I got my first singlespeed this year. My friend Peter owns a frame company in Ontario called Misfit Pscycles. I didn’t think too much about his bikes when I first met him. I just saw a hilariously dry humored, strong willed, tall muscle dude raging on a singlespeed…and sometimes wearing rainbow tights under his chamois.
Peter convinced me to try SS. I love the culture of the SS. They are the “I don’t give a fuck” crowd, some of them to a fault. They are the rowdy crew of the mountain bikers (aside from the DH racers). They are the guys who are out partying the night before the race and crush you the next day. They are fun.
With that, I got my first SS- a Misfit at Peter’s suggestion. I honestly haven’t had a lot of rides on my new baby due to my very aggressive spring racing schedule. It’s neglected, but it probably doesn’t care… it’s badass without me sitting on it.
Despite only a few rides on my new whip, it makes me want more. I think of it often. Right now it’s in the hands of another friend, my dentist in Boulder at Bear Peak Dental who was curious to try singlespeeding after I raved about it. He’s trying it out.
So what do I think about SSing after riding gears for 8 years?
It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.
Now, now… I’ve only ridden two trails on it. I have a pretty easy gear. I can make it a heck of a lot harder with a smaller ring on the back, longer miles, and more elevation gain. But that’s just it – it’s as hard as you want to make it. My initial resistance to the SS was I thought it’d be too hard.
The bumper sticker I see plastered all over “One Fucking Speed” is no lie. It’s almost a blessing. When I am riding gears, I think I should be riding in a certain gear so I can go faster. With one gear, you only have two ways to regulate speed – don’t brake and pedal faster. It’s cathartic. Oh, or you walk. However, the one speed thing is frustrating on downhills. I can’t put it in the hardest gear and pedal. I have to coast.
Old Made New
The trails I rode were trails I’ve ridden a million times. On a SS, it’s a new adventure. The trail feels different because you have to manage your momentum. It rides more like a pump track. Climbs are more exciting.
I can’t wait to ride my SS more this summer. I’m going to put a harder gear (I started with 32×20) and do some big rides. It’s a new adventure. Bring on the hills! I also want to try belt drive(my initial set up is with a chain)