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Advantages of one gear over many.

CaptainCropperCaptainCropper Posts: 60
edited July 2007 in Commuting chat
Looking to make the most of the Ride2Work scheme that we are running at work and was looking at a Specialized Globe something or other 3.1. I noticed it had just the one gear and was more expensive than the Globe models with a bazillion gears. Anyone have a one gear bike and something to say about it?
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  • Single gear bikes are better known as fixed wheel bikes. They have some advantages over multi-gear bikes - they are far less desirable to bike thieves, they are much easier to maintain/ fix, they probably get you fitter quicker.
    However, if you've not been cycling much you may find a fixed wheel hard work as you have to adjust your pedalling speed a lot. Also, if you live somewhere very hilly you may struggle to get up really steep hills.
    Fixed wheel bikes are great, but they're not for everyone. You need to think about your fitness level, and the gradients you'll be facing on your commute.
    However, all this aside, I'm not sure you're right about this model being fixed - I've looked it up and it's a 24 speed job as far as I can tell.

    Hope this helps!
  • Doh - actually, having looked it up properly, that model appears to have 8 internal gears (I think they're called hub gears), which is why it looks gearless. These are great as they are harder to damage, but the downside is that when they do need work you'll need to bike mechanic to take them apart for you.
    This looks like a nice bike. If you want something simpler and maybe a little cheaper I've got a Marin San Raphael (about £550) and it's great for commuting. Pretty light too.
  • This one..

    http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=70290

    If they get 8 gears in there, I'm impressed :D
  • You're right Pumpkin,

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22072

    I like hub gears, maybe just because of the fond memories mountain biking in Wivenhoe on a hub gear shopping bike, fantastic buzz, totally out of control :D
  • Hackbike 6Hackbike 6 Posts: 3,116
    I cant really understand why I have a bike which has 18 gears. :roll:
  • bryanmbryanm Posts: 218
    Hackbike 6 wrote:
    I cant really understand why I have a bike which has 18 gears. :roll:

    Nor me. I've just bought one with 27!!! :shock:

    Will I ever get round to actually using them all!
  • Hairy JockHairy Jock Posts: 558
    bryanm wrote:
    Hackbike 6 wrote:
    I cant really understand why I have a bike which has 18 gears. :roll:

    Nor me. I've just bought one with 27!!! :shock:

    Will I ever get round to actually using them all!

    I have a bike with 27 and I have used all of them with in the space of 20 minutes on one ride. You can never have too many gears, either that or you only ever ride on flat tarmac.
    **************
    Best advice I ever got was "better get a bike then"
    Cycle commuting since 1994. Blog with cycle bits.
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  • Hackbike 6Hackbike 6 Posts: 3,116
    I know the bow flyover is one hell of a mountain but even I don't need 18 gears.Bring back the old days.Five or ten gears. :(
  • By Hackbike6
    I know the bow flyover is one hell of a mountain but even I don't need 18 gears.Bring back the old days.Five or ten gears.

    Whats the point? Thats just deliberately making life harder for yourself in the long run.

    Thats a bit like saying that you don't use the camera on your phone all the time, so bring back the old days and get rid of it. Then what happens if you could really do with a camera on you?

    The number of gears available on a modern bike is all about utility and optimising the bike to handle a huge range of terrain without needing expensive wheels / block changes. Why take a step backwards?
    Sweat saves blood.
    Erwin Rommel
  • domtylerdomtyler Posts: 2,648
    edited March 2011
    Nice to see you back here Hackers old mate. :P How have you been keeping?

    The answer is to have a fixed wheel bike for general city type commuting which has just the one gear, you are quite correct that 27 gears are certainly not needed for riding along the A11 twice a day, one is perfectly sufficient and there is less to go wrong and maintain.

    Gears are nice at the weekends for rides out into the lanes or any kind of competitive riding. Although having said that I have done a few time trials on my fixie quite successfully.
    ________
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  • jakob_sjakob_s Posts: 477
    One is enough.
  • jakob_s wrote:
    One is enough.


    Hardcore! :D

    Actually seeing as the bike in question definitely had 8, I think it's at the top of the list. Hopefully I'll have time to order it today and get my 50% discount through work.

    Clever little scheme, work buy the bike then lease it back to me over 12 months, one final payment of 5% at the end of the 12 months and it's mine.

    £800 for £400, that's my kind of deal.
  • Hackbike 6Hackbike 6 Posts: 3,116
    Whats the point? Thats just deliberately making life harder for yourself in the long run.


    Making it harder carting around gears I don't use and I don't use them all on my commute so it's a waste of money.

    Nice to see you back here Hackers old mate. Razz How have you been keeping?

