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What's the deal with one-speed bikes?

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What's the deal with one-speed bikes?

Old 04-02-12, 01:00 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by dentaltwin View Post
Krusty, I could TRY buying that many bikes--but I think I'd find my wife telling me to sleep in the car.
Yeah, 4 fixed gear bikes, including 2 vintage Keirin bikes, 2 full carbon road bikes and a titanium MTB that received some custom modifications (my wife actually came with me to the framebuilder for that one) does put a bit of a strain on things, especially as right now the 2 road bikes are occupying the back room beside the kitchen as I tune them for this year and just sit and admire them. It's not so much the bikes by themselves that has had me in a bit of hot water, but the bikes combined with a room full of guitars and amps is something my wife occasionally points to as she indulges her love of (very) expensive handbags.
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Old 04-02-12, 01:17 PM
  #77  
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Hey Steve, your Olmo has horizontal dropouts, doesn't it? All you'd need to dip your toes back into the FG/SS world is to buy/build a fixed rear wheel that you can swap in. (Might need a different crankset to get the chainline perfect, but that's still more affordable than buying another whole bike.)
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Old 04-02-12, 01:42 PM
  #78  
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I am very surprised this quote has not been presented yet.
Originally Posted by Paul de Vivie
I applaud this test, but I still feel that variable gears are only for people over 45. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft. Come on fellows. Let's say that the test was a fine demonstration - for our grandparents! As for me, give me a fixed gear!
I do not echo this statement exactly but it does illustrate an idea that occurred to me.

As for my experience in speaking on this subject. I have owned and ridden three of each geared and two fixed/ss bicycles. After owning two geared bicycles I saw this quote and it made sense to me. I was not racing nor in competition. My bicycle is for fun, form, and fit.

Having a less complicated fixed gear bike allowed me to start learning the repair of bicycles and this fixed has helped to correct my form. Since then I own and ride both types of bicycles and appreciate both very much. Each are different as all bikes have their own feel and personality.
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Old 04-02-12, 02:30 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by warningfs View Post
I am very surprised this quote has not been presented yet.

Originally Posted by Paul de Vivie
I applaud this test, but I still feel that variable gears are only for people over 45. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur? We are getting soft. Come on fellows. Let's say that the test was a fine demonstration - for our grandparents! As for me, give me a fixed gear!
I do not echo this statement exactly but it does illustrate an idea that occurred to me.

As for my experience in speaking on this subject. I have owned and ridden three of each geared and two fixed/ss bicycles. After owning two geared bicycles I saw this quote and it made sense to me. I was not racing nor in competition. My bicycle is for fun, form, and fit.

Having a less complicated fixed gear bike allowed me to start learning the repair of bicycles and this fixed has helped to correct my form. Since then I own and ride both types of bicycles and appreciate both very much. Each are different as all bikes have their own feel and personality.
LOL, you quoted the wrong guy. Henri Desgrange was the anti-derailleur guy, and he was just miffed because a girl riding a multi-speed bike won the race.
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Old 04-02-12, 04:24 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
LOL, you quoted the wrong guy. Henri Desgrange was the anti-derailleur guy, and he was just miffed because a girl riding a multi-speed bike won the race.
In which case I'd say that it's not " better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailleur" but that it's better to triumph in the first place, and thereby leave the debate about artifice to those who didn't.
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Old 04-02-12, 04:28 PM
  #81  
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if you havent familiarized yourself with using both fixed and geared for training and fun, youre doing it wrong.
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Old 04-09-12, 09:55 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by krusty View Post
I
Yeah, 4 fixed gear bikes, including 2 vintage Keirin bikes, 2 full carbon road bikes and a titanium MTB that received some custom modifications (my wife actually came with me to the framebuilder for that one) does put a bit of a strain on things, especially as right now the 2 road bikes are occupying the back room beside the kitchen as I tune them for this year and just sit and admire them. It's not so much the bikes by themselves that has had me in a bit of hot water, but the bikes combined with a room full of guitars and amps is something my wife occasionally points to as she indulges her love of (very) expensive handbags.
Krusty, you're my new hero. We just moved in Feb. and the office closet is filled with my meager 3 guitars. Last one I bought (ebay, no less) without prior notice to the boss. I won't do that again.
Right now I have to get enough crap out of the garage to find my one rideable bike.
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Old 04-09-12, 10:05 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Hey Steve, your Olmo has horizontal dropouts, doesn't it? All you'd need to dip your toes back into the FG/SS world is to buy/build a fixed rear wheel that you can swap in. (Might need a different crankset to get the chainline perfect, but that's still more affordable than buying another whole bike.)

