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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-23-08, 08:28 PM   #1
elf 232
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Im very close to hoppin on a SS road bike...

But i really dont wanna get stuck with something i cant ride. It will be used for transportation. We have some moderate hills around my house but I am already a mildly avid mountain biker. Whats the chances of a SS working for me?

Is SS something that is easily slipped into or is it a rough transition?
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Old 05-23-08, 08:30 PM   #2
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It's easy. Just make sure you can climb the biggest hill in your area with the gear ratio you choose. You'll probably experiment a bit before getting it spot on but once you do it's great.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:35 PM   #3
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one gear is all you need to enjoy your bike
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Old 05-23-08, 08:36 PM   #4
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one gear is all you need to enjoy your bike
true that, little/no maintenance, don't need to pay for deraileur adjustmants and its just overall easier to maintain.
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Old 05-23-08, 09:44 PM   #5
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I ride a double/double setup that I use when riding up some hills. Front is a 45/42 and rear is a 16/19. I use the inner ring/cog for the big hills. I ride a 8-9% and a 1.5 mile long hill on a regular basis. Even on a std road bike, most guys are standing on the pedals just to get up it. All normal hills I can pretty easily climb in the larger 45/16 combo. As long as those hills in your area are not crazy, I think you should be able to find a nice gear to handle both the hills and the flats.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:47 AM   #6
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true that, little/no maintenance, don't need to pay for deraileur adjustmants and its just overall easier to maintain.
No joke, i could have bought another bike with the money i have spent on gear adjusting on my mountain bike in the past 2 years.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:49 AM   #7
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I ride a double/double setup that I use when riding up some hills. Front is a 45/42 and rear is a 16/19. I use the inner ring/cog for the big hills. I ride a 8-9% and a 1.5 mile long hill on a regular basis. Even on a std road bike, most guys are standing on the pedals just to get up it. All normal hills I can pretty easily climb in the larger 45/16 combo. As long as those hills in your area are not crazy, I think you should be able to find a nice gear to handle both the hills and the flats.
yea i thought about that too, just popping another smaller ring on the crankset. But i think i can do it, if not the option is always there.

Also, the singlespeed rear wheel, is a conversion so the hub could have a cassette popped on (i would still have to buy shifters, derailleur, and cassette though, so im avoiding that).
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Old 05-24-08, 08:13 AM   #8
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No joke, i could have bought another bike with the money i have spent on gear adjusting on my mountain bike in the past 2 years.
Why not learn how to adjust your shifters and deraileurs on your own. Worst case scenario is that your bike shifts poorly and you have to take it to your lbs...which is what you were going to do in the first place.

To the OP...if you can pedal, you can go ss. Like other people have said, make sure your gearing isn't too high for the terrain you're riding on. But freewheels are pretty cheap and you can have 2 speeds on a flip flop hub.
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Old 05-24-08, 08:31 AM   #9
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Use your MTB as a SS, experimenting with different gear combos to find one that is usable for the environment your ride in...then use Sheldon's gear calculator to find a similar combo for your new SS.

If you don't have any real long/steep climbs, the 70-80 gear inch range is a good starting point to experiment with. Figure you can go a little higher for your new bike compared to what feels right on the MTB.
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Old 05-24-08, 08:41 AM   #10
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Why not learn how to adjust your shifters and deraileurs on your own. Worst case scenario is that your bike shifts poorly and you have to take it to your lbs...which is what you were going to do in the first place.

To the OP...if you can pedal, you can go ss. Like other people have said, make sure your gearing isn't too high for the terrain you're riding on. But freewheels are pretty cheap and you can have 2 speeds on a flip flop hub.
Well, i do now, but 200 of that was the time i took my bike into the shop for them to do a simple derailleur line-up and they said leave it with us, and that week they called me and said my bike needed a few other pieces of work and so i left it up to them, i came back the next week and they wanted to charge me $220 in work and parts, they had already done the work but i got them down 20 bucks (mainly because they wanted that 20 for straightening out a "bent" derailleur hanger), performance bike shop has permanently lost a customer.


They ended up replacing my entire drive sytem, cassette, chain, crank, derailleur, shifter, the works, without my permission, absolutely ridiculous.
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Old 05-24-08, 09:23 AM   #11
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Well, i do now, but 200 of that was the time i took my bike into the shop for them to do a simple derailleur line-up and they said leave it with us, and that week they called me and said my bike needed a few other pieces of work and so i left it up to them, i came back the next week and they wanted to charge me $220 in work and parts, they had already done the work but i got them down 20 bucks (mainly because they wanted that 20 for straightening out a "bent" derailleur hanger), performance bike shop has permanently lost a customer.


