Single speed commuting advice

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  • Single speed commuting advice
  • coffeeking

    Not sure I could manage it personally, but you’d have legs like tree trunks fairly soon if you did.


    It’s a stiff climb but if you don’t initially over gear it you’ll build your leg strength into it, then change the sprocket size as you go. Eventually you reach the point where the next sprocket means you don’t get up the hill. You are doing single speed not fixed? The Pompi’s are fun but get rid of the Kendas if it comes with them. I have some top drawer road rash as a result of being too tight to change the front one. They are pants in the wet!

    Got a 19 mile commute, got a few lumps in it, do that on a fixed langster 42-16. Usually do it in under an hour, the only thing on a long commute is the wind cuz you cant change down. Try SSing your Trek, strip it down to bear minimum?


    I wanted to keep the trek as a weekend roadie machine, the wind is an issue as it is always windy, and gets a bit exposed at the highest point, its not that high up but there are no hills or trees for miles around to break the wind up much.

    Maybe I’ll just Alfine it sooner than i wanted.

    Looking to get one second hand

    You’ll be alright in the wind if you keep your gear comfortable enough to tick over on the climb, don’t be tempted to go for an olympic dinnerplate sized chainring like all the fakenger muppets. You don’t seem to have a massive amount of flat on that route, so you won’t get stuck into a headwind for long. Looks like once you make it over the top you can freewheel down the other side and sprint up the few rises on the last leg.


    My shortest commuting route: (homeward direction)

    Would this be considered hilly? (Height in metres and distance in KM)
    I currently ride it on a Trek 1200 road bike, It’s 17.5 miles and I have done it in 50minutes on a perfect morning and usually about an hour to 1 hour 10 on a slow evening home.

    I was thinking of getting a pompino for the winter but am not sure I could cope with Single speed.
    Maybe I could mix it up with mostly single speed but take the road bike in on dry winter days to take the pressure off?
    I am thinking of starting out with the single speed to see how it goes but with the probably development of the bike to an alfine set up when money and time allows.

    Anyone riding a similar style route single speed? Advice?

    Premier Icon D0NK

    I’ve got a pompy, my normal route is fairly flat 12miler but on an extended commute I can get up some silly steep stuff (200m in 4km is the hardest I’ve done) so I reckon you’d be fine, 100m over 10k doesn’t sound bad (looks steep on the graph tho). SS v geared in the wind I prefer SS, you just sit down and grind out a steady speed instead of accelerate, gust of wind slows you, accelerate, gust of wind etc.


    I’m guessing you’re doing that downhill on the way to work, ie. work in Belfast? Or are you just jolly fast? 12km of descent must be lovely of a morning.

    What do the singlespeed people do about descents on hilly rides? Isn’t it annoying just spinning out? I know I spin out in 52×12 (or maybe it’s 54×12) on my short descents on my commute which has a similar amount of up & down to yours. I’d get annoyed having to ride a lower gear down the hills, more so if they were longer descents.


    Premier Icon D0NK

    Isn’t it annoying just spinning out?

    Just tuck in and freewheel, the small price you pay for a lot less maintenance. You don’t loose much time tho (unless you live at the top of a mountain) When I first rode the pompino I thought I’d better put a smaller cog on cos I was spinning out, if I only ever rode the short commute I might do, but then I’d never be able to make it up the big hills when I wanted a different ride home. Dunno how fixed riders get on.



    Find a gear on the Trek which is similar to what you would ride on a ss and give a go? *simples 😉

    If you are going the SS way then go for a fixie!

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    Get the 120mm rear version of the Pompino and put a 3 speed Sturmey-Archer on it. Just perfect 🙂



    You need one of these!



    frstly a pompy is fixed not ss. I commute on a fairly flatish route with a 48×19 fixed but i’m sur you’d have no problem with a 44 or 46 up front. As i recall the pompino came with a 48 front and a 20 and 22 fixed rear. As a previous poster mentioned you’ll have legs like tree trunks by he end of it!

    Premier Icon Nick

    looks a bit like my 20 mile commute which I do on a Pompino, it’s fine.

    I run my Pompino SS (flip flop hub) tenner for a Shimano 18t (48x18t) freewheel.


    Do it, run a reasonable (65-70″ or maybe even a bit less if it’s really hilly) gear, get in a tuck and you’ll be almost as fast anyway down the hills. You’d be surprised what you can get up when you don’t have the choice of gears. Maybe break yourself in gently (1-2 days a week on the SS) as that sounds like a fair commute.

    Not sure what the full bike comes with but my Pompino is certainly a SS!

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