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Why Singlespeed/Fixed?

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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Why Singlespeed/Fixed?

Old 03-13-22, 08:49 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Ymerej View Post

Fixed gear PROPER. No janky bs here
This is a sweet bike! Also - is that Orange County CA?
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Old 03-13-22, 08:57 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
This is a sweet bike! Also - is that Orange County CA?
Thank you! Yes it is oc ca
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Old 03-13-22, 09:29 AM
  #28  
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I ride my SS(s) mostly on solo rides because I enjoy keeping a certain cadence. When I hit that zone it's almost therapeudic.
I rarely ride my geared bikes now....but when I do it's mostly because I'm riding with others.
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Old 03-14-22, 04:02 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Dude! As much as I dislike aluminum, the Stormchaser's weight and tire clearance has landed it on my short list of lust-after bikes! Because I already have two SS gravel/CX bikes, there's no way I can justify it, but I've been sorely tempted to sell one of them to get that Salsa. The sample I test rode last summer was an absolute rocket.
Yes it's *THAT* good. You're limited on top speed especially downhill but if you're willing to let go of a handful of MPH on the top end it will whisk your heart away especially on moderate (but not super steep) climbs where the SS efficiency really shines.

I use it as my winter beater and city commuter bike so I don't have to worry as much about derailleur and drivetrain maintenance. Put over 4k miles on it since buying it Spring 2020 and I have a couple other bikes as well. Might be my favorite bike!
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Old 03-14-22, 06:31 PM
  #30  
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I like riding my single speed bike because it's more fun than my multi-geared bike. I have a second bike that remains a fixed gear but haven't been on it in quite a while. I thought the single speed would dampen my love of riding but it didn't. I find I get a better workout on my fixed or single speed. It certainly has improved my strength going up hills. When I get on my geared bike it almost feels like cheating going up hills.

Back in the day (mid 1970's) I worked in bike shops and every self-respecting bike mechanic built a "track bike" from old bike parts. I built mine from my old Peugeot 10-speed and it was ugly but fun to ride. When the Fixie craze hit that was all I needed to go and rekindle my love of fixed geared bikes.
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Old 03-15-22, 03:57 AM
  #31  
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I ride Fixed and dirt Jump

I started riding fixed because of all the cool tricks you could do and skidding to be honest.
And I stayed for the connectiveness to my bike, as well as the simplicity of the bike it's self.
Also I'm building one from scratch at the moment and going all out Crazy with the parts seems to be more excepted in the fixed gear community.

I also have a DJ but that's just Singlespeed.. sending jumps fixed on that thing would be bonkers..
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Old 03-28-22, 09:39 PM
  #32  
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I just like it. It's simple. It's different. A different connection to the road. I like my 3x7 but fixie seems less gimmicky. I can change my cog teeth count for changes in gear ratios. Bike feels like it is working with me going up hills. Total different experience. I travel easier. Got to stay on your toes concerning stops, starts, and everyday situations you face while biking. Changing up is fun for me. If I feel like gears, I take my 3x7. If I feel like no gears, I jump on my fixie. Change is good
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Old 03-30-22, 09:03 AM
  #33  
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I started riding fixed in 95 on a Schwinn Paramount track bike I got in trade for a Miyata Country Runner. Schwinn was too big for me and geared too high, so I sold it for a phenomenal fee. Fast forward 10 years to 05. I was recovering from my first of 3 knee surgeries and decided to quit Ultra distance riding. I got really bored. I decided to slap together an old Miyata hybrid frame as a fixed gear bike and I was hooked. As mentioned earlier, Zen like, being one with the bike. I ended up building several, best one being a Miyata(There's a theme here) Carbon Tech 3000.


Not one to be content with just one speed on a fixed gear bike, I began farting around with multi speed fixed gear hubs. I built several 2 speeds out of AW hubs, one 3 speed from an FW, and a 2 speed from an ancient Bendix.The SA hubs also provided a neutral position if you just wanted to stand up and get your butt off the saddle on a long ride.I commuted year round on the 2 speed Tetanus Express for 8 years.


I ride the 3 speed fixed Super Course almost exclusively now but am currently redoing a Gitane Mexico as a single speed fixed gear as I've moved to a place with few hills.

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Old 03-31-22, 08:50 PM
  #34  
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I started riding fixed/single speed because it's been a while and I wanted a different feel. I also wanted something my ride friends would look at (fixed, no brakes) and not want to ask to take for a test ride
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Old 04-01-22, 07:32 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
Anything that makes you want to get out and ride is a good thing.
That's my thought too.
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Old 04-01-22, 07:42 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bikamper View Post
I started riding fixed in 95 on a Schwinn Paramount track bike I got in trade for a Miyata Country Runner. Schwinn was too big for me and geared too high, so I sold it for a phenomenal fee. Fast forward 10 years to 05. I was recovering from my first of 3 knee surgeries and decided to quit Ultra distance riding. I got really bored. I decided to slap together an old Miyata hybrid frame as a fixed gear bike and I was hooked. As mentioned earlier, Zen like, being one with the bike. I ended up building several, best one being a Miyata(There's a theme here) Carbon Tech 3000.


