I would like to get into touring but I'm afraid my current bike wouldn't be up for the task. I'd ideally like to go on multiday unsupported (i.e. not staying at hotels) tours across the northeast. I currently own is a single speed with a fixed/free flip-flop hub.
I think that I could bring along additional cogs and freewheels combinations to suit the conditions. If I encounter hillier portions I either flip the rear wheel or make a complete change. I'm thinking I could possibly use the seat post as a lever to attach to a freewheel removal tool to save some weight. They make lightweight lockring removal tools AFAIK.
For a single speed setup I would think hills would be especially challenging so the issue of weight would be more important. I intend to go rackless using Revelate Designs saddle bag, a front bar bag, water bottle filled with tools and other heavy items, along with a jungle hammock and down quilt setup. I've done extensive ultralight backpacking so I have all the camping gear. I'm thinking I can come under 8 lbs without food and water.
I'm sort of rambling and thinking outloud here. What do you think of this idea?
What experience have you had already with SS and hills?
People we know have done the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200 randonnee, though places such as Vermont, New Hampshire and New York State, on fixed gear (and probably a few have done SS). And randonneurs go lightly loaded.
Remember also, having a flip-flop hub is all well and good, but then you have to be confident that the terrain you are about to tackle will comprise of quite a lot of climbing, and the effort to swap the rear wheel round and back again later will be worth it.
I've done FG touring and quite a lot of centuries with FG in various terrain profiles, and I've never had a flip-flop hub, so the gear I've had is it, and I survive quite well, knees and all. If you need to, just get off and walk until the climb gets easier again.
The advantage with a SS is that you can selected a moderately low gear for climbing, and get away with coasting down hills at a good speed.
let it be a dinglespeed, you've got the flip hub already, may consider double in front and an extra removable chain link to shorten the chain. i don't see why it shouldn't work for you, your load is light, that helps a lot. i did some SS touring with kids and the lack of momentum was the fun killer.
Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS
So you have a flip flop hub. Put a big freewheel on one side and install a double chain ring crank. If you have 16t ans 23t freewheels/fixed cogs on the back and a 40t/33t front crank you can get 67" and 37" and don't have to worry about different chain tensioning.
I have to say that I am kind of intrigued by that concept. Not sure why.
I like it for the simplicity, and it's a bit more forgiving than a real SS/FG, same level of complexity with very little weight penalty. If you consider a range of 60 to 100 rpm, you get quite a wide interval. I have double in front, 32/28, and double in the back, 18/14, it gives all together 12 to 30 km/h range. No need even for a second chain link.
When i have to portage the bike i can tell there is some difference in weight compared to properly geared bicycle.
Borealis Yampa, Ground Up Designs Ti Cross bike, Xtracycle, GT mod trials bike, pixie race machine
Dooo it. If you have nice enough gear to keep the weight below 10lbs without food/water that will not be much different than riding unloaded. Maybe gear down a tiny bit if you are worried but I doubt you will notice much difference between loaded and unloaded.