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Twelve months, only SS

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Twelve months, only SS

Old 08-08-21, 08:32 PM
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ofajen
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Twelve months, only SS

So itís been basically a full year now that Iíve ridden only SS, as both of my bikes, the Schwinn Sprint and the RockHopper, have been set up SS. Fairly recent photos are below.





At that time, both bikes were running drop bars. I switched them to North Road bars in the fall. Recently switched the Schwinn back to drop bars and the RockHopper to old Scott AT-4 bars of the ďhornbarĒ style.

I also ran both bikes with 42/16 gears most of the year but recently switched the Schwinn to 40/16 and the RockHopper to 42/17, so both had a similar gear reduction of about 6%. Just making sure my knees stay happy.

Neither the change back to SS nor the switch to lower gears has had much effect on how fast I ride at a given level of effort. However, I have really enjoyed biking a full year and never thinking about making a gear shift during a ride! Iím also sure that I ride stronger when it comes to climbing and headwinds. Itís been great! 👍

Otto

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Old 08-08-21, 08:49 PM
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Nice! For all of 2020 and the first 6 months of this year, I was FG-only, too. My riding was much diminished and only around town, so the FG made sense for that.

I told some friends that I worried about having to relearn how to ride a derailleur bike. I was only half-kidding.
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Old 08-08-21, 08:55 PM
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Since the pandemic hit last year, I've been doing almost all my rides solo, and when I ride solo, I prefer to ride fixed. Not because it's a problem riding fixed in a group; I used to do this all the time. But at age 66, I just can't keep up with the young pups anymore when I ride fixed.
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Old 08-08-21, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Nice! For all of 2020 and the first 6 months of this year, I was FG-only, too. My riding was much diminished and only around town, so the FG made sense for that.

I told some friends that I worried about having to relearn how to ride a derailleur bike. I was only half-kidding.
I donít know if it will ever make sense for me to ride FG, but I gained a better appreciation for the physics of it in that thread where we discussed internal work and whether FG was easier than SS. My big takeaway was that unlike a freewheel bike, the amount of pedal work you do on FG matters every instant of a ride.

I can say that Iíve ridden more this last year than any of the previous few, most of which I was riding geared bikes.

I think there may be a fun factor and maybe something about the strength and conditioning from SS that was conducive to more and somewhat longer rides. Also probably the pandemic affected my schedule and freed up more riding time last fall when the weather was generally great here. Oh and I really got into slogging over cold muddy trails this winter so I kept the mileage up all through the year.

Otto

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Old 08-08-21, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Since the pandemic hit last year, I've been doing almost all my rides solo, and when I ride solo, I prefer to ride fixed. Not because it's a problem riding fixed in a group; I used to do this all the time. But at age 66, I just can't keep up with the young pups anymore when I ride fixed.
I donít ride much in groups these days, but Iím pretty sure that I would find it harder to keep up on a group ride with FG or SS than to do a solo ride at a comparable speed to what I would on a geared bike. In a group, the drafting effect raises the average speed and means you have to be ready to spin really fast to keep up. I guess maybe thatís mostly just me that couldnít do that on SS with flats and no clips. I suspect we have FG and SS riders here with the foot speed to keep up! 😊

Otto

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Old 08-08-21, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
I can say that I’ve ridden more this last year than any of the previous few, most of which I was riding geared bikes.
Good for you!

In theory, I should have been able to put in plenty of miles, but nearly all my riding comes from biking to work, club rides, and RAGBRAI, all of which evaporated last year. Can I blame malaise for not getting out and riding more for the sake of it last year?
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Old 08-08-21, 11:56 PM
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Good on ya, ofagen!

I discovered the simple joys of singlespeeds in 1998, and I still do 90% of my riding on one. Stick with it long enough, and derailleurs, gears, and shifters start to seem cumbersome and unnecessary. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I lived in the mountains!
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Old 08-09-21, 02:54 AM
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My problem is I have a bunch of geared bikes that I hardly ride now but I don't want to sell any of them.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Good on ya, ofagen!

I discovered the simple joys of singlespeeds in 1998, and I still do 90% of my riding on one. Stick with it long enough, and derailleurs, gears, and shifters start to seem cumbersome and unnecessary. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I lived in the mountains!
No doubt! Iíd at least want an old school flip flop or a double SS (two rings, two cogs) with a climbing combination. Around here, there are lots of hills but nothing with more than 200 feet of elevation that I am aware of. So they are mostly climbable. A few are just super steep, and I walk or jog up them, which is fine.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:08 AM
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Very cool. That's something that would be fun to try. Unless you live in San Francisco, of course. But it is doable in many parts of the world.
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Old 08-09-21, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
My problem is I have a bunch of geared bikes that I hardly ride now but I don't want to sell any of them.
I get that. Thatía part of what keeps me from ever having more than two bikes. Getting a third wouldnít increase how much I ride, just give each one less riding time.

Otto
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Old 08-10-21, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
I get that. Thatía part of what keeps me from ever having more than two bikes. Getting a third wouldnít increase how much I ride, just give each one less riding time.

