Gearing Not Gears.

Some people hate singlespeeders.

Some people are just not interested.

Some people are interested but think it is too hard.  

Some people just don't know how to start.

We cannot help those in the first two catagories.  I can only say that they are missing out on a purity of cycling pleasure and Singlespeeding in Summer is fast, quiet and fun with less to go wrong.  So if you are interested in singlespeeding this summer here are a few tips to secretly try:

Techniques: 

Take small steps to try before you buy in.  Tape: try taping those shifers into the following "medium" gears 32:16 for 26" or 32:18 for 29ers.  This will get you used to the fact that you can get up hills only using 1 gear and some pedalling out of the saddle.

1 speed kit: 

With a small investment you can run singlespeed even on a vertical dropout frame.  Most bike shops sell spacers and a rear cog and a tensioner.  
Your cassette gets removed from your wheel and replaced by one cog and some spacers.  It is worth getting a new shorter chain.  
Clean and service your derailleur, shifters and cables.
Take advise from a friend or a friendly bikeshop.

2nd Speed: 

Carry some speed at the bottom part of the hill so that you can get 1/2 way up the otherside without too much effort. 
You might need to pedal out of the saddle, but you will realise how much energy is lost by a bad gear change or being in the wrong gear.

3rd speed: 

It is okay to push, most downhill riders do, but you will not be pushing 40lbs worth of bike. Pushing is faster than "granny gear".

You will only need to oil your chain in Summer and your fitness will be ready for when winter arrives.  But hey, lets not talk about winter and the 32:20T gearing needed, because the great british summer is here and it has been a good one so far....

Steven OlsenComment