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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    50+ Singlespeed?

    I hear a lot about fixie's on the BF threads but not that much about singlespeeds. Just curious, do any of you own/ride singlespeeds? What do you think of the concept? How do you decide if that type of bike will work in your area?

  2. #2
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I live in a hilly section of LA and I ride my fixed gear all the time. You just need to pick the appropriate gearing for your particular area.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  3. #3
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I'm not certain about fixed but I'm lookin' real hard at a Redline with a flip-flop.

    http://www.redlinebicycles.com/adult...rge/925-lg.jpg
    Carpe who?

  4. #4
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    I hear a lot about fixie's on the BF threads but not that much about singlespeeds. Just curious, do any of you own/ride singlespeeds? What do you think of the concept? How do you decide if that type of bike will work in your area?
    How about just putting your roadie/hybrid/whatever in the gear you would want for your single speed and not changing gears?

    A heck of a lot cheaper.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  5. #5
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    How about just putting your roadie/hybrid/whatever in the gear you would want for your single speed and not changing gears?

    A heck of a lot cheaper.
    Thsi is sooooo not the same on many levels.
    Carpe who?

  6. #6
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - here's my review of my cheap excursion into ss/fixie land:

    Dawes SST Lightning SS/Fixie Review (Pics)

    - btw, the bike is doing great! did a full check out when assembling... added some grease... trued the wheels... have only had to tighten the cranks... the bike 'whistled' when i first got it... then discovered it was the wind moving across the hollow of the fork below the head tube...

    - when i go to sell it, the ad will read something like:

    "For sale: A bright yellow, well-maintained ss/fixie used only once a week by a little old man in Florida, who took it for 25-mile rides in a local park every Friday. Seatstay, seat tube, and fork decals have been butter-knifed off, with the top and downtube carefully wrapped w/a split recycled 700x23 tube. A 15mm lugnut tool is affixed underneath seat tube bottle lugs for roadside repairs. Includes rear rack, 700x25 Maxxis tires, front/rear rim brakes, and wired Sigma computer w/10,000 miles on odometer. Purchased new 25 years ago for $259, including shipping. Best offer."

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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    How about just putting your roadie/hybrid/whatever in the gear you would want for your single speed and not changing gears?

    A heck of a lot cheaper.
    Interesting that you suggested that. That is exactly what I did yesterday because I was curious about the idea of a singlespeed. Not too sure about fixed gear though.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Fredmertz51's Avatar
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    Got a Kona A-HA, and a Bianchi BUSS. Those are my good bikes. I also have a TREK SU-100, and a full-Campy OLMO, but they're nothing special, just transportation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    I hear a lot about fixie's on the BF threads but not that much about singlespeeds. Just curious, do any of you own/ride singlespeeds? What do you think of the concept? How do you decide if that type of bike will work in your area?
    So just do it. If after a while you decide it isn't for you, chalk it up as tuition in the school of bicycle knowledge and try something else.

    To me that's part of the beauty of bicycling. It's relatively affordable to try different things. Even if they don't work the way you had envisioned, you never really lose because you always learn something new through the process.

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    OT: your LHT

    so what gearing do you have on your LHT?

    I noticed it listed in your tag line & since I'm building one right now, thought I'd ask...

    tom
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    Interesting that you suggested that. That is exactly what I did yesterday because I was curious about the idea of a singlespeed. Not too sure about fixed gear though.
    I often select a gear and go for an entire ride in it. Pedaling away from stop lights can be a chore in a big gear, but you do get stronger, as the single speed crowd often claims. And, I agree with your trepidation towards a fixed gear. I can't imagine ever getting comfortable, especially in traffic where quick stops and dismounts happen often.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    An excursion into fixie-land is on my short list of projects. I'm hoping that it would be beneficial to my technique. I've done the "stay-in-one-gear" thing but it's too easy to coast; you have no choice with a fixie. I'd rather build something up from a frame, but I'm not married to that idea.

    I'd be interested in your experiences in riding the darned things! (Is it difficult to stop/start, did you forget that you didn't have a freehub, etc.)

  13. #13
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    My '79 is a singlespeed, I am using a 42/18 ratio, rolling hills here and this works fine. I can maintain 15mph fairly well and no trouble with the local hills. I use it as my go to the store, coffeshop bike and enjoy its simplicity. Once in a while I take it on my daily ride and go 15 to 20 miles easily. I have no desire to go fixed though.
    Try it, you might like it!
    Treks, 79-710, 83-600, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-930, 1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  14. #14
    dbg
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    I built up an old Peugeot (UO8) frame to singlespeed a couple years ago. It remains one of my favorite rides only ocasionally topped by whatever recent project I'm working on. I love the simplicity of it. Mine is set to 69 gear-inches and has a cadence version computer on it just so I can see what I'm spinning. It's beautiful. No gear distractions. If you want to go faster, pedal faster. If you want to climb a hill, stand up and put you a$$ into it.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    I rode the other day in my middle ring (39) and the fifth cog on the back. How is that ratio described? I don't quite understand 42/18

  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Depends on how many hills and how steep- including the downhills.