They ended up replacing my entire drive sytem, cassette, chain, crank, derailleur, shifter, the works, without my permission, absolutely ridiculous.
Yikes! Sorry to hear that.

This was one of my main reasons for getting a fg/ss bike. Ease of maintenance. It's great to hear your interested! I live in utah and we have quite the array of hills to accomplish in my area. I ride 42/16 which it seems is the standard to begin with. I can climb my toughest hill(although I move quite slow, it still can be done) and when going down steep hills I don't spin too much either.

Before you just jump in, I highly recommend you go to your LBS and test drive some of their tarck bikes. That'll give you a feel. If you do decide to jump in, try to get a relatively inexpensive (read used) fixie of ebay or cl. If you do go through with that you should get it checked out by your LBS to make sure it's a solid machine.

I bought a used one and all I've kept is the frame, bottom bracket, pedals, bars, and front wheel. Everything else had to be replaced either because it was unsafe (suicide hub, damaged headset, cracked spider) or just didn't fit (seat post, fork).

Good luck and report back!
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Old 05-24-08, 11:02 AM   #12
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yea i thought about that too, just popping another smaller ring on the crankset. But i think i can do it, if not the option is always there.

Also, the singlespeed rear wheel, is a conversion so the hub could have a cassette popped on (i would still have to buy shifters, derailleur, and cassette though, so im avoiding that).
I think you misunderstand. You don't have shifters, der, cassette. You have to get off your bike and move your chain by hand. This way you maintain the simplicity and efficiency of SS, but get 2 gears to play w/ w/o having to flipflop your wheel (which you cannot do with a conversion cassette hub anyway)
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Old 05-24-08, 06:01 PM   #13
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Yikes! Sorry to hear that.

This was one of my main reasons for getting a fg/ss bike. Ease of maintenance. It's great to hear your interested! I live in utah and we have quite the array of hills to accomplish in my area. I ride 42/16 which it seems is the standard to begin with. I can climb my toughest hill(although I move quite slow, it still can be done) and when going down steep hills I don't spin too much either.

Before you just jump in, I highly recommend you go to your LBS and test drive some of their tarck bikes. That'll give you a feel. If you do decide to jump in, try to get a relatively inexpensive (read used) fixie of ebay or cl. If you do go through with that you should get it checked out by your LBS to make sure it's a solid machine.

I bought a used one and all I've kept is the frame, bottom bracket, pedals, bars, and front wheel. Everything else had to be replaced either because it was unsafe (suicide hub, damaged headset, cracked spider) or just didn't fit (seat post, fork).

Good luck and report back!

Thats the one thing i wasnt sure about that you answered, is there a point at which you just go slow up a hill with SS or if it was like MTB where if you cant make it up the hill in that gear you simply wont make it.
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Old 05-24-08, 06:02 PM   #14
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I think you misunderstand. You don't have shifters, der, cassette. You have to get off your bike and move your chain by hand. This way you maintain the simplicity and efficiency of SS, but get 2 gears to play w/ w/o having to flipflop your wheel (which you cannot do with a conversion cassette hub anyway)
Oh, thanks, thats a mod i could do free since i think the guy has the other 2 rings.
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Old 05-25-08, 10:45 AM   #15
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But i really dont wanna get stuck with something i cant ride. It will be used for transportation. We have some moderate hills around my house but I am already a mildly avid mountain biker. Whats the chances of a SS working for me?

Is SS something that is easily slipped into or is it a rough transition?
It will whip tail. and it is a cheap, EZ way to get on a skinny tire bike. cheapo guy can start with the good old fashioned, new fangled cassette single speed. provides a conversion in minutes!
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Old 05-25-08, 10:35 PM   #16
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Thats the one thing i wasnt sure about that you answered, is there a point at which you just go slow up a hill with SS or if it was like MTB where if you cant make it up the hill in that gear you simply wont make it.
Ha ha it's honestly a matter of your opinion. I like to stay on, pedal super slow, and fight the hill out. I'm sure there are some who would rather hop off and climb.

On another note, if I'm riding brakeless and I see a downhill that I don't think I'm prepared for, I have no problem walking down it. It's all a matter of perspective.
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