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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 06-24-11, 09:12 AM   #1
YokeyDokey
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Why SS?

I scrolled through the topics here and didn't really see anything that specifically treats the question: Why single speed? Why not just put your multi-gear road bike in a gear and leave it there if you want single speed? splain? I see hotshots in racing clubs show up for club rides with a simple single-speed sometimes and everybody makes a big deal about it, and I'm thinking "so what?"... So anyway, I have an old cromoly bike in great condition that would be a good candidate for a SS, but... why? I'm not trying to be a smart__, I'm trying to get my head around the notion.
Thanks in advance for your time.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:14 AM   #2
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Simple & less weight. SS is beautifully simplistic. fixie more so.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:17 AM   #3
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Why not just put your multi-gear road bike in a gear and leave it there if you want single speed?
Where's the sense in having (and paying for) derailleurs and shifters if you're never going to use them?
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Old 06-24-11, 09:20 AM   #4
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Simple & less weight. SS is beautifully simplistic. fixie more so.
+1

When I built my SS up I debated on going FG, but since I use it to commute and run errands, and I like to coast on occasion, I went SS. To be honest, It's probably the most fun bike I own, and hands down the most maintenance free. Perfect as an all-around-get-around bike. I can't see a time when I'll never have a SS in my stable. I can forsee a time when it might be the only bike I have.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:37 AM   #5
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Where's the sense in having (and paying for) derailleurs and shifters if you're never going to use them?
yeah but yeah but... you have half a dozen bikes and the rest of them have 27 speeds. The SSs I see are steel frames, 20+ pounds... my multi-speed road bike is lighter. You still haven't educated me...
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Old 06-24-11, 09:43 AM   #6
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It's all the rage man!



But being serious, it's so much more fun than worrying about gears, much easier to maintain and it just looks GORGEOUS. I've caught the bug and plan on turning my current SS into my townie and getting a Kilo TT for the weekends. It's a different way to ride a bike!

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Old 06-24-11, 09:48 AM   #7
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fun fun fun to ride.. and finding old 10 and 12 speeds and converting them is fun too.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:49 AM   #8
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yeah but yeah but... you have half a dozen bikes and the rest of them have 27 speeds. The SSs I see are steel frames, 20+ pounds... my multi-speed road bike is lighter. You still haven't educated me...
What part of simplicity don't you understand?
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Old 06-24-11, 09:49 AM   #9
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The simple part.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:52 AM   #10
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I cant vouche for single speed, but fixed gives you a certain amount of control that I could never achieve from a geared bike. When I used a geared bike I rarely used more than 3-4 gears anyway, so why add all the uneccessary weight and components that could just cause more mechanical issues? Most people find a gear ratio that is perfect for them in most situations, so its convenient to not worry about constantly shifting or having derailer issues. I never really understood the rage behind fixed until I gave it a go, but now I will never go back - its too fun.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:53 AM   #11
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yeah but yeah but... you have half a dozen bikes and the rest of them have 27 speeds. The SSs I see are steel frames, 20+ pounds... my multi-speed road bike is lighter. You still haven't educated me...
Why have a bike at all? Why not just walk? Or drive? Take the bus? The train?

Maybe when you answer those questions, you'll know the answer to yours.

Or, maybe you prefer a full-on carbon road-bike with stripes and stickers and marketing gobbeldeygook all over the side, and words that are misspelled like "X-Treme" so that they could be copyrighted and trademarked.

Others prefer absolute simplicity.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:56 AM   #12
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YokeyDokey, you should try out a SS. That's the only way you'll know.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:59 AM   #13
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YokeyDokey, you should try out a SS. That's the only way you'll know.
Agreed. Give it a go, if you dont like it then just stick to geared. Either way, one less car
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Old 06-24-11, 10:04 AM   #14
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My first bike, when I was about 5 years old, was a single speed. As a kid, I have a lot of fun on that bike. I just rode. Relating to the above-post asking why ride a bike at all? Well, it's fun. For me, a single speed was a great way to re-capture what made riding so much fun when I was a little tike.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:07 AM   #15
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Boxers or briefs ? I gotta know, man.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:11 AM   #16
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why gears?

