Am I hard enough for single speed??

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by [email protected], Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Hi all

    For my daily commute a nexus equipped steed which is coming to the end
    of its useful life (+10000 miles). Since I do not have the funds to go
    rohloff I wondered about turning courier and moving to single speed
    (specialized langster please), but am wondering how much harder my
    commute would be?
    I have already geared my nexus down to a 17t and find that I only
    really use gears 4-8 in normal operation, so I may be able to get away
    with it. I have a couple of largish hills on my home journey but they
    are long rather than steep.

    Any comments or arguments for/against?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  2. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

  3. sothach

    sothach Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Any comments or arguments for/against?

    I normally commute on a rohloff-equipped steel touring bike, with
    panniers and pulling 50kg of trailer, my hilly route means the 1st gear
    is used a lot. Going to fixed (for non-school-run commutes), I choose
    a 2:1 ratio, but already I'm going to go higher: "I think I can--I
    think I can". So I guess thats a vote for fixed: the lightness of the
    fixie makes it hugely easier to ride uphill with gear ratios that just
    wouldn't hack it with a fully-equipped bike.
     
  4. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Hi all
    >
    > For my daily commute a nexus equipped steed which is coming to the end
    > of its useful life (+10000 miles). Since I do not have the funds to go
    > rohloff I wondered about turning courier and moving to single speed
    > (specialized langster please), but am wondering how much harder my
    > commute would be?
    > I have already geared my nexus down to a 17t and find that I only
    > really use gears 4-8 in normal operation, so I may be able to get away
    > with it. I have a couple of largish hills on my home journey but they
    > are long rather than steep.
    >
    > Any comments or arguments for/against?
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > Steve


    Do you mean single speed or fixed ? Only you can decide if you are hard
    enough, can't see why not if you choose its gear sensibly. Its not all
    or nothing, you can change the ratios relatively easily. Single speed
    is easier than fixed as you can freewheel down the hills. Like the
    other bloke says, with a shorter chain, 1 chain ring, 1 sprocket, no
    mechs a fixed is going to be lighter than a geared bike.
     
  5. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > Any comments or arguments for/against?


    Find out how hard it is empirically: select a single speed on your hub
    and don't change out of it for the journey. If it's too hard, try the
    next one down the next day. And so on.

    If one of them works out okay then the next question is are you hard
    enough for a fixed gear, which has even less maintenance and slightly
    better efficiency. Don't apply if you enjoy freewheeling!

    Singlespeed/fixie makes a lot of sense if you can cut it because it's
    lighter and there's less to go wrong and wear out: Darth Ben "Kinetics"
    Cooper, who not only /can/ afford Rohloffs but has several in the bike
    shop he owns, commutes on a single speed bike.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  6. sothach wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> Any comments or arguments for/against?

    > I normally commute on a rohloff-equipped steel touring bike, with
    > panniers and pulling 50kg of trailer, my hilly route means the 1st
    > gear is used a lot. Going to fixed (for non-school-run commutes), I
    > choose a 2:1 ratio, but already I'm going to go higher: "I think I
    > can--I think I can". So I guess thats a vote for fixed: the
    > lightness of the fixie makes it hugely easier to ride uphill with
    > gear ratios that just wouldn't hack it with a fully-equipped bike.


    50kg of trailer had me seriously impressed until I read the school run bit.
    Still impressive, less confusing, though.

    --
    Ambrose
     
  7. Cheers for the replies guys.
    I will def go for single speed freewheel and not fixed (so don't try
    and talk me out of it). I guess I'll try the single gear approach as a
    quick test, and if I find a gear that's comfortable for the commute I
    could find the appropriate ratio for a proper single set-up?

    I like my Nemesis for its total lack of maintenance (nexus gear plus
    roller brakes) but the gears are not up to distance riding. If I went
    to a specialized langster I would have to put up with side-pull brakes
    though : (
     
  8. AndyMorris

    AndyMorris Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > I like my Nemesis for its total lack of maintenance (nexus gear plus
    > roller brakes) but the gears are not up to distance riding. If I went
    > to a specialized langster I would have to put up with side-pull brakes
    > though : (


    Go for a pompino and get cantilevers instead, also lots of clearance for
    mudguards.

    http://tinyurl.com/qenju


    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this:
    Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/



    --
    Posted via NewsDemon.com - Premium Uncensored Newsgroup Service
    ------->>>>>>http://www.NewsDemon.com<<<<<<------
    Unlimited Access, Anonymous Accounts, Uncensored Broadband Access
     
  9. sothach

    sothach Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Cheers for the replies guys.
    > I will def go for single speed freewheel and not fixed (so don't try
    > and talk me out of it).

    No intention to talk you out of it, but when I stripped the threads on
    my cheapo hub/sprocket, I flipped to the flop side and used the
    freewheel. It felt total carp after the fixed gear, sort of not one
    thing or the other: at least build with a flip-flop hub and then you
    can be a *double* hard bastard.
     
  10. Bob Downie

    Bob Downie Guest

    In message <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] writes
    >Cheers for the replies guys.
    >I will def go for single speed freewheel and not fixed (so don't try
    >and talk me out of it). I guess I'll try the single gear approach as a
    >quick test, and if I find a gear that's comfortable for the commute I
    >could find the appropriate ratio for a proper single set-up?
    >
    >I like my Nemesis for its total lack of maintenance (nexus gear plus
    >roller brakes) but the gears are not up to distance riding. If I went
    >to a specialized langster I would have to put up with side-pull brakes
    >though : (
    >

    My tuppence worth being that I recently got me a fixed wheel at the
    grand old age of 5*. I live up a hill and whilst its a grind going up,
    the efficiency and lightness of the bike largely compensate. I have
    however chosen a fairly small gear of about 66". This tops out at 30mph
    going downhill but by heck your legs are spinning.

