Singlespeed without the hassle

For ages I have been falling in and out of temptation to acquire myself something with just the one gear to choose from. Fixed wheel one side and freewheel the other, no derailleurs to get coated in muck as autumn approaches, no downshifting to avoid having to put effort in.

I have envied a Condor Pista and a Bianchi of a similar name.

I have drooled over Surlys and Fujis while all the time considering the Langster as the most suitable to my budget and needs.

The last few weeks I have been forced to settle on a far more practical solution to my desire for single-geared action: leave the shifters alone. I’ve had the everyday bike stuck in either 42/18 or 42/16 for my commutes to see what it feels like and see if that will work for me if I get a Langster (yes there was an ulterior motive).

I’m actually getting used to the sensation and I’m really starting to enjoy it. The pleasure of my speed being entirely dependent on the effort I put in, without the variable of a different gear ratio, is a very direct one and reminds me of when I used to ride a BMX – a Raleigh Burner Mark 2 in red and yellow that I had until around 1999 when it was stolen – in that there’s nothing more complicated than turning the pedals to worry about and you can concentrate on what’s going on around you.

Now the logical next step is to go out and get that Langster so I can bury myself further in the experience by learning to ride a fixed wheel bike where if you stop pedalling, you stop dead/get thrown off. So it looks like it’s only a matter of time before I cave in and try to get the best price I can find on one. Place your bets for which month will see me cave in.



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