Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-31-08, 05:06 PM   #1
revdave27
Untrained Assassin
Thread Starter
 
revdave27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sell me on it.

I turn 34 in three weeks. I wanna get back on a bike. I LOVe the idea of a single speed. Last time I was on one was when I was 8 and I had a Seattle Seahawks bike! It seems to be such a pure form of biking and that appeals top me. Will it help my legs get stronger faster? is it bad form to swap out drop bars for straight bars? Surly SR or Kona PaddyWagon? Other less expensive options?

any help from you guys would be great

Last edited by revdave27; 08-31-08 at 05:14 PM.
revdave27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-08, 06:24 PM   #2
juggleaddict
Senior Member
 
juggleaddict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Atlanta
Bikes: LHT
Posts: 866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
: it's fixed/ss love story time!

i enjoy not dealing with gears, you just go, usually fast : ) it's a huge feeling of freedom being able to go wherever you want around town fast and light, and i recently discovered the thrill of flying down winding bike paths (when they're clear of course )
juggleaddict is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-08, 06:31 PM   #3
miahmiah
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah I feel like with any gears you essentially have to stop pedaling (or apply less power) while shifting gears, and I feel like sometimes I end up in the wrong gear at the wrong place no matter how much I pay attention (which feels like work). Maybe its easier for some people?

But for me, a single speed or fixed gear is way better, always a straight chain path (essential for getting all the power), never a messed up derailer, less cords in the way, and on a fixed gear even one less brake caliper and lever, and no cable going all the way to the back, plus I can pedal slower instead of grabbing a brake lever if I feel like it. I'm always in the same gear which means I'm already used to the gear on any terrain and have at least 3 less things to think about (which gear, hows the chain path, how fast to pedal).

On the other hand people with weaker knees and legs will usually prefer a choice of gears. It's like the sub-title for this forum on the main page: "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!"
miahmiah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-08, 06:48 PM   #4
jimisnowhere
Senior Member
 
jimisnowhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lynn, MA
Bikes: 60's lowrider, 80's Cavaletto Centurion, 94 Specialized Rockhopper sport
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would go with a road or CX geometry: Dawes SST, Bianchi San Jose, Van Dessel Country Road Bob (I wants), etc. A tight track bike is not a good way to get back into the flow of cycling. Also if you end up hating one gear, any of these can get switched to an internal gear system.
jimisnowhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-08, 06:56 PM   #5
deathhare
:jarckass:
 
deathhare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nashville
Bikes:
Posts: 6,562
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimisnowhere View Post
A tight track bike is not a good way to get back into the flow of cycling.
Sure it is..a track frame is fine.
Some people dont want a heavy ass, slow turning bike like the ones youve listed.
It really depends on what kind of riding he plans to do.
deathhare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-08, 09:07 PM   #6
revdave27
Untrained Assassin
Thread Starter
 
revdave27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Any good SS's with straight bars? or is that a change I would need to make?
revdave27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 12:06 AM   #7
Suttree
some new kind of kick
 
Suttree's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Smog Valley
Bikes: SOMA Rush, Miyata 912, Kogswell Mod. G, want a porteur bike
Posts: 1,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimisnowhere View Post
Also if you end up hating one gear, any of these can get switched to an internal gear system.
You can cold set a lot of frames to respace them for a internal gear hub if you must, but those bikes
you listed are all good for starters. Personally I need at least one bike with track geometry
and at least one bike with more relaxed angles.
Suttree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 12:22 AM   #8
andre nickatina
not actually Nickatina
 
andre nickatina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: OR
Bikes:
Posts: 4,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you want to be sold on fixed, you need go no further than http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
andre nickatina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 12:40 AM   #9
louderthangod
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Alameda, Ca
Bikes: Surly Steamroller, Broakland Pipe Bomb
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm 34 and just started riding regularly for the first time since I was in middle school. It's been great for me. I had chronic knee pain which has since gone away since I started riding. In 3 months I lost 2 pant sizes and feel stronger and more energetic. I went with a Surly Steamroller. I wasn't totally sure if I wanted to go fixed but I gave it a shot and really love it and picked it up almost immediately (after a little practice on an empty playground at night so nobody could watch me forget that I couldn't coast). There should be nothing wrong with switching to straight/riser bars. I personally really like pursuit bars because straight bars don't feel very good for climbing out of the saddle on hills.
louderthangod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 12:49 AM   #10
ryanlovesyou
veggieburglar
 
