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Single speed or geared bikes better ?

Old 04-27-21, 07:24 PM
  #26  
veganbikes
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All the bikes! Geared and single speed,

I do like my Cinelli Mash Work, it is a fantastic single speed. But I also really like my geared bikes as well. Get what works best for you and your riding and your area.
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Old 04-27-21, 08:54 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I'm 61, and I ride about 4000 miles a year on my three singlespeeds -- on road, trail, and gravel. I've raced singlespeed MTB, CX, and BMX. It's not always the right tool for the job, but that's part of the fun -- they make bike riding less about the bike and more about the riding. While I own and appreciate geared bikes as well, I think every well-rounded rider should have at least one singlespeed in their quiver.
Yeah, Iím liking me some single speed once again. Not sure why I put gears on a couple of years back.

Anyway, the last nine months Iíve had both bikes set up that way. It changes my state of mind. I enjoy addressing the challenges of hills and headwinds with position, effort and attitude, not lower gears. Iíve also just been having a lot of fun riding like a kid, so to speak.

I have increased my typical ride length, which may relate to fun and may also be related to the relative comfort of spending more time out of the saddle. Bear in mind, my rides are just fun and conditioning. No races, no touring and no groceries. Gears are awesome for so many purposes, just not the ones I need at the moment.

Otto
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Old 04-28-21, 03:15 AM
  #28  
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I've become so in love with one gear that I'm thinking about converting my carbon '17 Diamondback Podium Disc with a Paul chain tensioner, SRAM Force 1x crank and S500 road levers because I never ride the bike anymore. That would probably be a 15-16lb bike. It has the block off plates for an electronic group so it would look really clean.
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Old 04-30-21, 12:54 PM
  #29  
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I love my Cinelli Vigorelli and for sure they make great bikes. But. You will be paying a fair chunk for the brand and they're plenty of other brands that offer better value in the fixie world. Single speed is great on a city bike. But. Bikes with gears are better because, well, they have gears! Personally I wouldn't recommend fixie for starting out or getting back into riding. A single speed city bike, sure, but even then 3 or 7 speeds come in real handy. I love my fixie more than my geared bikes but I'd still say, start with gears.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:18 AM
  #30  
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Have you considered a Folding bike?
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Old 05-01-21, 02:54 PM
  #31  
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I love the look and idea of single-speeds and used to ride one in the early days of my cycling rebirth, but I'm a little worried about my knees. Sometimes I experiment on rides where I do more more mashing than spinning, getting out of the saddle more. The next day my 60-year old knees feel like they have a few more twinges and niggles than usual, but I may be imagining it.

I have a belt-drive bike (probably my favourite for multiple reasons) with a Nexus 8-speed IGH. It feels like 8 different single-speeds rolled into one bike. Feels great.
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Old 05-01-21, 03:06 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post

In a velodrome track you'll see single speed bikes with steep gearing, but you won't see hills, and the whole race is over pretty quickly. Gear changes would slow them down.
That has nothing to due w/ track racing, and it's obvious you don't have any experience with it at all.
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Old 05-01-21, 03:31 PM
  #33  
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I would one day like to setup a 1x3. Single chainring with 3 cogs in back. Friction shifting with wide spacing. Only concern is being able to set hi and low with such a narrow cassette. It would be absolute no brainer shifting and you could easily swap out whatever gearing you wanted.

John
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Old 05-01-21, 07:05 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I would one day like to setup a 1x3. Single chainring with 3 cogs in back. Friction shifting with wide spacing. Only concern is being able to set hi and low with such a narrow cassette. It would be absolute no brainer shifting and you could easily swap out whatever gearing you wanted.

John
I seem to recall running 1x4 and 1x5 within the last couple of years, though more typically Iíd just run a 12-28 7 speed cluster and only use the 16 and 21. Thatís what I did the previous winter and spring before going SS again last summer.

Iíd definitely want to find a very light vintage derailleur (like one from the 5-speed era) in good shape. I could see maybe 42/14-16-18. Or maybe 13-16-20. Only a middle shift would require any skill.

