Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

gears or no gears?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

gears or no gears?

Old 05-11-11, 07:56 PM
  #1  
mburgess86
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mburgess86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 125

Bikes: 2014 surly cross check, 1986 Fuji esspree

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
gears or no gears?

Do you commute by single speed or or gears? I'm trying to decide on my next bike; right now I have both but the single speed gives me less problems I may sell the 21 speed not sure though...
mburgess86 is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 08:01 PM
  #2  
FunkyStickman
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 Centennial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You might want to consider a bike with an IGH... simplicity of a single chainline, but with gears. Best of both worlds.
FunkyStickman is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 08:08 PM
  #3  
____asdfghjkl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
right now I am commuting with a converted single speed. the shifting was a pain in the butt.
I would like a geared bike though!
____asdfghjkl is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 08:14 PM
  #4  
no1mad 
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Posts: 8,852

Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
I have 24 gears available, but only use like 5- the big chain ring up front and the 5 smallest cogs. And of the 5, I tend to heavily use just 3. I want a SS, but the winds lately make me hesitant.
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 08:15 PM
  #5  
jdgesus 
sɹɐʇsɟoןןnɟsʇıbɟɯo
 
jdgesus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: seattle, too many links
Posts: 3,986

Bikes: fixed gear recumbent trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
both!
__________________
Originally Posted by yummygooey View Post
crabon/campy/rapha/roadie-bro.

next step is recumbent.




my bikes | bike blog | beer blog | work 1 | work 2
jdgesus is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 08:25 PM
  #6  
Wake
Sputnik - beep beep beep
 
Wake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 481

Bikes: '12 Jamis Coda Elite '09 Jamis Sputnik, '07 Jamis Eclipse, '13 Brompton M6R.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Single-speed here, I love the simplicity and durablity of a 1/8 chain (4500 miles so far on this one). But at age 66, a good headwind gives me pause on occasion. If I have to change, I've thought about getting a smaller chainwheel to make it easier.
Wake is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 08:35 PM
  #7  
Drew Eckhardt 
Senior Member
 
Drew Eckhardt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mountain View, CA USA and Golden, CO USA
Posts: 6,331

Bikes: 97 Litespeed, 50-39-30x13-26 10 cogs, Campagnolo Ultrashift, retroreflective rims on SON28/PowerTap hubs

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 545 Post(s)
Liked 303 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by mburgess86 View Post
Do you commute by single speed or or gears? I'm trying to decide on my next bike; right now I have both but the single speed gives me less problems I may sell the 21 speed not sure though...
Gears, with 2 rings and 9 cogs providing 15 distinct options of which I've used all but one on my commute.

Properly adjusted derailleur setups don't have problems. Apart from shifter rebuilds after enough years (Campagnolo G-springs wear out) mine have been problem free. The rear is getting worn out so it might not shift as fast as it used to, but 15 years of service isn't too bad.
Drew Eckhardt is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 08:36 PM
  #8  
Joe Dog
One Hep Cat
 
Joe Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: N 44.91577 W093.25327
Posts: 748

Bikes: Surly Cross-Check (commuter), Lemond Sarthe (sports car), Schwinn fixed gear conversion (for fun)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Whatever you want. Be your own rider. I ride both, I like both. I choose when I get up in the morning. Simple
__________________
BikeLove

Website
Joe Dog is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 09:44 PM
  #9  
bhop
Senior Member
 
bhop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,894

Bikes: Bianchi Via Nirone 7, Jamis Sputnik

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Both for me too. Fixed gear and roadie! If you don't have any massive hills to deal with (or many) then you probably don't "need" gears.
bhop is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 10:14 PM
  #10  
phx1973
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Posts: 216

Bikes: 2019 Giant Contend 3

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
I am in a similar situation. Looking for a new bike and heavily considering single speed. I like the Masi Speciale Commuter, but am continuing to look around.
phx1973 is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 12:32 AM
  #11  
ace587
Senior Member
 
ace587's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
all flat for me i commute fixed
ace587 is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 01:20 AM
  #12  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,309 Times in 822 Posts
Far from flat, .. I really like my Rohloff hub ..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 03:01 AM
  #13  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I use an 8-speed internal hub gear on rolling roads, nothing very steep or big.
Ive had my derailleur bikes set up with single, double and triple chainrings. Single chainring setups can be quite effective.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 03:26 AM
  #14  
martianone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern VT
Posts: 2,154

