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Single speed delight?(33 posts)

Single speed delight?Juanmoretime
Sep 9, 2002 7:48 AM
I don't know why, suddenly I find myself looking at single speeds with lust in my eyes. Why is this suddenly appealing to me? Can any single speeders tell me why I should buy one?
why the lust? Thats the current bandwagon.Steve_0
Sep 9, 2002 8:00 AM
Why you should buy one: Because you can build a single speed for less money than your riding shorts.

Why you shouldnt buy one: To be like everyone else.

Why you should have one: Great training advantage. Lightweight bike

Why you shouldnt have one: No training advantage if you're disciplined enough not to shift, or if you know how to tighten the restriction screws on your derailuer. Gears can offer more speed on climbs than the weight advantage.

My FG is prettymuch my only ride. But then again, I prefer not having a bunch of bikes laying around the house.
why the lust? Thats the current bandwagon.Juanmoretime
Sep 9, 2002 4:03 PM
Maybe it current bandwagon but where I live, they are non-existant. Plus I saw one in particular that has me drooling.
re: Single speed delight?Dave Hickey
Sep 9, 2002 8:02 AM
I've become a dedicated single speeder. I ride my single speeds now more than I ride my geared bikes. I think it's the simplicity of the single speeds thats so appealing. After riding SS's for a while, I've found my average speed is just about the same. The only time I miss my geared bike is going DOWN hill. With a 42 x 16 gearing, you have to start coasting sooner. We don't have big hills in Dallas, so climbing hasn't been a problem. Yesterday, I converted a LOOK KG86 to a single speed so I have my first carbon single speed.
Low maintainance alternativeharry hall
Sep 9, 2002 8:25 AM
20years ago nobody wanted a single speed bike except for track racers and Schwinn collectors. That was before several cycles of intentional and calculated fraud on the part of component companies that have drastically increased the maintainance and parts replacement needs of multi-speed bikes. Cassettes, chains, and cables all need replacement at about three times the rate that they did before the Outfit and the Yakuza, er, I mean Campy and Shimano, started adding redundant gears and dubious conveniences to shifting. F$%# that stuff; I could shift indexless gears twenty years before I got the hang of driving a car with a clutch--the "difficulty" and "inconvenience" of derailleurs is the bike industry's Big Lie. All of this has fed a consumer appetite for simple bikes of high quality--single speeds included. Wait till my friends see the fake Hetchins path bike I'm building--on the road next summer!
Low maintainance alternativeDave Hickey
Sep 9, 2002 8:32 AM
You are so right! My most expensive single speed(LOOK KG96) has Dura Ace brakes, cranks and hubs and I still only have about $750 in the whole bike. Total weight is about 16 pounds. On the other end, my Gitane cost me about $30 in new parts. The bike was taken out of someones trash.
Sep 9, 2002 8:11 AM
Well, I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy a SS bike. What I did was to buy a custom track bike, and have it made so that I can put on front and rear brakes. This way, I can do fixie rides with brakes. I also built up another wheel form an old MTB hub, respaced and dished, so I can do SS riding on the same bike. I love it, and it's my commute rig. Simple, not much can go wrong.
Question....Dave Hickey
Sep 9, 2002 8:15 AM
Did you have to drill a hole in the rear bridge for the brake? I've been looking at a couple of track frames but the rear bridge wasn't drilled.
Sep 9, 2002 8:20 AM
As I said, it's a custom. I had it made with front (well, it really uses a road fork -- Kestrel), and REAR brake bosses. TiCycles in Seattle. A steel Softride frame. I just let them have some free reign to make whatever they wanted. Aero-section down tube, ovalized (and vertical) "seat tube," and 650 wheels. It's a fun ride.
Dont drill for the rear brake. You only need a front.onespeed
Sep 9, 2002 8:21 AM
The front brake is the one that actually stops you. That is all you need. The back brake only makes you skid. You will ruin a good track frame if you drill, because you will realize that you never even use the brakes anymore with the fixed.

