Single speed?

Panter Posts: 299
edited September 2007 in The bottom bracket
Whats the attraction?

Please don't misunderstand the tone of this post, I'm a newbie to all things bike related and am just curious as to the attraction of a ss.
Is it right that a true ss can't freewheel either? sounds horrendous if true :lol:

As I say, purely curious. Maybe another aspect of cycling I need to get in to :oops: :lol:


Chris :)
Racing snakes. It's not big, and it's not clever ;)


  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,322
    fixies are...well...fixed as in can't freewheel, single sppeds hav only 1 gear

    the attractions as far as i know (don't have the money for a suitable bike are -

    better fitness (due to climbing in high gear)
    less maintainance
    off road - less problems with mud and wear, especially in winter


    can back pedal to slow down, more effective than roadie brakes
    is well in with the courier chic at the moment
    fitness but even more so
    and some Zen like feeling as man and machine become one smooth glorious lovechild

    to sum up - makes a boring smog filled london commute (or wherever) a little bit more fun
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • OK this is from a mountain bike perspective, not road (since why anyone want to ride an SS on the road is beyond me!)

    The advantages of a SS are less maintenance. Where I live, in the winter mountain bike drive trains are just destroyed by the clay and mud. Riding a SS means these problems more or less go away - no broken rear mechs or clogged up front mechs. It's not even really necessary to clean the bike after a muddy outing either.

    IMO the fitness aspect of SS is rubbish. The fact is, yes you have to work hard on climbs but the rest of the time you're just spinning out.
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Some harp on about the purity of singlespeed - load of rubbish. I'd have some sympathy if it was cheaper. You are clearly better off with gears.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • ASC1951
    ASC1951 Posts: 992
    passout wrote:
    Some harp on about the purity of singlespeed - load of rubbish. I'd have some sympathy if it was cheaper. You are clearly better off with gears.
    If you are limited to one bike, yes, have gears.

    I'm not sure I see the point of SS freewheel, except for a bombproof MTB, but riding fixed really is a different experience. I do about a quarter of my road riding fixed and I wouldn't be without it - the Zen-like oneness of rider, road and machine and so on.

    Don't knock fixed until you've tried it.
  • i've been sounding out about fixed gear on the spcial interests forum and am just about to buy. I can't wait

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • Panter
    Panter Posts: 299
    Thanks guys :)

    I must admit I don't really get it. Well I do from the MTB point of view, although for me I couldn't ride my trails without gears and the maintenance is just part and parcel.

    One of those things you have to experience for yourself then 8)


    Chris :)
    Racing snakes. It's not big, and it's not clever ;)
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,688
    My commuter is SS. Reason: it cost me a lot less than a geared setup, is far more reliable and requires approximately no maintenance.

    I bought good stuff which won't die, and here's how much it cost me for the gearing on my bike:
    Miche 1/8" track chain: About a fiver
    Middleburn DH chainring, 38T: £20
    DMR SS converter and tensioner kit: £30
    Gussett sprocket, 12T: £3

    Total cost, around £60.

    For a Deore drivetrain:
    Rear mech: £20
    Cassette: £20
    Chain: £10
    Front mech: £15
    Chainrings: £20
    Pair of shifters: £25
    Cables: £10

    Total cost: Around £125.

    Half the price for SS, and no maintenance. I don't see any reason to go geared for a commute...
  • Panter
    Panter Posts: 299
    I need my gears on my commute :lol:

    I'm not very fit, only been cycling 6 months, and my commute is 38mile return over the North Downs, mostly on national speed limit dual carrigeway.

    I only have 5 gears on my commuter but I use 'em all :lol:

    Mebbe when I'm fitter.............................. :oops:

    Totally see your point on the cost though, huge saving 8)


    Chris :)
    Racing snakes. It's not big, and it's not clever ;)
  • I have 3 bikes - a fixed, a SS and a geared bike and use them for different purposes.
    The gears/sprockets/chain fell apart on the original geared bike (an old Raleigh 10 speed) and i cheaply converted it to SS. I put on wider tyres and i use it for shops/ cycle paths and taking the kids out on their bikes when i need to concentrate.
    In my view SS wins over the fixed when it comes to going downhill and in busy traffic situations. That said i love the fixed. I don't think there's much logic in it on the road but its great fun and a bit of a challenge as well as low maintenance. Others will wax lyrical about fixed benefits but i'm not sure they really stand up to scrutiny. Among these are learning to pedal 'correctly', increased fitness and many more. II suspect its popularity is a mixture of wanting to be different and the kindred belonging to a select band who can trackstand etc Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.
    If you wanted to try track riding fixed is the only option. If you are curious, try a fixed and i'm sure you would enjoy it. It has a joy of its own.
    I use the geared bike on good weather days and would always choose it for a long run and tackling big hills. There are people who do 100+ milers on fixed and even claim them to be faster than a geared bike. I'd rather have the geared bike on a hilly 100 miler any day.