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Old 02-03-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
James Dent
Departed James Dent is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 99
Which is better - fixed wheel or freewheeling single speed?

I want to convert my mountain bike

Any ideas greatly appreciated

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Old 02-03-2006, 11:45 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tucson  AZ
Posts: 2,264
I like fixed-gears, I have a road bike.

On a mountain bike, if one rides off-road, I'd guess that a freewheel would be less risky as one's pedal stroke isn't always "committed" like a fixed-gear. This would factor into hopping the bike, cornering hard, going on steep downhills, and several other areas. I personally would want a freewheel if I was going off-road. I like the fixed-gear on the road as it teaches me a better pedal stroke when I go downhill by having to learn to "go with the pedals" as opposed to coasting.

Dr. G
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:42 PM   #3
Francis Bruening
Posts: n/a

How much cycling do you do, and more importantly, what type of terrain?

Fixed gear riding is (IMO) much more difficult for the casual rider. It's best suited for level terrain, and you'll die if you try to go down any serious hills (or you'll be riding the brake to keep your rpms under control, and yes, I know the purists don't have a brake on the bike).

I used to love riding a fixed gear in San Jose, which was very flat. At the time I was really into cycling, and as Garrett says, it's great for developing a supple and fluid pedal stroke. But I don't think it's for the casual CF'er who simply uses cycling as just another modality. The learning curve is pretty steep.

IMO, you're much better off with a single speed (per the CF Journal article #42), if you're looking for a good workout. The fixed gear bikes are fun but require dedication.

And now that I live in Portland OR, which is all hills, especially where I live, I (sadly) no longer have a fixed gear bike...

Just a suggestion; before converting your MTN bike, borrow or try a fixed gear... See if you're willing to put in the time and energy to master it .

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Old 02-03-2006, 11:33 PM   #4
Jibreel Freeland
Member Jibreel Freeland is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Seattle  WA
Posts: 548
Funny this thread was started, I was just in the bike store this morning trying to get to gether the parts to build a single speed freewheel roadbike.

I couldn't imagine having to peddle through turns. As it is I almost (and sometimes do) get hit by cars once every 1.5 days or so, so I am not really willing to make in city car traffic bicycling more riskier than it already is.
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Old 02-05-2006, 06:58 AM   #5
James Dent
Departed James Dent is offline
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Posts: 99
Garrett, Francis, Jibreel

Thanks for the replies. I do 100% off road biking, hills are a major feature.

I'm not going to rush into converting it, and will try one out first as suggested.

Cheers guys
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Old 02-05-2006, 06:18 PM   #6
Motion Macivor
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: prince george  BC
Posts: 287
James Check out
they've got lots of really cool single speed hop ups for mountainbikes.
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