Sorry the picture is so big.
I'm talking single speed not fixed gear...Dave Hickey
Sep 9, 2002 8:25 AM
I wouldn't feel comfortable with just a front brake on a single speed.
Hey Huge photo guyThaddeus
Sep 9, 2002 9:07 AM
fer chrissakes resize your pic. It is way too big.
People have even done it for you.

give us a break

Dont drill for the rear brake. You only need a front.Raf1
Sep 10, 2002 9:09 PM
you fxcing post this oversize picture every time.
My fixed is my primary bike at the monent.onespeed
Sep 9, 2002 8:16 AM
I have left my 2 road bikes in the apartment almost the entire summer at this point. I have done 4 centuries this summer on my fixed. I also plan to do the Face of America ride on my fixed (280 miles in 3 days). I ride all week and throw in a few good rides on the weekends. Probably over 2000 miles this summer alone.

The fixed gear ride is so different, it is almost a different sport. I cant get enough of it. I have gotten so efficient on my fixed that I can blow up and down hills with little or no problem. I have it down to a science at this point, so much so that what looks hard to my friends is really so easy once you get used to it. They think I am a hammerhead, I am actually just a scientist.

I call it "minimalist cycling."
1 gear
1 water bottle
no seat bag
Don't you have a De Rosa you now want to sell? nmdzrider
Sep 9, 2002 8:53 AM
re: Single speed delight?desmo
Sep 9, 2002 8:56 AM
It's the complexity of the simplicity we all crave. Just pure fun to ride and great for people who can't pass up a yard sale bike. Here's a pic of a Nishiki Olympic 12 I bought a couple of weeks ago at the Goodwill for $1. An afternoon of repacking the hubs, BB, and H/S, round-canning the shifting system, and swapping out the bars-stem-levers-seat and I have a swell new bike. man, those 27 x 1 1/4's ride great!
Nice bike.look271
Sep 9, 2002 9:39 AM
Just finished a 34 miler on my fixie. It's a Bianchi circa late 80's. Bought it from a co-worker for $75. (It was in immaculate condition). Stripped the gears etc, bought a flip-flop wheel on e-bay for cheap, and viola! I, too, love the ride of the 27 inch wheels. Know what? I did that route today at about the same speed as my geared bike.
3rd the 27 inchers.Steve_0
Sep 9, 2002 9:47 AM
I keep some 700's with 23s laying around for racing, but generally prefer the 27X1 1/8. Just recently starting riding 1 1/4 - practical, and smooooooth.
Can't wait to try mine ...Humma Hah
Sep 9, 2002 3:16 PM
... The Paramount fixie mentioned below currently has a used "700c" front wheel that turned out to be 27" (drove me nuts trying to get a tire on it before I got smart and measured). I asked the LBS to order me a 1 1/8" tire for it, but what they got was 1 1/4". What the heck, it fits, and I figure I'm better off with the fattest tires that will clear the frame and forks until I get used to a skinny-tired bike. Fat-tired cruisers breed sloppy habits.
Nice bike. Tighten up that chain!!!! (N/M)GTDave
Sep 10, 2002 8:58 AM
I did.look271
Sep 10, 2002 9:27 AM
It was right after I built it that the pict was taken. Rode <1 mile and found out that it was too loose. (Don't ask!) Has a different seat now and I will be changing the brakes to "aero" type and losing the back brake. Love the ride!
Nice bike.harry hall
Sep 10, 2002 7:58 PM
Well assembled. Double sided pedals are a great idea on a fixer!
Buy or build one ...Humma Hah
Sep 9, 2002 10:26 AM
... to really appreciate singlespeed, you ought to build one up from old parts.

Consider that it would be easier to ride a car or motorcycle than to ride a bicycle. If you ride a bicycle, then evidently you enjoy getting your transportation the HARD way. But if you use a geared bike, you're attempting to do it the hard way the easy way.

Riding singlespeed, or better yet, fixed gear, you're doing it the hard way the hard way. What ever it is that makes you want to ride bikes, i.e. do things the hard way, singlespeed scratches the itch a little deeper.