    On my hills- with my age- I need as much help as I can get so 27speed will just about give me a gear to get up the bu%%ars and I can still pedal downhills.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  17. #17
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    I don't know how to figure gear inches, 48/18 means my chainring has 42 teeth and rear wheel has an 18 tooth sprocket.
    Treks, 79-710, 83-600, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-930, 1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
    An excursion into fixie-land is on my short list of projects. I'm hoping that it would be beneficial to my technique. I've done the "stay-in-one-gear" thing but it's too easy to coast; you have no choice with a fixie. I'd rather build something up from a frame, but I'm not married to that idea.

    I'd be interested in your experiences in riding the darned things! (Is it difficult to stop/start, did you forget that you didn't have a freehub, etc.)
    Yup. I built myself a fixed gear this summer pretty much for the same reasons. I've had some fun with it but I haven't ridden it for awhile. I'll tell you this: You don't realize how much you coast until you try riding a fixed gear bike.

  19. #19
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    While I grew up with a single speed, and went up many a significant West Virginia hill on it, at this I wouldn't go with anything less than a three-speed. Still pretty simple, still a throw-back, but much more versatile. But I could probably get by with a single-speed in an area that was very flat. I'm done fighting one of these up a hill.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    You don't realize how much you coast until you try riding a fixed gear bike.
    I didn't realize how much I coasted until I got a computer that recorded average cadence. Like I'm spinning most of the ride at 90 RPM and when I get home the average is 73RPM! I thought something was wrong with the computer at first, but I guess it's just the engine.

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    In my mind's eye, I'm standing at the top of everyone's local Suicide Hill. I'm wondering just how many rpm my cranks will hit on my imaginary fixie before my knees are ripped apart in a blur of piston-like motion. Guess I'd be riding the brakes downhill as much as the bike.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  22. #22
    King of the molehills bcoppola's Avatar
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    I'm hoping to have my el cheapo thrift shoppe fixed gear conversion completed within a week. I'll report back as soon as I have something meaningful to say (besides "yow, my legs sure hurt!). I hope the weather will allow me to ride it at least a few times before calling it a season. Just got the cog and chainring spacers from Harris.

    There is a gear inch calculator on Sheldon Brown's site (of course!), as well as a "gain ratio" calculator which he prefers.

    I gave riding my road bike in one gear a try on my last club ride. Not bad, but then it was a flat ride. And I'm in pretty good shape as the season winds down.

    I'm hoping the fixed gear will give me mighty Jan Ullrich thighs next year.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    I hear a lot about fixie's on the BF threads but not that much about singlespeeds. Just curious, do any of you own/ride singlespeeds? What do you think of the concept? How do you decide if that type of bike will work in your area?

    I've been riding a fixed for a few years, I would suggest a flip-flop wheel so you can do either. Would also put front and a rear brake on. I use a 40/17 and I ride some pretty hilly stuff.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampy™
    I'm not certain about fixed but I'm lookin' real hard at a Redline with a flip-flop.

    http://www.redlinebicycles.com/adult...rge/925-lg.jpg
    Those Redline 925s are nice, aren't they? I wouldn't mind having one myself, often having pondered SS/fixed gear riding. I never tried any, but those moustache bars look neat!

  25. #25
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    Most any multi-geared bike can easily be converted to a single speed. Remove all but one front chainring, if you have a freewheel hub remove all but one cog from the freewheel body (This can be a bit tricky) or if it's a cassette hub use one cog and spacers (Which chainring position and cog position to use will depend on the chainline), remove the derailleurs (If the frame has long dropouts you're OK but if not get a chain tensioner and mount it in place of the rear derailleur, or simply use the rear derailleur as a tensioner), size the chain, and voila! Two to one gearing (Chainring to cog) is a good place to start (Usually the available chainrings & cogs will allow a good enough 'starting out' combination), i.e. 52-26, 42-21, 34-17, 38-19, etc. Good candiates for a "first" single speed are 20 year old road or rigid mountain bikes with long, horizontal dropouts and rear cassette hubs. They are cheap & plentiful.

    I've been riding an MTB rigid frame/fork based single speed with a Surly chain tensioner and freewheel rear hub (A five speed body with a screwed-on third position cog) for six years and recently built up a 700c single speed frame with front brake only (In comparison, light & responsive and very clean looking).

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