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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-11-07, 01:03 AM   #1
mosplat
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singlespeed vs geared for bay area riding?

so i just moved to the bay area and figured a cross bike would be a perfect choice
for commuting in the hills, riding in the parks, and singletrack jaunts.

i'm coming from a bmx and ss (street) mtb background.
i'm at home on one gear, and i'm coming from new york city,
where i was quick and anywhere with 30:13 on a 24" fat tire on a 31lb bike.
in any case, fast wheels on a light bike are definitely inviting.

i don't want to spend more than $1000.
so for the price, i'm looking at the fuji cross comp,
which i testrode and thought it was pretty comfy, fast, well-specced.
aero and cross levers (powerful!), sti shifting on 105 was buttery.
but i'm also looking at the specialized tricross single.
a ss cx bike with a carbon fork, rack/fender mounts, and matte paint? very nice.
i'm basically digging the tricross a LOT, gonna testride it tomoro hopefully.
will i be kicking myself (and walking up the hills) if i don't get gears?
it seems like there are plenty of ss riders out here so maybe it's a non-issue?

thanks for any and all help.
-nate
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Old 09-11-07, 08:21 AM   #2
robcycle
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Check out he Bianchi San Jose if you are interested in SS. $650 is not bad for a complete bike. As for if you will regret not choosing gears, I have never been to the bay area, but I can say its a choice I have never regretted. Gearing will always be a compromise, but a SS will allow you to coast down the hills, so a lower gear can be easier to deal with. For my part, I have to converted fixed, cross bikes, and I love them. I needed something I could ride 5 miles to work and hit the tamer trails afterwards. Its what I ended up with, and I love them. YMMV

-ROb.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:37 AM   #3
flargle
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If you want to ride in some of the more picturesque locales (Marin headlands, Mt Tam, Tilden, etc) it would be nice to have some gears.

Check out the writeup for the Harris Bianchi San Jos8. The San Jose plus the geared rear wheel would keep you within your budget.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:47 AM   #4
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For riding in SF a single will due. If you want to ride the epic rides ^^^^ I'd get a bike with gears (a crosscheck is a great choice for under 1,000).
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Old 09-12-07, 01:27 PM   #5
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I'd also recommend a bike with gears. There are some great rides in Marin just across the Golden Gate bridge that have some pretty good climbs. Plus it's nice to be able to motor along the flats on your way to other rides. But if you're strong enough to ride 'em on a single speed then all the power to you. I have a single speed mtn bike that I took on some of these rides once before I got my cross bike (geared) and will not be doing it again.
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Old 09-12-07, 08:12 PM   #6
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testriding the tricross single went so well i rode it out.
i decided i'd deal with the lack of gears, i've been doing that all my life.
been riding all around oakland and san francisco and so far so good;
walked one hill (foerster) but otherwise i've been okay.
man i'll be in great shape when i return to new york.
thanks for the input peeps.
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Old 09-13-07, 06:22 AM   #7
jfmckenna
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I would not want to climb the hills of SF with one gear. I see lots of SS fixed gear riders out there but for me personally it's just to hilly. The hills are not long but steep as hell. And it's not just the climbing but descending. If you like to go fast get the gears. If you like the challenge of one gear then go for it but if you want the practicality then go geared, then you can always try to climb up to Nob Hill in your 39X15.
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