Not one to be content with just one speed on a fixed gear bike, I began farting around with multi speed fixed gear hubs. I built several 2 speeds out of AW hubs, one 3 speed from an FW, and a 2 speed from an ancient Bendix.The SA hubs also provided a neutral position if you just wanted to stand up and get your butt off the saddle on a long ride.I commuted year round on the 2 speed Tetanus Express for 8 years.


I ride the 3 speed fixed Super Course almost exclusively now but am currently redoing a Gitane Mexico as a single speed fixed gear as I've moved to a place with few hills.

That's one serious chainring that wouldn't be good on hills unless you have tree trunk thighs. Cool Ural by the way. I had a 2009 Patrol at one point in my motorcycling days. Loved flying the chair with my dog wearing doggles of course.
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Old 04-02-22, 07:36 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by takenreasy View Post
That's one serious chainring that wouldn't be good on hills unless you have tree trunk thighs. Cool Ural by the way. I had a 2009 Patrol at one point in my motorcycling days. Loved flying the chair with my dog wearing doggles of course.
That is a 52T Viscount ring running through my 3 speed Fixed FW hub. High gear is somewhere in the neighborhood of the high seventies. Low is in the low fifties. Not great for hills but I live in Illannoy.
The Ural is a hoot. It's a 2007 Gear Up that I ride year round. More dependable than my Honda and more fun than you are legally allowed to have. I just got a dog and got him Doggles. I'm waiting for the yard to dry out so I can see how he does in the side car. He is not a fan of the Doggles, tho.
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Old 04-02-22, 02:07 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by bikamper View Post
That is a 52T Viscount ring running through my 3 speed Fixed FW hub. High gear is somewhere in the neighborhood of the high seventies. Low is in the low fifties. Not great for hills but I live in Illannoy.
The Ural is a hoot. It's a 2007 Gear Up that I ride year round. More dependable than my Honda and more fun than you are legally allowed to have. I just got a dog and got him Doggles. I'm waiting for the yard to dry out so I can see how he does in the side car. He is not a fan of the Doggles, tho.
I noticed in your pics of your cool bikes in the "Post Your SS/FG Bikes" thread that you mentioned multi-gear fixed hubs a few times. Then it slipped my mind but I'm glad you mentioned it again here to remind me.

I went through hell with a Sturmey Archer S3X some years back. It sounded so good and I wanted to like it so badly but it never worked well. Thank god I found someone to give it to who was going to fix it with some kind of upgrade kit SA ended up giving out. Which makes me interested in yours. You fixed both 2 & 3 speed SA hubs? And you mentioned FW & AW hubs? Are those the different SA models? Back when I was screwing around with that damned S3X I found some Sheldon Brown stuff on the interwebz about fixing SA 3-speed hubs but it was beyond my skills. Wouldn't mind hearing more about your experiences with it. Please tell us(me?) more.

Ride safe...
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Old 04-02-22, 04:11 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
I noticed in your pics of your cool bikes in the "Post Your SS/FG Bikes" thread that you mentioned multi-gear fixed hubs a few times. Then it slipped my mind but I'm glad you mentioned it again here to remind me.

I went through hell with a Sturmey Archer S3X some years back. It sounded so good and I wanted to like it so badly but it never worked well. Thank god I found someone to give it to who was going to fix it with some kind of upgrade kit SA ended up giving out. Which makes me interested in yours. You fixed both 2 & 3 speed SA hubs? And you mentioned FW & AW hubs? Are those the different SA models? Back when I was screwing around with that damned S3X I found some Sheldon Brown stuff on the interwebz about fixing SA 3-speed hubs but it was beyond my skills. Wouldn't mind hearing more about your experiences with it. Please tell us(me?) more.

Ride safe...
I wanted an S3X so bad I could taste it. I got one for a b'day present years ago. It's still in the box.

A short history of the Cheesy hubs.

The 2 Speed SA is made from a post 1963/pre-SunRace Sturmey Archer AW 3 speed hub. It's not a super complicated job. I've built several. I won't go into specifics now but what happens with the conversion is that high gear is eliminated so you have low and direct gears. Unless a special sliding clutch is machined, there will be slop in the drive train. I have several thousand miles on MkII version* of this hub without the special clutch. The slop doesn't bother me but others don't care for it.

The 3 Speed SA hub is made from a post 1963/pre-SunRace Sturmey Archer FW 4 speed hub. This job is quite a bit more complicated as it requires parts from a Sturmey Archer S5/1 hub, which are getting harder to find. I've only built one. What you end up with is Very Low, Low, and Direct gears. The gear spacing is a tad wider than on the old Sturmey Archer ASC 3 speed fixed gear hub but narrower than the S3X. There is slop in Very Low, less in Low, and almost none in Direct. This is due to the different planet cages and axles between the 3 and 4 speed hubs.

The 2 Speed Bendix conversion is made from a 1950s manually shifted Bendix Power Brake 2 Speed hub. Not a kickback hub. I've made a couple of these. Only complicated if you don't have the tools. Or JB Weld. One is in my garage. The other is in the UK. There is no slop in this hub, it's very robust, and stupid simple. A good friend once told me that it's the Uncouth American Cousin of the Sturmey Archer TF 2 speed fixed gear hub. What the TF does with agility and grace, the Bendix does with brute force.

