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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 12-16-04, 03:32 PM   #1
Stumprofig
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MOVED: Singlespeeds spotted in NYC?

I've been noticing a lot of cyclists, messengers and others, on singlespeed rather than fixed bikes on my way to work lately. I gawk at so many great fixies everyday that it's routine for me to do a quick 'derailleur check' (I'm sure I'm not the only one) whenever I see a pair of bullhorns in the distance.
But lately I've been surprised as people suddenly start to coast, and as I get closer I realize that guy who looks like a hardcore fixer is on an SS bike. Just curious if anybody's noticed a lot of this lately-- especially since the rapidly crappening weather seems to suggest fixing more than ever.
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Old 12-16-04, 03:36 PM   #2
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i'm becoming more and more of a singlespeed fan myself lately to tell you the truth. maybe there is just something in the air?
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Old 12-16-04, 03:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
maybe there is just something in the air?
like the fkn COLD?!

i'm sometimes disappointed to see someone i thought was fixed coast around a corner..
not hatin' just statin'
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Old 12-16-04, 03:39 PM   #4
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SS is the new fixed as people who bought fixies to be cool realize that not coasting isn't as fun as they thought it would be, and it didn't make them better lovers?
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Old 12-16-04, 03:42 PM   #5
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Turd-- that's exactly the feeling I'm describing.
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Old 12-16-04, 03:43 PM   #6
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The way I see it is, if you go SS you'll need brakes, if you've got brakes why not just run fixed w/ brakes.
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Old 12-16-04, 04:05 PM   #7
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it's funny, i've have been noticing this a lot lately as well. i think people like the look of a fixed gear, but no the extra effort in learning how to ride one. whatever floats your boat. the more people on bikes the better. and damn it's cold out.
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Old 12-16-04, 04:26 PM   #8
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agreed; that smooth looking taut chainline is appetizing no matter how you run your cog.
however... I really, really enjoy being able to control my stopping without levers.
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Old 12-16-04, 04:33 PM   #9
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for city use, and short rides i love a FG. problem is, i tend to ride in the 40-60 mile range at one time, so an SS would probably work well for me as a back up bike. I'm really interested, lately, in finding an SS that is an overweight old steel mountain bike with huge fat tires and fenders. kinda like an urban assualt machine complete with chipping paint, scratches, and a lot of 'what the f are you looking at?' 'tude. i really feel like i need something meaty and crude for the winter.
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Old 12-16-04, 06:13 PM   #10
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I'm all for single speeds. Fixed is fun, but clearly for more of the enthusiast. The ability to coast was a great advance in bicycle technology that's only, oh, 100+ years old. I think most bike riders would be much better served by a single speed than the typical 21+ gear wonder commonly ridden.

I suppose the look of a smooth taut chainline is nice, but there are some great practicalities over derailers, or even sprung tensioners, which I consider a kludge. The single speed chainline is much less likely to get thrown, will last longer and generally needs no adjustment once set.

Coaster brake is my preferred SS ride, simple, cheap, all the negatives of SS and fixed gear combined.

Last edited by shecky; 12-16-04 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 12-16-04, 08:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nine
and damn it's cold out.

really cold. It'd gettin' tougher to get them riding legs going in the morning...


Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
I'm really interested, lately, in finding an SS that is an overweight old steel mountain bike with huge fat tires and fenders. kinda like an urban assualt machine complete with chipping paint, scratches, and a lot of 'what the f are you looking at?' 'tude. i really feel like i need something meaty and crude for the winter.
Been thinking about that for a while. Got an old MB frame just laying around, and with so many parts being advertised on places like CL it's really tempting. The dropouts are semi-horizontal. Parts are kinda cheap.

But....I'm lazy
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Old 12-16-04, 10:50 PM   #12
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timmhaan, I think that's called a "cruiser."
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Old 12-17-04, 12:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turd
i'm sometimes disappointed to see someone i thought was fixed coast around a corner..
not hatin' just statin'
exactly. and it seems that SS:FG = 5:1 where i live. ...sigh...
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Old 12-17-04, 04:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
kinda like an urban assualt machine complete with chipping paint, scratches, and a lot of 'what the f are you looking at?' 'tude. i really feel like i need something meaty and crude for the winter.
Redline MonoCog.
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Old 12-17-04, 04:21 AM   #15
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I couldn't imagine not coasting here in West Virginia---JJ
www.vailcycleworks.com
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Old 12-17-04, 07:22 AM   #16
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No, Timmy boy wants the grimy, crusty, bar crawling mountain bike that also hauls your studiously indifferent ass to work.
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Old 12-21-04, 11:54 AM   #17
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an old army bike like this would suit me well, i think:

Last edited by timmhaan; 12-21-04 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 12-21-04, 12:17 PM   #18
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now that is a bomb-proof bike!
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Old 12-21-04, 02:02 PM   #19
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SS is the in, in the Borough of Brooklyn.

Basically someone said it already. Many of the people tried fixed, don't really like it, like the look, so they go SS.

-Matt
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Old 12-22-04, 12:12 PM   #20
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I consider S/S as a segway into fixed. Since I find my old Schwinn to be enjoyable as a single speeder, I may now consider building a fixie from another old road bike.
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Old 12-22-04, 01:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpadumpy
I consider S/S as a segway into fixed. Since I find my old Schwinn to be enjoyable as a single speeder, I may now consider building a fixie from another old road bike.
I'd have to agree. My bud gave me his wheel (with fixed/free hub) when he stripped the fixed side, and I used the freewheel side on a rescued roadie frame for a couple of months. I'd gotten the frame for $20, and got the wheel for free. It was a great introduction to the one gear philosophy, until my front wheel got nicked. I suffered withdrawal and when I decided to upgrade my wheels, I decided to go fixed.

I'm into my fixie, got to ride it home in the first snow the other day. I'm a little sketched about road salt corroding my nice Phils, so it might be the geared MTB for commuting. I've been playing with the idea of converting her to a singlespeed, but haven't pulled the trigger. I really really want to make her a fixed as well, but the spacing means more work than the road bike conversion.
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Old 12-22-04, 01:32 PM   #22
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I've heard that Phils hold up to corrosion better than most hubs. Haven't had the opportunity to try... yet.
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Old 12-22-04, 04:49 PM   #23
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I have no idea how these Old Skool dudes do it. It's cool riding fixed and all, but NYC traffic is f-ing brutal! And inevitably, you'll have to do some riding on in alleys, sidewalks, down stairs, etc. I'd rather be riding NYC with a fixed mountain bike style with brakes, but hats off to those cats riding their track bikes out there.
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Old 12-23-04, 08:17 PM   #24
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i noticed that in brooklyn too, but right now i'm in portland visiting my brother...ss and fixed riders are rampant here (props to whoever has the purple italian track with the pink saddle locked up in front of the yarn store on hawthorne), but there are definitely more ssers. many more...still though, it seems like every other bike i see is ss/fixed. rock on, stumptown.
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Old 12-23-04, 08:50 PM   #25
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, but NYC traffic is f-ing brutal! And inevitably, you'll have to do some riding on in alleys, sidewalks, down stairs, etc. .
It's not that brutal if that's all you know
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