Thursday, September 1, 2011

Discovering the Single Speed Bike

Then one day, I discovered the single speed bike. I remember seeing it in the latest issue of Bike Magazine and thinking it was the sleekest, hottest looking bike I’d ever seen. It was a black KHS Solo One and had about  a half of an inch of travel in the back. I had to have one. The first time I took it out, I hated it. I did not have any of the leg strength required to ride single speed and kept stalling out on the hills. I brought it home after one ride loudly proclaiming how I was so selling this thing. Sure it was nice to look at, but it just wasn’t going to work for me. My husband suggested I change the gear ratio in the back from 33/16 to 33/19 and maybe even putting  a front shock on it to take some of the edge off the root hits. Since this was a birthday present to me from him that I specifically asked for, I decided to take his advice and try that option out. I am so glad that I did. After that, I fell in love with the single speed craze. A few more upgrades and this became my only go to bike. I rode it every time I went out on every trail around now and would not ride anything else for a while.

My high end full suspension Rocky Mountain was now collecting dust  in the garage and sitting in the corner only barely used. I can’t remember what prompted me to decide to take that bike out again, but one day, I did and soon remembered how much better full suspension was at being forgiving on the body. I started riding the geared bike again and now this one became my go to bike every time I went out now. I also started doing much longer rides and yes my old buddies "gears" and  "suspension" soon became a staple for my new riding style. It was nice to be reunited with those good friends. But, my single speed was now feeling the neglect. Probably  a lot like how Woody felt when Buzz Lightyear came to town in Toy Story.

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