Can't believe I'm asking this – darkside: geared or SS

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  • Can't believe I'm asking this – darkside: geared or SS
  • rj

    I have a Cycle to Work voucher for Alpine bikes for 700 quid that was intended to buy a Genesis Flyer to commute to work on. I’m now thinking I’d prefer something to do 40+ kilometre winter rides. I’m now in a bit of a quandary as I’m thinking a geared Trek will be a bit more versatile. Anyone tried SS and geared and have an opinion they would like to share? If it helps, the Genesis looks a lot cooler.

    Premier Icon sheck

    Depends why you’re going to ride on the road?I never liked SS on the road… My view is that the upside of SS on an mtb – less maintenance, mud friendly etc isn’t really a factor on the road, so the downside of always being in the wrong ratio wasn’t worth it. It might depend where you live/ ride too?

    Premier Icon kilo

    ss (or fixed) is great for commuting, general bimbling and some fitness work but I wouldn’t want mine as an only road bike – as you mention lack of versatility being the big problem, what if you fancy doing a big sportive or a bit of racing.


    Little point in SS on the road IMO.

    Fixed however is a whole load of fun on the commute, but as above I wouldn’t want it as my only bike. If you have any intentions of riding road very often you’ll eventually want gears.


    Rode this years Dun run with a few mates, one of which used a Spech Langster, he was way faster than me uphill, his only disadvantage was a few seconds the downhills.

    He’s 56 BTW and defo not a courier type.


    An SS will not be versatile enough. If you factor in your average commuting luggage (mine is about 5kgs) and the various gearing options required for the various different journeys you may be making … other riders will pass you by.

    Sticking with Genesis what about the Equilibrium?


    Fixed for the road, SS off road. Get fixed, 69″, learn to spoin like a God and pronounce suplesse properly.

    Seriously, if it’s relatively flat, then I can’t recommend a fixed road bike enough for commuting. Mine is used daily, maintenance free and a nice ride. Longest commute to date is 40 miles each way, normal commute is 10 each way.


    As a first road bike I wouldn’t go ss unless it’s really flat where you live or it’s for short trips like commuting. Gears much more versatile.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    Depends on use I’d say if its for a flatish commute under 15 miles without major time pressures then SS/fixed might be a goer.

    but if longer rides with more climbing are on the cards I’d have the gears, the last thing you need is to be blowng out your arse halfway on a group ride where all the geared bike users are vood to go plus they won’t hurt on commutes either…


    What al said

    Gears are on road bikes for a reason.

    I do have a SS incase that sounds like a dig


    Can only echo what others say, fixed not ss


    Don’t sacrifice coolness though, buy a geared genesis! They do nice low end Alu and steel bikes for a similar price


    I have a day one cross I use for for a short on/off road commute plus occasional on road jaunts up to dartmoor, works well for me, but maybe not ideal if you want to do more serious bits on the road such as sportives.

    Premier Icon Bez

    Nothing massively wrong with SS on the road, I’ve had a couple of SS road bikes though have only used them for shorter rides – the 30 mile commute and up to 80 or so miles. The steeper climbs aren’t as bad as you think once you get the knack of wrenching them up, though they’ll kill you at first. Where it gets frustrating is in gently rolling areas, where it’s daftly inefficient to spin on the shallower descents but equally there isn’t enough gradient to make freewheeling worthwhile. With gears you can just keep the power on. Gears are faster, there’s absolutely no question about that, but then speed isn’t always the only thing.

    IMO there is a benefit over gears when it comes to foul weather commuting – the SS is just maintenance free if you have a decent (WI) freewheel whereas gear cables do start to stick and a geared drivetrain does start to suffer slightly when it inevitably gunges up.

    Fixed vs SS, I can’t get on with fixed myself. Too scary at high speed, and if you mostly ride freewheels and forget you’re on a fixed when you need to come to a quick stop you can be in proper trouble. I speak from close-shave experience. YMMV.

    I confess I’ve moved the SS road bikes on and my winter bike now has gears, but if I was commuting by bike more than once a week through winter I’d almost certainly have an SS.


    I’ve commuted for years on a singlespeed road bike and did my first century on one so I think they’re more versatile than others would have you believe 🙂


    Depends on how hilly your commute is…

    I’ve just put gears on my s/s commuter. Simplicity and lack of maintenance was great. The steep hill at the beginning and end of every ride, less so… I’ve been commuting less as a result.

    I had a Genesis Flyer a few years ago and moved it on pretty swiftly. It has very very steep geometry which meant I was looking down at the tarmac, not at the traffic ahead of me. Terrible with a rucksack and not ideal for commuting IMHO!

    Premier Icon jameso

    I had a Genesis Flyer a few years ago and moved it on pretty swiftly. It has very very steep geometry which meant I was looking down at the tarmac, not at the traffic ahead of me

    2nd / current gen Flyer is a std road geo 73 front, not the original 80s crit bike-inspired steepness.

    on the OP, I loved my Flyer for commuting but only ever used it as a ‘road bike’ for summer evening recovery spins and even then not often. Gears are more versatile on tarmac. I love SS bikes on or off-road, but if I only had one road bike it’d be geared.


    Thanks for the answers. Pretty much confirms what I thought. The Genesis would be good for a short commute, but if I’m going to use it for anything else I’m probably looking at something geared.

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