Otto
Before I got into SS's in 2017 I was buying a vintage bike off CL about every 6 months and restoring them, I couldn't stop haha. I love them all and they're worth more to me than what I could sell them for but at least I've broken my addiction to buying them.
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Old 08-10-21, 02:45 AM
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got my first SS bike two years ago and it's been fantastic! the low weight gives such a great feel and there's much less stress while riding. it's always optimal for me with 48/19 ratio. if i ever get a geared road bike again i hope it can be with di2 or equivalent.
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Old 08-11-21, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by identity View Post
if i ever get a geared road bike again i hope it can be with di2 or equivalent.
It won't be long until all groups 105-up are electronic shifting and disc brakes.
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Old 08-12-21, 03:29 PM
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Great looking bikes! Nice work on getting out so much and sticking to SS! I love the low mounted rim brakes on the rockhopper! Such a good luck.
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Old 08-12-21, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by brigfacer View Post
Great looking bikes! Nice work on getting out so much and sticking to SS! I love the low mounted rim brakes on the rockhopper! Such a good luck.
Thanks! The Schwinn was a low-end bike, but Iím running better wheels, so itís a fun bike for romping on trails when things arenít too rough or messy. Sometimes I ride it where or when I shouldnít. 👍

And, yes, the infamous U-brake of the late 80s. It didnít really register when I bought the RockHopper (well most of a bike) for $50. Then I had to learn the care and feeding of another type of brake! 😊

Thanks again!

Otto
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Old 08-16-21, 06:18 PM
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I've been riding around my neighborhood on a Bianchi Super Pista with 52/19 chainring/rear freewheel for close to a year. I need to put about 180 more miles on it to top 2,000 miles for 2021. I love the lightweight frame and the 52/19 seems pretty much ideal for the level terrain that I have here. My heavy Specialized Roll seems like a battleship in comparison and it's now only my spare bike.
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Old 08-16-21, 06:37 PM
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I ride mostly fixed but on windy sundays I ride a straight stock All City Nature Boy ACE SS .. the SS is so so easy that I know one day I will kick the fix habit
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Old 10-17-21, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
My problem is I have a bunch of geared bikes that I hardly ride now but I don't want to sell any of them.
I am the same, purchased SS in December last year and have not ridden my road bike since. I know I am unlikely to ride it again but don't want to sell it at the same time.
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Old 10-17-21, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jonsiot View Post
I am the same, purchased SS in December last year and have not ridden my road bike since. I know I am unlikely to ride it again but don't want to sell it at the same time.
I decided that at 61 I'm not likely to change my ways, so I sold my road bike and added a fourth singlespeed to the quiver.
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Old 10-19-21, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I decided that at 61 I'm not likely to change my ways, so I sold my road bike and added a fourth singlespeed to the quiver.
Sounds good. My ďroadĒ bike is already a single speed.

The one issue I have with it is the Ambrosio rims seem to be a bit above the usual 700c spec and they make tires hard to install and remove. Iím seriously thinking about replacing them by rim transfer to different and wider rims that will, I hope, be more on spec and easier to deal with.

Otto
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Old 10-19-21, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Sounds good. My ďroadĒ bike is already a single speed.

The one issue I have with it is the Ambrosio rims seem to be a bit above the usual 700c spec and they make tires hard to install and remove. Iím seriously thinking about replacing them by rim transfer to different and wider rims
I highly recommend wider hoops and wider tires than the usual road spec. The skinniest tire I own is a Gravel King 32c slick, and itís a great road tire; and no problems with installation and removal.
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Old 10-19-21, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Sounds good. My “road” bike is already a single speed.

The one issue I have with it is the Ambrosio rims seem to be a bit above the usual 700c spec and they make tires hard to install and remove. I’m seriously thinking about replacing them by rim transfer to different and wider rims that will, I hope, be more on spec and easier to deal with.

Otto
My knee-jerk question whenever someone mentions tight rims: what rim tape do you have in there?
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Last edited by ThermionicScott; 10-20-21 at 09:06 AM. Reason: fixed autocorrect -- "TIGHT" rims!
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Old 10-20-21, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
My knee-jerk question whenever someone mentions right rims: what rim tape do you have in there?
I canít recall off the top of my head but probably Velox. But the Ambrosio rims are a known bad actor in this regard and many have resorted to running 27Ē tires on them.

Besides, Iím pushing it running 32s on these rims and would like a wider rim that is suited to 35s, which I think my Schwinn can handle. 32 is a skinny tire in my world.

Otto
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Old 10-20-21, 08:20 AM
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This has been an interesting year for me. In the time period I have mileage records for (1999 to the present) I've ridden almost as many miles on derailleur and IGH bikes as I have on fixed and single speed. If I narrow the focus down to 2010 through 2020, it's overwhelmingly fixed-gear cycling on a variety of road surfaces.

This year I've been riding bikes I picked up for the Clunker Challenge and couldn't stop riding, primarily mid-range classical UJBs from 1988, a Centurion LeMans with first year Exage Sport parts and an amazing Specialized Sirrus with "New" 105 parts. The latter has gearing that I would have flinched at in the past, running a 13-23 6-speed Uniglide setup. Now I wind up just romping up the local hills running 52x21 and standing on the bike, grateful for a 65-in gear instead of the usual 70, and glad that I can shift to the 19 and 17T cogs should I so desire, but not really running much more of the gear range. Fixed and single-speed riding has taught me to operate at different cadences and to use body English a whole lot more. I might feel different if I was lugging around camping gear and slogging around the steep hills close to the area's lakes, but in general, 65-80 gear inches handles most of what I do.

It is kinda weird to note that this year I have ridden almost as many miles on derailleur bikes as I rode from 2010-2020, as in, 13 more miles and I'm there. But I know that winter approaches, and the fixed-gears call to me, and maybe I'll set up a single-speed MTB and ride trails again this year. Stranger things have happened.
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