One Gear

Quite a few years back I started building a few single speed and fixed gear bikes. At the time, it was before the whole single speed/ ‘Fixie’ culture took off, and only the bike couriers and track cyclists in the area had them. I have often had conversations with people as to why do I have one gear, fixed at that.

For me its a combination of simplicity and movement. Bikes are an amazing piece of machinery. By modern standards, there is nothing particularly technical about them. As far as bikes go, nothing rides, is as silent, or simple as a fixed gear bike. You are also part of the bike, or it of you, when riding. Much like walking or running, you cant just lift your feet to coast down a hill, nor can you change your leg size to climb up a hill. If you want to go slower or faster, you move your legs slower or faster. If you want you can go backwards!

I’m not in any way knocking geared bikes, they are great, and in many ways more practical. Perhaps its like the film vs digital debate in cameras – both take pictures, but they create them in slightly different ways, and provoke different feelings.

That’s my few lines on bicycles for the day. Image wise, I converted to B&W in Gimp and added a vignette.

Catch ya tomorrow!

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2 thoughts on “One Gear

  1. So recognizable. I have been mountainbiking since 1989, but after many years of geared rides I rebuild my older ’98 Specialized Stumpjumper to a singlespeed. Unfortunately with a tensioner, but it allows me to keep the chain tight. The 32×16 is just perfect for my riding.

    And I agree that you can compare it to film vs digital discussions in photography. Sure, all the modern bells and whistles provide so many advantages and conveniences. It is just that the simplicity is so much fun and brings it all back to the basics. I like that.

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