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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 12-22-08, 09:00 PM   #1
dirty tiger
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50+ miles on a Karate Monkey.

I am dreaming about a SS Karate Monkey. I would like to use it as a single speed "hybrid" commuter/pleasure/fitness/light singletrack/fireroad bike.

I would like to have the option to take it on some longer 50+ mile jaunts....possibly some one night camping trips.

I live in SW Colorado, that means long hills with marginal bike lanes.

My Plan: start out with the complete KM single speed and tinker with the gearing. The stock 53 gear inches seems too low. I am thinking of trying 40:18 for around 65 gear inches.

I am looking for opinions/experiences from riders who use single speeds over hilly terrain.
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Old 12-22-08, 09:33 PM   #2
obanta
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I'm in Nebraska, which is admittedly a bit less hilly than CO, but we have our share of nice gravel rollers. I rode my first ever century on my single speed KM a couple of summers ago and rode it for a total of 1500+ miles that year. It is a great all around 29" platform for everyday use. It hasn't seen much use this year due to me getting some other bikes, but I just made it a fixed gear and put Exiwolfs on it and am going to use it as one of my snow commuter bikes.

I'm running 34x16 which works great on the gravel rollers and really gets your legs spinning on the flat terrain.

Cheers,
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Old 12-22-08, 10:30 PM   #3
Ken Cox
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I ride a fixed gear Karate Monkey as my winter Ice Bike and my summer Comfort Bike.

In the summer, on Schwalbe Big Apple 29er 2.35" tires, I ride around easily at 60 gear inches and 65 gear inches sounds comfortable.

However, in the winter I ride on super knobby Nokian Extreme 294's, and I go down to 50 gear inches.

The knobs, although efficient on level ground, create significant rolling resistance going uphill.
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Old 12-22-08, 10:39 PM   #4
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a former coworker of mine actually lived off his karate monkey (seriously. hes got a bunch of bags on the thing and camps in parks). He has a relatively light gear and put on some clip on aero bars just so he could have an extra riding position to break it up on longer rides.
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Old 12-22-08, 11:13 PM   #5
dirty tiger
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Originally Posted by obanta View Post
I'm in Nebraska, which is admittedly a bit less hilly than CO, but we have our share of nice gravel rollers. I rode my first ever century on my single speed KM a couple of summers ago and rode it for a total of 1500+ miles that year. It is a great all around 29" platform for everyday use. It hasn't seen much use this year due to me getting some other bikes, but I just made it a fixed gear and put Exiwolfs on it and am going to use it as one of my snow commuter bikes.

I'm running 34x16 which works great on the gravel rollers and really gets your legs spinning on the flat terrain.

Cheers,
A century. Impressive.

These are the type of respones I was hoping for.

I'd like to put of semi-slicks or touring tires, add some trekking bars and make it my do-it-all bike.
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Old 12-22-08, 11:22 PM   #6
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I'd like to put of semi-slicks or touring tires, add some trekking bars and make it my do-it-all bike.
I'm a big fan of the WTB Nanoraptors for this purpose. They roll great on the pavement with the elevated centerline tread and don't hold me back on most single track/loose stuff. I use the Titek H-Bar, which gives you a nice extended riding position on the horns plus a very comfortable 'normal' hand position.

Man, thanks for making me remember how much I love that bike. Looking forward to riding it tomorrow.
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