Singlespeeds - In What Way Better?

Discussion in 'Singlespeed' started by klia, May 25, 2006.

  1. klia

    klia New Member

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    Dear All,

    It was said to me that multi-speed bikes have been invented to make pedalling easier. Well, I am a newbie and so I'd like to know in what way multispeed-bikes are indeed better than singlespeeds and in what way aren't, and what are the unique advantages of singlespeeds. Could you, please, tell me about that?

    I'll be happy with a cross-reference as well if there was once a topic dealing with this question!

    (The subject is weighty for me as my knees are not that good and so I'd need a bike which favours them the most.
     
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  2. spockroyaltea

    spockroyaltea New Member

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    copied from wikipedia.org's article on fixed gears:
    "light weight, simplicity, low maintenance, and because they are unusual. Another reason cited by messengers for their popularity is their theft-deterrence: riding away on a stolen track bicycle is difficult if the thief does not have previous experience riding one, and since they have less parts, they are often less valuable to a theif than fancier multi-speed bicycles."

    Ive had a road bike for a while and have recently become the owner of a single speed. While I still plan on doing much of my training/longer rides on the geared machine, the singlespeed is going to be my commuter. They are just simpler, lighter and easier to maintain.
     
  3. duskins

    duskins New Member

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    Dear Klia,

    I have only been seriously riding my bicycle in the last 18 months. I pridefully own and ride everyday (though I am not a commuter) a singlespeed 2004 Bianchi S.A.S.S. aka, "My Italian Bitches sexy ass." or "Sassy" as I call it. Since taking cycling more seriously and riding more aggressively, and really steppig it up since this spring, I don't think I will ever purchase anything other than a manufactured singlespeed. I am considering acquiring a singlespeed cyclecross bike next month: Bianchi San Jose (at a mere cost of 570 in comparison to its geared counterpart of $900) and plan on using it for touring and commuting the 10 mile long trip each way to work. You asked for benefits, so from personal experience here goes:

    1.) I ride with both singlespeed riders and geared cyclists. I outride friends with geared bikes from an endurance and speed standpoint with the only exception of long runs on flat plains.

    2.) My bike requires no maintenance aside changing tubes and adjusting the disc brakes once in a while.

    3.) My no suspension $800 bicycle with 26 x 2.4 inch tires (my suspension) weighs 17 lbs. (holy sh!t that's light). (You can get a SS for much cheaper than this btw, getting a good frame I personally think is worth it, it has value to feel good about adding better components to your bike as you ride it more often).

    4.) I never get tired. My friends do. (My friend's full-suspension specialized $2,000 and some change bike weighs around 31 pounds, I think that's considered light for what it is. And my father's full-suspension $3,100 PORSCHE bike weights 25 pounds and it's made out freaking of magnesium).

    5.) I have yet to find any mountain, hill, road, revine, whatever that I can't ride up. Oh and my bike doesn't make annoying ass noises. I hear the crank everyonce in a while when I'm really hammering it, but other than that, it's a very quiet and relaxing ride.

    6.) Anytime I show up to a gather of bicyclists, whether it be grocery shopping or at a race in Park City (Dear Valley) people look at my bike and go "What in the hell is that?" or "how many gears does that thing have?" blah blah blah, and since I am attention whore and adore my individualism I love that my bike stands out from the crowd. How many singlespeed italian bicycles with no suspension and gigantic tires, with a chrome frame do you see riding around? I haven't seen another yet. :-D

    7.) Have you ever tried to ride a bike drunk with gears? Yeah, me either, singlespeed works well with a group of friends all ready go drunken cycling on their mutually awesome singlespeed and fixed gear bikes.

    I don't know if the above helps you or not, but the statements I have written are what first comes to mind, my true experience and did I mention? I'm sure I wrote pridefully, but it's true, I love my bike and I love the culture that surrounds it.

    Best,

    -duskins ; )
    22-years-old
    SLC, UT
     
  4. jamesdemien

    jamesdemien New Member

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    There are advantages to both and they've been stated here. I'm not sure everyone has the legs of the dude above to ride through Park City without gears...

    Smoother, quieter, lighter are all the tangible aspects of the single speed. The real advantage is a bit more ethereal...you feel more connected to the bike, the single speed feels like an extension of your legs and body. The single speed feels like a Borg implant and just works with the collective of you, the bike and the road...

    Conversely, gears allow you to go faster with less pedaling effort but it feels like there is more between your foot and the ground.
     
  5. mezzinator

    mezzinator New Member

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    Ha ha :) That sounds like a lot of fun!!! :) I'm gonna try it sometime.
     
  6. FreeHueco

    FreeHueco New Member

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    I've ridden my geared roadie home drunk many times from friends' houses. Which is nice, since I live a good distance away from them. Hence, by the time I get home I've sobered up. I haven't yet had the opportunity to ride my San Jose home drunk, but surely the day is coming...
     