I've adored singlespeeding for about 44 years now.
I'm anxious to see pics of the Paramount.Alex-in-Evanston
Sep 9, 2002 10:57 AM
When you get it finished please post some shots on this site.

How's the build going?

Slowly ... awaiting Trexlertown swap meet ..Humma Hah
Sep 9, 2002 3:08 PM
... in October, to buy most of the parts. The LBS screwed up the rear wheel so badly I had to give up on them, and this area is not so hot for classy old bike parts.

Looks kinda neat, tho', hanging on the wall of my brand-new garage, with the one wheel I WAS able to get, a Campy high-flange front wheel (although it did turn out to be 27" rather than 700c).
Building Fixed Gear, need advicebigrider
Sep 9, 2002 11:05 AM
I just bought a Lemond Zurich to build up and that leaves me with a 70s vintage Picchio with beautiful lugs that I am converting to a fixed gear. Here is the question, I have a Coda double crank with a 48 tooth that I can put on the small or large ring position and have a standard double width BB, and need to know where and what to get for the rear wheel? I saw a SOVOS/jalco fixed gear for 65 bucks. Will a standard 8 or 9 speed chain work with the fixed gear cogs?
Sep 9, 2002 11:12 AM
track cogs come in both 1/8th (track, bmx chains) and 3/32 (8/9 speed chain). The 3/32 cog will accomdate either a 1/8th or 3/32 chain, but the 1/8 cog will not accomodate the 3/32 chain.

Do you have the rear wheel? If so, its probably a freewheel hub. Just screw a cog directly on it and your set. If your nervous about counterspinning, just add some loctite.
Need to buy the rear wheelbigrider
Sep 9, 2002 11:28 AM
I need to purchase a fixed rear wheel or flip flop wheel. Right now I have an old 8/9speed cassette wheel which I may use as a Single Speed by adding washers with only one cog on the freewheel.

Is there room to align where the cog is on a fixed rear wheel or is that done by the width of the bottom bracket and location of front chain ring?

Thanks for the info on the cogs
cog alighmentSteve_0
Sep 9, 2002 11:35 AM
there's a ~little~ room for alignment via a cassette spacer, but usually no more than a single spacer's worth.

Usually, using the inner chainring and no (or one) spacer on the hub will align pretty nicely. If not, then you'll need to start monkeying with dishing and/or BB widths.
A couple of things....Gregory Taylor
Sep 9, 2002 11:52 AM
You can also fiddle with chain line by using spacers on the fixed cup side of the bottom bracket. The Third Hand carries them in a couple of sizes.

I've had really good luck using old double cranks designed for use with the old standard 68 x 122.5 mm bottom bracket. These critters put the outer ring almost perfectly in line with the cog on a 120mm track hub (about 52mm from center to the cog). My rough rule of thumb is that these units are machined so that the milled area surrounding the opening where the tapered shaft enters the crank arm is in the same vertical plane with the outer chain ring. I use the 122.5 bottom bracket.
The SOVOS hubsets can be pretty dire...Gregory Taylor
Sep 9, 2002 11:37 AM
The SOVOS hubsets are pretty low end. For a little bit more money, Suzue hubset is a lot better. Granted, they are still pretty basic (for example, the bearings are not sealed that well, just press in tin shields that keep the grease in and the birds and sticks out) but the workmanship is decent and they look very nice.

I run the 3/32 pitch cogs (matches up with standard road rings up front) and SRAM 8 speed chains.
Sep 9, 2002 12:17 PM
I've never seen the word dire used without "predictions" or "consequences".

I also second the SRAM PC-58 chains. I've got it on three single speed bikes (althoug I have a lot of trouble actually removing it via the special link - I normally just break the chain the old fashioned way).

This Has Been A Service Of "Ask The Language Guy"Gregory Taylor
Sep 9, 2002 1:03 PM
I've seen it used that way in a couple of English car magazines. "The interior appointments of the Trabant were fairly dire..." Possibly a colloquialism. I don't have a decent dictionary here at work, so I can't confirm that it is an appropriate usage.