Otto
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Old 05-01-21, 07:14 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by fredlord View Post
I love the look and idea of single-speeds and used to ride one in the early days of my cycling rebirth, but I'm a little worried about my knees. Sometimes I experiment on rides where I do more more mashing than spinning, getting out of the saddle more. The next day my 60-year old knees feel like they have a few more twinges and niggles than usual, but I may be imagining it.
Iím almost that age, and what seems to help me a lot is to drop my heels when Iím pedaling slower, whether standing or seated. It reduces the angle of knee bend at the top of the pedal stroke, and that seems to protect my knees. My knees seem to be at least as happy as they were with multi-gear setups. YMMV.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 05-01-21 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 05-01-21, 07:19 PM
  #36  
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All City SS (40 x 18)
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Old 05-01-21, 07:48 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
I seem to recall running 1x4 and 1x5 within the last couple of years, though more typically Iíd just run a 12-28 7 speed cluster and only use the 16 and 21. Thatís what I did the previous winter and spring before going SS again last summer.

Iíd definitely want to find a very light vintage derailleur (like one from the 5-speed era) in good shape. I could see maybe 42/14-16-18. Or maybe 13-16-20. Only a middle shift would require any skill.

Otto
Iím thinking 46/12-20-32

Someone could even run a 6 speed thumb shifter if finding the middle cog with 5.5mm ctc required ďtoo-much-skillĒ ... lol.

John
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Old 05-02-21, 03:22 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I would one day like to setup a 1x3. Single chainring with 3 cogs in back. Friction shifting with wide spacing. Only concern is being able to set hi and low with such a narrow cassette. It would be absolute no brainer shifting and you could easily swap out whatever gearing you wanted.

John
Someone needs to make an old school setup where you have a few cogs in the rear. You manually put the chain on the cog and adjust chain tension with a lever.

Geno Bartali won the '38 TDF on this four speed bike:

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Old 05-02-21, 08:22 AM
  #39  
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I’d want a dropped seatpost to get to the lever... lol!

The idea for 3 speed came about because a neighbor rode a single speed mtb. He said he got tired of fiddling with the RD. The only issue he has is not enough top end and occasionally having to run up a steep climb carrying his bike. The guy is a beast.

I told him if he ever wanted to try it, I could see if I could set the limit screws to run 3 cogs with friction shifting. He would need to get a hanger setup for his single speed. It never happened, but it was a project I always wanted to try.

John
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Old 05-02-21, 10:24 AM
  #40  
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You can get a dual cog freewheel. Only one short of three.

Bikeman White Industries DOS ENO Freewheel, 16/18
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Old 05-04-21, 12:09 AM
  #41  
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You could go with a Dingle speed.
I have a 17-21 2 speed freewheel using it with a 49x45 Chainset gives 2 nice GI ranges of 80 and 59.5,
or with 46x42 which gives 75 and 55.5 GI. the nice thing about this is the chain length is the same for both settings. I also have a Surly double fixed cog with 17-21 teeth.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:48 AM
  #42  
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It depends on your riding situation. I live in a city on a hill. I could never survive on a single speed.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:45 PM
  #43  
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There was a time when cars and trucks came with only a single speed. This was okay for flat city streets crowded with pedestrians, horses, and stray dogs, and when it was not necessary to go more than 15 mph. But why buy a car or truck which can go no faster than a horse or horse-drawn conveyance? Especially when these could climb inclines and hills better? Adding gears to cars and trucks increased speeds, and made hills easier, this was called "innovation" and "progress." As decades passed, more and more gears were added, and modern cars have a much larger number of gears than they did a generation ago. This wider range of gearing greatly improves efficiency, mileage, and reduces emissions. Where I live in Tokyo, there are some pretty good hills, and you will often seen young men (and women) walking their single-speed bikes up these hills are they are incapable of climbing them. The Keirin racers here in japan have training facilities which include a small hill, and part the training is to accelerate over a flat surface for a certain distance and then climb as far up the hill as they can. Many racers are not able to get to the top of the hill, which any high school kid in a multi-speed bike could climb without breaking a sweat.
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