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Single Speed Minefield.

Hi troops,

Keen and experience road and mountain bike rider here. Have slowly built up a base knowledge of what is good and what isn't in the MTB and Road world...but now I'm venturing into Single Speed City/Messenger style bikes and its a whole new world.

I popped on Gumtree and got myself a nice looking single speed, seemed to tick all the boxes. It is a Foffa...I then discovered a forum thread which has been running for 8 or so years with 166 pages absolutely destroying the brand as Walmartesque style over function, bargain bin censored .

I've ridden it pretty hard for a wee while around Edinburgh (cobbles) and creeks are starting in the bottom bracket, the wheels are pinging...Its doing the job at the moment (just) and im really loving the whole SS bombing around the city stuff.

So basically, who here knows about this stuff? What are the good brands? Is 8Bar good, for instance? What to avoid, what to look out for? Would be willing to spend around £800 for a full bike (with a frame worthy of upgrading).

Sorry for long post but wanted to set the scene.
Giant TCR Adv Pro Disc 0 2021
Nukeproof Digger Comp 2021
YT Capra Pro Race 29 2018
Genesis Tour de Fer 2018
All City Big Block SS 2020
Giant Defy Adv 1 2016

Posts

  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 748
    Pity you didn't do some due diligence and read up on the Foffa before handing over your readies, don't you think?

    I like to think I'm an experienced cyclist too, but I'll always seek out other riders opinions before making a purchase. At least you've found the LFGSS forum, as you'll get far more specific advice on there than here, imho. I'd be asking my questions on a site dedicated to single speeds rather than one that encompasses all forms of cycling.

    As it is I've bought and built loads of single-speed bikes down the years, with so few moving parts it's hardly rocket science :lol: Everything from track bikes through to converting a cargobike.

    Would I buy an 8Bar? Not at those prices, not a chance. £1k+ for a single speed? No way. You could buy a frame, new or used and build your own for far less than that and spec it exactly as you please.

    I'm just finishing off a Kona Dew single speed pub bike with a frame I pulled out of the depths of the garage, hasn't seen the light of day for over a decade and will have it on the road for roughly £100, it really isn't very hard.

    My advice would be to ask for advice on LFGSS and do your research thoroughly. Decide what style of bike you want, flat barred, or drops and work from there.

    Probably not the answer you were looking for, but i'd hate to see you make the same mistake twice.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,139
    What do you want a ss for?

    I've got one for a commuter hack bike so your foffa might be ok for that kind of thing if you replace the wheels and bb.
    Mine gets thrashed (or it did before the pandemic) so I'm not spending big bucks on it.

    However if you want a nice bike, spend more on it.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,241
    Might be worth just putting new BB and decent wheels on it, unless the frame is foobarred or weighs a ton.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,010
    I have a Genesis Flyer SS, done 1000's of commuter miles on it and it's been absolutely bomb proof. Guards, rack, etc - running 28's at the mo.

    I also run a SS Trek Crockett, on 42mm 650b's

    I believe (well, I would) that these are probably the best bikes in the world :D
    Insert bike here:
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,302
    I'd look on LFGSS and find a decent second hand one although it may well be London based.

    I just sold my Kona Paddywagon on there for a decent price. I'd certainly recommend a Paddywagon as a good single speed which was fun to ride, it had a nice steel frame.

    Must say though, my commute was grinding into a 40kmh headwind this morning, that really wouldn't have been much fun on my single speed.
  • The chide is appreciated Cargo, for once in my life I didn't spend days researching and changing my mind and it duly bit me on the backside. Everybody gets one but I promise to get baw deep into the scene and work it out.

    The bike is used for Deliveroo shifts essentially, not commuting. My bicycle tour guide work went down the pan with the pandemic and I started Deliveroo and frankly its my new favourite game. So we are talking messenger sorta bike and I am aware bikes are stolen, im yet to leave the Foffa masterpiece out of eyesight so im not overly concerned with thieving wee pr*cks. Would not be left for any length of time, if at all.
    Cargobike said:



    Would I buy an 8Bar? Not at those prices, not a chance. £1k+ for a single speed? No way. You could buy a frame, new or used and build your own for far less than that and spec it exactly as you please.

    So, if we take the 8bar as a generic example, is there zero sense in buying a bike off the shelf, wearing out the parts and replacing with upgrades? Or are these kinda companies all form over function and rubbish frames?

    I'll ride this Foffa until it dies, but I need a fairly quick replacement and i'm happy to get something quite nice as bikes are my thing.

    Lets say Bill Gates sold Microsoft, got legs tats, wee chino shorts, a casquette, grew a moustache, didnt have time to hunt around in skips and wanted to start immediately, what would he buy?

    I'll roll over to LFGSS and take a beating over there :/
    Giant TCR Adv Pro Disc 0 2021
    Nukeproof Digger Comp 2021
    YT Capra Pro Race 29 2018
    Genesis Tour de Fer 2018
    All City Big Block SS 2020
    Giant Defy Adv 1 2016
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,068 Lives Here
    Isn't there some rule about having to get a Cinelli for a second SS? Or is that only if a fixie.
    I''d go with sticking decent wheels and a BB on the current one, then if you get something better and the old one hasn't been stolen you've got a decent spare set of hoops.
    Oh, and I'd look at a Cinelli
    https://www.cinellibicycles.co.uk/shop/bikes/tipo-pista/



  • I did my research and built my own! I now know plenty!

    All City Big Block, a solid build.
    Giant TCR Adv Pro Disc 0 2021
    Nukeproof Digger Comp 2021
    YT Capra Pro Race 29 2018
    Genesis Tour de Fer 2018
    All City Big Block SS 2020
    Giant Defy Adv 1 2016
  • Harry182Harry182 Posts: 1,158
    Sweet! Looks fun! And fast! What ratio/ gear inches are you running?
  • Harry182 said:

    Sweet! Looks fun! And fast! What ratio/ gear inches are you running?


    47 - 17 with 28c tyres so just over 73.6.

    Was running about 76" on a different bike which was manageable at best while essentially doing hill repeats on the cobbled streets of Edinburgh. Hoping 73 n a half will strike the right balance.
    Giant TCR Adv Pro Disc 0 2021
    Nukeproof Digger Comp 2021
    YT Capra Pro Race 29 2018
    Genesis Tour de Fer 2018
    All City Big Block SS 2020
    Giant Defy Adv 1 2016
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