Bikes: recumbent & upright

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
I'm very biased about this - consider a 1x9 [8 or 10] set up ? Simplicity of a SS is nice. A few gears are very nice - there are lots of commuting days when the wind is wrong, engine is running is little off, etc; for which a few gears makes the ride much easier. The 1x9 set up is pragmatic and highly effective for commuting.
martianone is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 05:53 AM
  #15  
BassNotBass
master of bottom licks
 
BassNotBass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lou-evil, Canned-Yucky USA
Posts: 2,211
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Both. The only time that fixed/ss can be frustrating is during really windy days when a headwind forces one to mash but a tailwind has one pumping like a sewing machine.
BassNotBass is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 06:49 AM
  #16  
scroca
commuter and barbarian
 
scroca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Potomac, MT, USA
Posts: 2,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mburgess86 View Post
Do you commute by single speed or or gears? I'm trying to decide on my next bike; right now I have both but the single speed gives me less problems I may sell the 21 speed not sure though...
Fixed is even less potential problems that ss. I pretty much exclusively commute by fg, but I have a tourning bike with lots of gears as a backup.

I would surely sing a different tune if my route was extremely hilly.
scroca is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 07:05 AM
  #17  
TRANS4M
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alexandria VA
Posts: 74

Bikes: Fuji Cross Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
both. depends on what time I leave the house. If I'm running late, I take the road bike with 20 speed. If I leave on time, I take the single speed.
TRANS4M is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 07:05 AM
  #18  
mttx
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I ride on a SS. Love it but as many says, it depend on the area you are. If there is a lot of hills, SS might not be the best choice. If you can have both, it it the best option. SS is great but when face with a head wind, it is not fun.

Might want to try to ride for a week in only one gear all the time (no cheating). If you see that you are confortable with it, go with the SS. That is how I knew that I was good to make the switch.
mttx is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 07:09 AM
  #19  
Bud Bent
Wheezing Geezer
 
Bud Bent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Crowley, Tx
Posts: 1,782

Bikes: Bacchetta Corsa, RANS Stratus XP

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If they slice out half of a lung, then put hills in front of you, you need gears.
Bud Bent is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 07:49 AM
  #20  
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
 
Steely Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,398

Bikes: I have five of brikes

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 200 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 25 Posts
all 3 of my bikes are derailleur bikes (1x8 folder, 3x7 hybrid, 2x10 road bike). i live in pancake flat chicago; there are no hills of any consequence along my 15 mile one-way commute. however, i ride directly along chicago's lakefront where winds can be downright ferocious a lot of the time. when i have to battle one of those 25 knot headwinds on my way in, i sure am glad to have some lower gears to drop down into. and when that same 25 knot wind is a tailwind on my way home, i sure am glad to have some higher firepower to take advantage of it.

some have cited the complexity and nuisance of maintaining derailleur systems as a reason to ride SS/FG/IGH and that's totally cool. to each their own and all that. but i think that it comes down to basic personality traits. i'm a tinkerer by nature, i like fiddling around with mechanical stuff, learning all about how it works. i genuinely enjoy the time i spend cleaning, maintaining, and repairing my bikes. i don't find derailleur maintenance to be a pain in the ass as many other riders seem to. i keep everything well lubed, clean, and tightened up so my derailleur systems almost never give me any grief.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 05-12-11 at 07:56 AM.
Steely Dan is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 08:02 AM
  #21  
FunkyStickman
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 Centennial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I still think for commuter bikes, an IGH rear hub is ideal. They're getting cheap enough now to be a real alternative.
FunkyStickman is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 08:52 AM
  #22  
dolanp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 238

Bikes: Trek FX 7.2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Gears... hills everywhere!
dolanp is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 08:59 AM
  #23  
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,375

Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Even with hills, it's still possible to go singlespeed; you just need to determine if the sacrifice in top speed is acceptible to you.
I've got plenty of hills and I use a 44/18 singlespeed ratio, which is a fairly tiny 65-ish gear inches. Good for climbing the 2 mile long, 5% hills that I deal with routinely without having to stand and mash. However, it's not so great for top end speed unless you can spin like a madman. 90rpm only puts me at 17.5mph and I've gotten used to spinning about 110-ish.
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 08:59 AM
  #24  
BassNotBass
master of bottom licks
 
BassNotBass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lou-evil, Canned-Yucky USA
Posts: 2,211
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
... but i think that it comes down to basic personality traits...
There are times in life, sometimes extended periods, when what you want to do and what you have time to do can't be the same thing.
BassNotBass is offline  
Old 05-12-11, 09:06 AM
  #25  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,268

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 15 Posts
I have found that riding with no gears is difficult...
Sixty Fiver is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.