Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

What is it..

Old 06-18-18, 07:10 PM
  #1  
Harvieu25
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What is it..

that you love about single speed bikes?

What is your reasoning for having one?

Why would you not just pick a gear and stick with it on a geared bike?


I did a 27 mile ride tonight that has 1k of climbing, with grades up to 9%. Used my 50x17. Legs tired quickly due lots of standing in the first 20 miles. This is a loop I do fairly often and I was only 20 seconds off my best, even with giving up some mph on the descents, and I thought I was giving up some speed up the 2-3% grades when seated. Guess I didn't give up too much. Did this to see if a single is in my future, I would get a freewheel of course. In a similar gear, would I hold more speed with the single due to less friction in the drivetrain or would that difference be noticeable?

Currently looking at a Fuji track bike that does have road brakes, can't remember what model it is.
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Old 06-18-18, 07:49 PM
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The reason why I run single speed is because that's what fixed gear bikes are.

If I'm going to coast then the bike might as well have multiple gears.
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Old 06-18-18, 08:31 PM
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SS bikes are easier to maintain which is an advantage and also just kinda cool. I've done a bit of SS MTB in my day which is fun but only fixed on the road. I ride fixed (track and road), free (road and mtb) and have pretty much 0 interest in riding SS freewheel'd on the road like @TimothyH. I'd just take a road bike instead.

You were fast tonight on your bike b/c you pedaled harder. Do you have a power meter? At any rate it doesn't matter, and if riding SS makes you wanna go harder, that's a good thing IMO. Cheers!
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Old 06-18-18, 08:57 PM
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Single speed, like fixed gear drivetrains, are cool because they require no stupid derailers, shifters, and cables. This paraphernalia is a necessary evil on some rides, but in any situation where you don't need variable gears, it's just more fun to ride without it. Simple, durable, low maintenance, efficient, elegant. I've had a single speed bike and liked it, as a compromise between derailers and the simplest possible setup (fixed gear). Eventually, though, I converted it to another compromise that is one step closer to the derailer end of the spectrum: three speed internal gear hub.

When my planned route permits it, I really enjoy riding a bike with the bare minimum. No brakes, no lights, no water bottles, no tools. Just a frame, two wheels, narrow and light handlebar, single sided clipless pedals, fixed gear drivetrain, smile on my face and not a care in the world.
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Old 06-19-18, 06:01 AM
  #5  
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I don't usually post here, but the thread title caught my eye. I keep one of my belt-drive bikes built as a singlespeed. For me it's about the elegant simplicity that I suppose takes me back to childhood when the act of riding a bike was to hop on and pedal. Singlespeed forces me out of the saddle sometimes, and keeps me moving around and more engaged on the bike than when just sitting and spinning w/gears. I'm not 100% committed to singlespeed, but it sure is a fun option to have.
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Old 06-19-18, 06:52 AM
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When I rode trails on single-speeds, I felt I was on a bike that sharpened my focus and demanded that I use body English and better technique to get over and around and through. For more than a decade my road cycling mileage has largely been on a fixed-gear for all the usual reasons - simplicity, control of the bike, and that hard to describe sensation of not having a freewheel or variable gears between me and the road.
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Old 06-19-18, 08:40 PM
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Fixed gears are just more fun. You have to be in tune with the bike and learn how to control it in a much different way. Gears are fine and all but it is a different ride. You aren't worried about shifting or am I in the right gear you have one gear and you just need to focus on your pedaling. It is very zen like in a way.
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Old 06-25-18, 02:19 PM
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I ride single speed, because they are simple to work on. When needed I can strip my bike down to the bare frame and back together in little over an hour if I wanted to. I've found with the correct gear ratio there is really no need for a geared bike. I just took my single-speed to Frisco, CO and rode to Keystone and *Copper Mountain without much trouble. I would have rode to the Vail pass but I ran out of time. I did gear down for the climbing. Rode a 46 x 19 when I was there.

I have rode fixed in the past, and really really like the connected feel, but hills are a PITA so its a free wheel for me.

EDIT: Copper Mountain not Vail...

Last edited by bhoule; 06-25-18 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Copper Mountain not Vail....
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Old 06-25-18, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
For me it's about the elegant simplicity that I suppose takes me back to childhood when the act of riding a bike was to hop on and pedal.
Thats a good way to sum it up.

When I ride a modern road bike, it becomes an occasion: Put on silly tight lycra, pack spares tubes and CO2 canisters, fill up bottles, turn on strava, plan my routes, join a group ride, worry about cadence, watts, focus on good riding posture to stay aero.... etc etc etc.

When I ride fixed, I just grab the bike and head out in shorts and T-shirts. Ride at a leisurely pace or put in the effort to get a great work out around the neighborhood in a 30min evening ride... something much more manageable on a work week. #dontbesucharoadie
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Old 07-01-18, 05:38 AM
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I ride all types of bikes. My Bianchi is SS/FG with a flip flop hub. While I have ridden it on long rides out in the country; the geared road bike is better suited for that.

Around town, it's the FG. My wife tends to vary her speed so it's far easier to match her on the FG.

I "need" a bike I can just hop on and go riding with the granddaughters. A SS with platform pedals would do well for that and provides the perfect reason to build one up from my stash of frames. ;-)
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Old 07-06-18, 10:31 PM
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I live in a flat area and fiddling with gears is kind of distracting when I'm just trying to take in my ride.
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Old 07-07-18, 03:57 AM
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I just acquired my first ss/fixed biked (currently running it fixed with front brake). I had a few reasons for acquiring this. I live in a metro area.

1.) Simply popping out on the bike to run quick errands or head to a bar a bit longer than I feel like walking to, when I don't want to drive, and in lieu of uber is great. That said, I won't lock up and leave my road bike. I wanted something simple and cheap that I wouldn't care (as much) if it were stolen.

2.) Theft aside, I've briefly locked up one of my carbon bikes in the past at the end of a rack. During the 15 minutes it was locked up someone roughly locked up their cheap walmart machine next to it. My paint/clear coat was badly chipped and rear mechanical was bent out of alignment. The later point furthering my decision to go ss/fixed. No one else carelessness will result in dirty hands or lost time.

3.) Improve my pedal stroke/spinning skills. Over the past 2 winters I started riding rollers during the winter. It's made a noticeable difference in the way I ride. I'm sure fixed will further refine this area of my riding by default.

4.) To be honest: Curiosity. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. It's been really interesting and actually I do like it a lot. I'm still undecided at this point if I will keep this bike as fixed or ss. I need to get some more saddle time on this bike before the decision is made. Busy season at work and more or less daily road rides have been eating up my time and energy.
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