May 7, 2012

Single Speed Bikes versus Multi-Speed Bikes - Part 2

Last week I detailed the overall differences between single speed bikes versus multi-speed bikes. This week I talk about my experiences with them.

My first bike of adulthood had multiple gears (the dark one in the picture above). I bought it used and it had 3 big gears up front (3 chainrings) and 5 gears in the back (5 sprockets). Probably because of inexperience, I rarely changed gears initially. After my chain broke during a start up and later a pedal arm (crank) broke, I decided to buy a new bike. It was a single-speed bike (the sea foam green with orange rims bike) with the ability to change between fixed-gear and freewheel.

The first time I used the fixed gear side, I didn't like it. You would assume that slowing down the pedals and the bikes would be easy but it's not; there's a lot of momentum to overcome. I let my friend try it out and when we saw an old friend, I heard him yelp because the pedals almost kicked him up.

The picture above is what I looked like when I was on my single-speed bike. I had my sweet looking messenger bag on and I wielded my U-Lock in case anyone wanted to steal the bag. However, once I started to bike 6 miles one way, the amount of back sweat I endured was unsustainable so I switched to my geared bike again.

I'm really liking the gears now and I use all of the sprockets and two of the chain rings. The rear rack is great for biking errands or toting stuff to work. Single-speed bikes look cool but they don't have the flexibility of a multi-geared bike.

Weirdly geared bike video of the day:

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