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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)

Why SS?

Old 06-24-11, 11:04 AM
  #26  
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SS/FG has less moving parts, less to maintain or go bad or out of adjustment. I've put ~1000 miles on mine with zero maintenance beyond cleaning/lubing the chain, and I've only done that a couple times. Cleaning a cog or single freewheel is considerably easier than cleaning a 10x cassette, and the same for a single chainring vs. a 3x.

Wheel for wheel, spoke for spoke, a non-dished configuration is stronger than a dished. SS/FG chains are thicker, stronger, last longer. SS/FG has a more efficient chain line.

Riding a SS/FG demands that you become a stronger, more efficient rider as compared to riding a geared bike.

Works for me...
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Old 06-24-11, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by on the path
Riding a SS/FG demands that you become a stronger, more efficient rider as compared to riding a geared bike.
Not mine. I'm sloppy as hell pedaling my SS. Sitting straight up, making like a sail. Still fun as hell tho.
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Old 06-24-11, 12:34 PM
  #28  
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For me, riding FG is liberating. It's limitation is a self-embraced choice for expression within a single gear. I feel powerful on an FG. On the road, I keep up with my friends on $5000 bikes and drop them on the hills. Riding FG makes me a stronger, better rider.

Simplicity is a value and aesthetic I cherish.

Yes, gears are more mechanically efficient. But with my 1/8 chain, 1/8 chainring and 1/8 cog, my drivetrain is gonna last longer than an ultra narrow chain and cassette. Unless I am riding with geared people going 9/10 to 10/10ths, they are not faster than me anyways. On FG, I am fast enough.

Lastly, I am happier riding FG than other forms of cycling. I will not presume to preach to anyone, but if they ask, I share my love for FG.
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Old 06-24-11, 12:36 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by on the path
Riding a SS/FG demands that you become a stronger, more efficient rider as compared to riding a geared bike.
yeah.. that is one of the the primary disadvantage imo

i want to build up a bike around an internally geared hub to get the sexy look of a single speed chain but still have a few speeds to choose from
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Old 06-24-11, 12:40 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
Boxers or briefs ? I gotta know, man.
Commando... but that's a topic from a different thread I started that nearly got me banned by the Forum Nazi.
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Old 06-24-11, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Higher Class
I have a geared bike for distance, recreation, and fitness riding, and a fixed gear bike for riding to work. Tune-ups are expensive for us common folk. Yeah yeah I can tune it myself, but I can't dial it in like a shop can. Fixed gears take less maintenance, and thus are better for short distance rides around town. Now, why do people ride long distance on fixed gears? I dunno, to be badass? So you can worry less about parts failing? Maybe people enjoy the challenge of getting from point A to point B by the power of their own legs without the assistance of derailleurs. What's wrong with personal preference?

Someone EDUCATE me on why RASPBERRY jelly is better than GRAPE. When I'm with my friends at a group PB&J and someone brings RASPBERRY everyone makes a big stink about it, I'm like so what?
I'm with you Hank, I hate raspberry.
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Old 06-24-11, 12:44 PM
  #32  
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It's fun!

I live in the Ozarks. It's ungodly hilly here, and I've found the SS conversion is faster than the original 10 speed because I'm not waiting on the cludgy shifting. If I travel, I can throw the bike in the back of my car with the chain on and not worry about it getting hooked on anything. Instead of trying to hit the right gear, it's more about spinning/stomping to carry momentum downhill and getting up the next hill.

As for weight, my other regular ride is a 45+lb. 3 speed so a 23-ish lb. bike boom frame feels like nothing. I'm starting work on a more practical granny-geared bike, but I'll still take my SS out when I want to go for a quick spin. I think most of us have multiple bikes, so it's just another option.
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Old 06-24-11, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sillygolem
It's fun!
You know what? That's a pretty good reason!
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Old 06-24-11, 01:01 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by YokeyDokey
You know what? That's a pretty good reason!
Its a damn good reason! I have ridden road bikes, but the excitement I get from my fixed gear trumps the fun I had on a geared bike by a mile.
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Old 06-24-11, 03:05 PM
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I got my SS because I enjoy riding off-road on fire-roads and some single track. With SS I don't need to worrry about shifting. My only concern is the path I take and how hard or fast I pedal. It allows me to ride fast as I must keep up momentum for the hills and stand up and mash if I lose that momentum.

It requires less maintenance and keeps my legs in better shape than my geared mountain bike.
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Old 06-24-11, 03:22 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by YokeyDokey
yeah but yeah but... you have half a dozen bikes and the rest of them have 27 speeds. The SSs I see are steel frames, 20+ pounds... my multi-speed road bike is lighter. You still haven't educated me...
You are correct. There is little difference between riding one of your bikes in one gear and not touching the shifters and riding a SS bike. You go and ride your multispeed bike in one gear, you'll be running SS. Have fun.
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Old 06-24-11, 05:34 PM
  #37  
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Until you try it, the reasons for SS/FG are not really comprehensable. Sure, it's less maintenence, more efficient (arguable), quieter (arguable), but the real reason is that its just more fun. There's just something visceral about getting there without having to shift gears. SS frees your mind up to enjoy things besides the bike.

