A single speed experience

My commuter bike has recently been showing a bit too much personality. A single click of the shifter was often resulting in several irregular gear changes. The weather last week was beautifully sunny and I had been enjoying a more relaxed commuting pace, that was until the bike decided to rebel with a series of foul language inducing unwelcome gear changes. I was too busy at work to try and fix the problem, so I decided to just try riding home without changing gear.

“the best way to admonish a misbehaving rear cassette is to ignore it”

The first half of my journey home is mostly flat and I found the gear ratio of 50:17 to work well. But the last few miles of short sharp hills were difficult. I was either up, out of the saddle grinding my knee caps to dust or flying downhill with legs spinning like a lunatic. I honestly don’t know how people can ride a fixed gear bike as once I hit 40kph there was no way I could keep pedalling without shaking myself to pieces.

Stopping on a hill to enjoy the view and to allow my knees to cool down

This weekend I had a bit of time to attend to the shifting glitches so hopefully next week I can get back to enjoying the luxury of a bike with gears. I had toyed with the idea of removing the derailleurs and shortening the chain to convert the bike to a single speed for the winter, however from a little research it sounds like a slightly more complicated procedure so I may hold fire on such drastic measures. Certainly my knees will be grateful.

4 thoughts on “A single speed experience

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