Thursday, 27 October 2011

Pros and Cons of Single gear bikes.

Pros and Cons of Single gear bikes.

It was for good reason that people started putting gears of bikes, having to push your bike up a hill is annoying, and not being able to gain speed ready for a climb is also annoying. With a single speed bike you will often find this happening.

In recent years we have seen MTBs being produced with thousands of gears, many of which overlap and don't really make a huge differenece. Over the last year I have being try to reach a happy medium, experimeneting with various combos:

27 Gears

9 on the back three on the front, despite working as a bike shop mechanic for a year during school, I was utterly unable to completly rid the "rub" from my front mech. Going along quiet country lanes hearing the perpetual grind of the chain is annoying, so off with the front mech. . . and down to;

9 Gears

The noise reduction was imediate and lovely, as you would expect there are two minor draw backs from doing this.

1 - You loose gear range. Solution: When you replace your rear cassete get one with a bigger range.

2 - Your chain will occasionaly derail on to the middle cahinring (if you choose to use the large one) and you will have to find a twig to hook it back on with. Solution: Get a dedictaed single speed front chain ring (£15).

1 Gear

Tempted by the puriton ideals of single speed I bought a conversion kit and fitted it to my bike, some say you feel liberated by doing this. I would say the opposite, if you live in a very flat area, then I suspect you will be all good with one gear. In devon you won't be.


27 Gears are too many for general use, when and if you replace parts for you drive train, consider loosing your front mech. However stick with your rear cassete. Unless you live in holland you will be needing it.

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