    If I am hard enough I guess you should be too.

    Cheers
    --
    Bob Downie
    Downie GeoScience Ltd.
    please remove #n0spam# to reply directly
     
  11. I forgot about the weight difference 'twixt bikes.
    My current steed tops out at 30lb and the Langster is only 20.5lb!!
    Should make a difference in climbing ability i guess.

    Tested 2 commutes in a single gear (6th out of 8) and found it easy, to
    my surprise. Will try 7th for the rest of the week but this could be a
    step too far.

    My only concern is the slight lack of speed I had when I approached a
    major roundabout, which I would normally hit at 30+. This makes for
    easy entry onto the roundabout and I don't hold traffic up, but I would
    be a bit slower on a single I think - it may be nothing to worry about..
     
  12. Well I have successfully tested single speed riding enough to convince
    myself I'm having a SS bike. Problem now comes in that I have just
    used Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and am not sure about the
    outcome!

    Using his figures for 26 X 1.25 / 32-559 / MTB tire with 175 mm cranks
    and 46/18 in 7th gear (what I have settled on) I get a gear inch of
    88.7

    Using the figures for the Langster I'm buying For 700 X 23 / 23-622
    tire with 170 mm cranks and 48/16 I get a gear inch 78.8

    If I drop the rear sprocket on the langster to a 14 I could get 90.4

    Do these figures still seem too high? I was expecting to see 65 -
    70" but I don't know what an average or good inch'age(!) would
    be?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  13. In article <[email protected]>,
    ([email protected]) wrote:

    > Using the figures for the Langster I'm buying For 700 X 23 / 23-622
    > tire with 170 mm cranks and 48/16 I get a gear inch 78.8
    >
    > If I drop the rear sprocket on the langster to a 14 I could get 90.4
    >
    > Do these figures still seem too high? I was expecting to see 65 -
    > 70" but I don't know what an average or good inch'age(!) would
    > be?


    Recent discussion of this on ACF:

    <URL:http://bikereader.com/forum/index.php?topic=13598.0>

    Personally I use 44-18, but that's a fair bit lower than most people
    (and a LOT lower than Steve Abraham).

    --
    Dave Larrington - <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/>
    Life - loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it.
     
  14. Jim Price

    Jim Price Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Well I have successfully tested single speed riding enough to convince
    > myself I'm having a SS bike. Problem now comes in that I have just
    > used Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and am not sure about the
    > outcome!
    >
    > Using his figures for 26 X 1.25 / 32-559 / MTB tire with 175 mm cranks
    > and 46/18 in 7th gear (what I have settled on) I get a gear inch of
    > 88.7


    I think there is a mistake here. I would guestimate this as ~66 inches.
    I never bother to include the crank size in any calculations of gear
    inches, as the meaning of it goes back to how many inches the wheel on
    your penny farthing was, and changing the crank length would not change
    the size of the wheel. If you express gearing as a leverage factor, then
    crank length does come into it.

    > Using the figures for the Langster I'm buying For 700 X 23 / 23-622
    > tire with 170 mm cranks and 48/16 I get a gear inch 78.8
    >
    > If I drop the rear sprocket on the langster to a 14 I could get 90.4
    >
    > Do these figures still seem too high? I was expecting to see 65 -
    > 70" but I don't know what an average or good inch'age(!) would
    > be?


    90 seems a bit high unless your journey is indoors on a wooden surface.
    I would recommend you try what is on the Langster (nice) before making
    any decisions. I think the langster is higher geared than the gear you
    have worked out is the one you like.

    JimP

    --
    Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to
    grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after
    all. - DNA
     
  15. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Well I have successfully tested single speed riding enough to convince
    > myself I'm having a SS bike. Problem now comes in that I have just
    > used Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and am not sure about the
    > outcome!
    >
    > Using his figures for 26 X 1.25 / 32-559 / MTB tire with 175 mm cranks
    > and 46/18 in 7th gear (what I have settled on) I get a gear inch of
    > 88.7
    >
    > Using the figures for the Langster I'm buying For 700 X 23 / 23-622
    > tire with 170 mm cranks and 48/16 I get a gear inch 78.8
    >
    > If I drop the rear sprocket on the langster to a 14 I could get 90.4
    >
    > Do these figures still seem too high? I was expecting to see 65 -
    > 70" but I don't know what an average or good inch'age(!) would
    > be?
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > Steve
    >


    If you can do your routes on 90" then why not ? My fixed is 61", low by
    some standards but high enough for me atm. Why not spin around on 48x16
    and see how you like it, change it if its too low, it'll cost less than
    £20 for a new sprocket and chain.
     
  16. Nigel Cliffe

    Nigel Cliffe Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Well I have successfully tested single speed riding enough to convince
    > myself I'm having a SS bike. Problem now comes in that I have just
    > used Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and am not sure about the
    > outcome!
    >
    > Using his figures for 26 X 1.25 / 32-559 / MTB tire with 175 mm cranks
    > and 46/18 in 7th gear (what I have settled on) I get a gear inch of
    > 88.7



    I suspect a typing error when using Sheldon's calculator. I've just tried
    to replicate your figure, and come out with a 62.5in result, much closer to
    the values otehrs in the thread estimated.


    > Using the figures for the Langster I'm buying For 700 X 23 / 23-622
    > tire with 170 mm cranks and 48/16 I get a gear inch 78.8


    That's what I make it.



    - Nigel

    --
    Nigel Cliffe,
    Webmaster at http://www.2mm.org.uk/
     
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