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Old 02-02-2006, 10:00 AM   #1
Garrett Smith
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In the new CFJ, from what I could tell, a distinction was not made between fixed-gear and freewheel single-speed bikes.

I have a tiny little bit of slack in my fixed-gear chain that I would like to fix (it hasn't been a problem--yet, and I ride up some good hills regularly). So I saw the Singleator in the new CFJ and got excited.

I contacted Surly Bikes regarding the use of a Singleator on a fixed-gear road bike. This was their reply, prompt I might add:

"The Singleator is never never to be used with a fixed gear setup.

Period.

As a freewheel tensioner, it can be used with road bikes and mountain bikes, but never on a fixed gear.

Never on a fixed gear.

Cool?

Thanks,
Eric Sovern
Surly Bikes"

It might be proper to clarify for those CFers out there who are now excited about pursuing a single-speed that there are significant differences between the two setups.

Dr. G
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:56 PM   #2
Seth Orell, Jr.
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I'm meeting with a friend this weekend who first introduced me to SS biking - he had a converted mountain bike and I though he had gone bonkers. I hope to have him help me with my impending conversion to SS. Anyway, he is a professional bicycle mechanic when he's not playing cello and I plan on picking he brain and reporting back what I've found.

Garrett, I'll ask him about the Singleator and similar devices.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:10 PM   #3
Ryan Heck
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http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed/index.html is the absolute authority on fixed gears. I have had a few in the past.
Garrett - any chain tensioning device (like the singulator) keeps the chain tight when going forward, the problem is when you back pedal the chain slacks, then sucks, then you crash....really hard. Surly makes the fixxer, which "fixes" most Shimano hubs. Keep in mind also whenever you put a fixed cog on anything it is most important that you use some sort of lockring!!! Otherwise your gear will spin off when back pedaling. http://www.irocycle.com for cheap fixed bikes ready to go. Buying fixed specific gear is really the best way to go. But if you are trying to do it "on the cheap" go to your bike store and ask for some "half-links" which as the name implies is one link that fits where two normally do. http://www.webcyclery.com/home.php?cat=441 if your bike store doesn't have them.


BTW - anyone who wants some 7000' singlespeeding fun drop me a line if you are in the Flagstaff area.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:12 AM   #4
greg bass
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Ryan,

What gear ratio are you using?

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Old 02-03-2006, 11:39 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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Ryan,
I had another guy make a bike I got on the cheap into a fixed-gear. I'm sure it's got everything I need on it, not a single problem yet. I just had it checked out at the Ordinary Bike Shop in Tucson--most of the employees there are fixie fanatics--the service guy would have preferred there was a tiny bit more tension in the chain, he also said that if it had been okay to this point (which it has), it will probably be fine for good. What can I say, between loving my bike and being a perfectionist, I'd be happiest if it was flawless.

I'll take you up on that ride offer if I come up your way, if you come down to Tucson, I live in the Sabino Canyon area with lots of ups and downs around, the same ride offer applies to other people...

Dr. G
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:17 PM   #6
Rod Pettiford
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Help me out here; is there any *real* difference in biking with a single-speed bike and simply remaining in a similar gear on a multi-speed bike?
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Old 02-03-2006, 11:32 PM   #7
Ryan Heck
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Geeg - for the trails here in Flag most singlespeeders on 26" wheels run a 34/20 or a 32/18
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Old 02-03-2006, 11:33 PM   #8
Ryan Heck
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Greg - sorry (not geeg) btw that's front/rear chainring
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:51 AM   #9
winston endall
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Rod

There are two things that stand out about riding a dedicated single speed of staying in one gear on a geared bike.

First is the practical end. Less weight, less maintanence, less chance of dropped chain, better performance in mud and snow, more mechanical efficency (chain doesn't have to bend through derailleur), No derrailleur to whack off rocks.

Second is the psychological/spiritual side of single speeding. Commitment. It takes away the temptation to wimp out and gear down when your baked.

Crossfit training really helps become a better single speeder and vice versa. You need to exert forceful muscular contraction while fatigued. Part of why I continue with cross fit over other systems is the way it test me both physically and mentally. Singlespeeding it the same.

Plus after you've gotten used to it you will find riding a dedicated singlespeed will be faster in most situations.

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Old 02-05-2006, 07:44 AM   #10
Rod Pettiford
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Winston:

Thanks for the thoughtful explanation; it all makes sense. I'm just an occasional rider, but have always ridden in a fairly narrow gear range, even when it resulted in some real pedal mashing, and am kind of intrigued by the single speed concept. I just wanted more info to balance the cost/benefit comparison.

Thanks again.
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