ryanlovesyou's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Barbara/San Jose, CA
Bikes: 60s Peugeot conversion, 2002 Santa Cruz Heckler, 2007 Bianchi "Everyone has one" Pista, Beat up Beach Cruiser
Posts: 647
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would say to test ride those bikes if you can find them and buy the one you like the most. Good luck and keep on riding!
ryanlovesyou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 09:14 AM   #11
J A Holman
Boooga BOO
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Down Under
Bikes: Colnago for road, Fuji for track
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey OP if you want to get back into cycling on a budget single speed that is really nice check out the Trek Soho, same price as the Kona but better for entry level riding.

The straight bars allow for a more upright position much like you will remember from your youth, but it still looks sleek and will feel fast with it's 27" wheels and thin tires. It's extremely light and nimble, and you can upgrade it easily later down the road depending on whether you decide to lean towards cruising or going faster.

There is a good looking upgraded Soho too with some innovative features, about $350-$400 more if you have it to spend.

If you want to recapture the feelings you remember from that first mobility as a child, get a bike like this rather than what all these kids are recommending. You will avoid back pain and have a better transition back into cycling.

Your initial impulse for a single speed is a good one to get what you want, ignore the kids telling you that "fixed gear" or "Track bike" is what you should get, it's utter bollocks and you will not experience what you remember. Those might be fun to try if you decide to get into more than one kind of cycling, but initially you've already got the right idea and I'd recommend you go with it. What they recommend simply isn't made for what you desire.

Good luck and ride safe!
J A Holman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 09:18 AM   #12
sneaky viking
bum style
 
sneaky viking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CT
Bikes: Poprad, Fuji conversion, Quattro Assi
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think we need any more people riding SSFG.

Did you see Dewey Cox? You don't want none of this ****, man.
sneaky viking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 09:21 AM   #13
J A Holman
Boooga BOO
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Down Under
Bikes: Colnago for road, Fuji for track
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaky viking View Post
I don't think we need any more people riding SSFG.

Did you see Dewey Cox? You don't want none of this ****, man.
You mean FG sans SS, because there will be more SS riders and fewer FG riders in the future. So you'll get what you want (to be cool) by just doing nothing as long as you stick with FG and remember to wear the clothes of the other gender, whichever you are.

There are already far more SS riders than FG and always will be, it doesn't seem like it in here because they are out riding their bikes while most FG riders are still picking out an outfit and updating user profiles with pictures of themselves
J A Holman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 09:23 AM   #14
mugatu
Senior Member
 
mugatu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: DFW
Bikes:
Posts: 1,005
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
whatever, just ride a bike
mugatu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 09:23 AM   #15
bakaster
Senior Member
 
bakaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Isla Vista (Santa Barbara) and Berkeley
Bikes: 1979 Motobecane Nomade Sprint, homegrown fixie
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by revdave27 View Post
Any good SS's with straight bars? or is that a change I would need to make?
straigh bars are really cheap, so i would worry more about the rest of the bike and then if you want to change the bars, craigslisting the drops or whatever it comes with will probably pay for a pretty good set of flat bars.
bakaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 09:40 AM   #16
sneaky viking
bum style
 
sneaky viking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CT
Bikes: Poprad, Fuji conversion, Quattro Assi
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by J A Holman View Post
...most FG riders are still picking out an outfit and updating user profiles with pictures of themselves
Yeah, and most SS riders are buying Trek Sohos with 27" wheels. You have no idea what you're talking about.

BTW I was refering to this:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-57D...juana_warning/
sneaky viking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 10:03 AM   #17
J A Holman
Boooga BOO
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Down Under
Bikes: Colnago for road, Fuji for track
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaky viking View Post
Yeah, and most SS riders are buying Trek Sohos with 27" wheels. You have no idea what you're talking about.