Yeah, my brother has an old road frame he bought from Nashbar (must be close to 30 years ago) that he has set up as a fixed gear. It's for training in the park, and he has toe clips and old vintage cleated shoes. That would be ideal for me. Right now I have clipless pedals on the Olmo, so I'd have to take another pair of shoes if I'm using it for commuting.
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Old 04-09-12, 11:14 AM
  #84  
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I ride a single speed as my commuter bike. Reasons: less can go wrong, low maintenance, I don't have to worry about messing up one of my nice bikes in foul weather, I don't worry about it getting stolen because its inexpensive. It's just easy and that makes it fun.

On the weekends I head our on the road with my LeMond or hit the single track with my Gary Fisher. It's about variety.
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Old 04-09-12, 11:40 AM
  #85  
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Been riding my grandmothers singlespeed bike that was bought in 1948 for several years.
When it finally broke, I got another for some 15 euros. Rode it for about two years.

When that single speed is good for terrain (wind, slope etc.), it is just perfect. Better than any geared bike. Lack of speeds is bad when traveling long, uneven terrain, or jus facing strong headwind for a long time.

I'd love to test-drive a fixed gear singlespeed. Guess it could be fun. It is on my to-do list, but too expensive in my town - and not popular yet. Heard you can ride a fixed gear backwards!
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Old 04-09-12, 07:16 PM
  #86  
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Saw the title and knew my answer. For me; first bike I ever had was a single speed and, at 50, feeling like a kid is kind of cool. There is something liberating about leaving the computer and gears at home.
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Old 04-10-12, 02:48 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
Wow man ... to think of the time it took you to make such a comprehensive list ... damn ... I guess I should thank you for it, right?

On a more serious note: I really don't get all the "less to break" and "less to maintain" answers.
About the breaking: If I ever would fall with my bike ... the least I would worry about is whether or not my derailleur is broken ... and if it would be broken ... I would simply replace it since a derailleur is relatively cheap.
A few weeks ago my front deraileur brifter got jammed. Stuck in top gear. No tools with me, it was a quick joyride some 20 km from home. I had to ride home in 50x15 gear (so I don't crosschain too much) against a very strong headwind. Such problems just can't happen ona a singlespeed. Less maintenance, less tihngs to breakdown and leave you without a functioning bike. What is it you can't grasp about that? A man can solve problems, yes, but it is so nice when you don't have a problem in the first place. I love singlespeed's simplicity, low cost, lower weight, 100% straight chainline, more durable chain/sprockets etc.

FFS, the only downside of a singlespeed is the lack of gears, everything else is BETTER! So for us flatlanders it is a decent choice, especially for shorter, town errands.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:05 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Salmosebago View Post
Saw the title and knew my answer. For me; first bike I ever had was a single speed and, at 50, feeling like a kid is kind of cool. There is something liberating about leaving the computer and gears at home.
I hear you. I don't have a functioning bike computer (much less a gps). Back when I rode a lot I remember one week riding without my computer and I felt a little bit...naughty.
Wouldn't mind feeling like a kid...
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Old 04-16-12, 11:45 AM
  #89  
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I volunteer at my community bike workshop and we were tasked with building 30 bikes for an incoming convention event from our collection of donated bikes. Needless to say, building 30 multiple geared bikes in the short time given was not only difficult but downright impossible considering our parts inventory. So we built 30 single speeders. After helping build these simple beauties and then going along on the ride on one, I found I really, really enjoyed the simplicity they offered.

