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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 08-28-12, 02:06 PM   #1
lonelybikeboy
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Advice: 3 speed fixed gear vs 2 speed hub with coaster brake

Hi everyone,

I need some opinions on the best option to pick for my bike and would appreciate any advice.

I plan to ride a pashley clubman road bike in the city of Toronto for commuting. I have the option to get the bike either with a 3 speed fixed gear or 2 speed hub SA S2C with coaster brake (both made by sturmey archer).

Safety is a priority for me and I have never ridden a fixie but have always been curious. The fear of fixies is that since I love coasting too much I would attempt to stop pedaling and thus fall off the bike.

The 2 speed hub sounds great but I am wondering if its going to make shifting while going uphill an impossible task.

thanks!
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Old 08-28-12, 02:09 PM   #2
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Adapting to fixed gear is pretty easy, and it can be an advantage when the roads are wet and slippery. I'd even venture to say that a coaster brake would be much more unsafe for commuting.
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Old 08-28-12, 02:50 PM   #3
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How do you typically ride? The 2 speed coaster is probably better for casual paced commuting. I have seen the 3 speed before and it works pretty well for fast paced riders but it seems like it will be suitable for a casual rider too.

Try out a fixed gear at shop and see how you like it. It doesnt take long to adapt to fixed riding and you might just find it to be really fun.
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Old 08-28-12, 03:22 PM   #4
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I would definitely describe myself as a casual paced commuter.

Regarding coaster brakes, what is their stopping power like? Again pedaling backwards is counterintuitive and I am afraid of crashing into something.
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Old 08-28-12, 03:42 PM   #5
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If "safety" and "stopping power" are concerns, you should probably get a bike with a front brake. You can lock up and skid the rear wheel easily with a coaster brake (fixed-gear takes a little more practice), but neither of them will stop you as fast as a front brake.
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Old 08-28-12, 03:47 PM   #6
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Yes, there will definitely be a front brake on either hub I choose.
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Old 08-28-12, 04:47 PM   #7
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I'd go for the three speed fixed, but that's just because I'm dieing to get one of those.
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Old 08-28-12, 05:55 PM   #8
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I have the SA S2 I kinda wish I had bought the Coaster Brake version but hindsight is 20-20 and I got a really good deal on the wheel as it is. As a casual Commuter and Townie bike its fantastic. I much prefer it to when I rode fixed
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Old 08-28-12, 06:44 PM   #9
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Xgecko..thanks for the first hand experience! Do you find any issues shifting when going uphill or in general?
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Old 08-28-12, 07:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonelybikeboy View Post
Hi everyone,

I need some opinions on the best option to pick for my bike and would appreciate any advice.

I plan to ride a pashley clubman road bike in the city of Toronto for commuting. I have the option to get the bike either with a 3 speed fixed gear or 2 speed hub SA S2C with coaster brake (both made by sturmey archer).

Safety is a priority for me and I have never ridden a fixie but have always been curious. The fear of fixies is that since I love coasting too much I would attempt to stop pedaling and thus fall off the bike.

The 2 speed hub sounds great but I am wondering if its going to make shifting while going uphill an impossible task.

thanks!
You said 3 speed fixed gear, first thing: unless you have a brake or both brakes forget about it entirely, as you will damage the hub within a month from trying to stop by back pedaling/skid stop.

I have rode two types of these internally geared hubs, one by shimano the other by sturmey. The shimano hub was crap skipping gears and messing up when i pedaled to hard, no one could take it apart for fear of damaging the hub or not knowing how. The sturmey was good money, as for the coaster break. I think its a good idea, it is fun as hell, saves money on break pads, relaxing to ride soon becoming second nature within a day or two.

My opinion get to 2 speed hub with the coaster as you will find the 3 spd fixed very tiring constantly trying to figure out which gear to use going up and down hills or changing the gears constantly in traffic, stopping on the third one and starting off again on the first one (i hate that stuff).
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Old 08-28-12, 07:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by lonelybikeboy View Post
Xgecko..thanks for the first hand experience! Do you find any issues shifting when going uphill or in general?
Not now, it took me less than a week to learn to feel exactly how much to "kick" and not "over kick"...now its second nature.
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Old 08-28-12, 11:45 PM   #12
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Awesome advice everyone, thank you!

I have decided to go with the 2 speed hub with rear coaster brake and a front hub brake. Seems like the best option. The only bad feedback I have found is that is it not very durable and is prone to breaking down. But I'll take my chances.

cheers
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Old 08-29-12, 12:29 AM   #13
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When you say front hub brake, do you mean disc or drum?
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Old 08-29-12, 06:23 AM   #14
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drum brake by sturmey archer
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