    OI less of the old.Oh ok then. :oops:

    Parked in Japan at the mo but back on thursday. :?
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    best of both worlds:

    523259909_b466be95c2.jpg
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Peejay, have you been hiding your bikes inside!!! there's not a speck of muck on either of them!!
  • Hackbike 6Hackbike 6 Posts: 3,116
    Im gonna get another fixie and become a real cyclist again 8)
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    i keep the condor very clean indeed.

    the fixie is looking slightly grubbier, but it is so much easier to clean anyway, none of that plasticene type mud wedged in the derailleur. which is why they are so good.
  • I've used all 27 gears on my bike. Most of the time, I only use the top 12, but I have needed all 27 in the past. I even had to stop about five times in my lowest gear, fully loaded with camping gear, going up Winnats pass in Castleton, Derbyshire. Fixies are OK on the flat, or if you're super fit, but if you're the average rider, depending on how hilly the place you live is, a broad range of gears sure can come in handy.

    "on your bike" Norman Tebbit.
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    i wouldn't dream off taking my fixed up toys hill.

    for that there's always the gears.

    and i'm not super fit, but london is super flat. apart from highgate hill and a few other slight inclines.
  • Drfabulous0Drfabulous0 Posts: 1,539
    Those of you who use all 27 gears of your bikes, are you aware that many of those ratios are duplicated in the different chainrings? It isn't for everyone but with a careful selection of chainring and cassette you can do away with the front derailleur and have all the gears you need, saving a few grams in the proccess.
  • mtb.boymtb.boy Posts: 208
    Single gear bikes are better known as fixed wheel bikes.

    Some single gear bikes still have a freehub and are therefore not fixed.
    The first rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is.

    The second rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is !!!!
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    yes, you get single speed or fixed gear/wheel.
  • GreenbankGreenbank Posts: 731
    Fixies are OK on the flat, or if you're super fit, but if you're the average rider, depending on how hilly the place you live is, a broad range of gears sure can come in handy.

    But riding the bike will make you fitter (true of any bike really), and get you more used to it, so you start to push the boundaries of what you use it for.

    I got my fixed for commuting. It's almost pan-flat as I follow the Thames for most of it. 71.4" (46x17 on 700x25c tyres).

    Then I did my lap of London training ride with a friend. No really silly hills but a few nasty short sharp climbs (Morden Hill up to Blackheath, Sawyer's Hill and Dark Hill in Richmond Park).

    Then I did a 100km Audax in relatively flat Herts/Essex. No hills of note that stick out in my mind.
    Then another one in Herts/Beds (including the git of a hill from Baldock to Weston).
    Then a 300km Audax down in the flat-lands of Kent/East Sussex but it did include the road from Rye to Tenterden (including one bit of 15%).
    Then another 100km ride that included Ashmansworth Hill in Hants.

    It's dangerously addictive, but it does have its place. I'd never take a fixed bike to the Alps, the descents would just be maddening on a gear low enough for me to ascend the long climbs. There are many similar places in the UK but I'm trying to get my fitness up to limit these to just a few!
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  • marmitecpmarmitecp Posts: 203
    Exactly right Greenbank. What you don't have you can't use and all that.

    I used to use the full extent of a compact chainset around Oldham and thought single/fixed was a little silly. My commute to Manchester was largely flat so I tried a fixed at 72 ish. After finding it OK I tried it a bit further up into the hills. At first it felt like my knees were going to burst, but with good technique it becomes better.
    Now I can dance like Contador up the A62 (maybe a bit slower) and my geared bike feels like the pedals are falling off when I ride it.

    If you're fit enough then go for it. Attacking every hill is addictive though. No sweat free rides!

    Stu
  • AndyGatesAndyGates Posts: 8,467
    And if you're not fit enough - you will be in short order. My first six months commuting in Devon on fixed were *tough* but I'm way, way stronger now that I was then.
    Wanted: Penny farthing. Please PM me!
    Advice for kilted riders: top-tubes are cold.
  • Single gear s not the same as fixed. A single gear bike can usually be used with a freewheel (ie you can stop peddling) or without (fixed ie you cant stop peddling at any time whilst moving)
    I think it's horses for courses but I find a fixed more zen somehow. I don't know why. I just feel more part of my fixie than my other bikes and I promise you I'm no bike snob.
    Dan
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    fixed ie you cant stop peddling at any time whilst moving

    That's not true even for fixed, think skid stops. What you mean is that if the rear wheel is turning, then the cranks are too.
  • domtylerdomtyler Posts: 2,648
    edited March 2011
    BentMikey wrote:
    fixed ie you cant stop peddling at any time whilst moving

    That's not true even for fixed, think skid stops. What you mean is that if the rear wheel is turning, then the cranks are too.

    Not necessarily, the chain may have snapped. :roll:
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    Porridge not Petrol
  • mtb.boymtb.boy Posts: 208
    edited July 2007
    What would happen if you were going down a hill on a fixed which had no brakes on it and the chain did snap. how would you stop?
    The first rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is.

    The second rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is !!!!
  • njc97njc97 Posts: 184
    Slalom, foot brake, throw yourself on the verge ?
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