So now, I have yet to get my 20 speed out and strictly ride my single speed free or fixed around. Luckily, Buffalo is pretty flat.
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Old 04-17-12, 12:22 AM
  #90  
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I turn 45 in a few weeks, but I think I'll hang on to my fixed gear for a little bit longer.

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Old 04-17-12, 12:30 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
A few weeks ago my front deraileur brifter got jammed. Stuck in top gear. No tools with me, it was a quick joyride some 20 km from home. I had to ride home in 50x15 gear (so I don't crosschain too much) against a very strong headwind. Such problems just can't happen ona a singlespeed. Less maintenance, less tihngs to breakdown and leave you without a functioning bike. What is it you can't grasp about that? A man can solve problems, yes, but it is so nice when you don't have a problem in the first place. I love singlespeed's simplicity, low cost, lower weight, 100% straight chainline, more durable chain/sprockets etc.

FFS, the only downside of a singlespeed is the lack of gears, everything else is BETTER! So for us flatlanders it is a decent choice, especially for shorter, town errands.


You must not have much faith in your equipment if you're afraid to ride 12 miles crosschained. Your RD isn't going to explode.
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Old 04-17-12, 03:17 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by dentaltwin View Post
In the streets of NYC, they're suddenly everywhere--most with regular drop road bars, some with uprights--these are not track bikes, most don't have vertical dropouts. I see many are sold with flip-flop rear hubs.
Fetish? Fad? Only for flatlanders?
When I was younger, I knew plenty of people who'd ride their track bikes everywhere. Some would make a concession to the road by putting on heavier wheels, one brake--many wouldn't.
Maybe it's a reaction to 9-10 speed freewheels/freehubs. But not sure I get it.

Steve
They want to be hip by being part of the cool fringe marginal sport with great tradition and specific culture (cycling) but they don't know how to shift or maintain all those gears and derailleurs so one speed bicycles fit their needs perfectly.
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Old 04-17-12, 03:48 AM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by Young Version View Post


You must not have much faith in your equipment if you're afraid to ride 12 miles crosschained. Your RD isn't going to explode.
You missed my point. The point was that gears and more complicated things can break down. SS doesn't have things to break down. It is always 100% straight chainline. Simpler, lighter for the same component price/series.


As far as faith in quality: I've lost it in the last 10 or more years. Manufacturers tend to make things so they don't last long, so you have to replace it more often. They market it as "Better, lighter, more advanced", but it all boils down to: more complicated and expensive to fix (if at all possible), less durable. So, yes, I have zero comfidence in my equipment. I have comfidence in my tools and knowledge, but the mentioned accident was on a brand new road bike (my first ever contact with STIs), so I was more-less clueless. Turned out STIs can not be fixed anyway. So the LBS guy said. Small sensitive mechanism, something gets broken/stuck, that's it.

Oh, and my choice was:

a) riding crosschained and sweating a bit less
b) riding straight chained and sweating some more

I chose b) as a lesser evil. After all, I do ride for fun and that enjoyable sense of suffering. ARRR!
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Old 04-17-12, 11:49 AM
  #94  
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I bought a s/s about 10 days ago. I wanted to take my CX to our weekend place and leave it and needed a new commuter for NYC. For over a year, I bounced between a nice roadie or even a Tri Bike. I'm coming from MTB and need to get used to drop bars and 23mm. But I'd be uncomfortable leaving one chained somewhere.

I'm learning to love this bike. It's light, small and simple. Trains me in my cycling weaknesses. On top of that, my financial powder is dry. I could still buy the expensive bike when I'm good enough.

I was passed a couple of days ago, by a guy on what appeared to be a real track bike. No brakes. I tried to keep up to see what a stop looked like but no dice. He slid right through the lights and I lost him.
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