BTW I was refering to this:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-57D...juana_warning/

You do realize that FG is a niche market with (far) less than 1% of total units sold, compared to mobility oriented bikes such as the Soho, which make up over 18% of the market, above everything else except mountain bikes (and only because most "Box store" bikes now sold are "mountain bikes" but used as mobility bikes.

It will never get any larger than that because for the person looking to get around, jump right back onto a bike from youth or ride everyday as a way to get around, SS is better, though a internal hub bicycle is even more useful.

FG will always be around, but it'll never be more than a fad because it is impractical as transportation.

For most people, easier is better, they can have more fun on an SS and they do already too. It doesn't seem like that here because this forum doesn't discuss SS, because any thread started about SS is unanswered or swamped with high school kids complaining that FG is cooler.

It's very likely that there were more Soho bikes shipped than ALL FG bikes this year.
J A Holman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 10:29 AM   #18
sneaky viking
bum style
 
sneaky viking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CT
Bikes: Poprad, Fuji conversion, Quattro Assi
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's very likely that 0 bikes are shipped with 27" wheels in 2008.

I initially said nothing about how your advice should be taken with taken with a grain of salt, based on your lack of knowledge about wheel size.

I directed my comment to the OP, and in a joking manner. Did you watch the video? Why are you SO serious about how FG is only for poseurs? Take a chill pill, guy.
sneaky viking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 11:09 AM   #19
J A Holman
Boooga BOO
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Down Under
Bikes: Colnago for road, Fuji for track
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaky viking View Post
It's very likely that 0 bikes are shipped with 27" wheels in 2008.

I initially said nothing about how your advice should be taken with taken with a grain of salt, based on your lack of knowledge about wheel size.

I directed my comment to the OP, and in a joking manner. Did you watch the video? Why are you SO serious about how FG is only for poseurs? Take a chill pill, guy.
Noob or very young you are. 27" is accepted layman for 700cc, which could possibly mean little to a guy who last rode regularly when he was 8, probably on 20" wheels, back when all the adult bikes in NA rolled 27".

And yes, still being produced and sold.

I'm not serious about it, it's 99% factual, most of you are fadsters, no reason to be serious about it.

What I'm doing is giving the OP an opportunity to hear an opinion on his original inclination, as usual it was being drowned out by the teeny-bopper fixed gear losers not giving SS it's space on the forum.

Like it or not SS is way more useful for entry or re-entry level cyclists, and way less likely to turn them off of cycling with a bad experience (jumping on and riding as though it were a regular bicycle ending badly), ridiculous experience (meeting fixed gear persons in person) or painful experience (getting immediately back into cycling on a stiff, twitchy bike that has your head at teh same level as your ass in order to be cool)

This guy has the right idea for himself right out of the gate and almost none of you could respect that enough to actually anser his question. Way to push bicycling!
J A Holman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 11:16 AM   #20
vger285
Senior Member
 
vger285's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ohio
Bikes: Van Dessel CRB, Giant ATX 880,Footbike track
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Country Road Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimisnowhere View Post
I would go with a road or CX geometry: Dawes SST, Bianchi San Jose, Van Dessel Country Road Bob (I wants), etc. A tight track bike is not a good way to get back into the flow of cycling. Also if you end up hating one gear, any of these can get switched to an internal gear system.
I bought a Country Road Bob this year,disk breaks,i love this bike, i respect it so much now, i call it Robert!Iy's everything i always wanted in a SS and then some...Super Well PLEASED..in Ohio!
vger285 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 11:22 AM   #21
J A Holman
Boooga BOO
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Down Under
Bikes: Colnago for road, Fuji for track
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vger285 View Post
I bought a Country Road Bob this year,disk breaks,i love this bike, i respect it so much now, i call it Robert!Iy's everything i always wanted in a SS and then some...Super Well PLEASED..in Ohio!
Now that's a recommendation, honestly never heard of country bob but I googled a few pics, i wonder if I can get those at an honest price here
J A Holman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 12:37 PM   #22
sp00ki
partly metal, partly real
 
sp00ki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Philadelphia.
Bikes: Hummer H2
Posts: 3,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
there's nothing special about a single speed w/ freewheel.
if you're going to coast, not having gears is pretty silly.
sp00ki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 01:07 PM   #23
uke
it's easy if you let it.
 
