Single-speed Cycling

I recently bought a single-speed bike for my commute so I thought I write my thoughts after a couple of hundred miles on it.

It’s a Specialized Langster Steel which is an absolutely beautiful bike.

Specialized Langster Steel

I ride on the free-wheel, rather than fixed.  I figure that’s a bit easier in and out of traffic, and my cadence max’s out at 120rpm going downhill at 25mph!

Here are the things that make single-speed great, in no particular order

  1. Simplicity.  No gears – just get on and pedal.  And pedal.  And pedal!
  2. Maintenance is easy.  No derailleurs, jockey wheels or mechs to worry about.  Generally a quick clean of the chain and re-lube once is week is more than adequate
  3. Fitness.  Riding single-speed has definitely helped improve my fitness, especially uphill.  I was a bit worried at first but the bike almost eggs you on, makes you keep a high cadence and gets you out of the saddle.  My leg strength and stamina has definitely improved.  I’m now overtaking guys on geared road bikes on my regular uphill commute home.
  4. It’s cool.  Did I mention the bike is beautiful and definitely turns heads – it’s safe to assume it’s not me 😉
  5. Fun, fun and more fun!  Riding single-speed is like being a kid again.  It makes you smile more.  It’s dress-down Friday riding.

As Matt at North Cheshire Clarion says: the equation for the number of bikes you should own is n+1, where n = the number of bikes you already own.  If you haven’t got a single-speed bike, you need one!