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To Single Speed or To Not Single Speed?(22 posts)

To Single Speed or To Not Single Speed?Franchise
Sep 16, 2002 11:03 AM
My LBS has a Bianchi C.U.S.S. on closeout, and I was thinking about buying it. Does anyone here use a single speed bike?

I was thinking that I could use this bike in the winter, with little maintenance, and put on some early miles on it early in the season next year. What do you guys think? Any input is much appreciated. Thanks!
Just do a search for Single Speed or SS or fixte.MB1
Sep 16, 2002 11:15 AM
You will mind numerous posts from us SSers.

MTB Review also has a SS forum if you are going to go off road.
Just do a search for Single Speed or SS or fixte.Franchise
Sep 16, 2002 11:41 AM
Thanks for the tip.
Don't do it. The biggest mistake you'll ever make :-)Dave Hickey
Sep 16, 2002 11:17 AM
You will end up selling all of your expensive "geared" bikes. I have two single speeds and I just built a third over the weekend. Other than extremely hilly rides, my SS's are now my primary rides. I'm taking a vacation day tomorrow and doing my first solo century on my single speed. I'm convinced it's making me a better cyclist. Instead of worrying if I'm in the correct gear, I have no choice but to ride through it. I run a 42 x 16 on all my SS's and it works for all but the steepest climbs. My average speeds are just about the same as my geared bikes.
Hickey, you bugger, you're making me expendable!Alex-in-Evanston
Sep 16, 2002 11:27 AM
How come you show up on all the posts I was aiming for and beat me to the punch?

VERY slow at work today.........nmDave Hickey
Sep 16, 2002 11:42 AM
Don't do it. The biggest mistake you'll ever make :-)Franchise
Sep 16, 2002 11:42 AM
Let's hope not. My Colnago and Pinarello may get a little jealous, but I woouldn't want to sell them. They are like part of the family.

What are your average speeds?

Are your bikes fixed geared or freewheeled?
Don't do it. The biggest mistake you'll ever make :-)Dave Hickey
Sep 16, 2002 11:51 AM
All mine are freewheeled. I'm not comfortable with a fixed gear. I average around 18mph on a typical ride. With my gear combo(42 x 16), my max pedaling speed is about 23-25 MPH.
Exact gearing I have on mine [42x16].onespeed
Sep 16, 2002 12:50 PM
I can get up just about any hill on my fixed.

Did Bear Mountain in mid August (110 miles with hills).

I did Northport on Saturday with hills (100 miles with hills).

I havent touched my Meraks except to move them in months now.

It is a sickness.

After this last weekend, I realize that I dont even need any other gears or a freewheel.
My fix has 38-16, and I average 21mph in a 10 mile TT (nm)Qubeley
Sep 17, 2002 5:44 AM
wow! impressive.Steve_0
Sep 17, 2002 10:45 AM
Thoughts on Bianchi SS'sAlex-in-Evanston
Sep 16, 2002 11:20 AM
My Bianchi DISS is currently right across the desk from me, waiting for some post-work work on the Des Plaines River trail. I like it for what it is, and in my eyes it's a mud, ice and gravel cruiser.

The DISS has some major flaws and the component spec is not as good as the previous Bianchi SS incarnations. The CUSS is a better bike. For what you're getting - Race Face cranks, avid brakes, Spot hubs - it's priced very well. A dealer told me he couldn't meet his cost for the bike if he had to spec it out individually.

Hope this helps. Personally, if I had to do it over again I'd get a Surly.

Thoughts on Bianchi SS'sFranchise
Sep 16, 2002 11:44 AM
Thanks for the tip. I think a Surly may be a little more expensive. What are some of the major flaws with the D.I.S.S.?
Sep 16, 2002 12:10 PM
Two major beefs:

The chainring bolt pattern is 4 bolt 104mm. It is very difficult to find rings in this pattern. Why isn't it 110mm? The only unramped ring I could find bigger than the stock 32 was an expensive 38 tooth Blackspire DH ring.

There is not enough clearance between the rear disc and the chainstay. To get the disc not to strik the stay, the wheel has to be pulled almost all the way back in the dropouts. This gives the bike 1) a really long wheelbase 2) very little flexibility in changing gears without having to add/remove links from the chain. In fact, there is so little dropout left after the disc has been adjusted for, I was unable to use the same chain when making a swap of 2 teeth in the freewheel.

