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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 08-19-04, 04:02 AM   #1
HDTVKSS
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Singlespeed MTB space cadet question

Ok, ive been interested in the idea of a building a singlespeed MTB for a while, however somthing occured to me the other day. is a singlespeed MTB like a track bike, as in there is no freewheel and you are spinning all the time?? or is it more like a " conventional" MTB or road bike where it has the freewheel?

Sorry for the rank beginner question but i figured this was the place to ask.....

cheers
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Old 08-19-04, 04:10 AM   #2
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People do both. It's harder to do it fixed, I think.

But I ride a track bike, so in no way mistake me for an expert
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Old 08-19-04, 04:11 AM   #3
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Both are possible (see www.63xc.com for fixed off-road ideas) but singlespeed MTBs usually have a freewheel. There are two main reasons for this:

1) You'll probably want to run a pretty small gear (32:16 is typical) to get up the ups and this would be pretty spinny on the downs without a freewheel.
2) Avoiding pedal strikes.

I hope this helps.
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Old 08-19-04, 07:25 AM   #4
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As stated, you can do either, but most go with a freewheel. I run a freewheel with 32/16 gearing for the very steep climbs in my area. IMHO, the pros of a freewheel in terms of mtbing are:

-You can easily bunnyhop obstacles
-You can keep your pedals off the rocks
-You can descend in an agressive position
-You can spin very hard @ the top of a descent, and then coast @ a rate of speed faster than your maximum cadence (faster is better, right?)

You could do a freewheel on one side, and a fixed on the other, but only if you're willing to run rim brakes which I am not.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS ...... DO IT, YOU WILL LOVE IT!!
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Old 08-19-04, 07:54 AM   #5
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There's no good reason to run fixed off road IMHO. you just end up f'ing the trail and if your goal is to be fast, it'll just slow you down and set you up for really stupid looking crashes.
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Old 08-19-04, 08:38 AM   #6
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There's no good reason to run fixed off road IMHO. you just end up f'ing the trail and if your goal is to be fast, it'll just slow you down and set you up for really stupid looking crashes.
???

How are you going to F up the trail? Only if you skid, and then you aren't riding properly. I've put in plenty of time riding fixed off-road and it's a blast - that's a good reason as far as I'm concerned. To ride fixed off-road you just need to learn another set of skills - another good reason to do it.

And yet another good reason: in the snow and ice, a fixed gear with spiked tires rules the trails. It's like having 4 wheel drive.
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Old 08-19-04, 08:43 AM   #7
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i wasn't attacking your cycling prowess nor that of any other fixie MTB riders, riderx. fixed/SS would be new to the original poster, hence my reply.
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Old 08-19-04, 08:50 AM   #8
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Don't worry, I certainly didn't think you were attacking.
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Old 08-19-04, 05:34 PM   #9
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Cheers everyone thakns for that!! Ironhorse mentioned a desired ration for fixed, would this be the same for single??

I guess the best way to go about this would be to look in the classifides and pick up a bike thats a couple of years old then do a conversion? are there any must haves or desirables such as disks ( wouldnt think so due to weight...)

I have an old steel frame roadie that im going to have a go at converting to fixed just for somthing different (for me). probably use it when riding with the old man or somthing. Somthing tells me im going to end up with waaayyyy too many bikes....
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Old 08-19-04, 08:34 PM   #10
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Having way too many bikes is a lifestyle. It is not optional, it's a must-have - right up there with Ikea furniture and Country Road place-mats.

Singlespeeds are usually mountainbikes, usually have no gears, and usually a freewheel is attached to the rear wheel, so you can stop pedalling when you need to. Apparently there are people who ride fixed gear off road, and even unicycles, but obviously these people are smartarses who need a swift kick in the pants for trying to be 'silly'.

Track bikes or 'fixies', although originally designed for the velodrome, have found their way to the streets initially by bike couriers wanting something low maintenance. Now though, everyone who owns a courier bag and also lives in the city feels the need to also owns a fixie, so things get a bit confusing there, which is why they're just referred to as 'fixies'. Heck, I ride a singlespeed mountainbike in the city, so who am I to judge?

To confuse matters more, there's nothing stopping you having a 'singlespeed roadie' - that is, a road or track frame that has a freewheel. Whew. Anyway, now that you got 5 different explainations, I'm sure that clears things up.
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Old 08-20-04, 06:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Thylacine
Singlespeeds are usually mountainbikes, usually have no gears, and usually a freewheel is attached to the rear wheel, so you can stop pedalling when you need to.
Hey Thylacine, minor pet peeve (what the hell is a peeve anyway?), but singlespeeds have one gear, not no gears. Otherwise I guess they would be velocipedes or zero-speeds. And yes, I'm one of those smartarses you speak of, in more ways than one
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Old 08-22-04, 12:39 AM   #12
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As long as others know what I mean, it probably doesnt matter that I have no idea what I'm saying most of the time. But yes, you are correct, in more ways than one.
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