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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last summer, we noticed that there are many single speedsters in San Francisco.


How is it that there could be so many single speeds in a city with the most hellacious hills to climb?
 

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Last summer, we noticed that there are many single speedsters in San Francisco.


How is it that there could be so many single speeds in a city with the most hellacious hills to climb?
Hi, perhaps the riders avoid the steepest hills. They may also be running a freewheel, not fixed, that would allow using a much lower gear and then coasting down the hills.
 

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Hi, perhaps the riders avoid the steepest hills. They may also be running a freewheel, not fixed, that would allow using a much lower gear and then coasting down the hills.
Exactly right. The city isn't all hilly, and depending on where you live and work a cyclist can often avoid the steepest climbs (but not always ;-). And you are correct that there are few FG riders there. The riders Zeet noticed were undoubtedly mostly SS, as he said.

Check out the old Kevin Bacon film "Quicksilver" where he plays a failed stockbroker who becomes a bike messenger. He's supposedly riding a fixie, but there are shots where he (or the stunt double) is clearly freewheeling down hills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Exactly right. The city isn't all hilly, and depending on where you live and work a cyclist can often avoid the steepest climbs (but not always ;-). And you are correct that there are few FG riders there. The riders Zeet noticed were undoubtedly mostly SS, as he said.
You're actually quite right about San Francisco not being totally hilly. For example, I could see a single speedster easily rolling from the Mission to Civic Center (downtown), and from downtown to the Tenderloin, without much trouble at all. He could also go from there and travel the lower portion of Hayes Valley. I think the rest of San Francisco would be better negotiated by using Muni in tandem with your single speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, perhaps the riders avoid the steepest hills. They may also be running a freewheel, not fixed, that would allow using a much lower gear and then coasting down the hills.
Hi Axelnut, I guess you could very well have a good point there.

That's quite possible! :thumbsup:
 

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You're actually quite right about San Francisco not being totally hilly. For example, I could see a single speedster easily rolling from the Mission to Civic Center (downtown), and from downtown to the Tenderloin, without much trouble at all. He could also go from there and travel the lower portion of Hayes Valley. I think the rest of San Francisco would be better negotiated by using Muni in tandem with your single speed.
Yep. And staying close to the bay you can get from Market to North Beach and the Marina without much hill. On the west side the Richmond and the Sunset are both quite flat, and you can get from there to downtown without anything too steep, basically using the gap between the Twin Peaks Mt. Davidson massif to the south and the Pacific Heights Nob Hill Russian Hill ridge to the north. But eventually you're going to come to a hill.

The Muni is a great system, with wonderful coverage. You really can get anywhere in the City without too much planning.
 

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Having grown up in the city on old fashioned foot brake bikes I learned to get around the city without ever going up a hill. If I absolutely had to, I pushed it on up. :aureola: The Church Street Hill by Delores Park was once such hill.
 

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Going from an OCR 3 to my first single-speed this year, I can't imagine climbing some of the hills in SF. Granted there was a large chunk of time between the two bikes, my first ride on the single-speed left me huffing and puffing like never before.

That being said, single-speed/fixie must be great for training. I can only imagine I would be able to drive a TCR into the ground now! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Going from an OCR 3 to my first single-speed this year, I can't imagine climbing some of the hills in SF. Granted there was a large chunk of time between the two bikes, my first ride on the single-speed left me huffing and puffing like never before.

That being said, single-speed/fixie must be great for training. I can only imagine I would be able to drive a TCR into the ground now! :D
That's right! People don't realize how much of an overall cycling trainer a single speed really is! If you train with a straight tubed (non-butted), hi-tensile steel, single speed, on the hills of San Fran, you'll be ready for practically any kinda race whatsoever! It not only builds leg muscles, it also grossly improves upon your cardio-vascular system. Just cycle with the single speed in San Fran for one solid year. Next switch over to a Giant TCR upon the following year. I can only see your roadie friends getting totally dropped!
 

