Dipping my toe into the world of single speed...

jayonabike

Powered by caffeine & whisky
Location
Hertfordshire
The Mrs has agreed to me having £500 to spend on what i want:biggrin: so i thought about a single speed/fixie.

The thing is i live in the Chilterns and there are lots of hills where i am. I want this bike to be for pottering around town, round to my mates, nip up the shops etc, maybe use for work as well ( i only work 1.8 miles away from home)

Having never had a single speed will i find it hard on the hills? I currently cycle around 20 miles a day on my road bike and am pretty fit for an ex-smoking 40 year old. I love the clean lines of a S/S so i thought maybe a bike with internal hub gears instead, like the Charge mixer, Cooper 5 Speed T200 Reims or Cotic road rat with Alfine gears, but then the price goes up by £400/£500.

Anyway the S/S i like the look of are

Cooper T100 Sebring
http://www.cooperbikes.com/T100-lightweightstreetbike.html
Cooper T100 Monza
http://www.cooperbikes.com/T100-streetbike.html
These 2 are a little over budget.


Charge plug
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/charge/plug-2010-road-bike-ec020534
Charge plug griffin
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/charge/plug-griffin-2010-road-bike-ec020532
Both these are bang on the money and out of the 2 i prefere the griffin.

Specialized Langster steel
http://www.specialized.com/gb/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=45784&eid=4350&menuItemId=8096
I like this bike the most out of my list and i know i'll get 10% off from my LBS giving me £50 to spend on either straight or bullhorns which is what i'm after.

So should i go for one of these single speeds or save up another £500 ish and go for one of the internal geared bikes i mentioned?

Jay

P.S If there's any other bikes i havn't mentioned that i should have, feel free to educate a newbie....cheers!
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Personally, I'd buy a Fuji Feather for that sort of price (I saw one today and its a pretty looking bike for the price) and stick a brake on the front of it. Will come in under £500 including an added brake.

http://www.velodromeshop.org.uk/index.php?p=product&id=768

Evans sell them too, and have more colour options.

The Charge plugs are good bikes, both bikes have the same frame, just different components and paint schemes. Bit fashionable, lots of hipsters ride charge bikes (usually the freestyler) - dont know if this bothers you. They are meant to be really heavy and built like brick sh*thouses though. Good for commuting and smashing about in a city centre. But they have a sense of gimmickry in them for me.

Personally if saving a bit more cash is an option I would do that, and look at something like the Dolan Pre-Cursa (if you arent set on steel, that is), or build your own SS. because like you said, even at the point or purchase there is something you want to change on your favourite of those bikes you mentioned above. Why change things when you can build a bike up with exactly what you want for an equivalent price.

Or go super cheap and get something like an Edinbourgh bike co-op's revolution track (GregCollins has one and loves it) or a fuji track (I have one and have been very happy with the purchase) and put a brake on it, to see if you like riding fixed. If not you wont lose as much on the re-sell.
 

yashicamat

New Member
You'll be surprised what you can get up on a singlespeed. The mentality changes I find, with only one gear to play with, I enter a hill with the mindset 'I will get up this'. Of course, this requires a degree of common sense so as not to attempt anything too steep, although I've heard stories of a bloke around here getting up a local 20% hill on a 74" gear!

I find a gradient of about 10% is the limit on my 65" gear for any kind of hill that is sustained for a while (very short, steep hills can be solved by sprinting towards them and going mad on them).

As for which bike to choose, personally I'd build one myself from half of that budget (which is what I did do). Very satisfying and as there's no faffing with gear mechs (and the associated cabling / setup) it doesn't actually take all that long to throw a bike together.
 
My new work have just introduced ride to work but set the limit at £500 (and I'm not willing to put my own cash in to up it), which suits me as I need a new winter bike and for that price I'm thinking single speed (not fixed as my knees have only just recovered after my last foray in that arena). I hate to say it but i'm thinking of a Langster. It seems to keep getting good reviews, the stealth black finish looks pretty good (especially when I take off the badges) and I want drops and 2 brakes. I'll need to change the ratios though, as the 69inches on the Langster is too short for my flat commute. My old Pista was 78.8 which seemed OK, the question is I'd need to go down to a 14 sprocket on the rear, is such a thing workable on that hub, or do I have the expense of upping the chainring and buy a longer chain.

Anyone done this, or want to talk me out of a Langster?
 

zimzum42

Legendary Member
For £500 you could get a second hand bike in good nick that was worth over £1000 new...

Then you're looking at some really nice lightweight steel bikes....
 

colinr

Well-Known Member
Location
Norwich
I like the Langster, in both it's alu and steel incarnations. LBS staff has a really good looking alu one - destickered, everything black as night except white hubs. Looks sharp.
 
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