uke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: indoors and out.
Bikes:
Posts: 4,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
there's nothing special about a single speed w/ freewheel.
if you're going to coast, not having gears is pretty silly.
-1. Many people ride single speeds for the simplicity, lightness, and perceived lack of maintenance. One could easily argue not having gears is silly regardless of whether the bike can coast or not. Would be nice if the fixie riders on this forum acknowledged the forum is also supposed to be a resource for singlespeed riders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J A Holman
There are already far more SS riders than FG and always will be, it doesn't seem like it in here because they are out riding their bikes while most FG riders are still picking out an outfit and updating user profiles with pictures of themselves
+1. I have very little interest in riding a bicycle that requires me to compulsively pedal or fall off. On the other hand, I could easily see the virtue of a singlespeed on relatively flat terrain where high speeds aren't necessary. And yes, the "scene" attached to FG is perhaps the most annoying one in cycling, besides that attached to road cycling.
uke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 01:17 PM   #24
sneaky viking
bum style
 
sneaky viking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CT
Bikes: Poprad, Fuji conversion, Quattro Assi
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by J A Holman View Post
Noob or very young you are. 27" is accepted layman for 700cc, which could possibly mean little to a guy who last rode regularly when he was 8, probably on 20" wheels, back when all the adult bikes in NA rolled 27".

And yes, still being produced and sold.
Sold on a production bike? No.

And no one uses 27" as a 'layman's term' for 700c. They are 2 distinct tire sizes, and you are giving out faulty information to tell a guy just getting back into cycling that they are interchangeable. And it's 700c not 700cc.

You are seriously talking out of your ass. Talking like Yoda doesn't make you right.

Furthermore, I don't participate in the 'SS is for *******' arguments. SS's are great for people getting back into cycling and are only familiar with old friction shifting and are on a budget. Nothing wrong with a bike with 2 brakes and freewheel.

People with no sense of humor and misinformation turn more people off to cycling than the existence of a fixed cog on the other side of their flip-flop.

Last edited by sneaky viking; 09-01-08 at 01:30 PM.
sneaky viking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-08, 01:19 PM   #25
elTwitcho
Live without dead time
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Bikes:
Posts: 2,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by J A Holman View Post
This guy has the right idea for himself right out of the gate and almost none of you could respect that enough to actually anser his question. Way to push bicycling!
Take a deep breath before your next post, I think you're projecting a bit here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by revdave27 View Post
I turn 34 in three weeks. I wanna get back on a bike. I LOVe the idea of a single speed. Last time I was on one was when I was 8 and I had a Seattle Seahawks bike! It seems to be such a pure form of biking and that appeals top me. Will it help my legs get stronger faster? is it bad form to swap out drop bars for straight bars? Surly SR or Kona PaddyWagon? Other less expensive options?

any help from you guys would be great

My advice is this;

1) Get a bike with a flip flop hub. That way you can try fixed gear, and if you don't like it going to single speed is only a matter of flipping the rear wheel around. Shouldn't take more than 5 minutes total. I bought my bike with the intention of getting a single speed, it came from the lbs store flipped to the "fixed" side of the hub, I decided to give it a shot. After a week I was really enjoying fixed and it's pretty much all I ride now. The other bonus is that with a flip/flop you get two cogs, so you get a bike with two gearings to try out and play with straight off the rack.

2) Give road bars a try before switching to flat bars. You can ride the tops of road bars just like flat bars, and you have all the added positions as well. Think of road bars as flat bars with drops, since you aren't really losing any hand positions by using a road bar. If you just prefer the aesthetics of flat bars you can craigslist your drop bars and buy a nice set of flats with money left over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uke View Post
And yes, the "scene" attached to FG is perhaps the most annoying one in cycling, besides that attached to road cycling.
I never understand this. Cycling is an individual sport, I get out, I pedal, I don't run into any scenes getting from point a to point b, I don't understand the argument. It's not like if you own a fixed gear you're going to be required to attend monthly skid and trackstand competitions to renew your fixed license...
elTwitcho is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:24 PM.