Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Training on single speed

Homer JHomer J Posts: 932
Seeing that the winter/censored weather training bike needs new front/rear mech and cassette, plus cables siezed a bit. I'm thinking of turning it in to a single speed (freewheel)
Does any one here race on geared and train on a single speed? Is it a good or bad thing?

Thanks
Homer J

Posts

  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    I did most of my training this winter on a fixed with a 44x12 gear, apart from group rides and club runs.
    I'd say it's good for endurance / base miles, and there's other advantages such as easier maintenance and cleaning. It probably helped build my legs up as well.
    However, it's not going to give you any magical edge over a geared bike, and I won't be doing the same training after the end of this season.

    On balance, I'd say it's a good thing, with the caveat that your fixed/SS miles are part of a structured training plan including intervals, and chaingangs on gears as well. I think where I went wrong is too get obsessed with doing as many miles as possible on a fixed thinking it would make me hard as nails, whereas I actually only got good at riding a bike with no gears quite a long way, relatively slowly :)
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Where'd you get a 12 sprocket edwin?

    Riding fixed/singlespeed as a training aid is overated in my opinion (I only ride fixed). It's the effort you put in that matters, not the selection of gears you ride on.

    It is low maintanance though, which is nice, get a singlespeed converter kit and a chain tensioner and you're sorted.
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    Where did I get my 12T sprocket? Um, from a bike shop, I just asked for one as I wanted a bigger gear and thought it would be cheaper than fitting a bigger front chain ring. Didn't think they were particularly hard to get hold of?
    I agree that's it's overated as a training aid, but they are great for commuting or just general tooling about.
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    I thought 13t was as small as they go... couldn't find a 12 anywhere.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Edwin wrote:
    I did most of my training this winter on a fixed with a 44x12 gear, apart from group rides and club runs.
    That's a bigger gear than I race track league on! Do you live in the flatlands?

    Would agree with the above - riding fixed (NOT singlespeed) may improve your pedalling style and encourages you to force a bigger gear on hills than you would normally, but as to whether it really makes much difference in the long run is doubtful I think. Perhaps more beneficial if you intend to race on the track for that high cadence power you need at the end of races.
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Bronzie wrote:
    That's a bigger gear than I race track league on! Do you live in the flatlands?
    You don't want to know mine :lol:
  • Homer JHomer J Posts: 932
    Thanks,
    I think the low maintenance is the appeal, i'm not a track rider so i'll keep getting in the geared miles when it's not hammering down.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    I'm getting a fixed wheel bike with a 48 x 16 gearing. What is this in inches please. :?:
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    70 to 80 inch is about right, seems to be what most people recommend for general use. You should be able to get up most hills on that, but will need to spin fairly quick downhill.

    Bronzie - I live near Wolverhampton, so it's not really flat. My usual training route goes up Himley Road in Dudley, which is quite steep, and Tinkers Castle out towards Bridgnorth, which is also a bit of a sod. I've somehow got used to grinding a massive gear uphill, but like I said it hasn't translated to going any quicker in a race!
    Incidentally, are you the same Bronzie organising the Neil Gardner Memorial RR? I grew up in Bedfordshire, so I might pop back for a weekend and enter that one. I did the CC Ashwell race down there last month, and got dropped up the hill on the last lap! Good circuit though.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    i live on the Devon/Somerset borders (it's hilly) and use a single speed with a 66 inch gear for riding in the winter.

    I commute + do a long ride at the weekend, I don't do any intervals / speed work / hill repeats on the single speed. It's purely for getting the miles in. The lack of maintenance is the big advantage.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I would go mid 60s to maybe low 70s for general use and training - guy in our club said he used to do his Winter training on something like 62 inch and he wasn't bad - top 10 in tour of the Peak and still holds some club TT records. I used to do our chain gang on 66ish and was fine apart from the descent where I'd get shelled out.

    Like the others I think the main advantage is ease of maintenance but it does help develop the ability to ride at high cadence - whether you see that as beneficial or not is another argument.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Edwin wrote:
    Incidentally, are you the same Bronzie organising the Neil Gardner Memorial RR? I grew up in Bedfordshire, so I might pop back for a weekend and enter that one. I did the CC Ashwell race down there last month, and got dropped up the hill on the last lap! Good circuit though.
    Yeah, 'tis I.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    fixed gear riding has debatable effect on your pedalling technique, i'd use a ss/fg for the winter just because of the maintanence issue. If you want to get a really nice winter bike use powercranks.

    But as fairbaine said, mileage makes champions.
  • I do all my non competitive riding `(all training and commuting) on fixed or singlespeed and it had undoubtably made me faster and stronger - nothing else has given me such benefits. I train mainly in summer on a 74 inch fixed, in winter 69 inch and commute on a 60 inch. I live in a pretty hilly area
  • InfamousInfamous Posts: 1,158
    Where's the progression though? I'm going a cog down every month or two when I "get used to" the gear i'm on. And gone faster every time so far.

    If you keep the same gear you'll stop progressing (or ride at a higher cadence, which is a form of progession I suppose).
Sign In or Register to comment.