As far as converting the Sturmey hubs, tools needed are a RA grinder with a 1/4" grinding wheel, a Dremel with cutoff wheels(you're gonna break a few), a Sharpie, and a way to drive out the left hand cup from the hub shell, and a way to get the shell back in place when the cutting is done. I'll get pictures up a bit later. Gotta hunt them down but it takes me 1.5 to 2 hrs to do the conversion. Longer if the hub is a PITA to get apart, which happens more often than not

The Bendix requires just a screwdriver and a crescent wrench to get apart. Ditch the coaster brake parts; spreader, shoes, and spacers. Braze or JB Weld the driven screw into the hub shell, then braze or JB Weld drive screw/planet cage to the already fixed in place driven screw. Reassemble. Got pictures of this one some place, too.

Some notes. The Sturmey Archer hubs can be set up with a neutral position for coasting. I use a Sturmey trigger** with the 2 speed hub. The N position is the neutral position. I use a friction shifter with the 3 speed hub. Full forward is Direct. Full back is Very Low, Between the two is Low.
There is no neutral in the Bendix hub. Shifting between gears requires the crank to be turning but the shifts are instant, silent, and seamless. Almost 15 years down the road from the first Cheesy hub, I probably won't do another 3 speed. The FW and S5/1 hubs are too rare. A Bendix, maybe, but the hub shell needs to be a flaky chrome and rusty POS before I'd even consider it.

*The MkI version failed completely at the end of my driveway on its maiden voyage. I lived on top of a hill. The test mule, aka, The Tetanus Express, got brakes after I was able to unpucker myself from the saddle.

**Never use a worn trigger. A hard bump while coasting at 20+ mph can cause the trigger to shift into high gear. You'll probably get 10s across the board from onlookers for the landing, whether you stick it or not(you won't). It hurts. A lot.
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Old 04-03-22, 08:11 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Ymerej View Post
Fixed gear PROPER. No janky bs here
Man this is a great bike. love to see some people do this fixed gear totally. Brakeless is fun at times, but at this age i prefer to be safe and theres nothing wrong with it.
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Old 04-03-22, 11:10 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by chdrd View Post
Man this is a great bike. love to see some people do this fixed gear totally. Brakeless is fun at times, but at this age i prefer to be safe and theres nothing wrong with it.

Thanks, much appreciated.
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Old 04-04-22, 05:24 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by bikamper View Post
I wanted an S3X so bad I could taste it. I got one for a b'day present years ago. It's still in the box.

A short history of the Cheesy hubs...

Thanks a lot for the info. You got me kinda interested in multi-fixed again so if you should ever decide to move your S3X along to be used - please keep me in mind.

Ride safe...
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Old 04-04-22, 06:27 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
I went through hell with a Sturmey Archer S3X some years back. It sounded so good and I wanted to like it so badly but it never worked well. Thank god I found someone to give it to who was going to fix it with some kind of upgrade kit SA ended up giving out.
The early production S3X hubs had problems. Later production sorted that out. I've had one of the later ones for about a decade now with no issues. It's my bad weather bike, but I've also ridden century rides on it without problems. The only thing I'm not crazy about it the odd gear ratios: 0.625/0.75/1,0; I would have preferred closer spacing at the high end with a big jump to a bail-out gear for hills and headwinds, like the old ASC ratios: 0.75/0.90/1.0
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Old 04-08-22, 05:27 PM
  #44  
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Anyone here like to squint their eyes and close them on a quiet traffic free descent?
I'm talking fixed.
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Old 04-08-22, 05:47 PM
  #45  
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No never!

Originally Posted by bironi View Post
Anyone here like to squint their eyes and close them on a quiet traffic free descent?
I'm talking fixed.
Ha ha, too much of a control freak for that move I guess....

I would be too afraid of an unseen pot hole or a rat, raccoon or cat suddenly running into my path.

I ride track bikes in the street for the quick handling and maneuverability.
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Old 04-08-22, 06:26 PM
  #46  
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Yes, we're riding in different environments.
I understand your take.
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Old 04-16-22, 08:16 PM
  #47  
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I don’t ride fixed-gear exclusively; however, it’s a wonderful form of code-shifting. By alternating the type of bicycle I use, especially in highly interactive, urban environments, I have developed a broader skill-set, and a broader understanding, of safe bicycle handling.
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Old 04-17-22, 05:33 AM
  #48  
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I like my SS because it's simple, and I just "needed" one, because of(other than my ss cruiser) my other geared bikes. I don't think I'll ever go fixed again, but this is close enough. The best thing is I hardly(relatively speaking) spent any money on building it. Six items I paid for, excluding stickers and innertubes.
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Old 04-22-22, 01:08 PM
  #49  
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i ride this when i'm too hung over to FIX
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Old 04-22-22, 01:41 PM
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Thank you very much for this insight! I'm not a biker (just ride for getting from A to B...) so I really didn't understand why anybody would voluntarily chose fewer gears.
It now makes much more sense
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