. Love it but as many says, it depend on the area you are. If there is a lot of hills, SS might not be the best choice. If you can have both, it it the best option. SS is great but when face with a head wind, it is not fun.

Might want to try to ride for a week in only one gear all the time (no cheating). If you see that you are confortable with it, go with the SS. That is how I knew that I was good to make the switch.
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Old 05-12-11, 07:09 AM   #19
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If they slice out half of a lung, then put hills in front of you, you need gears.
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Old 05-12-11, 07:49 AM   #20
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all 3 of my bikes are derailleur bikes (1x8 folder, 3x7 hybrid, 2x10 road bike). i live in pancake flat chicago; there are no hills of any consequence along my 15 mile one-way commute. however, i ride directly along chicago's lakefront where winds can be downright ferocious a lot of the time. when i have to battle one of those 25 knot headwinds on my way in, i sure am glad to have some lower gears to drop down into. and when that same 25 knot wind is a tailwind on my way home, i sure am glad to have some higher firepower to take advantage of it.

some have cited the complexity and nuisance of maintaining derailleur systems as a reason to ride SS/FG/IGH and that's totally cool. to each their own and all that. but i think that it comes down to basic personality traits. i'm a tinkerer by nature, i like fiddling around with mechanical stuff, learning all about how it works. i genuinely enjoy the time i spend cleaning, maintaining, and repairing my bikes. i don't find derailleur maintenance to be a pain in the ass as many other riders seem to. i keep everything well lubed, clean, and tightened up so my derailleur systems almost never give me any grief.

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Old 05-12-11, 08:02 AM   #21
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I still think for commuter bikes, an IGH rear hub is ideal. They're getting cheap enough now to be a real alternative.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:52 AM   #22
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Gears... hills everywhere!
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Old 05-12-11, 08:59 AM   #23
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Even with hills, it's still possible to go singlespeed; you just need to determine if the sacrifice in top speed is acceptible to you.
I've got plenty of hills and I use a 44/18 singlespeed ratio, which is a fairly tiny 65-ish gear inches. Good for climbing the 2 mile long, 5% hills that I deal with routinely without having to stand and mash. However, it's not so great for top end speed unless you can spin like a madman. 90rpm only puts me at 17.5mph and I've gotten used to spinning about 110-ish.
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Old 05-12-11, 08:59 AM   #24
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... but i think that it comes down to basic personality traits...
There are times in life, sometimes extended periods, when what you want to do and what you have time to do can't be the same thing.
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Old 05-12-11, 09:06 AM   #25
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I have found that riding with no gears is difficult...
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