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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 03-28-14, 11:58 PM   #1
Bug Shield
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32-miles a day on my - now single speed - Surly ECR. Am I crazy?

I have to say that I am happy with the purchase of my Surly ECR as a commuter. With several trips under my belt, I can say that my commuting time seems to be about the same as on my Hardrock. I think I like the ECR better than my Hardrock both on and off the road.

What I haven't been thrilled about is the 2x8 gear setup I brought to the party. I've been thinking about going to an internal-gear hub and may yet, but couldn't bring myself to do that without at least trying it single speed - having had a recent revelation about the value of a single speed on the trail.

Well, I took the plunge and converted it to SS today. I geared a little tall for off road and probably pretty short for the road at 2/1 on 29+. It has positively transformed the bike for unloaded goofing around but I'm a little nervous about how it will be commuting loaded into a headwind. Guess I'll find out soon enough!
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Old 03-29-14, 07:24 AM   #2
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Is 32 miles round trip? I do 26 miles rt on a Gary Fisher Marlin converted to ss. I love it. I'm faster then my geared bike. And I have 600 feet to climb. As far as riding into a headwind.....I don't try to ride into that.
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Old 03-29-14, 08:17 AM   #3
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Yes, my commute is 16 miles each way, so 32 miles a day.

On the trail, I find SS to be faster (and less energy) than geared but am not expecting the same on the road. Of course, I didn't expect it on the trail either.

What gearing are you running on that Marlin? My '12 GF Rig (same bike?) is 34/18 on 2.35 Nobby Nics = about 55 gear-inches. The ECR is 44/22 on Knards = about 60 gear-inches.

I'm worried about wind which is why I geared short.

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Old 03-29-14, 08:44 AM   #4
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It will take a little time for your body to adapt to single speeds when in tougher conditions that leave you having to push a slow cadence fairly hard like headwinds and long climbs but after doing it for a bit it will feel like your body has developed its own set of gears to make slow grinds comfortable as well as spinning faster.

I say keep with it for a while before(it?) you invest in a geared hub
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Old 03-29-14, 06:09 PM   #5
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I'm running 46/18, 63 gear-inches. I can maintain 15 mph on the flats. On the hills, it drops a bit. I just love the ride. Now when the winds come, I slow also. I don't even think of riding when the wind gets really strong( 15-25 with gusts near 40 mph).



Oh, and I do run 26x1.5 Drifters.

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Old 03-29-14, 06:37 PM   #6
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If it was me I would put some narrower slick tires on it, and up the gear ratio to about 44/18 or 42/18. Also if you're riding a lot in windy terrain then maybe try putting drop bars on that bike.
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Old 04-04-14, 10:07 AM   #7
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Well, I know half the story. It was pretty spinny heading down the hill to work and I whimped out instead of facing the 40-mph headwind that afternoon. I bumped the gearing up to about 68 gear inches and am going to try that. Though it felt painfully slow, my (16mi) downhill commute was only 4-minutes slower than average.
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Old 04-04-14, 04:58 PM   #8
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I went to 44/20 (68 gear inches) and think I that's my gear. Tall enough to be challenging, short enough to be doable.
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