  7. duskins

    duskins New Member

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    Ride one. You'll see. ;)

    I ride a Bianchi S.A.S.S. -- Mountain biking never sounded so sweet. . . it's just your breath, the sound of the earth moving as your tires tread over the ground below, the sound that "mountains have" and your free wheel. Singlespeeds in my experience remind of legs (go figure, lol): You have one pair. You run to go fast. You walk to go slow. you jog to keep a decent pace. They're all done with the same legs. . . riding a ss bike feels like an extension of the body, again, this is only my personal experience.

    If you're looking for legitimate logical basis to pick an ss or a fixie over a geared bike, you'll never get there. My gut instict tells me from the many friends I have that exclusively ride fixie and, or ss, whether it be mountain, cyclecross or commuter, they're not necessarily riding these bikes because the singlespeed is "better," in the context I think you have implied. . .

    Test one out, test out a geared-bike. You'll know pretty quickly. (There is probably reason why ss and fixie are a minority, but who knows?)

    PS - I charge hills and that makes me feel better about the world.



     
  8. Old Breadbutt

    Old Breadbutt New Member

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    you can't do backwards circles on a non fixed bike, and I like being able to do backwards circles.

    it's not the def only reason I ride a fixed gear bike, but I didn't want to repeat what's already been said, and I thought it worth mentioning.
     
  9. Derek.vt

    Derek.vt New Member

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    from sheldonbrown.com:

    "
    Paradoxically, a singlespeed is, in another sense more efficient than a multispeed bike! While the single gear ratio will not be the "perfect" gear ratio for all conditions, in the conditions which fit the single gear, it is considerably more efficient mechanically than the drive train of a derailer bike.

    A singlespeed bike dispenses with the weight of the derailers, shifters, cables, extra sprockets and longer chain. In addition, a singlespeed gear train runs the chain in a perfectly straight line from sprocket to chainwheel, and avoids the serpentine wind through the pullies of a derailer. You can really feel the difference! A singlespeed is noticeably quicker and easier to pedal than a multispeed bike in the same gain ratio.

    Singlespeed bikes are also considerably more sturdy and reliable than multispeed bikes. There's no derailer to catch on the underbrush or to get overshifted into the spokes. The rear wheel itself is a lot stronger than one made with off-center (dished) spoking to make room for a whole bunch of sprockets on one side."


    http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html


    -Derek
     
  10. NewRiderMan

    NewRiderMan New Member

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    A Single Speed has less parts to break, and the chainrings seem to hold the chain a bit better. (Many times with my old 10 speed I had the chain slip off due to poor maintenance on my part.) With my Murray single, A can of WD-40 Sprit Sprit on the chain, rear sprocket, and front chainring. bump the chain to verify tension and peddle off into the sunset and get chicks.

    With a geared bike I spent more time keeping the bike maintained and in good shape than I ever spent riding it. It seems that all the shifter mechs and all seemed to suck the lube right out of the chain in under two hours. With my single, I can ride for days without another spray of WD.

    Cable tension, shift lever bolt tightness, brake cable lubing, shift cable lubing, "Is that cable getting frayed?". All that stuff is not my problem any more. Plus, with a single chaining a rear flat is brutally simple, unlike with many geared rigs.
     
  11. velohell

    velohell New Member

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    WD-40 is a total no! all that will do is work grit into your chain and provide you with more work/ cost in parts down the road.

    use a simple detergent and a bristly brush to clean the chain. rinse with a damp cloth towel. coat liberally with a chain lube of your choice (i use pedro's ice wax, but that's just me...)
     
  12. cluster blaster

    cluster blaster New Member

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    I disagree with that! I found WD-40 very good. I actually CLEAN the chain as I spray it on each link.

    I've been using chain lubes and all that (degrease, wash, wipe&dry, re-grease) but had actually never had my chain cleaner than when maintained with WD-40.

    I guess it depends on how you use the spray... I spray each link with the nozzle close to it. I do give it a generous blow of the stuff and then just wipe the chain. Then just hop on the bike and I'm off cycling... Works very well, is cheap and saves time!
     
  13. velohell

    velohell New Member

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    if it works for you, that's awesome, but the the thing is, i suspect that WD-40 removes the factory grease that has been packed into the bushings of a chain, and that's a bad thing. once that's gone it's gone. no chain lube can get in there, and your drivechain is gonna lash out. WD-40 is a solvent, after all. it great at breaking up dirt and grease, but it is definitetly not a lubricant. if you clean your chain with a solvent, you need to replace it somehow, like water when you are thirsty, you know?

    if it works for you, that's awesome, i mean, no one knows everything, but in my experience, WD-40 is only usefull for un-sticking parts.

    maybe try a combo of WD with a lube after you rinse the chain.

    anyway, ride hard and safe.
     
  14. velohell

    velohell New Member

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    ps. clean is not the same as a healthy bike. a sparkly chain doesn't mean you have a great drive. just sayin...
     
  15. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    ==========================================================
    Don't know about the geared system getting out of whack comments. I have been training on my singlespeed(not fixed) for months now but before that I had years of riding multispeeds(and I still race every weekend on my multispeed) and found/find once I've set my multispeeds derailleurs etc up well there are almost no problems with them(and that is doing about 8 - 11 000kms a year).
    CRC WD40 isn't a lubricant that is suitable for bicycle chains - moisture etc will make it leave very quickly.
     
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