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Can I do singlespeed if I live on a steep hill?

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Can I do singlespeed if I live on a steep hill?

Old 04-27-13, 09:58 PM
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TTON
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Can I do singlespeed if I live on a steep hill?

I live in a mostly flat area with the exception that I live on the top of a 7% hill that's just under 1/2 mile. Is singlespeed an option for me? I have a feeling it's not but I thought I'd ask anyway. I don't have a bike yet so I can't experiment with gearing for the hill. Also, because of knee problems I can't stand on the pedals when climbing and also there's no room on the road to zig-zag my way up.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:01 PM
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Yep, it will just be a bit harder/more fun.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:03 PM
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7% isn't too steep. You'll be fine.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:18 PM
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Really not too steep? I pass by cyclists going up the hill all the time when I'm running down it and they look like they're hurting.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:21 PM
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It's not too bad if you have the right gear for it

Not being able to stand might be tough though.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:22 PM
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What knee problems, in particular? Standing to climb is a valuable tool to have, and one should be able to do it safely if they can otherwise climb stairs.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:42 PM
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I have arthritis that's isolated to the kneecap (patella). It's from running alot. The ortho said cycling is good. Standing while climbing stresses the kneecap area so I pretty much have to sit.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:55 PM
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dude if you don't even ride a bike get something a little bit more versatile
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Old 04-27-13, 11:09 PM
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No shame in walking half a mile if you have to because of your knee.

Will strengthening by riding help?

Is there a less steep route you can take?
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Old 04-28-13, 02:06 AM
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Knee problems and singlespeed don't mix too well.
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Old 04-28-13, 02:41 AM
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Just run a mid 60 gi spin everywhere else,
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Old 04-28-13, 04:24 AM
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I had a similar problem. I live atop a mile at 5, 6%.

I converted an old road bike into a single speed. A gear that made getting back up my hill relatively easy was ridiculously easy to spin-out on flatter terrain, and gears that worked on the flatter terrain made getting back up the hill ummmmmm, difficult.

I'm sure there are SS/FG riders that make it work in areas that are far hillier than where I am, but I just wound up never riding that bike and finally converted it back to gears.
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Old 04-28-13, 07:32 AM
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thanks, I'll probably just go with gears. I think the hill might be too much even if it's not that long.
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Old 04-28-13, 08:07 AM
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As much as I like riding fixed and have done it exclusively for over 10 years, I'm starting to come around to the right tool for the job outlook. There are some instances where a geared bike has obvious advantages, this seems like one of them. Pushing a fixed gear up hills etc stresses other parts of your body more than you might realize. With knee problems probably not a great idea. Better to be able to ride than not ride.
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Old 04-28-13, 03:59 PM
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Don't leave out the possibility that you may be able to climb (in a few months) what now makes you stand. i *can* climb things seated without dropping below 80 rpm that i used to have stand for, but it blows up my heart rate... so i stand, sit, stand etc. Gears would, of course, be better.
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Old 04-28-13, 04:21 PM
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If you go downhill on a fixie with no freewheel and no breaks......and loose the pedals.......how do you handle such a situation? ....do you try to go "slalom"? ....this is not a fun situation?
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Old 04-28-13, 04:23 PM
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Singlespeed or Fixed gear?
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Old 04-28-13, 04:39 PM
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Fixed gear......so the pedals follows the rotation of the rear wheel. Many of these has no breaks? ....like a track bike.....but probably you will not go downhill on such a bike? ...it can be difficult to catch the pedals if you loose them in high speed?
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Old 04-28-13, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Meper View Post
Fixed gear......so the pedals follows the rotation of the rear wheel. Many of these has no breaks? ....like a track bike.....but probably you will not go downhill on such a bike? ...it can be difficult to catch the pedals if you loose them in high speed?
Foot retention. If you ride without brakes and without retention, thats just plain stupid. Especially on a hill.

A brake would do the trick too.
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Old 04-28-13, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Meper View Post
Fixed gear......so the pedals follows the rotation of the rear wheel. Many of these has no breaks? ....like a track bike.....but probably you will not go downhill on such a bike? ...it can be difficult to catch the pedals if you loose them in high speed?
I was asking the OP not you.
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Old 04-28-13, 05:11 PM
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Where I live it is not legal to run a track bike on the street (without breaks).....but many of the young people does it.....and uses the pedals to break (lean forward and block the rear wheel). For downhill I would want breaks on both wheels.......and not just one on the front wheel. The tension on a fixed gear bike must be a bit different that on a single speed. Could be interesting to try a fixed gear one day.......the most simple bike. On flat surface I think you can live with one break on the front wheel only.
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Old 04-28-13, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Meper View Post
Where I live it is not legal to run a track bike on the street (without brakes).....but many of the young people does it.....and uses the pedals to brake (lean forward and block the rear wheel). For downhill I would want brakes on both wheels.......and not just one on the front wheel. The tension on a fixed gear bike must be a bit different that on a single speed. Could be interesting to try a fixed gear one day.......the most simple bike. On flat surface I think you can live with one brake on the front wheel only.
FTFY well, some of it anyway.
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Old 04-28-13, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
FTFY
Srsly. His posts are almost impossible to read. I feel a headache coming on.
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Old 04-28-13, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Street rider View Post
Srsly. His posts are almost impossible to read. I feel a headache coming on.
It's not that bad if you've read a lot of stuff written by ESL people.
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Old 04-28-13, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Street rider View Post
Srsly. His posts are almost impossible to read. I feel a headache coming on.
he's FROM DENMARK. now let's see your Flemish or French... i thought so.
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