I did a cheap SS conversion on my old mtn. bike last summer as well as build up a light, fast, expensive, carbon roadbike. If I had done the SS conversion first, there wouldn't be a roadbike in my stable. I put more miles on my SS over the last year than my other two bikes combined. That incudes recreation as well as commuting. The added bennefit in my case is that is has definately made me a better cyclist.
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Old 06-24-11, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Breathegood
SS frees your mind up to enjoy things besides the bike.
some of you guys talk about shifting like it's rocket science or something
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Old 06-24-11, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by frantik
some of you guys talk about shifting like it's rocket science or something
I don't think that's the point, at least not for me. I find that when I'm on my geared bike (on the road, at least), I'm frequently up- or downshifting one cog at a time...usually back and forth between 2 or 3 cogs...slight upgrade, click down a gear, downhill, click up 1 or 2. Point being, with a geared bike, and thus available options, I'm often in a "grass is greener in the other gear" mode of thought, never wholly satisfied with my current combo. On the SS, none of that even factors in. I just ride.
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Old 06-24-11, 08:57 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by YokeyDokey
yeah but yeah but... you have half a dozen bikes and the rest of them have 27 speeds. The SSs I see are steel frames, 20+ pounds... my multi-speed road bike is lighter. You still haven't educated me...
It's not for everybody.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by EssEllSee
I cant vouche for single speed, but fixed gives you a certain amount of control that I could never achieve from a geared bike.
I was on a group ride earlier this week and got caught in a downpour. The multi-gear guys with their caliper brakes had issues with brake response with all the water. The two of us on fixed gears did just fine.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
Boxers or briefs ? I gotta know, man.
Commando, if you must know.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by YokeyDokey
yeah but yeah but... you have half a dozen bikes and the rest of them have 27 speeds. The SSs I see are steel frames, 20+ pounds... my multi-speed road bike is lighter. You still haven't educated me...
My road conversion is 18 pounds and is a steel frame. Over generalize much? Also remember the track bikes can be even lighter. But lighter may not always be better with a fixed gear or singlespeed. Stuff has to be durable as well.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:19 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Breathegood
SS frees your mind up to enjoy things besides the bike.
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
issues with brake response with all the water
Neither of these have really been a huge factor for me. I've found that with brifters constantly under my fingers, shifting takes about as much thought as pedalling. As far as brake response goes, I have never run my FG low at a low enough ratio that I could stop by backpedalling more safely and reliably than with the caliper brakes. Maybe I just don't have the requisite leg finesse, or maybe my brakes are just that awesome, but I would wager a beer that properly set up, decent-quality brakes should always trump backpedalling.

Originally Posted by Breathegood
the real reason is that its just more fun... The added bennefit in my case is that is has definately made me a better cyclist.
Originally Posted by mconlonx
Have fun.
These are the real reasons. I enjoy the variety of riding different drivetrains. Sometimes mashing uphill in a gear that's way too hard and then spinning like mad down the other side is what I feel like doing, just not all the time. I would definately argue that putting in some hours on a fixie can help improve your cycling. Also, reliability.
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Old 06-24-11, 09:27 PM
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I have 2 functional bikes at the moment, one is a fixed gear, the other is a singlespeed. I enjoy my fixed gear more than my singlespeed and prefer both of them to any geared bike that I have ever owned. I just enjoy simplicity.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Elkhound
SS is fine if you live somewhere flat as a pancake. WV is called 'the Mountain State' for good reason.
Originally Posted by EssEllSee
Run a lower gear ratio. Hills shouldn't stop you.
THIS.
Seattle is far from flat, and I do a decent amount of time riding in the Cascade foothills and mountains. If you pick the right gearing, you should be fine. Heck, people race the Cannonball!, S2S, and the GRR-1200 on singles and fixed bikes.

OK, so the GRR isn't a race; but you get the point.
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Old 06-24-11, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Infidel79
I don't think that's the point, at least not for me. I find that when I'm on my geared bike (on the road, at least), I'm frequently up- or downshifting one cog at a time...usually back and forth between 2 or 3 cogs...slight upgrade, click down a gear, downhill, click up 1 or 2. Point being, with a geared bike, and thus available options, I'm often in a "grass is greener in the other gear" mode of thought, never wholly satisfied with my current combo. On the SS, none of that even factors in. I just ride.
yeah i can see that.. though especially with my 1x7 shifting is pretty much a reflex. i drive stick shift in my car too so it's second nature for me

I just picked up a Hardrock mtb that i saw had horizontal drop outs and i was like sweet i can SS it.. but when i pulled out the wheel it had "fake out" drops lol.. there's some metal in the middle of the drop so it's kinda like a vertical drop.. bastards
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