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Three Speed or Single Speed?

Old 08-09-10, 11:17 PM
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northsjfixed
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Three Speed or Single Speed?

I am going to get the Schwinn Coffee and I am on the fence about getting it either in three speeds or single speed. I will only be using it to go to local shops within a mile radius (at most).

Dumb question but where are the shifters on three speed bikes? I can't seem to see them in pictures.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:36 PM
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Three speeds are more versatile. They are also more expensive to fix than SS. Ride both and see which you like best. BTW since it's a Shimano Nexus 3-speed the shifter will be one of their Revo models, otherwise known as a "grip-shift".

Another bike you may want to consider that's in the same vein is the 2010 Kona Worldbike: https://www.konaworld.co/bike.cfm?content=worldbike. The 2011 model changes to an aluminum frame (and is called simply "Bike") so you may be able to pick up a 2010 at a discount.

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Old 08-09-10, 11:42 PM
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Ss!!
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Old 08-09-10, 11:47 PM
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My commute is flat and short, but I find having an acceleration gear, a cruising gear, and a tailwind gear suits me. SS guys like to do all that in one gear. Depends on what you like.
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Old 08-10-10, 03:34 AM
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I vote 3 speed. Maybe you will decide to venture farther in the future and want the extra gears. I am not really familiar with that bike but I would guess that the SS gearing is pretty forgiving, it should be a little lighter too.
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Old 08-10-10, 08:56 AM
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I like the N, middle gear, on my 3 speed at about 60".. calculate external cog sizes here:
https://sheldonbrown.com/gears/internal.html

trigger shifters are the time tested way to change a 3 speed hub's gears.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-10-10 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 08-10-10, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by northsjfixed View Post
I am going to get the Schwinn Coffee and I am on the fence about getting it either in three speeds or single speed. I will only be using it to go to local shops within a mile radius (at most).

Dumb question but where are the shifters on three speed bikes? I can't seem to see them in pictures.
For a mile, single speed should be absolutely fine, unless you are in a valley with steep climbs all around.
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Old 08-10-10, 10:01 AM
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SS will be lighter, cheaper to maintain, and overall less fuss.

3 speed will give you cadence options, be easier from stop lights and stuff (you can shift down at a stoplight without pedaling with IGH) and also gives you a bail-out gear when you're tired, or a higher gear when there's a tailwind.

it's your call, you'll probably like either. personally, I'd definitely go SS.
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Old 08-10-10, 11:11 AM
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SingleSpeed.
Versatility does not equal need. Having a third arm would be nice, but it doesn't offer you anything more than you already have.
Many people (myself included) ride geared bikes for almost everything they do - and I haven't shifted a gear in 3 weeks, other than to fix a stupid chain rub (friction shifters<=anything)
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Old 08-10-10, 11:26 AM
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Singlespeed all the way!!! I just made the transition from my geared commuter to a SS on my commute last week (23 miles each way with some topography), and I am convinced it's the best way to go. Simple, light, efficient, and as long as you aren't trying to win any races or climb the Alpe de Whatever, you can find a pretty good gear to get you just about everywhere you need to go.
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Old 08-10-10, 01:13 PM
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future wheel .. with Nexus 8 speed? for the weekend getaway..
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Old 08-10-10, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
SingleSpeed.
Versatility does not equal need. Having a third arm would be nice, but it doesn't offer you anything more than you already have.
I don't think I've ever heard having a third arm compared to multiple-geared bikes.


Last edited by jbabic; 08-10-10 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 08-10-10, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by irclean View Post
Three speeds are more versatile. They are also more expensive to fix than SS. Ride both and see which you like best. BTW since it's a Shimano Nexus 3-speed the shifter will be one of their Revo models, otherwise known as a "grip-shift".

Another bike you may want to consider that's in the same vein is the 2010 Kona Worldbike: https://www.konaworld.co/bike.cfm?content=worldbike. The 2011 model changes to an aluminum frame (and is called simply "Bike") so you may be able to pick up a 2010 at a discount.
Yes on this post. I had the Schwinn Cream for a year before selling it. I liked the look of the bike but to ride that single speed bike was sad since there was no resistance. While that Coffee and Creams look nice, there are better bikes to buy. I paid less than $200 for my Cream and saw that the three speeds were double. For the great difference in price, I think the Kona Bike is a much better deal with the exception of the coaster brake. Go Kona!
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Old 08-10-10, 06:34 PM
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I didn't really like SS for commuting, 4-speed IGH worked much better for me and it felt just like a SS bike.
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Old 08-10-10, 06:36 PM
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It is fair to post more?






You're welcome.
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Old 08-10-10, 09:48 PM
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OP: I'd say 3 speed but this is more of an article of faith than anything else, not knowing the bike or your needs in detail. On a thread like this in the bicycle world, you may as well ask "Catholic or Presbyterian? Which is more appropriate?"
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Old 08-10-10, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jbabic View Post
It is fair to post more?






You're welcome.
True enough. Perhaps I should have just gone for the "gears are for people who have too much time on their hands to worry about what gear they're in, or what they might be able to do with this/that/the other if they have it."

From now on, I'm going to equate gearheads with hoarders. Buncha' hoarders

It is like owning a six speed transmission on a Yugo, unless you're racing, lazy or old - its still just a bad analogy
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Old 08-10-10, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by northsjfixed View Post
I am going to get the Schwinn Coffee and I am on the fence about getting it either in three speeds or single speed. I will only be using it to go to local shops within a mile radius (at most).

Dumb question but where are the shifters on three speed bikes? I can't seem to see them in pictures.

Shifter positions:

Shimano & SRAM 3 speed hubs use twist shifters, also known as grip shifters. Currently the only option available.

Sturmey Archer has the old school trigger shifter still available for their normal 3 speed hubs as well as a twist shifter. SA also now has new designs of bar end and thumb shifters available for their three speed hubs. The SA hubs offer the greatest choice by far.
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Old 08-10-10, 10:37 PM
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I'm not a big fan of single speeds even though I am primarily in one gear every time I ride. I don't think you will regret having extra gears.
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Old 08-11-10, 01:59 AM
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Most days, I commute just a few miles on fairly flat terrain. I also have many 1/2 mile rides to the grocery store, park, pharmacy, etc with my kid.
I always want to downshift at stop signs and stop lights, and it is nice to be able to get into a high gear when you want to sprint for that yellow light, or go fast downhill, or keep up with that guy on the fixie.

You could definitely ride a single-speed bike for all you needs, like millions of people in Europe and around the world, assuming there are no huge hills nearby. But I think you may have more fun and find your bike more useful if you can downshift for headwinds and at stoplights. So if the price is not an issue, get the 3-speed.
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Old 08-11-10, 06:32 AM
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Old 08-11-10, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by travelmama View Post
I paid less than $200 for my Cream and saw that the three speeds were double.
Buy the single speed. Pick up an AW on ebay.
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Old 08-11-10, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
Sturmey Archer has the old school trigger shifter still available for their normal 3 speed hubs as well as a twist shifter. SA also now has new designs of bar end and thumb shifters available for their three speed hubs. The SA hubs offer the greatest choice by far.
Aftermarket SRF3 hubs now come with the DLS30 dual paddle "push-push" shifters.
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Old 08-11-10, 07:21 AM
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You might be interested in one of these...fully chrome-moly frame and fork, racks and other accessories available, single speeds start at $450, with 3 speeds and even 8 speeds available. https://publicbikes.com/p/PUBLIC-D1
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Old 08-11-10, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Buy the single speed. Pick up an AW on ebay.
Did you not read that I SOLD the single speed a year after getting it?
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