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Old 06-24-11, 10:17 AM   #17
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SS is fine if you live somewhere flat as a pancake. WV is called 'the Mountain State' for good reason.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:23 AM   #18
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SS is fine if you live somewhere flat as a pancake. WV is called 'the Mountain State' for good reason.
Run a lower gear ratio. Hills shouldn't stop you.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:23 AM   #19
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i think the popularity of FG/SS is a reaction to the non-stop technology arms race that has consumed the road and mtb markets. Mountain bikes look like something the terminator would ride, and road bikes will soon have electronic shifting!
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Old 06-24-11, 10:26 AM   #20
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yeah but yeah but... you have half a dozen bikes and the rest of them have 27 speeds. The SSs I see are steel frames, 20+ pounds... my multi-speed road bike is lighter. You still haven't educated me...
Lighter is nice I am sure, but I will take 22 pounds of steel in an urban environment all day long over that. The SS/FG thing works in cities where potholes and brick roads can suck on a road bike.

If you are in the country and have smooth roads and hills, a road bike is nice, but where I am nobody really needs gears.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:27 AM   #21
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Lighter is nice I am sure, but I will take 22 pounds of steel in an urban environment all day long over that. The SS/FG thing works in cities where potholes and brick roads can suck on a road bike.

If you are in the country and have smooth roads and hills, a road bike is nice, but where I am nobody really needs gears.
Steel is real
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Old 06-24-11, 10:37 AM   #22
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I scrolled through the topics here and didn't really see anything that specifically treats the question: Why single speed? Why not just put your multi-gear road bike in a gear and leave it there if you want single speed? splain?
My favorite part about rolling out on my SS is absence of chainslap. You can't get that without ditching your rear derailer. My favorite SS is a cheep MTB frame, pretty burly and having it means I don't have to park one of my nice bikes on bike racks exposed to nastiness. It's also nice only having one brake lever and one cable coming off the bar. It's kinda like back when I had cheap BMX bikes I'm never afraid of dropping it or laying it down but this one fits a lot better for non-stunt riding.

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Steel is real
+1 even the crappy bars and seatpost on my crappy SS are steel.

I'm with Elkhound I don't hit the hills on my SS. Somewhat because it has flat bars and hitting the hills means I'm gonna be on a long ride and flats suck for long rides. I'm geared pretty low so the climbs aren't bad but spinning and coasting on the downhills is unpleasant.

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Old 06-24-11, 10:41 AM   #23
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I have a geared bike for distance, recreation, and fitness riding, and a fixed gear bike for riding to work. Tune-ups are expensive for us common folk. Yeah yeah I can tune it myself, but I can't dial it in like a shop can. Fixed gears take less maintenance, and thus are better for short distance rides around town. Now, why do people ride long distance on fixed gears? I dunno, to be badass? So you can worry less about parts failing? Maybe people enjoy the challenge of getting from point A to point B by the power of their own legs without the assistance of derailleurs. What's wrong with personal preference?

Someone EDUCATE me on why RASPBERRY jelly is better than GRAPE. When I'm with my friends at a group PB&J and someone brings RASPBERRY everyone makes a big stink about it, I'm like so what?
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Old 06-24-11, 10:54 AM   #24
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Exactly. It's all preference and not everybody is going to like everything.
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Old 06-24-11, 11:04 AM   #25
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To answer the question of why not leave it in one gear, along with all the other answers like weight (who cares), simplicity, easy to maintain, etc. is the fact that derailleurs means more **** the chain has to go through, slowing it down along the way. If you remove the derailleurs the chain only has to go around a cog and a chainring, freeing it up of the resistance caused be derailleurs, thus making it easier to pedal in the same gear.

On top of all of that, it looks really pretty.
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