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That's right! People don't realize how much of an overall cycling trainer a single speed really is! If you train with a straight tubed (non-butted), hi-tensile steel, single speed, on the hills of San Fran, you'll be ready for practically any kinda race whatsoever! It not only builds leg muscles, it also grossly improves upon your cardio-vascular system. Just cycle with the single speed in San Fran for one solid year. Next switch over to a Giant TCR upon the following year. I can only see your roadie friends getting totally dropped!
Glad to see you have moved into coaching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Glad to see you have moved into coaching.
Been doing that for most of my life, son...Besides, I've raised eleven kids. Eight of which were my very own. Therefore, I've been a coach and a teacher for most of my life. What about you, Tihsepa? Have you ever coached kids into adulthood? That's an awesome job, with endless emotional and spiritual rewards! :)
 

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Been doing that for most of my life, son...Besides, I've raised eleven kids. Eight of which were my very own. Therefore, I've been a coach and a teacher for most of my life. What about you, Tihsepa? Have you ever coached kids into adulthood? That's an awesome job, with endless emotional and spiritual rewards! :)
poor kids... must be scared to death to drink out of an aluminum can.

Watching others ride fixed in Pittsburgh just makes me realize how big of a ***** I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
poor kids... must be scared to death to drink out of an aluminum can.
Yep! They were all born allergic to the stuff! :D

Watching others ride fixed in Pittsburgh just makes me realize how big of a ***** I am.
Just reach down deep for that True Grit...There's a little John Wayne in all of us! :thumbsup:
 

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If you train with a straight tubed (non-butted), hi-tensile steel, single speed, on the hills of San Fran, you'll be ready for practically any kinda race whatsoever!
What the heck does non-butted, hi-tensile steel construction have anything to do with single speeding. And please don't try to justify such meaningless crap. I have been riding and racing (mtb) single speeds for 8 years and had steel, ALU and Ti singlespeeds, all rigid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
What the heck does non-butted, hi-tensile steel construction have anything to do with single speeding. And please don't try to justify such meaningless crap. I have been riding and racing (mtb) single speeds for 8 years and had steel, ALU and Ti singlespeeds, all rigid.
Serious, if you've been on the circuit that long, then you should already know that hi-tensile steel bikes generally weigh a tad more than chromoly steel bikes. There's a good reason for that fact. Chromoly steel is stronger than 1020 hi-tensile steel and it's for that specific reason that manufacturers prefer to make a butted version of its tubing, so that it can be made lighter in mass. Butted tubing, as you should already know, is shaved in certain areas in order for weight savings. Hi-tensile steel tubing needs to be made stronger. Manufacturers therefore, tend not to butt 1020 hi-tensile tubing, but instead prefer to maintain its straight tubing for strength purposes. Since single speeds can also be featured with butted tubing for the sake of weight savings, I found it convenient to mention the fact that a hi-tensile straight gauged steel tubed single speed would tend to be slightly heavier than any butted chromoly version. I'm glad that you have enriched your experience with a variety of frame materials when cycling on single speeds. I have no idea why you mentioned that they were all "rigid". Do you mean not butted? Please use your indoor voice when responding :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Seriously, if you've been on the circuit that long, then you should already know that hi-tensile steel bikes generally weigh a tad more than chromoly steel bikes. There's a good reason for that fact. Chromoly steel is stronger than 1020 hi-tensile steel and it's for that specific reason that manufacturers prefer to make a butted version of its tubing, so that it can be made lighter in mass. Butted tubing, as you should already know, is shaved in certain areas in order for weight savings. Hi-tensile steel tubing needs to be made stronger. Manufacturers therefore, tend not to butt 1020 hi-tensile tubing, but instead prefer to maintain its straight tubing for strength purposes. Since single speeds can also be featured with butted tubing for the sake of weight savings, I found it convenient to mention the fact that a hi-tensile straight gauged steel tubed single speed would tend to be slightly heavier than any butted chromoly version. I'm glad that you have enriched your experience with a variety of frame materials when cycling on single speeds. However, I have no idea why you mentioned that they were all "rigid". Do you mean not butted? Please use your indoor voice when responding...
Are you Serious? :D
 
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