United States


im - 6/27/2005 02:32:00 PM

Reasons to abandon single speed riding (in no particular order):
-30 gear drivetrains. I’m sorry, they cost how much? Whatever, your knees will cost more to replace than that, and at any rate the maintenance can’t be all that bad. Can it? 50 miles of variable winds make gears seem almost necessary.
-The whole SS thing was a fad.
-As a cyclist, you profess to like all types of riding, but on your SS you’re not at the crest of the wave anymore; its glory has passed. To those who are cyclists, it is now obvious that you are completely ex-post-fashion and definitely the wanker they suspected you of being all along, only moreso. To non-cyclists you always looked like a wanker anyway. Better to cut your losses.
-Gears on mountain bikes let you get up and over more stuff because you have leverage. It’s nice to know that 28 tooth is there when you need it. And as for road, well who wants to ride a century on a SS? Remember how often when riding your SS you bitched under your breath (or maybe not so under your breath) that you needed something just a bit easier?
-Every hipster riding around town has 3 main accoutrements to show off his/her uber-hipster stylings:
1) at least one visible tattoo, likely on the theme of mis-interpretted chinese characters (“someone told me this means ‘strength’”. It doesn’t.); 2) excitingly retro glasses, more than likely bought at a fancy shop specializing in rummaging through relatives’ basements for old junk then selling this junk at high mark-up in same shop; 3) a single speed bike, often times a fixed gear.
-What were you thinking? Single speeds aren’t easier. They weigh almost the same as your geared bike, and cost almost as much to set up.
-You just want to ride, man. It’s too much to think about.

Reasons to abandon riding geared bikes:
-30 gears? What’s the point? Geared right, and properly fitted to your bike, you’re not going to blow out your knees. Geared bikes have tons of weight-adding, pointless gear overlap, and anyway who has the patience for fiddling with that stuff every 100 miles?
-Sick of all this trend-heavy technology. Geared bikes are based on trickle-down race technology and therefore are far more faddish than SSs ever were. Simplicity, man.
-As a cyclist, you profess to like all types of riding, but at least on a SS you are not a slave to the fancies of fast changing technologies and non-standardized component compatibility (um…). On a single speed you look to ‘cyclists’ like a ‘cyclist’ ...until they get close to you, and to non-cyclists you look (at least you think) like a normal person just out riding your bike. Except for your shoes. Not much you can do about that.
-Everyone rode fixed gears once, even in The Tour. You need something you can take downtown and not worry about getting ripped off, and that you can crash more than once before being denied warranty. Offroad, you can rip the rollers faster on a SS because they teach you how to pick a line better and how to maintain momentum. Remember how often when riding your geared bike you bitched under your breath (insert clever rejoinder here) because your derailleur couldn’t find the gear you needed when you needed it?
-You’d rather get lumped in with the hipsters than look like one of those fools who think that if they dress like Lance they’ll ride like him too. Overpriced retro glasses still look better than one of those logo-festooned ‘kits’.
-What were you thinking? Geared bikes aren’t easier! They weigh almost the same thing as your SS and cost a bit more to set up.
-You just want to ride, man. It’s too much to think about.

Chest Rockwell's avatar

About Chest Rockwell

When not writing some of the words that Surly uses to convey information about their products and life position, Chest enjoys a stunning array of adventurous and rewarding endeavors. He is an internationally known entrepreneur and businessman, an award-winning architect, and has trekked the perimeter of China, unsupported, overland on bicycle, on foot, and on skis. He fluently speaks eight languages, including Icelandic, which is considered to be one of the world's most difficult languages to master. He is an avid skydiver. He designs spacecraft for NASA. He has been in no less than twenty-one feature films and is considered the world's leading authority on the healing properties of snake venom. He has built a popular reputation as a funnyman, appearing in cameo roles on various popular television shows primarily in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, and is the author of sixteen books about achieving one's potential. He is a motivational speaker drawing on his experiences in combat, for which he was awarded two purple hearts, and is a personal life coach to celebrities and notable figures worldwide. In his spare time he enjoys music, bicycles, writing, and spending time with his family. In other words, he's totally perfect, so don’t worry about it.

Continued Bloggage

im - 6/29/2005 09:11:00…

Dear Mr. Guy in the Black Lexus license plate number JMB 999, I appreciate your 15 second horn blast while rolling up behind me and my three mates riding on Poplar Bridge Road last night. It’s especially nice of you to warn us of your plan to try and kill…

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im - 6/14/2005 09:57:00…

Wheel Repair 101: Many of us have had to make use of this technique this at one time or another. Sov, pictured here, uses it fairly regularly, but that is due in part to his choice of riding style and companions. In my life as a shop rat, lo these…

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