Thursday, April 26, 2007

Single Speed Bikes

So, I think its fair to say that Pedicabbing is having a strange effect on me. Never have I been more motivated to turn the pedals, to dig deep when my muscles and lungs are screaming to stop.

It's amazingly rewarding to get someone from A to B, to have been the engine, to have felt the bumps, the lumps, the strains, shared the smiles on the downhills and the silences in converstion that accompany the uphills.

To turn around at the end of the journey, wipe the sweat from my brow and chirp ' just tip what you thought it was worth' is just something else. Real worth, real value, a real appreciation of what energy it really takes to get people about, so what has this got to do with single speed bikes?

Well, single speed bikes and more to the point fixed wheel bikes (fixed means that you cant freewheel, the pedals always go round) appear to be the ultimate connection to travelling on a bike. And i am getting to like the idea, super simple, one gear keep the momentum up, slow the bike with your legs (no brakes) speed the bike up with your legs.

So now i'm in the process of thinking about, putting together one of these bikes. In my head it looks like this- Old British steel frame, Mercian or something like that, short wheelbase, tight angles, maybe an old track bike. Fixed gear on the back, a gear you can just spin out on the dowhills but not too much to get going. Courier type look, maybe some practical features, mudguards, a panier rack.

I'm really interested to hear from anyone who rides a single speed or who may be able to point me in the right direction, should be exciting!



Tim said...

I'd have thought you'd have had enough of cycling at the end of the day without jumping on a fixie! The internet's awash with fixie info - its uber trendy, don't you know - start with and Herefords well suited to a fixie but you will need at least one brake to be road legal. Post some piccies!

Ben and Will said...

great stuff tim, i had been crusing the web for info, i'm undecided wether to go for something road based or hack up a courier bike from an old MTB frame.

Anonymous said...

This is very poetic ... were you drunk when you wrote it??? ... Oh I forget - that's where all the best ideas come from...

Tim said...

Just realised that the March issue Cycling Plus has a 2 page feature on a diy fixie using an old frame. Can do you a scan if you like. The one brake has to be on the front apparently. Definitely 700c wheels in an old road frame for the look if nothing else ... or howsabout a Raleigh 20 inch wheeled folder fixie, carry it in the cab! This is a beaut

Ben and Will said...

That's one hell of a bike! Would love to have the scan if possible. Not sure what way to go with this at the mo, so just doing as much research as possible.

And no, i dont have to be drunk to have ideas!