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  1. #1
    Senior Member jpmac55's Avatar
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    Upstate NYers: Questions on Singlespeed

    Hello,

    I am looking for a bike to ride in winter. At first, I thought of getting an internal gear hub bike but am beginning to reconsider a singlespeed. The concern I have about singlespeed is deciding if SS's are suited for the hilly, upstate country roads like in Rennselaer County. Although I'd like the option of busting through some fresh snow, I probably will wait until the roads clear. I am too far away for commuting, live in the country and am looking to ride just enough to deminish the symptons of spring fever. Anyway, here are a few questions:

    1. Are SS bikes best suited for city riding and commuting?
    2. Do you ride a SS on county roads outside of Albany, Troy, etc?
    3. Do you ride in winter? If so, what is your bike of choice?

    I have done plenty of research but sometimes the more I read, the more confused I get. For instance, I thought I needed a commuter bike like the Jamis Commuter 3 but that evolved into a Bianchi San Jose. Unfortunately, I am not that handy to build my own.

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_san_jose.html
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...commuter3.html

    Thanks!
    John
    Rivendell Saluki, Specialized Tricross, Dahon Mu SL

  2. #2
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmac55 View Post
    Hello,

    I am looking for a bike to ride in winter. At first, I thought of getting an internal gear hub bike but am beginning to reconsider a singlespeed. The concern I have about singlespeed is deciding if SS's are suited for the hilly, upstate country roads like in Rennselaer County. Although I'd like the option of busting through some fresh snow, I probably will wait until the roads clear. I am too far away for commuting, live in the country and am looking to ride just enough to deminish the symptons of spring fever. Anyway, here are a few questions:

    1. Are SS bikes best suited for city riding and commuting?
    2. Do you ride a SS on county roads outside of Albany, Troy, etc?
    3. Do you ride in winter? If so, what is your bike of choice?

    I have done plenty of research but sometimes the more I read, the more confused I get. For instance, I thought I needed a commuter bike like the Jamis Commuter 3 but that evolved into a Bianchi San Jose. Unfortunately, I am not that handy to build my own.

    http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_san_jose.html
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...commuter3.html

    Thanks!
    Not in upstate, but in VT, and I have a Surly CrossCheck that I use as a fixed gear winter bike. (and I ride it the rest of the year too... I like it so much...) I built it with a flip flop hub, but I've never flipped it to the SS side. I ride 42x19 for the terrain here in Burlington. I've been through Albany and Troy and Bennington many many times and I think a SS would be fine - but you'll have to experiment with the gearing to get it just right for you.

    It's adaptable so you can later put gears on it if you want.

  3. #3
    Craig A. Lebowitz lebowitz's Avatar
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    Around saratoga county I think a SS would be great, there is some very nice farmland to tool around
    my uncle rides one all the time

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scooped's Avatar
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    i have a a jamis sputnik but am a wuss, i don't ride in the rain or snow.it is a great ride for the $ it comes with a flip flop hub so you can rid either fixed or free wheel (with brakes i hope) or front with front.you can always change your gearing for your own personal confort. it is steel with a carbon fork so if your going to spend a lot of time in wet weather baybe alum is for you...maybe the langster although the ride isn't as smooth
    good luck
    "if the thunder don't get you...
    then the lightning will" r.h

  5. #5
    ex-everything. soze's Avatar
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    Going to RPI?

    I live in Albany, and built up a Surly Steamroller. I die a little on some of the hills even here across the river. If you're going to be riding around Troy, though, you're going to want gears. Once you get in town and find Peoples Ave you'll know why.

    Build up a cyclocross bike with beefy rims, and expect the snow service to be spotty. Troy City Council keeps embezzling their snow plow money. Troy is just spread out enough that you'll want the speed of a bike. If you're going to RPI, don't expect people to respect your property in the dorms, either; keep your bike in your room.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jpmac55's Avatar
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    No RPI or Troy for me, at least not for riding a bike.
    John
    Rivendell Saluki, Specialized Tricross, Dahon Mu SL

  7. #7
    Ride 365 Lucky07's Avatar
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    I ride in Upper Dutchess/Columbia/Ulster on the weekend. There are plenty of roads I could ride on my ss mtn conversion, but there is no way I could ride some of the hilly routes on a ss.

    You could do what I did & do a cheap conversion on a old rigid steel mtn frame. I plan to ride that bike all winter long (in the city).
    "...devil take the hindmost..."

  8. #8
    Senior Member jpmac55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soze View Post
    Going to RPI?

    I live in Albany, and built up a Surly Steamroller. I die a little on some of the hills even here across the river.
    soze,

    bMike rides 42x19 in VT, what do you go with around Albany? The Country Road Bob comes with 38x15t.
    John
    Rivendell Saluki, Specialized Tricross, Dahon Mu SL

  9. #9
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmac55 View Post
    soze,

    bMike rides 42x19 in VT, what do you go with around Albany? The Country Road Bob comes with 38x15t.
    42x19 for most terrain round Burlington, including some short 9% hills I use as climbing repeats. Longest ride on it has been 35 miles this past winter. When I swap tires to the Pasela's I usually move to 42x17. (I have a Surly DingleCog...) I'm hoping to get it to the mountains soon - I've been spending time on my long distance bike as of late...

    FWIW a strong rider did BMB - a 1200k ride - on her FG last year on 42x16. That included Middlebury Gap from both sides!

  10. #10
    ex-everything. soze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmac55 View Post
    soze,

    bMike rides 42x19 in VT, what do you go with around Albany? The Country Road Bob comes with 38x15t.
    53:21. It's fast enough on the flats and can get me up the hills (barely on State St.). It's a pretty similar gear inch length, I think you'd be okay on that. There's not a lot of Country Road Bob's around here either, you'd stand out pretty well too!

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