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Old 01-16-14, 08:50 AM   #1
darren gray
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Gear or non - gear bicycle ?

Hi,

I am 25 and new to cycling, i am about to purchase a cycle for travel to office it about 10-15 KM one way and all total in a day of about 25-30 KM.

I checked out BSA mach city, btwin my bike and btwin kemmel.

I would like to know if i would need a bicycle with a gear or not as i do not know the advantages and disadvantages of it.

All almost cost the same so cost does not matter, what i am looking from my bicycle is,

- Less maintenance
- Long life and durability

Please help
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Old 01-16-14, 08:55 AM   #2
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A single speed would be a bit less maintenance, but durability often depends on the quality of the machine and not if it has multiple gears or not. Are there hill on the route you'll take? If so, as a new rider, I'd probably want multiple gears.
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Old 01-16-14, 09:23 AM   #3
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A single speed would be a bit less maintenance, but durability often depends on the quality of the machine and not if it has multiple gears or not. Are there hill on the route you'll take? If so, as a new rider, I'd probably want multiple gears.
No just straight roads..

The bicycle i am looking out is btwin my bike if non gears btwin kemmel if its a gear cycle.
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Old 01-16-14, 09:41 AM   #4
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I find gears are worth having even though I live in NJ (pretty flat here) because roads are truly not flat they have spots where its nice to put it in a higher gear and others where I am getting a bit bogged down so I put it in a lighter gear to keep cadence up...
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Old 01-16-14, 10:02 AM   #5
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Single speed is great for a 10km flat commute.
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Old 01-16-14, 10:54 AM   #6
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Non gear is one where you sit on the saddle and push your feet along the street ..

a Unicycle has no gears, but really the wheel size is like a gear choice..

Quote:
I checked out BSA mach city, btwin my bike and btwin kemmel.
Translate? Kemmel ? Near Ypres on the Belgian-French Border?

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-16-14 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 01-16-14, 11:33 AM   #7
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It wouldn't hurt to get one with a 3spd IGH hub. Much more efficient with or against the wind.
SS is basically only good from 10 to 20 mph.
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Old 01-16-14, 11:40 AM   #8
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Single speed is great for a 10km flat commute.
Agreed.
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Old 01-16-14, 11:40 AM   #9
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I commute on a single speed about 10km each way (20km RT). It's relatively flat and the bike has been fine.

It's no maintenance, which is very nice.

This is a super cheap project for me so I went with a Mangobike to try it out (295) ... similar to a b'twin bike which are excellent value for money (Decathlon store brand).

I haven't had any issues so far and do expect any until about 2000km, when I think the rear tire will be shot ... which is OK for a 5 tire

Try it, you'll probably like it!
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Old 01-16-14, 11:45 AM   #10
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I don't think we can answer your question for you. We can give the benefits of both styles of bike. Go to your LBS try some bikes out and see what works for you.

If the trip is flat and winds aren't to strong. Then a ss/fg will be a great low maintenance bike.

On the other hand, if there are hills and/or strong winds, I would take the extra maintenance of a geared bike any day. And truthfully, there's not that much more maintenance required. Having the ability to change gears when need or wanted is a blessing
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Old 01-16-14, 11:51 AM   #11
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If the trip is flat and winds aren't to strong. Then a ss/fg will be a great low maintenance bike.

On the other hand, if there are hills and/or strong winds, I would take the extra maintenance of a geared bike any day. And truthfully, there's not that much more maintenance required.
I agree with this... really how much more maintenance is there from having gears? I haven't really needed to do anything special for
gears (though not a lot of miles yet)... do chains and sprockets not ever wear out on a fg/ss?
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Old 01-16-14, 12:13 PM   #12
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Do chains and sprockets not ever wear out on a fg/ss?
Yes, they do, for sure. I didn't think so either until I broke a very old chain (Regina) and had to walk the bike up some hills. I put on a new chainring, new fixed gear (15t this time) and a new Shimano chain and it's been fine for several thousand miles since.

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Old 01-16-14, 12:59 PM   #13
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I was in the same boat. purchased a first bike in my twenties after only marginally using crappy hand me down bikes growing up. I went with a BD fixed gear... other than flat tires, slapping some lube on the chain, and the odd rim true, there was basically no maintenance required. if I could go back and change anything, it would just be to throw a freewheel on instead of staying fixed.

that said, a properly set up geared bike doesn't require much maintenance, but it does require more. if you know the basics of tuning a derailleur the extra maintenance is a non issue. but I know if I had purchased a geared bike back then there would have been several times I would have had to leave my bike at the lbs to get tuned because I knew nothing. and that's a big issue when it's your only means of transportation.

if it's mostly flat, you can't go wrong either way, but there will be some days you absolutely get gassed with only one gear to choose from.

I put several thousand miles through two years of constant commute and no cars. rain, shine, freezing mornings, didn't have to replace or "tune" a single thing besides choking up the brakes once or twice, and some new tires.

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Old 01-16-14, 01:38 PM   #14
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For me, the past ten years have been a cycle of gears---> Yes, gears ---> No.
I get tired of wasting time maintaining them on my commuter bikes, so I switch to single speeders.
Then, I get tired of mashing hills and not making great time per effort spent with the SS rigs, so
back to gears. My Single Speed mule needs a bottom bracket so I think Im going to get a new bracket
but have the bracket come attached to a geared bike
Ive resigned myself to terminal flipp-floppery, it's all good
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Old 01-16-14, 08:37 PM   #15
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IMHO - a few gears are preferred, three speed sounds optimal for op ride. Some days, you just need the change of pace or there is a strong head wind, or rider is blown from the flu. The three speed IGH is amazingly durable, and economical - however getting a bike that fits well and is comfortable is more important than the number of gears.
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