Why should you go single speed?

You shouldn’t. You’ll wreck your knees, get slow, and have everyone laugh at you.

While that’s not all lies, it’s what everyone says.

I started riding single speed a few years ago now.

A friend of mine rode single off road and fixed on the road. He’s a big German power house.

I loved the simplicity of his bikes and he really sold me the concept.

At that time I was way over my head riding a full carbon full bouncer with top-of-the-range parts.

To start, I converted an old ‘cross bike that I was using for commuting. It was a cheap conversion just to dip my toes.

After the first few pedal strokes I was hooked.

I really wanted to try a proper singlespeed MTB and with no friends close by with a bike in my size, I decided to increase the number bikes in the garage.

I quickly learnt a single speed doesn’t cost the earth, or doesn’t have to at least. For not much money you can build yourself a pretty light, simple, durable machine.

My first proper single speed was a Kinesis Decade.

A steel frame built up with Hope Tech parts and anything I had spare.

It looked nice. It was simple. And it cost a lot less than my other bikes.

After the first ride, I loved it. In fact, the other MTB’s in the garage didn’t get out much after that. so much so that I sold the lot.

The biggest thing I loved was climbing.

Out of the saddle, powering away, climbing at speed, yanking on the bars.

You have no option to chicken out.

You know those climbs when you’re tired, maybe riding into a headwind, and you change gear just to make it easier for yourself.

Singlespeed, you have no option but to MTFU, dig in and push on.

This may not be a good thing for some. If you’re a road whippet with a skinny physique, a single speed may break you.

For example, when I first tried singlespeed on my commuter ‘cross bike. I did a cheap conversion with a tensioner. I road it everywhere. I rode it so much that I got a bad knee. Too much too soon.

It took a month for me to get rid of that bad knee. Riding one of my other bike with gears just to build up strength again.

It’s like running barefoot. Too much too soon and your legs/muscles can’t take it.

Ease your way in to it and then you’ll get the benefits.

You’ll be stronger, have more flow to maintain speed, and ultimately enjoy the ride rather than thinking of what gear you should be in.


Thinking of trying singlespeed but not sure how to go about it?

Go to the contact page and send me an email for help with everything from frames, gearing, and attire!