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Advice for newby single speed rider

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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)

Advice for newby single speed rider

Old 01-30-20, 04:03 AM
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WestRiding
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Advice for newby single speed rider

Hi new here and hoping for any helpful advice people may have. Having reached the point of saying enough is enough on my commute and spending way too much on wearing out bits and pieces in the hubs and transmission of my 11 speed bike decided to try out a single speed. I started by simulating single speed on my commute in an equivalent gear to a 42x16 which felt fine so the next step was to find a bike of similar weight to my existing one. I cannot post links on here until I have posted 10 times so my bike can be found reviewed by Cycling Weekly the Charge Plug single Speed (dark blue with brown saddle and brown bar tape), and the only thing different is the original Kendas have been replaced with Conti Ultra Sport 28mm tyres. Bought near mint second hand at £150 from ebay.

I am interested in next steps people may advise. So far my thoughts are:
1. mudguards needed, and with no bosses going for SKS raceblade longs, I think I may need to file the fittings to be slightly wider, as the axle of nut and bolt wheels will be thicker than a QR wheel. I am checking this tonight.
2. tyres. currently has conti ultra sport 28mm on. the mudguards might just fit these, but potentially need to be 25mm. I don't rate the ultra sports and am thinking schwalbe marathon plus, I am prepared for a rolling compromise but would rather be sure of minimising punctures as much as possible now I won't have QR. I already use slime inners which are brilliant (until they wear out after 1-2 years). I also have a spare 28mm gatorskin so may for now use that with a slime inner on the back until I get newer tyres like the Schwalbe. I highly rate the Schwalbe Ice Spike Tyres which I already use in winter on a CX bike for icey commutes. And the reflective sidewall they do is also great, really bright.
3. is there a good web link for starting out on my own maintenance of the bike. I appreciate I will need the decent quality Freewheel remover tool, and I have all the right spanners otherwise.
4. in practise where is the wear, how many miles do you get out of a chain, a freewheel, chain ring?

Thank you
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Old 01-30-20, 07:47 AM
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TugaDude
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I don't commute, never have, but I have a few opinions on some of the questions.

When you say "file the fittings", not sure what you mean. I hope you don't mean filing the fork ends or dropouts. If so, don't. There is always a work-around for situations you encounter. When you hit a roadblock, folks here can chime in with options.

Second, I would never size down in tires in order to make mudguards work. You want comfort on your commute, going down to 25mm isn't the way to achieve that.

Next, I would not buy a bike that makes you compromise on anything. But a bike that has all of the functionality you need, clearance for big tires, braze-ons for fenders, racks, etc. An option might be the Kilo WT, which I think will address all of those needs. It has gotten really good reviews here and I assume it is available in your country. If not, I'm sure there are similar options. I would set myself up for success by getting a proper commuting frame and not take something that isn't and try to pound it into the shape you want.

As far as online resources, they are aplenty. Park Tools has some good videos and they make great tools. Otherwise, there are a multitude of videos on youtube.com. You'll learn pretty quickly which ones are worthwhile.

Good luck!
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Old 01-30-20, 07:56 AM
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WestRiding
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thanks for the reply. i might not have been clear i have the bike already purchased the other day so this is what I am going with. As for filing down no i am referring to tweaks to the mudguard fittings. I don't see a lack of braze ons as a limitation anyway as i wanted these type of removable mudguards anyway to have flexibility of whether to have mudguards on or not. Tyres-wise if I can stay with 28mm I will especially as it avoids buying more tyres. But if it has to be 25mm i am well used to 25mm on my other bike anyway. 28mm is a nice to have luxury after always using 25mm in the past.
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Old 02-07-20, 04:08 PM
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Just done exactly the same, found a never ridden Charge Plug on EBay for £100... all original, including tyres!! Result as they donít make bikes anymore. though this one doesnít have the flip flop wheel, so must be a different year than Iíve had before.

This is my second one, went geared after the first one was butchered one evening at a bike rack.. never got on with gears, tore through cassettes as hardly ever in the right gear at the right time... And would rip the chain through them when getting away the lights. much happier back with this.

iíll soon be swapping out the absolute garbage brake callipers and levers.. and once the drive chain is battered, Iíll replace it with something decent. Notice this one doesnít have a 5 arm crankset like my old one, and looks like the chainring is not changeable, so will be a expensive upgrade when the time comes.

otherwise wonít change it, apart from the brakes, they are pretty solid machines.

miss the bottle cage though...
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