Needless to say, the CUSS does not have any of these problems. It has a 5 bolt 110mm pattern, and rim brakes.

Here's what I did.brider
Sep 16, 2002 12:36 PM
I ride my track rig as a SS OR a fixie. It's a custom rig, built as a track bike, but with front and rear brake mountings. I can ride it fixed, or with another wheel I built from an old MTB hub (threaded), I can use a 17T BMX freewheel and go SS. You can use any junk hub, respace it and lace it to a decent rim. Doesn't even mess up the chainline if you do it right.

I use my SS rig as my commuter, but I still love my geared roadie.
An Intriguing Alternative --Gregory Taylor
Sep 16, 2002 12:45 PM
There is a small, quality framebuilder -- Kavik Bicycles -- that offers what they call "modular" dropouts. The rear drops outs are bolted on, and Kavik has designed the frame so that you can trade them back and forth between track style and normal drops outs. ProCycling tested the frame and simply RAVED about it. I've never seen one... does the same thing with the dropouts.onespeed
Sep 16, 2002 12:53 PM
You can bolt on different dropouts depending on what kind of riding you want to do.
Didn't know that! Cool.... (nm)Gregory Taylor
Sep 16, 2002 12:58 PM
I ride about 90% singlespeed ...Humma Hah
Sep 16, 2002 1:44 PM
... including centuries and beyond. I'm building up a fixed-gear roadbike that may do a Brevet series.

I adore this kind of riding. Whatever makes you challenge yourself on a bike, singlespeed and fixed gear scratch the itch a little deeper.
Do it!....SS_MB-7
Sep 17, 2002 5:04 AM
I started SS'ing nearly 2 years ago with a MTB frame and rigid fork I got from my LBS and some spare parts I had kickin' around my basement. I was fortunate that the chainstay length and gear ratio I selected (36:18) didn't require a chain tensioner. I loved it so much, I bought a SS specific frame with an eccentric BB to accomodate disc brakes. 100% of MTB racing (XC Expert) is done on my SS.

Since then, I bought a Fuji Track fixed-gear road bike. This was my first experience with a fixed-gear. The first ride was a little weird, but I quickly got used to it. I use the Fuji to commute to work and to train with. I also used it in my very first road race [105km (~60mi)]. I added a front brake and a dummy rear brake lever. I also ditched the stock saddle and added a pair of clipless pedals. It is a really fun bike to ride on.

More recently, I built a SS 'cross/fixed-gear bike that also uses an eccentric BB to accomodate the different gear ratios. It uses a rear Phil Wood flip-flop hub with a track cog on one side and a freewheel on the other for road and 'cross, respectively.

In short, SS has changed my riding! It has made me a much better rider and racer!

As the others have mentioned, your SS will become your primary bike. My geared bikes are gathering dust in the basement with the SS' are out on the trails/roads.

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
Do it!....Franchise
Sep 17, 2002 7:29 AM
Mike B.,

Your stable is very, very impressive. I love your Seven's. I'm just going to go ahead and ask, "Aren't those quite large investments in single speeds?"

Also, Did you change the geometry of your road bike for the custom 7, or did you and the company come up with your own design?

Wow. I'm going to do the SS thing. I'll try the Bianchi C.U.S.S., and maybe down the road, after I get a Seven road frame, I'll get a mountain SS like your! It looks great! Bike lust strikes again. Thanks for your pics and input! They were much appreciated!

Uh, ya....SS_MB-7
Sep 17, 2002 7:38 AM
Q: "Aren't those quite large investments in single speeds?"

A: Uh, ya. Like I said, I love SS'ing! It has completely changed my riding style, racing strategy and philosophy. Also, I have a geared road and MTB so if I need gears (unlikely), I can always use them.

Q: "Did you change the geometry of your road bike for the custom 7, or did you and the company come up with your own design?"

A: Yes, I changed the geometry slightly to accomodate the cyclocross application. The angles are slightly slacker and the BB is slightly elevated. This is a completely custom frame and was designed with my input and Seven's recommendations.

Enjoy the SS!

Ride Hard,
Mike B.