Riders celebrate international singlespeed day

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Singlespeed bikes make great urban and all-terrain commuters. (Photo: R24)
Singlespeed bikes make great urban and all-terrain commuters. (Photo: R24)
  • People who only ride one gear are generally assumed to have the wrong idea.
  • Most singlespeed bikes are wonderfully cheap and straightforward to run.
  • They also teach riders the value of managing rolling momentum and make you much stronger.

The singlespeed bicycle is mostly associated with hipsters, gliding along a promenade or towards a trendy urban café.

But beyond the urban bicycle transport realm, singlespeed bicycles serve many purposes. Without a geared drivetrain and derailleur, the singlespeed bicycle is robust and reliable, making it ideal as a winter bike – or off-road tourer.

Keeping it simple

Most cyclists think that singlespeed riders are crazy. Why suffer so needlessly and potentially compromise your knees if an array of geared drivetrains are available? In a world of wireless electronic gears on bicycles, the singlespeed seems unnecessary retro.

But those who ride them, love them. And American boutique cycling brand, Paul Components, has decreed 2 November to be international singlespeed day.

Paul Components encourages all riders who have a singlespeed bike, whether a simple commuter or trail mountain bike, to get out and ride. To celebrate being slow on the flats, but much faster on the those climbs.

Taking the OCD out of riding

Singlespeeding is all about efficiency. You are never in the correct gear, but you are always having fun.

There is an authentic effort element to singlespeeding. Any incline is much harder work than on a geared bicycle and as a result, there are very few unift singlespeed riders.

To some, singlespeeding is a reminder of their childhood riding. Your very first bicycle was a singlespeed and reconnecting with the honesty of only having one gear, is healthy and mindful.

It can make you a better rider

Singlespeed mountain biking teaches trail flow.

The risk of a terrain strike disabling your derailleur on a geared bike, is a real issue when mountain biking. On a singlespeed mountain bike, you can thread through the narrowest terrain openings when rolling across a rocky surface, and not be anxious about ruining a rear derailleur.

Being incorrectly geared on any descent is a given with your singlespeed mountain bike. That means you never think about pedalling or gear selection, and can focus all your riding effort on steering and braking inputs, learning proper trail flow.

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