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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 03-29-12, 05:02 PM
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dentaltwin
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What's the deal with one-speed bikes?

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
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Old 03-29-12, 05:07 PM
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Fashion accessory for hipsters. You should come to San Francisco - they probably outnumber other types of bikes in certain areas of the city. And they're typically ridden by people who all spend a great deal of money on trying to look different and end up looking exactly like everyone else in their social group.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dentaltwin View Post
In the streets of NYC, they're suddenly everywhere
Suddenly? I'm not in NYC but last time was, I saw a lot of them...and that was 2 years ago.

Oh...and welcome!
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Old 03-29-12, 05:17 PM
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There's a whole forum dedicated to this subject, why not ask there?
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Old 03-29-12, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dstrong View Post
Suddenly? I'm not in NYC but last time was, I saw a lot of them...and that was 2 years ago.

Oh...and welcome!
agreed. if anything, the fixed phenomena is dead. it reached its apex around 2005-2008.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:26 PM
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Let's all just hate on single speeds...

They make great training tools and require far less maintenance.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DeadheadSF View Post
Fashion accessory for hipsters. You should come to San Francisco - they probably outnumber other types of bikes in certain areas of the city. And they're typically ridden by people who all spend a great deal of money on trying to look different and end up looking exactly like everyone else in their social group.
I was in SF a few months ago. Didn't see a fixie, or wasn't looking for them. Would you see them in the Haight? SOMA? I was mostly in Pacific Heights which is probably the last place I would want a fixed gear.

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Old 03-29-12, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Essex View Post
I was in SF a few months ago. Didn't see a fixie, or wasn't looking for them. Would you see them in the Haight? SOMA? I was mostly in Pacific Heights which is probably the last place I would want a fixed gear.

Essex
The Mission.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:51 PM
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really, you just noticed? I took a class at the community college last year and the bike rack was full of them. Actually, it was somewhat refreshing since there used to be hardly any bikes in the racks. Maybe it was a northwest thing at first? It smells like a Portland thing.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:52 PM
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You guys must not live near hipsters.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:53 PM
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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.
Steve
You say these aren't track bikes, so they don't have track ends, but of course most singlespeed or fixed gear bikes are NOT going to have vertical dropouts. Horizontal, yes, but if one has vertical dropouts, you'd need some kind of tensioner in most cases.

Fixed Gear and Single Speed bikes are not new in any city.... unless you've been frozen for the last 30 years...

Reading your post again. I may just be feeding a troll.
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Old 03-29-12, 05:59 PM
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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
Who are you? A modern day Rip Van Winkle? This "fad" has been going on for, oh, about 10 years or so.
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Old 03-29-12, 06:04 PM
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Its a simple bike. Most youngins grew up on BMX or mountain bikes, or never had a bike. The whole concept of a multi gear bike is foreign to the great majority of new bikers. How many mountain bikes and old ten speeds have the chain and derailleurs frozen in the small chainring - small cog position? About 99%. Too complicated to learn how to shift the chain to different gears. Single speed/fixed is the simplest way to go.
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Old 03-29-12, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gigantor View Post
Let's all just hate on single speeds...

They make great training tools and require far less maintenance.
+1
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Old 03-29-12, 06:55 PM
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Deraileurs are for faileurs
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Old 03-29-12, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by humboldt'sroads View Post
The Mission.
That makes sense. Flat, kinda up and comin.' Haven't seen that area in a while. Good place for boozers, bangers and hipsters.
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Old 03-29-12, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DeadheadSF View Post
Fashion accessory for hipsters. You should come to San Francisco - they probably outnumber other types of bikes in certain areas of the city. And they're typically ridden by people who all spend a great deal of money on trying to look different and end up looking exactly like everyone else in their social group.
SPOT ON!!

Down here in OZ (in Melbourne) we have exactly the same species of human...

They're quite often also seen sporting an eccentric moustache and/or a beret...
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Old 03-29-12, 07:26 PM
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Single speed bikes are fine if you don't need more than one gear.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Lexi01 View Post
SPOT ON!!

Down here in OZ (in Melbourne) we have exactly the same species of human...

They're quite often also seen sporting an eccentric moustache and/or a beret...
you mean like this guy?



or THIS guy?


Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 03-29-12 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 03-30-12, 12:44 AM
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"What's the deal with one-speed bikes?"

If you have to ask.....
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Old 03-30-12, 01:22 AM
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You either like them or you don't. Try it, if you don't like it no one will have to know you tried it.
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Old 03-30-12, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
"What's the deal with one-speed bikes?"

If you have to ask.....
+1

they've been around for a long time and will continue to be around regardless of how popular they are.
I love my fixed gear bike.


Originally Posted by vautrain View Post
Single speed bikes are fine if you don't need more than one gear.
you only truly need one gear
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Old 03-30-12, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by gigantor View Post
Let's all just hate on single speeds...

They make great training tools and require far less maintenance.

Define "far less".
The maintenance for my gears is about 3 minutes every year.
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Old 03-30-12, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
There's a whole forum dedicated to this subject, why not ask there?
I did ask there a while ago ... I never got an actual answer other than: "because we like it".
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Old 03-30-12, 03:16 AM
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What's the deal with one speed bikes? I think Jerry Seinfeld has that answer for you.
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