Have You Ever Had To Use A Singlespeed For...



gavinfree

Active Member
Feb 19, 2015
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...something it wasn't designed for? I'm talking about something like riding on trails or up steep inclines or anything like that. I was biking with friends as a teen once and was on a singlespeed. We decided that it would be a good idea to hit one of the trails that happened to be full of rough terrain and an uphill climb. I didn't get hurt or anything, but let's just say that I was convinced my legs were never going to function again after that.
 

kana_marie

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Mar 24, 2015
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I never have, but I don't think there's anyway I would be capable. I'm not 100% fit, even at my best. :p
 

gavinfree

Active Member
Feb 19, 2015
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Well, I don't blame you! :p It's not exactly easy using a singespeed on non-flat trails or going uphill in any capacity. A multi-speed bike is always, always better for even the most basic needs, unless you're just riding on flat ground or cruising downhill.
 

joshposh

Banned
Apr 16, 2015
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When we were kids, that's all we had. We never cared about how many speeds we had or anything like that. It was all about being with your friends and riding around the forest and being free. We never stopped to think about the recent upgrades in different gears.
 

adfnio

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Apr 18, 2015
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When you grow up poor as I did, and with a cheap father, there is no such thing as a different bike for different season. It's like summer clothes and winter clothes. Poor families just have one set of everything. It didn't matter what the terrain was, we used the bike for everything and went everywhere. I watched my brother use an ole 10 speed bike hitting the trails. It didn't do so well, but we were kids having fun. So what.
 

joshposh

Banned
Apr 16, 2015
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FetishRider said:
What exactly is a single speed designed for?
It was made for casual riding. Nothing serious. When you start getting into rough terrain or long distances, then you want to step it up to geared bikes that were designed for multi purposes.
 

vennycash

New Member
May 6, 2015
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FetishRider said:
What exactly is a single speed designed for?
Back in the day, all bikes used to be singlespeeds. Then we started adding gears to bikes to increase the things they can do. But some people still prefer older designs since they are lighter and more durable. They are also cheaper because they have less parts.

This is very similar to how film photography is still around for certain applications like large scale printing. There will always be some things that the old way will be better at than the new way.
 

JoanMcWench

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Feb 17, 2015
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I try to avoid them like the plague but there are occasions where I ride 'cruisers'. It's not my preferred method & speaking to your first point I ALWAYS ride them like I would my mountain bike. It's just force of habit. You learn after an hour or so...right in them legs...
 

FetishRider

Member
Feb 12, 2005
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Fremont, CA
I'm well aware of the potential of a single speed bike. I own everything from bmx bikes to track bikes. A " singlespeed" can be built for any purpose. Not all bikes with one gear are beach cruisers.
 

DancingLady

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Mar 9, 2015
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Yes, my first adult bike was a gift from someone who couldn't use it anymore. The gear shifter was broken. I commuted 2 miles to work every day with it like that for s good six months before getting a new bike that was right for me. It was really, really hard to get up the steepest part of my ride home, after running around all day, in the blazing sun. When I got s new one, the difference was incredible.
 

DancingLady

Member
Mar 9, 2015
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Yes, my first adult bike was a gift from someone who couldn't use it anymore. The gear shifter was broken. I commuted 2 miles to work every day with it like that for s good six months before getting a new bike that was right for me. It was really, really hard to get up the steepest part of my ride home, after running around all day, in the blazing sun. When I got s new one, the difference was incredible.
 

Catsyo

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May 6, 2015
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That's sort of the situation I'm in now. My only bike is a late 80s or early 90s Murray cruiser single speed bike. I use it to as my main mode of transportation so I ride a few miles back and forth everyday. My area of town is really hilly and the bike is extremely heavy, so it's definitely hard to ride. It's not impossible though since hills are easier standing up. The plus side is I've definitely lost weight riding it around.

I hesitate to say single speeds aren't designed to take hills because I've ridden a really nice single speed road bike that took hills great. It just had a lot lighter frame than my cruiser and it road a lot smoother. Taking hills on that nicer bike was pretty easy. I didn't really miss having gears at all.
 

ZXD22

Active Member
Mar 21, 2015
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USA, MA, Cape Cod
I used it once during our mountain bike expeditions and boy was it tough! I couldn't even pedal up all the way because it was so touch especially on a 50 degree slope! My recommendation, never bike up a mountain with a single speed lol!
 

BikeBikeBikeBike

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2015
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OH YEA.
For a good # of years in my late teens my single speed bike was the only bike I had.
I used that baby for everything. Commuting around town, beer rides with the boys, trails, smaller local DH stuff, jumps, skateparks...
It actually worked really, really well.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Chris Boardman and a history of things you shouldn't do a on fixed gear but, hey, what the heck.

Steel tubes, no aero hat and wheels only used by hipsters (the aerospoke) - for Chris that's a 45 minute, 25 mile TT. The course wasn't exactly flat. 53x12 fixed.

ChrisB.jpg


Wanna ride up hill at warp speed?

CB29.JPG


That was taken enroute to another National Hill Climb champs in England on Pendle Hill on s 60 inch gear - or 42x19 for the 12% average (16% max) hill.

The "ultimate" hour record - 56.4km, almost 2km better than Wiggo's recent attempt.

BOARDMAN_Christopher001.jpg
 

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